Jessica Morden Portrait

Jessica Morden

Labour - Newport East

First elected: 5th May 2005

Shadow Minister (Wales)

(since September 2023)

Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip)
10th Apr 2020 - 6th Sep 2023
Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
4th Dec 2021 - 6th Sep 2023
Administration Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 26th Jun 2023
Child Support (Enforcement) Bill
22nd Feb 2023 - 1st Mar 2023
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill
19th Oct 2022 - 29th Nov 2022
Committee of Selection
15th Jan 2020 - 17th Jan 2022
Dormant Assets Bill [HL]
15th Dec 2021 - 11th Jan 2022
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Sep 2015 - 10th Apr 2020
Liaison Committee Sub-committee on the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system
13th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
14th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
14th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
10th Jul 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Selection Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee of Selection
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Standing Orders
1st Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
5th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
5th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee (Commons)
14th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
16th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Committee of Selection
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Welsh Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Justice Committee
6th Nov 2007 - 6th May 2010
Constitutional Affairs
11th Jul 2005 - 8th Nov 2007
Welsh Affairs Committee
21st Nov 2005 - 4th Jun 2007
Modernisation of the House of Commons
13th Jul 2005 - 16th Jan 2006


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 6th March 2024
15:40
Department Event
Wednesday 13th March 2024
11:30
Wales Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
13 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Wales
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
15:40
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th March 2024
12:30
Liaison Committee (Commons) - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the Prime Minister
26 Mar 2024, 12:30 p.m.
At 1:00pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Prime Minister
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Department Event
Wednesday 8th May 2024
11:30
Wales Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
8 May 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Wales
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Steel Industry: Wales
Happy birthday to my hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Christina Rees). I commend my hon. Friend the Member for …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Probation: Staff
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of probation officer caseload.
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 22nd July 2020
Welfare (Terminal Illness) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision about terminally ill people in the welfare system.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Sky Group
Address of donor: Grant Way, Isleworth TW7 5QD
Amount of donation or nature and value …
EDM signed
Tuesday 17th March 2020
War widows pensions
That this House honours and recognises the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make; notes the particular sacrifices that …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 25th November 2020
Driving Offences (Amendment) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 to provide that dangerous and careless, or inconsiderate, driving offences may …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Jessica Morden has voted in 757 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Jessica Morden 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)
(34 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(20 debate interactions)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(50 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(40 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(28 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Environment Act 2021
(2,136 words contributed)
Welfare (Terminal Illness) Bill 2019-21
(1,795 words contributed)
Victims and Prisoners Bill 2022-23
(541 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Jessica Morden's debates

Newport 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

The Government should reduce the cost of fuel through a reduction of 40% in fuel duty and VAT for 2 years. This can effectively offset the rise in fuel prices since 2020.


Latest EDMs signed by Jessica Morden

11th March 2020
Jessica Morden signed this EDM on Tuesday 17th March 2020

War widows pensions

Tabled by: Stephen Doughty (Labour (Co-op) - Cardiff South and Penarth)
That this House honours and recognises the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make; notes the particular sacrifices that the partners of veterans make and the consequences for them of tragically losing a spouse or partner serving in the armed forces; notes the changes announced in 2014 which allowed …
47 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Apr 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 25
Scottish National Party: 6
Conservative: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 1
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
3rd March 2020
Jessica Morden signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 3rd March 2020

70th anniversary of the Llandow Air Disaster

Tabled by: Nick Thomas-Symonds (Labour - Torfaen)
That this House notes that 12 March 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the Llandow Air Disaster in Wales; further notes that the flight concerned was for rugby union fans returning home from the Five Nations game between Ireland and Wales; commends efforts, including a service being held by Cwmbran …
22 signatures
(Most recent: 11 Mar 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 14
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Jessica Morden's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jessica Morden, 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.


Jessica Morden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Jessica Morden

Thursday 8th December 2022
Monday 14th September 2020

1 Bill introduced by Jessica Morden


A Bill to make provision about terminally ill people in the welfare system.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 22nd July 2020
(Read Debate)

649 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
3 Other Department Questions
13th Dec 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the annual costs were of the (a) Access To Elected Office Fund and (b) EnAble Fund.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what her Department's average response time was to an enquiry from a hon. Member to the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents. The Equality Hub does not have an MP hotline or an account management team.

The correspondence team does not hold information on the average response time to enquiries from MPs, as correspondence performance is monitored by the percentage of correspondence responded to within the target response time set by the Department.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Sep 2021
What steps she is taking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help ensure an equitable economic recovery for women from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Treasury has offered an unprecedented level of support to both individuals and businesses during this pandemic. In responding to the economic challenges of COVID-19, the Government carefully considered the equality impact of both individual measures and fiscal events on those sharing protected characteristics, including gender, in line with its legal obligations and its strong commitment to promoting fairness. This year, we have invested £44 million to support family childcare costs, enabling local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

The proportion of ordinary and named-day written Parliamentary questions answered on time in 2022 by the Attorney General’s Office is given in the following table:

Question Type

Due for Answer

Answered on Time

Named-Day

85

72 (85%)

Ordinary Written

165

135 (82%)

Total

250

The figures quoted in this answer are internal statistics compiled by the Attorney General’s Office. The official statistics will be published by the Table Office in the usual way.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

All government departments have access to regular training led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus. The Attorney General’s Office attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and correspondence and remains committed to providing the highest level of service. Between the period of May to July inclusive, the Attorney General’s Office answered 74% of written Parliamentary Questions on time. For the same period, 97% of all Ministerial correspondence was answered on time.

Michael Tomlinson
Minister of State (Minister for Illegal Migration)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Attorney General, what the average response time was for her Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) does not have an MP hotline. Correspondence from MPs is monitored alongside that received from Peers and members of devolved assemblies by the AGO Correspondence Team.

The AGO Correspondence Team does not hold information on the average response time to enquiries from MPs, as correspondence performance is monitored by the percentage of correspondence responded to within the target response time set by the Department. For AGO this is 20 working days.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on Gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking to support the criminal justice system's ability to prosecute perpetrators of coercive and controlling behaviour.

This Government and the Crown Prosecution Service take cases of domestic abuse extremely seriously.

Since the introduction of the Serious Crime Act 2015, which created an offence of coercive and controlling behaviour, the number of domestic abuse prosecutions have increased.

The CPS has developed an ambitious twelve-month programme of work to help narrow the disparity between domestic abuse reporting and criminal justice outcomes, including, sharing best practice and revising guidance to support effective case handling of coercive and controlling behaviour crimes.

It is essential that perpetrators, victims and their families know and understand that the criminal justice system remains open and is prioritising cases with high risk domestic abuse victims.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings the Minister for Veterans Affairs has with Ministers responsible for Afghan schemes since 2 February 2023.

I refer the Member for Newport East to the answer given to the Right Honourable Member for Wentworth and Dearne on 16th May 2023 (184567).

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
20th Apr 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the recommendations of the Second Interim Report of the Infected Blood Inquiry, published on 5 April 2023, if he will make it his policy to make immediate interim payments to (a) children and (b) bereaved parents of children who were given infected blood and infected blood products.

I refer the honourable Member to the statement made on Wednesday 19 April 2023, in response to the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Second Interim Report.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Second Interim report of the Infected Blood Inquiry, published on 5 April, if he will take steps to implement without delay the report's recommendation to provide interim compensation payments to the parents and children of those impacted by the contaminated blood scandal.

I refer the Honourable Lady to the statement made on Wednesday April 19 2023, in response to the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Second Interim Report.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 4 April 2023 to Question 174252 on Civil Servants: Dyslexia, for what reason does the Department not hold data on achievement levels for civil servants with dyslexia.

The Department cannot demand nor mandate that an individual discloses a personal protected characteristic (as defined by the Equality Act 2010). However, an individual may disclose that they have dyslexia ahead of an assessment and development centre, for example to discuss the potential for reasonable adjustments to be made. For a reasonable adjustment, the conversation would be filed individually and securely, in line with GDPR regulations. Details are not added to an individual’s profile on Government Commercial College, the data platform that records ADC scores.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment the Government has made of the accessibility of Civil Service commercial function assessments for candidates with (a) dyslexia and (b) other learning difficulties.

Achievement levels for civil servants with dyslexia is not held centrally.

Government Commercial Function (GCF) works with staff networks (for example, the GCF Disability and Neurodivergent Network) to ensure that individuals are treated fairly and empathetically. Where appropriate GCF seeks professional advice, such as occupational health assessments, and encourages the use of the Workplace Adjustment Passports.

The Assessment Development Centre is designed to be as accessible as possible. Participants are encouraged to discuss any adjustments they might need at the assessment centre and adjustments are open for further discussion and amendment if needed.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
16th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to make interim compensation payments to the estates of (a) people who have died as a result of infected blood products and (b) to people affected whose children or parents have died.

I refer the hon Member to the statement I made in the House on 15 December where I announced that the moral case for compensation was formally accepted. I also set out the work being carried out across government in consideration of the compensation framework study - which included specific reference to those groups who were not able to claim interim compensation.

This work is intended to ensure that the Government is prepared to act swiftly in response to Sir Brian Langstaff’s final report when it is delivered.

12th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

Our internal records show that for all cases due with Parliament between 01/01/2022 and 31/12/2022 to which Cabinet Office responded, 92% of ordinary written questions were answered on time and 83% of named-day written questions were answered on time.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of taking steps to mark the contribution of (a) police officers and (b) other emergency workers killed in the line of duty.

All lives lost in the line of duty are a tragedy and lives lost in public service should be commemorated. Work is continuing on an appropriate way to do so for those police, emergency workers and other public servants who lose their lives while serving the people of the United Kingdom.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with representatives of civil service staff networks on the government reform strategy.

I have not yet met with civil service staff networks, but I look forward to doing so.

This government is committed to working closely with our brilliant civil servants to ensure we deliver for the public. 14,000 civil servants responded to a 2020 survey that helped inform the Declaration on Government Reform and new vision for A Modern Civil Service. Since then, a network of Reform Champions from across grades, professions and locations have been regularly giving their views on our plans for reform and helping to make change happen where they work.

28th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

All departments have access to regular training led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus.

The Cabinet Office attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and correspondence, and officials remain committed to providing the highest level of service. To complement the work of the Parliamentary Capability Team, the Cabinet Office also runs tailored training sessions for Cabinet Office staff specific to PQs and Correspondence to drive up the quality and timeliness of our responses. These sessions have been delivered 3 times since July.

Between the period of May to July inclusive, the Cabinet Office consistently answered over 90% of PQs on time each month, and an average of 86% of all ministerial correspondence on time over those 3 months.

28th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Prime Minister's Office is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

Between the period of May to July inclusive, the Prime Minister answered 100% of Parliamentary Questions on time each month. The Prime Minister receives over 3,000 letters and emails every week covering a broad spectrum of issues.

Where an Hon. Member writes to the Prime Minister about a matter that is directly the responsibility of another Department, it has been the long-standing practice of successive administrations for that matter to be passed to that Department for a substantive reply, on his behalf.

Information on departmental performance on correspondence can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers.

27th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has plans to make (a) leadership and (b) administrative roles in the Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network paid positions.

Leadership (chair, co-chair, deputy chair of committee member) and administrative roles of the Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network are voluntary roles as part of an employee's corporate contribution and are not paid positions. There are currently no plans to make these roles paid positions.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2022 to Question 19595 on Civil Servants: Recruitment, when the last meeting between the Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network and (a) the Civil Service Disability Network and (b) other cross-Government Diversity Networks took place; and (i) when and (ii) in what format the Government has consulted with the Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network in each of the last three years.

As set out in the Declaration on Government Reform and the recent Civil Service Diversity Strategy, the civil service is committed to setting a new standard for inclusive workplaces. The Cabinet Office values the importance of ensuring our workplaces are inclusive for colleagues with dyslexia and we engage with relevant Networks where appropriate.

The Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network are a sub-network of the Civil Service Disability Network. As a sub-network of the Civil Service Disability Network, the chairs of the sub networks meet every two months, a representative of the Civil Service Inclusive Practice Team attends these meetings, the most recent meeting was on 19 May 2022.

Additionally the team will engage with individual Networks on an ad hoc basis when requested or helpful to test HR policy which impacts specific groups. Individual HR policy teams, such as those on recruitment, organise and meet separately with stakeholders.

16th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to make the civil service recruitment process more dyslexia-friendly.

As set out in the Declaration on Government Reform and the recent Civil Service Diversity Strategy, the civil service is committed to setting a new standard for inclusive workplaces. The Cabinet Office values the importance of ensuring our workplaces are inclusive for colleagues with dyslexia and we engage with relevant Networks where appropriate.

We engage with Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network, via the Civil Service Disability Network and with other cross-Government Diversity Networks to update on key initiatives and share best practice. The network also features on the Diversity Networks webpage on GOV.UK and the Chairs are able to collaborate with other networks using our Diversity and Inclusion hub.

Across the civil service we provide support via a range of individualised workplace adjustments to remove workplace barriers to enable dyslexic colleagues to thrive at work. Our Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network is a great support to improving the working environment for Civil Servants impacted by dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia across civil service departments. The development of the Toolkit has been widely shared with colleagues in Diversity and Inclusion.

Our recruitment processes are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain as inclusive as they can be, with involvement from occupational psychologists to ensure they meet the requirements of as many people with disabilities as we reasonably can.

An equality analysis was carried out in 2016 to demonstrate due and proper regard to our equality obligations. We used the analysis to assess the impact the introduction of online tests in recruitment was likely to have. This included reviews of the literature and involved a range of stakeholder and user consultations. External neurodiversity experts are also providing ongoing independent advice to GRS about how to improve the inclusive experience of neurodiverse test takers.The Civil Service publishes written and video guidance on the alternatives that exist for disabled test takers through the reasonable adjustment process.

16th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to (a) assist the growth of the Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network and (b) ensure it is accessible to staff in all civil service departments.

As set out in the Declaration on Government Reform and the recent Civil Service Diversity Strategy, the civil service is committed to setting a new standard for inclusive workplaces. The Cabinet Office values the importance of ensuring our workplaces are inclusive for colleagues with dyslexia and we engage with relevant Networks where appropriate.

We engage with Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network, via the Civil Service Disability Network and with other cross-Government Diversity Networks to update on key initiatives and share best practice. The network also features on the Diversity Networks webpage on GOV.UK and the Chairs are able to collaborate with other networks using our Diversity and Inclusion hub.

Across the civil service we provide support via a range of individualised workplace adjustments to remove workplace barriers to enable dyslexic colleagues to thrive at work. Our Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network is a great support to improving the working environment for Civil Servants impacted by dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia across civil service departments. The development of the Toolkit has been widely shared with colleagues in Diversity and Inclusion.

Our recruitment processes are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain as inclusive as they can be, with involvement from occupational psychologists to ensure they meet the requirements of as many people with disabilities as we reasonably can.

An equality analysis was carried out in 2016 to demonstrate due and proper regard to our equality obligations. We used the analysis to assess the impact the introduction of online tests in recruitment was likely to have. This included reviews of the literature and involved a range of stakeholder and user consultations. External neurodiversity experts are also providing ongoing independent advice to GRS about how to improve the inclusive experience of neurodiverse test takers. The Civil Service publishes written and video guidance on the alternatives that exist for disabled test takers through the reasonable adjustment process.

8th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has had recent discussions with the (a) British Dyslexia Association and (b) other relevant organisations on steps the Government can take to make all civil service departments dyslexia-friendly workplaces.

As set out in the Declaration on Government Reform and the recent Civil Service Diversity Strategy, the civil service is committed to setting a new standard for inclusive workplaces. The Cabinet Office values the importance of ensuring our workplaces are inclusive for colleagues with dyslexia and we engage with relevant organisations where appropriate. Across the civil service we provide support via a range of individualised workplace adjustments to remove workplace barriers to enable dyslexic colleagues to thrive at work. Our Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network also supports improving the working environment for Civil Servants impacted by dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia across civil service departments.

26th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer given on 26 May 2022 to Question 6731 on Cabinet Office: Correspondence, when the Department plans to publish data on volumes and timeliness of responses to correspondence from Members of the House of Commons and Lords for 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence, and so does Parliament.

Ministers and officials remain committed to providing timely and detailed replies.

As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the Cabinet Office has published data related to letters from MPs and Peers answered by Government in 2021. This was done via a Written Ministerial Statement in my name on 26 May 2022 (HCWS59).

24th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of written questions to each Government department received the response that information was not available in the format requested in (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021 and (d) January to May 2022.

Details of responses to written parliamentary questions from other government departments are not recorded centrally by the Cabinet Office. All questions that received responses that cited disproportionate costs or information not being available in the format requested can be found publicly on the parliament.uk website and can be searched for within the years requested.

24th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of written questions sent to each Government department received a response citing disproportionate cost as grounds upon which not to provide a substantive answer in (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021and (d) January-May 2022.

Details of responses to written parliamentary questions from other government departments are not recorded centrally by the Cabinet Office. All questions that received responses that cited disproportionate costs or information not being available in the format requested can be found publicly on the parliament.uk website and can be searched for within the years requested.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department will publish the average time it took each Department to respond to correspondence from Members of the House of (a) Commons and (b) Lords in (i) 2021 and (ii) during the period from January to May 2022.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs and Peers.

The Cabinet Office does not collect data from government departments on the average time taken to respond to correspondence from Members of the House of Commons and Lords.

The Cabinet Office will be publishing data on volumes and timeliness of responses to correspondence from Members of the House of Commons and Lords for 2021 in the near future. This publication will include data for all government departments.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2022 to Question 125060 on Infected Blood Compensation Framework Study, when the Government plans to publish the infected blood compensation framework report by Sir Robert Francis QC.

I refer the hon Member to the answer I gave on 24 February to PQ 125060.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Sir Robert Francis QC's report on a contaminated blood scandal compensation framework will be made available to the public on 14 March 2022.

The study will report to the Paymaster General no later than 14 March 2022. The Government will give full consideration to Sir Robert's study - which is separate from the independent public inquiry. The Government's response and Sir Robert's study will be published.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he will publish data on the timeliness of all departmental responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers in 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, Peers and members of the public.

In July 2021, the Cabinet Office published data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2018, 2019 and 2020 on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. This data measures performance by the percentage of correspondence from MPs and Peers responded to within the target response time set by each Department - rather than the average length of time taken to respond to correspondence from MPs and Peers. As per the Guide to Handling Correspondence, updated by the Cabinet Office in July 2021, the target response time set by Departments for correspondence must not exceed 20 working days.

The Cabinet Office is now in a position to publish correspondence data in a more timely manner; the data for 2021 will be published in the near future.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average response time was for his Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents. Neither the Cabinet Office nor the Prime Minister’s Office has an MP hotline or MP management account team.

Where a Hon. Member writes to the Prime Minister about a matter that is directly the responsibility of another Department, it has been the long-standing practice of successive administrations for that matter to be passed to that Department for a substantive reply, on his behalf. This means that the data on such response times will be included in that Department’s broader figures.


Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers is published on GOV.UK.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average response time was for the Prime Minister's Office to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents. Neither the Cabinet Office nor the Prime Minister’s Office has an MP hotline or MP management account team.

Where a Hon. Member writes to the Prime Minister about a matter that is directly the responsibility of another Department, it has been the long-standing practice of successive administrations for that matter to be passed to that Department for a substantive reply, on his behalf. This means that the data on such response times will be included in that Department’s broader figures.


Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers is published on GOV.UK.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish UK export figures for February 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 1 April 2021 to Question 169810, on 10 Downing Street: Iron and Steel, what records his Department holds on the use of UK-produced steel in the construction of the briefing room facilities in 9 Downing Street.

This information is not centrally held by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what records his Department holds on the use of UK-produced steel in the construction of the briefing room in 10 Downing Street.

A briefing room has not been constructed in 10 Downing Street, therefore we do not hold the information requested. The Government is establishing facilities within 9 Downing Street which will be used for daily broadcasting by a number of news organisations, therefore I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 169917 on 22 March 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to equalise payments to infected blood victims throughout the UK.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and a compensation framework is being explored. Parliament will be updated in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
6th Jul 2020
To ask the the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1960 there are in the UK; and how many of those women are in employment.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government plans to provide the Welsh Government with additional funding to increase ex gratia payments distributed through the Wales Infected Blood Support Scheme.

In 2017, country-specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These schemes are devolved, and the devolved administrations will have made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are currently working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments on taking forward actions to address the disparities in financial and non-financial support for those infected and affected across the UK, including bereaved partners.

The report's timetable is a matter for the Chair, Sir Brian Langstaff. Sir Brian has publicly recognised the need to balance between speed and the need for thoroughness, and has made clear that the Inquiry will complete its work as quickly as a thorough examination of the facts allows.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will allocate funding to ensure that widows and widowers in the four nations of the UK are included in Infected Blood ex gratia support schemes until the Infected Blood inquiry reports in 2022.

In 2017, country-specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These schemes are devolved, and the devolved administrations will have made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are currently working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments on taking forward actions to address the disparities in financial and non-financial support for those infected and affected across the UK, including bereaved partners.

The report's timetable is a matter for the Chair, Sir Brian Langstaff. Sir Brian has publicly recognised the need to balance between speed and the need for thoroughness, and has made clear that the Inquiry will complete its work as quickly as a thorough examination of the facts allows.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Wales and (b) her Japanese counterpart on the geographical indication status of Welsh food and drink products in Japan.

The department is working closely with Japanese officials to agree a date for entry into force of the necessary amendments to the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, at which point the first tranche of British products will join the seven Geographical Indications (GIs) already in our agreement in receiving protected status. The Secretary of State discussed this process with her counterpart at the Joint Committee in Japan in October 2023.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she has had discussions with the Board of the Post Office on the provision of financial evidence to claimants of the Horizon shortfall scheme to assist with their claims for redress.

The Government wants to ensure that all postmasters who experienced losses as a result of the Horizon scandal are provided with full and fair redress. It also recognises that given the significant time that has elapsed, it may be more difficult for claimants to provide evidence in support of their claim.

This was factored into the design of the Horizon Shortfall Scheme to ensure that postmasters will not be disadvantaged if there is a lack of records to support their claim.

There is an independent panel in place on the HSS, comprising of retail, legal and accountancy experts, which assesses each individual claim. The panel can exercise a degree of discretion to make fair awards where documentary evidence is lacking.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether she plans to take steps to create an expedited process for products with CE marking to receive UK Conformity Assessed marking.

In June last year, Government announced a package of measures to help reduce costs and burdens for businesses. One of these measures allows manufactures to use conformity assessment activities undertaken by EU notified bodies before 31st December 2024 to be considered as the basis for UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking until 31 December 2027 or until the expiry of the certificate, whichever is sooner. This enables manufacturers to apply the UKCA mark on these products without the need for re-testing.

Government continues to engage with businesses to make placing products on the market and trading as simple as possible, whilst maintaining high standards of safety.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what her Department's planned timescale is for paying compensation to sub-postmasters that are eligible for the Group Litigation Order Compensation Scheme.

To date, interim payments totalling £19.2m have been paid to 467 Group Litigation Order (GLO) postmasters. The full GLO scheme opened for registrations on 10 February 2023 and opened for full applications on 23 March. We are already making good progress: over 85% of claimants are now registered.

The Government remains committed to paying fair compensation to all eligible GLO scheme claimants by August 2024. That is why we have committed to publish a timeline for delivering the scheme following discussion with the claimants’ legal representatives.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of trends in the level of standing charges in the last 12 months.

For financial year 2021-22, an investment of £100m by EDF in the Sizewell C project in January 2022 was provided by the Government through the Combined Option Agreement. In the same financial year, the Government provided a further £0.24m of innovation funding in 2021/22 to Sizewell C, together with partner organisations, through Phase 1 of the Direct Air Capture and other Greenhouse Gas Removal technologies competition, part of the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

In the financial year 2022-23, the Government’s planned expenditure on developing the Sizewell C project is £860m, with a further £0.5m provided as part of Phase 2 of the Direct Air Capture and other Greenhouse Gas Removal technologies competition.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when she plans to publish the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount Scheme 2023-2024.

The eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount scheme 2023-24 is set in the Eligibility Statement which was published on 12th September 2023 and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/warm-home-discount-eligibility-statement-england-and-wales-2023-to-2024-scheme-year-onward

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, how many households received funding from the Warm Home Discount Scheme in 2022-23; and how much funding was made available for the Warm Home Discount Scheme in that year.

The official statistics showed that 2.50 million households received a rebate under the Core Group in winter 2022/23, providing £374 million of support to low-income and vulnerable households. Warm Home Discount statistics - GOV.UK.

This does not include part of the scheme in Scotland delivered by participating energy suppliers which is known as the Broader Group. The statistics also do not include spending on Industry Initiatives, which are other financial and energy-related measures that suppliers deliver.

The final figures on the support provided in the 2022/23 scheme year will be confirmed in Ofgem’s annual report towards the end of the year.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when his Department plans to publish a response to the Developing the UK Emissions Trading Scheme consultation, published 25 March 2022; and whether he plans to take steps to help ensure the international competitiveness of UK manufacturers at risk of carbon leakage.

Industrial participants in the UK ETS are provided with free allocations, reducing their exposure to the carbon price and mitigating the risk of carbon leakage. In a recent consultation the Government guaranteed free allocations at current levels until 2026, and as part of an ongoing review is looking at how to target support to sectors most at risk of carbon leakage. The UK ETS Authority will publish a response to the March 2022 consultation in due course.

