Debbie Abrahams Portrait

Debbie Abrahams

Labour - Oldham East and Saddleworth

1,499 (3.2%) majority - 2019 General Election

First elected: 13th January 2011


Work and Pensions Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 30th May 2024
Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee)
21st Jul 2021 - 30th May 2024
Finance Bill
11th Jan 2024 - 16th Jan 2024
Energy Bill [HL]
17th May 2023 - 22nd May 2023
Ballot Secrecy Bill [HL]
1st Mar 2023 - 7th Mar 2023
Child Support (Enforcement) Bill
22nd Feb 2023 - 1st Mar 2023
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL]
19th Jan 2022 - 27th Jan 2022
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
27th Jun 2016 - 11th Mar 2018
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
18th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Work and Pensions Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015
Work and Pensions Committee
27th Jun 2011 - 30th Mar 2015


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Debbie Abrahams has voted in 695 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Debbie Abrahams Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(28 debate interactions)
Mims Davies (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
(28 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(26 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(88 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(86 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(69 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Debbie Abrahams's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Debbie Abrahams

21st February 2024
Debbie Abrahams signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 26th February 2024

Wigan Warriors and the World Club Challenge

Tabled by: Judith Cummins (Labour - Bradford South)
That this House welcomes the upcoming World Club Challenge; supports British Super League Champions Wigan Warriors in their upcoming match against the Australian NRL champions the Penrith Panthers; congratulates both teams on their success in their respective leagues; and commends the success of the Super League in cultivating an internationally-competitive …
5 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
22nd November 2023
Debbie Abrahams signed this EDM on Tuesday 20th February 2024

Cost of applying for indefinite leave under the bereaved partner concession

Tabled by: Stuart C McDonald (Scottish National Party - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
That this House supports the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London’s call for a fee waiver to be introduced for grieving widows applying for indefinite leave to remain under the bereaved partner concession; notes that the death of a loved one brings multiple emotional, practical and financial costs; …
59 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Scottish National Party: 21
Liberal Democrat: 6
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Debbie Abrahams's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Debbie Abrahams, 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.


Debbie Abrahams has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Debbie Abrahams

Tuesday 14th December 2021
Monday 24th February 2020

4 Bills introduced by Debbie Abrahams


A Bill to provide for a statutory code of conduct for Ministers of the Crown; for a statutory code of conduct for Members of the House of Commons and Members of the House of Lords; for a statutory code of conduct for councillors in England; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 20th March 2024
(Read Debate)

A Bill to provide for a statutory code of conduct for Ministers of the Crown; for a statutory code of conduct for members of the House of Commons and members of the House of Lords; for a statutory code of conduct for councillors in England; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 10th January 2023
(Read Debate)

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 require public authorities to pay certain suppliers using project bank accounts; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 15th January 2019
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require listed companies, public bodies and voluntary agencies to report annually on the number and percentage of people they employ who have disabilities; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 25th February 2015

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
6th May 2020
What recent assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled people who are in receipt of social security.

DWP has made a number of changes to the benefits system in response to the pandemic to ensure the right support goes to those claimants who are more vulnerable, have a health condition or have a disability.

To provide greater financial security at this time, we have automatically extended awards by 6 months for existing claimants that were due to be reviewed or reassessed.

We have also suspended all face-to-face assessments of disability benefits for 3 months but continue to accept new claims, requests for a review where asked by a claimant and, as usual, prioritise claims made under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness.

Mims Davies
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information his Department holds on how many (a) Government departments and (b) agencies and non-departmental bodies have regularly refused to use Project Bank Accounts in the last three years; and what the reasons were for not using such accounts.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ185363 on 26 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, where a Department, agency or a non-departmental body has a compelling reason not to use a Project Bank Account what procedure is in place to record that reason and its justification; and who has the authority to sanction that reason.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ185363 on 26 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the lack of data on the use of Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) by Government construction procurers, what steps his Department plans to take to monitor the implementation of its policy that PBAs must be used unless there are compelling reasons not to use them.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ185363 on 26 April 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to increase the use of Project Bank Accounts by (a) Government departments, (b) Government agencies and (c) non-departmental bodies.

