Paul Sweeney Portrait

Paul Sweeney

Labour (Co-op) - Former Member for Glasgow North East


Division Voting information

Paul Sweeney has voted in 412 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

25 Jun 2018 - National Policy Statement: Airports - View Vote Context
Paul Sweeney voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 94 Labour No votes vs 119 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 415 Noes - 119
View All Paul Sweeney Division Votes

All Debates

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

View all Paul Sweeney's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Paul Sweeney

7th October 2019
Paul Sweeney signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 7th October 2019

20 YEARS OF PAT'S GUIDE TO THE WEST END

Tabled by: Patrick Grady (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North)
That this House congratulates Pat Byrne, author and editor of the website Pat's Guide to the West End, on the site's 20th anniversary; notes that the website, which provides reviews, advice and information about cultural and social activities in the West End of Glasgow, first appeared online in 1999 as …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 11
30th September 2019
Paul Sweeney signed this EDM on Tuesday 1st October 2019

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA

Tabled by: Patrick Grady (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North)
That this House notes that 5 October 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Knights of St Columba, the largest Catholic fraternal service organisation in the UK; further notes that the inaugural meeting of the organisation took place in Central Hall, Bath Street, Glasgow, and that since …
13 signatures
(Most recent: 2 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 9
Labour: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Paul Sweeney's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paul Sweeney, 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.


Paul Sweeney has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Paul Sweeney has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Paul Sweeney has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Paul Sweeney has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


222 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
4 Other Department Questions
5th Feb 2019
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will take steps with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to tackle (a) GPs not being allowed to run oestrogen tests if a patient is still registered as male on the NHS and (b) other barriers in relation to those test barriers.

Ministers and officials have regular dialogue with counterparts in DHSC, where concerns of the trans community are raised. We will continue to work with the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure improved service for transgender patients and service users.

The Government Equalities Office has recently provided grants to the Royal College of General Practitioners and to the LGBT Foundation to pilot and evaluate ways to improve delivery of services to LGBT patients and service users, especially in general practice.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Feb 2019
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she plans to take to improve transition healthcare for people with gender dysphoria.

The Government Equalities Office liaised closely with the Department of Health and Social in developing the commitments set out the LGBT Action Plan. These include the appointment of a National Adviser, who will focus on reducing the health inequalities that LGBT people receive when accessing the NHS.

We are aware demand for gender identity services is growing at a significant rate.

NHS England increased investment in these services in 2016/17, from £26million to £32million, and this figure of £32million has been the overall financial investment in these services each subsequent financial year in-cluding the current year of 2018/19.

Between July and October 2017 NHS England and NHS Scotland held separate but related public consultations on proposals for new service specifications that, if adopted, describe how specialised gender identity services for adults will be commissioned and delivered in the future.

Final versions of the service specifications will be used to inform a process of competitive procurement that will determine which organisations are best placed to provide specialist gender identity services. The process of procurement will be managed by NHS England, with the involvement of NHS Scotland.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Feb 2019
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department plans to take with the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that trans patients do not have to seek unaffordable private healthcare as a result of long waiting times in order to receive treatment and medication.

The Government Equalities Office liaised closely with the Department of Health and Social in developing the commitments set out the LGBT Action Plan. These include the appointment of a National Adviser, who will focus on reducing the health inequalities that LGBT people receive when accessing the NHS.

We are aware demand for gender identity services is growing at a significant rate.

NHS England increased investment in these services in 2016/17, from £26million to £32million, and this figure of £32million has been the overall financial investment in these services each subsequent financial year in-cluding the current year of 2018/19.

Between July and October 2017 NHS England and NHS Scotland held separate but related public consultations on proposals for new service specifications that, if adopted, describe how specialised gender identity services for adults will be commissioned and delivered in the future.

Final versions of the service specifications will be used to inform a process of competitive procurement that will determine which organisations are best placed to provide specialist gender identity services. The process of procurement will be managed by NHS England, with the involvement of NHS Scotland.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jul 2018
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the outcomes were of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women which took place in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018.

The priority theme for the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. Working in collaboration with our EU partners, the UK Government helped to secure a strong outcome document, which included positive language on sexual and reproductive health and rights, the role of men in unpaid care, quality education and human rights.

In addition, the UK delegation, led by the Secretary of State for International Development, had a successful programme, including ‎chairing side events to share good practice, bilateral meetings and delivering the UK national statement.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Nov 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to his oral Answer of 14 November 2018, Official Report, column 298, on the Infected Blood Inquiry, whether his reference to compensation relates to acceptance of Government liability or ex-gratia payments.

During Cabinet Office Oral Questions on Wednesday 14 November, in response to questions about the Infected Blood Inquiry from Member for Manchester, Withington Jess Smith MP and the Member for Kingston upon Hull North Diana Johnson MP, I used the word “compensation” to refer to the financial payments made to victims of infected blood. In doing so, I misspoke. I should instead have used the words “financial support”. I am sorry for any confusion this may have caused in the House. I am happy to make that clarification, and the record has been corrected to reflect this.

12th Sep 2018
What steps the Government is taking to review the effectiveness of the civil service.

The Government is committed to continually strengthening the Civil Service. We use a range of internal and external work to inform our understanding of current effectiveness and to shape work to continue making improvements. Recent examples include the Barber Review, the PACAC Inquiry into Whitehall effectiveness, and the International Civil Service Effectiveness Index.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
10th Jan 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the timescale is for the appointment of a chair to the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal.

We have asked the Lord Chief Justice to nominate a judge to chair the inquiry, and I hope to announce the name of that judge soon. Once the Chair is appointed, we will be discussing with them the composition of the inquiry panel.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the timetable is for the establishment of the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal.

We have asked the Lord Chief Justice to nominate a judge to chair the inquiry, and I hope to announce the name of that judge soon. Once the Chair is appointed, we will be discussing with them the composition of the inquiry panel.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, by what process any inter-administration differences on negotiations for the UK leaving the EU were resolved in the seven months between February and October 2017.

The Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) is the formal mechanism for inter-administration discussion on negotiations for the UK leaving the EU. In the period between February and October 2017 when JMC(EN) did not meet, the First Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU held a series of bilateral meetings with the devolved administrations on a range of issues related to EU Exit.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which recommendations made by devolved administrations at the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU negotiations) will form part of the Government's policy on the UK leaving the EU.

The UK Government is committed to engagement with the devolved administrations throughout the EU Exit process. The main forum for this is the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations). This met in October and December and will meet again in the new year with work remitted to officials to take forward between meetings.

24th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what her Department's timescale is for processing appeals from people who claim to have been adversely affected by the Green Deal Scheme.

There is a specific process for handling complaints under the Green Deal. This starts with a complaint by the consumer to their Green Deal Provider. If not resolved satisfactorily, the consumer may then approach the Green Deal Ombudsman or the Financial Ombudsman Service, depending on the nature of the complaint. Their decisions will be binding on the Green Deal Provider. If after progressing through those channels the consumer is still not satisfied, they may request that their complaint be referred to the Secretary of State for consideration.

In respect of such referrals, the Secretary of State may reduce or cancel a Green Deal loan, if she is satisfied that there has been a breach of the law or code of practice.

The cancellation or reduction of a loan represents the full extent of the Secretary of State’s power to provide redress for consumers in relation to the Green Deal.

BEIS aims to ensure that cases are concluded as quickly as possible, whilst ensuring that fair redress is provided where appropriate and decisions take account of all available, relevant evidence.

BEIS currently has a number of outstanding appeal cases and we have taken steps to speed-up the handling process. We are making progress and this has resulted in the recent issuing of 4 final sanctions and 16 Intention Notices. We expect these numbers to increase significantly soon.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
24th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many appeals her Department has received under the Green Deal Scheme in the last 12 months, and in which constituencies the appellants are based.

230 appeals have been received in the last 12 months. The following table shows the constituencies in which the appellants are based.