The Government is also consulting on wider carbon leakage mitigations such as a carbon border adjustment mechanism and mandatory product standards.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, how many Warm Home Discount payments were issued in the period between (a) March 2021 and March 2022 and (b) March 2022 and March 2023.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 April 2023 to Question 181006.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Energy Bills Discount Scheme on the future energy prices paid by residents living in care and support accommodation.

The new Energy Bill Discount Scheme will run from April 2023 until March 2024 and will continue to provide a discount to eligible non-domestic customers, including care and support accommodation. This follows a review of the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme which engaged with a wide range of stakeholders from the private sector, trade associations, the voluntary sector and other types of organisations.

The Government will continue to provide funding for care home energy bills and up to £2.8 billion this year and £4.7 billion next year will be made available to support adult social care and discharge. This is equivalent to 200,000 additional care packages and the biggest funding increase in history.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment he has made on the monthly cost of energy for people with disabilities using medical equipment at home.

The Autumn Statement set out a commitment to work with consumer groups and industry to consider the best approach to consumer protection from April 2024, including options such as social tariffs, as part of wider retail market reforms.

The Government is assessing evidence and options and discussing this with stakeholders. As part of this work, the Government is working with disability organisations, considering the costs for disabled people including those with medical equipment and assessing the need for support for disabled people including those using medical equipment in the home.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many households are eligible for the Warm Home Discount in Newport East constituency; and how many payments were made to eligible households in Newport East constituency as of 31 December 2022.

The Government does not hold constituency-level data on eligibility for, or payments of, Warm Home Discount rebates.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2023 to Question 122087, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions his Department answered on time between 1 January and 31 July 2022.

The latest official statistics produced by the Table Office are as follows:

4th Jan 2022 – 26th Apr 2022:

  • Named Day PQs – 92%
  • Ordinary Written PQs – 91%

10th May 2022 – 21st Jul 2022:

  • Named Day PQs – 89%
  • Ordinary Written PQs – 99%

Statistics for September to the December recess are currently being compiled.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

The Procedure Committee publishes data on departmental answering performance for Ordinary and Named Day written questions at the end of each session - https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5803/cmselect/cmproced/385/report.html

The Second Report of Session 2022-23 reports that BEIS received 2,326 ordinary written questions in the 2021-22 session, 2,032 of which (87%) were answered substantively within 5 working days; and 1,721 named day questions, 1,462 of which (85%) were answered on the named day.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will extend the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for the steel sector beyond March 2023.

HM Treasury is currently conducting a review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and evidence from the steel sector is included in that. However, the Government cannot confirm which sectors will receive further support after 31st March 2023 until the end of the review, which will report by the end of the year.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the German government's decision to guarantee wholesale electricity prices at €130/MWh for steel producers for all of 2023; and if he will make it his policy to implement a similar measure for the sector in the UK.

HM Treasury is currently conducting a review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and evidence from the steel sector is included in that. As part of that review, we are looking at approaches taken in other countries. However, the Government cannot confirm what further support will be available after 31st March 2023 until the end of the review, which will report by the end of the year.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department will respond to its consultation on reviewing the energy intensive industries exemption scheme to provide relief to energy intensive industries for a proportion of the indirect costs of funding renewable energy policies.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses, to ensure the economy remains strong and competitive. In addition to existing Energy Intensive Industry (EII) schemes, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme is now supporting industry with the cost of energy. This will be in place until 31 March 2023. The Government is considering providing support beyond the existing relief schemes and will publish its response to the EII Exemption Scheme consultation in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to take steps to (a) launch a consultation on and (b) develop proposals for minimum product standards for the procurement or use of foundation materials, including cement and steel.

The Government has worked closely with the steel sector through the Steel Procurement Task Force, and the cement sector through the Green Construction Board, to ensure these sectors can support net zero carbon, greater energy efficiency and reduced waste and the creation of social value in communities across the UK. Therefore, we have no plans for further consultation at this time.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will reconvene the Steel Council as soon as possible with the intention of implementing a NetZero steel strategy.

Since taking up his role, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has prioritised engaging with steel companies, local MPs and other interested parties from the sector.

The Secretary of State and I are now carefully considering the best way we can work collectively together over the coming period to secure the best outcomes for our steel industry.

In the meantime, I will hold regular meetings with the steel sector, with the initial meeting due to take place before the end of the year.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his Department's policy to support measures to reduce electricity prices for the steel sector beyond the six-month energy price cap announced in October.

The Government recognises that businesses are feeling the impact of high global energy prices, particularly steel producers. I am pleased that steel companies will benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme over a six-month period. The Government will publish a review into the operation of the scheme by the end of the year to inform decisions on future support after March 2023.

This scheme is in addition to extensive support we have provided to the steel sector to help with energy costs, worth more than £800 million since 2013.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a UK steel innovation fund using industry funding returned from the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

The Government recognises the importance of research and development in helping to transform the steel sector as part of the cleaner, greener economy being developed in the UK.

Our ongoing support for the sector’s low-carbon development includes access to over £1 billion in competitive funding to support industry with energy efficiency, decarbonisation, low carbon infrastructure and research and development. This is in addition to the £780m we have provided the steel sector since 2013 to help with energy costs.

The Government will continue to work with the sector to support their long-term transition.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many households were switched to prepayment by their energy supplier (a) under warrant and (b) via smart meter in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2021 and (d) 2022 to date.

The independent regulator Ofgem collects data on prepayment meters (PPM) and has provided this information.

PPMs installed for debt on a warrant visit - Elec

PPMs installed for debt on a warrant visit - Gas

2019

34,047

33,050

2020

11,265

9,485

2021

27,754

21,798

Smart - Number remotely switched credit to PPM (debt or not debt) - Elec

Smart - Number remotely switched credit to PPM (debt or not debt) - Gas

2019

65,565

36,194

2020

56,488

38,899

2021

108,012

152,118

Up to 30/06/2022

74,637

49,426

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

The Department is committed to responding to Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and correspondence in a timely manner. Between May and July inclusive, on average over 95% of PQs and 81% of enquiries from Members of Parliament were answered on time by BEIS, exceeding its departmental performance standard.

To complement the work of the Parliamentary Capability Team, the department also runs tailored training sessions for BEIS staff specific to PQs to improve the quality and timeliness of our responses.

For correspondence, it has improved the efficiency of the end-to-end correspondence process and is exploring other initiatives, such as digital solutions.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government’s decision to lift the ban on fracking will also apply to land within National Parks.

Restrictions set out in the Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations 2015 and in licence conditions ensure that shale gas extraction will not be permitted in wells drilled from National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Specific Scientific Interest.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to finalise and the eligibility statement for the 2022-2023 Warm Home Discount.

The Government consulted on a draft Eligibility Statement for the Warm Home Discount scheme for England and Wales over the summer. The Government is reviewing responses and will publish the final Eligibility Statement in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential financial impact of changes to the eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount on people with disabilities who do not claim means-tested benefits.

Previously, households not in receipt of means-tested benefits would only be eligible for a Warm Home Discount rebate, if their energy suppliers set additional criteria for the Broader Group.

The Government has reformed the scheme in England and Wales from this winter. Households in receipt of means-tested benefits with high energy costs based on certain characteristics of their property will be eligible for the rebate. Around 62% of Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance recipients receive a means-tested benefit. Introducing non-means-tested benefits into the eligibility criteria would mean that many households on lower incomes would be disadvantaged.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to publish the Government’s consultation on the reduction of indirect costs to industry as a result of the Renewables Obligation as outlined in the Energy Security Strategy in April 2022.

The Government intends to consult on the related EII exemption scheme shortly. This scheme provides exemption from a significant portion of Contract for Differences (CfD), Renewables Obligation (RO), and Feed-in Tariff (FiT) costs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the impact of increases in gas and electricity standing charges on (a) single person households and (b) low-income households.

The standing charge is a fixed charge that suppliers pass on to their customers to cover the cost of providing a live supply. The standing charge is passed on to consumers as a flat rate per day, rather than as a percentage charge, based on how much energy they use.

The Government has announced a package of help for consumers, including a £400 grant to domestic electricity customers’ bills as well as further payments targeted specifically at households on benefits, pensioner households and the disabled.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to facilitate access for scientists who wish to access the £50 million funding for motor neurone disease research announced in November 2021.

The committed funding can be accessed through applications to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). We are working closely with DHSC, NIHR and UKRI to support the MND research community in submitting high quality applications to access funding. NIHR and Medical Research Council (part of UKRI) are also delivering a new £4.25 million partnership, co-funded by government and charity partners, to bring together the MND research community to coordinate research efforts, and develop programmes and proposals to boost access to research funds.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of calls to maintain British Summer Time throughout the calendar year.

The Government has no plans to change the daylight-saving arrangements. The Government believes that the current daylight-saving arrangements represent the optimal use of the available daylight across the UK.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether people living with cancer will qualify for the Government's proposed energy industry fund for low income disabled people at risk of fuel poverty.

The Warm Home Discount is a key policy in the Government’s strategy to tackle fuel poverty. As announced in the Energy White Paper, the Government has consulted on reforming the scheme to better target fuel poverty and to provide the rebates automatically to households. The reforms include focusing support on households in receipt of qualifying means-tested benefits and with high energy costs.

However, some households currently eligible for a rebate would lose out. Recognising that some disabled people and people with long-term illness may not be eligible for a rebate and yet are struggling with the costs of heating their homes, the Government has proposed to work with energy suppliers and third-party organisations to provide alternative financial support to low-income disabled people at risk of fuel poverty under the Industry Initiatives element of the scheme and subject to sufficient interest from energy suppliers.

The Government will publish its response to the consultation in the spring, with the reforms coming into force from the 2022/23 scheme year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the options available to his Department to ensure that people eligible for the Warm Home Discount receive it during the winter months.

The Government sets the spending target for each Warm Home Discount scheme year. However, energy suppliers are responsible for administering rebate payments to eligible customers’ accounts.

Energy suppliers generally start issuing Warm Home Discount rebates in October in a scheme year and have until 31 March to apply the rebate to eligible customers’ energy bills. The Government encourages energy suppliers to make rebate payments as soon as possible once they have completed the checks on customers’ eligibility. They may, however, provide rebates at any time before the 31 March deadline, with most rebates being provided to customers by January in a scheme year. These timings allow for the data matching process and eligibility checks to be undertaken and the delivery of over 2.2 million £140 rebates to vulnerable households when they need it most, around wintertime.

The Government consulted last summer on reforms to the scheme that would enable the vast majority of customers to receive their rebate automatically, without the need to apply. This would reduce the time needed to verify customers’ eligibility. The government will publish its response in the spring, with the reforms coming into force from the 2022/23 scheme year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of standardising the broader group eligibility criteria for the Warm Home Discount Scheme across suppliers.

The Government consulted last summer on the future of the Warm Home Discount scheme. While the Core Group of low-income pensioners would be maintained, the Government has proposed to replace the Broader Group and instead identify households on low incomes with the highest energy costs through data matching. Eligibility would be the same across all participating energy suppliers and this would enable most rebates to be provided automatically without customers having to apply, including working-age households for the first time.

The Government will publish its response to the consultation in the spring, with the reforms coming into force from the 2022/23 scheme year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of insolvency company charges on the payment of outstanding salaries of employees who have been made redundant following company liquidation.

An insolvent company is unable to pay its creditors in full (including employees). The appointed Insolvency Practitioner will do their best to maximise the payments from realised assets, though it is unlikely that all creditors’ claims would be met in full.

It is for this reason that there are special arrangements for dismissed employees under the insolvency provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which ensure that they receive a basic minimum of the debts owed by the employer from the National Insurance Fund. Former employees of an insolvent employer can, in certain circumstances, claim redundancy payments and other contractual amounts (subject to statutory limits) such as unpaid wages, notice pay and outstanding holiday pay from the National Insurance Fund.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average response time was for his Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on Gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the future of the Clean Steel Fund.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regularly discusses a range of issues with Cabinet colleagues regarding Net Zero and levelling up, in which the UK steel industry will play a key role.

The Government recognises the vital role that the sector plays in all areas of the UK and our economy and will continue to work with the sector to support its decarbonisation. The Department announced the Clean Steel Fund in 2019 and a number of options have been explored, together with ongoing feedback from industry.

In March 2021, the Government published the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy in which we committed to working with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035 and the business environment necessary to support the transition. We will provide further information in due course.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies which receive Government support on the basis of procuring 40 per cent or more of their steel content from the UK meet those obligations.

It is important that suppliers continue to be treated equally and fairly through open competition. Keeping our procurement market open to international competition facilitates UK suppliers being offered reciprocal rights to participate in procurements abroad.

We have established a joint industry and BEIS Steel Procurement Taskforce (launched on 12 March) with the aim of working with the sector to promote the unique selling points of UK steel and explore how best to support and position the industry for success in forthcoming major public contracts.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of Vauxhall on the use of UK steel at its sites in Ellesmere Port and Luton.

Where the UK steel industry produces the relevant grade steel this is utilised in Stellantis/Vauxhall manufacturing plants. However the company uses multiple grades of steel, not all of which are available in the UK.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the UK steel sector’s commitment to increase capital investment in the UK in the event that the Government takes steps to ensure a level playing field on electricity costs.

This issue is related to electricity costs for the steel industry and was highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on monitoring of the gap in industrial energy prices between the UK and other key nations.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with Cabinet colleagues on a variety of issues.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. The ability for our industries to be able to compete across Europe and globally is a priority for this Government.

Our aim is to work with the steel sector and help them to reduce carbon emissions. We will continue to support the steel sector in achieving these aims through the various funds available such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and Clean Steel Fund.

We estimate that reduction in the various renewable costs for eligible energy intensive industries, including steel, will save them around £400m a year in electricity costs. We have also extended the schemes to compensate certain energy intensive industries for indirect emission cost to the end of the next financial year in order to minimise disruption to existing recipients whilst we conduct a review. Between 2013 and 2019, total compensation paid to the steel sector was over £480m.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the UK steel sector’s commitment to increase capital investment in the UK in the event that the Government takes steps to ensure that electricity costs are competitive.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. The ability for our industries to be able to compete across Europe and globally is a priority for this Government.

Our aim is to work with the steel sector and help them to reduce carbon emissions. We will continue to support the steel sector in achieving these aims through the various funds available such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and Clean Steel Fund.

We estimate that the reduction in the various renewable policy costs for eligible energy intensive industries, including steel, will save them around £400m a year in electricity costs. Between 2013 and 2019, total compensation paid to the steel sector was over £480m.

We have also extended compensation for the indirect emission costs in electricity prices for the most energy-intensive companies at significant risk of carbon leakage by a year, to the end of 2021.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to ensure that electricity costs for the UK steel sector are competitive.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. The ability for our industries to be able to compete across Europe and globally is a priority for this Government.

Our aim is to work with the steel sector and help them to reduce carbon emissions. We will continue to support the steel sector in achieving these aims through the various funds available such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and Clean Steel Fund.

We estimate that the reduction in the various renewable policy costs for eligible energy intensive industries, including steel, will save them around £400m a year in electricity costs. Between 2013 and 2019, total compensation paid to the steel sector was over £480m.

We have also extended compensation for the indirect emission costs in electricity prices for the most energy-intensive companies at significant risk of carbon leakage by a year, to the end of 2021.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to exempt UK steel producers from 85 per cent of the costs of the Capacity Market.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to provide 100 per cent relief for the cost of renewable energy generation for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of network charging costs on the ability of the steel sector to compete globally.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the steel sector of the forthcoming Targeted Charging Review reforms.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to implement 100 per cent compensation for the indirect costs of carbon to lower electricity prices for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to introduce a Capacity Market Levy exemption to lower electricity prices for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to introduce discounts on energy network costs for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations set out in the report by UK Steel entitled Closing the gap, published in February 2021, on reducing the industrial electricity price disparity between the UK and Germany and France.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of any divergence between the UK and the EU Emissions Trading System on the UK steel sector.

As stated in the Government Response to the Consultation on The Future of UK Carbon Pricing, the design of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme builds on and is similar to Phase IV of the EU ETS, including for free allocation of emissions allowances. This provides continuation of emissions trading and protects the competitiveness of UK businesses. To have a take a fair, proportionate and considered approach to potential improvements to free allocation, we have committed to reviewing free allocation of allowances.

We currently have a range of ambitious policies in place that will help industry to reduce costs and decarbonise, including the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, Clean Steel Fund and Industrial Clusters Mission, among others. In Spring 2021, we will publish an Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, setting out a coherent plan for decarbonisation of the UK’s industrial sector in line with our net zero target.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) value and (b) duration is of the contract with ICF to administer the Green Homes Grant scheme.

The Department contracted ICF to administer the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, following a compliant competition, using the Crown Commercial Grants and Programme Services framework. The contract went out to tender on 13th August 2020 and ICF were awarded the contract, which runs from 14 September 2020 until 28 February 2022.

Further details will be published on GOV.UK in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) voucher applications have been received, (b) vouchers approved, (c) installations completed, (d) installations inspected by Trustmark and (e) installations inspected by MCS under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

As of 26 January 2021:

(a) 66,902 grant applications have been received, corresponding to 103,833 voucher applications

(b) 17,618 vouchers have been approved and issued to customers, to date.

With regard to (c), (d) and (e), official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many voucher applications have required (a) further identity checks and (b) alternative quotations under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

Under the Green Homes Grant, the scheme administrator may seek additional information from customers when processing applications in order to progress their application. This is to ensure applications are compliant with scheme rules, contain sufficient evidence to approve applications and that government funding is spent appropriately.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) total and (b) average value is of (i) voucher applications, (ii) approved voucher applications and (iii) installations under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

As of 26 January, 17,618 vouchers have been approved and issued to customers, to date. The total value of such vouchers is £73.1 million.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) the value of (i) primary and (ii) secondary measures installed under the Green Homes Grant scheme to date.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, under the Green Homes Grant, what is (a) the number and (b) the value of (i) voucher applications and (ii) installations for (1) low income households as defined by the eligibility criteria, and (2) other households.

As of 26 January, 34,795 grant applications have been received from households in receipt or stating in their application that they are in receipt of qualifying benefits. 32,109 applications have been received from households not in receipt of said benefits.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Trustmark registered installers were registered with the Green Homes Grant scheme in each month since September 2020.

The Green Homes Grant scheme opened for installer applications on 30 September. As of 28 January, the total number of installers registered with the scheme was 906.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2021 to Question 137894 on Retail Trade: Insolvency, if his Department will provide the timescales for its development of proposals on sector specific legislation on pre-payments to enable action on Christmas savings clubs.

Enactment of this measure as proposed by the Law Commission will require new primary and secondary legislation and the Government will confirm its plans as part of the wider legislative programme as soon as parliamentary time allows.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government plans to take in response to the recommendations of the Law Commission's report on prepayments in retail insolvency.

In December 2018, the Government set out in its response to the Law Commission prepayment report, ‘Consumer Prepayments on Retailer Insolvency’ that it intends to develop proposals to create a power to create sector specific legislation on pre-payments to enable action on Christmas savings clubs. The Government is considering the most practical route to formulate and implement this legislation.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to provide statutory protections for people putting money in Christmas savings clubs.

In December 2018, the Government set out in its response to the Law Commission prepayment report, ‘Consumer Prepayments on Retailer Insolvency’ that it intends to develop proposals to create a power to create sector specific legislation on pre-payments to enable action on Christmas savings clubs. The Government is considering the most practical route to formulate and implement this legislation.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January to Question 130668, if he will name the projects that received funding in 2019-20 from the (a) Medical Research Council and (b) National Institute for Health Research.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) funded seven Motor Neurone Disease-related projects in 2019-20 in pursuant to the Answer of 11 January to Question 130668. Details of the projects can be found in the table below.

Research Organisation

Project Title

Start Date

End Date

Amount Awarded (£m)

University College London

The impact of TDP-43 on translation and the response to axonal damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

01/10/2019

30/09/2024

£1.9m

University College London

Elucidating early stage ALS pathomecanisms that drive mitochondrial dysfunction

01/01/2020

31/12/2022

£0.9m

University of Sheffield

Regulation of ER-mitochondria contacts in neurodegeneration

01/07/2019

30/09/2022

£0.6m

University College London

A 5 year prospective follow-up clinical and imaging investigation of demyelinating clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)

01/09/2019

31/08/2023

£0.8m

Imperial College London

Regulated proteolysis of p62/SQSTM1, nutrient-sensing and human disease

01/02/2020

31/01/2023

£0.5m

University of Edinburgh

Investigating the molecular mechanisms of mutant C9orf72 human iPSC-derived astrocyte-mediated motor neuron deficits

01/08/2019

31/01/2022

£0.2m

Newcastle University

Novel MRI Biomarkers in Neuromuscular Disease

01/09/2019

31/08/2022

£0.1m

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded no Motor Neurone Disease-related projects during this period.

Further details of all projects funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which MRC has been integrated into, can be found at https://gtr.ukri.org/.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Motor Neurone Disease-related projects were funded by the (a) Medical Research Council and (b) National Institute for Health Research in (i) 2018-19 and (ii) 2019-20.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have funded the following number of Motor Neurone Disease-related projects, started in 2018-19 and 2019-2020.

2018-2019

2019-2020

MRC

10

7

NIHR

3

0

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research on motor neurone disease.

In 2019/20, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Medical Research Council (MRC), spent around £13.4 million on Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research. This included research which aims to increase our understanding of the causes and genetic mechanisms of MND and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a form of MND. Over 5 years (2015/16 - 2019/20) MRC expenditure relevant to MND and ALS totalled £45 million.

In addition, UKRI, through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, supports a diverse portfolio of neuroscience research and innovation totalling around £30 million per annum. This work may underpin MND research by furthering current understanding of: the structure and function of the nervous system; cell biology and genetics; mental processes including learning and memory, and neurodegeneration as a result of normal ageing. Their portfolio of funded research also includes awards seeking to understand the biology of neuromuscular systems and motor control which has underpinning relevance to MND has an average annual spend of £1.2 million.

Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It is not usual practice to ring-fence funding for particular topics or conditions. The NIHR welcomes funding on applications for research into any aspect of human health, including MND. Applications are subject to peer review and judged on open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money, and scientific quality.

Over the past five years, DHSC has spent over £9 million on MND research through NIHR programmes and infrastructure. In 2018-19 alone, the NIHR invested £2.2 million in MND research through the NIHR research programmes and the NIHR Clinical Research Network. Additionally, the NIHR research infrastructure supported 73 research studies and trials on MND in 2018-19.

Furthermore, you be interested to hear about the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre which has a research theme dedicated to MND. Further information on the AMBRoSIA study can be found at:http://sheffieldbrc.nihr.ac.uk/research-themes/motor-neurone-disease/.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce industrial energy costs for UK steel producers.

The Government has helped steel companies to reduce their costs through resource and energy efficiency, including through a package of compensation and exemptions from electricity costs, and has provided more than £560 million in support to the UK steel industry since 2013.

In?addition, we have established an Industrial Energy Transformation Fund,?backed by up to?£315 million?of investment. This Fund will help businesses, including steel companies, with high energy use in order to cut their bills and transition the UK’s industry to a low carbon future.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to include representatives of the electricity network supply chain in the Government’s future engagement with industry and other stakeholders on the development of the energy system.

The Government’s commitment to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 puts clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. The manufacturing sector will have a key role to play in delivering the required investment in energy infrastructure to help meet these commitments. It also provides an opportunity to develop skills, provide employment and boost exports, which will be key in supporting a post-COVID green recovery. Government will continue to engage with the electricity network supply chain, along with a wide range of stakeholders, as we work towards developing a smarter, more flexible energy system.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that companies comply with ACAS guidelines on accrued holiday pay when making an employee redundant.

Where a worker is made redundant by their employer, they are entitled to be paid for any accrued but untaken holiday and any holiday taken but unpaid up to the point of their redundancy. Further guidance on how to calculate holiday pay and entitlement is available on GOV.UK and is kept under review.

On the 23rd July, the Department published updated guidance to clarify holiday pay for workers who are made redundant. This also includes when an employee is made redundant by an insolvent employer. The guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/calculating-holiday-pay-for-workers-without-fixed-hours-or-pay

Employees who feel their rights have been denied may contact ACAS to receive free and impartial advice and may be able to bring a claim to an employment tribunal.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the number of people unable to apply for a Bounce Back Loan as a result of an application for a feeder account being declined.

Decision-making on lending under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is fully delegated to the Scheme’s accredited lenders.

In order to minimise administrative burden and therefore facilitate the issuing of as many loans as possible, the British Business Bank’s system only gathers data from lenders when loans are offered and drawn. Decisions on whether to capture information relating to rejected loans are at the discretion of the lender.

It is not a requirement of the Scheme for businesses to operate via a business account. However, some lenders may request that an applicant opens a business account in line with their standard policies. This is at the sole discretion of the lender.

A lender may consider paying funds into a personal current account if no business bank account is held, if it has been satisfactorily evidenced that the personal current account is being used for business purposes.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average time is between application and payment of Bounce Back Loans by banks to customers who (a) have an existing business bank account and (b) are new customers.

The processing of applications under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is fully delegated to the 26 accredited lenders. The length of time from application to payment will vary across each of these lenders. A number of factors, including whether or not a customer has an existing relationship with the lender, will have an impact on how long the application process will take.

In order to apply for the scheme, businesses complete a short, simple, online application form, meaning that applications can be submitted and processed rapidly, and loans can be accessed within a matter of days. The Government is providing lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan to give them the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a Government-backed industry watchdog for the website design and IT sectors.

