Carolyn Harris Portrait

Carolyn Harris

Labour - Swansea East


Scheduled Event
Friday 29th October 2021
09:30
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
29 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Menopause (Support and Services) Bill: Second Reading
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Wednesday 15th September 2021
Merthyr Tydfil: City Status

I know my hon. Friend will agree that Merthyr Tydfil has been at the very heart of Wales’s political, industrial …

Written Answers
Friday 10th September 2021
Domestic Abuse: Bank Services
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help support victims …
Early Day Motions
Monday 10th February 2020
Sue Ryder bereavement campaign
That this House notes with concern the poor mental health, including feelings of depression and anxiety, experienced by nearly half …
Bills
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Menopause (Support and Services) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about menopause support and services; to exempt hormone replacement therapy from National Health Service prescription …
Tweets
Friday 17th September 2021
23:05
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: GMB
Address of donor: Mary Turner House, 22 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD
Amount of donation or …
EDM signed
Wednesday 27th January 2021
Holocaust Memorial Day 2021
That this House notes that on 27 January 2021 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary of …
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, Carolyn Harris has voted in 244 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Carolyn Harris 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(10 debate interactions)
Nigel Huddleston (Conservative)
Assistant Whip
(6 debate interactions)
Lucy Frazer (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
Home Office
(8 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Carolyn Harris's debates

Swansea East Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

Enact legislation to protect retail workers. This legislation must create a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker. The offence must carry a penalty that acts as a deterrent and makes clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable.


Latest EDMs signed by Carolyn Harris

30th December 2020
Carolyn Harris signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th January 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House notes that on 27 January 2021 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered; commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust; further notes that the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 …
97 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 45
Scottish National Party: 31
Conservative: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
14th January 2021
Carolyn Harris signed this EDM on Friday 15th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Carolyn Harris's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Carolyn Harris, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Carolyn Harris

Thursday 9th January 2020

Carolyn Harris has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

3 Bills introduced by Carolyn Harris


A Bill to make provision about menopause support and services; to exempt hormone replacement therapy from National Health Service prescription charges; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 29th October 2021
Order Paper number: 1
(Certain to be Debated)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament a report on any proposal to award NHS staff a pay rise for 2021/22 below 2.1%; to require the Secretary of State to move a motion in the House of Commons to approve any such report; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 14th April 2021

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 establish a review of pension arrangements for women affected by changes made by the Pensions Act 1995 and the Pensions Act 2011; to require the review in particular to undertake costings for a compensation scheme and consider the operation of section 1(4) of the Pensions Act 2011; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 7th September 2017
(Read Debate)

228 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including funeral directors as Category 2 responders under the Civil Contingencies Act.

The Government is committed to undertaking a statutory review of the Civil Contingencies Act every five years. This was last undertaken in March 2017 which means we must complete a further review by 2022. As part of this, we will consider whether changes need to be made to the list of category 1 and 2 responders under the Act. In doing so, we will want to reflect carefully on lessons from recent events, including the part funeral directors and others have played in ensuring the dignified and effective management of the deceased during the Covid pandemic.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance his Department has published on civil service employers recording (a) absence due to illness and (b) periods of self-isolation as a result of exposure to covid-19 infection.

Civil Service organisations should record COVID-19 related absences, which includes those for both sickness and self-isolation.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to prevent the selling by online marketplaces of teeth whiteners which exceed the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide permitted for home use.

Cosmetic products such as teeth whitening kits sold in the UK must meet some of the strictest safety requirements in the world and may only be placed on the market if they meet strict safety requirements, including specific restrictions on the use of potentially harmful chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective enforcement action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale.

Through its Call for Evidence, OPSS is reviewing the UK’s product safety framework to ensure it is fit for purpose, protects consumers, and enables businesses to safely innovate and grow. The implications of non-traditional models of supply, including e-commerce, and how it has changed the way products are distributed, forms of part of the review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure online marketplaces are preventing unsafe cosmetic products from being listed and sold on their sites.

Cosmetic products available on the UK market must meet strict safety requirements and the Government is committed to ensuring that only safe cosmetic products can be sold in the UK. Furthermore, there must be a Responsible Person established in the UK who is responsible for ensuring the cosmetic product is safe.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is engaged with online marketplaces to ensure that they are playing their part in protecting UK consumers from unsafe products. OPSS works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective enforcement action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps Trading Standards has taken in the last five years against (a) sellers of unsafe products on online marketplaces and (b) online marketplaces that have sold unsafe products on their sites.

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe consumer products can be sold in the UK. Product safety legislation places obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors and this includes online retailers selling goods via marketplaces.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale. This has recently included action taken to ensure that a number of non-compliant products, including toys, electrical equipment and high-risk products such as pool heaters and balcony barbecues being sold by third-party sellers have been removed from sale, delisted, recalled or destroyed.

Where criminal offences are identified, both Trading Standards and OPSS can conduct criminal investigations into the actions of economic operators.

OPSS is taking forward a programme of work to ensure that major online marketplaces are playing their part to protect UK consumers from unsafe goods.

This includes developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree further actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online.

OPSS is also encouraging online marketplaces to establish Primary Authority arrangements with local Trading Standards authorities. These agreements enable one authority to work with each business providing expert and tailored advice as to how they should meet their legal obligations.

OPSS is reviewing the UK’s product safety framework to ensure that we have a framework that continues to deliver safety for consumers while supporting businesses to safely innovate and grow and will consider non-traditional business models, including online sales.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Office for Product Safety and Standards is taking to tackle (a) sellers of unsafe products on online marketplaces and (b) online marketplaces in respect of the sale of unsafe products.

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe consumer products can be sold in the UK. Product safety legislation places obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors and this includes online retailers selling goods via marketplaces.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale. This has recently included action taken to ensure that a number of non-compliant products, including toys, electrical equipment and high-risk products such as pool heaters and balcony barbecues being sold by third-party sellers have been removed from sale, delisted, recalled or destroyed.

Where criminal offences are identified, both Trading Standards and OPSS can conduct criminal investigations into the actions of economic operators.

OPSS is taking forward a programme of work to ensure that major online marketplaces are playing their part to protect UK consumers from unsafe goods.

This includes developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree further actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online.

OPSS is also encouraging online marketplaces to establish Primary Authority arrangements with local Trading Standards authorities. These agreements enable one authority to work with each business providing expert and tailored advice as to how they should meet their legal obligations.

OPSS is reviewing the UK’s product safety framework to ensure that we have a framework that continues to deliver safety for consumers while supporting businesses to safely innovate and grow and will consider non-traditional business models, including online sales.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that representatives from all sectors of the wedding industry were consulted in the covid-19 reopening plans for that industry.

I meet regularly with the industry-led UK Weddings Taskforce, established to represent all parts of the UK Weddings sector [in England], and have received representations from it on the reopening of the wedding receptions and celebrations 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: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that wedding (a) venues and (b) suppliers are supported during the third covid-19 lockdown.

I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce to understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and in both the venue and supply chain sector.

We have provided an unprecedented package of financial support since March 2020 to businesses, including those in the weddings sector. We keep this regularly under review, through discussions with HM Treasury.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of the effect the number of guests allowed to attend weddings when the sector reopens will have on the sector's financial viability.

I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wedding businesses and jobs in the sector.

As my Rt Hon friend the Prime Minister has said, we intend to publish our plan for taking the country out of lockdown in the last week of February.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he made of the effect on women of job losses in the wedding industry due to the covid-19 outbreak.

I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce, established to represent all parts of the UK Weddings sector, to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wedding businesses and jobs in the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what economic impact assessment his Department has undertaken of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the extended closure of the wedding industry.

Over the course of the pandemic the Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support to businesses, including those in the wedding sector, which we keep under regular review.

I meet regularly with representatives of the wedding sector to understand the impact of COVID-19 on wedding businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that Government funding for local authorities to allocate to businesses affected by the covid-19 lockdown is being distributed so that closed businesses are able to access that funding as soon as possible.

The Government is working closely with local authorities in England to get funding out to businesses as quickly as possible. Local authority guidance was published on 3rd November and grant offer letters were sent to local authorities on 6th November. Payments to local authorities were made from 13th November.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) is applicable in England only. The Devolved Administrations are responsible for the administration of support schemes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government’s trade credit reinsurance scheme will be ratified by the EU; and what steps the Government is taking to expedite that process.

The Government’s Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme, which has been agreed following extensive discussions with the insurance sector, will see the majority of Trade Credit Insurance coverage maintained for businesses across the UK.

This scheme is subject to State aid approval from the European Commission. We are working closely with the Commission to address any outstanding concerns. Once approval is secured we will swiftly be able to put contractual arrangements in place with insurers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on (a) new online harms legislation and (b) the inclusion of the sale of unsafe electrical goods in that legislation.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is engaging closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the issues of unsafe goods sold online.

DCMS is continuing to scope the Online Harms regulation and is working to finalise the details of the regulatory framework. The Government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation will be published in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to prevent the sale of unsafe electrical goods on online platforms.

The UK has a strong product safety system which requires that products should be safe before they can be placed on the market, including those sold online.

Officials in OPSS are reviewing the product safety legislation to determine whether the existing legislative framework is adequate in light of the changes to traditional supply and distribution chains brought about by e-commerce.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with online platforms on preventing sales of counterfeit and substandard electrical goods on their websites.

The Government takes the issue of IP infringement seriously, including counterfeit electrical goods, and is working with industry and law enforcement agencies on several initiatives to tackle this issue.

Department officials have been holding roundtable meetings with representatives from online platforms and rights holders to discuss the availability of counterfeits on their platforms and to help co-ordinate law enforcement action against sellers.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will publish further clarification on when (a) spas, (b) beauty businesses (c) mobile practitioners can resume their operations during the covid-19 outbreak.

Hairdressers and barbers in England will be able to reopen from 4 July to offer hairdressing services, once they are following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Other close contact services, like nail salons, beauty and tattoo parlours remain closed until further notice.

We appreciate that this is difficult for some businesses. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and every step is weighed against the evidence, remembering that the more we open up the more vigilant we will need to be.

The Government will work with the remaining closed services to establish a timeline for when they can reopen safely.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the evidential basis was for the decision to permit hair and not beauty appointments during the covid-19 outbreak from 4 July 2020.

From 4 July, hairdressers will be able to reopen provided they adhere to the safer working guidelines. However, beauty parlours and make-up studios remain closed until further notice. The Government recognises that this is difficult for some businesses. Every step is weighed against the evidence, remembering that the more we open up the more vigilant we will need to be.

Our approach to the types of businesses who can reopen is guided by the scientific and medical advice. SAGE provides world-leading scientific advice to the Government. However, making any changes depends on us continuing to meet the five tests.

We will continue to work with those industries that are still closed to understand how best we can reopen them safely, at the right time, guided by the science.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to review the guidelines on restrictions in place for close contact services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Following my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 June, some close contact services such as hairdressers, pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen on 4 July, provided they adhere to the safer working guidelines. We have published guidance for these sectors on 23 June to provide ways these businesses can ensure a safe reopening.

As some examples, hairdressers and barbers should wear visors as additional protection, use an appointment only policy, avoid overlapping appointments, distance customer seating appropriately, clean thoroughly after each client, prepare equipment in advance to reduce movement in spaces, and screen customers ahead of the appointment to check they do not have symptoms.

We have been taking a phased, cautious approach to reopening our economy, so that we do not risk a second peak of the virus. We will continue to work with those industries that are still closed to understand how best we can reopen them safely, at the right time, guided by the science.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2020
If he will publish guidance on when hair, beauty, spa and wellness businesses can reopen in (a) salon and (b) non-salon settings during the covid-19 outbreak.

As set out in Government’s roadmap, it is our ambition to reopen such businesses from 4 July at the earliest, subject to the scientific advice at the time.

Our guidance will be published before any reopening in order to allow businesses time to adequately prepare.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the number of recalled second hand electrical goods being sold on online marketplaces.

The Government is committed to protecting consumers from unsafe products. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) engages regularly with online platforms on a range of issues and its work programme includes a focus on regulating the online marketplace. The Chief Executive of OPSS wrote to online platforms when the recall of washing machines was announced by Whirlpool to ensure affected washing machines and other recalled items were not available on their platforms in order to protect public safety. OPSS is keeping the issue under close scrutiny.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of (a) a central recall database for electrical products and (b) a database of injuries caused by electrical products.

Consumers can find the latest information on product recalls through the Government’s website including a list of recalls of household products since January 2018 - https://productrecall.campaign.gov.uk/. The site also provides information on how UK consumers can register their products with manufacturers in order to receive important safety messages. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is continuing to work on improvements to this site, in order to provide consumers with relevant information about product safety issues.

Access to information on products posing a safety risk is a key element of ensuring the safety of the public. OPSS is working with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on a pilot programme to collect accident data relating to consumer products from hospital Accident and Emergency departments. OPSS will review the benefits of this pilot programme when it has concluded. This is one of a number of workstreams OPSS is leading to improve the information available to consumers on safety issues.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of mandatory registration of electrical products.

It is important that consumers can access safety information about the products in their homes so they can take appropriate action when necessary. The Government encourages consumers to register their domestic appliances and works with consumer organisations and business groups to promote this. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is conducting extensive research with 4,000 consumers to understand their attitudes to product registration and trial different approaches. Officials are developing proposals to increase registration, including mandatory registration for electrical products as part of this work.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to increase the uptake of product registration of electrical products.

It is important that consumers can access safety information about the products in their homes so they can take appropriate action when necessary. The Government encourages consumers to register their domestic appliances and works with consumer organisations and business groups to promote this. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is conducting extensive research with 4,000 consumers to understand their attitudes to product registration and trial different approaches. Officials are developing proposals to increase registration, including mandatory registration for electrical products as part of this work.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the recall of washing machines by Whirlpool on Tuesday 17 December 2019 is effective.

The Government is committed to protecting consumers from unsafe products. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) assessed Whirlpool’s proposal for a recall of affected washing machines and served statutory notices requiring information from Whirlpool. This will enable OPSS to monitor the progress of the recall and assess whether further action is necessary to protect public safety and to hold the company to account.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what contact her Department has had with online marketplaces on the recall of washing machines issued by Whirlpool on Tuesday 17 December 2019.

The Government is committed to protecting consumers from unsafe products. The Chief Executive of the Office for Product Safety and Standards, wrote to online platforms when the recall was announced by Whirlpool to ensure affected washing machines and other recalled items were not available on their platforms to protect public safety. OPSS is closely monitoring the situation.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the recall of washing machines by Whirlpool on Tuesday 17 December 2019 is being carried out at the request of the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

The Government is committed to protecting consumers from unsafe products. Legislation is in place to ensure that manufacturers only place safe products on the market and take action where they identify a safety issue with products already on the market.

Therefore Whirlpool is responsible for the safety of the products it supplies and for taking effective action when unsafe products are discovered. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is the national regulator for product safety. It assessed the company’s proposal for a recall against regulatory standards and best practice to ensure the proposed action was sufficient to address the risk and provided timely notification of consumers as to the action they need to take.

OPSS is now monitoring the recall closely and will hold the company to account if the recall is not effective.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make a statement on the progress of the gambling review.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, which closed on 31 March. We received c.16,000 submissions to the Call for Evidence from a range of stakeholders and members of the public. We are considering all submissions carefully and aim to publish a white paper outlining any conclusions and proposals for reform by the end of the year.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policies of reports of gambling operators taking bets over social media and messaging platforms to avoid gambling regulations and social responsibility schemes.

Gambling operators are only allowed to provide facilities in the way their Gambling Commission licence and licence conditions allow. If an operator is able under the terms of its licence to accept bets via a messaging platform or social media, it must abide by all the regulatory controls of its licence. Requirements include the need for checks so it is clear who is placing the bet, systems to identify those at risk of harm, and compliance with GDPR regulations on data collection and retention.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made on the potential effect of Esports Betting on gambling-related harm.

We continue to work with the video games industry, other government departments, and relevant regulatory bodies to ensure games are enjoyed safely. We launched a call for evidence in September to understand players’ experiences with loot boxes and to examine evidence of potential harms. This received over 30,000 responses and we have been working to evaluate fully the evidence gathered. The response will be published in the coming months and will set out preferred actions and potential solutions to any issues identified from the evidence.

The government regularly engages with the Gambling Commission and other bodies to discuss emerging trends, including esports betting. Esports betting is regulated with the same protections as any other sports, and operators must abide by the same regulation and license conditions.

Data from the Gambling Commission’s quarterly surveys shows that in the year to December 2020 9% of adults reported they had ever bet on esports with money or items. Further details can be found at: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/publication/taking-a-more-in-depth-look-at-online-gambling#ref-4 The government does not collect statistics on the player base of people opening loot boxes, playing social casino games or accessing twitch gaming streams.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Gambling Commission, and (b) gaming operators on the development of Esports Betting.

We continue to work with the video games industry, other government departments, and relevant regulatory bodies to ensure games are enjoyed safely. We launched a call for evidence in September to understand players’ experiences with loot boxes and to examine evidence of potential harms. This received over 30,000 responses and we have been working to evaluate fully the evidence gathered. The response will be published in the coming months and will set out preferred actions and potential solutions to any issues identified from the evidence.

The government regularly engages with the Gambling Commission and other bodies to discuss emerging trends, including esports betting. Esports betting is regulated with the same protections as any other sports, and operators must abide by the same regulation and license conditions.

Data from the Gambling Commission’s quarterly surveys shows that in the year to December 2020 9% of adults reported they had ever bet on esports with money or items. Further details can be found at: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/publication/taking-a-more-in-depth-look-at-online-gambling#ref-4 The government does not collect statistics on the player base of people opening loot boxes, playing social casino games or accessing twitch gaming streams.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a Gambling Ombudsman with statutory footing on incidence of gambling-related death.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a wide-ranging Call for Evidence. The Review will look at the effectiveness of the regulatory framework and whether further protections are needed. As part of its broad scope, it will also look at evidence on the case for changes to consumer redress arrangements, including assessing options such as an ombudsman. We intend to outline our conclusions and next steps in a white paper by the end of the year.

Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had and with whom on the potential merits of establishing a Gambling Ombudsman.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a wide-ranging Call for Evidence. The Review will look at the effectiveness of the regulatory framework and whether further protections are needed. As part of its broad scope, it will also look at evidence on the case for changes to consumer redress arrangements, including assessing options such as an ombudsman. We intend to outline our conclusions and next steps in a white paper by the end of the year.

Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a Gambling Ombudsman.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a wide-ranging Call for Evidence. The Review will look at the effectiveness of the regulatory framework and whether further protections are needed. As part of its broad scope, it will also look at evidence on the case for changes to consumer redress arrangements, including assessing options such as an ombudsman. We intend to outline our conclusions and next steps in a white paper by the end of the year.

Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of strengthening measures to protect lottery players from harm as part of the Fourth National Lottery licence.

The Government and the Gambling Commission share statutory duties to ensure that the National Lottery is run with all due propriety and that the interests of players are protected.

The competition for the fourth National Lottery licence is being run by the Gambling Commission. The next licence will see changes to how the National Lottery is licensed and regulated. It has been designed by the Commission to enable the next licensee continually to develop and adapt its operations in a safe and responsible way, to meet the needs of players in 2023 and beyond.

The licensee will be held fully accountable for protecting players. Through the competition process, the successful applicant will have demonstrated high standards of player protection, including on prevention of underage or excessive play, and the Commission will hold them accountable for their commitments during the licence period. The Commission will retain strong enforcement powers and, where necessary, will not hesitate to use them.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what process his Department plans to put in place to ensure that lottery players are better protected as part of the Fourth National Lottery licence.

The Government and the Gambling Commission share statutory duties to ensure that the National Lottery is run with all due propriety and that the interests of players are protected.

The competition for the fourth National Lottery licence is being run by the Gambling Commission. The next licence will see changes to how the National Lottery is licensed and regulated. It has been designed by the Commission to enable the next licensee continually to develop and adapt its operations in a safe and responsible way, to meet the needs of players in 2023 and beyond.

The licensee will be held fully accountable for protecting players. Through the competition process, the successful applicant will have demonstrated high standards of player protection, including on prevention of underage or excessive play, and the Commission will hold them accountable for their commitments during the licence period. The Commission will retain strong enforcement powers and, where necessary, will not hesitate to use them.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what provisions his Department plans to put in place to protect lottery players from harm as part of the Fourth National Lottery licence.

The Government and the Gambling Commission share statutory duties to ensure that the National Lottery is run with all due propriety and that the interests of players are protected.

The competition for the fourth National Lottery licence is being run by the Gambling Commission. The next licence will see changes to how the National Lottery is licensed and regulated. It has been designed by the Commission to enable the next licensee continually to develop and adapt its operations in a safe and responsible way, to meet the needs of players in 2023 and beyond.

The licensee will be held fully accountable for protecting players. Through the competition process, the successful applicant will have demonstrated high standards of player protection, including on prevention of underage or excessive play, and the Commission will hold them accountable for their commitments during the licence period. The Commission will retain strong enforcement powers and, where necessary, will not hesitate to use them.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with his Northern Irish counterpart on the operation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Northern Ireland following the reduction in the maximum stake on FOBTs in Great Britain to £2 in 2019.

Gambling in Northern Ireland is a devolved issue regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985. I have not discussed the operation of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals following the 2019 stake cut with my Northern Irish counterpart.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of strengthening measures against gambling operators holding licenses in the UK in relation to their conduct in foreign jurisdictions in order to help ensure the licensing aim of the Gambling Act 2005 to keep Great Britain gambling free from crime and criminal proceeds.

All gambling companies offering gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain, wherever they are based, must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. Operators are expected to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and must report any regulatory or criminal investigation into their activities in any jurisdiction to the Commission. Operators must also report the granting, withdrawal or refusal of any application for a licence in another jurisdiction. These requirements, along with the international cooperation the Commission enjoys with other gambling regulators, enable the Commission to make the necessary ongoing assessments of an operator’s suitability to hold a GB licence. It is for the responsible authorities in each jurisdiction to determine whether operators’ activities comply with the applicable rules.

Further information on what the Gambling Commission expects from its licensed operators regarding their operations in other jurisdictions can be found in the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice:

https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/licensees-and-businesses/lccp/condition/15-2-1-reporting-key-events

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to publish the responses to the Gambling Act Review Call for Evidence that closed on 31 March 2021.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8 December 2020 with a wide-ranging Call for Evidence, which closed on 31 March. We received c.16,000 submissions to the Call for Evidence from a range of stakeholders and members of the public. We are committed to undertaking a thorough, evidence-led review and are carefully considering the submissions we received. While the government does not routinely publish responses to Calls for Evidence, we aim to publish a white paper by the end of the year which will set out clearly the evidence on which it draws and our analysis. It will also include a list of respondents to the call for evidence, subject to compliance with rules on data protection.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to bring forward regulatory proposals on Loot Boxes in response to the Loot Box consultation in 2020.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a call for evidence in September 2020 to examine issues and concerns relating to loot boxes. The call for evidence closed in November 2020 and we received more than 30,000 responses.

We continue to evaluate the full scope of the evidence gathered from responses to the call for evidence. Possible solutions, preferred actions, and a summary of the findings from the evidence, including considerations around regulatory proposals, will be set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence. The response will be published in the coming months.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Gambling Commission on GB licensed operators and suppliers profiting from remote gambling consumers in jurisdictions where gambling is a prohibited activity.

The Gambling Commission does not determine whether gambling activities are legal in other jurisdictions. To do so would involve directing resources to apply and interpret the laws and legislation of different jurisdictions. It is the responsibility of the relevant authorities in those jurisdictions to make such a determination and take any necessary action.

However, all licensees of the Gambling Commission are subject to reporting requirements associated with their activities in other jurisdictions, including reporting where they are subject to any legal or regulatory investigation. Operators are expected to comply with the law, both in the UK and in other jurisdictions in which they, or related companies, operate. Failure to meet this expectation may raise questions about operators’ continuing suitability as licence holders.

The Gambling Commission does work in close cooperation with regulators in a wide range of jurisdictions and will share regulatory information where this is appropriate and legally permissible.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on users of video games that contain gambling-like practices and are not currently regulated by gambling regulation.

Ensuring that video games are enjoyed safely by people is a priority for this government and we remain committed to tackling issues relating to safety and video games.

This is why the Government launched a call for evidence in September 2020 specifically looking at issues and concerns around loot boxes and potential associations with gambling-related harms. The call for evidence closed in November 2020 and received more than 30,000 responses. The call for evidence sought detailed information on the impact of loot boxes on players, particularly children and young people, and evidence of potential harms. We are currently assessing the evidence gathered.


The Government will be publishing its response to the call for evidence in the coming months. The Government stands ready to take action should the findings from the call for evidence support taking further measures to ensure players are protected.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the number of criminal cases in 2021 where gambling addiction is a relevant factor exceeding 2020 figures, what assessment he has made of the Gambling Commission's performance against the statutory licensing objectives set out in the Gambling Act 2005.

The government does not hold information on the number of criminal cases where gambling addiction is a relevant factor.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what regulatory impact assessments have been made of measures taken to deliver the Gambling Act 2005’s prevention of harm licensing objective since the changes adopted via the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, excluding those changes in respect of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals stake reduction.

The licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005 are principles to be applied by the Gambling Commission and other licensing authorities in exercising their functions under the Act. The Commission is required to permit gambling, in so far as it thinks it reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives: a) preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, b) ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and c) protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Regulatory Impact Assessments are produced by the government as a tool to assess the impact of government intervention and inform policy decision-making. The Gambling Commission is required under the Enterprise Act 2016 to produce Business Impact Target (BIT) assessments for regulatory measures that it introduces but these relate to the impact on business rather than the licensing objectives. However, as part of its consultation process, the Commission seeks information from stakeholders on the impact and value of its proposals. It also works with a wide range of partners to evaluate the impact of safer gambling measures, in connection with the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm.

The Commission is currently working to assess the initial impact of the ban on credit cards, including with the Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) on an evaluation of consumer behaviour following the ban. In April 2021, it published a new Corporate Strategy which includes a commitment to developing a framework to evaluate the impact of its work.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what regulatory impact assessments have been made of measures taken to deliver the Gambling Act 2005’s no association with crime licensing objective since the changes adopted via the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, excluding those changes in respect of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals stake reduction.

The licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005 are principles to be applied by the Gambling Commission and other licensing authorities in exercising their functions under the Act. The Commission is required to permit gambling, in so far as it thinks it reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives: a) preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, b) ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and c) protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Regulatory Impact Assessments are produced by the government as a tool to assess the impact of government intervention and inform policy decision-making. The Gambling Commission is required under the Enterprise Act 2016 to produce Business Impact Target (BIT) assessments for regulatory measures that it introduces but these relate to the impact on business rather than the licensing objectives. However, as part of its consultation process, the Commission seeks information from stakeholders on the impact and value of its proposals. It also works with a wide range of partners to evaluate the impact of safer gambling measures, in connection with the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm.

The Commission is currently working to assess the initial impact of the ban on credit cards, including with the Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) on an evaluation of consumer behaviour following the ban. In April 2021, it published a new Corporate Strategy which includes a commitment to developing a framework to evaluate the impact of its work.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what regulatory impact assessments have been made of measures taken to deliver the Gambling Act 2005’s fair and open licensing objective since the changes adopted via the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, excluding those changes in respect of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals stake reduction.

The licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005 are principles to be applied by the Gambling Commission and other licensing authorities in exercising their functions under the Act. The Commission is required to permit gambling, in so far as it thinks it reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives: a) preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, b) ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and c) protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Regulatory Impact Assessments are produced by the government as a tool to assess the impact of government intervention and inform policy decision-making. The Gambling Commission is required under the Enterprise Act 2016 to produce Business Impact Target (BIT) assessments for regulatory measures that it introduces but these relate to the impact on business rather than the licensing objectives. However, as part of its consultation process, the Commission seeks information from stakeholders on the impact and value of its proposals. It also works with a wide range of partners to evaluate the impact of safer gambling measures, in connection with the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm.

The Commission is currently working to assess the initial impact of the ban on credit cards, including with the Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) on an evaluation of consumer behaviour following the ban. In April 2021, it published a new Corporate Strategy which includes a commitment to developing a framework to evaluate the impact of its work.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the most significant evidence received by his Department was in support of reducing the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals after an assessment of the 2016 review and prior to the 2018 stake reduction announcement.

The licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005 are principles to be applied by the Gambling Commission and other licensing authorities in exercising their functions under the Act. The Commission is required to permit gambling in so far as it thinks it reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives: a) preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, b) ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and c) protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures began with the publication of a call for evidence in autumn 2016, including on whether changes were needed to stake and prize limits on gaming machines. The objective of the Review was to determine what, if any, changes were needed to strike the right balance between socially responsible growth and the protection of consumers and wider communities. The call for evidence was followed by a consultation paper published in October 2017, with the government’s decision to cut stakes on B2 machines in betting shops to £2 announced in the government response to the consultation in May 2018. The stake cut was in due course implemented via statutory instrument in April 2019.

The government gave careful consideration to a wide range of evidence in the course of the Gaming Machines Review and this evidence and government’s analysis and conclusions were set out in the consultation, government response and the accompanying impact assessment, published at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Evidence submitted to the call for evidence was also published at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/call-for-evidence-review-of-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of (a) whether the stake reduction on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals contributed towards achieving the Gambling Act 2005’s licensing objectives and (b) the effect of the time taken between the 2016 review and implementation in 2019 of the stake reduction on the achievement of those licensing objectives.

The licensing objectives in the Gambling Act 2005 are principles to be applied by the Gambling Commission and other licensing authorities in exercising their functions under the Act. The Commission is required to permit gambling in so far as it thinks it reasonably consistent with pursuit of the licensing objectives: a) preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, b) ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and c) protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures began with the publication of a call for evidence in autumn 2016, including on whether changes were needed to stake and prize limits on gaming machines. The objective of the Review was to determine what, if any, changes were needed to strike the right balance between socially responsible growth and the protection of consumers and wider communities. The call for evidence was followed by a consultation paper published in October 2017, with the government’s decision to cut stakes on B2 machines in betting shops to £2 announced in the government response to the consultation in May 2018. The stake cut was in due course implemented via statutory instrument in April 2019.

The government gave careful consideration to a wide range of evidence in the course of the Gaming Machines Review and this evidence and government’s analysis and conclusions were set out in the consultation, government response and the accompanying impact assessment, published at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Evidence submitted to the call for evidence was also published at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/call-for-evidence-review-of-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will ensure that steps are taken in the forthcoming gambling review to ensure gambling operators are required follow a strict affordability criteria when accepting payments from customers.

The Gambling Commission received over 13,000 responses to its consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction and is reviewing that evidence. It will publish an interim update on progress and set out next steps in due course.

Government remains in close contact with the Commission as this progresses, and the Commission is sharing key evidence with the Department on this and other topics where it could be relevant to our Review of the Gambling Act 2005. We are considering all evidence submitted to our Review, and any proposed changes will be led by that evidence.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the responsibility for assessing gambling affordability following the recent Gambling Commission consultation has been transferred from the regulator to his Department; and what the statutory basis is for that responsibility.

The Gambling Commission received over 13,000 responses to its consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction and is reviewing that evidence. It will publish an interim update on progress and set out next steps in due course.

Government remains in close contact with the Commission as this progresses, and the Commission is sharing key evidence with the Department on this and other topics where it could be relevant to our Review of the Gambling Act 2005. We are considering all evidence submitted to our Review, and any proposed changes will be led by that evidence.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government was made aware of the challenges facing Football Index before the collapse of that company.

The government is taking the collapse of Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously, and the Secretary of State and I have met the Gambling Commission to receive urgent updates. We are particularly keen to understand both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from these events. Further details will be provided in due course.

DCMS officials were made aware of the challenges facing Football Index in March 2021 shortly before the Gambling Commission suspended the licence of BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index. The Gambling Commission’s regulatory investigation is ongoing. While we have been in close contact with the Commission as it continues its investigation, its role as set out in the Gambling Act is to conduct investigations fully independent of Government. It is not for the government to direct independent regulatory bodies on individual cases.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 is considering a range of questions around the regulation of gambling, including the powers and resources of the Commission and whether any changes to the legislation are required to make it fit for the digital age. The review will also consider whether an alternative system of consumer redress, such as an ombudsman, is needed. Our call for evidence closed on 31 March and we are carefully considering the responses received.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what directions have been given to (a) regulators and (b) executive agencies in respect of the collapse of Football Index.

The government is taking the collapse of Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously, and the Secretary of State and I have met the Gambling Commission to receive urgent updates. We are particularly keen to understand both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from these events. Further details will be provided in due course.

DCMS officials were made aware of the challenges facing Football Index in March 2021 shortly before the Gambling Commission suspended the licence of BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index. The Gambling Commission’s regulatory investigation is ongoing. While we have been in close contact with the Commission as it continues its investigation, its role as set out in the Gambling Act is to conduct investigations fully independent of Government. It is not for the government to direct independent regulatory bodies on individual cases.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 is considering a range of questions around the regulation of gambling, including the powers and resources of the Commission and whether any changes to the legislation are required to make it fit for the digital age. The review will also consider whether an alternative system of consumer redress, such as an ombudsman, is needed. Our call for evidence closed on 31 March and we are carefully considering the responses received.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will hold an independent public inquiry into the circumstances of the collapse of Football Index.

The government is taking the collapse of Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously, and the Secretary of State and I have met the Gambling Commission to receive urgent updates. We are particularly keen to understand both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from these events. Further details will be provided in due course.

DCMS officials were made aware of the challenges facing Football Index in March 2021 shortly before the Gambling Commission suspended the licence of BetIndex Ltd, the operator of Football Index. The Gambling Commission’s regulatory investigation is ongoing. While we have been in close contact with the Commission as it continues its investigation, its role as set out in the Gambling Act is to conduct investigations fully independent of Government. It is not for the government to direct independent regulatory bodies on individual cases.

Our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 is considering a range of questions around the regulation of gambling, including the powers and resources of the Commission and whether any changes to the legislation are required to make it fit for the digital age. The review will also consider whether an alternative system of consumer redress, such as an ombudsman, is needed. Our call for evidence closed on 31 March and we are carefully considering the responses received.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with (i) the Gambling Commission and (ii) the video game industry on classifying loot boxes as gambling.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a call for evidence in September 2020 to examine issues and concerns relating to loot boxes and we have received more than 30,000 responses. As part of the call for evidence, officials held a series of roundtable discussions with video game companies, third sector organisations, researchers, and other government departments; this included regulatory authorities such as the Gambling Commission. The roundtables were organised to discuss a range of public concerns raised about loot boxes, including potential links to gambling-like behaviour.

The call for evidence closed in November 2020 and we are continuing to analyse the evidence gathered. We will announce next steps when all the evidence has been fully considered.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Horseracing Betting Levy on the horseracing sector.

The Horseracing Betting Levy is collected by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) from the gross profit of betting on British horseracing. In April 2017, the government reformed the Levy to bring offshore bookmakers in scope for the first time and fixed the rate at 10%. This action reversed a steady period of decline in Levy income. Levy income for the last three years has been:

  • 2017/18 - £95 million

  • 2018/19 - £83 million

  • 2019/20 - £97 million

The HBLB supports racing through prize money grants to racecourses, which in turn supports trainers and jockeys. HBLB’s prize money grants normally account for around 40% of total prize money. It also makes payments to racecourses as a contribution towards race day services costs, paying for the majority of racing’s regulation and integrity costs. Other areas it supports include industry recruitment and training, education and the welfare of horses.

During Covid the HBLB has increased its contribution to prize money by 50%. It has also paid almost £3 million towards extra regulation costs that have been necessary to stage racing fixtures safely within the current Covid protocols.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the legislative viability of a fair return system for sport betting in which gambling operators must pay a fee or portion of revenues to sports clubs for using their content for gambling purposes.

The government currently has no plans to introduce a requirement for gambling operators to pay a fee or levy to sports clubs and has not had discussions with football clubs about developing commercial opportunities.

