Caroline Nokes Portrait

Caroline Nokes

Conservative - Romsey and Southampton North

Panel of Chairs
21st Oct 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration)
8th Jan 2018 - 24th Jul 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2017 - 8th Jan 2018
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jul 2016 - 14th Jun 2017
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
1st Jul 2015 - 14th Jul 2016
Education Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 22nd Feb 2016
Education Committee
18th Mar 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
18th Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Environmental Audit Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 11th May 2021
15:30
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 12th May 2021
14:30
Women and Equalities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Reform of the Gender Recognition Act
12 May 2021, 2:30 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Dr Harriet Hutchinson - Community Organiser at Action for Trans Health Durham
Dr John Chisholm CBE - Chair of the Medical Ethics Committee at British Medical Association
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
Dr Michael Brady - National Adviser for LGBT Health at NHS England
John Stewart - National Director of Specialised Commissioning at NHS England
Leigh Chislett - Clinical Manager at 56 Dean Street
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 18th May 2021
15:30
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 19th May 2021
14:30
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 357 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Thursday 29th April 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

The cruise industry is a significant employer in the Southampton area, but British travellers are still advised by the FCDO …

Written Answers
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Farms: Recruitment
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in driving …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 19th January 2011
Consumer Protection (Postal Marketing) Bill 2010-12
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th March 2020
5. Gifts and benefits from sources outside the UK
Name of donor: GVC Holdings PLC
Address of donor: 32 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 1JB
Amount of …
EDM signed
Monday 19th October 2015
ACCESS TO DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TREATMENT, TRANSLARNA
That this House notes the draft guidance published by NICE to not approve the Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment called Translarna …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision about the administration to persons under the age of 18 of botulinum toxin and of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Caroline Nokes has voted in 256 divisions, and 14 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 352 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 217 Noes - 360
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 354 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 227 Noes - 354
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 328 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 279
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
View All Caroline Nokes 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
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(24 debate interactions)
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative)
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
(16 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(24 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(23 debate contributions)
Home Office
(22 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Caroline Nokes's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Caroline Nokes

19th October 2015
Caroline Nokes signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 19th October 2015

ACCESS TO DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TREATMENT, TRANSLARNA

Tabled by: Mary Glindon (Labour - North Tyneside)
That this House notes the draft guidance published by NICE to not approve the Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment called Translarna at this stage; acknowledges that NICE has requested further data on cost and information from the latest phase of the clinical trial from PTC Therapeutics, the pharmaceutical company which manufactures …
39 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Dec 2015)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 16
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Independent: 4
Non-affiliated: 1
Conservative: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Caroline Nokes's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Caroline Nokes, 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.


3 Urgent Questions tabled by Caroline Nokes

Wednesday 16th December 2020
Monday 9th November 2020
Tuesday 14th January 2020

Caroline Nokes has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Caroline Nokes


A Bill to make provision about the control of dogs; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 19th December 2011

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision relating to the regulation of postal marketing; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th January 2011

157 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to include (a) energy and (b) water saving showers in any successor scheme to the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

The Government recently announced an extra £300 million of funding to be invested to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s homes through energy efficiency and low carbon heating schemes, delivered through the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Scheme and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

Through the LAD scheme, all eligible measures must be included within the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). Eligible measures are any energy efficiency and heating measures that will help improve homes. These products should be covered by SAP and when bidding for funding Local Authorities should list the measures they would like to install in their regions. Local Authorities are encouraged to focus on installing the most cost-effective measure to improve the overall efficiency of the building such as wall insulation and low carbon heating.

Design guidance for the SHDF scheme is currently being developed. A wide range of possibilities will be examined to ensure successful delivery of the fund.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement on covid-19 on 12 October 2020, which beauty services are included within the definition of the personal care sector.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister addressed the nation on Saturday 31 October setting out new national restrictions. These restrictions will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December, and will override the current Local Alert Level restrictions.

Personal care facilities include: hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what evidence base the Government used to determine that beard trimming was safer than facial beauty treatments for the purposes of easing covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

As defined by consultation with the industry and with medical advisors, the highest risk zone is the area in front of the face. SAGE has advised that the highest risk of transmission is through aerosols and droplets when people are in prolonged close, face-to-face contact within 2m.

Services should only be provided where they can be carried out in a fully COVID-secure way, and away from the highest risk zone.

For instance, beard services should only be provided where they can be carried out safely from the side or from behind to avoid the high-risk zone. Any intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards should not be carried out as this would be within the highest risk zone.

Many of the treatments currently not allowed, such as facial beauty treatments, would require the practitioner to be very close to the highest risk zone in front of the client’s face for an extended period of time, thus increasing the risks for both client and practitioner. In these circumstances it would be best to avoid these treatments.

The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have also signed off this approach.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance the Government issued prior to the reopening of hairdressers and barbers on 4 July 2020 on the prohibition of (a) eyebrow threading or trimming, (b) nose waxing and (c) beard trimming; and whether any subsequent such guidance was issued after 9 July 2020.

The Government published pre-reopening guidance on 23 June for closed Close Contact Services.

New guidance, including further detail of the ‘highest risk zone’ services, which remain unavailable, was published on 9 July.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he made of the relative speed of beard trimming for men compared to eyebrow waxing for women as part of the decision for barbershops to reopen but not beauty salons as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

We have set out clear steps that should be taken by businesses to keep customers safe in our COVID-secure guidelines. This guidance has been developed by BEIS with input from firms, unions and industry bodies, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Beauty services should only be provided where they can be carried out in a fully COVID-secure way, and away from the highest risk zone. For instance, beard services should only be provided where they can be carried out safely from the side or from behind to avoid the high-risk zone. Any intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards should not be carried out as this would be within the highest risk zone. Many of the treatments not allowed, for example eyebrow waxing, would require the practitioner to be very close to the highest risk zone in front of the client’s face for a extended period of time, thus increasing the risks for both client and practitioner. In these circumstances it would be best to avoid these treatments.

We have worked closely with businesses and trade associations from the industry, as well as with medical experts, to determine both what is the highest risk zone and what services would fall within this zone. The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have signed off this approach.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason makeup artists have been allowed to resume work for films but not for weddings.

The application of makeup of performers in productions for the film and TV industry is undertaken by a limited number of professionals working with the limited number of performers in that production for the duration of that production.

Make-up artists and other close contact commercial services work with whoever they have appointments with and the number of people, and hence different contacts, will far exceed the number on a production set.

We have worked closely with businesses and trade associations from the industry, as well as with medical experts, to determine both what is the highest risk zone and what services would fall within this zone. The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have also signed off this approach.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what risk assessment was carried out to assess the potential transmission of covid-19 during the process of (a) beard trimming with no face covering and (b) eyebrow shaping with a face covering.

We have set out clear steps that should be taken by businesses to keep customers safe in our COVID-secure guidelines. This guidance has been developed by BEIS with input from firms, unions and industry bodies, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Beauty services should only be provided where they can be carried out in a fully COVID-secure way, and away from the highest risk zone. For instance, beard services should only be provided where they can be carried out safely from the side or from behind to avoid the high-risk zone. Any intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards should not be carried out as this would be within the highest risk zone. Many of the treatments not allowed, for example eyebrow waxing, would require the practitioner to be very close to the highest risk zone in front of the client’s face for a extended period of time, thus increasing the risks for both client and practitioner. In these circumstances it would be best to avoid these treatments.

We have worked closely with businesses and trade associations from the industry, as well as with medical experts, to determine both what is the highest risk zone and what services would fall within this zone. The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have signed off this approach.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many incinerators meet the current 300MW threshold whereby they must demonstrate carbon capture readiness.

The requirement to demonstrate carbon capture readiness applies to applications for power stations with an electrical generating capacity at or over 300 MW and of a type covered by the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). Energy from waste generating stations are not covered by the LCPD. Therefore energy from waste generating stations of any capacity do not have to demonstrate carbon capture readiness.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on CO2 emissions of lowering the 300MW rating threshold above which combustion based power stations are required to demonstrate that they are carbon capture ready.

The Government consulted on the appropriate threshold for carbon capture readiness in 2008. Following this consultation, the 300MW threshold as required in the Carbon Capture Storage Directive was adopted in legislation.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the the level of statutory paternity pay for self-employed (a) mothers and (b) fathers.

There have been a number of meeting between BEIS and DWP Ministers and officials to discuss parental pay for the self-employed.

Whilst the Government is committed to supporting all working parents, including self-employed parents, we have focussed on policies for employed parents as, generally speaking, they have less autonomy and flexibility over when they work and when they take time off work.

The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to work. As announced in the Queen’s Speech, we will be bringing forward legislation to upgrade workers’ rights where it is right for the UK.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what risk assessment has been undertaken to permit 10,000 attendees at outdoor events in May 2021 while weddings are capped to attendees of 30 people in the same time period.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister published the Government’s “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021”. The roadmap is a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously, starting with education. Across the four steps, the roadmap sets out the sequencing and indicative timing for easing restrictions, including those in the wedding sector. In the 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021', the Government has set out how it will continue to protect and support citizens across the UK and has provided a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. This includes a staged return of weddings and civil partnerships.