The Government has not made an assessment of establishing an industry watchdog for these sectors. Businesses contracting for website design and IT will be protected by the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008, and consumers are protected under general consumer law.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from pub companies on support for pub tenants during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has had discussions with a broad range of stakeholders from across the pubs sector on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including support to pub tenants.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he is having with UK satellite companies on their development of capability in Cislunar space; and if he will make a statement

The UK is investing to participate in future lunar activities including Cislunar space through our membership of the European Space Agency. This is an independent organisation and not part of the EU. In November 2019, the Government invested 218M€ in ESA’s exploration programme which covers our involvement in the International Space Station, and the exploration of the Moon and Mars. ESA has provided workshops for industry explaining the future opportunities. Specifically, for the Moon the future opportunities include building elements of the Gateway a space station that will orbit the Moon, led by NASA; a commercial data relay service and a study for a future telecommunication and navigation network service. UK officials and ESA are working closely together with SSTL and Goonhilly Earth Station to launch the first lunar communications satellite in 2023. This activity will enable the UK to deliver on the joint Statement of Intent between the UK Space Agency and NASA to identify areas of cooperation for Lunar exploration and research.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support people with prepayment (a) gas and (b) electricity meters during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government announced on 19 March that we have secured a voluntary agreement with domestic energy supply companies to support customers impacted by Covid-19.

Under the terms of this agreement, energy suppliers will seek to identify and prioritise customers at risk, support customers who are impacted financially, and support prepayment meter customers to stay on supply.

The support offered will be based on the individual circumstances of the customer and the systems, processes and capability of the supply company. It could include extending discretionary or friendly credit, or sending out a pre-loaded top up card for prepay customers who are unable to leave home to top up.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of steel procured by her Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

BEIS does not procure any steel directly, however, we are working hard to make sure that UK producers of steel have the best possible chance of competing for and winning contracts across all Government procurement. All Government departments and arms-length bodies are required to consider socio-economic and environmental factors when procuring steel. We also publish a Steel Pipeline, signalling upcoming steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

BEIS collates data, including origin where known, for arms-length bodies undertaking infrastructure projects with significant steel content, including UKRI and the NDA as well as Offshore Wind builds and Hinkley Point C. This information is published annually on gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steel-public-procurement

The data was first published in January 2019, with the next iteration due to be published shortly.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to ensure that the UK steel industry will continue to benefit from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel after the UK has left the EU.

The Government recognises the importance of R&D to help transform the steel sector so it can play a vital role within our modern Industrial Strategy. Increasing investment in R&D was one of the key recommendations in our 2017 Future capacities and capabilities of the UK steel industry study (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-steel-industry-future-market-opportunities), which sets out how the industry can increase its profitability and sustainability.

On ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, we will continue to participate in RFCS during the implementation period. We want to make sure that if we are signing up to future EU Programmes, they align with UK priorities and provide value for money. Where it is in the UK’s interests, we will seek to participate in some specific EU Programmes. The exact terms of any participation would be subject to negotiation between the UK and the EU.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it remains her policy to deliver the lowest energy costs in Europe to reduce the disparity between the UK and EU in industrial electricity cost for the steel sector.

The Government is reducing the cumulative impact of energy and climate change policies on industrial electricity prices for energy intensive industries, including the steel sector. This includes over £300m of compensation to the steel sector since 2013.

We are committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive, such as through the £315m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and our provision of electricity cost compensation and exemption.

29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the Government has delayed the publication of the Gambling White Paper.

Our review of the Gambling Act 2005 is the most comprehensive review of gambling regulation since the 2005 Act came into force. We received over 16,000 responses during the call for evidence and are considering all the evidence carefully. We will publish a white paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in the coming weeks.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

The House of Commons Procedure Committee publishes statistics on Written Parliamentary Questions (WPQs) on a sessional basis, with the most recent data on departmental answering performance published in July 2022. The Procedure Committee’s most recent report on performance notes that, in the 2021-22 session of Parliament, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) answered 91% of ordinary questions, and 90% of named day questions, on time.

Data provided by the House of Commons Table Office shows that between 4 January and 26 April 2022, DCMS answered 90% of ordinary WPQs, and 89% of named day WPQs, on time. Between 10 May and 21 July 2022, these figures were 81% and 89% respectively.

Statistics for the remainder of 2022 have not yet been provided by the Table Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the government will publish the Fan-led Review of Football Governance White Paper.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April.

We absolutely recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper setting out our proposals for the reform of football governance and will do so imminently.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when she plans to publish the Gambling Act White Paper.

The Gambling Act Review is wide-ranging and aims to ensure regulation is fit for the digital age. We will publish a White Paper setting out our vision and next steps in the coming weeks.

5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will have discussions with the BBC Board on seeking to ensure that BBC presenters do not appear in gambling advertisements on commercial channels.

Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, as long as they comply with the advertising codes of practice issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These codes set rules such as preventing gambling adverts from airing around any programmes that particularly appeal to children. All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority and Ofcom.

The gambling industry’s own Code for Socially Responsible Advertising also includes restrictions on televised advertising, such as a ban on showing most forms of gambling advertising before 9 pm, and the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban preventing betting ads from airing during and immediately before and after live sporting events.

The Committee of Advertising Practice has recently made changes to the advertising codes in response to research on features of advertising that appeal to children and vulnerable people. These include banning content that over-emphasises skill or downplays risk involved in betting, as well as the use of content or persons who have ‘strong appeal’ to children, such as influencers or top-flight footballers. The Code in relation to broadcast advertising can be found here: https://www.asa.org.uk/type/broadcast/code_section/17.html

The government has not engaged with the BBC on the subject of its presenters appearing in gambling advertisements. The BBC is independent from the government and any additional rules or guidelines specifically for BBC staff would be a matter for the BBC to decide.

The government is currently reviewing the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure it is fit for the digital age. As part of its broad scope, the Gambling Act Review will look at the impacts of advertising and marketing by gambling operators, wherever it appears. We will publish a White Paper outlining our conclusions in the coming weeks.

28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) recognises the importance of providing timely responses to written parliamentary questions (WPQs) and correspondence. Every effort is made to provide prompt responses to enquiries, and we continually seek opportunities for improvement in these areas; doing so in regular collaboration with other departments across Whitehall to share best practice.

DCMS has access to regular training led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus. DCMS also runs regular training sessions within the department on WPQs and correspondence to further improve the quality and timeliness of our responses.

Between July 2021 and July 2022, DCMS answered 88% of House of Commons WPQs on time, meaning on the named day or within five working days for ordinary WPQs. In the same period, DCMS answered 67% of ministerial correspondence cases within 20 working days. Additionally, as noted by the Procedure Committee in its report on departmental performance in the 2021-22 session of Parliament, DCMS answered 90% of all WPQs on time during the last session of Parliament.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will renew its commitment to introducing (a) an independent football regulator and (b) the other recommendations of the Crouch Review.

The Government published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance in April 2022. We absolutely recognise the need for football to be reformed to ensure the game’s sustainability in the long term. We are now taking the time to consider the policy, but we remain committed to publishing a White Paper setting out our detailed response to the fan led review of football governance, and will set this out in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason eligibility to receive the Platinum Jubilee Medal was set at five years of service for members of the armed forces and frontline emergency service personnel.

The five-year service qualifying criteria, which has been agreed across the government, Devolved Administrations and Crown Dependencies, has been determined on the basis of the precedent for previous commemorative Jubilee medals.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has had recent discussions with the People's Postcode Lottery on that organisation's campaign to raise the charity lottery annual sales limit to £100 million.

All ministerial meetings are published on GOV.UK and can be accessed on the website.

DCMS officials meet regularly with society lottery operators to hear their views on the sector and discuss any key areas of concern. Their most recent meeting with the People’s Postcode Lottery was held on 26 January 2022 to discuss the review of the increases to society lottery sales and prize limits implemented in 2020.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average response time was for her Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not have an MP hotline.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not have an account management team, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport correspondence team does not hold information on the average response time to enquiries from MPs, as correspondence performance is monitored by the percentage of correspondence responded to within the target response time set by the Department.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on GOV.UK. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he is having with (a) major telecommunications networks and (b) his EU counterpart on preventing the reintroduction of roaming charges for UK citizens travelling in the EU.

Ministers have regular discussions with senior representatives of mobile operators on a range of issues, including on the issue of mobile roaming, and the government will continue to promote a competitive marketplace that serves the interests of consumers.

During negotiations for the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, the UK proposed continuation of reciprocal agreements between the UK and EU for surcharge free roaming, or a review clause to consider the need for these should roaming surcharges return for consumers. The EU did not agree to either of these proposals. Therefore, mobile operators are now able to impose a surcharge on UK consumers travelling abroad to the EU for their mobile phone usage. We advise that consumers check with their operators before travelling.

1st Jul 2021
What steps he is taking to progress the fan-led review of football governance.

Evidence sessions with nearly 70 fan groups and other key stakeholders are well underway, and I’m grateful to Newport County FC for their contribution.

Key themes emerging from these sessions will be set out in the interim findings due later this month. The Review panel will shortly be launching an online survey for all fans focusing on how we can improve football governance.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with UEFA on travel restrictions for overseas visitors to the UK for the European Football Championship.

In general, international visitors are subject to our current border restrictions and were not exempt from quarantining if they had a ticket for any Euro 2020 games being hosted in the UK. We did, via UEFA, communicate to all international ticket-holders on the nature of our border restrictions, and saw that most of those based overseas who originally purchased tickets latterly chose not to come here, with many transferring them to people in the UK.

The government and UEFA announced on 22 June that the semi finals and the final would be hosted at up to 75% capacity. We agreed with UEFA that all additional tickets sold by them for these matches would be limited to those based in the Common Travel Area

A limited number of accredited guests were provided an exemption from COVID-19 borders restrictions to attend the latter stages of the Championships. This ensured that the tournament could take place successfully in the UK. They were either:

a) only permitted to leave isolation for official events, including matches or UEFA meetings, subject to strict public health mitigations, developed with the input of Public Health England and in line with other international events such as the G7; or

b) required to travel directly from the airport to the stadium, and back again, helping to prevent contact with the local population.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support the Government is providing to the exhibition and events industries that have lost revenue as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that multiple aspects of the exhibition and events industries have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Tourism Minister has engaged regularly with the sector over the last few months, for example by convening a panel of Senior Leaders from across the industry and meeting with the Events Industry Board.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

The Welsh Government is responsible for any support tied to business rates or council tax in Wales.

We will continue to engage with the Devolved Administrations to support business events across the UK during the recovery period, as set out in last year’s International Business Events Action Plan.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department will take to promote (a) Wales and (b) the International Convention Centre in Newport, as a venue for major conferences and events.

Business events and conferences are very important to the UK economy and we engage with the Wales Office along with the Welsh Government to support business events in Wales. Support is primarily provided by VisitBritain.

The Government supports the delivery of VisitBritain’s Business Events Growth Programme and is committed to attracting more international business events to the UK. This April, VisitBritain will hold its flagship business tourism event, ‘MeetGB’, at the International Convention Centre Wales.

Government support for the events sector is set out in the International Business Events Action Plan, which was published in June 2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to increase the (a) student loan and (b) postgraduate loan repayment thresholds in line with (i) inflation and (ii) the national living wage.

As education, including higher education and student finance, is a devolved matter, this department is responsible for student finance in England only.

The student finance and funding system must provide value for money for all of society at a time of rising costs. It is important that a sustainable student finance system is in place, that is fair to students and fair to taxpayers.

The department has frozen maximum tuition fees for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years. By the 2024/25 academic year, maximum fees will have been frozen for seven successive years.

The mechanism for setting repayment thresholds for student loans is set out and governed by the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009 (as amended). This includes provision for annual adjustments, where applicable.

The department will continue to keep the terms of the student finance system under review to ensure that they keep delivering value for money for both students and taxpayers.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

The Department attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from Members of Parliament, including written parliamentary questions. The below table provides the proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named day written parliamentary questions answered by the Department in 2022.

PQ type

Answered

Answered on time

PQ-Ordinary

2,649

2131 (77%)

PQ-Named

1,217

939 (80%)

Total

3,866

3,070 (79%)

28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

The Department attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from Members of Parliament, either directly, or on behalf of their constituents. The Department runs tailored training sessions for Departmental colleagues specific to written parliamentary questions and ministerial correspondence to improve the quality and timeliness of responses.

All Departments also have access to regular training led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of rising energy prices on students in higher education.

To support disadvantaged students and those who need additional help, the department has confirmed in guidance to the Office for Students (OfS) on funding for the 2022/23 financial year that universities will continue to be able to support students in hardship through their own hardship funds and the student premium, for which up to £261 million is available for academic year 2022/23.

We have also worked closely with the OfS to clarify that English providers can draw upon this funding now, to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by cost-of-living pressures.

Maximum grants and loans for living costs have also been increased by 2.3% this academic year. Students who have been awarded a loan for living costs for the 2022/23 academic year that is lower than the maximum, and whose household income for the 2022/23 financial year has dropped by at least 15% compared to the income provided for their original assessment, can apply for their entitlement to be reassessed.

In addition, maximum tuition fees, and the subsidised loans available from Government to pay them, remain at £9,250 for the 2022/23 academic year in respect of standard full-time courses. We are also freezing maximum tuition fees for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years. By 2024/25, maximum fees will have been frozen for seven years. As well as reducing debt levels for students, the continued fee freeze will help to ensure that the HE system remains sustainable while also promoting greater efficiency at providers.

As part of a package of support for rising energy bills, the government is giving a council tax rebate payment of £150 to households that were living in a property in council tax bands A to D as their main home on 1 April 2022. This includes full-time students that do not live in student halls or in property that is not considered a House in Multiple Occupation for council tax purposes. Alongside this, the government is also making available discretionary funding of £144 million to support vulnerable people and individuals on low incomes, including students, to support those ineligible for council tax.

The government has also announced that households will get £400 of support with their energy bills through an expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Students who buy their energy from a domestic supplier are also eligible for this support. Furthermore, The Energy Price Guarantee, announced on 8 September, will save the average household at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October. Students who buy their energy from a domestic supplier are eligible for the energy bills discount.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps are being taken to support those repaying (a) student loans and (b) student loans plus post-graduate loans in the context of the rising cost of living.

The student loan repayment system incorporates a number of protections for those making loan repayments. Repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the relevant repayment threshold (currently £27,295 for a post 2012 undergraduate plan and £21,000 for a post graduate loan) and do not change as a result of the interest rate charged or the amount borrowed. If a borrower’s income drops, so does the amount they repay. If income is below the relevant repayment threshold, or a borrower is not earning, then they do not have to make repayments at all. Any outstanding debt, including interest accrued, is written off after the loan term ends (or in case of death or disability) at no detriment to the borrower.

The Energy Price Guarantee announced on 8 September will save the average household at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October and this is in addition to the £400 energy bills discount for all households.

As part of the package of support for rising energy bills, the government is also giving a council tax rebate payment of £150 to households that were living in a property in council tax bands A to D as their main home on 1 April 2022.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding did Welsh universities receive under the Erasmus scheme in (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19, (c) 2019-20 and (d) 2020-21; and how many students from Welsh universities studied overseas under that scheme in each of those years.

The Turing Scheme is providing funding for 372 eligible organisations who successfully applied for the 2021/22 academic year, with over 41,000 expected participants. Of these, 13 organisations were Welsh, and these were provided with £5,170,829 of funding. Data on expected participant numbers at these Welsh institutions is not currently available. More details of the funding provided for the 2021/22 academic year is available here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/project-community/funding-results/.

Regarding the number of educational establishments in Wales receiving Turing Scheme funding for 2022/23 and student numbers for 2022/23, we have no data on this yet as applications for the 2022/23 academic year have yet to be made. Data on this will only be available after bids are considered and results are known.

The timetable for applications for Turing Scheme funds for the 2022/23 academic year will be published on the Turing Scheme website on 28 February 2022, along with the programme guide and application guide for this year. The Turing Scheme website is available here: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.

The Turing Scheme is a genuinely UK-wide scheme. There is no proportioning of funds between nations; all will be considered on a competitive basis, as set out in the programme guide.

Fee waivers for Turing Scheme participants are managed on an institutional level.

The Erasmus+ UK National Agency publishes information on the amount of funding received by institutions for Erasmus+ projects from the UK National Agency and the European Commission. Data for each institution, across academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21 is available here: https://erasmusplus.org.uk/funding-results.html. Figures on Erasmus+ student participation will also be published here: https://erasmusplus.org.uk/statistics.html.

At the above statistics website, selecting “Project Mobilities & Outputs”, Table 2 of the file “2014-2019 Higher education mobility statistics” contains the number of outgoing Erasmus+ students by country of provider for academic years 2014/15 to 2018/19. Data for academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21 is not published.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many education establishments in (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2022-23 were part of the Turing Scheme; how many of those education establishments have tuition fee waiver agreements; and in which countries do those waivers apply.

The Turing Scheme is providing funding for 372 eligible organisations who successfully applied for the 2021/22 academic year, with over 41,000 expected participants. Of these, 13 organisations were Welsh, and these were provided with £5,170,829 of funding. Data on expected participant numbers at these Welsh institutions is not currently available. More details of the funding provided for the 2021/22 academic year is available here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/project-community/funding-results/.

Regarding the number of educational establishments in Wales receiving Turing Scheme funding for 2022/23 and student numbers for 2022/23, we have no data on this yet as applications for the 2022/23 academic year have yet to be made. Data on this will only be available after bids are considered and results are known.

The timetable for applications for Turing Scheme funds for the 2022/23 academic year will be published on the Turing Scheme website on 28 February 2022, along with the programme guide and application guide for this year. The Turing Scheme website is available here: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.

The Turing Scheme is a genuinely UK-wide scheme. There is no proportioning of funds between nations; all will be considered on a competitive basis, as set out in the programme guide.

Fee waivers for Turing Scheme participants are managed on an institutional level.

The Erasmus+ UK National Agency publishes information on the amount of funding received by institutions for Erasmus+ projects from the UK National Agency and the European Commission. Data for each institution, across academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21 is available here: https://erasmusplus.org.uk/funding-results.html. Figures on Erasmus+ student participation will also be published here: https://erasmusplus.org.uk/statistics.html.

At the above statistics website, selecting “Project Mobilities & Outputs”, Table 2 of the file “2014-2019 Higher education mobility statistics” contains the number of outgoing Erasmus+ students by country of provider for academic years 2014/15 to 2018/19. Data for academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21 is not published.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timetable is for informing education institutions of the outcome of their bid for funding from the Turing Scheme.

The Turing Scheme is providing funding for 372 eligible organisations who successfully applied for the 2021/22 academic year, with over 41,000 expected participants. Of these, 13 organisations were Welsh, and these were provided with £5,170,829 of funding. Data on expected participant numbers at these Welsh institutions is not currently available. More details of the funding provided for the 2021/22 academic year is available here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/project-community/funding-results/.

Regarding the number of educational establishments in Wales receiving Turing Scheme funding for 2022/23 and student numbers for 2022/23, we have no data on this yet as applications for the 2022/23 academic year have yet to be made. Data on this will only be available after bids are considered and results are known.

The timetable for applications for Turing Scheme funds for the 2022/23 academic year will be published on the Turing Scheme website on 28 February 2022, along with the programme guide and application guide for this year. The Turing Scheme website is available here: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.

The Turing Scheme is a genuinely UK-wide scheme. There is no proportioning of funds between nations; all will be considered on a competitive basis, as set out in the programme guide.

Fee waivers for Turing Scheme participants are managed on an institutional level.

The Erasmus+ UK National Agency publishes information on the amount of funding received by institutions for Erasmus+ projects from the UK National Agency and the European Commission. Data for each institution, across academic years 2014/15 to 2020/21 is available here: https://erasmusplus.org.uk/funding-results.html. Figures on Erasmus+ student participation will also be published here: https://erasmusplus.org.uk/statistics.html.

At the above statistics website, selecting “Project Mobilities & Outputs”, Table 2 of the file “2014-2019 Higher education mobility statistics” contains the number of outgoing Erasmus+ students by country of provider for academic years 2014/15 to 2018/19. Data for academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21 is not published.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average response time was for his Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

The department does not have an MP hotline or an account management team for MPs. Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Construction Industry Training Board on recent changes to its redundancy policy; and if he will make an assessment of the effect of those changes on staff.

The Industrial Training Act 1982, delegates employment matters to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Schedule 1 (11) of the Act states, ‘An industrial training board may appoint such officers and servants, upon such terms as to remuneration, pension rights and other conditions of service, as the board may determine.’

The Department maintains ongoing dialogue with the CITB and is sighted on key activity impacting on CITB colleagues.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that non-departmental Government bodies that report to his Department do not change their redundancy policy prior to the completion of a full consultation with staff.

The Department’s arm's length bodies (ALBs) are usually responsible for the management of their own staff terms and conditions, including the need to consult with staff on any changes. Governance arrangements are in place to ensure the Department has oversight of any changes which require Departmental input or approval and to ensure this is managed compliantly. The guidance about the Department’s overall approach to ALBs, as set out in the Cabinet Office guide to public bodies, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/partnerships-with-arms-length-bodies-code-of-good-practice.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of steel procured by his Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

Based on data available, the Department estimates that the proportion of steel procured by the Department that has been produced in the UK is as follows:

  • April 2017 to March 2018 – 45%
  • April 2018 to March 2019 – 36%

The above data excludes the tonnage that may have been used for modular projects – which would be minimal given the small quantities of modular schools delivered to date.

Data collection on steel usage, source and type only commenced in 2017 as a result of Procurement Policy Note 15/16, issued by the Cabinet Office.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when her Department plans to publish its response to its consultation on Amending the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and the Bread and Flour Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, which closed on 23 November 2023.

We received 369 responses to this consultation from a wide range of stakeholders. We have been carefully analysing those detailed responses, while also discussing with the devolved administrations the best approach to consistent and effective policy implementation across the UK. We expect to publish a summary of responses and Government response later this summer, concurrent with any necessary notification to the WTO.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to introduce a new single water affordability scheme for England and Wales as recommended by Consumer Council for Water’s independent review of water affordability.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 3 February 2023 to the hon. Member for Blaydon, PQ 135453.

Water is a devolved matter and therefore it is for the Senedd to decide how best they can support Welsh water consumers, not Defra.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

Defra attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and correspondence, and officials seek to provide the highest level of service.

All departments have access to regular training led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus.

To complement the work of the Parliamentary Capability Team, Defra provides tailored training and advice for Defra staff specific to PQs and correspondence to drive up the quality and timeliness of our responses.

Response rates for 2022 are in the table below:

Question type

Due for answer

Answered on time

Percentage

Named Day

835

494

59%

Ordinary Written

1944

1213

62%

Total

2779

1707

61%

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to incentivise switching from diesel to hydrogenated vegetable oil as a transition fuel for industrial machinery.

Defra has made no such assessment and is not taking steps to incentivise this switch.

The supply of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a fuel in road transport and in non-road mobile machinery is supported under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) certificate trading scheme. In 2021 HVO biodiesel supplied under the RTFO provided an average 89% greenhouse gas emissions saving compared to diesel. No data is gathered on the split between road vehicle and other end uses covered by the RTFO. It is also worth noting that the carbon reduction benefits of biofuels will vary depending on how they are produced. In 2021 the vast majority of HVO supplied was produced from used cooking oil. The average carbon reductions of some crop-based biofuels are significantly lower.

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect on UK carbon emissions of switching from diesel to hydrogenated vegetable oil as a transition fuel for industrial machinery.

Defra has made no such assessment and is not taking steps to incentivise this switch.

The supply of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a fuel in road transport and in non-road mobile machinery is supported under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) certificate trading scheme. In 2021 HVO biodiesel supplied under the RTFO provided an average 89% greenhouse gas emissions saving compared to diesel. No data is gathered on the split between road vehicle and other end uses covered by the RTFO. It is also worth noting that the carbon reduction benefits of biofuels will vary depending on how they are produced. In 2021 the vast majority of HVO supplied was produced from used cooking oil. The average carbon reductions of some crop-based biofuels are significantly lower.

27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her planned timetable is for the publication of the findings of the cross-Administration UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership.

Through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, UK Administrations are working with BEIS and Defra to address key research questions relating to our policy on blue carbon. One of the first aims of the Partnership has been to identify and then clearly set out the most pressing research questions relating to blue carbon within an Evidence Needs Statement that will act as a signal to the research community. The UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership plans to publish the Evidence Needs Statement in Spring 2023.

27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will discuss with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the potential merits of including the restoration of saltmarshes for blue carbon in the Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Nature-based solutions, including blue carbon habitats such as saltmarsh, have an important role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and supporting adaptation and resilience to climate change, alongside their carbon sequestration benefits. In the UK, there are currently significant evidence gaps that prevent the accurate reporting and therefore inclusion of emissions from coastal wetland habitats, including saltmarsh, into the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, UK Administrations are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Defra to address key research questions relating to blue carbon, including to support the potential future inclusion of saltmarsh within the inventory. The first aim of the Partnership has been to identify and then clearly set out the most pressing research questions relating to blue carbon in an Evidence Needs Statement that will act as a signal to the research community. The UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership plans to publish the Evidence Needs Statement in spring 2023.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of rising costs of Packaging Recovery Notes on businesses, and if he will implement a cap on PRNs.

We are aware that prices of PRN/PERNs have increased in recent months, in particular prices for glass PRN/PERNs. We have regular engagement with industry, through our Advisory Committee, and with the regulators to understand if there are any issues within the market and the likely impact on business.