This Department does not hold specific information on the use of Project Bank Accounts. However, as the PBA policy lead we do engage with departments and their ALBs about their PBA usage, including indicative spend.

Whilst the use of PBAs was being established we collected data on the value of government contracts making use of PBAs. During that period (2011-2015) over £10 billion was spent on a wide range of construction projects using PBAs.

PBAs are the preferred option by government when it is cost effective and efficient, and departments have made a commitment to use PBAs unless there are compelling reasons not to. This has been restated in the Construction Playbook (December 2020), which sets out key policies and guidance for government departments and their arms length bodies on how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered. PBAs are just one way the government supports fair payment as part of the Government's Prompt Payment Code.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what data his Department holds on the total value of Government works using a Project Bank Account.

This Department does not hold specific information on the use of Project Bank Accounts. However, as the PBA policy lead we do engage with departments and their ALBs about their PBA usage, including indicative spend.

Whilst the use of PBAs was being established we collected data on the value of government contracts making use of PBAs. During that period (2011-2015) over £10 billion was spent on a wide range of construction projects using PBAs.

PBAs are the preferred option by government when it is cost effective and efficient, and departments have made a commitment to use PBAs unless there are compelling reasons not to. This has been restated in the Construction Playbook (December 2020), which sets out key policies and guidance for government departments and their arms length bodies on how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered. PBAs are just one way the government supports fair payment as part of the Government's Prompt Payment Code.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the amount Government departments owe in late payments to small businesses since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Government does not maintain a central estimate of late payments owed to small businesses.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic the Government has issued a number of procurement policy notes with the goal of supporting cash flow to suppliers by accelerating payment. These have included a range of approaches such as forward ordering, payment in advance/prepayment, interim payments and payment on order (not receipt).

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what data his Department holds on the total value of Government projects paid through Project Bank Accounts for each year from 2016-17.

Data on the use and value of Project Bank Accounts is held by departments, not centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Government Departments have used Project Bank Accounts since March 2016; how many projects in each Government Department have used Project Bank Accounts since March 2016; and if he will publish a list of all Government clients using Project Bank Accounts since March 2016.

Data on the use and value of Project Bank Accounts is held by departments, not centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what estimate his Department has made of the number of families in fuel poverty.

In 2022, there were an estimated 3.26 million households in fuel poverty in England.

The annual statistics report on fuel poverty in England, published in February 2023, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-fuel-poverty-statistics-report-2023.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to take steps to help mitigate the impact on disabled people of the forthcoming changes to the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount, which will remove eligibility for people who receive Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance.

Around 62% of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) recipients also receive one of the qualifying means-tested benefits and so would be considered low-income under the Core Group 2 criteria. Those with high energy costs would therefore be eligible for a rebate. The Government’s analysis shows that 160,000 more households, where there is a person with a disability or long-term illness, will receive a rebate each winter compared to the previous scheme. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced a one-off £150 payment for people on disability benefits this year, alongside other cost of living support measures: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-living-support/cost-of-living-support-factsheet-26-may-2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government Response to the Warm Home Discount: Better targeted support from 2022 consultation, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the value and proportion of energy suppliers' spending through Industry Initiatives to support fuel poor disabled people.

Industry Initiatives provide valuable support to households in, or at risk of, fuel poverty through a range of measures, including energy advice, financial assistance, and energy efficiency improvements.

To date, energy suppliers have only been required to report on the overall spending on Industry Initiatives measures to Ofgem. From the 2022/23 scheme year, suppliers will be required to report on the estimated value and proportion of Industry Initiatives spending on fuel poor households where someone has a disability or significant health problems.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure that funding through Industry Initiatives to provide a safeguard for disabled people with high energy costs as a result of their impairments does not place a higher administrative burden on disabled people than the Warm Home Discount.

Industry Initiatives provide valuable support to households in, or at risk of, fuel poverty through a range of measures, including energy advice, financial assistance, and energy efficiency improvements.

To date, energy suppliers have only been required to report on the overall spending on Industry Initiatives measures to Ofgem. From the 2022/23 scheme year, suppliers will be required to report on the estimated value and proportion of Industry Initiatives spending on fuel poor households where someone has a disability or significant health problems.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the scale of the loss of retention monies by construction small and medium sized enterprises since January 2018.