We understand the unique significance that marriages and civil partnerships hold in people’s lives, but we have to take necessary steps to limit transmission of COVID-19. This includes restrictions on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, as well as other forms of social contact. By their very nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are highly social events that bring families and friends together, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.

When large events resume – subject to capacity caps – in Step 3, these events will need to be organised by a business, charity or similar organisation; comply with COVID-Secure guidance, with reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission; and a full risk assessment must be completed. Event organisers must ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for work purposes, or supervised activities for children).

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to hold discussions with British motorsport organisations on their commitments to women’s rights in advance of the 2021 Saudi Arabian grand prix.

Participation in international sports events is a matter for the relevant international sports federations, and the national representatives to these federations.

Our sport strategy “Sporting Future” sets out our commitment to increasing the participation of women in all aspects of sport and physical activity, whether taking part, working or volunteering. Sport England provides support to organisations, including the National Governing Bodies, on how to increase the participation of women.

The UK has consistently called for women in Saudi Arabia to be able to participate fully in society. We welcome positive developments, including reforms to the guardianship system. The World Bank's "Women, Business, and the Law 2020" report recognises Saudi Arabia's efforts to advance women's economic participation within the Kingdom. However, women's rights still fall short of international standards. We will continue to raise the issue with Saudi Arabia, and work to promote and support further progress.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will encourage UK motorsport organisations to make their participation in the Saudi Arabian grand prix contingent on the release of (a) Loujain al-Hathloul and other women human rights defenders and (b) Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Prince Turki bin Abdullah and other political detainees.

Participation in international sports events is a matter for the relevant international sports federations, and the national representatives to these federations. These bodies operate independently of government, and enshrine this political freedom in their rules and regulations.

The UK and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding bilateral relationship, based on a number of pillars including trade; investment; defence; security; energy; and shared concerns about regional issues. No aspect of our relationship with Saudi Arabia prevents us from speaking frankly about human rights. We have expressed significant concerns about reports of continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions in Saudi Arabia. The UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September, which noted our human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia and called for the release of all political detainees, including the women’s rights defenders. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, most recently raised the women's rights defenders' cases with the Saudi Ambassador to the UK on 16 November. We continue to raise concerns and are monitoring the situation closely.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made with the Gambling Commission on regulating the grey market in gambling.

Jurisdictions in which there are not clear rules about the legality of gambling, particularly online gambling, are often referred to as grey markets. There is no grey market in Great Britain, where operators are forbidden by law from providing gambling facilities to British consumers unless they are licensed by the Gambling Commission and abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people. Any operator offering facilities to gamble without the appropriate licence from the Gambling Commission is committing an offence under the Gambling Act 2005.

Ministers and officials engage regularly with stakeholders and details of ministerial meetings are available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/905167/DCMS_Ministerial_meetings__1st_January_to_31st_March_2020.csv/preview

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to (a) plan and (b) prepare for arrangements for year-11 exams at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

The Government has been clear on its top priority to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils get a high quality education. On Monday 12 October, we announced that assessment by examination will be part of a normalised year for these cohorts because we believe examinations are the fairest form of assessment. The examinations will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all AS/A levels and GCSEs. This is three weeks later than the usual start dates from previous years. The delay and the changes to the content of assessments for certain subjects, will give pupils extra time to study, without causing unnecessary disruption to the usual timetable of the academic year.

My right hon. Friend, The Secretary of State for Education has also asked Ofqual to work with the Department to develop and assess a range of contingency measures for potential disruption to 2021 examinations, engaging widely with schools and colleges, exams boards, unions and students as well as the further and higher education sectors. This is to ensure we plan for all foreseeable scenarios to safeguard students’ ability to sit exams and achieve qualifications which allow them to progress to the next stage of their education or employment. We expect to share details of these contingency plans later in the autumn.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what research his Department has undertaken on the effect of social distancing on the emotional well-being of children.

The department is working closely with educational institutions, sector organisations, the Department for Health and Social Care, NHS England and Public Health England to understand the effects of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing and identify the children and young people that need help and will continue to do so as pupils return to school.

The return to school is a key part of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as in addition to providing more opportunities for physical activity, attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. To support this, we have encouraged schools to focus on mental wellbeing as pupils return. The department has now published detailed plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September. The guidance for schools is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

We have been working closely with partners to provide resources and update guidance to support and promote children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes signposting to resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing among the list of resources to help children to learn at home, which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to put in place further specific support for school staff to understand the issues that pupils will face with their mental wellbeing. This includes training for teachers, such as a new module developed with clinical experts on how to teach about mental health in health education. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS services remain open, and leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. During Mental Health Awareness Week the government also announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities – including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK.

All NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

In addition, children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations either by texting SHOUT to 85258, or by calling Childline on 0800 1111 or The Mix on 0808 808 4994. Children and young people can also find online information on COVID-19 and mental health on the Young Minds website, which is available here:
https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the non-resumption of breakfast and after-school provision on working (a) parents and (b) mothers.

As of 4 July, all providers offering wraparound care, holiday clubs and out-of-school activities for children have been able to open for both indoor and outdoor provision with safety measures in place. We have published guidance for providers of these activities on the measures they should put in place to ensure they are operating as safely as possible, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

We recognise that breakfast and after-school provision are important sources of additional childcare for parents and carers, particularly those who may need to return to, or continue to, work in the autumn term.

Therefore, as outlined in the guidance for full opening of schools published by the department, schools should consider resuming any breakfast and after-school provision, where possible, from the start of the autumn term to support working parents and to help children and young people re-engage with their peers and with the school. We recognise that schools may need to respond flexibly and build this up over time. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons his Department's Guidance for full opening: schools, published on 2 July 2020, states that social distancing for the youngest children is not mandatory.

The Government has been clear that our intention is for all children to return to school from September. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this.

As part of this guidance, we are asking all headteachers to put measures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. This includes implementing a Public Health England endorsed system of controls that includes: ensuring that people who have symptoms do not attend school, robust hand and respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning arrangements, active engagement with NHS Test and Trace, and minimising contact and maintaining distance between individuals wherever possible.

Minimising contacts and mixing between people reduces transmission of COVID-19. This is important in all contexts, and schools must consider how to implement this. The overarching principle that schools have been asked to apply is reducing the number of contacts between children and staff. This can be achieved through keeping groups separate (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining distance between individuals. These are not alternative options and both measures will help, but the balance between them will change depending on children’s ability to distance, the lay out of the school and the feasibility of keeping distinct groups separate while offering a broad curriculum (especially at secondary).

At primary school, and in the younger years at secondary (key stage 3), schools may be able to implement smaller groups the size of a full class. If that can be achieved, it is recommended, as this will help to reduce the number of people who could be asked to isolate should someone in a group become ill with COVID-19. We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group but primary schools are expected to keep groups separate.

The Department's guidance on fully opening schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-1-public-health-advice-to-minimise-coronavirus-covid-19-risks.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the advice that social distancing for the youngest children is not mandatory in his Department's Guidance for full opening: schools, published on 2 July 2020, whether any primary schools require young children to socially distance.

The Government has been clear that our intention is for all children to return to school from September. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this.

As part of this guidance, we are asking all headteachers to put measures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. This includes implementing a Public Health England endorsed system of controls that includes: ensuring that people who have symptoms do not attend school, robust hand and respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning arrangements, active engagement with NHS Test and Trace, and minimising contact and maintaining distance between individuals wherever possible.

Minimising contacts and mixing between people reduces transmission of COVID-19. This is important in all contexts, and schools must consider how to implement this. The overarching principle that schools have been asked to apply is reducing the number of contacts between children and staff. This can be achieved through keeping groups separate (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining distance between individuals. These are not alternative options and both measures will help, but the balance between them will change depending on children’s ability to distance, the lay out of the school and the feasibility of keeping distinct groups separate while offering a broad curriculum (especially at secondary).

At primary school, and in the younger years at secondary (key stage 3), schools may be able to implement smaller groups the size of a full class. If that can be achieved, it is recommended, as this will help to reduce the number of people who could be asked to isolate should someone in a group become ill with COVID-19. We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group but primary schools are expected to keep groups separate.

The Department's guidance on fully opening schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-1-public-health-advice-to-minimise-coronavirus-covid-19-risks.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the £650 million catch-up fund he plans to allocate to special schools.

The government has announced a package of support worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

This package includes a universal catch up premium for schools of £650 million to help them make up for lost teaching time. This premium will be paid as a grant to all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England over the 2020-21 academic year.

We will confirm the timetable for publishing institution-level allocations in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what powers his Department has to initiate action under the Prevention of Damage By Pests Act 1949; and in what circumstances those powers have been used.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that their areas are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. Should Defra become aware that a local authority is failing to discharge its responsibilities, Defra has certain default powers to initiate action.

Additionally Defra may give direction to any business involving the manufacture, storage, transport or sale of food. These directions may include:

- prohibiting or restricting the business or use of any premises, vehicles, or equipment which is or is likely to become infested;

- prohibiting or restricting the acceptance, delivery, retention or removal of any infested food or of any other infested goods which are likely to come into contact with food manufactured, stored, transported or sold;

- carrying out any structural works or treatments necessary for preventing or remedying infestation in any premises, vehicle, equipment, food or other goods;

- In cases where the infestation cannot be remedied the Minister may order the food or container to be destroyed within a specific timeframe.