The UK operates a market-based mechanism to support the provision of evidence to show compliance with producers’ recycling obligations. Price fluctuations are a feature of any market system. Higher prices usually result from supply side issues, which in turn encourage increased activity by operators in the market, thereby increasing the level of reprocessing and reducing PRN prices. We will continue to keep the matter under review, but currently have no plans to intervene in the market and to cap PRN prices.

13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent potential food shortages.

As demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 response, the UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. Our high degree of food security is built on supply from diverse sources, strong domestic production, as well as imports through stable trade routes.

The Government will shortly be publishing a food strategy. This will address food security, and the importance of international resilience and open markets, but also the importance of domestic production and how that contributes to our resilience.  It will also address the role of the food industry in our levelling up agenda.

In England, our new farming schemes are supporting farmers to improve profitability and productivity.

We have increased the Farming Investment Fund for small technology grants from £17 million to more than £48 million, supporting thousands of farmers with their investment plans this year.

Food production and environmental protection must go hand in hand. For the first time we will be safeguarding the assets that support domestic food production, by taking the health of our soils as seriously as the size of our yields.

Food security rests not just on maximising domestic production (which is market driven), but on making best use of land types and good farming practices. Our schemes will ensure our long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soil, water, and biodiverse ecosystems.

Finally, the Government has also set out a legal obligation to produce an assessment of our food security at least once every three years. The first UK Food Security Report was published in December 2021. It recognised the contribution made by British farmers to our resilience, and the importance of strong domestic production to our food security. This report serves as an evidence base for policy work, safeguarding food security in the UK for years to come.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Adaptation Committee’s recommendations on page 28 of the Climate Change Committee's report of June 2021 entitled, Progress in adapting to climate change: 2021 Report to Parliament, what plans his Department has to take steps to mitigate the effects on nature conservation of a two degrees Celsius warming scenario.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential if we are to meet our historic target to halt the decline of nature by 2030. The UK Climate Change Act 2008 requires the Government to prepare, on a five-yearly cycle, a UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), followed by a National Adaptation Programme (NAP), setting out actions to address the risks identified in the CCRA.

The Climate Change Committee's Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk offers a detailed and up to date insight into the growing risks and opportunities the UK and its natural environment faces from climate change, from terrestrial and freshwater habitats to soil health and natural carbon stores and to agriculture.

This evidence has informed our third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3), which we laid in Parliament on 17 January 2022. The evidence will inform greater ambition and action on enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change through the third NAP (NAP3) and highlight gaps where the government needs to go further. NAP3 will address the risks and opportunities for a 2ºC warming scenario, to build a more resilient country, with a focus on enhanced ambition, implementation and evaluation.

Restoring our natural habitats has a number of potential benefits for helping support the resilience of ecosystems to climate change. For example, improving the condition and diversity within, and connectivity between, our wildlife habitats will help species survive in their existing locations and allow them to move towards more suitable climates where necessary. This work is supported by policies such as the nature recovery network and Local Nature Recovery Strategies, as well as the policies set out in the England Peat and Trees Action Plans. We have also invested significant funding into nature, including over £750 million in the Nature for Climate Fund and £80 million through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The environmental land management schemes will be key mechanisms for enhancing our natural landscape's resilience and its adaptive benefits to society, by rewarding farmers for their roles as environmental stewards and improving the resilience of their agri-businesses as well.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Adaptation Committee’s recommendations on page 28 of the Climate Change Committee's report of June 2021 entitled, Progress in adapting to climate change: 2021 Report to Parliament, what plans his Department has to take steps to mitigate the implications on water management of a two degrees Celsius warming scenario.

Adapting to climate change is essential if we are to meet the 25 Year Environment Plan goal of achieving clean and plentiful water.

The Climate Change Committee’s Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk offers a detailed insight into the growing risks and opportunities the UK and its natural environment faces from climate change. This evidence has informed our third Climate Change Risk Assessment, which we laid in Parliament on 17 January 2022, and will inform the development of the third National Adaptation Programme, expected to run between 2023 to 2028. NAP3 will address the risks and opportunities for a 2ºC warming scenario, to continue to build a more resilient country, with a focus on enhanced ambition, implementation, and evaluation.

The Environment Agency is committed to designing an approach to working with regulated industries around impacts (including those related to water scarcity) associated with a 4°C rise in global mean temperature by 2100.

The Environment Agency’s National Framework sets out how we expect to see improved collaboration to aid the environment and the sustainable use of water resources. This approach will inform water companies’ statutory water resources management plans, which set out how they will secure water supplies in the long term. The statutory plans must take account of future pressures, including climate change and drought resilience improvements. To further improve water demand management, the Government is consulting on a water demand target under the Environment Act 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Adaptation Committee’s recommendations on page 28 of the Climate Change Committee's report of June 2021 entitled, Progress in adapting to climate change: 2021 Report to Parliament, what plans his Department has to take steps to mitigate the effects on agriculture of a two degrees Celsius warming scenario.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential to support the productivity of farming businesses and support global food security. The UK Climate Change Act 2008 requires the Government to prepare, on a five-yearly cycle, a UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), followed by a National Adaptation Programme (NAP), setting out actions to address the risks identified in the CCRA. The Climate Change Committee's Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk offers a detailed and up to date insight into the growing risks and opportunities the UK and its natural environment faces from climate change, including in relation to agriculture.

This evidence has informed our third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3), which we laid in Parliament on 17 January 2022. The evidence will inform greater ambition and action on enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change through the third NAP (NAP3) and highlight gaps where the Government needs to go further. NAP3 will address the risks and opportunities for a 2ºC warming scenario, to build a more resilient country, with a focus on enhanced ambition, implementation, and evaluation.

Our policy development and delivery for agriculture's contribution to net zero can provide a multitude of adaptive benefits. For example, Defra intends to offer greater support for agroforestry through the 2020s, which will help to: sequester carbon; reduce soil erosion and flood risk; improve tolerance to drought; and reduce heat stress and wind exposure in livestock through the provision of shelter and shade. We will continue to consider the importance of climate adaptation as we develop our environmental land management schemes to support a resilient agricultural sector.

Defra continues to support research to promote agricultural resilience. For example, the Genetic Improvement Networks research projects aim to enhance the productivity, sustainability and resilience of the main UK crops. Defra has also recently introduced new regulations that will make field trials and research easier for plants produced through precision breeding technologies, such as gene editing, which has the potential to develop crops that are more beneficial to the environment, more resilient to climate change and more productive.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Landscape Recovery scheme pilot will also include blocks of land that are hydrologically connected, rather than contiguous, to assess how to maximise the benefits of floodplain restoration, including sustainable regenerative farming.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The first round of Landscape Recovery is open to bids from projects of 500 to 5,000 hectares of broadly contiguous land.

The application process for this round will be competitive and bids will be assessed against set criteria. The environmental outcomes that projects will deliver will be assessed as part of the environmental objectives criterion. As part of this criterion, we will assess a range of benefits which could be delivered by floodplain restoration, including for biodiversity, resilience to extreme weather events and improving water quality.

Contiguity is important for many of the environmental outcomes we are seeking. However, we recognise that habitats and land ownership in England are sometimes fragmented, so we will take a pragmatic approach to contiguity. Project areas can have some gaps, but applicants should demonstrate how any gaps will not compromise their project’s environmental outcomes. This will be assessed as part of the ‘project leadership and delivery’ criterion.

We are not ruling out projects which include elements of farming in the landscape. However, projects that are mainly focused on sustainable and regenerative farming or making space for nature in the farmed landscape are likely to be better suited to other schemes such as Countryside Stewardship, the Sustainable Farming Incentive and, in due course, Local Nature Recovery.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Environmental Land Management Local Nature Recovery scheme will support (a) floodplain restoration and (b) other measures on productive land.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Local Nature Recovery scheme will pay for locally targeted actions to make space for nature in the farmed landscape and the wider countryside, alongside food production. This could include, for example, managing and creating habitats, adding trees to fields, or restoring peat, wetland areas or flood plains in appropriate areas of a farm. We set out more information on the themes Local Nature Recovery will initially pay for in the January 2022 Policy Paper on Local Nature Recovery.

We will publish more details on the full list of land management activities the scheme will pay for later this year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the average response time was for his Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

Defra does not have an MP hotline. The average response time for enquiries received by the Rural Payments Agency’s MP hotline was 37 days for 2019, 22 days for 2020 and 17 days for 2021.

Defra does not have an account management team, and the Defra correspondence team does not hold information on the average response time to enquiries from MPs, as correspondence performance is monitored by the percentage of correspondence responded to within the target response time set by the Department.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on Gov.uk here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with representatives from the brewing and beer industries on the potential impact of an industrial carbon dioxide shortage on that sector in the coming months.

We are aware of the issues faced by the brewing and beer industry due to the shortage and are working closely with them to provide support and advice. We have had extensive meetings with representatives from food and drink sectors, and those conversations are continuing to further explore impacts and discuss potential solutions.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that harmful chemical products are not used in disposable and reusable period products.

Period products are regulated under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 which require that only safe products are placed on the market. Producers are responsible for the safety of the products they place on the market and have to provide relevant information and adequate warnings so that that the risks can be assessed.

Both the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety and the Swedish Chemical Agency have carried out studies that have considered the safety of these products. Both studies concluded that the risks were low.

If there were significant concerns about the presence of hazardous substances in a product, then there are measures in the UK REACH legislation, such as a UK REACH restriction, that could be taken to address this. However, we would need to be convinced that there was clear evidence before considering such action.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of steel procured by her Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

This Government remains committed to supporting the UK steel industry.

Defra collates information about steel spend for projects with the largest steel requirements, including origin where known. This information is published annually on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steel-public-procurement

The data was first published in January 2019, with the next iteration due to be published shortly.

12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

The proportion of written parliamentary questions answered on time by the Department for International Trade in 2022 is as follows:

Ordinary: 62%

Named Day: 51%

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

All departments have access to regular training led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is committed to providing effective, timely answers to written Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and correspondence. We review our processes and performance at regular intervals and run tailored training sessions for staff to drive up the quality and timeliness of responses.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the average response time was for her Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on Gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers. Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to support increased UK steel exports to India.

India is a major steel producer and is second only to China in terms of annual production with an output of 100.3mmt in 2020. India’s low production costs mean it is not a priority market for bulk steel from the UK but it is an important market for specialist UK steel products. The Department for International Trade supports all UK companies who wish to export through our extensive trade promotion network and has been actively working to reduce trade barriers to India, including through our Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Nov 2020
What steps her Department is taking to support UK steel exports to the EU after 31 December 2020.

My Department and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy worked closely with industry to engage with the European Commission to provide a tariff-free quota allocation for UK steel exports into the EU from 1 January 2021. The European Commission announced the creation of a UK allocation on 30 October. As a result, the UK steel industry will avoid an £80m tariff bill in the first half of next year, according to UK Steel estimates.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will make the removal of Section 232 tariffs for steel a pre-condition of a free trade agreement with the United States.

The UK has consistently opposed US tariffs on steel and aluminium. The UK is a close national security ally of the US and our steel and aluminium products are important for US businesses and defence, and we continue to reject any claim that they harm US national security. We will continue to press for an urgent resolution to these tariffs as part of our ongoing trade discussions with the US.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary for State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that the EU FTA negotiations do not result in UK steel exports being subject to EU steel safeguard measures without the provision of UK specific tariff-free quotas at the end of 2020.

The Government will seek to engage with the European Commission to discuss the mutual application of the steel safeguard measure with the aim of preserving traditional trade flows and providing as much continuity to industry as possible at the end of the Implementation Period.

15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the total cost of the electrification of the North Wales mainline.

As part of the Prime Minister’s Network North announcement, the Government committed an unprecedented £1 billion investment to fund the electrification of the North Wales Main Line. We continue to work through the next steps for developing and delivering the scheme.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress the Government has made on beginning the application process for the rapid charging fund.

The Government is working closely with key stakeholders, including all the motorway service area operators in England, on the development of the Rapid Charging Fund (RCF) and its pilot. The Government is also working on a number of milestones for the RCF this year, including a pilot and a public consultation.

20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to (a) accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure to motorway service areas and (b) ensure those areas are able to access the rapid charging fund.

The Government is working closely with motorway service area (MSA) operators to support them in the rollout of electric vehicle chargepoints. Over 97% of MSAs in England currently have rapid charging available. As of March 2023, MSAs in England support drivers with more than 400 open access chargepoints, over 230 of which are rapid (50kW), and over 200 are ultra-rapid (150kW+).

This Government will continue to engage with industry on the development of the Rapid Charging Fund (RCF) to understand their views and gain insight. As part of the RCF, the Government will also identify areas that will be most in need of funding along the strategic road network.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether there are plans to adapt the Integrated Rail Plan forward programme to include consequential funding for Wales under the Barnett formula.

The Barnett formula is a matter for the Treasury. The Barnett formula applies to changes in UK Government departments’ funding and has been applied in the usual way, as set out in the Statement of Funding Policy, in relation to funding for the IRP.

The Government has committed to delivering the IRP as set out in November 2022. The plans set out in the IRP will bring benefits to Wales including making it easier for passengers from North Wales to access HS2 services.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

(a) 100%

(b) 99.7%

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the annual average greenhouse gas emissions from (a) hydrogenated vegetable oil and (b) diesel.

Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), like other renewable fuels, is eligible for support under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). The RTFO is a certificate trading scheme that requires large suppliers of transport fuel to ensure a percentage of the total fuel they supply is from renewable sources. The RTFO further incentivises HVO produced from waste feedstocks, such as tallow or used cooking oil, by awarding double the renewable transport fuel certificates (RTFCs) compared to crop derived fuels.

Like all low carbon fuels supported under the RTFO, the Department regularly reports on the carbon savings achieved from HVO. In 2021, HVO provided an average 89% carbon reduction compared to a fossil fuel comparator. Full statistical reports are published quarterly on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/renewable-fuel-statistics.

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the supply of hydrogenated vegetable oil in the UK.

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) is the Government’s primary mechanism for supporting the supply of renewable fuels such as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO). While the RTFO does not incentivise specific fuels, fuels produced from wastes receive additional support under the scheme, this includes HVO produced from waste feedstocks. More information on how the RTFO encourages the supply of low carbon fuels, such as HVO, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/renewable-transport-fuels-obligation

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government plans to undertake a review of the power, weight and speed specifications of rental and private e-scooters.

The number of reported personal injury road collisions involving e-scooters is published as part of the Department’s road casualty statistics. These show that there were 460 reported collisions involving e-scooters in 2020, and 1,352 in 2021. Provisional figures covering the period to June 2022 are scheduled for publication on 24 November.

The Department is currently considering options for construction and use regulations for e-scooters, which will likely include requirements for details such as power, weight and maximum design speed. No final decisions about e-scooter regulations have been made and the Department will consult publicly before any new arrangements come into force.

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road traffic accidents involving an e-scooter there were in (a) 2020, (b) 2021 and (c) 2022.

The number of reported personal injury road collisions involving e-scooters is published as part of the Department’s road casualty statistics. These show that there were 460 reported collisions involving e-scooters in 2020, and 1,352 in 2021. Provisional figures covering the period to June 2022 are scheduled for publication on 24 November.

The Department is currently considering options for construction and use regulations for e-scooters, which will likely include requirements for details such as power, weight and maximum design speed. No final decisions about e-scooter regulations have been made and the Department will consult publicly before any new arrangements come into force.

28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

The Department understands the importance of the effective and timely handling of Parliamentary Questions and correspondence. Between the period of May to July inclusive the Department for Transport answered 100% of Parliamentary Questions on time and 98% of ministerial correspondence cases in 20 working days in May and June and 96% in July.

The Department will continue to focus on delivering excellent response rates to both Parliamentary Questions and correspondence.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact of speed limit for class 2 and class 3 mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs on the safety of (a) users and (b) pedestrians and road users.

The Government has not made an assessment of the impact of the speed limit for class 2 and class 3 mobility scooters. The safety of all road users is a key priority for the Government and the current speed limit for mobility scooters is based on both safety and mobility considerations and balances the interests of all road users.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of current penalties issued to train operating companies in instances of short-forming on services.

The operational performance regime, including the approach to short formations, seeks to improve the alignment of operator performance and outputs with government priorities. It focuses the performance-based element of the contract on aspects that include the operational performance of the railway, the passenger experience, financial performance and collaborative behaviours; it encourages operators to minimise cancellations and short-formations, and only resort to such practices when they are in passengers' and the industry's best interests.

31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's average response time was to an enquiry from a hon. Member to the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs, either directly or on behalf of their constituents.

The Department for Transport does not have either an MPs hotline or an account management team.

The DVLA does provide a service where MPs can call for an update on cases. Response times are not recorded for this line.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on Gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential safety benefits of (a) lowering the default speed limit on single carriageway roads and (b) only allowing higher speeds on rural roads which have passed a safety assessment.

An assessment of the potential safety benefits of lowering the default speed limit on single carriageway roads was contained in a report prepared for the Department for Transport: TRL Report 397 by Sexton and Johnson: An Evaluation of options for road safety beyond 2010, which can be found at TRL | An evaluation of options for road safety beyond 2010.

No separate assessment was made of only allowing higher speeds on rural roads which have passed a safety assessment.

Setting national speed limits in Wales and Scotland is a matter for the Welsh and Scottish Governments. When setting local speed limits traffic authorities are asked to take into account the relevant national guidance.

There are no current plans to lower the default speed limit on single carriageway roads or allow higher speeds on rural roads which have passed a safety assessment.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to establish a collision investigation branch for roads akin to those in place for rail, aviation and maritime.

My Department ran a public consultation on creating a Road Collision Investigation Branch between 28 October and 9 December 2021. The consultation has now closed and the Department is currently conducting a full analysis of the feedback.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Government will set a target of zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2040.

While UK roads continue to be among the safest in the world, we can never afford to be complacent or relax efforts to improve what we do. That is why reducing the numbers of those needlessly killed and injured on our roads is a key priority for this Department and as announced on 30 July in our Gear Change: One Year On review (Gear Change: One Year On (publishing.service.gov.uk), we intend to prepare an ambitious new framework for road safety setting out measures for action and improvement.

15th Oct 2021
M49
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with National Highways and Delta on a completion date for the two-bridge Central Park-Avonmouth junction on the M49.

National Highways completed works at the M49 Avonmouth junction in December 2019 and is working with key stakeholders to finalise an approach for the completion of the link roads to the existing local roads in the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area, which will be an important step towards unlocking significant benefits to local communities and the wider region.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is taking to prioritise driving license (a) applications and (b) amendments for heavy goods vehicle drivers.

The DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day which must be dealt with in person. Ongoing industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union, along with fewer operational staff on site to allow for social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements and an increased demand for its services has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. The DVLA has leased an additional building to accommodate more operational staff.

Currently, driving licence applications made on paper are likely to take six to ten weeks to process. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to safely maximise the number of staff on site and is working hard to process applications as quickly as possible. The DVLA has accelerated the development of additional online services to reduce the number of paper applications and supported their take up through a publicity campaign. Further digital service enhancements are underway.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the time taken for the drivers' medical action team to assess whether medical evidence is required when processing (a) new and (b) renewal applications for driving licences.

The average processing time to make a medical licensing decision in the last three financial years is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Average processing time (working days)

2018-2019

34

2019-2020

36

2020-2021

58

To improve the length of time taken to process medical licensing applications, the DVLA has recruited additional staff. This includes increasing the number of in-house doctors it employs and temporary administrative staff. Nurse caseworkers are being utilised to deal with specific conditions. The DVLA is also working with the relevant bodies to explore ways of reducing the time taken to receive the information needed to make licensing decisions.

The DVLA has also recently trialed a simplified renewal process for some medical conditions. This has significantly reduced the turnaround times for some drivers.

Where possible the DVLA will refer specific medical conditions to its in-house doctors in the first instance, to make a licensing decision using the information held.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time was for the renewal of driving licences where a medical consideration was made in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The average processing time to make a medical licensing decision in the last three financial years is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Average processing time (working days)

2018-2019

34

2019-2020

36

2020-2021

58

To improve the length of time taken to process medical licensing applications, the DVLA has recruited additional staff. This includes increasing the number of in-house doctors it employs and temporary administrative staff. Nurse caseworkers are being utilised to deal with specific conditions. The DVLA is also working with the relevant bodies to explore ways of reducing the time taken to receive the information needed to make licensing decisions.

The DVLA has also recently trialed a simplified renewal process for some medical conditions. This has significantly reduced the turnaround times for some drivers.

Where possible the DVLA will refer specific medical conditions to its in-house doctors in the first instance, to make a licensing decision using the information held.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will reinstate the Rescue Boat Grant Fund for independent lifeboat organisations.

We will be considering the future of the Rescue Boat Grant Fund as part of the forthcoming review of government spending.

Independent lifeboat organisations play a vital role in the safety of our coasts and waterways. The Fund has already provided nearly £6 million in support significantly enhanced the capacity of the sector.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that drivers who browse the internet whilst driving face prosecution.

The Government has consulted on changing the law to broaden the offence of using a mobile phone while driving. We are currently analysing the consultation responses.

Our objective in putting forward a proposal to change the law, was to ensure that the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving reflects the real world where smart phones or devices are used not only for calls and texting (interactive communication), but also for scrolling play lists, taking photographs, or drafting emails (standalone functions).

Additionally, broadening of the offence will facilitate enforcement by obviating the need for the police to demonstrate that any use they identified from the roadside involved interactive communication.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that all drivers who use mobile phones to film or take photographs whilst driving are prosecuted.

The Government has consulted on changing the law to broaden the offence of using a mobile phone while driving. We are currently analysing the consultation responses.

Our objective in putting forward a proposal to change the law, was to ensure that the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving reflects the real world where smart phones or devices are used not only for calls and texting (interactive communication), but also for scrolling play lists, taking photographs, or drafting emails (standalone functions).

Additionally, broadening of the offence will facilitate enforcement by obviating the need for the police to demonstrate that any use they identified from the roadside involved interactive communication.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria were used to inform the decision include Qatar on the covid-19 red list for travel.

The decision to add Qatar to the red list on 19 March was made by Ministers, following data showing an increased risk of importation of the Beta variant of concern first identified in South Africa.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors. Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country include genomic surveillance capability, COVID-19 transmission risk and Variant of Concern transmission risk. A summary of the JBC methodology has been published on GOV.UK, alongside key data that supports ministers’ decisions.

As with all our coronavirus measures, the Government keeps the red list under constant review and our priority remains to protect the health of the UK public.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support learner drivers who need to resit their driving theory test because the two-year validity on their qualification has expired as a result of being unable to sit their practical test during the covid-19 outbreak.

A candidate whose theory test certificate expires will have received the service for which they paid the fee. If a practical test is already booked at the time when the theory test expires, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will refund the fee for the practical driving test.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place for road safety reasons. It is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that they drive unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their lessons and practice sessions will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns and it is likely that their knowledge base will have diminished. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

A total of 195,814 theory test certificates expired between the period of 25 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 without a practical test pass.

In the normal course of events, on average, 14,000 candidates let their certificate expire each month.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have had the two-year validity on their driving theory test expire since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

A candidate whose theory test certificate expires will have received the service for which they paid the fee. If a practical test is already booked at the time when the theory test expires, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will refund the fee for the practical driving test.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place for road safety reasons. It is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that they drive unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their lessons and practice sessions will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns and it is likely that their knowledge base will have diminished. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

A total of 195,814 theory test certificates expired between the period of 25 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 without a practical test pass.

In the normal course of events, on average, 14,000 candidates let their certificate expire each month.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reduce the risk of fatality for private contractors' staff on the UK railway network.

The Department is working closely with Network Rail, train operators, trade unions and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to reduce the risk of fatalities on the network to directly employed staff and contractors. It has been over a year since the tragic deaths of two track maintenance workers, Mr Gareth Delbridge and Mr Michael Lewis, on 3 July 2019, when a passenger train struck them at Margam East Junction on the South Wales Main Line, and I would like to once again express my condolences to their families for their losses.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is currently investigating the circumstances that led to the tragic incident at Margam. Its report, which is expected shortly, is likely to make recommendations aimed at ensuring that lessons are learnt and at preventing such an event happening again.

Since July 2019, Network Rail has established a £70m safety task force to make fundamental changes to the way it manages track worker access to the rail network, including a review of its safe systems of work. Network Rail is also developing new digital protection and warning systems to warn track workers of approaching trains, and to increase the use of technology such as Plain Line Pattern Recognition, which provides automated track inspection and reduces the need for track access.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with train operating companies on ensuring their staff fatigue risk management systems meet relevant industry guidance and best practice.

The Department continues to work closely with train operating companies, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), and Network Rail to ensure that staff fatigue risk is managed properly in accordance with published guidance and best practice. Train operators are required by health and safety law to implement measures to manage fatigue amongst safety critical staff as part of their safety management systems. This includes monitoring working hours, identifying the signs of fatigue, and managing factors that can have an impact of this on alertness and fitness for work. This applies to all staff on the railways, including track workers, train drivers and control room staff.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reconfiguring the South Wales Mainline so that inter-city services can be separated from commuter services; and if he will make a statement.

On 21 August the Secretary of State announced a £343m package of investment in railway infrastructure in Wales. This includes the development of a scheme to upgrade the relief lines between the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff to provide greater capacity and more flexibility for passenger services on this part of the route. I have asked Network Rail to look for opportunities to accelerate this development work as much as possible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure British Airways are providing cash refunds for flights that have been cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is in regular conversation with UK airlines and wider membership bodies. We are working closely with the sector, the regulator and consumer groups to help ensure airlines deliver on their commitments.