The Review of the Gambling Act 2005 was launched on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the broad scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. We intend to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of East Asian gambling sponsorship of football clubs on the marketing of gambling products to China.

All gambling companies providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain, wherever they are based, must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. Operators who provide services marketed under a different brand as part of a ‘white label’ agreement are held accountable for the actions of their commercial partners, and are expected to carry out all necessary due diligence to satisfy themselves that the relationship will not compromise their own regulatory compliance. Further detail about the Gambling Commission’s compliance and enforcement work in this area can be found in the relevant section of its Compliance and Enforcement Report for 2019 to 2020 and its Reminder to licensees regarding white label gambling websites. These can be accessed at: https://beta.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/strategy/raising-standards-for-consumers-compliance-and-enforcement-report-2019-20/white-label-partnerships

Licensed gambling operators and their white label partners are entitled to enter into commercial arrangements with sporting bodies, as long as any sponsorship activities are carried out in a socially responsible way. The Commission expects licensees to ensure that all parties are aware of, and compliant with, the relevant advertising and sponsorship rules and regulations. The government and the Gambling Commission do not hold information on exposure to gambling advertising and marketing in other jurisdictions.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on whether white label agreements pose a risk to consumers in Great Britain, and on the impact of gambling sponsorship arrangements across sport, esport and other areas.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of oversight arrangements for white label licensing arrangements in tackling (a) money laundering and (b) wider criminal activity.

All gambling companies providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain, wherever they are based, must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. Operators who provide services marketed under a different brand as part of a ‘white label’ agreement are held accountable for the actions of their commercial partners, and are expected to carry out all necessary due diligence to satisfy themselves that the relationship will not compromise their own regulatory compliance. Further detail about the Gambling Commission’s compliance and enforcement work in this area can be found in the relevant section of its Compliance and Enforcement Report for 2019 to 2020 and its Reminder to licensees regarding white label gambling websites. These can be accessed at: https://beta.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/strategy/raising-standards-for-consumers-compliance-and-enforcement-report-2019-20/white-label-partnerships

Licensed gambling operators and their white label partners are entitled to enter into commercial arrangements with sporting bodies, as long as any sponsorship activities are carried out in a socially responsible way. The Commission expects licensees to ensure that all parties are aware of, and compliant with, the relevant advertising and sponsorship rules and regulations. The government and the Gambling Commission do not hold information on exposure to gambling advertising and marketing in other jurisdictions.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on whether white label agreements pose a risk to consumers in Great Britain, and on the impact of gambling sponsorship arrangements across sport, esport and other areas.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to introduce a ban on gambling advertising on sports kit.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas. The Call for Evidence will remain open until 31 March, and no policy decisions have yet been made. The government intends to set out conclusions, including any proposals for change, in a white paper later this year.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. We are also aware of international research which suggests an association between exposure to the promotion of betting brands during live sport and increased intention to bet amongst adults, including adults who score more highly on the Problem Gambling Severity Index screen used to assess problem gambling. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates a causative link between exposure to operator logos on sports shirts and the development of problem gambling in childhood or adulthood.

Ministers and officials continue to meet with a range of stakeholders to discuss matters within scope of the Gambling Act Review. Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the gambling industry on the potential merits of a cessation of gambling advertising during the 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

I refer to the answer to Question 140004. The government and the Gambling Commission have been clear that gambling operators must act responsibly during the Covid 19 period. Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Gambling operators advertising in the UK must abide by the advertising codes issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP). A wide-range of provisions in these codes are designed to protect children. For example, gambling adverts must not be targeted at children or feature content which appeals particularly to them. Sponsorship, as a form of commercial arrangement distinct from the purchase of media space to show or display advertising content, does not fall within scope of these codes. Further detail about the codes and their scope can be found at: https://www.asa.org.uk/codes-and-rulings/advertising-codes.html

Gambling operators providing facilities to consumers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and abide by its licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP), which require all marketing activities, including sponsorship, to be carried out in a socially responsible way. Specific restrictions on the placement of operator logos on merchandise designed for use by children are set out in the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements. In addition, CAP recently concluded a consultation on proposals to amend the advertising codes to further minimise the potential for gambling adverts to appeal to children, and is evaluating responses.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2021 to Question 134495 on Gambling: Advertising, for what reasons the depiction of a team football shirt which features the logo of a gambling operator is not considered advertising.

I refer to the answer to Question 140004. The government and the Gambling Commission have been clear that gambling operators must act responsibly during the Covid 19 period. Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Gambling operators advertising in the UK must abide by the advertising codes issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP). A wide-range of provisions in these codes are designed to protect children. For example, gambling adverts must not be targeted at children or feature content which appeals particularly to them. Sponsorship, as a form of commercial arrangement distinct from the purchase of media space to show or display advertising content, does not fall within scope of these codes. Further detail about the codes and their scope can be found at: https://www.asa.org.uk/codes-and-rulings/advertising-codes.html

Gambling operators providing facilities to consumers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and abide by its licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP), which require all marketing activities, including sponsorship, to be carried out in a socially responsible way. Specific restrictions on the placement of operator logos on merchandise designed for use by children are set out in the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements. In addition, CAP recently concluded a consultation on proposals to amend the advertising codes to further minimise the potential for gambling adverts to appeal to children, and is evaluating responses.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on children of gambling advertising to children through football (a) cards, (b) stickers, (c) magazines and (d) other football merchandise.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Adverts must never be targeted at children, or appear in media created for children. These rules mean that an operator would face sanction by the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear on football cards, or stickers, or in magazines targeted at children. The depiction of a team football shirt which features the logo of a gambling operator is not considered advertising. However, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising requires that operators ensure their logo does not appear on commercial merchandise which is designed for children, which includes replica football shirts in children’s sizes.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates an association between exposure to operator logos in childhood and problem gambling in childhood or in later life.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle gambling advertising to children through football (a) cards, (b) stickers, (c) magazines and (d) other football merchandise.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Adverts must never be targeted at children, or appear in media created for children. These rules mean that an operator would face sanction by the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear on football cards, or stickers, or in magazines targeted at children. The depiction of a team football shirt which features the logo of a gambling operator is not considered advertising. However, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising requires that operators ensure their logo does not appear on commercial merchandise which is designed for children, which includes replica football shirts in children’s sizes.

The government is aware of studies which suggest an association between familiarity with operator logos in childhood, such as those which may feature on football shirts, and intention to bet when of legal age. However, we are not aware of evidence which indicates an association between exposure to operator logos in childhood and problem gambling in childhood or in later life.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8th December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we have called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing operators to advertise and engage in sponsorship arrangements.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the level of online gambling losses was in each month from April to October 2020.

In April last year, I wrote to gambling operators and asked them to prioritise sharing regular and up-to-date data with the Gambling Commision to help us understand the impact of Covid restrictions on gambling behaviours. Since then, the Commission has collected, analysed and published this data every month, alongside other insights into the impact of Covid-19 such as consumer surveys. The most recent update, covering March 2020 through to October 2020, can be found here:

https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Data-shows-impact-of-Covid-19-in-October-2020.aspx

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £100m pledged in June 2020 by the Betting and Gaming Council to fund gambling treatment services has been spent; what steps his Department has taken to ensure that money has been spent in a robust and accountable system; and what proportion of the £100m funding will go to specialist NHS clinics that treat gambling addiction.

Combined Health Survey data for 2016 estimated the rate of problem gambling amongst adults in Britain who had gambled in the past year to be 1.2%. The 2018 Health Survey for England estimated a problem gambling rate of 1% amongst adult past-year gamblers.

Gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission are required to make a contribution to fund research, prevention or treatment of problem gambling. The Gambling Commission publishes a list of approved recipients of these donations, and will soon publish its first set of annual data detailing the value of donations each has received. Most operators choose to give to the charity GambleAware, which received more than £10 million in donations during the 2019/20 financial year.

In July 2019, the government secured a commitment from five large operators for a tenfold increase in their contributions to the research, prevention and treatment of problem gambling over four years, rising from 0.1% to 1% of gross gambling yield. This included a commitment to spend £100 million on treatment over this period. In June 2020 it was announced that GambleAware would use these funds to expand existing treatment services. Industry body the Betting and Gaming Council has set out a planned schedule for donations which will see combined contributions from those operators involved in the commitment rise to £5 million in the financial year 2020/21, £10 million in 2021/22, £25 million in 2022/23, and £35 million in 2023/24, with an additional £25 million to be spread across the financial years 2021-23.

GambleAware is an independent charity which commissions a wide network of gambling-specific treatment services including a specialist NHS gambling clinic in London and the NHS Northern Gambling Service. Its forthcoming Strategic Commissioning Plan, due to be published in April 2021, will set out its objectives for commissioning treatment services over the next five years. It will commision additional treatment provision to complement NHS services, which are also being scaled up as part of the NHS Long-Term Plan. Up to 14 new specialist NHS gambling clinics are planned to open by 2024, with three already accepting patients. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) remains committed to the expansion and alignment of existing treatment provision for gambling-related harms, and continues to work collaboratively with the NHS and GambleAware to ensure effective use of the additional £100 million of industry funding allocated for treatment over the next 4 years.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. As part of the wide scope of that Review, the government has called for evidence on the most effective means of recouping the regulatory and societal costs of gambling from operators.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the National Lottery age limit increase to 18 will not take effect until April 2021 for online play and October 2021 for all other lottery products.

The legislative change for the increase in the National Lottery age limit will come into force on 1st October 2021. However, this date is the final backstop at which changes can be introduced and I expect the operator to make changes sooner where possible. In this regard, I am pleased that the operator is planning to introduce changes for online channels by early April 2021, and in the retail sector over the course of the summer.

The National Lottery is a hugely complex operation. This change will affect over 44,000 retailers across the UK and as a result it is important that we strike a balance between making this change quickly and giving businesses the time they need to ensure a smooth transition.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many times he or his officials have had discussions with (a) the Department of Health and Social Care and (b) HM Treasury on gambling policy in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, HM Treasury, and wider government on matters related to gambling policy. Since 2018, DCMS officials have met regularly with their counterparts across government to discuss a wide range of gambling-related issues.

Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available. They are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many times he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Justice on (a) gambling policy and (b) money laundering associated with gambling in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, HM Treasury, and wider government on matters related to gambling policy. Since 2018, DCMS officials have met regularly with their counterparts across government to discuss a wide range of gambling-related issues.

Details of ministerial meetings are publicly available. They are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate the Gambling Commission has made of the number of Commission-licensed operators that operate in the UK and are blacklisted as an operator in an overseas jurisdiction.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. Operators are expected to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and must report any regulatory or criminal investigation into their activities in any jurisdiction to the Commission. These requirements, along with the international cooperation the Commission enjoys with other gambling regulators, enable the Commission to make the necessary ongoing assessments of an operator’s suitability to hold a GB licence.

Further information on what the Gambling Commission expects from its licensed operators regarding their operations in other jurisdictions can be found in the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether gambling using cryptocurrency is legal; and whether UK bookmakers are permitted to offer this service.

Cryptoassets are not illegal, but licensed gambling operators are only permitted to accept them as a payment method where they are able to ensure they are compliant with all Gambling Commission licence conditions and requirements, including anti-money laundering and safer gambling measures.

Operators are required to declare any changes to the arrangements through which they accept payment from customers to the Commission. This includes changes to the payment methods (including cryptoassets) or payment processors made available to customers to pay for gambling services. To date, no licensed operators have notified the Gambling Commission that they are accepting digital currencies or cryptoassets directly as payments but several have reported indirectly accepting funds derived from cryptoassets via a third party payment provider. In these cases, funds accepted by the licensee for gambling have been converted to fiat currency (£).

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance he has issued for travelling fairground operators on when and how peripatetic fairs will be able to resume post-covid-19 restrictions.

Whilst outdoor events such as travelling funfairs are not currently able to proceed due to national restrictions in England, the guidance on which we have worked with the Events Industry Forum will support outdoor events to operate safely when we move to the local tier system on 2 December.

From 2 December, as set out in the COVID Winter Plan we will return to a tiered approach to COVID-19 restrictions. Funfairs and fairgrounds - which will be permitted to reopen in all three tiers as they were prior to this period of national restrictions - will need to go through the normal process of requesting permission and any relevant licences from the relevant authority and have the relevant health and safety protocols in place, including a Covid-19 risk assessment. Local Authorities are responsible for deciding whether to permit outdoor events in their area. Decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to both the risks and the mitigations in place.

In the government's Covid-19 Secure guidance for the Visitor Economy, we have provided guidance for Local Authorities on how to assess applications for outdoor events and how Local Authorities should support event organisers to hold outdoor events safely. We will continue to work closely with Local Authorities and the sector to get outdoor events running safely and successfully once they are permitted.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) holds regular engagement calls with local government sector groups to highlight significant policy updates and holds regular Ministerial calls with local authority leaders and chief executives.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which stakeholders he has met with to discuss the gambling review since September 2020.

The Secretary of State and I have met a number of stakeholder groups ahead of the Gambling Act Review. This includes a meeting with the Gambling Commission’s Interim Experts by Experience forum, a group of people who have suffered a wide range of gambling harms, including recovering gambling addicts, family and partners of addicts, and those who have lost children to gambling suicides. The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage also met the founders of Gambling With Lives in the summer. Ministers have additionally met parliamentary groups such as the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, the Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group, and Peers for Gambling Reform, as well as with representatives of the gambling industry. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

The government committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 in the 2019 manifesto to ensure that it is fit for the digital age and further details will be announced in due course, including on how we will gather evidence and consult.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has met families and people who have been harmed by gambling ahead of the gambling review.

The Secretary of State and I have met a number of stakeholder groups ahead of the Gambling Act Review. This includes a meeting with the Gambling Commission’s Interim Experts by Experience forum, a group of people who have suffered a wide range of gambling harms, including recovering gambling addicts, family and partners of addicts, and those who have lost children to gambling suicides. The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage also met the founders of Gambling With Lives in the summer. Ministers have additionally met parliamentary groups such as the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, the Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group, and Peers for Gambling Reform, as well as with representatives of the gambling industry. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

The government committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 in the 2019 manifesto to ensure that it is fit for the digital age and further details will be announced in due course, including on how we will gather evidence and consult.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has met people who have been bereaved due to gambling addiction ahead of the gambling review.

The Secretary of State and I have met a number of stakeholder groups ahead of the Gambling Act Review. This includes a meeting with the Gambling Commission’s Interim Experts by Experience forum, a group of people who have suffered a wide range of gambling harms, including recovering gambling addicts, family and partners of addicts, and those who have lost children to gambling suicides. The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage also met the founders of Gambling With Lives in the summer. Ministers have additionally met parliamentary groups such as the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, the Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group, and Peers for Gambling Reform, as well as with representatives of the gambling industry. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

The government committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 in the 2019 manifesto to ensure that it is fit for the digital age and further details will be announced in due course, including on how we will gather evidence and consult.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81831 on Gambling: Regulation, what his Department's policy is on the distinction between (a) grey and (b) black gambling markets; and whether Northern Ireland is considered a (i) grey or (ii) black market for gambling.

Jurisdictions in which there are not clear laws on the legality of gambling are often referred to as grey markets. Jurisdictions where gambling is clearly and unambiguously prohibited by law are often referred to as black markets.

Northern Ireland is not considered either a grey market or a black market for gambling. Gambling activity in Northern Ireland is a devolved issue regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985. The law is enforceable by the Northern Irish authorities such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

There is no provision for licensing online gambling in the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985 but under section 5 of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 online operators who wish to advertise their services in Northern Ireland must hold a licence from the Gambling Commission. The Department of Communities for Northern Ireland completed a consultation on gambling regulation in February 2020.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the amount of (a) money and (b) time spent by people on gambling by category of gambling type during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Gambling Commission has monitored gambling behaviours during the Covid-19 period by collecting data from operators and through regular surveys. Information from both of these sources has been published on the Commission’s website and is available here: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Data-shows-the-impact-of-Covid-19-on-gambling-behaviour-in-May-2020.aspx

Survey data collected during April, May and June this year shows that 35% of men and 27% of women had gambled in the past four weeks. Amongst those past-four-week gamblers, 31% tried a new product, with the most common being National Lottery draws (18%). Rates of participation for different forms of gambling are also given, showing that, for example, 24% of people played National Lottery draws and 2% played online slots or instant win games during that time.

In addition, respondents were asked whether they had spent more time or money on any gambling activities in the past four weeks than they had previously. 73% of respondents had not spent more time or money, with National Lottery draws the most popular activities amongst those who had increased either time (8%) or money (14%) spent.

The Gambling Commission conducts a quarterly telephone survey of gambling behaviours which collects data about problem gambling prevalence. The most recent wave of that survey was carried out in June 2020, and the next is due to take place in September. As this quarterly data is aggregated to provide annual figures, and problem gambling is measured using questions which ask about past year experiences and behaviours, the survey has not yet provided an indication of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on problem gambling rates. However, any significant shifts are likely to be reflected in the next set of data which is due to be published in October. Figures for the year to June can be found at https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Statistics-and-research/Levels-of-participation-and-problem-gambling/Research-library.aspx

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will raise the age limit on the National Lottery to 18.

I refer the Honourable Member to my answer of 3 August 2020 to Question 75396.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of (i) men and (ii) women gambling and (b) rates of problematic gambling during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether he has made an assessment of the effect of covid-19 lockdown on the propensity of people already gambling to try new products.

The Gambling Commission has monitored gambling behaviours during the Covid-19 period by collecting data from operators and through regular surveys. Information from both of these sources has been published on the Commission’s website and is available here: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Data-shows-the-impact-of-Covid-19-on-gambling-behaviour-in-May-2020.aspx

Survey data collected during April, May and June this year shows that 35% of men and 27% of women had gambled in the past four weeks. Amongst those past-four-week gamblers, 31% tried a new product, with the most common being National Lottery draws (18%). Rates of participation for different forms of gambling are also given, showing that, for example, 24% of people played National Lottery draws and 2% played online slots or instant win games during that time.

In addition, respondents were asked whether they had spent more time or money on any gambling activities in the past four weeks than they had previously. 73% of respondents had not spent more time or money, with National Lottery draws the most popular activities amongst those who had increased either time (8%) or money (14%) spent.