The Department does not have any record of any case where the Minister has had to exercise his powers under the Act in the last five years.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many times his Department has used powers under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1945 in each of the last five years.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that their areas are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. Should Defra become aware that a local authority is failing to discharge its responsibilities, Defra has certain default powers to initiate action.

Additionally Defra may give direction to any business involving the manufacture, storage, transport or sale of food. These directions may include:

- prohibiting or restricting the business or use of any premises, vehicles, or equipment which is or is likely to become infested;

- prohibiting or restricting the acceptance, delivery, retention or removal of any infested food or of any other infested goods which are likely to come into contact with food manufactured, stored, transported or sold;

- carrying out any structural works or treatments necessary for preventing or remedying infestation in any premises, vehicle, equipment, food or other goods;

- In cases where the infestation cannot be remedied the Minister may order the food or container to be destroyed within a specific timeframe.

The Department does not have any record of any case where the Minister has had to exercise his powers under the Act in the last five years.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to section 2(1) of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1947, if he will issue guidance to residents on the steps they can take to hold local authorities to account for their duty to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats and mice.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that their areas are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. Should Defra become aware that a local authority is failing to discharge its responsibilities, Defra has certain default powers to initiate action.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what powers local authorities have to tackle vermin outbreaks in private properties.

Managing problems with rats and mice is the responsibility of the owner or occupier of the property where the problem occurs. Insofar as local authorities are owners and occupiers of property, they have the same powers to control rats and mice as any other owner or occupier.

To address public health risk, the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 makes local authorities responsible for ensuring that their districts are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. In meeting this obligation, a local authority may serve a notice on the owner or occupier of land requiring them to take such steps as may be specified in the notice to destroy rats and mice on their land. Where necessary, the local authority has the power to take those steps as specified in a notice themselves and recover from the owner or occupier any expenses reasonably incurred in doing so. The 1949 Prevention of Damage by Pests Act also requires occupiers of land, other than agricultural land, to give notice in writing to the local authority of rodent infestations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to review the 2003 household waste mix model.

Following our consultation in 2019 on measures to improve consistency in recycling from businesses and households, the Environment Bill published in January 2020 sets out how the Government will legislate to require local authorities to collect recyclable household waste separately from other household waste so that the waste can be recycled or composted. The recyclable household waste to be collected will be metal, paper, glass, plastics, food and garden waste. Together with similar measures to increase recycling from businesses and other organisations, these changes will help to achieve ambitions set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy 2018 to increase the quantity and quality of recyclable material collected for recycling.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of residual waste sent to landfill, incineration and transfer stations in 2019 could have been recycled.

We do not hold this information. The main data on waste that goes to landfill, incineration and transfer stations is from the permitted site returns that are submitted to the Environment Agency. The way that the data is reported for particular waste categories means it is not possible to make reliable estimates for the amount of waste received at permitted waste sites that could have been recycled.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential financial effect on the NHS of the imposition of tariffs on medical foods.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) was informed by a public consultation where we received over 1,300 responses. To ensure we extracted maximum value from the consultation responses, these have been shared with other relevant government departments, including the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who supported the policy development of the UKGT.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade meets regularly with her colleagues, including my Rt Hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, though they have not discussed tariffs on infant
formula, baby foods or medical foods.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of tariffs on infant formula and baby foods on consumers.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to UK imports from countries the UK does not have trading arrangements in place with. HM Government has assessed all available evidence submitted as a part of the public consultation, and in addition, conducted its own assessment to ensure the UKGT is robust and supportive of the UK’s economy, including UK consumers. HM Government will publish more analysis in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Health and Social Care and (b) Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the effect of WTO rules on the cost of infant (i) formula, (ii) baby foods and (iii) medical foods.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) was informed by a public consultation where we received over 1,300 responses. To ensure we extracted maximum value from the consultation responses, these have been shared with other relevant government departments, including the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who supported the policy development of the UKGT.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade meets regularly with her colleagues, including my Rt Hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, though they have not discussed tariffs on infant
formula, baby foods or medical foods.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission plans to publish a risk assessment of working on the Parliamentary Estate in advance of the House of Commons returning to normal working practices.

The House Service is currently working in conjunction with Public Health England to ensure we meet the government guidelines to become a ‘COVID-19 secure’ workplace, and to build on our existing measures to ensure all those working on the estate can do so safely. These include carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment which will be published on the intranet.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of people awaiting driving tests; and what steps are being taken to increase driving test capacity.

There are currently over 400,000 people with a test booked.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in driving test appointments on the ability of farms to recruit staff with the required skills.

Tractor training and testing resumed in England and Wales on 29 March, and on 26 April in Scotland.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners.

It is not within the DVSA’s remit to assess the ability of farms to recruit staff but it fully appreciates the challenges that suspending driver training and testing has had, including for those in the agricultural sector. The DVSA’s top priority has been to keep everyone safe and only resume its testing services when safe to do so.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric vehicle fast charge points have been installed in Romsey and Southampton North constituency in the last 12 months.

Data on electric vehicle charging devices are presented in the table below. Figures include rapid charging devices whose fastest connector is rated at 43kW and above, and charging devices that were available on 1st July 2020 and installed in the 12 months previous (since 1st July 2019).

Area

Total Public Devices1

Rapid Devices

(a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency

8

0

(b) Hampshire county

113

25

(c) UK

4,969

1,030

  1. Total devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric vehicle fast charge points have been installed in Hampshire in the last 12 months.

Data on electric vehicle charging devices are presented in the table below. Figures include rapid charging devices whose fastest connector is rated at 43kW and above, and charging devices that were available on 1st July 2020 and installed in the 12 months previous (since 1st July 2019).

Area

Total Public Devices1

Rapid Devices

(a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency

8

0

(b) Hampshire county

113

25

(c) UK

4,969

1,030

  1. Total devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric vehicle fast charge points have been installed in the UK in the last 12 months.

Data on electric vehicle charging devices are presented in the table below. Figures include rapid charging devices whose fastest connector is rated at 43kW and above, and charging devices that were available on 1st July 2020 and installed in the 12 months previous (since 1st July 2019).

Area

Total Public Devices1

Rapid Devices

(a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency

8

0

(b) Hampshire county

113

25

(c) UK

4,969

1,030

  1. Total devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of grants in each of the Transport-technology research innovation grants funding rounds have been awarded to (a) female entrepreneurs and (b) companies led by women.

Since 2014, 13 out of 176 or 7.4% of grants offered under The Transport-Technology Research Innovation Grants (T-TRIG) or similar schemes have been awarded to teams led by women.

We do not hold data on the sex of the leaders of these companies either when grants were offered or now.

Each of these projects were delivered by teams. We do not hold data on the sex of members of delivery teams.

We are planning to expand the collection of equality data as part of T-TRIG 2020 and are working with the Connected Places Catapult and Innovate UK to maximise the diversity of applications to the current call.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of grants in each of the Transport-technology research innovation grants funding rounds have been awarded to disabled entrepreneurs.

We have not collected disability status data on T-TRIG awardees in the past, but are planning to collect this data as part of T-TRIG 2020. We are working with the Connected Places Catapult and Innovate UK to maximise the diversity of applications to the current call.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, if he will publish the scientific evidence underpinning the 14-day quarantine policy.

SAGE advice is not routinely published. Scientific advice can give us estimates of the incidence of coronavirus internationally and domestically, and ministers decide how to respond to the risk of imported cases based on this advice.

The scientific advice shows that when domestic transmission is high, imported cases represent a small amount of the overall total and they make no significant difference to the epidemic. However, this can change when the domestic transmission/rate of infection is low, and people are arriving from countries with a higher rate of infection.

Now that domestic transmission within the UK is coming under control, and other countries begin to lift lockdown measures, it is the right time to prepare new measures at the border, including self-isolation.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on a review of the Airports National Policy Statement.

We do not comment on the details of discussions between Cabinet ministers.

We are still considering the Court of Appeal’s complex judgment. At this stage the Government will not be able to make any further comment beyond what was set out in the Written Statement on 27 February from the Secretary of State for Transport.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Question 20541, for what reasons his Department has not yet published a review of the Airports National Policy Statement.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement has no legal effect unless and until this Government carries out a review.

It is a complex judgment which the Government will need time to consider carefully. At this stage the Government will not be able to make any further comment beyond what was set out in the Written Statement on 27 February from the Secretary of State for Transport.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with airlines on taking on routes previously served by Flybe from Southampton Airport.

Departmental officials and I have been working closely with airports and airlines to encourage them to act quickly to fill routes which are vital for local communities and businesses, including those from Southampton Airport. A number of airlines, including Loganair and Eastern Airways, will now take on routes previously served by Flybe at Southampton Airport.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of making people under the age of 25 living in supported accommodation eligible for the work allowance under universal credit.

There are no current plans to change eligibility for work allowances in Universal Credit. Work allowances are focussed on providing extra support for those with children or limited capability to work. All Universal Credit claimants who are in work and earn above any applicable work allowance will benefit from the single 63% taper rate which reduces their Universal Credit at a consistent and predictable rate and by less than they are earning.