While difficult to measure fully and comprehensively, the Government is aware of this important issue and continues to work with both officials and the Construction Leadership Council to implement a solution.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to reform the practice of retentions payments in the construction industry.

While difficult to measure fully and comprehensively, the Government is aware of this important issue and continues to work with both officials and the Construction Leadership Council to implement a solution.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Extra Costs Taskforce established in the National Disability Strategy will recommend measures to tackle the disproportional impact of increased fuel and food prices on disabled consumers.

The taskforce is on track to set up by summer 2022 and we are keen to engage in that process before drawing conclusions.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small businesses closed in each financial year from 2010-11 to date.

Data on business closures by size of business are not available. The data provided below covers all registered business closures in the UK for the periods specified.

According to the business counts published in 2020 by the Office for National Statistics in UK business: activity, size and location, 98.1% of all registered business are small (0 to 49 employees). Therefore, the vast majority of business closures are very likely to be small businesses.

Data on business closures over the last 3 financial years are shown in table 1:

Table 1: Number of business closures by financial year, all registered businesses

Financial Year

Number of business closures

2019/2020

383,000

2018/2019

348,000

2017/2018

351,000

Source: Office for National Statistics: Business Demography, quarterly experimental statistics, UK

Prior to 2017 data are only available for calendar years, rather than financial years. The number of closures in each calendar year is shown in table 2:

Table 2: Number of business closures by calendar year, all registered businesses

Calendar year

Number of business closures

2019

336,000

2018

311,000

2017

346,000

2016

281,000

2015

282,000

2014

246,000

2013

238,000

2012

252,000

2011

230,000

2010

277,000

Source: Office for National Statistics: Business demography, UK statistical bulletin

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) potential for and (b) benefits of local electricity generation.

There can be many benefits from local electricity generation, including greater consumer engagement with electricity and how it is generated.

In 2019, we generated record levels of solar and wind energy and continue to be the world’s leader for offshore wind.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the regulatory framework governing the responsibility of online platforms, including search engines and social media sites to protect their users against scam content on their sites.

We are deeply concerned about the growth and scale of online scams. My officials work closely on this matter with other government departments, including the Home Office as the government department responsible for tackling fraud, as well as with industry, regulators and consumer groups. Through an ongoing programme of work, the government is considering additional legislative and non-legislative solutions to effectively address the harms posed by all elements of online fraud in a cohesive and robust way.

Within my department, the Online Advertising Programme will be considering further regulation of online advertising to tackle harms including fraud. The government will launch a public consultation on measures to enhance how online advertising is regulated in the UK this year.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of powers of (a) the Financial Conduct Authority and (b) the Advertising Standards Authority and (c) other regulators to effectively ensure that online platforms are protecting their users against fraudulent and scam content.

I am deeply concerned about the growth and scale of online fraudulent and scam content. My officials are working closely on this matter with those from other government departments, including the Home Office (as the government department responsible for tackling fraud), the Treasury as well as with industry, regulators, and consumer groups with a view to tackling this issue in a cohesive and robust way.

My department has been considering how online advertising is regulated through our Online Advertising Programme, and we will be consulting on this issue later this year following an initial call for evidence in 2020. Our aim is to foster fair, accountable and ethical online advertising that works for citizens, businesses, and society as a whole. In particular, we want to ensure standards about the placement and content of advertising can be effectively applied and enforced online so that consumers are protected from harmful or misleading advertising.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information he holds on the use of Project Bank Accounts by (a) his Department, (b) Government agencies his Department has responsibility for and (c) non-departmental bodies his Department has responsibility for.

As set out in the Construction Playbook, the Department for Education (DfE) has committed to use Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) on its school construction projects unless there are compelling reasons not to. PBAs are just one way that government departments support fair payment as part of the Government’s Prompt Payment Code.

DfE has considered the use of PBAs for school construction projects delivered through the DfE Construction Frameworks. However due to the specific nature, size and volume of DfE’s school construction projects, the DfE has assessed that it is not practical, efficient and cost effective to use them on our construction projects. Therefore, there are compelling reasons not to deploy PBAs on DfE projects. Accordingly, the DfE does not hold any information on the use of PBAs for its school construction projects as the DfE does not currently use PBAs.