The Gambling Commission conducts a quarterly telephone survey of gambling behaviours which collects data about problem gambling prevalence. The most recent wave of that survey was carried out in June 2020, and the next is due to take place in September. As this quarterly data is aggregated to provide annual figures, and problem gambling is measured using questions which ask about past year experiences and behaviours, the survey has not yet provided an indication of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on problem gambling rates. However, any significant shifts are likely to be reflected in the next set of data which is due to be published in October. Figures for the year to June can be found at https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Statistics-and-research/Levels-of-participation-and-problem-gambling/Research-library.aspx

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the rates of play on different gambling products during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Gambling Commission has monitored gambling behaviours during the Covid-19 period by collecting data from operators and through regular surveys. Information from both of these sources has been published on the Commission’s website and is available here: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Data-shows-the-impact-of-Covid-19-on-gambling-behaviour-in-May-2020.aspx

Survey data collected during April, May and June this year shows that 35% of men and 27% of women had gambled in the past four weeks. Amongst those past-four-week gamblers, 31% tried a new product, with the most common being National Lottery draws (18%). Rates of participation for different forms of gambling are also given, showing that, for example, 24% of people played National Lottery draws and 2% played online slots or instant win games during that time.

In addition, respondents were asked whether they had spent more time or money on any gambling activities in the past four weeks than they had previously. 73% of respondents had not spent more time or money, with National Lottery draws the most popular activities amongst those who had increased either time (8%) or money (14%) spent.

The Gambling Commission conducts a quarterly telephone survey of gambling behaviours which collects data about problem gambling prevalence. The most recent wave of that survey was carried out in June 2020, and the next is due to take place in September. As this quarterly data is aggregated to provide annual figures, and problem gambling is measured using questions which ask about past year experiences and behaviours, the survey has not yet provided an indication of the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on problem gambling rates. However, any significant shifts are likely to be reflected in the next set of data which is due to be published in October. Figures for the year to June can be found at https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Statistics-and-research/Levels-of-participation-and-problem-gambling/Research-library.aspx

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what sanctions are in place for gambling operators that breach age-restricted advertising rules.

Gambling companies that advertise to British consumers must abide by strict rules on the content and placement of ads, including that they must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s regulator for advertising and where it finds an ad to be in breach of its codes it will require the ad be amended or removed. If an advertiser fails to act on this warning, the ASA has a range of sanctions it can take, including Ad Alerts to the media, withdrawal of trading privileges, and mandatory pre-vetting. The ASA’s authority is underpinned in regulation of broadcast advertising by a statutory relationship with Ofcom and the Gambling Commission’s licence conditions and codes of practice require operators to comply with the advertising codes for all forms of gambling advertising. Serious and repeated breaches of the codes may lead to an operator being referred by the ASA to the Gambling Commission, which has the power to suspend or revoke licences and issue financial penalties.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. We continue to keep emerging evidence under review.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of banning gambling advertising.

Gambling companies that advertise to British consumers must abide by strict rules on the content and placement of ads, including that they must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s regulator for advertising and where it finds an ad to be in breach of its codes it will require the ad be amended or removed. If an advertiser fails to act on this warning, the ASA has a range of sanctions it can take, including Ad Alerts to the media, withdrawal of trading privileges, and mandatory pre-vetting. The ASA’s authority is underpinned in regulation of broadcast advertising by a statutory relationship with Ofcom and the Gambling Commission’s licence conditions and codes of practice require operators to comply with the advertising codes for all forms of gambling advertising. Serious and repeated breaches of the codes may lead to an operator being referred by the ASA to the Gambling Commission, which has the power to suspend or revoke licences and issue financial penalties.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. We continue to keep emerging evidence under review.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government will take to assess risks to consumers to inform and provide a baseline for the gambling review.

The government committed in its manifesto to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry. As part of this role it continually monitors the gambling market for risks to consumers, drawing on a wide range of intelligence sources as well as conducting a quarterly survey of gambling behaviours. It provides both formal and informal advice to government on a range of issues and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming Gambling Review, including on issues such as stakes and prizes. I understand that the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission wrote to you recently to provide an update on its work around online player protections.

The Commission will shortly publish a Strategic Risk Assessment setting out the current risks to consumers and the public and its priorities to address them. The Government will draw on this and other evidence about gambling participation and behaviour to inform and provide a baseline for the Gambling Act Review.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Gambling Commission plans to publish its review of stakes and prizes.

The government committed in its manifesto to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry. As part of this role it continually monitors the gambling market for risks to consumers, drawing on a wide range of intelligence sources as well as conducting a quarterly survey of gambling behaviours. It provides both formal and informal advice to government on a range of issues and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming Gambling Review, including on issues such as stakes and prizes. I understand that the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission wrote to you recently to provide an update on its work around online player protections.

The Commission will shortly publish a Strategic Risk Assessment setting out the current risks to consumers and the public and its priorities to address them. The Government will draw on this and other evidence about gambling participation and behaviour to inform and provide a baseline for the Gambling Act Review.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to launch its review of gambling.

The government committed in its manifesto to review the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator for the gambling industry. As part of this role it continually monitors the gambling market for risks to consumers, drawing on a wide range of intelligence sources as well as conducting a quarterly survey of gambling behaviours. It provides both formal and informal advice to government on a range of issues and will continue to do so throughout the forthcoming Gambling Review, including on issues such as stakes and prizes. I understand that the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission wrote to you recently to provide an update on its work around online player protections.

The Commission will shortly publish a Strategic Risk Assessment setting out the current risks to consumers and the public and its priorities to address them. The Government will draw on this and other evidence about gambling participation and behaviour to inform and provide a baseline for the Gambling Act Review.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason his Department has not published a response to the consultation entitled, Consultation on the minimum age for playing National Lottery games that closed in October 2019.

DCMS held a consultation seeking views on whether to raise the minimum age for playing National Lottery games as part of work on the next National Lottery licence, which is due to begin in 2023. The responses are currently being considered and I will formally respond in due course.

The consultation on the minimum age for playing National Lottery games provides information on the estimated number of National Lottery players by age brackets which include the age bracket 16 and 17 year olds and 18 to 24 year olds.

Estimated number of 16 and 17 year old National Lottery ‘regular players’ based on survey data between April 2016 and March 2019 and population estimates.

Played NL draw-based games

Played NL scratchcards

Played online instant win games

204,000

231,000

484

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make it his policy to raise the age for playing the National Lottery to 18 years old.

DCMS held a consultation seeking views on whether to raise the minimum age for playing National Lottery games as part of work on the next National Lottery licence, which is due to begin in 2023. The responses are currently being considered and I will formally respond in due course.

The consultation on the minimum age for playing National Lottery games provides information on the estimated number of National Lottery players by age brackets which include the age bracket 16 and 17 year olds and 18 to 24 year olds.

Estimated number of 16 and 17 year old National Lottery ‘regular players’ based on survey data between April 2016 and March 2019 and population estimates.

Played NL draw-based games

Played NL scratchcards

Played online instant win games

204,000

231,000

484

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of children aged between 16 and 18 playing the National Lottery.

DCMS held a consultation seeking views on whether to raise the minimum age for playing National Lottery games as part of work on the next National Lottery licence, which is due to begin in 2023. The responses are currently being considered and I will formally respond in due course.

The consultation on the minimum age for playing National Lottery games provides information on the estimated number of National Lottery players by age brackets which include the age bracket 16 and 17 year olds and 18 to 24 year olds.

Estimated number of 16 and 17 year old National Lottery ‘regular players’ based on survey data between April 2016 and March 2019 and population estimates.

Played NL draw-based games

Played NL scratchcards

Played online instant win games

204,000

231,000

484

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the economic cost of maintaining the closure of bowling alleys as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Bowling alleys will be able to reopen from 1 August provided they have written a COVID-19 risk assessment.

We have worked closely with stakeholders to develop further Covid-19 Secure reopening guidance for venues such as bowling alleys. Specific guidance on bowling alleys has been published within UKHospitality’s ‘COVID-19 Secure Guidelines for Hospitality Businesses.’ We continue to meet regularly with the wider sector through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce’s Sport and Visitor Economy working groups.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

To support businesses - including bowling alleys - through Covid-19, the Government has introduced a comprehensive support package, including business rates relief for eligible leisure businesses and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to bring forward proposals to ban betting companies from being front of shirt football sponsors.

Gambling sponsorship of sports teams is already subject to a range of rules and safeguards. Like all gambling advertising, it must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The government has also made clear that sporting bodies and teams must consider their responsibilities to fans when entering commercial arrangements.

The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. It has taken action where the logos of gambling sponsors have been found to breach these rules. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups, including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

The government is aware of recent restrictions introduced on gambling advertising in Spain and Italy and is continuing to monitor the effect of those restrictions.

We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005, and will announce further details in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of gambling advertising restrictions in (a) Spain and (b) other countries.

Gambling sponsorship of sports teams is already subject to a range of rules and safeguards. Like all gambling advertising, it must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The government has also made clear that sporting bodies and teams must consider their responsibilities to fans when entering commercial arrangements.

The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. It has taken action where the logos of gambling sponsors have been found to breach these rules. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups, including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

The government is aware of recent restrictions introduced on gambling advertising in Spain and Italy and is continuing to monitor the effect of those restrictions.

We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005, and will announce further details in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of gambling advertising on gambling behaviour.

Gambling sponsorship of sports teams is already subject to a range of rules and safeguards. Like all gambling advertising, it must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The government has also made clear that sporting bodies and teams must consider their responsibilities to fans when entering commercial arrangements.

The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. It has taken action where the logos of gambling sponsors have been found to breach these rules. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups, including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

The government is aware of recent restrictions introduced on gambling advertising in Spain and Italy and is continuing to monitor the effect of those restrictions.

We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005, and will announce further details in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of gambling advertising on children.

Gambling sponsorship of sports teams is already subject to a range of rules and safeguards. Like all gambling advertising, it must be socially responsible and must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The government has also made clear that sporting bodies and teams must consider their responsibilities to fans when entering commercial arrangements.

The Football Association has strict rules about the size and placement of sponsor logos on all players’ shirts, and prohibits any reference to gambling or gambling operators on shirts for teams where all players are under 18 years old. It has taken action where the logos of gambling sponsors have been found to breach these rules. The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising also requires that operators’ logos must not appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for children (for instance in children’s sizes). In August 2019 the code was amended to include a whistle to whistle ban on broadcast advertising around live sport.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups, including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

The government is aware of recent restrictions introduced on gambling advertising in Spain and Italy and is continuing to monitor the effect of those restrictions.

We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005, and will announce further details in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the Gambling Commission permits licensees to offer remote gambling in Northern Ireland which would not be permitted in land-based venues under the laws of Northern Ireland.

Gambling activity in Northern Ireland is a devolved issue regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985. The Gambling Commission has no role in setting or enforcing rules on stake limits, physical premises requirements, and the remote gambling offered in Northern Ireland, or any jurisdiction other than Great Britain.

There is no provision for licensing online gambling in the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985, however, under section 5 of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 online operators who wish to advertise their services in Northern Ireland must hold a licence from the Gambling Commission.

In accordance with the Statement of Principles for Licencing and Regulation (June 2017), the only time Gambling Commission assumes jurisdiction in Northern Ireland to investigate regulatory breaches is when an Northern Ireland consumer has a dispute with an online operator which is relying on the GB licence it holds from the Gambling Commission.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the Gambling Commission permits licensees to remotely offer betting services in Northern Ireland without having the requisite betting premises in Northern Ireland.

Gambling activity in Northern Ireland is a devolved issue regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985. The Gambling Commission has no role in setting or enforcing rules on stake limits, physical premises requirements, and the remote gambling offered in Northern Ireland, or any jurisdiction other than Great Britain.

There is no provision for licensing online gambling in the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985, however, under section 5 of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 online operators who wish to advertise their services in Northern Ireland must hold a licence from the Gambling Commission.

In accordance with the Statement of Principles for Licencing and Regulation (June 2017), the only time Gambling Commission assumes jurisdiction in Northern Ireland to investigate regulatory breaches is when an Northern Ireland consumer has a dispute with an online operator which is relying on the GB licence it holds from the Gambling Commission.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the Gambling Commission permits some licensees to operate gaming machines in betting shops in Northern Ireland at stakes in excess of 25p per spin, the maximum permitted under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985.

Gambling activity in Northern Ireland is a devolved issue regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985. The Gambling Commission has no role in setting or enforcing rules on stake limits, physical premises requirements, and the remote gambling offered in Northern Ireland, or any jurisdiction other than Great Britain.

There is no provision for licensing online gambling in the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (NI) Order 1985, however, under section 5 of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 online operators who wish to advertise their services in Northern Ireland must hold a licence from the Gambling Commission.

In accordance with the Statement of Principles for Licencing and Regulation (June 2017), the only time Gambling Commission assumes jurisdiction in Northern Ireland to investigate regulatory breaches is when an Northern Ireland consumer has a dispute with an online operator which is relying on the GB licence it holds from the Gambling Commission.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment the Government has made of the effect of gambling advertising on children and young people.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Ads must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people and operators face sanction if their advertising or sponsorship activities are not carried out in a socially responsible way. These rules mean that an operator would face sanctions from the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear in computer games targeted at children. The realistic reproduction of a team football shirt in a computer game based on football is not considered advertising simply because there are logos on the shirt.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s latest figures on TV gambling advertising show that children’s exposure has fallen from an average of 4.4 ads per week in 2013, to 2.5 per week in 2019. At the Gambling Commission’s urging, industry has committed to make better use of advertising technology to target adverts away from children online and on social media. From July 2020 the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible advertising will require operators to ensure advertising is targeted only at those over 25 years old on social media and to age-gate operator YouTube channels and content.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

Ministers have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the exposure of children to gambling advertising.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Ads must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people and operators face sanction if their advertising or sponsorship activities are not carried out in a socially responsible way. These rules mean that an operator would face sanctions from the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear in computer games targeted at children. The realistic reproduction of a team football shirt in a computer game based on football is not considered advertising simply because there are logos on the shirt.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s latest figures on TV gambling advertising show that children’s exposure has fallen from an average of 4.4 ads per week in 2013, to 2.5 per week in 2019. At the Gambling Commission’s urging, industry has committed to make better use of advertising technology to target adverts away from children online and on social media. From July 2020 the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible advertising will require operators to ensure advertising is targeted only at those over 25 years old on social media and to age-gate operator YouTube channels and content.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

Ministers have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to restrict gambling advertising in children’s computer games.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Ads must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people and operators face sanction if their advertising or sponsorship activities are not carried out in a socially responsible way. These rules mean that an operator would face sanctions from the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear in computer games targeted at children. The realistic reproduction of a team football shirt in a computer game based on football is not considered advertising simply because there are logos on the shirt.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s latest figures on TV gambling advertising show that children’s exposure has fallen from an average of 4.4 ads per week in 2013, to 2.5 per week in 2019. At the Gambling Commission’s urging, industry has committed to make better use of advertising technology to target adverts away from children online and on social media. From July 2020 the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible advertising will require operators to ensure advertising is targeted only at those over 25 years old on social media and to age-gate operator YouTube channels and content.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

Ministers have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Betting and Gaming Council and (b) sports clubs on reducing the level of gambling advertising in sport in the last 12 months.

All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement. Ads must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people and operators face sanction if their advertising or sponsorship activities are not carried out in a socially responsible way. These rules mean that an operator would face sanctions from the Advertising Standards Authority or the Gambling Commission if their advertising were to appear in computer games targeted at children. The realistic reproduction of a team football shirt in a computer game based on football is not considered advertising simply because there are logos on the shirt.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s latest figures on TV gambling advertising show that children’s exposure has fallen from an average of 4.4 ads per week in 2013, to 2.5 per week in 2019. At the Gambling Commission’s urging, industry has committed to make better use of advertising technology to target adverts away from children online and on social media. From July 2020 the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible advertising will require operators to ensure advertising is targeted only at those over 25 years old on social media and to age-gate operator YouTube channels and content.

The Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that while there was some indication that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble, there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.

Ministers have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling report, Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, published on 26 June 2020, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Gambling Commission makes progress on tackling gambling related suicide.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Gambling Commission investigates the oversees activities of its remote gambling licensees where there is suspected wrong doing.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether UK licensees operate remote gambling in grey or black market jurisdictions where gambling is prohibited.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reasons the (a) Gambling Commission and (b) Betting and Gaming Council trade body do not maintain a public list of jurisdictions which permit remote gambling; and if he will take steps to require that such a list is made available.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Gambling Commission exercises quality controls over its list of entities which are entitled to receive research, education, prevention and treatment funding.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of whether the Betting and Gaming Council trade body should permit members to profit from online gambling in jurisdictions where gambling is not permitted.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Gamstop in enabling people to put in place controls to restrict online gambling activity; and what steps his Department is taking to improve self-exclusion.

The Gambling Commission’s role is to license and regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, advising the Government on matters relating to gambling and ensuring that operators abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and open and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people.

Operators providing gambling facilities to customers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Commission and comply with the conditions of their operating licences. It expects them to obey the laws of all other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires them to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction. They must inform the Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain and state why they consider they are legally able to offer facilities to those customers.

Requiring the Commission to complete, publish and maintain a jurisdiction by jurisdiction legal analysis of a range of combinations of products and supply arrangements would require a significant expenditure of resource in an area which does not relate to its core responsibility to regulate gambling in Great Britain. The Commission considers it is for operators to satisfy themselves that they are acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions and if they are found not to be, it will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

The Commission’s list of research, prevention and treatment organisations is intended to give clarity to operators on where they may direct funding to satisfy the licence condition requirement of an annual financial contribution. It requires organisations on the list to demonstrate suitable independent oversight, such as regulation by the Charity Commission, and to make a commitment to collaborate with other bodies in order to prioritise actions to reduce gambling harms.

In March 2020 the Commission amended its licence conditions and codes of practice to make it mandatory for operators to be integrated to GAMSTOP, the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. The charity GambleAware has commissioned the first phase of a study to assess the impact of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, including those for online gambling. This first phase is nearing publication and we will consider its findings carefully.