Airlines are working hard to answer the high call volumes and to process large volumes of refunds. However, the Government appreciates the frustration consumers may be experiencing. We have been clear that where a consumer has asked for a refund, that refund must be paid

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Government plans to publish the full application form for the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund.

The online form for registering an interest in the second round of the Ideas Fund was sent to Members on 15 May. The full application form will be published on GOV.UK during week commencing 25 May. We will let Members know when the form is available, as we have done at all stages of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund. The deadline for applications is 19 June.

We received 60 bids for the first round, which have recently been assessed and the next steps from this round will be communicated to Members and Promoters shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his plans are for the provision of driving lessons for those not classed as critical workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Using the latest Government guidance, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is working closely with the Approved Driving Instructors National Association Strategic Partnership (NASP) to develop appropriate plans and control measures that will enable the resumption of non-essential driving lessons. The DVSA will keep the situation under review and provide advice as soon as it can.

Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) can continue to provide tuition to pupils if the lesson is considered essential. It is the responsibility of the ADI, and the pupil, to decide if the driving lesson is critical. ADIs should ask pupils to bring appropriate identification to demonstrate the need for the lesson, such as a payslip, letter or identification badge.

All ADIs should put in place appropriate health and safety measures, in line with the latest Public Heath England and Cabinet Office guidance, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether additional seats will be be available on Cross Country rail services from (a) Newport, (b) Severn Tunnel Junction and (c) Caldicot.

Additional seats are due to be provided on the CrossCountry route linking Cardiff, Newport, Caldicot, Birmingham and Nottingham. A small number of CrossCountry services on this route also call at Severn Tunnel Junction

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the potential benefits for Wales of HS2 Ltd procurement contracts.

HS2 has huge potential to support growth across the UK including Wales and will promote regeneration, boost skills and generate new jobs for people across the region. Our procurement process is open to all bidders with the relevant experience and required credentials and ensures value for money for the taxpayer. HS2 Ltd has a continuing programme of engagement with local businesses, attending events arranged by local Chambers of Commerce and other networks to ensure that the procurement opportunities of the project are spread across all four nations of the United Kingdom. To date, 26 Welsh companies have provided goods or services to the project, including 16 SMEs.

Aside from procurement contracts, the Department forecasts the north-east Wales economy will be boosted by £50m annually by HS2's quicker journey times.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the amount of UK steel which could be procured for the HS2 project.

It is anticipated that around two million tonnes of steel will be used across the HS2 programme.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of establishing a nationwide independent Road Collision Investigation branch.

The Department has sponsored the RAC Foundation to conduct the Road Collision Investigation Project which is ongoing and will report by Summer 2022. This project is seeking to establish whether there is a business case for putting more resource into the investigation of road crashes and if so, to identify how best to develop it. Considerations will include whether the future service should be nationwide and independent among other options. Their recommendations, together with learning from the ongoing Roads Policing Review which will report in 2021, will provide the evidence base necessary for an informed assessment to be made.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will use UK-produced steel for the HS2 project.

The Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. All major government projects are required to take cognisance of the Crown Commercial Service Procurement Policy Note 11/16: “Procuring Steel in Major Projects - Revised Guidance” (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-1116-procuring-steel-in-major-projects-revised-guidance ).

Whilst HS2 Ltd. does not directly buy steel, it does apply a strategic and transparent approach to the sourcing of steel for the HS2 Programme through its Tier 1 contractors and their supply chains. HS2 Ltd ensures a fair procurement process which complies with UK procurement law and the Government policy on the procurement of steel.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Defence
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress the road collision investigation project led by the RAC Foundation has made; and what plans he has to extend that scheme to Wales.

The Road Collision Investigation Project is ongoing. Progress to date includes:

  • A report on Models and methods for collision analysis giving the rationale for taking a systems approach to collision investigation.

  • RCIP Feasibility Study carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory to assess the validity of the AcciMap framework

    This work is being led by the RAC Foundation, in collaboration with and supported by the Department for Transport (DfT), Highways England (HE), the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and other national and local organisations.

    Three police force analysts are all using the Collision Reporting and Sharing System managed and funded by the Department for Transport - no Welsh forces use this system at present, though it would be open for them to do so. The learning from the project will be published in due course and will be available to all of central and local government (including devolved administrations), and all GB police forces.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of the £500 million Restoring Railways, Connecting Communities funding he plans to allocate to (a) Wales and (b) cross-border services between Wales and England.

We have announced £500m funding for reopening railway lines and stations closed in the Beeching era, but it is too early to say how much of this will be spent within Wales or on cross-border services. This depends on the schemes put forward for consideration and I have invited the Hon. Member to our briefing on 4th February where she can learn more about this. A new £20m round of funding is allocated to support new stations on the network. In the previous round a new station at Bow Street, Ceredigion, was one of five in England and Wales that secured funding.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to introduce statutory targets to reduce levels of overcrowding on rail services.

The Department expects all its operators to provide sufficient levels of service to meet passenger demand. We are taking steps to increase capacity wherever possible and many operators are introducing new trains this year. The Williams Rail Review will shortly propose comprehensive measures to improve how the railway works for passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether (a) devolution of powers over rail infrastructure and (b) increased rail infrastructure funding for Wales will be considered in the Williams Rail Review.

The Williams Rail Review is considering where further devolution of powers could be in the interests of passengers. Further details will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper.

Decisions around levels of public investment in the railways are outside of the Review’s remit.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Welsh Government on the provision of cross-border rail services.

Since the General Election I have spoken to the Minister for Economy and Transport on this subject. Officials in the Department have regular meetings both with officials from Welsh Government and Transport for Wales on cross border rail services.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of (a) Network Rail and (b) Highways England on the potential support of those organisations for the UK Steel Charter.

I can confirm that discussions have taken place with representatives of a) Network Rail and b) Highways England and that both organisations have committed to supporting the Charter where this is relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant public procurement regulations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's timeframe is for the publication of the Williams Rail Review.

A White Paper based on the Williams Rail Review’s recommendations will be published in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of steel procured by his Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. In DfT, steel is only purchased directly by Network Rail. Both Highways England and High Speed Two Ltd procure steel through their respective supply chains. The guidance has been fully adopted by DfT for all in-scope projects and we have been required to report on its implementation (and the % of UK steel directly purchased) since January 2017. The percentage of UK steel we have reported is set out below.

Year

Proportion of UK Steel procured by DfT

June 2018-19

93 %

June 2017-18

93.5 %

Jan-June 2017

95 %

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to (a) become a signatory to the UK Steel charter and (b) maximise the use of UK steel in public infrastructure projects through procurement practises for national transport projects.

I can confirm that the Department has committed to supporting the Charter where this is relevant to our commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant public procurement regulations. This position has been communicated to UK Steel.

Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. In DfT steel is only purchased directly by Network Rail, and they source approximately 93% percent of their steel from the UK. Both Highways England and High Speed Two Ltd procure steel through their respective supply chains. The guidance has been fully adopted by DfT for all in-scope projects and we are required to report on its implementation.

11th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate has been made of the average length of time between submission of a PIP mandatory reconsideration and the decision.

The monthly average clearance time of a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) can be found in the latest PIP quarterly release: Personal Independence Payment statistics to October 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

In particular, the figures on MR average clearance times can be found in Table 4A in the Customer Journey Excel.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of personal independence payment reassessments on the (a) physical and (b) mental wellbeing of dementia patients.

Entitlement to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a health condition or disability, rather than the health condition or disability itself. Award rates and their durations are set on an individual basis, based on the claimant’s needs and the likelihood of those needs changing. Award reviews allow for the correct rate of PIP to remain in payment, including where needs have increased as a consequence of a congenital, degenerative, or progressive condition.

We recognise that attending a PIP assessment can be a stressful experience, which is why we do not carry out face-to-face assessments where there is enough existing evidence to determine benefit entitlement, whether on a new claim or on review. Where there is sufficient evidence on which to make an assessment, the claimant will be assessed on a paper basis. Where a telephone, video, or face-to-face assessment is required, companions are encouraged to attend and can play an active role, which can be particularly helpful for claimants with mental, cognitive, or intellectual impairments who may not be able to provide an accurate account of their condition due to a lack of understanding or unrealistic expectations of their ability.

We announced in the Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper, that we will test a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) so that those with severe and lifelong conditions can benefit from a simplified process to access PIP, ESA and UC without needing to go through a face-to-face assessment, or frequent reassessments. We will consider the test results once complete to influence thinking on the next stages of this work.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making dementia patients eligible to claim benefits under the special rules for end of life.

People with dementia, who are deemed by their clinicians to be at the end of their lives, may be eligible to claim benefits under the ‘Special Rules for End of Life’ (SREL).

Eligibility under SREL is not determined by medical condition, but rather based on clinical judgment about patients’ estimated prognosis. The department’s supporting clinical guidance advises clinicians to assess whether they would be surprised if their patient dies within the next 12 months if they are claiming UC or ESA, or 6 months if they are claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or Attendance Allowance (AA).

The Government announced in July 2021 that it intended to replace the current six-month eligibility criteria with a 12-month end of life approach. The DWP implemented this change to Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance regulations on 4th April 2022 and similar changes will also be made to Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, and Attendance Allowance in April 2023.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

The latest official statistics produced by the Table Office are as follows and show that DWP answered the following Parliamentary Questions on time:

Jan 2022 – Apr 2022:

Named Day PQs – 83%

Ordinary Written PQs – 86.9%

May 2022 – Jul 2022:

Named Day PQs – 90.8%

Ordinary Written PQs – 93.5%

Statistics for September to the December recess are currently being compiled.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints submitted to the DWP Independent Case Examiner are awaiting allocation to an Investigation Case Manager as of 2 December 2022; what the average wait time was for complaints to be allocated to an Independent Case Manager in the latest period for which data is available; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce Independent Case Examiner waiting times.

Post-Covid, ICE has seen an increased number of referrals accompanied by an increase in the number of cases it has accepted. In the year April 2021 to March 2022, there was a 17% increase in the number of complaints being referred to ICE and a 68% increase in the number of complaints being accepted for examination, compared to the previous reporting year.

Currently, there are 1249 cases awaiting allocation to an ICE investigator.

The rate at which complaints can be allocated to an investigator is dependent on multiple factors, including the volume and complexity of complaints received, as well as available investigative resource.

The average time taken, as at 5 December, from complaint receipt to allocation to an investigator (based on all current live cases being investigated) is 53 weeks (67 weeks for CMS cases, 50 weeks for DWP cases, 44 weeks for Provider cases).

The ICE office is continuously reviewing its own processes and operating model to improve productivity and is piloting a new way of allocating cases according to their nature and complexity as part of the initial complaint review.

The office has recruited 11 more investigators since April with a further 6 due to start in January 2023.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of eligible people are claiming Pension Credit in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) Wales.

Estimates for Pension Credit take-up are only available at the Great Britain level. They are included in the publication: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2019-to-2020

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to improve the uptake of Pension Credit among eligible people.

Pension Credit provides vital financial support to our most vulnerable pensioners and we want all those eligible to claim it.

To raise awareness of Pension Credit and increase take-up, we launched a £1.2m nationwide communications campaign in April. The campaign included:

  • Promotion of Pension Credit on social media, via internet search engines and sponsored advertising on targeted websites that pensioners, their friends and family are likely to visit;
  • Information screens in Post Offices and GP surgeries across GB;
  • Advertising in regional and national newspapers and on national and local broadcast radio;
  • Advertising on the sides of buses, interior bus panels and digital street displays;
  • Leaflets and posters in Jobcentres, as well as digital versions which could be used by stakeholders and partners across local communities;
  • Engagement with Local Authorities nationwide through the Government Communication Service local network and promotional materials to enable them to support the campaign; and
  • An updated digital toolkit with information and resources that any stakeholder can use to help promote Pension Credit.

As part of the annual uprating of State Pension, we will once again be writing to over 11 million pensioners in the new year and promoting Pension Credit in the accompanying materials.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

The Department for Work and Pensions attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and correspondence, and officials remain committed to providing the highest level of service.

All departments have access to regular training on the full suite of Parliamentary business, led by the Parliamentary Capability Team through the Government Campus.

The Ministerial Correspondence Team held tailored training sessions for correspondence drafting colleagues to drive up quality and timeliness of responses. These sessions were delivered twice between April and June 2022.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many households in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) Wales have four or more children and are in receipt of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

Statistics on both the number of households in receipt of Universal Credit and Housing Benefit are published every three months. The latest statistics are available by the number of children in the household to May 2022, on Stat-Xplore.

If needed, you can access guidance on how to extract the information required from

Stat-Xplore.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many households are subject to the under-occupancy penalty on the basis of under-occupying one bedroom in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) Wales.

The latest available data on households subject to the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy can be found on Stat-Xplore.

The relevant data sets are ‘Housing Benefit - Data from April 2018’ - which can be filtered by ‘Number of Spare Rooms’ and ‘Westminster Parliamentary Constituencies’ - and ‘Households on Universal Credit’ - which can be filtered by ‘Number of Spare Bedrooms’ and ‘Westminster Parliamentary Constituencies’.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many households are subject to the under-occupancy penalty on the basis of under-occupying two bedrooms or more in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) Wales.

The latest available data on households subject to the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy can be found on Stat-Xplore.

The relevant data sets are ‘Housing Benefit - Data from April 2018’ - which can be filtered by ‘Number of Spare Rooms’ and ‘Westminster Parliamentary Constituencies’ - and ‘Households on Universal Credit’ - which can be filtered by ‘Number of Spare Bedrooms’ and ‘Westminster Parliamentary Constituencies’.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the £650 Cost of Living Payment is available to those on income-based benefits but not those on contribution-based benefits.

Non-means tested benefits are not qualifying benefits for the Cost-of-Living Payment in their own right because people receiving these benefits may have other financial resources available to them. The Government is committed to managing the public finances in a responsible way by targeting the £650 Cost of Living Payment support at low income means tested households where it is most needed.

The guidance with the full list of support can be found at: Cost of living support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In addition to the new support, people on low incomes but not means-tested benefits may also benefit from previously announced measures to help people tackle the cost of living, including frozen alcohol duty and fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, council tax rebates and the further rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.

From 1 October, a new ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ will mean a typical UK household will now pay up to an average £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years. This is automatic and applies to all households. This will save the average household at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October and is in addition to the £400 energy bills discount for all households. This applies to all households in Great Britain, with the same level of support made available to households in Northern Ireland.

From October 2022, Government is also providing an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the maximum payment amount that can be collected in a single transaction using the Payment Exception Service at a Post Office or pay point outlet is set at £100 requiring some claimants to make multiple transactions to access the full amount of their benefits or pension.

The most secure way to receive payment is through a bank account. For those customers who are unable to open or manage a bank, building society or credit union account, the DWP’s new Payment Exception Service has been designed as a simple service to ensure customers have access to cash. Vouchers are uploaded to a card or sent electronically via SMS text or email. A customer can print their emailed vouchers and present them to the retailer. The maximum amount of a voucher is £100 so a customer may receive more than one voucher on their payment due date. Customers must cash the full amount of the voucher but do not have to cash all of their vouchers at the same time. This is a similar process to when customers used to be issued with Order Books and Girocheques.

Payment Exception Service vouchers can be encashed at over 26,000 PayPoint outlets nationally as well as Post Offices nationwide. The service provided by this contract meets DWP’s statutory requirement to ensure all customers can access payments, including where standard banking is not available to them.

The £100 voucher amount represents a value that protects vulnerable customers from being required to withdraw and carry large sums and is one that the PayPoint Retailer network can support.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potentials merits of extending Access To Work support to the newly self-employed, in the context of an individual not have an income straight away.

Access to Work already offers support for newly self-employed disabled people operating a business. Access to Work can provide funding for in-work support needs for up to 3 years. At the end of this period the individual must have a business turnover which meets the Access to Work Lower Earnings Limit, currently £6,396. If this is not possible, Access to Work funding will stop.

For self-employed freelancers and contractors, as long as their contract value is equivalent to the National Minimum Wage and they satisfy the Access to Work eligibility criteria, grant funding can be provided for their in-work support needs for the length of the contract.

To support self-employed freelancers and contractors, Access to Work has introduced a Flexible Application to provide greater flexibility for disabled people to take up time limited contracts and freelance opportunities. The flexible application helps to avoid the need for re-applications for Access to Work every time a new period of employment begins and removes the need for repeated holistic assessments where the individual’s needs are unchanged.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to review the service standard Access To Work application timescales from application to approval.

Access to Work has received significant increase in applications over the last year and have recruited new staff to meet the increased demand and reduce the time it takes to make decisions. We are also transforming the Access to Work service through increased digitalisation, that will make the service more efficient, will make the application process easier, and improve the time taken from application through to decision.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for an Access to Work grant application to be processed in (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021 and (d) 2022.

The average processing times are shown below.

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

2018/19 13.2 days

2019/20 25.5 days

2020/21 28.1 days

2021/22 28.3 days

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment the Government has made of the efficacy of the system whereby people in receipt of support through Access to Work have to reapply for that support if they change job, even in cases where their need for support has not changed; and if she will make a statement.

Access to Work (AtW) is committed to transforming the service, disabled people receive and improving customer experience. The AtW Transformation Programme is progressively digitising the AtW service to enable customers to apply for and claim AtW payments more conveniently online. As part of this we are exploring streamlining current processes including reviewing the circumstances and frequency where new applications are required.

A flexible application has been introduced to support disabled people to access freelancer and contractor opportunities and remove the need for them to re-apply for Access to Work every time a new period of employment begins. The flexible application offers greater flexibility for disabled people to move between jobs and helps to reduce the need for repeated holistic assessments where their needs remain the same.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new enquiries her Department's MP Urgent Enquiries inbox handled in each month in from January 2021 to May 2022; what steps her Department is taking to manage the (a) performance and (b) case management of those teams; what steps she is taking to oversee the performance of the Urgent Enquiry inbox; and if she will make a statement.

DWP does not operate a single inbox dedicated to urgent enquiries from MPs.

We offer a range of ways for MPs to contact DWP, with some product lines operating dedicated email addresses where MPs can contact us. This is in addition to dedicated telephone hotlines for MPs within Disability Services, Retirement Services and Child Maintenance. MPs can also contact the Ministerial Correspondence Team by email, telephone or in writing.

We also triage incoming correspondence to identify urgent queries, so we can take action to address these issues quickly and support our customers.

We recognise the importance of MP enquiries and the important role MPs play in supporting their constituents. Information about how MPs and their staff can best contact us is published on the Parliamentary website and this information is regularly updated. Individual product lines also conduct regular engagement with MPs, including bespoke sessions with MPs and their support teams.

Information relating to the numbers of enquiries received by the DWP email addresses which receive MP contact is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Emails received from MPs about operational issues are managed as part of DWP’s correspondence teams. We closely monitor the performance of these teams and regularly review the resource allocated to this work and where process improvements can be made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new enquiries her Department’s MP hotline teams dealt with in each month in 2021; what steps her Department is taking to manage the (a) performance and (b) case management of those teams; what steps she is taking to oversee the performance of those MP hotlines; and if she will make a statement.

Information relating to the numbers of enquiries received by DWP MP hotlines is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

We offer a range of ways for MPs to contact DWP, including through dedicated MP hotlines within Disability Services, CMG, and Retirement Services. Information about how MPs and their staff can best contact us is published on the Parliamentary website and this information is regularly updated. Individual product lines also conduct regular engagement with MPs, including bespoke sessions with MPs and their support teams.

Enquiries received by MP hotlines are managed as part of DWP’s correspondence teams. We closely monitor the performance of these teams and regularly review the resource allocated to this work and where process improvements can be made.

All MP hotlines are regularly checked during operating hours and calls from MPs are either answered directly or allow a voicemail message to be left, which will be picked up and responded to as soon as possible.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason people in receipt of contributions-based benefits are not eligible for the £650 cost of living payment.

The Government is committed to managing the public finances in a responsible way by targeting the £650 Cost of Living Payment support at low income means tested households where it is most needed.

The guidance with the full list of support can be found at:

Overall government support for the cost of living: factsheet - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Cost of Living Payments have been designed to target support for households with low incomes, on means-tested benefits. These payments are in addition to the £400 of support for energy bills that the Government is providing through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme, doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year and making the whole £400 a non-repayable grant. In addition, individuals may be able to benefit from the disability and pensioner Cost of Living Payments if they are in receipt of disability benefits or eligible for Winter Fuel Payments.

From October 2022, Government is also providing an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of essentials, bringing the total funding for this support to £1.5 billion. In England, £421m will be used to further extend the Household Support Fund (October 2022 – March 2023). Guidance and individual local authority indicative allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course.

In addition to the new support, people on low incomes but not means-tested benefits may also benefit from previously announced measures to help people tackle the cost of living, including frozen alcohol duty and fuel duty, raising the NICs threshold, council tax rebates and the further rise in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour from April 2022.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) households and (b) children are affected by the two-child rule as of 1 June 2022.

The Government has committed to annual statistics releases related to the operation of the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children. Statistics related to the period up to April 2021 were published in July 2021 and can be accessed at Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit claimants: statistics related to the policy to provide support for a maximum of 2 children, April 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Statistics related to the period up to April 2022 will be published in the summer.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information is given to claimants on deductions from their benefits (a) when completing an online calculation to move to Universal Credit and (b) before moving to Universal Credit; and whether a person who receives a lower award after moving to Universal Credit is able to move back to legacy benefits in the event that deductions were not used in the calculation of their move to Universal Credit.

We do not give prospective Universal Credit (UC) claimants personalised information on potential deductions from their benefits before moving to UC. This is because the Department only holds limited information about any potential debts a new claimant before a claim is made.

When considering a voluntary move to Universal Credit (as outlined in our recent publication), claimants should check how outstanding debts they may have are recovered through universal credit. They can do this by using an independent benefits calculator and by seeking independent advice, such as through the Help to Claim Service.

Once claimants make a claim, they are not entitled to move back to legacy benefits. This reflects the overarching principle that Universal Credit will replace legacy benefits by the end of 2024.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are claiming Universal Credit as of 1 June 2022; and how many of those people have deductions from their Universal Credit in (a) the UK, (b) Wales and (c) Newport East constituency.

The Government recognises the importance of supporting the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. We seek to balance recovery of debt against not causing hardship for claimants and their families. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, and in April 2021 we further reduced the cap on deductions from Universal Credit awards to 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance enabling them to retain more of the award

Protocols are in place to ensure deductions are manageable and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment, or a temporary suspension, depending on financial circumstances.

The latest published statistics show, of the 4,728,957 households on Universal Credit, in February 2022, there were 2,100,800 UC households in Great Britain with a deduction; of these 107,700 were in Wales and 3,500 in the Newport East Constituency.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the change in Discretionary Housing Payments funding between 2021-22 and 2022-23 on (a) local authorities and (b) registered social landlords.

No such assessment has been made.

Discretionary Housing Payments continue to be an important element of an extensive cross-Government housing support package. Since 2011, the government has provided almost £1.5 billion in Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of Macmillan's recommendation for an independent commission to review the level of support the benefits system provides to enable (a) disabled people or (b) people with a long-term health condition to cover their living costs.

The Government is providing extensive support to disabled people and those with a health conditions to help them live independent lives. We will spend over £59 billion this year (2021/22) on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions.

The Government is also providing support worth around £12 billion this financial year and next to help families with the cost of living. We are cutting the Universal Credit taper to make sure work pays, freezing alcohol and fuel duties to keep costs down, and providing targeted support to help households with the cost of essentials.

In addition to this, the Energy Bills Rebate will provide around 28 million households with an upfront discount on their bills worth £200.

Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper, which was published on 20 July 2021, explored how the benefits system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions now and in the future by improving claimant experience of our services, enabling independent living and improving employment outcomes. . We received more than 4,500 responses to our Green Paper proposals and detailed proposals will be brought forward in a White Paper later this year.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average response time was for her Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Department does not record the information requested.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2019 and 2020 is published on Gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers . Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date in 2021 her Department notified utility suppliers of those (a) in receipt of the Guarantee Element of Pension Credit and (b) in the core group for the Warm Home Discount.

The warm home discount scheme is the responsibility of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions operates a data match with relevant energy suppliers to ensure customers in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (known as the core group) receive an automatic rebate on their energy bill where possible.

The qualifying date to determine warm home discount eligibility for 2021/22 was the 4 July 2021. The department completed this year’s exercise by 9 October 2021.

The department also undertakes a further exercise in mid-November, this is to capture any Pension Credit Guarantee Credit claims that may have been backdated.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 8 July 2021, HCWS166 on Disability Benefits, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to implement the replacement of the current 6-month rule for access to benefits under the special rules for terminal illness with a 12-month, end of life approach, for the personal independence payment and attendance allowance in the next Queen's Speech.

The Department is committed to supporting people nearing the end of their lives. We plan to amend legislation to implement changes to the Special Rules for Terminal Illness across five DWP benefits, beginning with Universal Credit alongside Employment and Support Allowance this year. This will be followed by Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment when Parliamentary time allows.

14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, further to her Department's announcement on 8 July 2021 that it would scrap the six-month rule for access to benefits under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness, if the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to implement this change for the Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance in the next Queen's Speech.