22nd Jun 2020
What assessment he has made of the adequacy of educational support for disabled children during the covid-19 outbreak.

Every family has had challenges during this period but those families with disabled children face the greatest.

We have surveyed families, schools and local authorities to monitor the situation.

90% of special schools were open last week, and we have invested £10 million in the Family Fund and provided specialist online resources.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the laying of illegal poison baits.

Biocidal products, including rodenticides and insecticides, have to be authorised under the Biocidal Products Regulation. The use of biocides must comply with specific terms and conditions, including on the placing of baits. Where the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has enforcement responsibility, it seeks to ensure that high standards of compliance with biocides are achieved and maintained. The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS), operated by HSE on behalf of Defra, investigates the deaths, not just of wildlife, but also of livestock and some pets, where there is evidence that biocide poisoning may be involved. Where poison baits are used illegally to harm wildlife, such as raptors, responsibility for enforcement lies with the police.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) ban burning of peatland and (b) tackle accidental peat fires.

The Government has always been clear of the need to phase out burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats. We are currently looking at how legislation could achieve this and considering next steps. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives. We have urged landowners to adopt these and continue to work with them constructively.

We are working across Government with a wide range of stakeholders including land managers, conservation bodies and wildfire management groups to ensure that we promote better planning for wildfire locally and take measures to mitigate against the risk of wildfire. We undertook a review of the impact of wildfire and upland environments in 2019 and will publish the findings in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban the burning of peatland in protected areas.

The Government has always been clear of the need to phase out burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats. We are currently looking at how legislation could achieve this and considering next steps. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives. We have urged landowners to adopt these and continue to work with them constructively.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many full-time equivalent staff were employed by Natural England’s SSSI monitoring programme in each calendar year from 2009.

The information is only available for financial years rather than calendar years.

Year

FTE

2010/11

33.2

2011/12

24.3

2012/13

22.8

2013/14

16.0

2014/15

14.0

2015/16

11.0

2016/17

15.0

2017/18

11.0

2018/19

12.5

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse was of Natural England’s programme of monitoring of SSSIs in each calendar year since 2009.

Natural England (NE) expenditure on monitoring sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) is set out in the following table.

Year

Expenditure

2010/11

£1,570,755

2011/12

£1,517,691

2012/13

£1,797,287

2013/14

£1,420,892

2014/15

£1,381,580

2015/16

£900,633

2016/17

£1,028,533

2017/18

£700,452

2018/19

£700,000

This includes NE staff time and the costs of specialist surveys.

This year NE is prioritising actions to address particular issues on SSSIs, especially those affecting upland SSSIs. NE continues to support and encourage partners in the work they do themselves to undertake SSSI monitoring.

NE is also developing an approach to the monitoring of SSSIs which will make better use of new technologies, such as remote sensing and greater partnership involvement. This is intended to improve efficiency of SSSI monitoring.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to recommendation seven of the report entitled Roads Policing: Not optional - An inspection of roads policing in England and Wales by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services published in May 2020, what recent progress her Department has made with Cabinet colleagues on reviewing Circular 01/2007 on Use of speed and red-light cameras for traffic enforcement: guidance on deployment, visibility and signing; and when he plans to publish the review.

The Department is currently preparing a revised draft of the circular in light of feedback from a range of key stakeholders, including local government and police force representatives, as to what the guidance should contain. We plan to further engage with interested parties on this revision, with a view to publishing in due course.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department plans to respond to its consultation entitled, Roads policing review: future methods to improve safety and reduce casualties, which closed on 5 October 2020.

The call for evidence to which is referred saw 149 responses submitted, many of which were incredibly detailed. The Government intends to publish the response shortly, once it has given the responses full consideration.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide an update on the noise camera trials announced in October 2022.

Roadside trials of noise camera technology commenced on 18 October 2022 and finished on 1 February 2023. The Department is reviewing the trial outcomes before considering next steps.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's position is on the use of Project Bank Accounts throughout the supply chain, including for Tier Two and Tier Three contractors, for transport-related construction and infrastructure projects.