To support young people into employment we are investing £2bn to support the creation of quality jobs via our Kickstart scheme, which is already creating thousands of high-quality jobs for young people.

On top of this, our DWP Youth Offer provides wrap-around support for 18-24 year olds in the intensive work search group, helping young people access provision stood up as part of the Plan for Jobs, alongside local work related provision.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to review the universal credit rate for young people who live alone.

The Universal Credit rate for under 25s reflects the lower wages that younger workers typically receive. Universal Credit also includes separate elements to provide support for housing costs, children and childcare costs and support for disabled people and carers. These additional amounts are provided to claimants at the same level irrespective of age.

There are no plans to review this at present. OBR figures show we have injected over £8bn into the welfare system in 2020/21, and we have extended the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit for a further six months. This increase is supporting millions of people across the UK, including those under 25.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people under the age of 25 were refused Discretionary Housing Payment (a) nationally and (b) in each local authority area in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

As Discretionary Housing Payments are administered by Local Authorities the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The most recent data available on Discretionary Housing Payments is the following set of official statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-april-to-september-2020

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current average waiting time is for an application for limited capacity to work benefit to be considered.

The Department publishes Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Work Capability Assessment (WCA) statistics online and the latest clearance time statistics available to June 2020 can be accessed in Table 8 here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-mandatory-reconsiderations-and-appeals-january-2021

Statistics on Work Capability Assessments for Universal Credit are currently under development for future publication and have not previously been published as official statistics. We will issue them in due course as an official statistics release in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Whilst the initial statistics will not have median clearance times, these will be developed for publication in due course.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of vacancies available as part of the Kickstart scheme that are currently unfilled as a result of registered gateway organisations not yet having received approval from her Department.

As of 30/11/2020, there are 292 applications from potential gateway organisations waiting for assessment. These applications represent 28,783 potential job placements. So far, applications from Gateways and employers covering 23’934 vacancies have been approved.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what date registered gateway organisations will have received approval for the Kickstart scheme.

Our aim is to process an application within a month, but this can take longer if we require additional information from bidders. As the scheme continues to roll-out we expect that the time taken to process applications will reduce. Turn-around times are already improving.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2020
What steps her Department is taking to ensure that single parents are treated equitably within the benefits system during the covid-19 outbreak.

We’ve introduced an unprecedented package of support of over £6.5 billion to help all families to cope with the financial impact of Covid-19.

Single parents can benefit from the Flexible Support Fund and the increases to UC Standard Allowance, and Local Housing Allowance rates. Universal Credit is already more generous than legacy benefits, where people can claim up to 85% of childcare costs.

Our priority continues to be ensuring people get their benefit payments and providing support for those who need it the most.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating named caseworkers to complex cases undertaken by the Child Maintenance Service.

Child Maintenance Service caseworkers deliver a broad range of services’ across business lines, covering applications, case maintenance, arrears and enforcement. Child Maintenance Service caseworkers receive the skills to provide a service to customers in their specific line. In addition, the service also provides complex caseworkers, who can provide additional expert knowledge in that line. Flexing this resource, as and when complex matters arise, maximises the value they can add to delivering successful client outcomes.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to make an assessment of the operating efficiency of the Child Maintenance Service.

When measuring the efficiency of the Child Maintenance Service, we collect data on rate of compliance. These figures are published quarterly in table 9 of the Child Maintenance Service experimental statistics data tables, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-september-2019-experimental

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with epilepsy have had their application for personal independence payment refused in each year since 2017.

The latest available data on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) clearances split by main disabling condition and by type of clearance (i.e. whether the claim was awarded, disallowed or withdrawn) for both new claims and reassessments from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) made from April 2013 – October 2019 can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to tackle the disparity of treatment between self-employed and employed people in relation to statutory maternity pay.

The differences in the parental benefits available to the self-employed reflect that this group generally have more flexibility over how to plan their workload and time off. This is reflected in the additional flexibility seen in Maternity Allowance (when compared to Statutory Maternity Pay).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to change the requirement that a disabled applicant must manually sign form FP92A.

We have no plans to do so. When a disabled applicant is unable to complete or sign form FP92A, the correct procedure is for a general practitioner or other healthcare professional to complete the application on the patient’s behalf. This instruction is noted on form FP92A in the patient declaration section.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the catch up programme for the HPV vaccine will take place in schools.

All providers are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s commissioners, with clinical advice from Public Health England, to deliver all missed school aged vaccinations as soon as possible and no later than August 2021. All areas were asked to establish vaccination programme recovery plans and many providers were able to offer some immunisation programme catch-up ahead of 2020/21. Where possible, providers have offered vaccinations through alternative school and community settings. In addition, support was sought from the Department for Education to ensure that wherever possible schools facilitated the vaccination continuation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils who will miss their HPV vaccine in academic year 2020-21.

Data will be published in October 2021 showing coverage of the human papillomavirus vaccine for the academic year 2020-21.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many pupils missed their HPV vaccine in academic year 2019-20.

All educational settings were closed from 23 March 2020 and the delivery of the 2019/20 school immunisation programmes were subsequently paused, which impacted the uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme. The latest data shows that 64.7% of year nine females completed the two-dose HPV vaccination course in 2019/20 compared with 83.9% in 2018/19. HPV vaccination coverage for the priming dose in 2019/20 was 54.4% in year eight males.

Providers across the country are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioners with clinical advice from Public Health England to catch up on vaccinations, including HPV. All vaccinations missed will be delivered as soon as possible and no later than August 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of teenagers who missed their HPV vaccine in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

This data is not available in the format requested. National human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage data for the academic year 2020/21 will be published in winter 2021.

NHS England and NHS Improvement-commissioned school-age providers were asked to implement HPV vaccination restoration and recovery plans. All vaccinations missed will be delivered as soon as possible and no later than August 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many disabled (a) adults and (b) children are waiting over 12 months for access to an electric powered wheelchair.

The information requested is not held centrally therefore no such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the waiting period for disabled children to access electric powered wheelchairs; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of that waiting period.

The information requested is not held centrally therefore no such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) children and (b) adults have suffered from pressure sores over the last 12 months as a result of ill-fitting wheelchairs.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking with the Office for National Statistics to collect data on assisted dying.

The Government does not currently collect data on assisted dying.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report First Do No Harm, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing redress separately to the Patient Reference Group to support people harmed by Valproate.

The Government is currently making a thorough assessment of recommendation 4 of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (IMMDS Review), which relates to individual redress schemes, for sodium valproate, primodos and vaginal mesh. We will be responding in full later in 2021.

The purpose of the Patient Reference Group, which was part of recommendation 9 of the Review, is to ensure that patient voices are heard as we move towards the full response. It will look at implementation of the IMMDS Review as a whole.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish details on how to apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card.

Details on the new United Kingdom Global Health Insurance Card were announced on 11 January, in recognition of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the European Union.

Current European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will remain valid until the expiration date on the card and do not need to be replaced immediately. Expired EHICs will be able to be replaced with the new Global Health Insurance Card.

To apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card, as now, UK residents will be able to apply online.

If a UK resident is travelling and they do not have their card, they are still entitled to necessary healthcare should it be required. In these circumstances they should contact the NHS Business Services Authority for a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of deploying (a) buses and (b) other such vehicles as mobile vaccination centres in order to facilitate the roll out of the covid-19 vaccination programme.

Vaccination for at-risk groups will take place at the most appropriate settings to encourage uptake.

The mobile model, where ‘roving’ vaccination teams bring the vaccine directly to individuals, is being used to support the vaccination of care home residents and workers. This could be extended to more groups in time such as those experiencing homelessness, those escaping abuse in refuges, or communities with lower vaccination rates. Mobile models will also take the vaccine to those in the detained estate. The mobile model will also help more remote rural communities, particularly those at risk of isolation where public transport is limited.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many days on average it is taking NHS professionals to process an application from a retired nurse wishing to volunteer for the covid-19 vaccination programme.

NHS Professionals is recruiting to paid positions to support the COVID-19 national vaccination programme operated by NHS England, with the process for national vaccination volunteers being co-ordinated by St John Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service.

For previously registered workers who have not maintained an active registration, including retired nurses, the average time to complete the application process to be vaccinators is 26.8 days.

For registered workers who have maintained an active registration, including retired nurses, the average time to complete the application process to be vaccinators is 16.4 days.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of retired medical professionals over 60 who could assist in the roll out of vaccinations for covid-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Bring Back Staff programme keep actively engaged with 12,749 retired former healthcare professionals, who have expressed an interest in returning to the National Health Service in some capacity over the winter. Of the 12,749, 2,697 are aged 60 years old or above. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams are contacting these former professionals to seek their support over the winter with a particular focus on the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to include nuclear medicine technologists on the Health and Care Professions Council register.

The Government has no plans to extend statutory regulation to nuclear medicine technologists. The statutory regulation of healthcare professionals should only be used where the risks to public and patient protection cannot be addressed in other ways, such as through employer oversight or accredited voluntary registration.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the transmission rates of covid-19 in personal care settings; and if will publish the data supporting that assessment.

The Department recognises the importance of understanding COVID-19 transmission rates within personal care settings. We are working with academics to understand infection rates in care homes. This work is ongoing and is not yet published.