Parliamentary constituency

Number of appeals

England

Barrow and Furness

1

Batley and Spen

2

Berwick-upon-Tweed

1

Birmingham, Erdington

1

Birmingham, Hodge Hill

1

Birmingham, Ladywood

1

Birmingham, Perry Barr

1

Bishop Auckland

1

Blackley and Broughton

1

Blackpool South

2

Blaydon

2

Blyth Valley

1

Bolton North East

1

Bolton South East

1

Bradford East

1

Bristol East

1

Bury North

1

Bury South

1

Carlisle

1

City of Durham

2

Cleethorpes

1

Colne Valley

1

Copeland

1

Daventry

1

Ealing Central and Acton

1

Easington

1

Fylde

1

Gloucester

1

Grantham and Stamford

1

Great Grimsby

1

Halton

1

Hartlepool

2

Houghton and Sunderland South

2

Huddersfield

1

Huntingdon

1

Ipswich

1

Jarrow

1

Kingston upon Hull East

1

Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

1

Kingswood

1

Knowsley

1

Lancaster and Fleetwood

1

Leeds East

1

Leicester South

1

Leigh

1

Liverpool, Walton

1

Liverpool, Wavertree

2

Liverpool, West Derby

2

Manchester, Withington

1

Middlesbrough

2

Milton Keynes South

1

Newcastle upon Tyne Central

1

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford

1

North Durham

1

North Somerset

1

North Swindon

1

North Tyneside

1

North West Cambridgeshire

1

North West Durham

1

Nottingham East

3

Nottingham North

1

Nottingham South

1

Pendle

1

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

1

Preston

1

Rossendale and Darwen

1

Rushcliffe

1

Sedgefield

1

Sheffield Central

1

Sheffield South East

1

Sherwood

1

Southport

1

Stalybridge and Hyde

1

Stockton South

2

Stockton North

1

Tewkesbury

1

Tynemouth

1

Walsall South

1

Washington and Sunderland West

3

Wentworth and Dearne

1

West Lancashire

1

West Suffolk

1

Winchester

1

Workington

3

Wales

Aberavon

1

Cardiff South and Penarth

1

Cynon Valley

1

Llanelli

1

Newport West

1

Rhondda

2

Swansea East

1

Scotland

Airdrie and Shotts

4

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

5

Central Ayrshire

5

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill

3

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

4

East Dunbartonshire

1

East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

5

East Lothian

1

East Renfrewshire

3

Edinburgh North and Leith

1

Edinburgh South

1

Edinburgh West

1

Falkirk

4

Glasgow East

1

Glasgow North

1

Glasgow North East

8

Glasgow North West

4

Glasgow South West

1

Glenrothes

1

Inverclyde

3

Kilmarnock and Loudoun

13

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

2

Lanark and Hamilton East

2

Linlithgow and East Falkirk

1

Livingston

1

Midlothian

1

Motherwell and Wishaw

3

North Ayrshire and Arran

2

Ochil and South Perthshire

1

Paisley and Renfrewshire North

11

Paisley and Renfrewshire South

4

Perth and North Perthshire

1

Rutherglen and Hamilton West

7

Stirling

3

West Dunbartonshire

5

Constituency not yet identified

8

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
24th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department has taken to compensate people who have been detrimentally affected by the Green Deal Scheme.

There is a specific process for handling complaints under the Green Deal. This starts with a complaint by the consumer to their Green Deal Provider. If not resolved satisfactorily, the consumer may then approach the Green Deal Ombudsman or the Financial Ombudsman Service, depending on the nature of the complaint. Their decisions will be binding on the Green Deal Provider. If after progressing through those channels the consumer is still not satisfied, they may request that their complaint be referred to the Secretary of State for consideration.

In respect of such referrals, the Secretary of State may reduce or cancel a Green Deal loan, if she is satisfied that there has been a breach of the law or code of practice.

The cancellation or reduction of a loan represents the full extent of the Secretary of State’s power to provide redress for consumers in relation to the Green Deal.

BEIS aims to ensure that cases are concluded as quickly as possible, whilst ensuring that fair redress is provided where appropriate and decisions take account of all available, relevant evidence.

BEIS currently has a number of outstanding appeal cases and we have taken steps to speed-up the handling process. We are making progress and this has resulted in the recent issuing of 4 final sanctions and 16 Intention Notices. We expect these numbers to increase significantly soon.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria is used by National Grid ESO to determine acceptable levels of regional electricity system restoration capability.

The Electricity System Operator (NGESO), has a legal obligation to have a capability to restore the electricity system in the event of a total or partial failure.

In line with historic expectations, NGESO has sourced and procured capability to achieve the restoration of 60% of national demand within 24 hours. This level of demand equates to the level required to run a stable, interconnected Electricity Transmission System, from which remaining demand can be restored.

This approach requires a certain number of self-starting generators to be available in each region and prioritises the restoration of supplies to other generators to maintain a broadly consistent rate of restoration across all GB regions.

The restoration approach is reviewed at least once every two years, to ensure that GB’s restoration capability keeps pace with all relevant technologies and the changes to the electricity system.

14th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how essential electricity system restoration capability will be provided in a zero-carbon electricity system.

The electricity System Operator (National Grid ESO) has a legal license obligation to ensure that it has a restoration capability.

In order to ensure that this capability evolves to provide a safe and effective restoration as the electricity system continues to decarbonise and decentralise, NGESO is undertaking a project to develop and demonstrate new approaches to restore the electricity system from Distributed Energy Resources to increase competition in the market and deliver cost and carbon emission reductions.

BEIS will continue to monitor GB’s changing restoration capability alongside National Grid and Ofgem to ensure it remains robust and effective.

10th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will reopen the Office for Product Safety and Standards review into Whirlpool tumble dryer safety issues.

The role of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is to hold businesses to account for their responsibility for consumer safety. OPSS will continue to scrutinise Whirlpool’s compliance with all of its obligations in regard to the affected tumble dryers.

The Government published the findings of the review on 4th April and OPSS issued a Decision Letter setting out further actions for Whirlpool to take. We do not plan to reopen this review which formed part of OPSS ongoing work to hold Whirlpool to account.

26th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to bring forward legislative proposals on an energy price cap by next winter.

The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill was introduced on 23 February 2018 and is currently progressing through the House. Information about the Bill is available at https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8242

Ofgem have published an initial working paper on the design of the cap with the aim of implementing it by end of year. The working paper is available at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/default-tariff-cap-working-paper-setting-level-cap

27th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes in Glasgow North East constituency have had works carried out under the Green Deal scheme.

Since the start of the Green Deal in 2013 in Glasgow North East constituency 167 properties have had works carried out under the Green Deal scheme.

19th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans further to develop the National Shipbuilding Strategy to include commercial as well as naval shipbuilding opportunities in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

The shipbuilding industry is leading the Maritime Enterprise Working Group with support of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Ministry of Defence to develop an in-depth understanding of the opportunity for the wider UK supply chain in the domestic and international markets in both commercial and naval.

15th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the regulatory framework is which is used to accredit Green Deal Assessors; and if he will make a statement.

Green Deal Assessors are accredited by Green Deal Certification Bodies, who in turn are authorised to act as Green Deal Certification Bodies by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgement, Redress etc.) Regulations 2012 provide the regulatory framework for this activity.

15th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies accredited under the Green Deal were subsequently investigated for breaches of the Green Deal Code of Practice.

Since the Green Deal was introduced, two companies have been investigated for breaches of the Green Deal Code of Practice. One of the investigations led to a sanction against the company Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Ltd. The other investigation did not lead to a sanction.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will set out the rationale for the criteria used to accredit Green Energy Providers for the Green Deal.

The Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgement, Redress etc.) Regulations 2012 set out the criteria that are followed in authorising a Green Deal Provider. In particular, a Green Deal Provider must comply with the provisions of the Green Deal Code of Practice which apply to them, and in certain circumstances hold an appropriate consumer credit licence. These criteria are assessed prior to authorisation to determine whether an applicant is a fit person to act as a Green Deal Provider. They seek to ensure that Green Deal Providers operate to a high standard for the benefit of all scheme stakeholders, and that consumers entering Green Deal plans are appropriately protected.

The Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body (GD ORB) undertakes these assessments and submits a recommendation to my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for a decision to be made. Guidance on the application process is available from the GD ORB website:

http://gdorb.decc.gov.uk/admin/documents/Green%20Deal%20Provider%20Guidance.pdf

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people over 75 who cannot afford to pay for a TV licence will be able to access democracy and keep informed of current affairs from June 2020.

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. In the 2015 funding settlement, the Government and the BBC agreed that responsibility for the concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020.

However, the Government is disappointed with the BBC’s decision as it has been clear that it wants and expects the BBC to continue this concession. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people over 75 who do not use the internet are not digitally excluded and will receive the necessary support to pay for a TV licence from June 2020.

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. In the 2015 funding settlement, the Government and the BBC agreed that responsibility for the concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020.