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling’s Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms made a number of recommendations on gambling-related suicide, but these are within the remit of bodies other than the Commission. The Government is considering the report carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the scope of the online harms legislation to include the sale of unsafe electrical goods online.

Unsafe electrical goods pose an unacceptable risk to individuals. The law is clear: only safe products should be placed on the market. To tackle the sale of unsafe electrical goods online effectively, regulation must be consistent, transparent and joined-up.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards is in a unique position across Government to lead work tackling the sale of unsafe electrical goods. However, their work must align with broader work on digital regulation, which DCMS leads. My officials engage closely with the Office for Product Safety and Standards on the issue of unsafe electrical goods sold online.

Policy development for online harms legislation is ongoing, including on the scope of the new regulatory framework, to ensure that regulation is clear and proportionate, and that it does not duplicate existing government activity. We will be publishing the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper Consultation later this year, before moving to legislation.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and (b) Office for Product Safety and Standards on including the sale of unsafe electrical goods online as part of online harms legislation.

Unsafe electrical goods pose an unacceptable risk to individuals. The law is clear: only safe products should be placed on the market. To tackle the sale of unsafe electrical goods online effectively, regulation must be consistent, transparent and joined-up.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards is in a unique position across Government to lead work tackling the sale of unsafe electrical goods. However, their work must align with broader work on digital regulation, which DCMS leads. My officials engage closely with the Office for Product Safety and Standards on the issue of unsafe electrical goods sold online.

Policy development for online harms legislation is ongoing, including on the scope of the new regulatory framework, to ensure that regulation is clear and proportionate, and that it does not duplicate existing government activity. We will be publishing the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper Consultation later this year, before moving to legislation.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Gambling Industry to ensure that gamblers are protected during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has made clear that we expect operators to be aware of the potential risk for increased gambling harm as people spend much more time at home and online. I have written and spoken to operators to remind them that they should be particularly responsible regarding player protections and advertising at this time, as have the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority. We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully.

The government has welcomed the ‘10 commitments’ launched by the Betting and Gaming Council to ensure safer gambling practices amongst its members. Following engagement and correspondence with the government and the Commission, BGC members have also pledged for the next six weeks to replace all slot, casino and bingo advertising on TV and radio with safer gambling adverts or to donate the slots to charity, and their online advertising will focus more on safer gambling measures.

The Gambling Commission has published Covid specific guidance to customers about staying safe when gambling online, including on how to limit ad exposure on social media and access support if needed. This all comes against a backdrop of continuing government and regulator action, including the introduction of tighter age and identity verification requirements, a ban on credit card gambling and the introduction of Gamstop integration as a condition of holding a licence.

We continue to hold operators to account if they fail to adequately protect consumers at this difficult time and will not hesitate to step in if that becomes necessary.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the planned timescale is for the gambling review.

The government committed in its manifesto to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. This commitment remains a priority, but as with other areas of government business the impact of Covid-19 has placed unforeseen pressures on the Department. We are continuing to work closely with the Gambling Commission, including on ensuring that vulnerable people are protected in this time of potentially heightened risk. A timeline for the review will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether (a) gambling operators, (b) the Gambling Commission or (c) his Department has a statutory duty of care for protecting vulnerable people under section 1(c) of the Gambling Act 2005.

The Gambling Act 2005 does not create a statutory duty of care on operators, the Gambling Commission, or the Department. However, the protection of vulnerable people is one of the primary objectives of the Act, permeating many of the provisions such as the duty on the Gambling Commission to promote the licensing objectives, which include the protection of children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling. The Act created an extensive framework for player protection with a statutory basis for the protection of vulnerable people, including through licence revocation and financial penalties. The range of specific and extensive regulatory and licensing measures mean licensees are accountable for player protection failures.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that vulnerable gamblers are protected during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has made clear that we expect operators to be aware of the potential risk for increased gambling harm as people spend much more time at home and online. I have written and spoken to operators to remind them that they should be particularly responsible regarding player protections and advertising at this time, as have the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority. We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully.

The government has welcomed the ‘10 commitments’ launched by the Betting and Gaming Council to ensure safer gambling practices amongst its members. Following engagement and correspondence with the government and the Commission, BGC members have also pledged for the next six weeks to replace all slot, casino and bingo advertising on TV and radio with safer gambling adverts or to donate the slots to charity, and their online advertising will focus more on safer gambling measures.

The Gambling Commission has published Covid specific guidance to customers about staying safe when gambling online, including on how to limit ad exposure on social media and access support if needed. This all comes against a backdrop of continuing government and regulator action, including the introduction of tighter age and identity verification requirements, a ban on credit card gambling and the introduction of Gamstop integration as a condition of holding a licence.

We continue to hold operators to account if they fail to adequately protect consumers at this difficult time and will not hesitate to step in if that becomes necessary.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled, Gambling regulation: problem gambling and protecting vulnerable people, published in February 2020, what steps he is taking to ensure the protection of vulnerable gamblers.

The government is committed to reducing gambling-related harm and works closely with the Gambling Commission. We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 and will announce further details in due course. We welcome the National Audit Office’s report on Gambling Regulation: Problem Gambling and Protecting Vulnerable People and are considering its recommendations carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled, Gambling regulation: problem gambling and protecting vulnerable people, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the Gambling Commission; and if he will make a statement.

The government is committed to reducing gambling-related harm and works closely with the Gambling Commission. We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 and will announce further details in due course. We welcome the National Audit Office’s report on Gambling Regulation: Problem Gambling and Protecting Vulnerable People and are considering its recommendations carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled, Gambling regulation: problem gambling and protecting vulnerable people, published in February 2020, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to the Gambling Commission.

The government is committed to reducing gambling-related harm and works closely with the Gambling Commission. We have committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 and will announce further details in due course. We welcome the National Audit Office’s report on Gambling Regulation: Problem Gambling and Protecting Vulnerable People and are considering its recommendations carefully.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, which (a) gambling companies and (b) football clubs his Department has met with to discuss gambling advertising in the last six months.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

The evidence regarding gambling advertising was examined as part of the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. The government’s response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

The government has committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has discussed gambling advertising with representatives of the Football Association in the last six months.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

The evidence regarding gambling advertising was examined as part of the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. The government’s response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

The government has committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of banning gambling advertising as part of the upcoming gambling review.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

The evidence regarding gambling advertising was examined as part of the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. The government’s response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

The government has committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a ban on gambling advertising on the gambling industry.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

The evidence regarding gambling advertising was examined as part of the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. The government’s response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

The government has committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of gambling advertising on gambling (a) behaviours and (b) addiction.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

The evidence regarding gambling advertising was examined as part of the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. The government’s response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

The government has committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, whether he plans to review the Gambling Act 2005.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings with stakeholders on a range of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?content_store_document_type=transparency&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport

The evidence regarding gambling advertising was examined as part of the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. The government’s response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures

The government has committed to a review of the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Further details will be announced in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the review into online stakes will be launched by the Gambling Commission.

The Gambling Commission announced last October that it would be looking at the evidence regarding online stake limits as part of its ongoing work to reduce the risks of gambling related harm. This is in addition to their particular focus on VIP practices, advertising technology, and game design. The Gambling Commission has said that it will publish the assessment and next steps for online stakes and further protections later this year.

The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of directly funding the UK Safer Internet Centre.

The UK Safer Internet Centre receives funding from European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to participate in programmes funded under the current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework until their closure.

The government recognises the work the UK Safer Internet Centre delivers on online safety. Officials regularly engage with the Centre, including on its funding position following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of compliance Bet365 with its UK licence in relation to its operations in jurisdictions throughout the world.

All gambling companies providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. The Gambling Commission expects operators to obey the laws of other jurisdictions in which they operate, and requires operators to report any regulatory investigation or finding into their activities in any other jurisdiction.

Operators must inform the Gambling Commission if they have a substantial customer base outside of Britain. Where this is the case, the Gambling Commision asks operators why they do not consider themselves to be acting illegally by providing gambling facilities in these jurisdictions. This may be because they are licenced to operate in that jurisdiction, or because they have satisfied themselves in some other way that they are not breaking the law by providing gambling facilities. If operators are found to not to be acting in a lawful manner in other jurisdictions, the Gambling Commission will re-assess their suitability to hold a licence to offer gambling services in Britain.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the level of excess stock accumulated by wholesalers as a result of (a) covid-19 restrictions, (b) the UK leaving the EU and (c) the changes to Christmas 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of the challenges faced by the wholesale sector, and the foodservice wholesale sector in particular, due to Covid-19 restrictions, including the closure of hospitality venues and schools. Officials in Defra have been working closely with the wholesale sector to understand the scale of the challenge and to ensure the Government is aware of the impact, including the implication of excess stock. We will continue to assess the support needs of the food industry to inform policy, both in response to the increased spread of Covid-19 and the beginning of our new trading relationship with the EU.

The Government has made a range of support available to wholesalers including (but not limited to) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and eligibility to apply for support from the Additional Restrictions Grant. In addition, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme enables wholesalers to furlough staff, and this scheme will now remain open until the end of April 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) the viability of the food and drink wholesale sector and (b) food provision in (i) care homes, (ii) prisons, (iii) hospitals and (iv) other public sector institutions over the next 12 months.

Defra is monitoring the potential impacts COVID-19 is having on the food and drink wholesale sector, in partnership with industry and other Government departments. We remain committed to working with industry to respond to these challenges as they evolve and to assess whether current support mechanisms are sufficient and effective.

Defra is working very closely with officials from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education and the Ministry of Defence on ensuring food supply continues to schools, prisons, hospitals and other public sector institutions over the next 12 months. To support care homes, the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD)has set up a new online portal Food2Care (www.Food2Care.co.uk) to enable care homes to find local wholesalers, based on a postcode search. The website is also highlighted on the Care Providers Association website. This portal will help those care homes struggling to get supplies during the Covid-19 outbreak. More than 90 national and regional wholesalers have signed up to the scheme so far.

Additionally, FWD's initiative, Local Food Drops (www.localfooddrops.co.uk), has been designed to help local communities get better access to food supplies during these unprecedented times with flexible delivery and 'click and collect' options.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what financial support has been made available to the food and drink wholesale sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The measures available to food and drink wholesale businesses depend on their size, and include:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for furloughing of staff;
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan;
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan;
  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility;
  • Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) deferral to the end of June;
  • HMRC Time To Pay Scheme;
  • Eviction protection for commercial tenants;
  • £10,000 cash grant for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief

From 4 May, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be available to small businesses, who will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% Government-backed guarantee for lenders.

With counterparts across Whitehall, and through engagement with industry, we are monitoring the potential impacts COVID 19 on the food and drink wholesale sector. We remain committed to working in partnership with industry to respond to these challenges as they evolve.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will provide financial support to food and drink wholesale businesses that are affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has already set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The measures available to food and drink wholesale businesses depend on their size, and include:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for furloughing of staff;
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan;
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan;
  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility;
  • Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) deferral to the end of June;
  • HMRC Time To Pay Scheme;
  • Eviction protection for commercial tenants;
  • £10,000 cash grant for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief

From 4 May, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be available to small businesses, who will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% Government-backed guarantee for lenders.

With counterparts across Whitehall, and through engagement with industry, we are monitoring the potential impacts COVID 19 on the food and drink wholesale sector. We remain committed to working in partnership with industry to respond to these challenges as they evolve.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 March 2021 to Question 162619, what plans she has to improve (a) awareness of and (b) access to the funeral expenses payment scheme.

We regularly review and take action to improve the awareness and accessibility of the Funeral Expenses Payment scheme, working with a range of stakeholders.

This includes refreshing the ‘Get help with funeral costs’ information on GOV.UK. We have also revised the Department leaflet ‘What to do when someone dies’ to provide a clear step-by-step guide that signposts to available financial support including Funeral Expenses Payment. This has been shared extensively. We also plan to attend a number of funeral industry events in 2021 to raise awareness and understanding of the Funeral Expenses Payment scheme.

We have taken steps to improve access to the Funeral Expenses Payment scheme. The Bereavement Service helpline operates a Freephone service to report a death and to initiate a Funeral Expenses Payment claim. The Department has worked closely with voluntary groups, hospitals, Registrars and Funeral Directors to ensure that the bereaved are signposted to the helpline for further support. Funeral Directors are able to submit evidence electronically to support a Funeral Expenses Payment claim and we continue to work on identifying a secure digital solution to extend this option to applicants.

Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Welsh language: 0800 731 0453

Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Welsh language: 0800 731 0456

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of winter fuel payments are paid in November and December each year.

For the 2020/21 exercise over 99% of these payments were made in November and December 2020.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether changes made to the processing of funeral expenses payments as a result of the covid-19 outbreak will be retained permanently.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, steps have been taken to significantly speed up the processing of Funeral Expenses Payment claims in support of those who need it most. These measures will continue to form part of the department’s response throughout the pandemic and we will consider if these should be retained permanently in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether there was a backlog of applications for funeral expenses payments prior to the implementation of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on 23 March 2020.

Prior to the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions on 23 March there was a backlog of Funeral Expense Payments (FEP) claims. In response to this and the COVID-19 outbreak, steps have been taken to significantly speed up the processing of Funeral Expense Payment claims in support of those who need it most.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many funeral expenses payment claims were accepted at initial decision in (a) 2019-20 and (b) the first six months of 2020-21.

We do not publish the number of claims awarded, at initial decision, as requested. The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

However, a variant on the data requested is in the public domain. Applications that were initially unsuccessful may have resulted in an award after review, reconsideration or appeal. These cases are included in the final awards in the Social Fund Annual Report.

The number of Funeral Expenses Payment awards, in Great Britain, is reported annually in Appendix 1 of the Social Fund Annual Report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-fund-annual-report-2017-to-2018

The number of awards for 2019/20 will be published in due course, and so cannot be released ahead of publication.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of funeral expenses payments claims made in 2019-20 were cleared in (a) 15 working days, (b) 15 working days plus 2 days and (c) 15 working days plus 5 days.

The information requested, in Great Britain, is reported annually in Appendix 1 of the Social Fund Annual Report, up to 2017/18:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-fund-annual-report-2017-to-2018

The information requested for 2019/20 will be published in due course, and so cannot be released ahead of publication.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of funeral expenses payments claims made in the first six months of 2020-21 were cleared in (a) 15 working days, (b) 15 working days plus 2 days and (c) 15 working days plus 5 days.

The proportion of Funeral Expenses Payments made in the first 6 months of 2020-21 (April 20 to September 20) which were cleared in (a) 15 working days was 46%.

In April to September 2020 there was a backlog of claims which had built up over a period of months due to the closure of the Funeral Expenses Payments main processing centre in Balham in December 2019, and activity prior to closure to support staff through redeployment options. In March 2020 processing was impacted by colleagues shielding with health conditions under COVID.

We have since improved our processing and productivity times with a combination of additional processing support on loan, deployment of IT kit to colleagues at home and the introduction of process easements. These have been instrumental in improving the service to customers and the department are working with HMT and Ministers to seek permanent process changes.

We now have an Actual Average Clearance Time of 11.8 days in September 2020 compared to 34.7 days in September 2019.

Extract taken from RPT data store on 3rd November 2020.

Source: Departmental MISP from Social Fund Funeral Payment System

Please note that the data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for funeral expenses payments were received in (a) 2019-20 and (b) the first six months of 2020-21.

The number of Funeral Expenses Payment applications received, in Great Britain, is reported annually in Appendix 1 of the Social Fund Annual Report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-fund-annual-report-2017-to-2018

The information requested for 2019/20 will be published in due course, and so cannot be released ahead of publication.

In the period April 2020 - September 2020, there were approximately 23,900 applications received for Funeral Expenses Payments in Great Britain.

This figure is drawn from the Social Fund Policy, Budget, and Management Information System. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official / National statistics.

Notes

The figure is rounded to the nearest 100.

  • The figure relates to applications received by DWP, not applications processed. Some applications may have been withdrawn before a decision was made.
  • The number of applications made is not equal to the number of people who made applications, as individuals may make multiple applications in a given time period.
  • Differences between any comparisons made of applications received, initial decisions, awards and initial refusals are due to applications being withdrawn; applicants rejecting or not responding to loan offers; and decisions outstanding at the time of the count.
Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many funeral expenses payments claims took longer than six weeks to clear in (a) 2019-20 and (b) the first six months of 2020-21.

This information is not held.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether any changes have been made to the processing of funeral expense payments as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, steps have been taken to significantly speed up the processing of Funeral Expenses Payment claims in support of those who need it most. These measures will continue to form part of the department’s response throughout the pandemic and we will consider if these should be retained permanently in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether any changes made to the processing of funeral expenses payments as a result of the covid-19 outbreak have affected timescales for the completion of claims for those payments.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, steps have been taken to significantly speed up the processing of Funeral Expenses Payment claims in support of those who need it most. These measures will continue to form part of the department’s response throughout the pandemic and we will consider if these should be retained permanently in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what effect the 2018 reforms to the Social Fund’s funeral expenses payments scheme have had on the processing times for payments under that scheme.

The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Amendment Regulations came into force in spring 2018. Whilst data is not collated on the specific effects of these reforms, data on processing times and the number of claims accepted can be found in The Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 which was published on GOV.UK on 4 November 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what effect the 2018 reforms to the Social Fund’s funeral expenses payments scheme have had on the number of claims (a) accepted and (b) rejected under that scheme.

The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Amendment Regulations came into force in spring 2018. Whilst data is not collated on the specific effects of these reforms, data on processing times and the number of claims accepted can be found in The Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 which was published on GOV.UK on 4 November 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the 2018 reforms to the Social Fund’s funeral expenses payments scheme, whether the changes to enable claimants to submit evidence electronically have been implemented in full.

Regulation 2 of The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Amendment Regulations 2018 allows for the electronic submission of evidence in connection with claims for social fund funeral payments. As a result, Funeral Directors are able to submit evidence electronically to support a claim for Funeral Expense Payments, and we continue to work on identifying a secure digital solution to extend this option to applicants.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason a Social Fund Annual Report has not been published since November 2018.