The Department is committed to supporting people nearing the end of their lives. We plan to amend legislation to implement changes to the Special Rules for Terminal Illness across five DWP benefits, beginning with Universal Credit alongside Employment and Support Allowance this year. This will be followed by Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment when Parliamentary time allows.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of working universal credit recipients are paid by their employers on a non-monthly cycle.

The proportion of working Universal Credit recipients who are paid in a non-monthly-cycles is 37.0%.

Notes:

  1. Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal place.
  2. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Real Time Earnings (RTE) data has been used to identify pay frequency and number of employers. This does not include self-reported or self-employed earnings.
  3. Pay frequency as reported by the employer has been used to determine pay cycle.
  4. Category 'Non-Monthly Pay Cycle' includes those claimants paid weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or another non-monthly pay cycle
  5. UC claimants present in the UC Household Statistics in August 2021 have been included, some of these will have zero entitlement due to earnings.
  6. Only Great Britain UC claimants are included in the breakdown.
  7. Most recent data of August 2021 has been provided in line with the latest available UC Household Statistics.
  8. Figures are provisional and subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for a substantive response to be sent following an enquiry being made to her Department's MP Account Management team in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

Information on the handling of correspondence from hon. Members and Peers by Government Departments and Agencies is published by the Cabinet Office. The most recent available information was published on 15 July 2021 and can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to (a) identify and (b) investigate universal credit claims in the event that multiple claims are being paid to the same bank account.

COVID-19 saw an unprecedented surge in Universal Credit claims, demanding an extraordinary response from DWP to ensure the welfare safety net continued to catch all those in urgent need.

Whilst a small number of people deliberately misrepresented their circumstances or looked to exploit our response to the pandemic, the verification of claimants’ identities remains at the core of our checks and we quickly introduced new and robust verification procedures following initial easements. Face to face interviews are now being re-established, subject to the latest COVID-19 advice.

Where fraud does occur, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. Our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups, detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to scam the system.

Identity fraud is a complex issue, and it is not always possible to be definitive about every case, but our Enhanced Checking Service and our Serious Organised Crime teams disrupted or corrected over 298,000 claims (including the 152,000 mentioned above) in 2020-21.

We are not able to describe the robust processes we have in place, as to do so may compromise the effectiveness of our operations. However, DWP continues to work across Government to address this issue.

Where citizens allege that their identity has been used to make a fraudulent claim for Universal Credit, DWP considers each case on its own merits. Decisions are made on the strength of the evidence provided. If a claimant has been the victim of a scam, and has not benefited from it in any way, they will not be held liable for any debt. In these cases, we will seek to recover any losses from the perpetrator of any fraud.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to protect people who are victims of identity theft and have had fraudulent benefit claims made in their name.

COVID-19 saw an unprecedented surge in Universal Credit claims, demanding an extraordinary response from DWP to ensure the welfare safety net continued to catch all those in urgent need.

Whilst a small number of people deliberately misrepresented their circumstances or looked to exploit our response to the pandemic, the verification of claimants’ identities remains at the core of our checks and we quickly introduced new and robust verification procedures following initial easements. Face to face interviews are now being re-established, subject to the latest COVID-19 advice.

Where fraud does occur, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. Our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups, detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to scam the system.

Identity fraud is a complex issue, and it is not always possible to be definitive about every case, but our Enhanced Checking Service and our Serious Organised Crime teams disrupted or corrected over 298,000 claims (including the 152,000 mentioned above) in 2020-21.

We are not able to describe the robust processes we have in place, as to do so may compromise the effectiveness of our operations. However, DWP continues to work across Government to address this issue.

Where citizens allege that their identity has been used to make a fraudulent claim for Universal Credit, DWP considers each case on its own merits. Decisions are made on the strength of the evidence provided. If a claimant has been the victim of a scam, and has not benefited from it in any way, they will not be held liable for any debt. In these cases, we will seek to recover any losses from the perpetrator of any fraud.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the value was of all claims identified as fraudulent benefit claims through identity theft; how much has been recovered from those fraudulent claims; and how many people have been prosecuted for fraudulent benefit claims through identity theft in (a) 2018-2019, (b) 2019-2020 and (c) 2020-2021.

Where there is a suspicion of fraud, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. DWP’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to defraud the system.

The table below shows the number of Fraud Investigations concluded in each of the requested years where the allegation was recorded as Identity Fraud and the primary benefit in payment was Universal Credit. Also shown is the value associated to these Investigations.

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021

Cases closed - all outcomes (figures rounded to nearest 100)

900

2,400

2,600*

Values calculated in respect of above cases (rounded to nearest 100)

£65,300

£928,500

£2,092,500**

*As this was identified as a result of serious and organised fraud this figure reflects the number of referrals made and not the number of individual claims that may be incorporated in that referral.

**These cases and values do not include the large number of additional Identity Fraud attempts during 2020/21 (many of which were the result of co-ordinated attacks) which we spotted and stopped before they went into payment, as the cases are still ongoing.

DWP’s Debt Management system does not match recovery to specific fraud type, so it is not possible to state how much money has been recovered in relation to closed cases classified as Identity Fraud.

Covid-19 restrictions have impacted prosecution cases as it has not been possible to carry out face to face interviews. This is because a face to face interview under caution, carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, is a legal requirement before a case can be referred for either prosecution or for an administrative penalty to be issued.

However, DWP is making considerable progress in securing Covid safe rooms across the country for its fraud investigators and is also securing digital facilities, which will enable interviews to be conducted remotely.

DWP will always look to prosecute this type of offence to the full extent where possible and conducted 4 prosecutions for this offence in 2018/19, 9 in 2019/20 and 3 in 2020/21.

There will always be a time lag between the formal investigation and the court’s final verdict, but a number of investigations into hijacked identity are currently being pursued and will come to court in due course.

DWP is currently considering how future legislative change could help target fraud and error even more acutely moving forwards.

All cases where ‘Departmental error’ leads to overpayments of Universal Credit are logged on DWP’s Debt Management system as Official Error cases. These debts are recoverable. The table below shows the total number of these cases recorded on the system in each of the last 3 years.

Financial Year

Volume*

2018/2019

106,000

2019/2020

199,000

2020/2021

337,000

*figures rounded to nearest 1000

Ensuring benefit correctness is a DWP priority. Despite an additional 3 million claimants to Universal Credit as a result of Covid-19, published National Statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System show that Universal Credit Official Error fell in 2020/21 from 1.3% to 0.9% of benefit expenditure.

Note that the data supplied in this response 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.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims have been identified as involving (a) identity fraud, (b) departmental error in (i) 2018-19, (ii) 2019-20 and (iii) 2020-21.

Where there is a suspicion of fraud, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. DWP’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to defraud the system.

The table below shows the number of Fraud Investigations concluded in each of the requested years where the allegation was recorded as Identity Fraud and the primary benefit in payment was Universal Credit. Also shown is the value associated to these Investigations.

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021

Cases closed - all outcomes (figures rounded to nearest 100)

900

2,400

2,600*

Values calculated in respect of above cases (rounded to nearest 100)

£65,300

£928,500

£2,092,500**

*As this was identified as a result of serious and organised fraud this figure reflects the number of referrals made and not the number of individual claims that may be incorporated in that referral.

**These cases and values do not include the large number of additional Identity Fraud attempts during 2020/21 (many of which were the result of co-ordinated attacks) which we spotted and stopped before they went into payment, as the cases are still ongoing.

DWP’s Debt Management system does not match recovery to specific fraud type, so it is not possible to state how much money has been recovered in relation to closed cases classified as Identity Fraud.

Covid-19 restrictions have impacted prosecution cases as it has not been possible to carry out face to face interviews. This is because a face to face interview under caution, carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, is a legal requirement before a case can be referred for either prosecution or for an administrative penalty to be issued.

However, DWP is making considerable progress in securing Covid safe rooms across the country for its fraud investigators and is also securing digital facilities, which will enable interviews to be conducted remotely.

DWP will always look to prosecute this type of offence to the full extent where possible and conducted 4 prosecutions for this offence in 2018/19, 9 in 2019/20 and 3 in 2020/21.

There will always be a time lag between the formal investigation and the court’s final verdict, but a number of investigations into hijacked identity are currently being pursued and will come to court in due course.

DWP is currently considering how future legislative change could help target fraud and error even more acutely moving forwards.

All cases where ‘Departmental error’ leads to overpayments of Universal Credit are logged on DWP’s Debt Management system as Official Error cases. These debts are recoverable. The table below shows the total number of these cases recorded on the system in each of the last 3 years.

Financial Year

Volume*

2018/2019

106,000

2019/2020

199,000

2020/2021

337,000

*figures rounded to nearest 1000

Ensuring benefit correctness is a DWP priority. Despite an additional 3 million claimants to Universal Credit as a result of Covid-19, published National Statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System show that Universal Credit Official Error fell in 2020/21 from 1.3% to 0.9% of benefit expenditure.

Note that the data supplied in this response 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.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2021 to Question 41756, on Social Security Benefits: Vulnerable Adults, whether his Department's policy on whether it has a duty of care to benefit claimants has changed since 2012-14.

The Department is required by law to pay the correct amount of benefit to eligible customers at the correct time. This legal duty to benefits claimants has remained consistent.

Further to this, where customers require additional support we take steps to understand their circumstances and will offer advice and support as needed. DWP staff can also signpost customers to other public authorities (including those that have statutory safeguarding responsibilities). Through this collaborative approach, we provide effective support to customers who may be particularly vulnerable.

9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time taken by the Child Maintenance Service to recover arrears for child maintenance was in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

We do not hold this information due to the complex nature of our unpaid Child Maintenance (previously known as arrears) negotiations. When arranging for unpaid Child Maintenance to be recovered, caseworkers speak to both the Paying Parent and the Receiving Parent to agree an affordable and acceptable amount for both parties.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason deductions for child maintenance are listed at numbers 13 and 14 in her Department's guidance on the deductions priority order for universal credit.

Schedule 6 of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 sets out the priority order in which Departmental staff must consider all deductions from Universal Credit, including Child Maintenance. The deductions contained in that priority order are all priority debts and social obligations that are important for claimants to address.

The Department recognises the importance of Child Maintenance payments and these deductions are already prioritised above others such as benefit overpayments of Housing Benefit, Tax Credit and DWP overpayments and Recoverable Hardship and Social Fund loans.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department accepts a statutory safeguarding duty of care to vulnerable benefits claimants.

The Department does not have a statutory safeguarding duty or legal duty of care. The safety of claimants is of great importance to us and the Department provides staff with training and guidance to help them identify those who require further support beyond the provision of benefits.

Our staff can direct vulnerable claimants to agencies and services who are best placed to support them, including those who have statutory safeguarding duties such as local authorities and social services.

DWP supports the work of all statutory safeguarding agencies, either when formally requested to do so, or by engaging with them to identify, where possible, those who might need particular support.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations her Department has received from (a) welfare and (b) disability groups on her Department's public sector equality duty as set out in the Equality Act 2010 to those people claiming disability benefits.

DWP take our Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) seriously and are absolutely committed to ensuring our services are accessible to all.

We focus on being a learning organisation and are keen to capture the voice of the customer. A key part of this role is working with a number of representative groups from welfare and disability organisations through regular stakeholder forums.

They comprise of a range of organisations of and for disabled customers and through them we hear the voice of our customers. They let us know where we can improve the reasonable adjustments we offer and our processes for providing them, and they assist us by testing new products and procedures

One example is the Taskforce on Accessible Information which works at strategic level and meets three to four times a year.

Another is the Reasonable Adjustments Forum who work at an operational level and meet every two months.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to support an urgent independent inquiry into (a) the impact of the benefits assessment process on claimants' mental health and (b) preventing future deaths of those wrongly declared fit for work.

The Department’s key obligation is to ensure that claimants receive the benefits that they are entitled to, in a timely manner. We continually review our processes to ensure that benefits assessment processes are accessible and supportive to all customers, including those with mental health conditions. We recently put in place a number of improvements to disability benefits assessments, to ensure that vulnerable customers are identified and all evidence relevant to the claim is taken into account. These include enhancing Additional Support Markers on digital case files to indicate vulnerable claimants.

The Department is committed to learning from cases where there is suggestion or allegation that the Department’s actions or omissions may have negatively contributed to the customer’s circumstances. We conduct internal retrospective investigations (known as Internal Process Reviews) to capture these lessons, and take them forward to inform future policy and service.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward proposals to reduce the number of face-to-face assessments for disabled benefits claimants.

We are committed to improving the experience of accessing health and disability benefits. The Health and Disability Green Paper is an opportunity to understand how we can best improve the health assessment system, including the frequency of reassessments, and will inform our plan for change.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if the Government will establish an independent inquiry into the (a) number and (b) causes of deaths of those who have died after being found fit to work following a benefits assessment in each of the last six years.

The Department’s key obligation is to ensure that claimants receive the benefits that they are entitled to, in a timely manner. We have recently put in place a number of improvements to disability benefits assessments, to ensure that vulnerable customers are identified and all evidence relevant to the claim is taken into account.

The Department is committed to learning from cases where there is suggestion or allegation that the Department’s actions or omissions may have negatively contributed to a customer’s circumstances. We conduct internal retrospective investigations (known as Internal Process Reviews) to capture these lessons, and take them forward to inform future policy and service.

In England and Wales (where engaged) a Coroner has responsibility for concluding the cause of death.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families are in receipt of universal credit in Newport East constituency; and how many of those families are in receipt of the £20 uplift for that benefit.

The available information on the number of households with Universal Credit in payment by parliamentary constituency is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The £20 uplift applies to all Universal Credit claimants.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the pension credit take up is in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) each Welsh constituency.

The information requested is not available.

The DWP publishes annual take-up statistics for income-related benefits, including Pension Credit, at Great Britain level. The latest data was published in October 2020 and provides take-up estimates up to financial year 2018/19: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up--2(opens in a new tab)

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that universal credit claimants in Wales are able to receive their bonuses from both rounds of the Welsh Government's NHS and social care financial recognition scheme without deductions.

Frontline health and social care workers make a valuable contribution to our society and we are so grateful for their continued work through this pandemic.

The Department does not deduct from a Universal Credit claimant’s salary or bonus payment, however it may reduce the amount of Government support a claimant receives through Universal Credit if their earnings increase and they therefore have more money available to support themselves. It is a long-standing principle of means-tested benefits that as a person’s earnings increase their government support decreases – Universal Credit is no different.

Bonus payments, including those paid to health and social care workers, are earnings and therefore are treated in the same way as any other earnings. Universal Credit rules align closely to tax legislation (Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA)). Amounts that are taken into account for a Universal Credit award include those that are general earnings, as defined in section 7(3) of ITEPA. Amounts paid as expenses that are exempt from Income tax under Part 4 of ITEPA are not taken into account for a Universal Credit award.

To ensure consistency with the approach taken across different forms of earnings and Covid-19 financial support, the UK Government does not believe there is a case for disregarding these payments from benefit calculations. They are therefore subject to the Universal Credit taper rate of 63%, unless the earnings form part of the work allowance, which is the amount someone can earn before the taper is applied to their earnings.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government plans to take steps to formally recognise British Sign Language in law.

On 18 March 2003 the UK government formally recognised that British Sign Language (BSL) is a language in its own right. Provision for accessing services by users of BSL are covered by the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Existing equality legislation already means employers, service providers and public bodies have to provide services in BSL and other formats when it is reasonable to do so. The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the needs of all those with protected characteristics.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of research by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, published 26 May 2021, on the barriers facing people with mental health issues from getting help to manage their universal credit account.

Universal Credit provides personalised and tailored support for all claimants, and it is already possible for claimants to give permission for a third party to discuss aspects of their claim.

The Department has also provided mental health training for staff who have direct contact with claimants, including all Work Coaches, to equip them to identify mental wellbeing issues or vulnerabilities, and to take appropriate action to support individuals. Work Coaches will tailor support to the needs of the individual and work closely with local organisations that provide additional specialist support. To enable Work Coaches to provide that tailored experience, with the permission of the claimant, they are able to record, in a free text format, through the use of ‘pinned notes’ in the Universal Credit system, information which supports staff in identifying and managing relevant experiences and circumstances of individual claimants.

In terms of supporting people manage their Universal Credit account, there is assistance available to make and maintain their Universal Credit claim using the Freephone Universal Credit helpline.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have died whilst waiting for a decision on their personal independence payment claim in 2021.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 4 working days on average (as at the end of January 2021, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

390 people died whilst waiting for a decision on their PIP claim between 1st and 31st January 2021, the latest date for which published data is available. For context, 62,330 claims were submitted for PIP over the same period. Note that the stated number of deaths includes people who submitted claims before January 2021.

Notes:

Source: PIP ADS and Customer Information System

  • These figures include claims made under normal rules and special rules for terminally ill claimants and include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • PIP claimants are included if they died in January 2021 and a PIP claim was registered before their date of death and was cleared after their date of death.
  • Claimants’ dates of death are as recorded on the system at 11th May 2021 and may be subject to change.
  • Data covers Great Britain only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

The PIP data includes claims made under normal rules and special rules for terminally ill claimants, as well as new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time is (a) between receipt of an application for state pension and date of the first payment and (b) between reaching state pension age and the date of the first payment of state pension.

The information requested is not readily available, as to provide it would require complex interrogation of our systems and would incur disproportionate cost.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for a response to a complaint made to the Child Maintenance Service in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) January to April 2021.

The Department does not measure timings as described in the question, so this information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Complaints received about the Child Maintenance Service are handled in line with the overall Departmental complaints process published on Gov.uk. We aim to contact customers within 15 working days to clear the complaint or agree how to investigate it if it will take longer.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the (a) average and (b) longest waiting times were for Independent Case Examiner decisions in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

At the point the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) Office accept a complaint for investigation, they will initially try to broker a solution between the complainant and the Department or supplier, without having to undertake an investigation – this is known as “resolution”. If the complaint cannot be resolved the evidence will be requested and the case will await allocation to an Investigation Case Manager (ICM). Cases are usually brought into investigation in strict date order. Following a review of the evidence, it may be possible to “settle” the complaint, if agreement can be reached which satisfies the complainant. If the complaint cannot be settled, ICE will issue a report detailing findings and any recommendations for redress. The majority of the complaints that are referred to ICE are complex and require a full investigation.

The Unit received additional resource during 2020/21 financial year to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation, but Covid has adversely affected the unit with staff re-deployed to priority front-line activities at the outset of the pandemic and recruitment plans delayed. It has also been affected by Covid-related sickness, self-isolation and bereavement.

For the 2020/21 reporting year, the average Resolution clearance time, from acceptance to case closure, was 6.2 weeks. The average time taken to allocate complaints that required investigation to an ICM, from acceptance to allocation, was 63.8 weeks. The average clearance time for complaints that required investigation (Settlements and ICE Reports), from allocation to an ICM to case closure, was 20.1 weeks.

For the reporting years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 the average waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance (for all cleared cases) were: 65; 69; and 73 weeks respectively.

For the same reporting years, the single longest waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance in each reporting year were: 134; 153; and 160 weeks respectively. These cases are among the most complex and contentious and in addition may be subject to scrutiny and consideration by the Department before recommendations for redress are settled.

It should be noted that Customer satisfaction with the service is high with 82.6 per cent of customers who respond to the ICE survey stating that they were satisfied with the service they received.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time was for a complaint submitted to her Department for the (a) case to be assigned to an Independent Case Examiner, (b) investigation to commence and (c) decision to be provided to the complainant in the most recent period for which figures are available.

At the point the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) Office accept a complaint for investigation, they will initially try to broker a solution between the complainant and the Department or supplier, without having to undertake an investigation – this is known as “resolution”. If the complaint cannot be resolved the evidence will be requested and the case will await allocation to an Investigation Case Manager (ICM). Cases are usually brought into investigation in strict date order. Following a review of the evidence, it may be possible to “settle” the complaint, if agreement can be reached which satisfies the complainant. If the complaint cannot be settled, ICE will issue a report detailing findings and any recommendations for redress. The majority of the complaints that are referred to ICE are complex and require a full investigation.

The Unit received additional resource during 2020/21 financial year to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation, but Covid has adversely affected the unit with staff re-deployed to priority front-line activities at the outset of the pandemic and recruitment plans delayed. It has also been affected by Covid-related sickness, self-isolation and bereavement.

For the 2020/21 reporting year, the average Resolution clearance time, from acceptance to case closure, was 6.2 weeks. The average time taken to allocate complaints that required investigation to an ICM, from acceptance to allocation, was 63.8 weeks. The average clearance time for complaints that required investigation (Settlements and ICE Reports), from allocation to an ICM to case closure, was 20.1 weeks.

For the reporting years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 the average waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance (for all cleared cases) were: 65; 69; and 73 weeks respectively.

For the same reporting years, the single longest waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance in each reporting year were: 134; 153; and 160 weeks respectively. These cases are among the most complex and contentious and in addition may be subject to scrutiny and consideration by the Department before recommendations for redress are settled.

It should be noted that Customer satisfaction with the service is high with 82.6 per cent of customers who respond to the ICE survey stating that they were satisfied with the service they received.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications his Department has received for an extension of personal independence payments under the special rules for terminal illness after the expiration of the three-year award since 2019; and how long the waiting times were for applications to be processed in those such instances.

4,270 Personal Independence Payment claimants under an existing Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) award registered Advance claims under SRTI at the end of their 3 year fixed term award between January 2019 – October 2020 (latest available data).

The median end to end clearance times were 7 working days for Advance claims cleared under special rules.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • SRTI awards are identified based on the initial decision at New Claim or Reassessment from DLA. This data excludes instances where end dates or award types have been updated following this initial decision.
  • PIP data includes both new claims and reassessment claims from Disability Living Allowance.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Please note that claimants who register under SRTI but are deemed not to be eligible under the SRTI criteria are sent a PIP2 form and continue their claim under the Normal Rules claim journey. This means that claimants who register a PIP claim can change to Normal Rules during the customer journey:
  • The 'Registration to DWP decision (end to end)' clearance time is measured as the average time between the date of registration of the claim (or for Special Rules, the date of transition if the claim moves from being a normal rules claim to being a special rules claim during the claimant journey) and the date of the DWP decision to either award or disallow the claim.
  • Clearance Time measures do not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant or claims that were disallowed by DWP prior to referral to the Assessment Providers (e.g. for failure to meet basic eligibility criteria).
  • Advance claims are defined as a New Claim or Reassessment from DLA registration made by a claimant with an existing award either less than 6 months prior to the end date or up to 6 months after the end date of an existing award.
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of postponing the scheduled relocation of DWP offices in Newport, Cwmbran, Caerphilly, the Rhondda, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff to Treforest during the covid-19 outbreak; and what discussions officials in her Department have had with trade union representatives on those relocations.

The movement of non-customer facing services to the new, purpose built, office at Treforest is part of the Department’s ambition to move to larger, modern, more efficient multi-product-line service centres. The Department originally notified all those impacted in 2017. The Department carefully considered the relative merits of the recent announcement, which confirmed plans for migration of the first two sites Gabalfa and Merthyr, who are due to move between July and October. The Department must exit the Gabalfa site this year in order to return it to the landlord, and it was decided to proceed as this will reduce the uncertainty for people and ensure the maximum amount of time for discussions to take place with individuals to understand the impact of the move on them, including seeking solutions where a move to the new office is not possible based on their personal circumstances. The situation with regard to Covid is being kept under review and the safety of colleagues remains paramount, with many continuing to work from home. There is extensive and ongoing consultation with the trade union.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90092 on Personal Independence Payment, what were the recorded reasons for those 1,860 claimants' claims being disallowed at initial decision under normal rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

There were 1,860 claimants who were disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules who had registered a claim between April 2018 – October 2019 and died within 6 months of that registration. Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the disallowances broken by the disallowance type. Please note that the Department holds no further data on the reasons claimants are disallowed PIP.

Table 1: Breakdown of disallowance reasons for claimants cleared under Normal Rules who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim

Outcome of PIP Claim

Number of claimants cleared under Normal Rules

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider

330

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider - due to non-return of Part 2 within the time limit

1,150

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider - Failed Assessment

280

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider – Failed to Attend Assessment

100

Total disallowances

1,860

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes normal rules claimants only, and is for both new claims and Disability Living Allowance reassessment claims.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system (PIPCS). This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 90092 and PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIPCS’s management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 2nd October 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90092 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision applied under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness; and what the recorded reasons were for those claims being so disallowed.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

There were 2,140 claimants who were disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules or Special Rules who had registered a claim between April 2018 – October 2019 and died within 6 months of that registration. Of these, 280 originally applied under Special Rules and Table 1 shows a breakdown of these disallowances broken by the disallowance type. Please note that the Department holds no further data on the reasons claimants are disallowed PIP.

Table 1: Breakdown of disallowance reasons for claimants who originally registered under Special Rules, were disallowed and died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim

Outcome of PIP Claim

N

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider

260

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider - due to non-return of Part 2 within the time limit

20

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider - Failed Assessment

-

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider – Failed to Attend Assessment

-

Total

280

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and Disability Living Allowance reassessment claims.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system (PIPCS). This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 90092 and PQ 81701.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIPCS’s management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 2nd October 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 September 2020 to Question 90093 on Personal Independence Payment, after how many days on average after making a claim for personal independence payment under Special Rules for Terminal Illness did the 1,740 claimants die who applied under those rules for personal independence payment but prior to her Department making a decision on their claim.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked. New claims to PIP under SRTI were being cleared in 4 working days on average (median) in April 2020 and reassessments from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP under SRTI were being cleared in 6 working days on average (median) in April 2020.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

For the 1,740 claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Special Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020, the average (median) number of working days between registering a claim and death was 5 working days.