However, the Government is disappointed with the BBC’s decision as it has been clear that it wants and expects the BBC to continue this concession. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he plans to take to ensure that people over 75 whose level of income is above the threshold of eligibility for pension credit are able to pay for a TV licence from June 2020.

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. In the 2015 funding settlement, the Government and the BBC agreed that responsibility for the concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020.

However, the Government is disappointed with the BBC’s decision as it has been clear that it wants and expects the BBC to continue this concession. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department plans to take to help people over 75 with a long-term complex illness such as dementia to pay for a TV licence from June 2020.

The BBC is responsible for the cost and the administration of the over 75 licence fee concession from June 2020.

The BBC says that it will work with older peoples groups, charities and voluntary organisations to design a bespoke system to support all those over 75 affected by its decision. As part of this system, the BBC says that its licensing arm, TV Licensing, will make it as easy as possible for carers and family members to act as representatives for pensioners seeking to claim a free TV licence, including those caring for elderly people with complex illnesses like dementia.

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance his Department plans to provide to carers who work with people over 75 to help those people pay for a TV licence from June 2020.

The BBC is responsible for the cost and the administration of the over 75 licence fee concession from June 2020.

The BBC says that it will work with older peoples groups, charities and voluntary organisations to design a bespoke system to support all those over 75 affected by its decision. As part of this system, the BBC says that its licensing arm, TV Licensing, will make it as easy as possible for carers and family members to act as representatives for pensioners seeking to claim a free TV licence, including those caring for elderly people with complex illnesses like dementia.

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the removal of free TV licences for people aged over 75 on people with sight impairments.

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. However, the Government has no intention to change the blind (severely sight impaired) licence fee concession, regardless of the age of the recipient.

Guidance on the blind (severely sight impaired) licence fee concession can be found on the TV Licensing website: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/for-your-home/blindseverely-sight-impaired-aud5

29th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK data security is protected in respect of the involvement of Huawei in the development of the UK's 5G network.

The Government has a long established strategy for managing the presence of Huawei in the UK telecoms sector. The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) was established in 2010 as part of a mitigation strategy.

The need to ensure that the UK telecoms network is secure both now and for future mobile generations is the reason for the Telecoms Supply Chain Review. The terms of reference are available here. The Review includes consideration of the full UK market position, including the resilience and security standards of equipment for 5G. A statement will be made to the House to communicate the outcome of the Review at the appropriate time.

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government had plans to include reference to smart, internet-connected devices in the definition of online harms.

The Online Harms White Paper consultation proposes that the duty of care applies to companies that provide services or tools that allow, enable or facilitate users to share or discover user-generated content, or interact with each other online. It, therefore, would not typically apply to consumer smart devices. Harms suffered by individuals that result directly from a breach of data protection, breach of cyber-security or hacking are also excluded from scope.

However, the Government has taken a number of actions to increase the security of consumer smart devices. In October 2018, DCMS published the Code of Practice for Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) Security to support manufacturers in building strong security into smart products by design. We recognise that further action is needed, and we will soon be publishing a consultation on our regulatory proposals regarding consumer IoT security.

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what resources his Department provide to (a) voluntary and (b) statutory support services to help prevent technology-facilitated abuse.

The Government published the Online Harms White Paper on the 8 April. This sets out the Government’s plans for world leading laws to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to be online. These will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has undertaken an impact assessment of his Department's decision to delay the implementation of a maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals from April 2019 to October 2019.

The Chancellor announced at Budget that the new stake limits for sub-category B2 gaming machines will come into effect when Remote Gaming Duty is increased in October 2019. There is no delay as no date had previously been set. Government considered a range of factors in determining the implementation date of the stake reduction to B2 machines, including harm from problem gambling, impact on the high street and the economic wellbeing of those who work in betting shops. It remains completely committed to taking action to protect the most vulnerable in society from the harm that these gaming machines can cause and we have been clear we expect this to be a priority for the gambling industry.
19th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing direct UK Government funding to support museums and art galleries in the city of Glasgow.

Cultural policy has been devolved to the nations of the United Kingdom since 1999. Funding for museums and galleries in Glasgow is therefore the responsibility of the local authority, the Scottish Government, and its agencies, who are best placed to determine how to support the city’s cultural assets.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when she plans to publish the review of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals which closed in December 2016.

A review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures was launched in October 2016, which included a look at the issue of B2 gaming machines (more commonly known as fixed odds betting terminals). Responses to the review's call for evidence are being considered and a response will be published in due course.

22nd Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what her policy is on the provision of free television licences for over-75s.

Households occupied by at least one person over 75 are exempt from paying the TV licence fee, which currently cost £147.00 a year.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to end the use of food labels which are likely to mislead consumers; and whether his Department plans to introduce mandatory labelling on the farming method used for (a) meat, (b) milk and (c) dairy products.

Under the Food Information to Consumers Regulations (EU 1169/2011) it is a requirement that food information shall not be misleading, as to its country of origin or place of provenance, method of manufacture or production or by attributing to the food effects or properties which it does not possess.

It is a key priority as the UK prepares to leave the EU to ensure there remains a robust and effective regulatory regime for maintaining the safety of food for the benefit of UK consumers and of the UK food industry. The Secretary of State has set out our ambition to develop a recognised gold standard system for food and farming quality, to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of quality and transparency for consumers and take opportunities to market British food across the world.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on contingency planning for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The Government continues to plan for all eventualities. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State remain in regular contact and, along with the rest of Cabinet, agreed to progress with the next phase of our no deal plans. The Chancellor remains committed, allocating £1.5billion for EU Exit preparations in all scenarios in 2018/19 and 2019/20; this was subsequently increased by £0.5bn for 2019/20 in the 2018 Budget, meaning the government will have invested over £4 billion in preparing for EU exit since 2016.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of the UK negotiating a permanent UK-EU customs union.

We will not enter a Customs Union because it would not respect the result of the referendum and would not allow for an independent trade policy. The partnership we are seeking with the EU will include an ambitious customs arrangement between the UK and EU, and the trading relationship on goods will be as ambitious as possible. There will be no tariffs, fees, charges, or quotas.

Both the EU and UK have been clear that our future partnership will respect the development of an independent UK trade policy beyond the economic partnership with the EU.

This would not be possible in the customs union.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterpart on extending Article 50.

As the Prime Minister said in her statement to the House on Monday 21st January, the Government is opposed to extending Article 50 and we are committed to leaving the EU on 29 March 2019. In any case, the EU are very unlikely simply to agree to extend Article 50 without a plan for how we are going to approve a deal.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Government of Zimbabwe distributes UK bilateral aid fairly through civic and representative community organisations.

The UK Government does not channel any UK bilateral aid through the Government of Zimbabwe. The UK, through the Department for International Development in Zimbabwe, provides extensive financial and technical assistance to a wide range of civil society organisations in Zimbabwe. We do not publicise our partners to avoid putting them at risk. Our funding supports Zimbabwean citizens to hold the state to account in its respect for human rights and democratic principles.

13th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to consult the devolved governments on measurement of their progress on Sustainable Development Goal 5 for the Voluntary National Review in 2019; and if she will make a statement.

Work on developing the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review is ongoing, and we will consult with a wide range of key stakeholders as we finalise our plans.

We will launch an online consultation to ensure we capture a wide range of views and inputs, and will be drawing on a range of sources to collect data and information, including:

  • the UN’s global indicator framework for measuring global progress towards the SDGs;
  • the UK’s Office for National Statistics’ National Reporting Platform on UK data for the SDGs;
  • Single Departmental Plans in which government departments have embedded the SDGs; and
  • departmental Annual Reports and Accounts in which departments are expected to report progress towards the SDGs.
13th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what consultation the Government plans to hold with local authorities to measure progress on Sustainable Development Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, for the Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2019.

Work on developing the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review is ongoing, and we will consult with a wide range of key stakeholders as we finalise our plans.

We will launch an online consultation to ensure we capture a wide range of views and inputs, and will be drawing on a range of sources to collect data and information, including:

  • the UN’s global indicator framework for measuring global progress towards the SDGs;
  • the UK’s Office for National Statistics’ National Reporting Platform on UK data for the SDGs;
  • Single Departmental Plans in which government departments have embedded the SDGs; and
  • departmental Annual Reports and Accounts in which departments are expected to report progress towards the SDGs.
13th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what consultation the Government plans to hold with the private sector to measure progress on Sustainable Development Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, for the Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2019.