DfT, including its Arm’s Length Bodies, follow the principles of the Construction Playbook which sets out options to mitigate the risk of potential supplier insolvency, one of these options is the use of Project Bank Accounts.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with HS2 on the use of Project Bank Accounts throughout their supply chain following the insolvency of HS2 contractor Roadbridge.

DfT, including its Arm’s Length Bodies, follow the principles of the Construction Playbook which sets out options to mitigate the risk of potential supplier insolvency, one of these options is the use of Project Bank Accounts.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the (a) Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service, (b) Enhanced Checking Service, (c) Risk Review Team, (d) Enhanced Review Teams, (e) Universal Credit advances claims decision risk model, (f) Common Risk Engine, (g) General Matching Service, (h) Fraud Referral and Intervention Management System, (i) Targeted Case Review and (j) any other systems rely on artificial intelligence, machine learning or algorithmic processes for fraud detection.

As set out in the Department’s 2022/23 Annual Report and Accounts (page 308 to 310), DWP uses advanced analytics to tackle fraud and error. These analytics include a variety of sophisticated techniques including the use of machine learning to identify patterns in claims that could suggest fraud or error, so that these claims can be reviewed by relevant DWP teams such as the Enhanced Review Team. The final decision on benefit entitlement is made by a human caseworker.

The National Audit Office confirm that DWP have governance and processes in place to monitor the bias of these models.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether any of the claim detection criteria in the targeted case review system are applied by or operated through artificial intelligence, machine learning or algorithmic processes.

As set out in the Department’s 2022/23 Annual Report and Accounts (page 308 to 310), DWP uses a range of advanced analytics to identify patterns in claims that could suggest fraud or error, so that these claims can be reviewed by relevant DWP teams including Targeted Case Review agents. The final decision on benefit entitlement is made by a human caseworker.

The National Audit Office confirm that DWP have governance and processes in place to monitor the bias of these models.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of cases in the targeted case review system were (a) discontinued and (b) endorsed on the grounds that they were likely to contain (i) fraud and (ii) error after being checked by a human reviewer in the most recent period for which data is available.

The TCR process is led by specialised agents to find incorrectness on claims and put it right. Prior to starting a claim review, agents will preview the claim to make sure it meets the criteria for selection. Claims selected for review are not endorsed on the grounds they are likely to contain fraud or error. It is only once a claim review is complete that an agent can determine the outcome. Performance for the financial year 22/23 is included in the DWP Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) Report, available on GOV.UK. The ARA report for financial year 23/24 is expected to be published Summer 2024.

We do not categorise claims as discontinued. A claim may be deselected for review if it does not meet the criteria.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claimants referred by a DWP algorithm for case review as potentially containing fraud or error were (a) in receipt of disability benefit and (b) registered as disabled; and of these claims how many experienced benefits (i) stoppages and (ii) suspensions in the latest period for which data is available.

The department does not hold the information requested.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Q27 of the oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee on 10 January 2024, HC 417, what biases there are in the (a) AI and (b) machine learning systems used by his Department to detect and prevent fraud in the benefit system; and how these biases have been used to identify fraud.

Please be assured that assessments of bias have been conducted for all IRIS machine learning models and the screening to date has not identified any areas of concern. The outcomes will be published in summer 2024 within DWP’s Annual Report and Accounts.

The department always ensures appropriate safeguards are in place. There are detailed Data Protection Impact Assessments and Equality Analysis that accompany our machine learning models, and these are live documents that are kept updated. We also work closely with legal colleagues to ensure our use of machine learning is legal and proportionate. As an additional safeguard, all decisions on claims are made by DWP case workers based on all the facts and individual circumstances of the claim.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the (a) Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service, (b) Enhanced Checking Service, (c) Risk Review Team, (d) Enhanced Review Teams, (e) Universal Credit advances claims decision risk model, (f) Common Risk Engine, (g) General Matching Service, (h) Fraud Referral and Intervention Management System (i) Targeted Case Review and (j) any other systems have been used as part of fraud surveillance in the benefits system in the last year.

None of the teams or systems referenced carry out surveillance in the benefits system.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many inspections have the Health and Safety Executive conducted by sector in each year since 2008.