The publication of the Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 includes data that was initially published in the Social Fund Account 2018/19. Publication of the Social Fund Account 2018/19 on GOV.UK was delayed by queries from the National Audit Office and by last minute changes to Parliamentary recess dates. It was finally published on 11 February 2020.

The publication of the Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 was subsequently delayed by urgent COVID-19 work, including the increase to the Funeral Expenses Payments additional costs limit from £700 to £1000, further changes to regulations as well as work with operations to improve the speed of processing.

We aim to publish the Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 by October. We aim to publish the Social Fund Annual Report 2019/20 by the end of November.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the next Social Fund Annual Report.

The publication of the Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 includes data that was initially published in the Social Fund Account 2018/19. Publication of the Social Fund Account 2018/19 on GOV.UK was delayed by queries from the National Audit Office and by last minute changes to Parliamentary recess dates. It was finally published on 11 February 2020.

The publication of the Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 was subsequently delayed by urgent COVID-19 work, including the increase to the Funeral Expenses Payments additional costs limit from £700 to £1000, further changes to regulations as well as work with operations to improve the speed of processing.

We aim to publish the Social Fund Annual Report 2018/19 by October. We aim to publish the Social Fund Annual Report 2019/20 by the end of November.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that prison leavers (a) with and (b) without internet access are aware of the (i) alternative payment arrangements and (ii) other easements for payment of universal credit that can be granted for claimants undertaking employability programmes.

On making a new claim to Universal Credit (UC) all claimants, including prison leavers and those undertaking employment programmes, receive a follow up call to verify details of identity and discuss their individual circumstances, including financial circumstances and money management. As part of this discussion, alternative payment arrangements will be considered where appropriate, including benefit payments paid more frequently than monthly, and housing costs paid direct to the landlord.

Those with an online claim also have access to a UC guide on their UC account. In addition, we have specific prison leaver UC guides - one for prison leavers and one for people supporting prison leavers:

UC prison leaver guide

UC prison leaver guide for those supporting prison leavers

All DWP work coaches, including Prison Work Coaches, receive training to provide support and employment advice to claimants who have complex needs, including female and male prison leavers.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether Jobcentre Plus work coaches receive specific training to support and provide employment advice to women prison leavers.

On making a new claim to Universal Credit (UC) all claimants, including prison leavers and those undertaking employment programmes, receive a follow up call to verify details of identity and discuss their individual circumstances, including financial circumstances and money management. As part of this discussion, alternative payment arrangements will be considered where appropriate, including benefit payments paid more frequently than monthly, and housing costs paid direct to the landlord.

Those with an online claim also have access to a UC guide on their UC account. In addition, we have specific prison leaver UC guides - one for prison leavers and one for people supporting prison leavers:

UC prison leaver guide

UC prison leaver guide for those supporting prison leavers

All DWP work coaches, including Prison Work Coaches, receive training to provide support and employment advice to claimants who have complex needs, including female and male prison leavers.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will take steps with representatives of local authorities to ensure that universal credit is able to cover the costs of women in supported or temporary housing so that those women can progress into employment while remaining in their accommodation.

Housing Benefit provides housing support for people in temporary accommodation, or in supported housing where the local authority deems that the accommodation meets the specified accommodation criteria, subject to the usual entitlement conditions. If the local authority decides that the specified accommodation criteria has not been met, the claimant can claim for their housing support through Universal Credit.

Where Housing Benefit claimants progress into employment, if they remain entitled to Universal Credit, their income is not taken into account for Housing Benefit purposes and there is no change to the amount they receive. If their Universal Credit claim ends, then their Housing Benefit claim is reassessed. Some of their earnings will be disregarded based on their personal circumstances. Where a claimant’s income, after the disregards, have been applied is higher than their applicable amount, Housing Benefit is reduced by a fixed taper of 65p for every £1 of additional income, meaning that they will always be better off in work. If a claimant continues to struggle to pay their rent, they can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment from their local authority.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when Public Health England will publish its report into Gambling Related Harms.

Public Health England is carrying out an evidence review on gambling related harms. The evidence review has been delayed due to COVID-19 and is expected to be completed later in summer 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what clinical assessment has been made of the effectiveness of financial controls, such as gambling transaction blocks offered by some banks, in supporting recovery for people experiencing gambling related harm as part of their treatment pathway structures.

No clinical assessment has been made.

The National Health Service has committed to establish up to 15 specialist gambling clinics across England by 2024 and Public Health England will publish the first ever comprehensive evidence review of gambling-related harms later this summer.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the arrangements for the commissioning of clinical treatment for gambling disorders in proposals for a new Health and Care Bill.

No such assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether proposals for the introduction of a new medical examiner system are planned to make provision for recording the number of deaths where gambling disorder is a factor.

Medical practitioners who are responsible for completing the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. The medical practitioner is able to record gambling disorder as a factor if they consider this is relevant. The Office of National Statistics publishes mortality statistics taking account of all health conditions mentioned on the MCCD. There is currently no International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) code for gambling disorder but this is expected to be introduced in ICD-11.

The Medical Examiner system will introduce a new level of independent scrutiny improving the quality and accuracy of the MCCD. We remain committed to making the medical examiner system statutory subject to Parliamentary approval and when time allows.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on public health of limiting the speed of play on online gambling products.

No such assessment has been made. The Department continues to work collaboratively with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport supporting their comprehensive review of the Gambling Act 2005, ensuring the regulatory framework is fit for purpose and protecting children and vulnerable people from gambling-related harms.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of aesthetic practitioners administering (a) Botulinum toxin and (b) dermal fillers during covid-19 lockdown under the guise that they are essential medical procedures.

The Department does not collect data on recorded breaches of the Regulations or offences committed by providers of aesthetic services.

Personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, may continue. It is for each provider to assess whether they are a business required to close having considered the Regulations and guidance on business closures and any guidance issued by the healthcare regulators, or a relevant professional body.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of permitting tier 3 residents to travel to non-social commercial and business appointments in tier 2 areas.

The guidance is clear that people must avoid travelling outside their area, including for overnight stays, other than where necessary.

If individuals live in a tier 3 area, they must continue to follow tier 3 rules when they travel to a lower tier area.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of treating people with gambling addiction in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 (c) 2020.

This information is not currently collected centrally.

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, if he will respond to the recommendations in the report by the Menstrual Health Coalition, entitled Heavy menstrual bleeding breaking silence and stigma, published in March 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Government welcomes work to raise awareness of heavy menstrual bleeding. Tackling stigma and taboos is an important part of improving women’s health and specific aspects such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

It is of course critical that both patients and clinicians have access to appropriate information. NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner (GP) as a first course of action. Advice for this is available on nhs.uk, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to report by the Menstrual Health Coalition, entitled Heavy menstrual bleeding breaking silence and stigma, published in March 2020, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) patients and (b) clinicians have access to information on heavy menstrual bleeding; and if he will make a statement.

The Government welcomes work to raise awareness of heavy menstrual bleeding. Tackling stigma and taboos is an important part of improving women’s health and specific aspects such as heavy menstrual bleeding.

It is of course critical that both patients and clinicians have access to appropriate information. NHS England advises that any woman who is experiencing pain, or discomfort due to heavy menstrual bleeding should seek advice from a general practitioner (GP) as a first course of action. Advice for this is available on nhs.uk, where you can undertake a quick ‘Heavy period self-assessment’, which can advise on simple steps that may help, as well as speaking to a GP.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a guideline on assessment and treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding, which was published in March 2018.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report by the Menstrual Health Coalition, entitled Heavy menstrual bleeding breaking silence and stigma, published in March 2020, whether his Department has plans to increase the length of GP appointments for women and girls with heavy menstrual bleeding; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England advise that general practitioners (GPs) use their clinical judgement in deciding how long an appointment should last for – this is not set out in the GP contract.

NHS England is undertaking a national review of access to general practice services with the intention of full implementation by 2021/22. The aim is to offer both improved choice and convenience of appointments, including using different models of access such as digital consultations, longer consultations or group appointments.

This is intended to address inequalities in access and improve public and patient satisfaction in access to general practice and primary care services.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if Public Health England's gambling-related harms evidence review will include consideration of the potential merits of (a) safety testing and (b) classification of industrialised gambling products.

Public Health England’s (PHE’s) gambling-related harms evidence review will examine the prevalence, determinants and harms associated with gambling, and the social and economic burden of gambling-related harms.

The review is considering a range of available evidence on the harms and risk factors of gambling in England. Policies and interventions are not in scope, so the potential merits of safety testing and classification of industrialised gambling products will not be considered. However, as the review is ongoing, PHE cannot currently say if evidence of harms associated with these topics will be included in the final report.

The review is due to be published in spring 2020. More information on the scope of the review, including the aims and objectives and methods used, can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gambling-related-harms-evidence-review

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of new bank transfer based payment methods offered by gambling providers on the efficacy of gambling transaction blocks as a tool to support people struggling with gambling harms.

The Government has made no such assessment in relation to the effect of new bank transfer based payment methods. However, licensed gambling operators are only permitted to use payment methods where they are able to ensure they are compliant with all Gambling Commission licence conditions and requirements, including anti-money laundering and safer gambling measures.

The Government also recognises that the financial services industry plays an important role in helping their customers monitor and manage their gambling spending, including by offering gambling transaction blocks. In recent years there has been considerable voluntary progress in this area by the industry, with almost all the largest UK banks, as well as the larger digital banks, now offering gambling transaction blocks for debit and credit card transactions.

The Government welcomes this progress and continues to work together with industry to identify what more can be done in this area. As such, I will soon be hosting a roundtable with the financial sector to discuss what action has taken place to date on this issue and look at opportunities for additional progress which further support UK consumers. This will include looking at wider payment methods.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of proposals to mandate the provision of spending blocks for gambling activity for current accounts.

The Government recognises the potential merits in mandating the provision of spending blocks which allow gamblers to self-exclude themselves from making payments to gambling operators.

However, in recent years there has been considerable voluntary progress in this area by the industry. Almost all of the largest UK banks, as well as the larger digital banks, now have voluntary gambling block features on their debit cards. This gives consumers a considerable market choice in this area to choose a current account that has the right features for them.

The Government acknowledges that despite the enormous amount that has been achieved by the industry on a voluntary basis, it can go even further. That is why the Government will shortly write to industry to organise a new Ministerial roundtable with the sector to discuss what action has taken place to date and look for opportunities to further support UK consumers.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the aim of the alcohol duty review remains to simplify the existing system.

The Government recognises the need to reform the current duty system to support the alcoholic drinks and pubs sector in the longer term and that there is a case for simplifying the current complicated system, making the basis of alcohol taxation more economically rational, and reducing the administrative burden on producers.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason pubs are considered to hold a special status over off-trade settings including (a) convenience stores and (b) specialist alcohol retailers.

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review. We are currently analysing responses provided by stakeholders to our recent call for evidence and will provide further updates in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of how much and what proportion of savings from a differential duty rate on kegged beer would be passed on to (a) on-trade premises and (b) stakeholders earlier in the supply chain.

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review. We are currently analysing responses provided by stakeholders to our recent call for evidence and will provide further updates in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with (i) the banking sector and (ii) financial regulators on bank-based gambling blocks.

Government ministers and officials regularly engage with the financial services regulators and financial services industry on a number of issues.

The Government recognises the value in voluntary gambling blocks to allow gamblers to self-exclude themselves from making payments to gambling operators. In February 2019, the then DCMS Secretary of State held a roundtable with UK banks, during which the Government set out the merits of gambling blocks.

Since then, there has been considerable progress in this area. Since April 2020, licensed gambling operators in the UK have been prohibited from accepting credit card payments and such payments have been blocked by the largest UK banks. For debit cards, almost all of the largest UK banks, as well as the larger digital banks, now have voluntary gambling block features on their debit cards. This means that consumers have considerable market choice in this area and can choose a current account that has the right features for them.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will extend the (a) reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent and (b) business rates relief to the wedding industry.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of about 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

This relief comes at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and there are no plans to extend the scope of the reduced rate. This policy will cost over £7 billion, and while some businesses in some sectors are disappointed, a boundary for eligibility had to be drawn.

Due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, the Government has extended the unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for three months, and will provide up to 66% relief for the rest of 2021-22 financial year. The Government has also frozen the business rates multiplier for all businesses for 2021-22.

The Government has made available a wider package of support worth billions which includes extensions to the furlough scheme; extensions to the COVID-19 loan schemes; grant support; a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure business properties; mortgage holidays; enhanced Time to Pay for taxes; and VAT deferrals.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the availability of insurance cover for the weddings industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector regarding its response to this unprecedented situation, and is encouraging insurers to do all they can to support customers during this difficult period.

Insurers take commercial decisions regarding the products they offer and risks they cover based on their view of the likelihood of a risk occurring, and have cited the likelihood of COVID-19 risk crystallising as a challenge to insure. Different insurers may take a different view, therefore customers in the wedding sector are encouraged to shop around to seek the most suitable cover at the best price.

The Government is committed to ensuring consumers have access to a range of financial products that suit their needs and is keeping this situation under review.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to maintain the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant at the same level as the third grant, 80 per cent of average profits, to provide support for (a) self-employed practitioners in personal care services. and (b) other self-employed workers who face reduced demand as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given on 3 February 2021 to UIN 145754.
Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) practitioners in personal care services and (b) other self-employed workers in different occupations that are unable to access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government recognises the impact that the pandemic is having on businesses and individuals across the country. That is why it has provided £280 billion of support to safeguard jobs and to protect the economy. As part of those efforts the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been successful in providing £13.7 billion of support to the self-employed. People who are ineligible for the SEISS, including practitioners in personal care services and affected business owners in the sector, may be eligible for the wide range of other support schemes available including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Government-backed loans (such as Bounce Back Loans), VAT deferrals, business grants, the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit, and Local Authority Hardship Funds to help with council tax payments.

In addition, the Devolved Administrations have been provided with £16.8 billion of funding to allow them to design their own support schemes.

The Government estimates that 1,668,000 individuals may be ineligible for the SEISS across all sectors, including personal care. These figures include individuals who have been assessed to be ineligible for the SEISS for any reason. For example, they may earn the majority of their income from PAYE employment (and so may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), or they may have average trading profits of over £50,000. Further information can be found in Table 3 in the following document: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955944/SEISS_-_Official_statistics_tables_January_2021.ods.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to provide financial support to (a) practitioners operating in personal care services and (b) other self-employed people that are unable to access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government recognises the impact that the pandemic is having on businesses and individuals across the country. That is why it has provided £280 billion of support to safeguard jobs and to protect the economy. As part of those efforts the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been successful in providing £13.7 billion of support to the self-employed. People who are ineligible for the SEISS, including practitioners in personal care services and affected business owners in the sector, may be eligible for the wide range of other support schemes available including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Government-backed loans (such as Bounce Back Loans), VAT deferrals, business grants, the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit, and Local Authority Hardship Funds to help with council tax payments.

In addition, the Devolved Administrations have been provided with £16.8 billion of funding to allow them to design their own support schemes.

The Government estimates that 1,668,000 individuals may be ineligible for the SEISS across all sectors, including personal care. These figures include individuals who have been assessed to be ineligible for the SEISS for any reason. For example, they may earn the majority of their income from PAYE employment (and so may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), or they may have average trading profits of over £50,000. Further information can be found in Table 3 in the following document: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955944/SEISS_-_Official_statistics_tables_January_2021.ods.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will grant business rates relief to food service wholesalers that are closed due to the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. Business rates are devolved in Wales, and so are a matter for the Welsh Government.

The Government has sympathy with all businesses affected by COVID-19, and has provided various schemes that can support specific firms such as wholesalers, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Bounce Back Loans, grants and VAT deferrals.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide funding to food and drink wholesalers to account for excess stock accumulated by those businesses (a) in response to the end of the transition period and (b) as a result of hospitality and school closures during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has protected people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK. Food and drink wholesalers have been eligible for a number of economic support schemes, including:

• The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021 for all parts of the UK;
• The opportunity to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020; and
• The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ensures UK businesses can continue to buy and sell goods from EU customers without tariffs or quotas.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with Secretary of State for Education on ensuring that agencies employing education supply staff use the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme for those staff that are unable to work.

An employer can claim for any employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

This includes education supply staff who are unable to work and clinically extremely vulnerable people, where they meet these eligibility criteria.

The furloughing of staff through the CJRS is a voluntary arrangement entered at the employers’ discretion and agreed by employees. The decision whether an individual firm should put its staff on furlough, or take them off it is one for the employer, in consultation with the employee.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial support to travelling fairground operators who have been unable to operate due to covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for individuals and businesses during the pandemic. The Government has recently extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. To support the self-employed, the percentage of trading profits covered by the forthcoming Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant from November to January have been further increased to 80 per cent, up to £7,500.

The Government has extended the temporary reduced VAT rate for hospitality and tourism to 31 March 2021. This will continue to apply to admission to attractions across the UK, including fairs, circuses and amusement parks.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the VAT reduction for the hospitality sector until March 2021 to hair, beauty, spa and wellness services.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July in order to support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and will run until 31 March 2021. This relief comes at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and there are currently no plans to extend the scope to include other sectors.

The Government has announced a significant support package to help businesses through the winter months, which includes an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, and an extension of the application window for the Government-backed loan schemes.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend business rates relief to wholesalers servicing public sector food and drink contracts.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. Business rates are devolved in Wales, and so are a matter for the Welsh Government.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including wholesalers, has also been made available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take immediate steps to prevent job losses and site closures in the food and drink wholesale sector which supplies specialist food to care homes.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support for workers and businesses to protect, as much as possible, against the current economic emergency. Food and drink wholesalers have been eligible for a number of these support schemes, with the most relevant likely to include:

  • The Job Support Scheme designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19;
  • £10,000 cash grants for all business properties in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

Food and drink wholesalers have also benefited from the recent Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provided over 100 million half price meals during August and helped to protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide financial support to food and drink wholesalers to ensure continuity of food supply to the public sector.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support for workers and businesses to protect, as much as possible, against the current economic emergency. Food and drink wholesalers have been eligible for a number of these support schemes, with the most relevant likely to include:

  • The Job Support Scheme designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19;
  • £10,000 cash grants for all business properties in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

Food and drink wholesalers have also benefited from the recent Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provided over 100 million half price meals during August and helped to protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers to help prevent (a) site closures and (b) job losses in that sector.

The Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief to eligible businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure. Business rates are devolved in Wales, and so are a matter for the Welsh Government.

A range of other measures to support all business, including wholesalers, have also been made available. On 8 July the Chancellor set out a package of measures to support jobs across the UK, including a Job Retention Bonus to help firms keep furloughed workers. On 24 September the Chancellor went further and announced the Job Support Scheme to provide further support for jobs.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether ten pin bowling alleys are eligible to benefit from the reduced rate of VAT which the Government has applied to attractions and accommodation and hospitality from 15 July 2020.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism was introduced on 15 July to support the cash flow and viability of businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors which have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospitality for the purposes of this relief includes the supply of food and non-alcoholic beverages from restaurants, cafes and pubs for consumption on those premises. It also includes the supply of hot food and non-alcoholic hot beverages to takeaway. Where a bowling alley provides such hospitality it will benefit from the reduced rate, although admission to a bowling alley itself is not eligible. Further information on this can be found in VAT Guidance: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/catering-takeaway-food-and-vat-notice-7091.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 24 September that the temporary reduced rate for tourism and hospitality will be extended to 31 March 2021.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of recent local covid-19 lockdowns on the financial viability of the food and drink wholesale sector.

The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support for workers and businesses to protect, as much as possible, against the current economic emergency. Food and drink wholesalers are eligible for a number of these support schemes, with the most relevant likely to include:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep millions of people in employment;
  • £10,000 cash grants for all business properties in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with no interest payments or fees for the first 12 months.

Food and drink wholesalers have also benefited from the recent Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which provided over 100 million half price meals during August and helped to protect the livelihoods of the 1.8 million people working in the hospitality sector.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reply to the urgent letter from the hon. Member for Swansea East and other hon. Members, dated 19 June 2020 on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on food and drink wholesalers.

A response has been issued to the cross-party letter of 19 June 2020 on the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on food and drink wholesalers.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost of extending business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers.

Business rates are devolved in Scotland, and so are a matter for the Scottish Government.

In England, the Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief to businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties. As set out in the guidance, support is targeted at premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; for assembly and leisure; or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. It is for local authorities to determine eligibility for reliefs, having regard to guidance issued by the Government.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as wholesalers, has also been made available.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the application of business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including food and drink wholesalers, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank backed by an 80% Government guarantee, and is deferring VAT payments for this quarter.

The Government will consider any further financial assistance necessary to help businesses get through this period.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether food and drink wholesalers are eligible to claim tax relief on food they dispose of as a result of it passing its use by or best before date as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses include the costs of purchases, which depending on the trade may include perishable goods, in their calculation of trading profits and achieve tax relief in this way. This is regardless of whether the goods are sold or disposed of as a result of the trading conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to replicate Connecting Europe Facility funding after the transition period.

The Political Declaration states the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, if it is in our interest to do so. The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 CEF programme are still being discussed in the EU and has yet to be finalised. Our future participation in programmes will be subject to negotiations on the UK-EU relationship. Decisions on future budget provisions are a matter for the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The Online Harms White Paper, published in April 2019, set out plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups.

Infrastructure is a top priority for the Government, and we will be setting out our long-term vision in the upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy which will be published at Budget. We are committed to building on the strong foundations of the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy to deliver the emissions reductions we need to see across the whole economy, including in the power sector. We are considering a range of options with regards to the future of infrastructure across the UK as part of the Government’s plans to level-up the economy.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he ha plans to replicate the funding that the UK Safer Internet Centre receives from the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility after the transition period.

The Political Declaration states the UK is open to participation in certain EU programmes, if it is in our interest to do so. The proposed regulations for the next 2021-27 CEF programme are still being discussed in the EU and has yet to be finalised. Our future participation in programmes will be subject to negotiations on the UK-EU relationship. Decisions on future budget provisions are a matter for the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The Online Harms White Paper, published in April 2019, set out plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. This will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups.

Infrastructure is a top priority for the Government, and we will be setting out our long-term vision in the upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy which will be published at Budget. We are committed to building on the strong foundations of the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy to deliver the emissions reductions we need to see across the whole economy, including in the power sector. We are considering a range of options with regards to the future of infrastructure across the UK as part of the Government’s plans to level-up the economy.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help support victims of domestic abuse who are unable to pay their utility bills due to the perpetrator emptying a joint bank account.

All forms of domestic abuse are unacceptable, and no one should have to suffer financially at the hands of their perpetrator.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Act became law in April 2021, and created for the first-time a general purpose legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including economic abuse. This recognition will improve understanding among frontline professionals, law enforcement officers and prosecutors so that victims can be better supported.

The Home Office supports and funds organisations that raise awareness of economic abuse and support victims. This includes providing £567k of funding between 2018-2022 to the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, which provides emotional and practical support targeted at victims of economic abuse.

In recognition of the role that financial services have to play in responding to domestic abuse, in 2018 UK Finance and the Building Societies Association introduced a Financial Abuse Code of Practice. The voluntary Code of Practice sets out how participating banks and building societies should support customers who are victims of domestic and financial or economic abuse. We are building on this by working to encourage banks and the wider financial services sector to improve the support provided to victims of domestic abuse accessing their services; help victims move forward to escape debt, joint accounts, and mortgages.

We will continue to work alongside financial institutions and frontline agencies to raise awareness and improve support for victims of economic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what provisions are in place to help victims of domestic abuse transfer funds from a joint bank account held with a perpetrator to their own personal bank account.

All forms of domestic abuse are unacceptable, and no one should have to suffer financially at the hands of their perpetrator.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Act became law in April 2021, and created for the first-time a general purpose legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including economic abuse. This recognition will improve understanding among frontline professionals, law enforcement officers and prosecutors so that victims can be better supported.

The Home Office supports and funds organisations that raise awareness of economic abuse and support victims. This includes providing £567k of funding between 2018-2022 to the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, which provides emotional and practical support targeted at victims of economic abuse.

In recognition of the role that financial services have to play in responding to domestic abuse, in 2018 UK Finance and the Building Societies Association introduced a Financial Abuse Code of Practice. The voluntary Code of Practice sets out how participating banks and building societies should support customers who are victims of domestic and financial or economic abuse. We are building on this by working to encourage banks and the wider financial services sector to improve the support provided to victims of domestic abuse accessing their services; help victims move forward to escape debt, joint accounts, and mortgages.

We will continue to work alongside financial institutions and frontline agencies to raise awareness and improve support for victims of economic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help support victims of domestic abuse who are unable to pay their mortgage due to the perpetrator emptying a joint bank account.

All forms of domestic abuse are unacceptable, and no one should have to suffer financially at the hands of their perpetrator.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Act became law in April 2021, and created for the first-time a general purpose legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including economic abuse. This recognition will improve understanding among frontline professionals, law enforcement officers and prosecutors so that victims can be better supported.

The Home Office supports and funds organisations that raise awareness of economic abuse and support victims. This includes providing £567k of funding between 2018-2022 to the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, which provides emotional and practical support targeted at victims of economic abuse.

In recognition of the role that financial services have to play in responding to domestic abuse, in 2018 UK Finance and the Building Societies Association introduced a Financial Abuse Code of Practice. The voluntary Code of Practice sets out how participating banks and building societies should support customers who are victims of domestic and financial or economic abuse. We are building on this by working to encourage banks and the wider financial services sector to improve the support provided to victims of domestic abuse accessing their services; help victims move forward to escape debt, joint accounts, and mortgages.

We will continue to work alongside financial institutions and frontline agencies to raise awareness and improve support for victims of economic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to safeguard domestic abuse victims against financial abuse in the event that they have a joint bank account with a perpetrator.

All forms of domestic abuse are unacceptable, and no one should have to suffer financially at the hands of their perpetrator.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Act became law in April 2021, and created for the first-time a general purpose legal definition of domestic abuse which incorporates a range of abuses beyond physical violence, including economic abuse. This recognition will improve understanding among frontline professionals, law enforcement officers and prosecutors so that victims can be better supported.

The Home Office supports and funds organisations that raise awareness of economic abuse and support victims. This includes providing £567k of funding between 2018-2022 to the charity Surviving Economic Abuse, which provides emotional and practical support targeted at victims of economic abuse.

In recognition of the role that financial services have to play in responding to domestic abuse, in 2018 UK Finance and the Building Societies Association introduced a Financial Abuse Code of Practice. The voluntary Code of Practice sets out how participating banks and building societies should support customers who are victims of domestic and financial or economic abuse. We are building on this by working to encourage banks and the wider financial services sector to improve the support provided to victims of domestic abuse accessing their services; help victims move forward to escape debt, joint accounts, and mortgages.

We will continue to work alongside financial institutions and frontline agencies to raise awareness and improve support for victims of economic abuse.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the digitalisation of the death registration process on bereaved people; and whether that process is planned to continue after March 2022.

No formal assessment has been made of the effect of the digitalisation of death registration on bereaved people, as the registration process has not been digitalised.

The current easements for death registration, which facilitate telephone registration if required by the informant and the transmission of documents electronically as part of the death certification process, have been used effectively during the pandemic but will expire in line with the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Separate to this, the General Register Office continues to work with the Department of Health and Social Care on taking forward death certification reforms, which includes consideration of digital services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2020
What steps she is taking to (a) protect and (b) support victims of modern slavery.

The UK is a world-leader in the fight against modern slavery.

We have lifted thousands of modern slavery victims out of situations of exploitation and supported them to rebuild their lives.

The 2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery, published last month, sets out actions taken in the UK to tackle modern slavery, including:

- Publishing the statutory guidance for the identification and support for victims;

- Introduced innovative methods of support during the pandemic;

- Published the world’s first government modern slavery statement covering the government’s supply chains.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the level of funding for South Wales police.

The police funding settlement for 2020/21 sets out the biggest increase in funding for the policing system since 2010, with South Wales Constabulary receiving a total of up to £315.8m, an increase of up to £44.8m on 2019/20.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect on police force finances of funding the long-term salaries of new police officers.

The police funding settlement for 2020/21 sets out the biggest increase in funding for the policing system since 2010. The Government will provide a total police funding settlement of up to £15.2 billion in 2020/21, which is an increase of up to £1.1 billion compared to 2019/20. As part of this, police forces will receive £700 million to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers by the end of March 2021.

Further to this, there is a set range for starting salaries for new officers and the decision on which pay point to appoint is a decision for each force for which this generous funding package will effectively allow the force to meet.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of allocating additional funding and other resources to the police to respond to the rise in internet-related crime and online fraud.

The department is committed to tackling all forms of crime, including those that exploit technology and the internet. We are considering all routes to ensure law enforcement have the tools they need to go after these criminals and to protect the vulnerable.

Setting police budgets for 2020 to 2021, this government has prioritised £150 million to tackle serious and organised crime. This includes substantial investment in fraud and cyber crime.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made a comparative assessment of the merits of funding the (a) long-term and (b) starting salaries of recently recruited police officers.

The police funding settlement for 2020/21 sets out the biggest increase in funding for the policing system since 2010.

The Government will provide a total police funding settlement of up to £15.2 billion in 2020/21, which is an increase of up to £1.1 billion compared to 2019/20. As part of this, police forces will receive £700 million to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers by the end of March 2021. This is the first year of a multi-year commitment. Funding for future years will be set out at the Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of the Government funding the salaries of the recently announced 20,000 new police officers.

The police funding settlement for 2020/21 sets out the biggest increase in funding for the policing system since 2010.

The Government will provide a total police funding settlement of up to £15.2 billion in 2020/21, which is an increase of up to £1.1 billion compared to 2019/20. As part of this, police forces will receive £700 million to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers by the end of March 2021. This is the first year of a multi-year commitment. Funding for future years will be set out at the Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the implications of the FCA's freezing of Wire Card for her emergency response policy on payment card freezes to ensure that future victims of trafficking are supported as part of the Victim Care Contract and able to access funds.

The Prime Contractor of the Adult Victims of Modern Slavery support contract (AVMS), The Salvation Army, has contingency and business continuity plans in place across a range of services to ensure resilience and continued support to victims of modern slavery.

Due to issues relating to the card provider, on 26 June 2020 potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery with access to a payment card through the AVMS support contract were informed the payment cards were frozen and advised to contact their dedicated support worker if they needed emergency cash payments.

All subcontractors of the AVMS support contract were also instructed to assess their service users for those who might have needed urgent payments, so they could be contacted proactively, and provided with support and access to funds as required.

On 30 June 2020, the freeze on the payment cards was lifted and all service users were able to resume using their payment cards.

All victims of modern slavery accessing financial support through the AVMS contract are eligible to access payment cards through this service, where relevant.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) scale and (b) nature of modern slavery throughout the UK.

The 2019 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/840059/Modern_Slavery_Report_2019.pdf sets out an assessment of trends in modern slavery in the UK. The Home Office also publishes quarterly statistics on potential victims being referred to the National Referral Mechanism. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-referral-mechanism-statistics-quarter-3-2019-july-to-september

In March 2020, the Office for National Statistics published a report entitled ‘Modern Slavery in the UK: March 2020’, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/modernslaveryintheuk/march2020 which brought together data sources linked to modern slavery. The report noted that there is no definitive source of data or suitable method available to accurately quantify the number of potential victims of modern slavery in the UK. However, we are committed to improving our understanding of this complex and hidden crime. In July 2019, the Government announced a £10 million investment to create a new Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights. We will continue working with the Centre and other partners to strengthen the evidence base of the nature and scale of modern slavery in the UK.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason people in the National Referral Mechanism who are in outreach support have been treated differently from people in that mechanism who are in safe house accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and security of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract is a top priority for government. Contingency planning has considered, and continues to consider, how essential services and support for all victims of modern slavery can continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

All confirmed victims of modern slavery, in both outreach and safe house accommodation, continue to have their recovery needs assessed in order to provide tailored, needs-based support to each individual victim.

The Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) process identifies ongoing recovery needs across the three pillars of Victim Care Contract (VCC) support, for accommodation, financial assistance and support worker contact. This process informs a tailored move-on plan, with the aim of establishing longer-term stability by helping victims to transition out of VCC support and back into a community, as appropriate. Where this is not possible, VCC support will continue to meet the victim’s ongoing recovery needs for as long as there is an identified need for that support.

On 6 April, in line with Public Health England guidance, we announced that all individuals accommodated by the VCC would not be required to move on from their Government-funded accommodation for a period of three months. This temporary policy is currently being reviewed.

We have also been clear that should any victim in outreach support experience a change in their situation which leaves them destitute and without accommodation, their needs, entitlements and risk factors will be assessed so that they can be provided with the most appropriate safe and secure accommodation during this time.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment of need and risk informs the offer of safe house accommodation to someone in the National Referral Mechanism for identifying victims of trafficking; and how such assessments are conducted.

All adults referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) are eligible to receive support through the Victim Care Contract to assist with recovery from their modern slavery experience(s).

The type of support received is tailored, at each stage, according to the potential victim or confirmed victim’s needs. Support provision may include any combination of subsistence payments, support worker contact and assistance, and accommodation provision.

Upon referral for support, The Salvation Army (who are the Prime Contractor in delivery of Victim Care Contract Services) will undertake an initial needs assessment with the potential victim, usually over the telephone. This brief assessment, alongside the information provided within the NRM referral form, is used to establish immediate priorities for accommodation support provision. Considerations such as the individual’s health and wellbeing, any current risk that the individual faces from their exploiters, their current accommodation provision (if any) and their eligibility to access other support services are all taken into account at this early stage. Accommodation may be offered at this stage if an individual would otherwise be destitute or will be made destitute within two weeks of the referral, or if an individual is unable to otherwise access safe and secure accommodation.

Upon receipt of a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, The Salvation Army will conduct a more detailed needs assessment to inform the provision of continued or further support, if any is required, within the Victim Care Contract, taking into account their eligibility to access services outside of the VCC. Throughout an individual’s time in Victim Care Contract Support, their needs will be continually considered by their support worker to inform provision of services. The final consideration of an individual’s needs related to their modern slavery experience will take place following receipt of a positive Conclusive Grounds decision, in the form of a Recovery Needs Assessment.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the factors are that make someone who has a positive RG decision through the National Referral Mechnism not eligible for safe house accommodation.

All adults referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) are eligible to receive support through the Victim Care Contract to assist with recovery from their modern slavery experience(s).

The type of support received is tailored, at each stage, according to the potential victim or confirmed victim’s needs. Support provision may include any combination of subsistence payments, support worker contact and assistance, and accommodation provision.

Upon referral for support, The Salvation Army (who are the Prime Contractor in delivery of Victim Care Contract Services) will undertake an initial needs assessment with the potential victim, usually over the telephone. This brief assessment, alongside the information provided within the NRM referral form, is used to establish immediate priorities for accommodation support provision. Considerations such as the individual’s health and wellbeing, any current risk that the individual faces from their exploiters, their current accommodation provision (if any) and their eligibility to access other support services are all taken into account at this early stage. Accommodation may be offered at this stage if an individual would otherwise be destitute or will be made destitute within two weeks of the referral, or if an individual is unable to otherwise access safe and secure accommodation.

Upon receipt of a positive Reasonable Grounds decision, The Salvation Army will conduct a more detailed needs assessment to inform the provision of continued or further support, if any is required, within the Victim Care Contract, taking into account their eligibility to access services outside of the VCC. Throughout an individual’s time in Victim Care Contract Support, their needs will be continually considered by their support worker to inform provision of services. The final consideration of an individual’s needs related to their modern slavery experience will take place following receipt of a positive Conclusive Grounds decision, in the form of a Recovery Needs Assessment.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to prevent a rise in exploitation and modern slavery when the lockdown due to the covid-19 outbreak is lifted.

The Government is committed to continuing its work to eradicate modern slavery. On 21st May, the Prime Minister hosted a virtual summit focused on ‘hidden harms’, including modern slavery. The virtual summit brought key decision makers together to share insight, best practice and agree an approach for tackling these crimes as we move towards easing lockdown measures.