Work on developing the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review is ongoing, and we will consult with a wide range of key stakeholders as we finalise our plans.

We will launch an online consultation to ensure we capture a wide range of views and inputs, and will be drawing on a range of sources to collect data and information, including:

  • the UN’s global indicator framework for measuring global progress towards the SDGs;
  • the UK’s Office for National Statistics’ National Reporting Platform on UK data for the SDGs;
  • Single Departmental Plans in which government departments have embedded the SDGs; and
  • departmental Annual Reports and Accounts in which departments are expected to report progress towards the SDGs.
12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what form of consultation the Government plans to conduct with civic society to measure progress on Sustainable Development Goal 5 for the Voluntary National Review in 2019.

Work on developing the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review is ongoing and we are consulting with a range of key stakeholders to finalise these plans. The Government will ensure that a wide range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society organisations, have an opportunity to contribute to the review, and intend to launch an online consultation to capture as many views and suggestions as possible.

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what mechanisms the Government plans to use to analyse progress on implementing Sustainable Development Goal 5 for the Voluntary National Review in 2019.

Work on developing the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review is ongoing. We will be drawing on a range of sources, including:

  • the UN’s global indicator framework for measuring global progress towards the SDGs;

  • the UK’s Office for National Statistics’ National Reporting Platform on UK data for the SDGs;

  • Single Departmental Plans in which government departments have embedded the SDGs; and

  • departmental Annual Reports and Accounts in which departments are expected to report progress towards the SDGs.

We will continue to consult with a range of key stakeholders as we finalise our plans, including launching an online consultation to ensure we capture a wide range of views and inputs.

11th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she has had any discussions with her EU counterparts on her proposal to introduce payments by results to funding of UN agencies.

From 2018 onwards, we will use the payment by results approach with the UN to strengthen accountability to deliver results in some key areas of UN reform and performance. My officials have undertaken a range of outreach opportunities to discuss the ‘payment by results’ component of the voluntary core funding that DFID contributes to the UN’s humanitarian and development agencies. This has included a number of meetings at Permanent Secretary level with interested donors, formal presentations to EU counterparts at Director General level and a number of informal meetings at a technical level.

11th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions her Department has had with its European counterparts on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5.

The implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5 is a priority for DFID discussions with all our partners, including European counterparts. This includes important discussions to drive progress on gender equality at international forums like the G7 and working as part of the EU negotiating block to achieve strong outcomes at the Commission on the Status of Women.

The UK has strongly influenced the European Union’s (EU) Gender Action Plan, which will focus collective EU efforts to achieve Goal 5. This includes seconding UK national experts to assist the EU to design the Plan and to monitor progress. The UK regularly participates in discussions with EU counterparts to review implementation.

11th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how she plans to measure progress on Sustainable Development Goal 5 for the Voluntary National Review in 2019.

Work on developing the UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review is ongoing. We will be drawing on a range of sources, including:

  • the UN’s global indicator framework for measuring progress towards the SDGs;
  • the UK’s Office for National Statistics’ National Reporting Platform on UK data for the SDGs;
  • Single Departmental Plans in which government departments have embedded the SDGs; and
  • departmental Annual Reports and Accounts in which departments are expected to report progress towards the SDGs.

We will continue to consult with a range of key stakeholders as we finalise our plans, including launching an online consultation to ensure we capture a wide range of views and inputs.

18th Apr 2018
What steps her Department is taking to protect Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh from the effects of the monsoon season.

We are supporting a wide range of measures including improvements to shelters, water and sanitation, vaccination campaigns and prepositioning of emergency supplies. We are encouraging the Government of Bangladesh to allocate additional land at lower risk of flooding, reduce density in the existing camps and put evacuation plans in place.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions her Department has had with UN Women about the UK contribution to its core funding.

DFID officials have ongoing discussions with UN Women regarding UK core funding contributions, and additionally have an upcoming high level strategic dialogue in December with UN Women which will cover how core funding is spent by the agency.

20th Dec 2018
What recent steps his Department has taken to improve its response times to freedom of information requests.

In our most recent Freedom of Information (FOI) statistical release my department answered 90% of FOI requests on time, including permitted extensions, in the third quarter of 2018.

11th Oct 2018
What representations he has made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for UK ports to prepare for the UK leaving the EU.

The Department for Transport is working closely with HM Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs and other Departments under the auspices of the Border Delivery Group. As part of this process, we are engaging with ports and encouraging prudent preparations.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the rail journey time between Manchester and Glasgow will change once High Speed 2 is operational.

We have no reason to expect that journey times between Manchester and Glasgow will be affected by HS2, as HS2 is not planned to serve the Manchester-Glasgow route.

7th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will grant UK vehicle manufacturers a 12-month end-of-series derogation provision for wheelchair-accessible vehicles from new European Commission regulations requiring the introduction of the WLTP drive-cycle to new vehicles after 1 September 2018.

The Department notified the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on 30th October that a derogation would be granted to manufacturers for the transition to the new WLTP emission test procedure. In addition, the Department’s officials have met with representatives of the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Converters’ Association (WAVCA) to discuss derogations and so ensure the supply of these important vehicles continues.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the universal credit hotline advises claimants who work part-time that taking their entitlement to paid leave will affect their right to universal credit.

Universal Credit is calculated using earnings, either full or part time. It does not matter how many hours a claimant works, it is the actual earnings they receive and are reported in an assessment period that count. This would include earnings from paid leave such as holidays.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effect of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people.

Most disabled people are better off under Universal Credit than the legacy system.

More severely disabled people will receive higher payments under Universal Credit, with around 1 million disabled households gaining on average around £100 more per month.

Disabled claimants have the biggest work allowance of any group, and benefit from the unified taper and removal of rules such as ‘permitted work’ that put a cap on how much money disabled people can earn. Universal Credit also, for the first time, helps people with a disability or health condition who are already in work to remain there and progress.

12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of natural migration to universal credit on severely disabled people.

Our Regulations will ensure that eligible claimants in receipt of Severe Disability Premium are only moved to Universal Credit as part of a managed migration process, and through that process will see their payments protected. We are spending over £3 billion on Transitional Protections for 1.1 million households, to ensure that no one loses out at the point of transition. We have also made provision for those eligible claimants who have already naturally migrated to Universal Credit to be considered for Severe Disability Premium transitional payments. These will be made as on-going monthly payments and an additional lump-sum to cover the period since they moved to Universal Credit.

Over £2.4 billion in benefits are currently unclaimed and Universal Credit ensures that vulnerable claimants receive the money they are entitled to. More severely disabled people will receive higher payments under Universal Credit, with around 1 million disabled households gaining on average around £100 more per month.

12th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of benefit (a) sanctions and (b) conditionality on disabled people.

The department has not made an assessment of the effect of imposing sanctions and conditionality on disabled claimants.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people receiving personal independence payment in Glasgow North East have joined the Motability scheme since 2013.

This information is not readily available at constituency level and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for the disability benefits that provide a passport to the Motability scheme. While the Department works closely with Motability, it is an independent charitable organisation that is wholly responsible for the terms and the administration of the scheme.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will permanently increase transitional payments for the severe disability premium to £183 per month and provide similar protections to disabled children, disabled adults under 25 and parents under 25.

Our draft regulations setting out our proposals for managed migration and the consideration of Transitional Protection were sent to the Social Security Advisory Committee in June 2018. These include provisions to help provide financial support for existing and former Severe Disability Premium recipients.

The details set out in the UC draft managed migration regulations confirm that we are spending £3.1 billion on Transitional Protections for 1.3 million claimants, to ensure that no one loses out at the point of transition.

We are also spending an additional £1.4 billion on protection for 500,000 claimants receiving Severe Disability Premium; these regulations will prevent these claimants from moving over before the managed migration process, and provide financial protection for those who have already moved over.

The Committee referred these for a formal public consultation. We are currently considering the Committee’s report on the result of this consultation together with their recommendations with regard to our proposals. We will be issuing that report and our response to it when we bring the draft regulations before Parliament in the autumn.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will ensure that those whose earnings temporarily increase above the threshold for receipt of universal credit will continue to qualify for transitional protection if they become eligible for universal credit again within nine months.

Our draft regulations setting out our proposals for managed migration and the consideration of transitional protection were sent to the Social Security Advisory Committee in June 2018 and the Committee referred these for a formal public consultation. We are currently considering the Committee’s report on the result of this consultation together with their recommendations with regard to our proposals. We will be issuing that report and our response to it when we bring the draft regulations before Parliament in the autumn.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will extend universal credit transitional protection to people (a) whose eligibility for support has recently changed, (b) living in temporary and supported accommodation and (c) affected by the benefit cap.