We have developed an adult social care dashboard that helps local, regional and national authorities understand where infection is taking place. Additionally, we have made over £1.1 billion available to local authorities through our Infection Control Fund to support adult social care providers take measures to halt the spread of the virus.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those people were diagnosed (a) less than and (b) more than five years after a diagnosis of primary breast cancer.

Hospital trusts submit data for secondary breast cancer diagnoses through the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD) or Cancer Waiting Times (CWT) data collection mechanisms. Data on the reported number of people diagnosed with secondary breast cancers in 2014-2017 in England are available in the following table. Data for 2018 will be published in November 2020.

Year

Diagnoses recorded in COSD

Diagnoses recorded in CWT

2017

4,754

6,739

2016

4,746

6,824

2015

4,218

6,808

2014

3,395

6,817

Notes:

  1. Source:

http://www.ncin.org.uk/cancer_type_and_topic_specific_work/topic_specific_work/recurrence

  1. Where a recurrence record has been reported by multiple trusts it will be included once per trust. This means the totals will include some double-counting of recurrences.
  2. Counts from COSD and CWT cannot be combined as there will duplication between the datasets.

The number of reported cases is accepted as being significantly below the estimated number of secondary breast cancers. The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service is working closely with cancer charities to improve data collection and submission by hospital trusts, looking at how they can help improve completion rates and thus gain a better picture of the burden of recurrence and metastatic disease across the health service.

Data for secondary breast cancer diagnoses are not available at constituency level. Data on how many people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer who were diagnosed less than and more than five years after a diagnosis of primary breast cancer are not available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October to Question 96854, when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will establish a registry of all women and girls of childbearing in receipt of prescriptions for sodium valproate.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is working with NHS Digital to develop a registry to monitor the use of valproate and compliance with the current regulatory position, and to monitor any children born to women on valproate. Completion of the first stage of the registry which will provide information on all women currently prescribed valproate in England is planned by the end of the year.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for sodium valproate have been issued since 8 July 2020.

The following table shows the number of items for the chemical substance of sodium valproate which includes generic and equivalent brands for all presentations, dispensed in the community in England and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement in the month of July 2020. This is the latest period for which data is currently available. We are unable to provide data for the exact time period, since 8 July.

Month

Items for sodium valproate

July 2020

210,310

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps (a) have been and (b) are being taken to implement the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report entitled First Do No Harm, published on 8 July 2020.

All recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women aged 15 to 45 years in the Romsey and Southampton North constituency are being treated with sodium valproate for epilepsy.

This specific data is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are being taken to identify all women of childbearing age in receipt of prescriptions for sodium valproate.

In April 2018, the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme (PPP) was implemented and the four Chief Medical Officers in the United Kingdom asked general practitioners to identify all relevant women and girls on valproate in their practice, check they are on effective contraception as appropriate, and refer them for specialist review annually. Specialist prescribers were asked to review treatment of women and girls on valproate and ensure that an annual risk acknowledgement form is signed by the patient and prescriber. Key stakeholders are working together to drive forward compliance with the PPP, better embed the PPP into routine clinical care and ensure women with epilepsy and bipolar disorder receive the healthcare they require.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is also working on developing a registry, the main aims of which would be to identify girls and women of childbearing potential prescribed valproate, monitor compliance with the current regulatory requirements, and to identify and monitor outcomes in any children born to women on valproate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is that calorie counts on menus will affect (a) individual food choices and (b) weight loss across the population.

We recognise concerns people with eating disorders may have on measures to reduce obesity and are committed to striking a careful balance between enabling people to make healthier food and drink choices whilst not negatively impacting on those with or recovering from an eating disorder.

Obesity represents a huge cost to the health and wellbeing of the individual, the National Health Service and the wider economy. With over six in 10 adults and more than one in three children aged 10 to 11 years old overweight or obese, it is right we take action.

In response to feedback to our consultation on out-of-home calorie labelling, we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses, that is businesses with 250 or more employees, to calorie label the food they sell.

An equalities assessment and impact assessment were published alongside the consultation response and can be viewed at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the current waiting times are for breast prosthetics at each NHS trust.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting times were for breast prosthetics in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019 by NHS Trust.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting times are for mastectomy reconstruction, by NHS Trust.

Data on the average waiting time for mastectomy reconstruction in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 are attached. Data for 2019-20 is provisional.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting times for mastectomy reconstruction were in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019, by NHS Trust.

Data on the average waiting time for mastectomy reconstruction in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 are attached. Data for 2019-20 is provisional.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that patients who are blind and deaf can access a covid-19 test.

All test centres are supported by the 119 call centre, which uses Language Line interpreter service. A person can be connected to the call centre at a test centre where a Language Line interpreter can then facilitate any issues.

The 119 call centre is also supported by BSL Health Access. A British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter relays information over a video telephone call between a BSL user and the hearing person receiving or making the call. The Department, in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, is currently undertaking pilots that aim to better understand the testing requirements for people with visual impairments and how we can accommodate their testing needs. The findings from these pilots will be used to improve the end-to-end user experience, from booking through to taking a test and receiving a result.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to cancel the tuition fees of NHS staff who graduated early to treat people with covid-19.

There are no plans to cancel tuition fees for National Health Service staff who have graduated early and joined the NHS to support the COVID-19 response.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supplies of the HRT drug, Estradot.

We are aware of ongoing supply issues with some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preparations for a variety of reasons. Although some HRT products are still affected by supply issues, alternatives remain available, and the overall supply situation has been improving since February 2020 and will continue to improve over the coming months. We are continuing to work closely with all suppliers to resolve the issues as quickly as possible and maintain overall supply to patients across the United Kingdom.

Novartis, the manufacturer of Estradot confirmed that it has not experienced manufacturing issues and that Estradot supplies continue to remain available. However, the company has experienced an increase in demand, due to shortages affecting other HRT products so has been managing and monitoring supplies closely.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to implement the safety recommendations in the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch report entitled Lack of timely monitoring of patients with glaucoma.

The safety recommendations in the report entitled ‘Lack of timely monitoring of patients with glaucoma’ are aimed at NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, NHS Digital and the International Glaucoma Association. All organisations are required to provide a response to the relevant recommendations within 90 days of receiving the report, which the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) publish on their website.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will provide an oversight of the implementation of HSIB safety recommendations, through the National Patient Safety Committee. The Committee are working closely with HSIB to establish responsibility for recommendations and the criteria for escalation.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many former NHS employees are in receipt of reduced pension entitlement as a result of deciding to end their careers working on a part-time basis.

The following table shows the number of pensioner members of the NHS Pension Scheme who retired whilst working part-time, the number of members who worked part-time throughout their career, and the number of members who moved to part-time hours during the final five years prior to retirement.

-

Pensioner members who worked part-time on their last day of service

Pensioner members who worked part-time hours throughout their career

Pensioner members who were whole-time and only went part-time in final five years prior to last day of service

Number of members

365,851

183,511

42,239

Note: Approximately 40,000 pensioner members had pensions put into payment before the NHS Business Services Authority modernised their administration systems, so their former working pattern is unknown.

All members of the final salary section of the 1995/2008 NHS pension scheme have their pension calculated using their full-time equivalent pay. A decision to work part-time hours means that the length of pensionable service built up is proportionately less compared to a full-time member. However it does not affect their final pensionable pay providing their whole-time equivalent pay figure remains the same. Members of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme build up pensions using a Career Average Revalued Earnings method. This means that their pension is based on the actual pay earned in each year. A decision to work part-time does not affect the value of the pension accrued in earlier years.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) his Department and (b) the NHS has issued guidance on the use of Dyson bladeless fans in clinical areas of hospitals.

National Health Service staff take every precaution to ensure that the equipment they use are sterile and do not pass on bacteria and viruses. NHS England and NHS Improvement issued an Estates and Facilities Alert in January 2019 in relation to the risk of cross infection relating to all type of portable fans in health and social care facilities. It is for local teams to decide how best to manage this and keep their patients safe.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supplies of the HRT drug Evorel Conti.

We are aware that supplies of Evorel Conti patches became unavailable at the end of November 2019 due to the divestment of the product to another company. The Evorel hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patch range has been divested to the company Theramex UK Limited.

The Department has been in contact with Theramex, who anticipates that supplies will become available from February 2020. We are working closely with this company to expedite the resupply date of the Evorel patch range including Evorel Conti.

We have been working closely with all suppliers of HRT preparations to maintain overall supply to patients. We have shared relevant information about the supply situation and availability of HRT products with the National Health Service on a regular basis. Patients affected are advised to discuss alternative treatment options with their clinician.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Government advice against travelling on cruises will be removed for destinations that are given green status under the new traffic light system.

The FCDO remains fully committed to working closely with the Department for Transport and key industry leaders following the publication of the second Global Travel Taskforce report. International cruises will restart alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the "traffic light" system. This will be subject to continued satisfactory evidence from the domestic restart and cruising in other countries. Travel advice will continue to be informed by the latest public health risk assessments.

For now, national restrictions on international travel remain in place, including only permitting travel abroad for a limited number of reasons set out in law. Holiday travel is not included.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether whistleblower Jonathan Taylor is no longer subject to an Interpol Notice or diffusion; and whether he has had discussions with the Croatian authorities on that matter.