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures include registrations made from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 and clearances made up to 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 30th April 2020) and claimant deaths from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 2nd October 2020) and may be subject to retrospection.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answers to PQ 90093 and PQ 81700.
  • The averages provided are median working days. The median is the middle value if you were to order all the times within the distribution from lowest value to highest value. The median is presented here instead of the mean because the mean can be unduly affected by outlying cases.
  • Median working days are provided to allow comparison with the figure published for all PIP new claims made under SRTI.
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 September 2020 to Question 90093 on Personal Independence Payment, what the medical conditions were of the 5,520 personal independence payment claimants who applied under normal rules and who died after registering their claim but prior to her Department making a decision on their claim.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New claims to PIP made under Normal Rules were cleared in an average (median) of 16 weeks in April 2020 and reassessments from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP under Normal Rules were being cleared in an average (median) of 27 weeks in April 2020.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

The number of PIP claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Normal Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020 has increased from 5,520 to 5,530, since Question 90093 was answered. This is due to a live system.

The main disabling condition of the 5,530 PIP claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Normal Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020 is shown in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Main disabling condition for PIP claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Normal Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020

Main Disabling Condition

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

30

Cardiovascular disease

80

Diseases of the immune system

-

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

80

Endocrine disease

30

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

30

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

450

Metabolic disease

10

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

90

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

60

Neurological disease

180

Psychiatric disorders

270

Respiratory disease

150

Skin disease

10

Unknown or missing

4,050

Visual disease

10

Total

5,530

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is recorded on the PIP CS.
  • The main disabling condition is only recorded for claimants who have attended a PIP assessment with an assessment provider.
  • Figures include registrations made from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 and clearances made up to 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 30th April 2020) and claimant deaths from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 2nd October 2020) and may be subject to retrospection.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answers to PQ 90093 and PQ 81700.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and ‘-’ is used for totals of greater than 0 but less than 5.
  • Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90092 on Personal Independence Payment, with reference to the 30 claimants who subsequently registered a claim under the special rules for terminal illness, what the average length of time was between those claimants receiving an award under special rules for terminal illness and initially registering that claim under normal rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

There were 30 PIP claimants who died within 6 months of registering an initial PIP claim who were disallowed under Normal Rules and who subsequently registered a PIP claim under Special Rules. Because of the small number of claims in this category we are unable to provide an average for the length of time between registration of the initial claim and the clearance of the subsequent claim. Calculating averages for small populations has a risk of misrepresentative results skewed by non-typical values. This is in line with our practice for PIP statistical publications, where averages for populations of less than 50 are suppressed.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes both new claims and reassessment claims from Disability Living Allowance.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system (PIPCS) for a given claim. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 90092 and PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP CS’s management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 2nd October 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81702 on Personal Independent Payment, how many of the 3,310 personal independence payment claimants since April 2018 who died within three months of their initial application being disallowed had made previous claims that were refused.

Personal Independence Payment is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting. The Department treats the tragic death of any claimant sympathetically.

The Government has taken steps to ensure that new claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020.

I also refer the Hon. Member to the correction to the answer to Question 81702.

480 claimants had previously registered a Personal Independence Payment claim that was disallowed.

There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming Personal Independence Payments was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81702 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 3,310 personal independence payment claimants who died within three months of their initial application being disallowed applied under normal rules; and what conditions those claimants had.

Personal Independence Payment is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting. The Department treats the tragic death of any claimant sympathetically.

The Government has taken steps to ensure that new claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020.

The cause of death of claimants is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming Personal Independence Payments was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

I also refer the Hon. Member to the correction to the answer to Question 81702.

A breakdown of conditions is listed in the accompanying table.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81701 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 18,290 people who registered to claim personal independence payment since April 2018 and who died within six months of making a claim (a) had their application rejected under Normal Rules and (b) were subsequently awarded benefits after appeal; and what primary condition those claimants had.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim:

  • There were 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under either Normal Rules or Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.
  • There were 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules.
  • Of these 1,860 claimants, there were 30 claimants who registered a subsequent claim for PIP under Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.

Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules by main disabling category:

Table 1: Breakdown by Disability Category of claimants who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim from April 2018 – October 2019 and who had their claim disallowed under Normal Rules

Disability Category

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

-

Cardiovascular disease

30

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

10

Endocrine disease

10

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

10

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

50

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

30

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

20

Neurological disease

30

Psychiatric disorders

100

Respiratory disease

30

Skin disease

-

Unknown or missing

1,540

Visual disease

-

Total (ALL)

1,860

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.
  • The primary disabling condition does not get recorded until a claimant has attended an assessment. This means that claimants who are disallowed without attending an assessment (e.g. for failing to attend an assessment or for disallowances pre-referral to the Assessment Provider) do not have a disability recorded and are recorded in Table 1 as “Unknown or Missing”.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st August 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim, there were 280 claimants who had their claim disallowed following a PIP assessment under Normal Rules up to March 2020. This does not include disallowance decisions made prior to an assessment being completed.

Appeals information for these 280 claimants show that there were 0 Appeals where the DWP decision was overturned or upheld and there were fewer than 5 appeals withdrawn/struck out or lapsed.

Due to small numbers, figures on appeal outcomes by primary disabling condition are not shown.

Notes

  • These figures cover PIP claims registered between April 2018 and October 2019, disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment up to March 2020 and appeals to June 2020.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • GB Only.
  • 'Appeals - withdrawn/struck out' - includes where an appeal is brought to an end, or cleared, without a determination on the issue in dispute. Struck out appeal is where the proceedings have been brought to an end by the Tribunal Judge.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - lapsed' - where DWP changed the decision (in the customer’s favour) after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - overturned' - where the DWP decision is revised in favour of the customer at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - upheld' - where the DWP decision is upheld at a tribunal hearing.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 8 September 2020 to Question 81701 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 18,290 people who registered a claim for personal independence payment since April 2018 and who died within six months of making a claim and who had their application rejected under Normal Rules subsequently reapplied for that benefit under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness process.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim:

  • There were 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under either Normal Rules or Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.
  • There were 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules.
  • Of these 1,860 claimants, there were 30 claimants who registered a subsequent claim for PIP under Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.

Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules by main disabling category:

Table 1: Breakdown by Disability Category of claimants who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim from April 2018 – October 2019 and who had their claim disallowed under Normal Rules

Disability Category

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

-

Cardiovascular disease

30

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

10

Endocrine disease

10

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

10

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

50

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

30

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

20

Neurological disease

30

Psychiatric disorders

100

Respiratory disease

30

Skin disease

-

Unknown or missing

1,540

Visual disease

-

Total (ALL)

1,860

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.
  • The primary disabling condition does not get recorded until a claimant has attended an assessment. This means that claimants who are disallowed without attending an assessment (e.g. for failing to attend an assessment or for disallowances pre-referral to the Assessment Provider) do not have a disability recorded and are recorded in Table 1 as “Unknown or Missing”.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st August 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim, there were 280 claimants who had their claim disallowed following a PIP assessment under Normal Rules up to March 2020. This does not include disallowance decisions made prior to an assessment being completed.

Appeals information for these 280 claimants show that there were 0 Appeals where the DWP decision was overturned or upheld and there were fewer than 5 appeals withdrawn/struck out or lapsed.

Due to small numbers, figures on appeal outcomes by primary disabling condition are not shown.

Notes

  • These figures cover PIP claims registered between April 2018 and October 2019, disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment up to March 2020 and appeals to June 2020.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • GB Only.
  • 'Appeals - withdrawn/struck out' - includes where an appeal is brought to an end, or cleared, without a determination on the issue in dispute. Struck out appeal is where the proceedings have been brought to an end by the Tribunal Judge.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - lapsed' - where DWP changed the decision (in the customer’s favour) after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - overturned' - where the DWP decision is revised in favour of the customer at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - upheld' - where the DWP decision is upheld at a tribunal hearing.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 8 September 2020 to Question 81701 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 18,290 people who registered to claim for personal independence payment since April 2018 and who died within six months of making a claim had their application rejected.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim:

  • There were 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under either Normal Rules or Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.
  • There were 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules.
  • Of these 1,860 claimants, there were 30 claimants who registered a subsequent claim for PIP under Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.

Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules by main disabling category:

Table 1: Breakdown by Disability Category of claimants who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim from April 2018 – October 2019 and who had their claim disallowed under Normal Rules

Disability Category

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

-

Cardiovascular disease

30

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

10

Endocrine disease

10

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

10

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

50

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

30

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

20

Neurological disease

30

Psychiatric disorders

100

Respiratory disease

30

Skin disease

-

Unknown or missing

1,540

Visual disease

-

Total (ALL)

1,860

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.
  • The primary disabling condition does not get recorded until a claimant has attended an assessment. This means that claimants who are disallowed without attending an assessment (e.g. for failing to attend an assessment or for disallowances pre-referral to the Assessment Provider) do not have a disability recorded and are recorded in Table 1 as “Unknown or Missing”.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st August 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim, there were 280 claimants who had their claim disallowed following a PIP assessment under Normal Rules up to March 2020. This does not include disallowance decisions made prior to an assessment being completed.

Appeals information for these 280 claimants show that there were 0 Appeals where the DWP decision was overturned or upheld and there were fewer than 5 appeals withdrawn/struck out or lapsed.

Due to small numbers, figures on appeal outcomes by primary disabling condition are not shown.

Notes

  • These figures cover PIP claims registered between April 2018 and October 2019, disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment up to March 2020 and appeals to June 2020.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • GB Only.
  • 'Appeals - withdrawn/struck out' - includes where an appeal is brought to an end, or cleared, without a determination on the issue in dispute. Struck out appeal is where the proceedings have been brought to an end by the Tribunal Judge.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - lapsed' - where DWP changed the decision (in the customer’s favour) after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - overturned' - where the DWP decision is revised in favour of the customer at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - upheld' - where the DWP decision is upheld at a tribunal hearing.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 8 September 2020 to Question 81700 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 7,260 claimants who died after registering a personal independence payment claim since April 2018 but prior to her Department making a decision on their claim applied under (a) Normal Rules and (b) Special Rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

Of the 7,260 claimants who died after registering a PIP claim but prior to a decision being made on their case between April 2018 and 30th April 2020 5,520 applied under (a) Normal Rules and 1,740 applied under (b) Special Rules.

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures include registrations made from April 2018 – April 2020 and clearances made up to April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 30th April 2020) and claimant deaths from April 2018 – April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 31st August 2020) and may be subject to retrospection.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81700.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the findings of her Department’s review on how well the benefits system supports people who are terminally ill.

The evaluation remains a priority for the DWP. We will be announcing the outcome and the changes that will be made as a result shortly.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of personal independence payments have died within three months of having their application rejected since April 2018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 5 working days on average (as at the end of April 2020, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

  • Between April 2018 and 31st October 2019, 1,360,420 registrations were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 18,290 died within 6 months of registering a claim to PIP up to 30th April 2020.
  • Between April 2018 and 31st January 2020, 688,100 disallowances at initial decision were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 1,700 died within 3 months of receiving a disallowance decision up to 30th April 2020.

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – January 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st July 2020. Data and may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who applied for personal independence payment died within six months of making their application since April 2018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 5 working days on average (as at the end of April 2020, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

  • Between April 2018 and 31st October 2019, 1,360,420 registrations were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 18,290 died within 6 months of registering a claim to PIP up to 30th April 2020.
  • Between April 2018 and 31st January 2020, 688,100 disallowances at initial decision were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 1,700 died within 3 months of receiving a disallowance decision up to 30th April 2020.

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – January 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st July 2020. Data and may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have died while waiting for their eligibility for personal independence payment to be determined since April 2018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 5 working days on average (as at the end of April 2020, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

Between April 2018 and 30th April 2020, the latest date for which data is available, 1,662,080 registrations were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 7,260 (less than 0.5%) claimants died prior to a decision being made on their case.

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include claims made under Normal Rules or Special Rules for Terminal Illness and include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures cover registrations made from April 2018 – April 2020, clearances made up to April 2020 and claimant deaths from April 2018 – April 2020 as recorded on the system at 31st July 2020 and may be subject to retrospection.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of people making special rules for terminal illness claims for universal credit who are (a) unsuccessful and (b) told to apply for universal credit under standard rules.

Estimates could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claims for the disability component of universal credit were made under the special rules for terminal illness in each year since 2016.

Information about the number of UC claimants who declare a Terminal Illness can only be provided at disproportionate cost because the required information is not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how claimants for personal independence payment in 2019 died within six months of making those claims; and how many of those claimants had their claims disallowed by her Department.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under the special rules for people who are terminally ill are fast tracked and are currently being cleared within 5 working days for new claimants.

Of the 1,820 PIP claimants who died within 6 months of registering a claim and were disallowed at initial decision:

  • 240 claimants originally registered their claim under Special Rules for Terminal Illness.
  • 1,670 claimants died within 3 months of an initial decision on their PIP claim.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to the whole due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered between January 2019 and December 2019, claims cleared up to and including 30th April 2020 and deaths up to 30th April 2020.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the claimants for personal independence payment in 2019 who died within six months of making those claims and had those claims disallowed by her Department (a) made those claims under the special rules for terminal illness and (b) died within three months of those claims being disallowed by her Department.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under the special rules for people who are terminally ill are fast tracked and are currently being cleared within 5 working days for new claimants.

Of the 1,820 PIP claimants who died within 6 months of registering a claim and were disallowed at initial decision:

  • 240 claimants originally registered their claim under Special Rules for Terminal Illness.
  • 1,670 claimants died within 3 months of an initial decision on their PIP claim.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to the whole due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered between January 2019 and December 2019, claims cleared up to and including 30th April 2020 and deaths up to 30th April 2020.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claims for the disability component of universal credit were made under the special rules for terminal illness in each year since 2016.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of people making special rules for terminal illness claims for universal credit who are (a) unsuccessful and (b) told to apply for universal credit under standard rules.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of claims for the disability component of universal credit are special rules for terminal illness claims.

Information about the proportion of UC claimants who declare a Terminal Illness at the start of a claim can only be provided at disproportionate cost because the required information is not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of people making special rules for terminal illness claims for universal credit are (a) unsuccessful and (b) told to apply for universal credit under standard rules.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people claiming the universal credit disability component under standard rules have died within six months of making their claim in each year since 2015.

A breakdown by year could only be provided at disproportionate cost for the same reasons as given in PQs 69500 and 69501.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2020 to Question 64868, how many universal credit claimants in Wales are directly affected by the decision of the Court of Appeal of 22 June 2020 in the case Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people (a) over 25 years old, (b) under 25 years old and (c) who were lone parents under 25 years old have submitted claims for universal credit since 23 March 2020.

The number of declarations (claims) made between 23 March 2020 and 14 May 2020 is 2,392,336. The breakdowns requested are not readily available and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants in (a) Wales and (b) each constituency in Wales are directly affected by the decision of the Court of Appeal of 22 June 2020 in the case Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the findings from the review announced on 11 July 2019 into how the welfare system supports people who are terminally ill.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Parliamentary Question PQ 52243 on 4 June 2020.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people submitted claims for universal credit in Wales from 1 March to 12 May in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

Information on new Universal Credit claims made in a) 2017, b) 2018 and c) 2019 is published online and can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

For figures for 2020, I refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport East on 21 May 2020 to Question 39515

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to increase universal credit rates for people aged under 25.

We have increased the Universal Credit standard allowance by around £20 per week for the next 12 months – equivalent to up to £1,040 a year.

This is in addition to the 1.7% inflation increase (announced Nov 2019) as part of the Government’s decision to end the benefits freeze and means more financial support for millions of people across the UK.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she will publish the findings from the review, announced in July 2019, on how the welfare system supports people who are terminally ill.

The evaluation and supporting people who are terminally ill remains an absolute priority for the Department. However, these are unprecedented times and the Government’s immediate focus is on people affected by Covid-19 and getting support to them as quickly as possible. It is important to note that we have always done – and will continue to do – our utmost to process claims under the special rules as quickly as possible.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposals in the Joint call to Government for a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme that can help us all weather this storm, published by the Trussell Trust in April 2020.

The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficulties times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system to ensure people are receiving the support they need. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. Those applying for Contributory ESA who may have coronavirus, are self-isolating, or caring for a child (or qualifying young person) who falls into either of those categories, or individuals who have been advised to ’shield’ because they are at high risk of severe illness, will be entitled from day 1 of their claim – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year;
  • temporarily relaxing the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate;
  • making Statutory Sick Pay available from day 1 – as opposed to day 4 - where an eligible individual is sick or self-isolating; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest 30% of local market rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.
  • To allow staff to be re-deployed to the front line, we have suspended recovery of some Government debts such as Tax Credits, benefit overpayments and Social Fund Loans.
  • The Department has also made Regulations which remove restrictions preventing prisoners on temporary release due to the Covid-19 measures from claiming means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit, during the period of that release.

Taken together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system and, along with the other job and business support programmes announced by the Chancellor, including the Business Retention Scheme and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, represent one of the most comprehensive packages of support introduced by an advanced economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government remains committed to supporting the essential work the Voluntary, and Community and Social Enterprise Sector do in our communities which is why the Chancellor recently announced a £750million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak. Following the Chancellor’s announcement last month, the bidding process for direct cash grants through the National Lottery Community Fund has now launched for those in England.

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund aims to support the tens of thousands of charities and organisations at the heart of local communities that are making a big difference during the COVID-19 outbreak, including delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice, which includes welfare support and advice. The funding is to help organisations ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as continuing their day to day activities supporting vulnerable people in need.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have submitted claims for universal credit in Wales from 23 March 2020 by local authority area.

Number of Universal Credit declarations in Wales 01 March 2020 - 12 May 2020

Individuals

Households

Total 1 Mar to 12 May

122,160

95,080

Sun 01 Mar 2020

240

200

Mon 02 Mar 2020

820

690

Tue 03 Mar 2020

710

590

Wed 04 Mar 2020

680

580

Thu 05 Mar 2020

640

530

Fri 06 Mar 2020

530

440

Sat 07 Mar 2020

170

140

Sun 08 Mar 2020

190

160

Mon 09 Mar 2020

720

620

Tue 10 Mar 2020

730

610

Wed 11 Mar 2020

700

580

Thu 12 Mar 2020

630

530

Fri 13 Mar 2020

570

470

Sat 14 Mar 2020

260

210

Sun 15 Mar 2020

300

240

Mon 16 Mar 2020

1,070

880

Tue 17 Mar 2020

1,800

1,480

Wed 18 Mar 2020

2,450

2,010

Thu 19 Mar 2020

2,970

2,370

Fri 20 Mar 2020

3,560

2,810

Sat 21 Mar 2020

2,310

1,790

Sun 22 Mar 2020

1,610

1,250

Mon 23 Mar 2020

5,720

4,410

Tue 24 Mar 2020

6,040

4,640

Wed 25 Mar 2020

4,230

3,280

Thu 26 Mar 2020

4,190

3,260

Fri 27 Mar 2020

6,860

4,860

Sat 28 Mar 2020

2,970

2,160

Sun 29 Mar 2020

2,000

1,450

Mon 30 Mar 2020

5,140

3,800

Tue 31 Mar 2020

3,670

2,780

Wed 01 Apr 2020

3,740

2,790

Thu 02 Apr 2020

4,150

3,120

Fri 03 Apr 2020

2,830

2,150

Sat 04 Apr 2020

1,400

1,060

Sun 05 Apr 2020

1,140

880

Mon 06 Apr 2020

2,960

2,310

Tue 07 Apr 2020

2,340

1,820

Wed 08 Apr 2020

2,230

1,720

Thu 09 Apr 2020

1,910

1,500

Fri 10 Apr 2020

1,330

1,040

Sat 11 Apr 2020

810

630

Sun 12 Apr 2020

650

510

Mon 13 Apr 2020

1,090

850

Tue 14 Apr 2020

2,080

1,610

Wed 15 Apr 2020

1,850

1,440

Thu 16 Apr 2020

1,780

1,370

Fri 17 Apr 2020

1,670

1,290

Sat 18 Apr 2020

870

660

Sun 19 Apr 2020

610

470

Mon 20 Apr 2020

1,570

1,250

Tue 21 Apr 2020

1,320

1,050

Wed 22 Apr 2020

1,290

1,030

Thu 23 Apr 2020

1,350

1,080

Fri 24 Apr 2020

1,140

900

Sat 25 Apr 2020

560

450

Sun 26 Apr 2020

480

400

Mon 27 Apr 2020

1,350

1,070

Tue 28 Apr 2020

1,280

1,030

Wed 29 Apr 2020

1,170

950

Thu 30 Apr 2020

1,240

1,010

Fri 01 May 2020

1,070

880

Sat 02 May 2020

490

390

Sun 03 May 2020

470

380

Mon 04 May 2020

1,140

940

Tue 05 May 2020

1,030

850

Wed 06 May 2020

1,030

860

Thu 07 May 2020

830

710

Fri 08 May 2020

510

420

Sat 09 May 2020

360

310

Sun 10 May 2020

410

340

Mon 11 May 2020

1,090

920

Tue 12 May 2020

1,090

900

Caveats:

The figures use the Job centre the claimant has been allocated to rather than the contract address to determine location.

The requested information is not available at local authority level.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for universal credit were (a) made, (b) refused and (c) granted for terminal illness payments using the DS1500 form in each month from January 2018 to December 2019; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for personal independence payment were (a) made, (b) refused and (c) granted for terminal illness payments using the DS1500 form in each month from January 2018 to December 2019; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim for Personal Independence Payment under the special rules for terminal illness. The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Questions 21930, 219331, 219332 and 21933, for what reasons the information requested is not readily available.

A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

We do not record receipt of the DS1500 centrally for all benefits. Whilst the Department does collect some information on DS1500 forms providing the requested data would necessitate complex data matching; and the extraction of the data requested would require significant time applying specialist knowledge and a high level of skill. This task, in addition to assessing the completeness of recording on DS1500 forms, and quality assuring the figures would therefore take in excess of four working days and exceed the appropriate cost limit for central Government.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims were (a) made, (b) refused and (c) granted for terminal illness payments using the DS1500 form in each month from January 2018 to December 2019; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants who received a payment in response to a DS1500 claim in each month from January 2018 to December 2019 died within (a) six months and (b) the first year of receiving their first payment; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants that were refused a payment of terminal illness benefits having submitted a DS1500 in each month from January 2018 to December 2019 died within (a) six months of their application being received and (b) one year of their application being made; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants that were denied access to personal independence payment in each month from January 2018 to December 2019 and subsequently submitted a DS1500 were (a) granted and (b) refused the terminal illness benefit; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on its review of the Special Rules for Terminal Illness and Severe Conditions.

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to establish a taskforce to consider issues faced by people with neurological conditions; and if he will meet with representatives from the Neurological Alliance to discuss the potential merits of creating this taskforce.

The Department received the petition calling for the establishment of a neurological taskforce from the Neurological Alliance and other stakeholders in June 2023. We are considering that petition. Policy colleagues regularly meet with the Neurological Alliance and have worked closely together to develop an Acquired Brain Injury Strategy, due to be published later this year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the Major Conditions Strategy improves outcomes for people with a less survivable form of cancer.

The Major Conditions Strategy will look at all cancer types, covering the patient pathway from prevention, through treatment, to follow-up care. The strategy will look at a wide range of interventions and enablers to improve outcomes and experience for cancer patients.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had recent discussions with Hospice UK on the impact of the cost of energy on the hospice sector.

There is regular engagement with Hospice UK and other palliative and end of life care stakeholders at both ministerial and official level to understand the issues they face, such as the impact of the cost of energy on the hospice sector.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of (a) ordinary and (b) named-day written questions their Department answered on time in 2022.

For the period of 4 January 2022 to 28 April 2022, the Department answered 48.06% of Named Day Written Questions on the named day, and 74.0% of Ordinary Written Questions within a timeframe of five working days.

For the period of 10 May 2022 to 21 July 2022 inclusive, the Department answered 66.11% of Named Day Written Questions on the named day, and 73.5% of Ordinary Written Questions within a timeframe of five working days.

As the Table Office is still collating the on-time answering statistics for the period commencing 22 July 2022 up to the end of that year, it is not possible at this stage to provide an official figure for the entire of 2022.

The Department receives the most Written Questions amongst all government departments, and we continue to progress our on-time performance through a post-pandemic recovery strategy.

6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2022 to Question 77355 on Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates: Regulation, for what reason his Department did not publish the public consultation on the draft legislation aimed at enabling the General Medical Council to regulate physician associates and anaesthesia associates by the end of 2022.

The Department’s focus remains on addressing National Health Service winter pressures and ensuring that patients have access to the services that they need. The work to regulate Anaesthesia Associates and physician associates continues to be progressed and we plan to publish the public consultation on the draft legislation in early 2023.

9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the cost of living crisis on levels of mental health.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Tooting (Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP) on 1 November 2022 to Question 68566.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the impact of the cost of living crisis on mental health.

We have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a range of issues, including the impact of the rising cost of living on mental health.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make additional funding available to the NHS to help address the effect of the rising costs of living on mental health.

NHS England has released a further £1.5 billion to integrated care systems to address the rising costs of energy and inflation. Integrated care boards will determine how this funding will be allocated to meet the needs of local populations.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department collects on the effect of rising living costs on mental health; what steps he will take to monitor the effect of rising living costs on mental health; and what steps he will take with Cabinet colleagues on monitoring the impact of any deterioration in mental health on the UK economy.