Natural migration to Universal Credit occurs when a claimant experiences a change in their circumstances and they are required to make a new claim to Universal Credit. This new award is calculated based on claimants’ new circumstances, which ensures they are paid the correct amount. As such, they are not eligible for transitional protection which is designed to ensure that those moved without a change in circumstances do not lose out financially.

The Universal Credit (Managed Migration) 2018 regulations which have been laid before Parliament ensure that those living in temporary and supported accommodation will have access to transitional protection if they are managed migrated. These claimants will remain in receipt of their existing Housing Benefit while they continue to live in this form of accommodation and, therefore, no support paid for housing will be taken into account when considering if transitional protection should be awarded. This transitional protection is dependent on the Managed Migration regulations receiving Parliamentary approval.

When claimants are migrated to Universal Credit the comparison of total legacy benefit and Universal Credit will be calculated once the benefit cap has been applied to both amounts. The benefit cap rules continue to apply so Universal Credit claimants will not receive above the level of the benefit cap unless they meet one of the exemption criteria. Households who are exempt from the Benefit Cap, including those who earn at least £542 a month, will be unaffected.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
18th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many constituents in Glasgow North East constituency in receipt of legacy benefits will be financially worse off as a result of the universal credit full service migration at Springburn Job Centre from 31 October 2018.

The Department does not hold data at constituency level on the number of claimants who will naturally migrate to Universal Credit.

Universal Credit Full Service will be rolled out at Springburn Jobcentre on 31 October 2018. This will not affect existing benefit entitlements for claimants whose circumstances remain the same.

Claimants will move from existing benefits to Universal Credit through natural migration or managed migration. Natural migration occurs when they experience a change in their circumstances that would trigger the need for a new claim to benefit. Rather than continuing to claim a legacy benefit, the claimant will claim Universal Credit and their Universal Credit award will be based on their new circumstances. No one will have a reduced benefit entitlement at the point that they move over to Universal Credit as a result of managed migration, and one million more disabled people will get, on average, £110 more a week through Universal Credit.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
18th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he Department has undertaken an assessment of the effect of the roll-out of universal credit full service on the economy of the City of Glasgow in 2018-19.

The Department does not forecast the economic impact of Universal Credit by area.

The Universal Credit Programme Full Business Case demonstrates that Universal Credit provides value for money and will produce economic benefits of £34bn over the next ten years and £8 billion in economic benefits per year once fully rolled out. It will also increase the number of people in employment by 200,000.

The Universal Credit Programme Full Business Case can be accessed at

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/725477/uc-business-case-summary.pdf

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of ending the protected places scheme on (a) organisations that receive funding from and (b) disabled people in work who are supported by that scheme.

Work Choice providers and Supported Businesses have been aware that the Protected Places arrangement delivered via the Work Choice contracts would end at the end of December 2018 and will have been transitioning their businesses to manage the end of this funding stream. To support them in the transition funding for Protected Places has been extended until March 2019. We plan tp provide long-term sustainable funding for this group of people.

Supported businesses use different models to manage the Protected Places provision, so assessments are being made at a range of businesses:

  1. We are working to introduce arrangements to provide continued support, exploring a new Access to Work element which might be paid to the businesses in respect of the support they provide for individuals once Work Choice funding ceases. Department for Work and Pensions officials are visiting a number of these businesses (including RSBI in Glasgow) to review the models they have in place and evaluate how new support could be implemented.
21st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with Universities UK on the decision to close the defined benefit portion of the Universities Superannuation Scheme to all future service.

Subject to the requirements of automatic enrolment, pension arrangements are a matter between employers and their workforce. Neither Ministers nor officials in my Department have received any approach from UK Universities.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what processes there are in her Department to monitor how often correspondence or evidence submitted to it by claimants, their representatives or other parties is reported as mislaid or lost.

Over 70% of all documents that are received by the Department and relate to a benefit claim are scanned on receipt.

The Reconciliation Analysis Process (RAP) is a process that allows a user to check whether all items of scanned post have been delivered by the end to end mail opening and scanning solution to the appropriate endpoint. As part of the RAP, there is a tool that takes in all the files produced by each of the components in the chain and performs analysis to produce output reports to highlight any problem areas. The reconciliation is carried out on a daily basis.

Mail for benefits that is not scanned is processed according to the reports instructions and forwarded by courier. Tracking of individual items is only available for post sent recorded or special delivery.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department does not have an automated system for the acknowledgement of receipt of e-mails.

Email is not recognised as a secure communication channel and the Department does not currently ask people to send personal details by email. As email is not an official communication channel, the Department does not acknowledge the receipt of contact through this medium.

The Department is committed to improving our communication with customers, whilst ensuring customer’s data is protected and is actively investigating how digital channels, including email, could be safely used for two-way communication with customers.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of benefits remained unclaimed in 2017.

The Department publishes ‘Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up’ statistics annually.

The latest statistics, which relate to 2015/16, are published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-201516

These statistics provide estimates of take-up, by caseload and expenditure, of the following income-related benefits only (other benefits are available but no take-up estimates are calculated):

  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)

They also provide the total and average amounts of benefit claimed and unclaimed for each of these benefits.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what resources his Department has committed to (a) ensuring that unclaimed benefits are claimed and (b) investigating false and fraudulent claims for benefits in each of the last three years.

We are unable to identify all those who are eligible and have not claimed benefits, however, Information on what benefits are available and how to claim is available online at gov.uk and through a range of third sector organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau.

The Counter Fraud & Compliance Directorate (CFCD), part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for the prevention, detection and where appropriate, investigation of fraud and error against all benefits administered by and on behalf of DWP.

The operational arm of CFCD which investigates false and fraudulent benefit (formerly known as the Fraud and Error Service) comprised the following resources for the period 2014/15 to 2016/17:

2014/15: Full Time Equivalent staffing totalled 4,833 at a cost of £145m

2015/16: Full Time Equivalent staffing totalled 4,898 at a cost of £155m

2016/17: Full Time Equivalent staffing totalled 4,293 at a cost of £160m

This includes staff engaged in the full range of fraud work, including telephone and letter based interventions, fraud investigation and compliance work and at its most extreme, serious, complex and organised fraud.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will carry out an assessment of the potential effect of the closure of Maryhill and Possilpark Jobcentre on levels of poverty in the area served by those jobcentres.

There are no plans to assess poverty levels in connection with closures of individual sites such as Maryhill Jobcentre.

I would stress that the office mergers are not about reducing services but about taking the opportunity to stop spending money on empty space so we can spend more on supporting those in need. The face-to-face support our work coaches offer at jobcentres will continue to be a core part of the service we deliver.

National statistics on the number of individuals in relative low income are set out in DWP’s annual ‘Households Below Average Income’ publication. Latest 3-year estimates for Scotland in 2013/14 - 2015/16 show the rate of individuals in low income households at 15%, before housing costs. The number and proportion of individuals in relative low income is not available at a local authority or constituency level because the survey sample sizes are too small to support the production of robust estimates at this geography. Estimates to 2016/17 have been pre-announced to be published in March 2018.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will take steps to monitor trends in the level of sanction decisions at Springburn Jobcentre for 12 months after the divestment of Maryhill and Possilpark Jobcentre.

As part of our preparations for divestment of jobcentres, we recognise that some claimants will be taking an unfamiliar journey to a new location. Therefore, arrangements are in place for work coaches to support claimants over a transitional period until they become accustomed to new travel arrangements.

Within our normal business activities, sanction levels are already monitored to identify trends. Imposing a sanction is not something we do lightly. In the small minority of cases when a sanction is used, claimants are given every opportunity to explain why they failed to meet their agreed conditionality requirements, before a decision is made.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have successfully appealed the removal of their place on the Motability Scheme under the Personal Independence Payment.

Disability benefit claimants are able to apply for a vehicle under the Motability Scheme if they are in receipt of Higher Rate Mobility in DLA or Enhanced Rate Mobility in PIP. If the claimant loses their entitlement to these components, they will no longer be eligible for a vehicle under the Motability Scheme. If a claimant is not satisfied with the original decision, they are able to request a Mandatory Reconsideration and if, following the Mandatory Reconsideration they are still not satisfied, they can appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.