This is a matter for the Croatian courts, who are considering the legal basis for Mr Taylor's extradition to Monaco. Any concerns Mr Taylor has about the circumstances in which an Interpol red notice was applied are a matter for Interpol's independent monitoring body, the Commission for Control of Files, and for Mr Taylor's lawyer. As set out in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, we cannot interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, or bypass their laws, just as we would not accept similar interference here. As part of our consular assistance to British nationals overseas we can raise concerns about individuals on diplomatic channels. I spoke to the Monegasque Foreign Secretary and the Croatian State Secretary for European Affairs on 13 November 2020 and sought assurances that both authorities would treat Mr Taylor fairly. Monaco provided direct assurances to Croatia in January.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether (a) the guidance entitled, Working Safely During Coronavirus, issued for offices and contact centres on 11 May 2020 applies to the Parliamentary Estate and (b) the Commission plans to implement the measures outlined in that guidance.

The House Service is currently working in conjunction with Public Health England to ensure we meet the government guidelines to become a ‘COVID-19 secure’ workplace, and to build on our existing measures to ensure all those working on the estate can do so safely. Given the variety of activities that are undertaken on the estate, a number of the sector specific guidance documents are relevant, all of which are being reviewed and measures taken where required.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what income the exchequer receives from VAT on personal safety alarms.

HMRC does not hold information on the amount of VAT collected from personal safety alarms. Businesses are not required to provide information at this level in their tax returns as this would impose an excessive administrative burden.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the barriers to making personal safety alarms zero-rated for VAT.

Emergency alarm systems are standard-rated with exception to those that are designed to be operated by a disabled person which are Zero-rated enabling disabled persons to call for help in case of illness or injury.

VAT raises significant revenue to be used for public spending, on services such as the health, defence, and education. The extension of the z/r would have to be considered in the context of £50bn of VAT relief requests that Government has received since the EU referendum.

Extending the current VAT relief to all would come at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and there are no current plans to extend the scope of the relief already in place. However, the Government keeps all taxes under review.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending business rates exemptions and the temporary VAT reduction for businesses in the wedding industry to relieve the financial pressure on the sector resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

This year the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, worth over £10 billion, and has frozen the business rates multiplier for all businesses for 2021-22.

The temporary VAT reduced rate came into effect on 15 July 2020 and was initially scheduled to end on 12 January 2021. In order to continue supporting the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the Government extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (five per cent) to goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors until 31 March 2021. The Government continues to keep all taxes under review, and any tax decisions will be made at Budget.

The Government has provided various schemes to support firms overall, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Bounce Back Loans, grants and VAT deferrals.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential tax revenues lost to the public purse as a result of a lack of regulation of the grey market in gambling.

The information requested is not available as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not make an estimate of the amount of revenue lost as a result of the lack of regulation of the grey market in gambling.

However, HMRC does provide an illustrative estimate of the tax gap arising from ‘other excise duties’ which includes betting and gaming duties, cider and perry duties, spirit-based ready-to-drink duties and wine duties. The aggregate estimate for ‘other excise duties’ was £520 million for the tax year 2018-19.

Tax gap statistics are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/measuring-tax-gaps

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional financial support to businesses still not allowed to trade as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. Businesses that remain unable to trade as a result of Covid-19 restrictions continue to have access to a range of support measures that the Government has already made available.

This includes, but is not limited to, the four government-backed loan schemes for firms of all sizes, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS will continue to provide support to the end of October. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

The Government is following its COVID-19 recovery strategy, which was published on 11 May. The strategy sets out our plan for moving to the next phase of our response, alongside a cautious roadmap for easing existing measures in a safe and measured way. This roadmap and our financial support schemes are kept constantly under review. The Government will continue to work closely with businesses that are yet to reopen on plans for a safe, phased reopening, subject to public health guidance, and consider how to best continue supporting these businesses.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether (a) income tax and (b) national insurance contributions have been deducted from income from loan schemes through third parties that were entered into before 9 December 2019.

Disguised Renumeration (DR) schemes seek to avoid tax by paying users their earnings in the form of loans, usually via an offshore trust, so that neither Income Tax nor National Insurance Contributions are paid on the income channelled through the scheme.

The Loan Charge was designed to tackle DR tax avoidance schemes. The Independent Loan Charge Review led by Sir Amyas Morse assessed the impact of the policy on affected taxpayers and concluded that it was right for the Loan Charge to remain in force, and for the Government to seek to collect the tax due. However, the Review did also raise a number of concerns.

The Government accepted all but one of the recommendations made by the Review. The Government is currently legislating to implement these changes to the Loan Charge in the Finance Bill.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to enable child benefit claims to be split between parents.

At present, the law provides for Child Benefit to be paid to one parent only. The parent who claims Child Benefit can voluntarily choose to pay an agreed proportion to the other parent. Where parents separate and both have care of their child, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) encourages them to agree who should claim Child Benefit. Where they cannot reach an agreement, the law allows HMRC to decide, at their discretion, who should receive the payment.

Currently there are no plans to change the law to split payments of Child Benefit where parents have separated and share care of their children. The government believes that directing payment to the person mainly responsible for the child best ensures that the money goes to the person most likely to bear the weight of everyday care and expenditure.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162580 on Youth Mobility Scheme, how many visas her Department plans to include in any reciprocal Youth Mobility Scheme (a) with the EU and (b) with individual EU Member States.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements both to countries within the EU and beyond.

Any agreement must be reciprocal hence there is no timeframe for when formal discussions will take place as this involves other nations. The specific terms of each scheme, including the numbers of places available under it, will be confirmed with the relevant parties during such negotiations.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162580 on Youth Mobility Scheme, whether she plans to include au pairs be in any future Youth Mobility Scheme with the EU or individual EU Member States.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements both to countries within the EU and beyond.

Any agreement must be reciprocal hence there is no timeframe for when formal discussions will take place as this involves other nations. The specific terms of each scheme, including the numbers of places available under it, will be confirmed with the relevant parties during such negotiations.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162580 on Youth Mobility Scheme, when she plans to commence formal discussions with the EU collectively or any EU member state individually on a reciprocal youth mobility scheme.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements both to countries within the EU and beyond.

Any agreement must be reciprocal hence there is no timeframe for when formal discussions will take place as this involves other nations. The specific terms of each scheme, including the numbers of places available under it, will be confirmed with the relevant parties during such negotiations.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on a reciprocal youth mobility scheme.

We remain open to expanding our Youth Mobility Scheme to more nations, based on agreeing suitable reciprocal arrangements.

We have not commenced formal discussions with any EU member states or with the EU collectively but remain open to doing so.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers in supported accommodation are currently refusing food or fluid.

We take the welfare of those in our care very seriously. We provide asylum seekers in supported accommodation with safe, Covid-compliant accommodation along with free nutritious meals, all paid for by the taxpayer.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers in supported accommodation have refused fluid or food in the last 12 months.

We take the welfare of those in our care very seriously. We provide asylum seekers in supported accommodation with safe, Covid-compliant accommodation along with free nutritious meals, all paid for by the taxpayer.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in immigration removal centres are on hunger strike as of 14 January 2021.

We take the welfare and safety of persons detained in our care very seriously and their health is monitored closely at all times and particularly during periods where they appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid. Persons detained who appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid are managed in line with published guidance, Detention Services Order (DSO) 3/2017, ‘Care and Management of Detainees Refusing Food and Fluid’.

It is not uncommon for persons detained to refuse set meals at times of fasting, or for religious or dietary reasons. Individuals may also prefer to purchase their own food and drink from the local shop within an Immigration Removal Centre.

As there may be many reasons why an individual is not eating set meals, the Home Office does not publish data on the number of individuals who are being managed in line with the DSO.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what contracts have been negotiated with CCGs in Hampshire on the provision of health care services to asylum seekers in supported accommodation.

Given pressure on the system during these unprecedented times, we have worked tirelessly with local authorities and other partners to provide asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, with suitable accommodation, as we are required to do by law.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence offered temporary use of some of its sites. This includes Barton Stacey and we are engaging with leaders and officials at Test Valley and Hampshire councils, local MPs, the police and health services – including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group – as we continue to explore this as an option.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what health care services will be provided on site at future temporary asylum accommodation centres established by her Department.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding she has allocated for a temporary asylum accommodation centre in Barton Stacey.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for how long she plans to use the proposed temporary asylum accommodation centre in Barton Stacey.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for a Biometric Residents Permit were outstanding for more than six weeks in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Performance against service standards, where service standards apply, are included in the Migration Transparency data which is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data#uk-visas-and-immigration

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many work-in-progress asylum applications there are as of 10 December 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the asylum applications awaiting decision are published in table Asy_D03 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the asylum applications awaiting a decision as at 30th September 2020 and includes data for main applicants and dependents. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the summary tables. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

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

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what lessons her Department has learned from the use of Napier and Penally barracks as temporary asylum accommodation centres.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2020 to Question 121241, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on adhering to Habitat Regulations and the need to implement nitrate mitigation measures when seeking permission for overnight accommodation in the Solent region.

