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Written Question
Asylum: Temporary Accommodation
26 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what comparative cost benefit analysis her Department has made of the respective cost to the public purse of continuing to provide temporary accommodation to failed asylum seekers under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the effect of not providing such accommodation on the effect on street homelessness.

Answered by Chris Philp

Failed asylum seekers and other migrants unlawfully present in the UK are not eligible for mainstream welfare and housing benefits. Accommodation is available under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, but only where the individuals are taking reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a practical or legal obstacle preventing their departure. Failed Asylum Seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return. No assessment has been made of the impact of changing the legislation so that failed asylum seekers are provided with accommodation without these conditions, but the cost to the public purse is likely to be extremely high, particularly as such a policy is very likely to encourage unfounded asylum applications and there would be little incentive for the individuals to leave the UK when their claims are rejected.


Written Question
Asylum: Finance
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has put in place to avoid the homelessness and rough sleeping of vulnerable migrants who have been in receipt of section 4 support and accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak when the ban of evictions ceases.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Finance
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice he has received from Public Health England on the implications for the health of (a) migrants, (b) communities and (c) the public to cease provision of support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and restart evictions during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Liverpool City Region
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many decisions to discontinue section 4 support her Department plans to issue weekly in (a) Liverpool and (b) the Liverpool City Region in response to a resumption of cessations of support as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Asylum: Finance
22 Apr 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) notice and (b) additional support her Department plans to give to (a) local authorities and (b) other relevant stakeholders supporting vulnerable individuals prior to the ending Section 4 support and the restarting of evictions.

Answered by Chris Philp

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.


Written Question
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to improve (a) access to and (b) provision of domestic violence support services.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

This Government is committed to ensuring domestic abuse organisations are able to meet the needs of victims. To that end we have awarded £27 million in additional funds to support domestic abuse services this financial year alone, comprising £25 million from the government’s £76 million in emergency funding for the most vulnerable in society, and an extra £2 million from the Home Office in April 2021 to bolster the capacity of domestic abuse organisations affected by the pandemic.

To ensure victims know where and how to access support, we have launched guidance on our gov.uk website and delivered a successful #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost access to help and support services - reaching almost 25 million UK adults and securing over 130 million followers on social media

This January, we also launched a new Ask for ANI Codeword scheme to enable domestic abuse victims to seek safe and discreet support from over 2,600 participating pharmacies who will be able to provide victim focussed support, including engagement with specialist victim support services and the police as necessary.


Written Question
Alcoholic Drinks: Crime
11 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Institute of Alcohol Studies' report, Inequalities in victimisation: alcohol, violence and anti-social behaviour, published in May 2020, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of that report.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The Government is committed to tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour.

The Government has a wide-ranging approach to support the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse, including support for children of alcohol dependent parents and action to reduce alcohol-related crime. Since 2016 the Government has invested more than £16 billion in local government public health services, including alcohol treatment services.

Alcohol is no excuse for domestic abuse or any other kind of abusive behaviour. The Domestic Abuse Bill introduces new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders that will allow courts to tailor requirements to address the perpetrator’s behaviour. This could include abuse exacerbated by alcohol, for example a requirement to be assessed for an alcohol treatment programme.


Written Question
UK Border Force: Heathrow Airport
9 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to resolve the industrial dispute between her Department and Border Force staff at Heathrow Airport.

Answered by Chris Philp

Changes to colleague working arrangements in line with government guidance have been introduced following extensive consultation which began in October. The aim is to help protect Border Force officers, and the public from coronavirus. This best practice is supported nationally by independent bodies such as ACAS, and the PCS itself. Organisations across the country have implemented similar arrangements to ensure their staff and the public are protected.

We are fully engaged with staff and unions at Heathrow to resolve any potential industrial dispute.

Industrial action would cause unnecessary disruption at an already difficult time. Border Force has robust contingency plans in place to ensure any industrial action does not impact on border security.


Written Question
Corruption
15 Dec 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating an independent Anti-Corruption Agency in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by James Brokenshire

The UK recently received international recognition for the positive structures and systems in place to address corruption. This was evidenced in the UK’s 2019 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Peer Review which singled out as successes and good practice the UK’s “structures and governance for the coordination of anticorruption activity, including a national anti-corruption strategy, a Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, an Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption and a cross-government Joint Anti-Corruption Unit.”


Written Question
Corruption
15 Dec 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating an Independent Commissioner for Corruption; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by James Brokenshire

The UK recently received international recognition for the positive structures and systems in place to address corruption. This was evidenced in the UK’s 2019 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Peer Review which singled out as successes and good practice the UK’s “structures and governance for the coordination of anticorruption activity, including a national anti-corruption strategy, a Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, an Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption and a cross-government Joint Anti-Corruption Unit.”


Written Question
Corruption
15 Dec 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to renew the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22 with a view to addressing issues around (a) cronyism, (b) conflicts of interest and (c) party funding.

Answered by James Brokenshire

The government is focussed on implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy. Officials have begun to consider the question of renewal and at present no decision has been made. The content of any future strategy would be informed by an evidence-based review of threats, progress and priorities.


Written Question
Economic Crime Strategic Board
30 Sep 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the need to increase independent input on the Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB).

Answered by Kit Malthouse

The Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB) includes independent representatives, with senior private sector members from the legal, accountancy, insurance, estate agency and financial sectors.

In the July 2019 Economic Crime Plan, published by this Board, the need for additional engagement and input from non-government organisations, academia, victims’ groups and civil society was specifically noted under Action 52.

To meet this action, Government has worked with civil society organisations including Global Witness, Transparency International, Fraud Advisory Panel, Spotlight on Corruption and RUSI to form the independently run Civil Society Organisations Steering Group, which has met twice since its inception in March 2020. This body provides a mechanism for civil society organisations to comment on the delivery of the Economic Crime Plan and work of the ECSB and proactively raise issues which it thinks the ECSB should consider.


Written Question
Migrant Workers: Visas
29 Sep 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the time taken to process one-year visa extensions for healthcare workers.

Answered by Kevin Foster

Following the announcement of the automatic visa extension scheme on the 31 March, subsequently expanded on 29 April, UKVI have concluded over 6000 free extensions for eligible healthcare workers and their dependents.

On average, straightforward cases have been concluded within four weeks of receiving necessary information from employers to enable the extension to be undertaken.


Written Question
Frontex: Turkey
10 Jun 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) funding, (b) assets and (c) personnel the Government provides to Frontex in the Aegean region.

Answered by Chris Philp

The UK does not provide assets or funding to Frontex in the Aegean region. However the UK provides humanitarian assistance in the Aegean through ongoing deployment of a Cutter to carry out vital search and rescue operations alongside the Hellenic Coastguard.

Since 2015 UK vessels deployed to the Aegean have rescued over 20,000 lives. In addition, due to the strong UK-Greece bilateral relationship we continue to offer support and exchange expertise on effective migration management to alleviate the pressures on the Greek islands.


Written Question
Undocumented Migrants: Greece
10 Mar 2020

Questioner: Dan Carden (LAB - Liverpool, Walton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to provide financial support to the Greek Government for the construction of closed centres for migrants on the Greek Islands.

Answered by Chris Philp

The UK has a strong bilateral relationship with Greece and continues to offer support and exchange expertise on effective migration management to alleviate the pressures on the islands. However, the Government has no plans to provide funds for the building of these centres.