The number of Motability Scheme customers who successfully appeal following a decision which removes Enhanced Rate Mobility (PIP) or Higher Rate Mobility (DLA) is not held by the Department.

The Department worked closely with Motability to introduce a £175 million Transitional Support package for people leaving the scheme following PIP reassessment paid for by Motability and at no cost to the taxpayer. This gives significant help:

  • Claimants can keep their car for up to 3 months after an initial decision.
  • They are given the option to buy their Scheme vehicle.
  • Choice of up to £2,000 lump sum payment OR 6 ½ month lease extension with a smaller support payment.
  • Motability can help to pay to adapt new, non-scheme cars and gives and additional help and advice (on insurance and adaptations).
  • This package has already helped 84% claimants to buy a used car.
13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the roll-out of universal credit on levels of personal debt.

The Government has taken a number of steps to reduce the risk of problem debt, including capping payday lending costs and promoting savings.

Within Universal Credit, we also have interest free advances and a system of priority deductions to help claimants who have got into arrears.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) work and capability and (b) personal independence payment assessment decisions have been appealed successfully in (i) absolute terms and (ii) as a percentage in Glasgow North East constituency in each of the last three years.

(a) The information for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) work capability assessments (WCA) is not readily available and can only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

(b) The following table shows the number of Personal Independence Payment decisions that have been overturned on appealed in the Glasgow North East constituency in each of the last three years:

#

Claims

Decisions overturned at appeal

% of decisions overturned at appeal

2014/2015

1700

50

3%

2015/2016

2350

170

7%

2016/2017

3080

180

6%

Data is taken from the DWP PIP computer system’s management information.

7th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he has assessed the effect on people who make weekly rent payments of receiving monthly payments under universal credit.

I refer the Member to the answer given on 12 December 2017 to PQ 7537.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
7th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to ensure that the roll-out of universal credit in Glasgow North East constituency will not result in an increase in child poverty.

Work is the best route out of poverty, and Universal Credit supports parents to move into and progress in work, and raises the income of families.

Since 2010 the number of children growing up in households where no one works has fallen by half a million.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to ensure that the right support is offered to young disabled people who are seeking independence through work or volunteering.

This Government is committed to enabling young disabled people to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations. We provide a wide suite of programmes and initiatives to support them, including:

  • Jobcentre support for schools, which targets young people that schools identify as being at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training), or who may otherwise be disadvantaged in the labour market – for example those with a health or disability issue.
  • The Young Person’s Supported Work Experience programme, which will offer a personally tailored supported work experience opportunity to enable young people (aged 18 – 24) to benefit fully from time in the work place. This proof of concept is being tested in five districts.
  • The Local Supported Employment (LSE) proof of concept ‘place and train’ model, which aims to move disabled people into real jobs, at the going rate of pay, with support for both the individual and employer.
  • Supported Internships, which, all qualified post-16 education providers in England have been able to deliver Since September 2013. These are personalised study programmes, based primarily at a prospective employer, for young people with complex learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
  • Access to Work, which already offers support to disabled people undertaking a number of opportunities that help them to prepare for paid employment, including work experience, apprenticeships, supported internships and traineeships.

DWP also recognises the value of voluntary work in developing skills which can be transferred into the world of paid work, as well as benefitting local communities and wider society.

  • Disabled young people who are claiming Universal Credit can have their weekly work search hours reduced by up to 50 per cent to accommodate voluntary work.
  • Those who are receiving Employment and Support Allowance can try out work when this has been agreed beforehand with their work coach, without their benefit being affected. Restrictions on this Permitted Work were relaxed in April 2017 so that any ESA claimant can do this work within certain limits.
26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the 2018 finding of the National Autistic Society that half of autistic people report not leaving the house because they are worried about society's reaction to them, what steps the Government is taking to increase awareness of autism.

The Government is committed to raising awareness and understanding of autism in line with the autism strategy and Autism Act (2009). On 21 March 2019, I responded to the backbench business debate on autism services on behalf of the Government. This debate has helped to raise awareness and understanding of autism ahead of Autism Awareness Week 2019.

On 13 February 2019, the Department launched an eight-week consultation on learning disability and autism training for health and care staff. We are consulting on proposals for introducing mandatory learning disability and autism training to ensure that staff across health and social care have the right skills and we have overall the right culture, to provide better support. The consultation is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/778129/Learning_disability_and_autism_training_for_health_and_care_staff_consultation_document.pdf

Government Departments are taking forward actions and strategies to raise awareness and understanding of autism, and to adjust services to make them more accessible to autistic people. For example, these include:

- In July 2018, the Department for Transport published its, ‘Inclusive Transport Strategy: Achieving Equal Access for Disabled People.’ The Department for Transport is committed to ensuring that disabled people and those with hidden impairments such as autistic people have the same access to transport and opportunities to travel as everyone else; and

- Through the Disability Confident scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions is engaging with employers, offering guidance and helping to promote the skills, talents and abilities of autistic people and associated hidden impairment conditions. Over 11,000 employers have signed up. A Disability Confident Toolkit has also been developed to provide comprehensive information on autism and hidden impairments, as well as guidance on employment and local authority services. In addition, Access to Work has a hidden impairment support team that aims to give advice and guidance to help employers support employees with conditions such as autism, learning disability and/or mental health conditions and it offers eligible people an assessment to find out their needs at work and help to develop a support plan

26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the time that people have to wait for a diagnosis of autism.

We are committed to ensuring adults and children receive a timely autism diagnosis in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance.

The NHS Long Term Plan was published on 7 January 2019. The Plan commits to improving autism diagnostic pathways in England and ensuring autistic people have access to high-quality care and support in the community. Over the next three years, autism diagnosis will be included alongside work with children and young people’s mental health services to test and implement the most effective ways to reduce waiting times for specialist services. This will be a step towards achieving timely diagnostic assessments in line with best practice guidelines.

The Department is determined to drive up performance on autism diagnosis nationally. To support this NHS Digital began formally collecting autism diagnosis waiting time data from mental health provider trusts for the first time through the Mental Health Services Data Set in April 2018. Data is submitted on behalf of autism diagnostic services, in line with issued guidance. The current plan is to publish a report after a year’s data has been collected and analysed, in September/October 2019. As this is the first time this data is being submitted, some work to improve its quality may be necessary.

The data being collected covers both adults and children and includes:

- The length of time people with suspected autism wait following referral for a diagnosis before an assessment is started (to compare with the 13 week NICE Recommendation);

- The number of people within the reporting period receiving an autism diagnosis and the time it took to get the diagnosis;

- Profiled information (gender, age, other recorded diagnosis etc);

- The number of autistic people seen by mental health services within the reporting period; and

- Referrals to NHS services due to autism diagnosis or because autism diagnosis not confirmed, or where no further assessment or treatment was appropriate.

In addition, the Department is developing guidance on autism and an accompanying toolkit to support local health and care commissioners with commissioning diagnostic and post-diagnosis services. The guidance will bring together existing guidelines, standards and best practice examples on how to commission effective, high quality services for autistic people. This will include setting out care pathways to support timely diagnosis of autism and effective post-diagnosis support services. We expect the guidance and toolkit to be available by this summer.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that his Department will meet its target under Transforming Care on time.

The objective of the Transforming Care programme, as set out in ‘Building the Right Support’, was to reduce the number of people with learning disability and/or autism who were mental health inpatients by 35-50% by the end of March 2019 (compared to a 2015 baseline). So far, there has been just over a 20% reduction.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to achieve at least a 50% reduction in inpatients (compared to the 2015 baseline) by the end of 2023/24. NHS England is committed to achieving a 35% reduction during 2019/20. This is set out in the NHS Planning Guidance, which for clinical commissioning groups and specialised commissioning requires a reduction in reliance on inpatient care to 18.5 inpatients per million adult population by March 2020.

The Department will hold NHS England and other delivery partners to account on achieving this.

19th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the equity of the announcement by the Health and Care Professions Council of its plan to increase its registration fees by 18 per cent from October 2019.

The Government has made no assessment of the equity of the announcement by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) of its plan to increase its registration fees. The HCPC is independent of Government and funded by registrants’ fees on a costs recovery basis.

Following public consultation, the HCPC is planning to raise its annual fees by £16. If adopted, the HCPC’s annual registration fee will rise from £90 to £106 a year from October 2019. The HCPC registration fees will remain the lowest of any of the United Kingdom-wide health and care regulators. Registration fees are tax-deductible and this fee rise will amount to just over £1 a month extra for most of the HCPC’s registrants.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the time taken to award victims of the contaminated blood scandal compensation.