The Home Secretary has regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to start accepting applications from BNO passport holders wishing to come to the UK on a five-year visa with the right to work.

As announced by the Foreign Secretary on 1st July, a new bespoke immigration route will allow BN(O)s to apply to come to the UK without the current 6 month limit, granting them 5 years limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK, after which they may apply for settled status and a year later citizenship. This is a special bespoke set of arrangements, developed for the unique circumstances we face and in light of our historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong.

The new route will be implemented in the coming months, with further details to be announced in due course on the simple, streamlined application process which will have no quota on numbers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether British Nationals Overseas passport holders from Hong Kong will be able to travel to the UK and make an in-country application for a five year visa enabling them to work in the UK.

As announced by the Foreign Secretary on 1st July, a new bespoke immigration route will allow BN(O)s to apply to come to the UK without the current 6 month limit, granting them 5 years limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK, after which they may apply for settled status and a year later citizenship. This is a special bespoke set of arrangements, developed for the unique circumstances we face and in light of our historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong.

The new route will be implemented in the coming months, with further details to be announced in due course on the simple, streamlined application process which will have no quota on numbers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in the General Register Office are working on the digitalisation of marriage certificates.

Work on the secondary legislation, IT systems and administrative processes that are required to enable the electronic registration of marriages is being undertaken by 15 people, alongside their other duties at the General Register Office.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken is for the General Register Office to correct a marriage certificate that contains an error.

GRO has a target of 25 working days to process an application for a correction.

The length of time before the correction is made is dependent on other factors such as the production of the correct evidence and the availability of the person who has custody of the register(s); as only they can correct the entry.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long it will take to train staff in the proposed points-based immigration system.

Planning for the implementation of the new UK points-based system includes ensuring all aspects of operational resourcing, recruitment and training are fully delivered.

In UK Visas and Immigration, who will be delivering the new system operationally, there is a natural cycle of recruitment of caseworkers every year and this year the requirements of the new system have been factored in.

Work is underway on this and is a specific strand project planning for the overall programme, and progress is reported weekly and monitored by the FBIS programme board which oversees the delivery of the new system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many new staff have been hired to process applications from EU nationals under the proposed points-based immigration system.

Planning for the implementation of the new UK points-based system includes ensuring all aspects of operational resourcing, recruitment and training are fully delivered.

In UK Visas and Immigration, who will be delivering the new system operationally, there is a natural cycle of recruitment of caseworkers every year and this year the requirements of the new system have been factored in.

Work is underway on this and is a specific strand project planning for the overall programme, and progress is reported weekly and monitored by the FBIS programme board which oversees the delivery of the new system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has to run a recruitment campaign to hire additional staff to work on the proposed points-based immigration system.

Planning for the implementation of the new UK points-based system includes ensuring all aspects of operational resourcing, recruitment and training are fully delivered.

In UK Visas and Immigration, who will be delivering the new system operationally, there is a natural cycle of recruitment of caseworkers every year and this year the requirements of the new system have been factored in.

Work is underway on this and is a specific strand project planning for the overall programme, and progress is reported weekly and monitored by the FBIS programme board which oversees the delivery of the new system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the proposed points-based immigration system, when the system will be open for applications from businesses wishing to register.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

Employers not currently approved by the Home Office to sponsor migrants should consider applying now if they think they will want to sponsor skilled migrants, including from the EU, from early 2021.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and publish further detail in due course.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, ensuring those affected by the changes are fully aware of what it means for them and understand how the system will operate.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether vets will be able to transfer roles under the same sponsoring employer once they have arrived in the UK under the proposed points-based immigration system.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

Employers not currently approved by the Home Office to sponsor migrants should consider applying now if they think they will want to sponsor skilled migrants, including from the EU, from early 2021.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and publish further detail in due course.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, ensuring those affected by the changes are fully aware of what it means for them and understand how the system will operate.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for the equivalent of Tier 2 visas her Department estimates it will receive each month under the proposed points-based immigration system.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will keep labour market data under careful scrutiny to identify any pressures in key sectors.

The Home Office will publish further detail on the points-based system in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many veterinary practices are registered as Tier 2 employers.

The specific information that has been requested is not included in data published by the Home Office, and would require manual intervention at disproportionate cost to the taxpayer produce this data.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the time it will take for SMEs to register as Tier 2 employers under the new immigration system.

Under the current immigration system, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are already able to apply as Tier 2 employers and sponsor highly-skilled migrant workers.

On the 19 February, the Government published a policy statement on the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System, for introduction from January 2021. For employers sponsoring skilled migrants, the visa process will be streamlined to reduce the time it takes to bring in a skilled migrant worker by up to eight weeks and we will abolish the Resident Labour Market Test.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, focusing upon those sectors most impacted, including SMEs.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the time it will take for (a) a veterinary practice and (b) other SME registered with her Department to employ under the new immigration system a (i) vet and (ii) other employee from overseas to fill a vacancy that cannot be filled by settled workers.

Under the current immigration system, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are already able to apply as Tier 2 employers and sponsor highly-skilled migrant workers.

On the 19 February, the Government published a policy statement on the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System, for introduction from January 2021. For employers sponsoring skilled migrants, the visa process will be streamlined to reduce the time it takes to bring in a skilled migrant worker by up to eight weeks and we will abolish the Resident Labour Market Test.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, focusing upon those sectors most impacted, including SMEs.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend the visas of Chinese students unable to return to China as a result of flight cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak in that country.

We are taking a proportionate approach to individuals who are unable to comply with their visas due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We have set up a dedicated helpline and are providing visa extensions for anyone whose immigration status has been affected. Full guidance has been published on the GOV.UK website and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk

No one will be unfairly penalised for events beyond their control.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to extend the period beyond three years in which service personnel can report historic allegations of serious sexual assault.

The Service Justice System does not have a time limit in regard to bringing cases of sexual assault. The Service Police will continue to investigate any allegations of historic serious sexual offence brought to their attention.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he has taken to ensure (a) understanding and (b) acknowledgement of the term Military Sexual Trauma (MST) by the Ministry of Defence and Office of Veterans Affairs; and what gender-specific training is funded by the Office of Veterans Affairs to help prevent the occurrence of MST during and after military service.

Whilst I am aware that the term 'Medical Sexual Trauma' is used elsewhere as a means of referring to cases of sexual assault or sexual harassment which occur whilst in service, The Ministry of Defence has made no formal decision to do the same. What we have done is to make it absolutely clear that there is no place for this behaviour in the Armed Forces. All allegations will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate support provided to victims, be they serving or veteran. We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated; Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services' high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from service.

The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual assault and harassment through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent.

For those who have served in the Armed Forces the Government's ambition is to make the United Kingdom the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. This ambition extends across the diversity of the veterans' community, including those whose service has been affected by sexual violence in any form. We recognise that such experiences can have profound and enduring impacts on an individual both during their service and as a veteran. This is why it is paramount that world class support services are available, both during an individual's service and afterwards. This includes within the Ministry of Defence's own medical services, the Chains of Command of the Armed Forces and the NHS' bespoke Armed Forces clinical pathways. This Government is committed to ensuring that any veteran or their family can access the support they need, including that support which may need to be specifically tailored to individual genders; we are continuously working to identify and draw upon lessons from other countries for both our serving and veteran populations.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Office of Veterans' Affairs understands the potential effects of sexual assault and harassment on serving armed forces' personnel's (a) physical health and (b) emotional and psychological well-being.

The Ministry of Defence is absolutely clear there is no place for sexual offending in the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual assault and harassment through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent.

We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated; Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services’ high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from service.

The Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) was created as part of the Cabinet Office to be the voice for veterans across Whitehall. It is committed to understanding the experiences of all Armed Forces personnel and how their time in service might impact on their life as a veteran. Defence Ministers and officials maintain a regular and ongoing dialogue with the OVA, Department for Health and Social Care and third sector partners to ensure that we share best practice and the latest understanding of the most effective ways to address the health and wellbeing issues faced by the Armed Forces community, both serving and veteran.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2021 to Question HL11693, whether development on Crown Land is exempt from (a) the Habitats Directive and (b) all planning regulations.

Since 2006, development by the Crown has been subject to planning permission under Part 13 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This development is not exempt from the current habitats regulations.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on leasehold reform.

The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges, and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions.

We are also working with the Law Commission to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, quicker and cheaper – and to reinvigorate commonhold to provide consumers with a choice of tenure and the Right to Manage to help empower those that wish to, to take on management responsibilities for their properties.

This is a long-term reform programme; it is complex with many interdependencies and will take time to get the detail right. Once it is enacted the effect will be felt for generations and so we are determined this work considers all the implications with care. We will bring forward leasehold legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date the New Homes Ombudsman will be established and taking on cases.

The New Homes Ombudsman scheme will enhance consumer protection for new build homebuyers. Published on 20 July 2020, the draft Building Safety Bill includes provision for the New Homes Ombudsman scheme to resolve disputes between developers and consumers. The legislation has finished pre-legislative scrutiny and we are considering the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committees’ recommendations. Alongside introducing legislation, we continue to stay in touch with the industry-led New Homes Quality Board to consider the appointment of a voluntary New Homes Ombudsman scheme.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending the five year Housing Land Supply for Councils requirement in the Solent Region in response to the need to establish a suitable nitrate mitigation regime.