While specific data is not collected, changes in the prevalence of mental ill-health in children and young people is monitored through the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England survey. The latest survey published in 2021 is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2021-follow-up-to-the-2017-survey

The prevalence of mental ill-health in adults is monitored through the NHS Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, with the latest survey expected to be published in 2024. We also routinely monitor changes to National Health Service mental health service demand. The Office for National Statistics is undertaking analysis on the cost of living and depression in adults, which is due to be published on 6 December 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September 2022 to Question 49105 on Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates: Regulation, whether he plans to publish the public consultation on the draft legislation aimed at enabling the General Medical Council to regulate physician associates and anaesthesia associates by the end of 2022.
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps their Department is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to (a) written parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from Members of Parliament.

The Department attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of written parliamentary questions and correspondence and officials remain committed to providing the highest level of service.

The Department's performance in answering written parliamentary questions on time fell during the COVID-19 pandemic and we continue to receive significantly more written questions than any other Government department. In order to improve performance, we have been delivering against our Written Parliamentary Question Recovery Plan and answered 71% of written parliamentary questions from hon. Members on time between May and July 2022.

The Department aims to reply to all correspondence within 20 working days. From May to September 2022, we answered more than 50% of correspondence within 20 working days. This doubled our previous response rate in 2021 and we are committed to making further improvements.

7th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2022 to Question 7493 on Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates: Regulation, if she will set out a timetable for bringing forward legislative proposals on the regulation of physician associates and anaesthesia associates; and if she will make a statement.

We plan to publish the public consultation on the draft legislation which will enable the General Medical Council (GMC) to regulate physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs) in the autumn. Following this consultation, we will finalise the legislation to be laid in the second half of 2023, subject to Parliamentary time. The GMC will then develop and implement its rules and processes for regulating PAs and AAs within 12 months, enabling regulation to commence in the second half of 2024.

22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that access to accredited European Trauma Courses is available to practising physician associates for free.

The NHS Standard Contract states that providers of National Health Service-funded services must ensure all staff have the appropriate qualifications, experience, skills and competencies to perform the duties required. As such, continuous professional development, such as access to accredited European Trauma Courses for physician associates, is a matter for individual employers.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his planned timetable is for making a decision on the use of Evusheld following completion of UKHSA testing.

While we expect to receive clinical advice shortly, we are currently unable to confirm a specific timetable.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2022 to Question 1109 on Evusheld, what his planned timetable is for (a) receiving advice from clinicians on the most appropriate option for the use of Evusheld and (b) procuring that treatment for use within the NHS.

While we expect to receive clinical advice shortly, we are currently unable to confirm a specific timetable.

8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June 2022 to Question UIN 7943 on Health Professions: Regulation, whether anaesthesia associates will be included in his plans to regulate physician associates through draft legislation later in 2022.

Anaesthesia associates will be included in the draft legislation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will expand the spring covid-19 booster vaccine rollout to include people with motor neurone disease who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

During the spring booster vaccination programme, an additional dose is being offered to residents in care homes for older adults, individuals aged 12 years old and over who are immunosuppressed and adults aged 75 years old and over. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) do not currently recommend a further dose for those with motor neurone disease, unless the existing criteria applies.

The JCVI continues to consider the latest available data, particularly in relation to the timing and value of any further doses. On 19 May 2022, the JCVI published interim advice on an autumn COVID-19 booster programme. The JCVI advises that a booster dose should be offered to residents in care homes for older adults and staff; frontline health and social care workers; all those aged 65 years old and over; and adults aged 16 to 64 years old who are in a clinical risk group, such as motor neurone disease.

The JCVI will continue to review the vaccination programme, the definitions of clinical risk groups and the epidemiological situation to inform its final advice. The Government will consider the JCVI's final advice before determining which groups should be included in the autumn COVID-19 booster programme.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his planned timetable is for bringing forward draft legislation to regulate physician associates and anaesthesia associates.

We are analysing the responses to the ‘Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public’ consultation and working with stakeholders on the approach to reforming the legal framework for the regulation of healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom. We plan to publish the consultation response in due course, setting out further detail on the proposals, including the timing and sequencing of these reforms. Work to bring physician associates into regulation continues and we plan to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to respond to the consultation entitled Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public, which closed on 24 March 2021.

We are analysing the responses to the ‘Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public’ consultation and working with stakeholders on the approach to reforming the legal framework for the regulation of healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom. We plan to publish the consultation response in due course, setting out further detail on the proposals, including the timing and sequencing of these reforms. Work to bring physician associates into regulation continues and we plan to consult on draft legislation later this year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of increased fuel costs on (a) domiciliary care workers and (b) filling vacancies in that sector.

No specific assessment has been made. The vast majority of care workers are employed by private sector providers which set the terms and conditions independently of central Government. Local authorities work with care providers to determine fee rates, which should take account of employment costs based on local market conditions. We continue to work with the local government sector to understand the impact of emerging challenges on local authorities, such as rising fuel costs.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timescale is for implementing the decision to fortify non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid.

Following consultation, the Government announced in September 2021 that it would legislate to fortify non-wholemeal wheat flour with folic acid. The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have engaged with industry as part of a cross-Government review of bread and flour regulations. The four United Kingdom nations are now developing the legislation and impact assessment with the intention of consulting on the draft provisions in summer 2022.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people in prison have a diagnosed mental health condition.

This information is not collected in the format requested. However, in 2020/21, data shows that an average of 66,442 people residing in prison had a serious mental illness recorded or 7.44% of the prison population. This does not include those who have accessed primary care mental health services and are treated through normal primary care provision for lower level presentations.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average response time was for his Department to respond to an enquiry from an MP once an enquiry had been received by the MP (a) hotline and (b) account management team in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The Government attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from hon. Members, either directly or on behalf of their constituents. The Department does not have an MP hotline.

The Department does not hold information on the average response time to enquiries from hon. Members, as correspondence performance is monitored by the percentage of correspondence responded to within the target response time set by the Department.

Data on the timeliness of responses to correspondence from Parliamentarians in 2019 and 2020 is published on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers

Data for 2021 will be published by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to introduce statutory regulation of all medical associate professions.

Statutory regulation should be used proportionately and only where risks to public and patient protection cannot be effectively addressed through other means of professional assurance. In 2017, the Department consulted on proposals to bring four medical associate professions into regulation:

- physician associate (PA);

- anaesthesia associate (AA);

- surgical care practitioner (SCP); and

- advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP).

In October 2018, we announced that PAs and AAs would be regulated but not SCPs or ACCPs. This is because training for SCPs and ACCPs is open to regulated healthcare professionals and therefore there is no direct entry route into these roles. Once trained, SCPs and ACCPs need to retain their base professional registration with their regulatory bodies in order to practise.

On 6 January 2022, we published a consultation on the criteria for determining when statutory regulation of a healthcare profession is appropriate.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until 31 March 2022.

Whilst there is no legal requirement, all healthcare professions with prescribing responsibilities in the United Kingdom are regulated due to the high-risk nature of prescribing activities. Work to bring PAs into regulation is underway and the Department plans to consult on draft legislation later this year.

We are also working with the professions, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the devolved administrations and professional bodies to develop the case for extending appropriate prescribing responsibilities to PAs after regulation. Should the decision be made by the Commission on Human Medicines to extend prescribing responsibilities to the role, a separate legislative process would be required to implement this. This would be subject to a further public consultation.

The Department is not aware of any legislative reason why PAs cannot access advanced trauma training courses. Eligibility criteria for training courses is set by course providers. The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 require a profession to be regulated before it can request X-rays and ionising radiation. Registered healthcare professionals can then request these procedures as ‘non-medical referrers’ (NMRs) provided they have been entitled as an NMR by their employer and have undergone the appropriate training.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to enable physician associates to authorise x-rays and related scans.

Statutory regulation should be used proportionately and only where risks to public and patient protection cannot be effectively addressed through other means of professional assurance. In 2017, the Department consulted on proposals to bring four medical associate professions into regulation:

- physician associate (PA);

- anaesthesia associate (AA);

- surgical care practitioner (SCP); and

- advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP).

In October 2018, we announced that PAs and AAs would be regulated but not SCPs or ACCPs. This is because training for SCPs and ACCPs is open to regulated healthcare professionals and therefore there is no direct entry route into these roles. Once trained, SCPs and ACCPs need to retain their base professional registration with their regulatory bodies in order to practise.

On 6 January 2022, we published a consultation on the criteria for determining when statutory regulation of a healthcare profession is appropriate.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until 31 March 2022.

Whilst there is no legal requirement, all healthcare professions with prescribing responsibilities in the United Kingdom are regulated due to the high-risk nature of prescribing activities. Work to bring PAs into regulation is underway and the Department plans to consult on draft legislation later this year.

We are also working with the professions, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the devolved administrations and professional bodies to develop the case for extending appropriate prescribing responsibilities to PAs after regulation. Should the decision be made by the Commission on Human Medicines to extend prescribing responsibilities to the role, a separate legislative process would be required to implement this. This would be subject to a further public consultation.

The Department is not aware of any legislative reason why PAs cannot access advanced trauma training courses. Eligibility criteria for training courses is set by course providers. The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 require a profession to be regulated before it can request X-rays and ionising radiation. Registered healthcare professionals can then request these procedures as ‘non-medical referrers’ (NMRs) provided they have been entitled as an NMR by their employer and have undergone the appropriate training.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to enable physician associates to attend advanced trauma training.

Statutory regulation should be used proportionately and only where risks to public and patient protection cannot be effectively addressed through other means of professional assurance. In 2017, the Department consulted on proposals to bring four medical associate professions into regulation:

- physician associate (PA);

- anaesthesia associate (AA);

- surgical care practitioner (SCP); and

- advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP).

In October 2018, we announced that PAs and AAs would be regulated but not SCPs or ACCPs. This is because training for SCPs and ACCPs is open to regulated healthcare professionals and therefore there is no direct entry route into these roles. Once trained, SCPs and ACCPs need to retain their base professional registration with their regulatory bodies in order to practise.

On 6 January 2022, we published a consultation on the criteria for determining when statutory regulation of a healthcare profession is appropriate.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until 31 March 2022.

Whilst there is no legal requirement, all healthcare professions with prescribing responsibilities in the United Kingdom are regulated due to the high-risk nature of prescribing activities. Work to bring PAs into regulation is underway and the Department plans to consult on draft legislation later this year.

We are also working with the professions, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the devolved administrations and professional bodies to develop the case for extending appropriate prescribing responsibilities to PAs after regulation. Should the decision be made by the Commission on Human Medicines to extend prescribing responsibilities to the role, a separate legislative process would be required to implement this. This would be subject to a further public consultation.

The Department is not aware of any legislative reason why PAs cannot access advanced trauma training courses. Eligibility criteria for training courses is set by course providers. The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 require a profession to be regulated before it can request X-rays and ionising radiation. Registered healthcare professionals can then request these procedures as ‘non-medical referrers’ (NMRs) provided they have been entitled as an NMR by their employer and have undergone the appropriate training.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to enable physician associates to prescribe mortality-reducing medication.

Statutory regulation should be used proportionately and only where risks to public and patient protection cannot be effectively addressed through other means of professional assurance. In 2017, the Department consulted on proposals to bring four medical associate professions into regulation:

- physician associate (PA);

- anaesthesia associate (AA);

- surgical care practitioner (SCP); and

- advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP).

In October 2018, we announced that PAs and AAs would be regulated but not SCPs or ACCPs. This is because training for SCPs and ACCPs is open to regulated healthcare professionals and therefore there is no direct entry route into these roles. Once trained, SCPs and ACCPs need to retain their base professional registration with their regulatory bodies in order to practise.

On 6 January 2022, we published a consultation on the criteria for determining when statutory regulation of a healthcare profession is appropriate.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until 31 March 2022.

Whilst there is no legal requirement, all healthcare professions with prescribing responsibilities in the United Kingdom are regulated due to the high-risk nature of prescribing activities. Work to bring PAs into regulation is underway and the Department plans to consult on draft legislation later this year.

We are also working with the professions, NHS England and NHS Improvement, the devolved administrations and professional bodies to develop the case for extending appropriate prescribing responsibilities to PAs after regulation. Should the decision be made by the Commission on Human Medicines to extend prescribing responsibilities to the role, a separate legislative process would be required to implement this. This would be subject to a further public consultation.

The Department is not aware of any legislative reason why PAs cannot access advanced trauma training courses. Eligibility criteria for training courses is set by course providers. The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017 require a profession to be regulated before it can request X-rays and ionising radiation. Registered healthcare professionals can then request these procedures as ‘non-medical referrers’ (NMRs) provided they have been entitled as an NMR by their employer and have undergone the appropriate training.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to respond to the consultation on the fortification of flour with folic acid.

We will provide further updates on the response after the summer recess.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that physician associates are afforded the protection of formal statutory regulation.

The Department’s consultation ‘Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public’ closed on 16 June. The consultation sought views on proposals to modernise each of the healthcare professional regulators’ legal frameworks and on the proposed approach to introducing statutory regulation for physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

The reforms will update the General Medical Council’s (GMC) current legislation, enabling it to bring PAs and AAs into regulation under a new, modernised framework. We plan to publish the consultation response in the autumn. A further consultation on the draft legislation that will bring PAs and AAs into regulation will follow. We are working with the GMC to ensure that regulation of PAs and AAs begins as early as possible in the second half of 2022.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has a planned timescale for bringing forward legislative proposals to fortify flour products with folic acid.

The Department published a consultation on the proposed mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid from 13 June to 9 September 2019. A post consultation update was published on GOV.UK. Publication of the consultation response has been delayed due to the pandemic. We will publish the response as soon as possible outlining the next steps for this proposal.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2021
What steps his Department is taking to support targeted research into motor neurone disease.

The Government is supporting research into motor neurone disease (MND). On 29 April, I jointly hosted a roundtable event on boosting MND research with the National Institute for Health Research Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre.

The event brought together researchers, charities, people with MND and funders and we will be working closely with these stakeholders over the coming months to consider ways forward for this vital area of research.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data the Government holds on the professions of designated medical professionals stationed in covid-19 quarantine hotels in the UK.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase funding for bereavement support services for (a) BAME communities, (b) deprived communities and (c) other communities disproportionately affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Since March 2020, the Government has given over £10.2 million to mental health charities, including bereavement support charities, to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing due to the impact of COVID-19.

We continue to take a cross-Government approach to assess what is needed to provide support to bereaved individuals and families during this incredibly difficult time, in order to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds and communities have access to appropriate bereavement support.

16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of supplies of (a) personal protection equipment, (b) medicines, (c) equipment and (d) staff in hospices at the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have made no formal assessment. However, we have worked closely with Hospice UK on behalf of hospices to ensure an understanding of the adequacy of these resources during the pandemic.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that non-malignant stem cell transplant patients who received their transplant more than six months ago receive the same priority for the covid-19 vaccine as other stem cell transplant patients.

Priority group 6 includes all those who are defined as clinically vulnerable and at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. People who have received a stem cell transplant more than six months ago are included in this definition. People who have received a stem cell transplant within the last six months will be defined as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), in which case they are included in priority group 4. Both groups should now have been called forward for vaccination.

Further information can be found at the following links:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/who-is-at-high-risk-from-coronavirus-clinically-extremely-vulnerable/

https://www.anthonynolan.org/patients-and-families/understanding-stem-cell-transplants/coronavirus-and-your-stem-cell-transplant

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances, what assessment he has made of (a) the effectiveness of the Committee's performance and (b) its timeliness in responding to applications in 2019-20; and how many (i) products the Committee approved and (ii) new products were submitted to it for approval in that 12 month period.

The Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS) Secretariat, ACBS members and industry representatives of the British Specialist Nutrition Association have concluded that the current application form and guidance are leading to inconsistent quality in submissions from manufacturers and a new application form and guidance is required As a result, a joint project with industry to improve ACBS processes began in 2019. This was paused due to COVID-19 and will resume as soon as the ACBS and its stakeholders are able to do so.

As part of the project, a bespoke report was produced and shared with the British Specialist Nutrition Association on 18 February 2020 showing that the average time for the ACBS to respond to all types of applications was 28 working days.

From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 the Committee approved 103 products and 35 new products were submitted to it for approval.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances takes to work with stakeholders; and whether the Committee's work is publicly accessible.

The Department is responsible for the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS). The Committee and its secretariat work closely with stakeholders including arranging regular meetings with industry representatives at the British Specialist Nutrition Association. Much of the Committee’s work covers commercially sensitive information. However, the minutes of ACBS meetings are published at the following link:

https://app.box.com/s/k8a2gxf6b8emexz6neekq134yx9vi35y

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances publishes (a) an annual report, (b) minutes of meetings, (c) conflict of interest declarations and (d) a performance review; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is responsible for the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS).

The Department publishes the minutes of the ACBS meetings at the following link:

https://app.box.com/s/k8a2gxf6b8emexz6neekq134yx9vi35y

The minutes include a record of the interests declared by members of the ACBS and any conflicts.

The Department has not published an annual report or performance review of work relating to the ACBS.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to proceed with proposals on the mandatory fortification of flour and gluten-free products with folic acid.

The Department published a United Kingdom-wide consultation on the proposed mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid which ran from 13 June to 9 September 2019. A post consultation update was made available on GOV.UK. We received 1,442 responses from a wide range of stakeholders. Publication of the consultation response has been delayed due to COVID-19 related work taking priority. We will publish our response as soon as possible.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government will publish a response to the consultation on the fortification of flour with folic acid; and if he will make a statement.

Further to the answer I gave on 4 February 2020 to Question 10331, we can confirm that no further progress has been made on publishing a response to the consultation due to COVID-19 pressures taking precedence. We cannot yet give an indication when the response will be published, but we will return to it, in conjunction with the devolved administrations, in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's guidance is on people (a) travelling and (b) travelling a distance of over 10 miles to visit someone who is dying at home from a non-covid-19 terminal illness.

On 10 May, the Prime Minister released a statement explaining that everyone must stay at home wherever possible. People are allowed to leave home for limited purposes including medical need, such as caring for or supporting a vulnerable person. The Government has not set specific travel distance restrictions.

On 13 May 2020, National Health Service England published guidance on visitors for patients at the end of life in all settings - healthcare inpatient settings, care homes, hospices and at home. The considerations assert the rights of the dying to see their loved ones and/or to receive religious support. For end of life care at home, it is the healthcare professional’s role to advise on minimising risk while allowing close family members or friends to accompany and say goodbye to their loved ones. Practical considerations include the number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the dying person. However, where it is possible to maintain social distancing throughout the visit, a second additional visitor (including a child) could be permitted.

The considerations aim to minimise risk of infection whilst allowing close family members or friends to accompany and say goodbye to their loved ones at the end of their life. This guidance applies to both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related illness.

More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0393-clinical-guide-for-supporting-compassionate-visiting-arrangements-13-may-2020.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to extend patient access to GP surgeries via (a) dial-in telephone lines, (b) skype and (c) other teleconferencing facilities to facilitate the remote working of GPs during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

NHSX and NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting the rapid acceleration of the Digital First programme to ensure general practitioner (GP) practices in England have the ability to deliver total triage using online consultation and video consultations. At the same time we are ensuring every GP practice has an uncapped ability to send and receive text messages for a range of purposes e.g. reminders, invitations to video consultations, and ensuring that GP practices have sufficient telephone capacity to take and make telephone calls with patients.

In terms of general practice staff we are making sure that every GP practice has the capability to support remote working for staff including equipment, secure communications, smartcard access, software and access to support.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will discuss with the Royal College of Nursing the need to ensure that GP’s medical negligence insurance is extended to provide cover in the event GPs are required to provide medical support for neighbouring surgeries during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Arrangements are in place to indemnify healthcare professionals through one of the following state indemnity schemes:

- The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, if they are engaged by a National Health Service trust to provide NHS services; and

- Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, if they are engaged by a general practitioner (GP) practice to provide NHS services (i.e. a GP practice, the main business of which is the provision of primary medical services for the NHS).

During the outbreak, existing indemnity arrangements will continue to cover the vast majority of NHS services, including staff working in a place that is not their ordinary place of work. To ensure there are no gaps in indemnity coverage, the Coronavirus Bill seeks additional powers to provide clinical negligence indemnity arising from NHS activities related to the COVID-19 outbreak, where there is no existing indemnity arrangement in place.

Departmental officials have discussed COVID-19 and indemnity with the Royal College of Nursing, and will continue this engagement.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the implementation timetable is for the provisions of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019.

The Department is working to implement the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 which will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system with the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) system, in October 2020.

The Department has worked with health and social care organisations, the third sector, the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, other Government departments, and experts with lived experience to develop chapters of the Liberty Protection Safeguards Code of Practice.

The draft Code of Practice and Regulations for the LPS system will be published for public consultation in the coming months.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timetable is for a decision on proposals on the mandatory fortfication of flour and gluten-free products with folic acid.

The Department published a United Kingdom-wide consultation on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid which ran from 13 June to 9 September 2019. A post consultation update was made available on the Gov.UK website. We received 1,442 responses from a wide range of stakeholders. Due to the pre-election period, preparation of the Government response was put on hold. This is now being prepared and further information will be announced in due course. Any decisions will be made in conjunction with the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Pakistani counterpart regarding (a) security and (b) human rights in Pakistan.

We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Pakistan closely and regularly raise the issue at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, spoke with the Minister for Human Rights, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on 27 June to emphasise the importance of peaceful democratic processes, human rights and adherence to the rule of law. He spoke with the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) for Pakistani minorities on 5 September. In a letter to caretaker Foreign Minister Jilani on 21 August, Lord Ahmad emphasised the need for Pakistan's citizens to be able to exercise their democratic rights and participate in peaceful, inclusive, credible elections.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total cost of accommodation and meals was for (a) Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and (b) Afghan citizens resettlement scheme cases in Pakistan between April 2022 and July 2023.

The cost incurred by HMG in providing accommodation and meals in Pakistan, between April 2022 and June 2023, to individuals eligible under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy was approximately £21.4 million, and under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme Pathway 3 was approximately £690,000.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many Afghan nationals have been relocated from bridging hotels in Pakistan to the UK in 2023.

As of 6 July, 45 individuals eligible under Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) have been relocated from Pakistan to the UK in 2023.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department are taking to provide consular support to people who have been trafficked to Libya whilst fleeing Sudan.

Consular support is severely limited in Libya and the British Embassy in Tripoli does not provide consular services. To date, the FCDO has not received any requests for consular assistance in Libya from British nationals who have been smuggled from Sudan. Should we be approached, the British Embassy in Tunis stands ready to provide consular support to British nationals where possible, but this is severely limited.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of (a) how many people were trafficked to Libya while fleeing Sudan and (b) how many such people were awaiting a visa decision on resettlement to the UK.

As of 14 June, over 500,000 people are estimated to have fled Sudan to neighbouring countries since fighting broke out, with an estimated 1,318 having fled to Libya. This UN figure relates to the number of people who have crossed neighbouring borders, rather than those who have been trafficked. In total, there were 9,812 UK visa applications from Sudanese Nationals between March 2022/23. The Home Office are monitoring the situation in Sudan closely to ensure that we are able to respond appropriately. The UK's current resettlement schemes allow us to support the most vulnerable refugees direct from regions of conflict and instability.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the cost of (a) accommodation and (b) meals was for (i) Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and (ii) Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme cases in Pakistan between 1 April 2022 and 30 May 2023.

The cost incurred by HMG in providing accommodation and meals, between April 2022 and May 2023, to individuals eligible under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy was approximately £18.7 million, and under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme Pathway 3 was approximately £480,000.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many (a) principals and (b) dependents with confirmed eligibility for relocation to the UK from the (i) Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and (ii) Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme are housed in hotel accommodation in (A) Pakistan and (B) other third countries.

As of 6 June, there are approximately 257 principals and 1,206 dependents being supported in Pakistan and 10 principals and 30 dependents being supported in other third countries eligible under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy. There are approximately 109 principals and 381 dependents being supported in Pakistan and 16 principals and 55 dependents being supported in other third countries eligible under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme Pathway 3.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with Iranian counterparts on the execution of prisoners in that country; and if he will make representations to (a) his Iranian counterparts and (b) other international counterparts on the alleged torture, and execution of Saleh Mirhashmi, Majid Kazemi and Saeed Yaqoubi on Friday 19 May 2023.

The UK Government is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and every country, especially Iran. We raise human rights issues at all appropriate opportunities, including with the Iranian Embassy in London and through our Ambassador in Tehran. We last raised our objections to the death penalty on 17 May. On 9 January and 8 December, the Foreign Secretary ordered the summoning of Iran's most senior diplomat in the UK, to protest Iran's continued imposition of the death penalty on protesters. We will continue to work closely with our international partners to ensure Iran is held to account on the world stage, including through the establishment of a UN Fact Finding Mission.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with his (a) Uzbekistani counterpart and (b) HM Ambassador to Uzbekistan on (i) human rights in Uzbekistan and (ii) the imprisonment of Duletmurat Tazhimuratov.

The FCDO carefully monitors the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. We regularly raise human rights issues, including the aftermath of the events in Karakalpakstan and the imprisonment of activists and journalists such as Mr Tazhimuradov, with the Uzbek authorities. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon most recently raised human rights with a senior visiting Uzbek delegation on 19 April. We are clear that the right to peaceful protest and respect for media freedom should be protected.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-