A small number of compensation payments have been paid to a number of people affected by infected blood where out of court settlements have been agreed or the courts awarded compensation under the Consumer Protection Act. As liability has not been established in the majority of cases, most support for affected individuals has been and continues to be provided through Government funded ex-gratia payments set up for people who have been affected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the provision of capacity building programmes for the domestic legal system in Saudi Arabia.

​The former Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling MP, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Justice in 2015. A number of engagements, including a working-level visit, have taken place since that time. All overseas judicial assistance is subject to rigorous assessment based on the merits of the activity and weighing any potential risks, including human rights concerns.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to review the trade relationship with Saudi Arabia as a result of the detention of political detainees and female activists in that country.

The UK and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding bilateral relationship based on a number of pillars including defence; security; trade and investment; shared concerns about regional issues and energy security.

We are concerned by the detention of political detainees in Saudi Arabia. We raise concerns regularly and freely, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, including our Ambassador and Embassy team in Riyadh.

No aspect of our commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia prevents us from speaking frankly and openly about human rights. We will not pursue trade to the exclusion of human rights. They can and should be complementary.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assurances he has received from his Saudi Arabian counterpart on the health and well-being of political detainees in that country.

​We are concerned about the health and well-being of political detainees in Saudi Arabia. We raise our concerns regularly and freely, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, including our Ambassador and Embassy team in Riyadh.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Saudi Arabian counterpart on the publication of proof of life evidence on political detainees being in custody in that country.

The British Government is very concerned about allegations of mistreatment of those detained in Saudi Arabia because of their political views. While we have not requested this information from the Saudi authorities, we continue to monitor these cases.

2nd Apr 2019
What recent assessment he has made of progress through international co-operation on tackling climate change.

The current level of global ambition is frankly out of keeping with the magnitude of the problem. More greenhouse gases are in our atmosphere, and the climate is changing faster than at any time in human history. This requires unprecedented, rapid action to reduce emissions and build resilience and adaptation strategies. The UK is committed to promoting further international co-operation to achieve this.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues, (b) his Cuban counterpart and (c) his counterpart in the US Administration on banking measures to support British businesses in Cuba.

​The UK is aware that banking challenges remain an issue for British companies interested in doing business in Cuba; the low risk appetite of banks continue to be influenced by risks associated with potential enforcement of the US embargo and Cuban compliance standards. The Chancellor and the Secretary of State for International Trade discussed the banking challenges faced by British companies with senior Cuban officials, during the President's visit to the UK in November 2018. The UK raises its opposition to the embargo and potential further tightening of it with US counterparts regularly, including via two recent EU demarches in Washington.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to help safeguard the human rights and security of indigenous peoples overseas.

​The Government remains strongly committed to promoting the respect for the human rights of all people, including indigenous people. We continue to work overseas and through the UN to improve the situation of indigenous people around the world. The UK has supported the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the EU's Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on indigenous peoples.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the progress on international cooperation on tackling climate change.

​The UK continues to push for greater international cooperation on climate change.

Last month at the Katowice COP 24 conference we reached an agreement on the rulebook for Paris Agreement implementation, a crucial step towards international accountability. However, all our assessments conclude that the current level of global ambition is still not enough to meet the Paris goals of just over three years ago. We need unprecedented and rapid action to reduce emissions and build resilience.

Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations, Lord Ahmad, spoke just last week at the UN Security Council on the need to do more, and the UK is leading on Climate Resilience at the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in September.

The UK takes the lead internationally on coal phase-out, renewable energy and zero emission vehicles, amongst others, but we are clear that in order to meet the Paris Agreement goals, all countries need to do more.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps he has taken towards a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

​The British Government believes a negotiated two-state solution is in the firm interests of both Israel and the Palestinians. We regularly press both parties to resume direct negotiations towards two-state solution. Most recently at the Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East on 22 January the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN reiterated our belief that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between Israelis and Palestinians, supported by the international community.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent diplomatic steps he has taken to help secure a resolution to the conflict in Syria.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa gave to the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington on 22 January, Official Report.Transcript here.

The Government support and keep in close contact with the UN-led political process to end the Syrian conflict. We have used our relationships and convening power to encourage progress, including by hosting the then UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura and the Syria small group of like-minded countries. We are also engaging with the new UN envoy, who has our full support.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on continued diplomatic cooperation with the EU after the UK leaves the EU.

Last week the Foreign Secretary attended the Foreign Affairs Council with all his EU counterparts. He also held separate bilateral meetings with some of them. It was clear that the EU and its Member States value highly the UK's contribution to European foreign and security policy and want this to continue. At the EU Informal Minister's meeting this week he will continue to discuss future co-operation with EU counterparts. The ambitious future relationship set out in the Political Declaration will enable this to continue, allowing the UK and our European allies to cooperate closely to tackle the common threats we face and promote the values and interests we share.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether any arms licensed for export from the UK to Israel over the last three years have been used by the Israeli authorities in their policing of the Gaza border in recent weeks.

The Government takes its defence exports responsibilities extremely seriously and we have been keeping the situation in Israel under review. We have no information to suggest that UK supplied equipment has been used in contravention of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to maintain the level of funding that is given to the EU to support human rights defenders after the UK leaves the EU.

Supporting human rights defenders, especially where they face persecution and repression, is (and will remain) a key element in the Government's policy of promoting universal human rights. The Foreign Secretary issued revised guidance on this to British Embassies and High Commissions in December, 2017. How best to pursue this policy after Brexit and with which international partners will depend on future circumstances.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to respond to the reported surge in the repression of human rights defenders worldwide; and whether the Government plans to commit to a renewed strategy of support and protection.

In light of the increasing level of intimidation and persecution of human rights defenders in many parts of the world, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has worked with several civil society organisations to update its internal guidance on working with human rights defenders. The Foreign Secretary issued this updated guidance to all Embassies and High Commissions in December 2017. The guidance tasks the FCO's network of Embassies and High Commissions to find practical ways to support human rights defenders. The FCO keeps the implementation of the guidance under constant review.

The FCO supports the work of human rights defenders through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, most of which is allocated for implementation of projects by human rights defenders and civil society organisations. The FCO also highlights repression of human rights defenders in its Annual Human Rights Report.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support and protect media workers in Turkey.

We have long encouraged Turkey to work towards the full protection of fundamental rights, particularly in the area of freedom of expression. The Prime Minister raised media freedom with President Erdogan during his visit to the UK in May. Our Embassy in Turkey also monitors high profile media trials. We will continue to engage the Turkish government on these issues and to urge respect for freedom of media, which is essential to the long-term health of Turkish democracy.

26th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he had with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia during his visit to the UK on the protection of civilians in Yemen from the Saudi-led bombing campaign in that country.

We regularly raise the importance of compliance with International Humanitarian Law with Saudi Arabia. Both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary raised the issue with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia during his visit in March.

26th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he had with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia during his visit to the UK on the human rights situation in that country.

​The UK regularly raises human rights with the Saudi Arabian authorities. During the Crown Prince's visit to the UK, both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary raised a broad range of issues with senior Saudi interlocutors including women's rights, universal human rights and the UK's particular concerns in the case of Raif Badawi.

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of VAT relief for renovations to and rehabilitation of historic buildings including pre-1919 tenement properties in Glasgow.

The Government makes available a reduced rate of VAT at five per cent applicable for renovations of properties after a prolonged period without use and listed buildings that have been substantially reconstructed.

There are currently no plans to allow the VAT relief to all renovations of historic buildings.

12th Mar 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the cumulative impact of social security changes from 2010 on disabled people.

The Treasury, along with other relevant departments, carefully considers the impact of its decisions on those sharing protected characteristics - including at Budgets and other fiscal events - in line with both its legal obligations and with its strong commitment to promoting fairness. The Treasury regularly publishes detailed analysis of trends in income and the impact of policy decisions on tax, welfare and public spending on households of different incomes.

We spend over £50 billion a year on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions, and the number of working age disabled people in employment has increased by 930,000 since 2013.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
19th Feb 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will hold a meeting with the hon. Member for Glasgow North East on the effect of the IR35 tax reforms on the personal finances of people living in Glasgow North East constituency.

Unfortunately, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is unable to meet to discuss the off-payroll working rules at this time.