The Government recognises the challenges local authorities in the Solent are facing, and officials from across Government and its agencies are working closely together to identify practical ways forward. However, it is important to keep the planning system moving so it can play its full part in the economic recovery to come. We will keep this matter under review.

In the absence of the 5 year land supply, the presumption in favour of housing development will not be at the expense of important protected areas, such as Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and irreplaceable habitats.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of whether use of emergency development provisions under the Town and Country Planning Act override the need for nitrate mitigation measures in the Solent region.

The Habitats Regulations apply to plans or projects which are likely to have a significant effect on a protected habitats site. All development, whether emergency or not is subject to this requirement, regardless of the legislation under which planning permission is granted.

Where a plan or project is likely to have significant effects on the environment the competent authority will need to undertake an Appropriate Assessment to determine whether development will have an adverse effect on the protected site. The competent authority may only grant consent where adequate mitigation of any adverse effect can be secured to enable development to proceed – such as nitrate neutrality.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made in tackling nitrate neutrality in the Solent.

The Government has been working to understand the nitrogen pollution problems in the Solent, the impacts on housing delivery and the options for enabling growth whilst avoiding harm to important protected sites. In September, we announced £3.9 million of funding to pilot a nutrient trading process to secure nature-based solutions to nitrate pollution across the Solent area. We have also made a loan offer of up to £5.7 million to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to deliver mitigation to unlock stalled planning applications.

We are aware of the challenges faced through nutrient pollution and are seeking to address the most common sources of polluting nutrients to water. Agriculture is now the most significant source of pollution in our rivers, lakes and seas. This Government is using a package of measures to combat this, including Catchment Sensitive Farming, regulation and incentives. We will use the flexibility achieved by leaving the EU to replace Common Agricultural Policy subsidies (CAP) with an Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme through the Agriculture Act 2020 which will pay farmers for taking action to reduce pollution and restore habitats which go beyond regulatory requirements.

This Government remains committed to bringing at least three quarters of our waters to as close as possible to their natural state as soon as is practicable. In support of this, a further legally binding target is being brought forward as part of the target setting processes set out in DEFRA’s Environment Bill. The Environment Bill will place a statutory requirement on water companies to produce drainage and sewerage management plans, and we will continue to press water companies to protect both people and the environment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of family homes that have not been built as a result of problems with nitrate neutrality in the Solent.

We have not made a direct assessment of the number of homes that have not been built due to the problems with nitrate pollution in the Solent. Information provided by the affected local authorities has indicated at least 4,500 units are backlogged principally due to this issue. This is an estimate of delayed planning applications, and not an estimate of homes not built, as not all planning permissions would have been built within this time. These are indicative numbers and some of these planning applications may also be delayed due to other issues and planning considerations as well.

Some of the affected local authorities have now launched or are in the process of agreeing mitigation schemes, ranging from offsetting through changes to council owned agricultural landholdings, offsetting through improvements to the water efficiency of council owned housing stock, and offsetting using green infrastructure secured through local plans, which will enable planning applications to be determined.

The Government is also making a loan offer of up to £5.7 million to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to deliver mitigation to unlock the stalled applications across the affected area.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of granting an exemption from nitrate mitigation measures for any type of overnight accommodation proposed within the Solent region.

It is not possible to grant an exemption for a specific class of development from the requirements of the Habitat Regulations. Any development which might have an effect on a protected habitats site must demonstrate that mitigation is in place to avoid that damage. Under the Habitats Regulations, local authorities as 'competent authority' need to undertake an appropriate assessment to determine whether development is likely to result in significant effects on protected habitats sites, and whether adequate mitigation can be secured to enable development to proceed. Where a protected habitat site has fallen into an unfavourable condition, nutrient neutrality may be the mitigation necessary to ensure further damage is not caused by additional development.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether temporary overnight accommodation proposed in the Solent region requires the installation of nitrate mitigation measures before development can commence.

Under the Habitats Regulations, it is for the competent authority to decide, through undertaking an appropriate assessment and considering advice from Natural England, whether a particular application requires mitigation measures and the adequacy of these proposals. It may be possible for individual proposals to advance mitigation schemes other than nitrate neutrality that are sufficient to demonstrate to the competent authority that an individual scheme would not have an adverse effect on the protected habitats sites.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of house purchasers seeking to use the Help to Buy Scheme who have had their completion dates delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and as a result have lost deposits on purchases.

On 31 July a two-month extension was announced to the building completion deadline from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, allowing an additional two months’ build time. The legal completion deadline for the purchase remains 31 March 2021.

The Government also announced an extra measure to protect existing customers who have experienced severe delays as a result of coronavirus. Homes England, who administer Help to Buy, will work with those who had a reservation in place before 30 June to assess their situation and look to provide an extension where necessary. In which case, they will have until 31 May 2021 to legally complete. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-scheme-extended.

Should there be any cases where a reservation has been secured after 30 June 2020 and the build is severely delayed despite the additional build time, and so the homebuyer is unable to reach legal completion by 31 March 2021, they must be unconditionally released from the contract. The homebuyer is advised to contact their conveyancer should they need further advice.

Meanwhile the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme and is for first time buyers only, will commence on 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023. There are no plans for further extensions. https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/help-to-buy-equity-loan-2021-2023/.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to extend the Help to Buy scheme so that property completions delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak can be accepted as part of that scheme.

The Government recognises that there have been delays caused by Covid-19, resulting in some homes reserved under the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme not being built within the current scheme deadlines. Therefore, on 31 July a two-month extension was announced to the building completion deadline moving it from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. The legal completion deadline for the purchase remains 31 March 2021.

The Government also announced an extra measure to protect existing customers who have experienced severe delays as a result of coronavirus. Homes England, who administer Help to Buy, will work with those who had a reservation in place before 30 June to assess their situation and look to provide an extension where necessary, in which case they will have until 31 May 2021 to legally complete. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-scheme-extended.

Meanwhile the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme and is for first time buyers only, will commence on 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023. There are no plans for further extensions. https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/help-to-buy-equity-loan-2021-2023/.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether local authorities may extend the three month discount on council tax for empty properties.

The power to offer a council tax discount on empty properties is at the discretion of local authorities who can determine both the level of the discount and the length of time that it should be applied

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of complaints to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman were upheld in 2019.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman publishes on their website an annual review of local government complaints. The latest report available is for financial year 2018 to 2019. It reveals that 4,232 detailed investigations were carried out in 2018 to 2019 and 58 per cent of those complaints were upheld.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many complaints to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman were upheld in 2019.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman publishes on their website an annual review of local government complaints. The latest report available is for financial year 2018 to 2019. It reveals that 4,232 detailed investigations were carried out in 2018 to 2019 and 58 per cent of those complaints were upheld.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of affordable housing units built in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

In 2018/19 57,485 additional affordable homes were completed.

Details are published in live table 1000: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-affordable-housing-supply

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of affordable housing units were built by (a) housing associations and (b) private developers in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Department collects data on affordable housing through funding sources and does not differentiate between housing associations and developers. A full breakdown of affordable housing provision by funding source is available in live table 1011c: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-affordable-housing-supply.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the proportion of planning permissions granted that were for affordable housing units in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Department publishes an estimate of the total number of housing units granted planning permission in the quarterly planning application statistics statistical release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/planning-applications-in-england-july-to-september-2019


The statistics do not split permissions between affordable and market housing


Section I10 of the Local Authority Housing Statistics includes figures for the numbers of affordable units granted final planning permission during the year as part of developer (section 106) contributions. This will be a subset of all affordable planning permission.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-housing-statistics-data-returns-for-2018-to-2019.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the maximum limit is on service charges that can be passed on to tenants by social housing landlords.

There is no maximum limit on service charges that can be passed on to social rented tenants but they must be set in line with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 with service charges payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred. The reasonableness of the service charge a social housing landlord is seeking will depend on the nature of the works required and other contributing factors.

Social housing tenants have the ability to apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for a determination where they do not believe the charges are reasonable, and must be consulted when major works are being proposed.

For those in Affordable Rent properties the calculation of their gross rent includes service charges. Gross rent for these properties is capped at 80 per cent of market rent.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to protect social housing tenants from unreasonable service charges levied by social landlords.

There is no maximum limit on service charges that can be passed on to social rented tenants but they must be set in line with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 with service charges payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred. The reasonableness of the service charge a social housing landlord is seeking will depend on the nature of the works required and other contributing factors.

Social housing tenants have the ability to apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for a determination where they do not believe the charges are reasonable, and must be consulted when major works are being proposed.

For those in Affordable Rent properties the calculation of their gross rent includes service charges. Gross rent for these properties is capped at 80 per cent of market rent.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of all planning permissions granted for affordable housing units were subject to a contribution in lieu in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold figures splitting out the proportion of affordable housing planning permissions which are subject to a contribution in lieu. Section I13a of the Local Authority Housing Statistics includes a figure for the direct payment of financial contributions received during the financial year 2018/19 towards the provision of affordable housing from developers via planning obligations (s106 agreements).

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-housing-statistics-data-returns-for-2018-to-2019