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to us all, but victims of modern slavery may be especially isolated and hidden from view as a result of the lockdown measures required to combat the pandemic. In recognition of this, the Government has published guidance on gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-modern-slavery/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-modern-slavery) which provides information about how to spot the potential signs of modern slavery and refer suspected cases to appropriate services. We recognise victims are coming into contact with different services during the COVID-19 outbreak and we have worked to raise awareness of the indictors of modern slavery in these areas to ensure victims continue to be identified and supported.

In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic the Home Office has been working closely with law enforcement partners to monitor and assess changes to the threat of modern slavery, and to ensure an appropriate response to these.

This work will continue as social distancing measures are eased. We are engaging frontline organisations and NGOs through the Modern Slavery Strategy and Implementation Group (MSSIG) in order to understand challenges that are emerging as the lockdown is lifted and to consider how best to target further awareness raising and communications activity to prevent any rise in exploitation and modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many potential (a) adult and (b) child victims of modern slavery have been identified since the lockdown due to the covid-19 outbreak was introduced on 23 March 2020.

The Home Office publishes quarterly statistics on the number of referrals made to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for adults and children which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-referral-mechanism-statistics.

Statistics for the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 were published on 4th June. These include the number of referrals made to the NRM for adults and children between 1st January and 31st March 2020.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who has responsibility for (a) policy development and (b) planning for the (i) provision of victim support for people in the National Referral Mechanism during the covid-19 outbreak, (ii) allocation of resources to ensure the availability of safe and appropriate support and (iii) operational delivery of that support.

The safety and security of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract (VCC) is a top priority for government.?During the COVID-19 pandemic, our contingency planning continues to focus on ensuring victims of modern slavery can access the essential services and support they need. We have secured £1.73 million of the funding for charities, announced by the Chancellor last month, to provide emergency support to victims of modern slavery who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The first question makes reference to asylum services being withdrawn – it should be noted that the asylum system operates independently of the National Referral Mechanism, and therefore a negative Conclusive Grounds decision would have no immediate bearing on an individual’s asylum support provision. The asylum system would notify the individual of any subsequent decisions made in relation to their asylum support and/or asylum claim.

There are two main scenarios under which victims in outreach may be required to leave VCC support. Victims in outreach who receive a positive Conclusive Grounds will receive at least a further 45 calendar days of move-on support during which the support provider will help the victim transition out of support. The point at which a victim will be exited from VCC support will be determined through a Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) conducted in accordance with the RNA process guidance. Victims in outreach who receive a negative Conclusive Grounds decision, determining them not to be a victim of modern slavery, receive 9 working days of move-on support. An extension request may be made where an individual requires a longer period to exit support safely and securely.

With reference to the second question, the RNA process informs tailored move on plans to help confirmed victims (those with a positive conclusive grounds decision) transition out of the VCC and back into the community where appropriate.?These assessments continue to be undertaken during COVID-19. The assessment considers the availability of alternative, and often more sustainable, support services and victims only begin a move-on process if it is suitable for them to do so, in line with their recovery needs.?The wider impact of Covid-19 on access to alternative services is considered when conducting the Recovery Needs Assessment.

The third question seeks clarification on policy and operational responsibility for victims of modern slavery during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Home Office is responsible for developing policy and for ensuring the development of robust contingency plans to ensure the safety of victims during this crisis. The Salvation Army, as the Prime Contractor of the VCC, has operational responsibility to ensure the delivery of these plans. We are working closely with The Salvation Army to ensure that victims are receiving the support they need, and we will continue to review policy and processes to maintain the services to victims during these uncertain times.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the £1.73 million of funding for safe accommodation for victims of modern slavery announced by the Government on 2 May 2020, whether recovery needs assessments are being undertaken to move on potential victims in National Referral Mechanism scheme.

The safety and security of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract (VCC) is a top priority for government.?During the COVID-19 pandemic, our contingency planning continues to focus on ensuring victims of modern slavery can access the essential services and support they need. We have secured £1.73 million of the funding for charities, announced by the Chancellor last month, to provide emergency support to victims of modern slavery who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The first question makes reference to asylum services being withdrawn – it should be noted that the asylum system operates independently of the National Referral Mechanism, and therefore a negative Conclusive Grounds decision would have no immediate bearing on an individual’s asylum support provision. The asylum system would notify the individual of any subsequent decisions made in relation to their asylum support and/or asylum claim.

There are two main scenarios under which victims in outreach may be required to leave VCC support. Victims in outreach who receive a positive Conclusive Grounds will receive at least a further 45 calendar days of move-on support during which the support provider will help the victim transition out of support. The point at which a victim will be exited from VCC support will be determined through a Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) conducted in accordance with the RNA process guidance. Victims in outreach who receive a negative Conclusive Grounds decision, determining them not to be a victim of modern slavery, receive 9 working days of move-on support. An extension request may be made where an individual requires a longer period to exit support safely and securely.

With reference to the second question, the RNA process informs tailored move on plans to help confirmed victims (those with a positive conclusive grounds decision) transition out of the VCC and back into the community where appropriate.?These assessments continue to be undertaken during COVID-19. The assessment considers the availability of alternative, and often more sustainable, support services and victims only begin a move-on process if it is suitable for them to do so, in line with their recovery needs.?The wider impact of Covid-19 on access to alternative services is considered when conducting the Recovery Needs Assessment.

The third question seeks clarification on policy and operational responsibility for victims of modern slavery during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Home Office is responsible for developing policy and for ensuring the development of robust contingency plans to ensure the safety of victims during this crisis. The Salvation Army, as the Prime Contractor of the VCC, has operational responsibility to ensure the delivery of these plans. We are working closely with The Salvation Army to ensure that victims are receiving the support they need, and we will continue to review policy and processes to maintain the services to victims during these uncertain times.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the £1.73 million of funding for safe accommodation for victims of modern slavery announced by the Government on 2 May 2020, for what reasons potential victims under the National Referral Mechanism that are in receipt of outreach and asylum support have been notified that they will not longer receive support from that service.

The safety and security of those supported through the modern slavery Victim Care Contract (VCC) is a top priority for government.?During the COVID-19 pandemic, our contingency planning continues to focus on ensuring victims of modern slavery can access the essential services and support they need. We have secured £1.73 million of the funding for charities, announced by the Chancellor last month, to provide emergency support to victims of modern slavery who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The first question makes reference to asylum services being withdrawn – it should be noted that the asylum system operates independently of the National Referral Mechanism, and therefore a negative Conclusive Grounds decision would have no immediate bearing on an individual’s asylum support provision. The asylum system would notify the individual of any subsequent decisions made in relation to their asylum support and/or asylum claim.

There are two main scenarios under which victims in outreach may be required to leave VCC support. Victims in outreach who receive a positive Conclusive Grounds will receive at least a further 45 calendar days of move-on support during which the support provider will help the victim transition out of support. The point at which a victim will be exited from VCC support will be determined through a Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) conducted in accordance with the RNA process guidance. Victims in outreach who receive a negative Conclusive Grounds decision, determining them not to be a victim of modern slavery, receive 9 working days of move-on support. An extension request may be made where an individual requires a longer period to exit support safely and securely.

With reference to the second question, the RNA process informs tailored move on plans to help confirmed victims (those with a positive conclusive grounds decision) transition out of the VCC and back into the community where appropriate.?These assessments continue to be undertaken during COVID-19. The assessment considers the availability of alternative, and often more sustainable, support services and victims only begin a move-on process if it is suitable for them to do so, in line with their recovery needs.?The wider impact of Covid-19 on access to alternative services is considered when conducting the Recovery Needs Assessment.

The third question seeks clarification on policy and operational responsibility for victims of modern slavery during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Home Office is responsible for developing policy and for ensuring the development of robust contingency plans to ensure the safety of victims during this crisis. The Salvation Army, as the Prime Contractor of the VCC, has operational responsibility to ensure the delivery of these plans. We are working closely with The Salvation Army to ensure that victims are receiving the support they need, and we will continue to review policy and processes to maintain the services to victims during these uncertain times.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many violent incidences have been recorded in betting shops in the six months (a) before 1 April 2019 and (b) after 1 April 2019.

The Home Office collects data on the number of violent crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales and these data are published quarterly.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables

However, these data do not identify whether the offence took place at a betting shop.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of recording veteran suicides on improving the provision of support to at-risk veterans.

I am always sorry to learn of veterans taking their own lives and I am willing to meet widows with the aim of better understanding the circumstances that lead to suicide to facilitate better targeted interventions and how we can prevent further losses. Suicide is a complicated issue and a tragedy for the families and friends left behind.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will (a) make an assessment of the effect on solvency of lost revenue for closed businesses during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown and (b) extend eviction protection for businesses beyond 31 December 2020.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support for business in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19, including loans, tax relief and cash grants, as well as financial support for employers and self-employed people. In November, the Government announced plans to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2021, confirmed an extension to the existing loan schemes to the end of January 2021 and an ability to top up Bounce Back Loans, as well as an increase to self-employed support and over £200 billion in VAT relief, business rate relief, tax deferral, loans and support for individuals. Further grant support totalling £2.2 billion has also been made available to support businesses impacted by the 5 November to 2 December national lockdown and localised restrictions. This is in addition to the £11.86 billion in cash grants already delivered to almost a million businesses in England between March and September.

In September, the Government extended its moratorium on the landlord's right of forfeiture for non-payment of rent introduced through the Coronavirus Act 2020 until the end of this year. We recognise the impact that this extension has on landlords, lenders and investors; therefore, we expect all sides of the sector to use this time to negotiate on outstanding unpaid rents.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to make permanent the accommodation provision for vulnerable women leaving prison.

We are investing more than £20m in supporting prison leavers at risk of homelessness into temporary accommodation. Individuals released from prison will be provided up to 12 weeks of temporary accommodation and will be supported into long-term settled accommodation before the end of that 12-week period. The service will support around 3,000 offenders in its first year and will be commencing in Summer. It will be in operation during the next financial year 2021-22, with a view to scaling up and rolling out nationally, though the Spending Review 2021 will set out the approach for future years.

The service will take account of the needs of women, including those with complex needs and accommodation provision will be dedicated to single gender usage as required. Community Offender Managers, working together with local partners, will be responsible for ensuring that vulnerable female prison leavers with complex needs receive appropriate support and are provided with housing beyond the 12 weeks emergency accommodation.

To support its COVID-19 response, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) set up seven Homelessness Prevention Taskforces (HPT) to help find accommodation for offenders upon release. HMPPS are considering how the regional HPTs might be a feature of the future landscape going forward.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Feb 2021
What assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on support for women leaving prison.

We have taken quick and decisive action, backed by Public Health England and Wales, to limit the spread of the virus across all prison establishments, including the women’s estate. This has included restricting regimes, minimising inter-prison transfers and compartmentalising prisons into different units to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and quarantine new arrivals. A comprehensive regular testing regime of both staff and prisoners is in place and is key in helping to prevent the spread of the virus. Our evidence gathering indicates these measures have had a positive impact on limiting deaths and the transmission of the virus in prisons. We are now working closely with the NHS to support the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible groups in custody.

On 31 March 2020 the Government announced that it would be considering pregnant women and women on Mother and Baby Units for early release from prison, as part of a wider plan to protect the NHS and save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prison Governors/Directors are able to consider eligible women for early release based on thorough risk assessment, and subject to secure healthcare pathways and appropriate accommodation, in consultation with partners in community support services. This scheme remains active, and the most recent release was in January 2021.

To support its COVID-19 response, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has set up Homelessness Prevention Taskforces (HPT) in all probation regions to help find accommodation for offenders upon release. These have been very successful in securing improved accommodation outcomes. We are exploring how the regional HPTs might be a feature of the future probation landscape, ensuring that the specific needs of women are fully considered.

In addition, measures have been put in place across the women’s estate to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 for women in custody and to help plan for their release. Some of these measures, include; additional phone credit per week, enabling contact with their support networks, Through the Gate providers are working to Exceptional Delivery Models offering phone support to all prisoners pre-release.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme for (a) pregnant women and (b) women.

The End of Custody Temporary Release Scheme (ECTR) allows risk-assessed prisoners, who are within two months of their release date, to be temporarily released from custody. ECTR was introduced as part of our wider measures to create headroom across the prison estate, to enable us to implement our compartmentalisation strategy. This strategy allows us to isolate those with symptoms, quarantine new admissions and shield those most at risk from Covid-19. Early release is however only one part of our overall strategy towards achieving the headroom. We are also expanding the capacity of the prison estate through temporary accommodation, expediting remand cases and expanding our video court capacity and capability to facilitate timely remand and sentencing hearings.

Public Health England and HMPPS modelling suggests that our strategy is having a positive impact on the risk of infection in prison populations (including the women’s estate).

In addition to ECTR, pregnant women, prisoners with their babies in custody and those defined by NHS guidelines as ‘extremely vulnerable’ to Covid-19 will merit consideration for compassionate temporary release on a Special Purpose Licence.

The Ministry of Justice now publishes a weekly release of Covid-19 related statistics. This includes the number of prisoners that have been released from custody under Covid-19 temporary release schemes. The statistics release can be found here each Friday:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hm-prison-and-probation-service-covid-19-statistics

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the New Futures Network has staff working specifically on the employment of women in and leaving prison; and whether it works with employers in women’s resettlement areas.

The New Futures Network (NFN) has a full-time Employment Broker dedicated to forging partnerships between prisons in the Women’s Estate and employers. These partnerships provide businesses with individuals who are ready to take up work opportunities within industries workshops, as part of workplace Release on Temporary Licence, and employment on release.

In addition, NFN has a Regional Employment Broker working in each prison group division across England and Wales. Regional Employment Brokers work closely with the NFN broker for the Women’s Estate, sharing employment on release opportunities generated in their geographical areas.

NFN is part of HMPPS whose reporting follows an annual cycle. The available information on prisoners working in custody (which includes activity undertaken by NFN) is published in the HMPPS Annual Digest but is not broken down in the way requested. A copy is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmpps-annual-digest-2018-to-2019

Additional information that provides a breakdown of national employment outcomes by number, location and gender is published in the Prison and Probation Performance Statistics. The Employment circumstances table outlines all community outcomes and provides location breakdown in table 2 and gender breakdown in table 4 for an individual’s employment status at the start of a community sentence. A copy is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-performance-quarterly-update-to-march-2019

NFN intends to report on their work this financial year.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department plans to publish a report on the work of the New Futures Network including the (a) number and (b) location of job placements, by gender, achieved under that initiative.

The New Futures Network (NFN) has a full-time Employment Broker dedicated to forging partnerships between prisons in the Women’s Estate and employers. These partnerships provide businesses with individuals who are ready to take up work opportunities within industries workshops, as part of workplace Release on Temporary Licence, and employment on release.

In addition, NFN has a Regional Employment Broker working in each prison group division across England and Wales. Regional Employment Brokers work closely with the NFN broker for the Women’s Estate, sharing employment on release opportunities generated in their geographical areas.

NFN is part of HMPPS whose reporting follows an annual cycle. The available information on prisoners working in custody (which includes activity undertaken by NFN) is published in the HMPPS Annual Digest but is not broken down in the way requested. A copy is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmpps-annual-digest-2018-to-2019

Additional information that provides a breakdown of national employment outcomes by number, location and gender is published in the Prison and Probation Performance Statistics. The Employment circumstances table outlines all community outcomes and provides location breakdown in table 2 and gender breakdown in table 4 for an individual’s employment status at the start of a community sentence. A copy is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-performance-quarterly-update-to-march-2019

NFN intends to report on their work this financial year.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, in the event that covid-19 lockdown restrictions in prisons are maintained or re-imposed, what steps the HM Prison and Probation Service is taking to ensure that women in prisons are able to access support, education and training services; and if he will extend the use of (a) Purple Visits and (b) other digital solutions to the provision of support services in prisons.

Since 24 March, prisons have been operating under restricted regimes, to comply with social distancing guidelines. The decision to implement these restrictions was not taken lightly - it was based on public health advice and mirrored the restrictions faced by the whole country, and we know the difficult impact this has on women, and particularly mothers in prison.

But there is no question that the measures helped save lives and, as a result, some prisons are now able to begin easing restrictions. Through the Gate services which provide employment and accommodation support have continued to be delivered, with priority given to those nearing release, and those being released early through the Covid-19 early release schemes.

While formal education and training programmes were temporarily suspended we have worked collaboratively with our partners to develop and provide a range of learning materials and distraction packs that can be used in cell to support continued learning during this period. Now this work is beginning again, and staff are using new ways of working to ensure they are delivered safely in establishments.

Further resources tailored to the specific needs of women are currently in development, with women currently in custody having helped develop them.

Work is currently taking place around future employment with the New Futures Network and within the women's estate a short/medium and long term strategy is being developed looking at how we can address ROTL and employment upon release.

Psychology services have also continued to be available for priority cases and they have been delivered remotely using phone or face-to-face contact where it has been possible to facilitate this.

HMPPS has put a range of digital solutions in place to support the working of the criminal justice system during the lock-down and to support prisoners maintaining contact with family and friends. These include additional video conferencing capability for conducting parole hearings and video calling for prisoners with family and friends

In line with the recommendations of Lord Farmer’s reviews, we have prioritised the rollout of video calling in the women’s estate. Whilst this current video call service is a temporary measure, intended for use whilst contact with family and friends is limited, we are considering the benefits of maintaining these digital solutions in the longer term. This would help meet Lord Farmer’s recommendations and ensure that we have capability to manage any future lock-downs.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
9th Jun 2020
What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Wales on the location of the new residential women's centre in Wales.

We are working with the Welsh Government, the Secretary of State for Wales and local partners to make sure that the location of our first Residential Women’s Centre (RWC) meets the needs of local women.

My officials have met with the First Minister and I have spoken with the Deputy Minister, Jane Hutt. Further meetings are planned.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Feb 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on support for Welsh businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

I have regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on support for Welsh businesses. Wales is benefitting directly from UK Government support to enable businesses and employees to get through Covid. This support already amounts to over two billion pounds for businesses across Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Apr 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on support for people in Wales whose employment has been adversely affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

I have regular discussions with Ministerial colleagues on a range of topics, including employment support for people in Wales. The Government has announced unprecedented measures to support people in Wales and right across the UK through these difficult times.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)