The table below shows the number of inspections, by year and by sector, carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for each financial year since 2017. HSE’s data deletion policy only allows for retention of detailed inspection data for up to 7 years, therefore data before 2017 can be found on Gov.uk website.

The figures below are based on raw live data and can be subject to change due to updates to historical cases. Therefore these figures may differ to the figures published in the Annual Reports.

‘Sector’ as used in this table is a term used by HSE internally and is a categorisation of the main economic activity of a workplace. The figures below include inspections to major hazard sites. A breakdown by sector is not always published in the Annual Reports as the focus will be on the respective priorities of business plan for that work year.


Year Inspected

Sector

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

Agriculture

574

773

708

229

405

868

Construction

7,872

7,472

5,004

4,582

6,134

6,146

Extractive Utilities

135

42

40

148

44

86

Manufacturing

6,068

5,289

4,322

6,080

5,729

5,417

Services

3,304

3,195

2,291

3,717

3,426

2,959

Unknown

7

5

1

4

4

2

Water/Waste Management

1,626

1,418

1,148

2,225

1,258

1,434

Total

19,586

18,194

13,514

16,985

17,000

16,912

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many internal process reviews her Department has (a) started and (b) completed on incidences of (i) death or (ii) serious harm between July 2022 and June 2023.

Information on how many cases have been accepted to be taken forward for a full Internal Process Review (IPR), and where these were referred either due to customer death or harm, is included within this year’s Annual Report and Accounts, available at:

DWP annual report and accounts 2022 to 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

This includes information on cases accepted for an IPR between July 2022 and March 2023. Information in relation to April to June 2023 will be published in next year’s Accounts.

Information on how many IPRs have been completed between July 2022 and June 2023, where these were referred either due to customer death or harm is set out in the table below:

July 2022 – June 2023

Customer Death[1]

47

Customer Harm[2]

14

1 Customer Death includes the categories: death, alleged suicide and confirmed suicide.

2 Customer Harm includes the categories: self-harm, serious harm, attempted suicide and ‘other’.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many internal process reviews his Department (a) started and (b) completed on incidences of (i) death and (ii) serious harm between July 2022 and March 2023.

The information requested cannot be shared, as it is intended for publication at a future date within the department’s Annual Report and Accounts.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many internal process reviews her Department has (a) started and (b) completed on incidences of (i) death or (ii) serious harm between (A) July 2019 and June 2020, (B) July 2020 and June 2021 and (C) July 2021 and June 2022.

The attached table shows the Internal Process Reviews (IPR) information requested:

July 2019 to June 2020

July 2020 to June 2021

July 2021 to June 2022

IPR Started - Death

43

59

38

IPR Started - Serious Harm

3

19

17

IPR Completed - Death

39

40

41

IPR Completed - Serious Harm

3

12

16

* Death includes the categories death, alleged suicide and confirmed suicide.

** Serious Harm includes the categories self-harm, serious harm, attempted suicide and ‘other’.

25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which (a) organisations and (b) individuals have been approached to join the Extra Costs Taskforce; and if she will prioritise organisations that are led by disabled people for membership of that taskforce.

Delivery of the Extra Costs Taskforce has been paused at the request of the Secretary of State Work and Pensions, while permission is sought to appeal the High Court's declaration in Binder vs Secretary of State Work and Pensions.

14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a 12 month eligibility definition for fast-track access to Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance.

The Department is committed to improving the way the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and announced its intention to make changes in this area, in July 2021. The Department has made changes to Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance regulations to replace the current 6-month rule for determining who can claim under the Special Rules with a 12-month, end of life approach. These will come into force on 4th April. Similar changes will also be made to Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance as soon as possible, when Parliamentary time allows.

10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many internal process reviews her Department has (a) started and (b) completed on incidences of death or serious harm since July 2019.

The Internal Process Reviews (IPRs) that have been started since July 2019, are as follows:

Death*

123

Serious Harm**

34

The IPRs that have been completed since July 2019, are as follows:

Death*

103

Serious Harm**

28

* Death includes the categories death, alleged suicide and confirmed suicide.

** Serious Harm includes the categories self-harm, serious harm, attempted suicide and ‘other’.