The Government will shortly publish a consultation on the reform to the off-payroll working rules in the private sector. Before any legislative changes are made HMRC will publish a Tax Information and Impact Note, assessing the impacts of the policy.

29th Jan 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the IR35 reforms, how much extra tax is payable by the firm in addition to the fees paid to the worker when a firm classes someone as an employee for tax purposes; and what that tax payable would be for a worker charging £400 per day for their services.

The off-payroll working rules (sometimes known as IR35) only affect people working like employees and through a company. The recent changes to the rules in the public sector, shift responsibility for assessing the individual’s employment status from the individual’s company to the public authority.

If the engager contracts with the individual’s company, the reform also shifts responsibility for deducting the required employment taxes and paying employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) to the engager. Otherwise this responsibility lies with the person paying the individual’s company.

The reform does not change the amount of tax payable by the firm engaging the worker. Both before and after the reforms employer NICs is due, and the £1.3 billion raised by 2023/2024 for the Exchequer is from increased compliance with the rules, not from any additional tax.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to take steps to support freelance financial service providers following the recent IR35 changes which stipulate they will now be classed as employees of a company.

The off-payroll working rules (sometimes known as IR35) only affect people working like employees and through a company. They do not affect the genuinely self-employed and do not focus on specific trades or professions.

The announced extension to the private sector, and the recent reform in the public sector, do not change the employment status of freelance financial service providers. As in all cases, whether they are employed, or self-employed, depends on the facts of their working arrangements.

The recent changes to the off-payroll working rules in the public sector, shifted responsibility for assessing the individual’s employment status from the individual’s company to the public authority. At Budget 2018, the Government announced its plans to extend this reform to the private sector.

HMRC will provide further detailed guidance and support, to help business and individuals implement the reform, before it takes effect in April 2020.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how the funding allocated to Belfast after the bank buildings fire will be distributed and administered to local businesses and residents.

Funding will be added to the Northern Ireland block grant. It will then be allocated to Belfast City Council according to the Northern Ireland Civil Service’s own processes.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
31st Oct 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral contribution of 29 October 2018, Official Report column 665, whether Glasgow qualifies for similar new support as a result of the two large fires that disrupted economic activity in that city centre.

The government committed £10m to the restoration of the Glasgow School of Art following the 2014 fire. The government also continues to invest in Glasgow, including through the Glasgow City Deal, announced in July 2014, which committed the government to invest £500m in the city region.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
25th Oct 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many cases there are of mistaken identity in the PAYE system in the last 12 months.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

2nd Jul 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to prepare UK ports for when the UK leaves the EU.

The Government recognises the importance of trade fluidity through the UK’s key ports to the country’s economy, and is committed to ensuring that trade is as frictionless as possible through those locations after we leave the EU.

The cross-government Border Delivery Group are engaging with authorities, port users and operators domestically and at key EU ports to understand what the synergies and constraints are in different locations, and to discuss how to ensure locations are operationally ready to meet with Government requirements when the UK leaves the EU.

11th Jun 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on older peoples free access to cash of LINK’s proposed cuts to the ATM interchange fee.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, to ensure that it is maintained. At Spring Statement, Government also launched a public Call for Evidence on cash and digital payments which, amongst other things, seeks to find out how cash usage and need varies by demographics.

The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users.

As part of this, the PSR is monitoring developments within ATM provision. The PSR recently commissioned work to understand the impact on the provision of free-to-use ATMs that a reduction in interchange fees may have. A summary of the findings can be found on their website at this link: https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-uk-atm-network/atm-impact-study. The Government has therefore not made its own assessment of the impact.

The PSR have also set out three requirements of LINK: that LINK must maintain the current geographical spread of ATMs; that any changes made to interchange fees must be incremental to allow LINK to monitor the impact and take action if the impact is not as expected; and for a greater focus on LINK’s financial inclusion programme, to continue to fill gaps in the network. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should LINK behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jun 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the number of free to use ATMs in areas of (a) urban and (b) rural deprivation.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, to ensure that it is maintained. At Spring Statement, Government also launched a public Call for Evidence on cash and digital payments which, amongst other things, seeks to find out how cash usage and need varies by demographics.

The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users.

As part of this, the PSR is monitoring developments within ATM provision. The PSR recently commissioned work to understand the impact on the provision of free-to-use ATMs that a reduction in interchange fees may have. A summary of the findings can be found on their website at this link: https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-uk-atm-network/atm-impact-study. The Government has therefore not made its own assessment of the impact.

The PSR have also set out three requirements of LINK: that LINK must maintain the current geographical spread of ATMs; that any changes made to interchange fees must be incremental to allow LINK to monitor the impact and take action if the impact is not as expected; and for a greater focus on LINK’s financial inclusion programme, to continue to fill gaps in the network. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should LINK behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to instruct the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to intervene in the event that LINK’s Financial Inclusion Programme does not protect access to ATMs in areas that face financial exclusion.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, to ensure that it is maintained.

The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users.

As part of this, the PSR is monitoring developments within ATM provision. The PSR recently commissioned work to understand the impact on the provision of free-to-use ATMs that a reduction in interchange fees may have. A summary of the findings can be found on their website at this link: https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-uk-atm-network/atm-impact-study. The Government has therefore not made its own assessment of the impact.

The PSR have also set out three requirements of LINK: that LINK must maintain the current geographical spread of ATMs; that any changes made to interchange fees must be incremental to allow LINK to monitor the impact and take action if the impact is not as expected; and for a greater focus on LINK’s financial inclusion programme, to continue to fill gaps in the network. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should LINK behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives, and will intervene if they believe the current broad geographical spread of free-to-use ATMs is threatened.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the adequacy of the provision of free to use ATMs in parliamentary constituencies.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, to ensure that it is maintained.

The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users.

As part of this, the PSR is monitoring developments within ATM provision. The PSR recently commissioned work to understand the impact on the provision of free-to-use ATMs that a reduction in interchange fees may have. A summary of the findings can be found on their website at this link: https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-uk-atm-network/atm-impact-study. The Government has therefore not made its own assessment of the impact.

The PSR have also set out three requirements of LINK: that LINK must maintain the current geographical spread of ATMs; that any changes made to interchange fees must be incremental to allow LINK to monitor the impact and take action if the impact is not as expected; and for a greater focus on LINK’s financial inclusion programme, to continue to fill gaps in the network. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should LINK behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives, and will intervene if they believe the current broad geographical spread of free-to-use ATMs is threatened.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Dec 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what changes to taxation and other fiscal policies the Government plans to make to incentivise the productive regeneration and reuse of vacant and derelict land in the UK.

The government is focusing on measures to address unused sites such as incentivising the development of derelict land through Land Remediation Relief. Also, to ensure that our brownfield and scarce urban land is used as efficiently as possible, the government will consult on introducing policy changes to make it easier to convert underused retail and employment land into housing.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Mears Group plans to rule out the use of lock-change evictions when it commences the contract for providing housing for asylum seekers in Glasgow in September 2019.

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute are provided with free, furnished accommodation whilst their asylum claim is under consideration. Where they are granted leave to remain they are free to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Those who have been unsuccessful in their asylum claim and do not have leave to remain in the UK are no longer entitled to asylum accommodation and should take steps to leave the UK. UKVI will continue to work with Serco, Mears and Glasgow City Council to ensure that those with no right to be in the UK leave their accommodation in a safe and secure way and that they are provided with the necessary support and advice to make an informed decision about their future.

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of trends in the level of the incidents of partner violence in which perpetrators (a) monitor and (b) control their victims through (i) apps on smartphones and (ii) other internet-connected devices.

On 21 January we published the Government response to our public consultation on transforming the response to domestic abuse, in which we asked about the risk of technology being used to perpetrate abuse. In our response we committed to continue to work on the Government Online Harms White Paper, which was published on Monday, and which sets out our proposals to address both harmful and illegal conduct and content, including the broad range of online harms associated with domestic abuse.

In addition, the Government has provided Refuge with £250,000 of funding through the Tampon Tax to provide specialist nationwide support to staff and survivors who experience technologically facilitated abuse. We have also provided Northumbria PCC with £646,000 through the Home Office Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Service Transformation Fund for a project which includes work to tackle cyberstalking.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using existing powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to tackle shop theft including (a) the Community Trigger, and (b) Community Remedy; and if he will make a statement.

Where shop theft involves anti-social behaviour, local areas in England and Wales may use the tools provided for by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Where appropriate, this may include the Community Remedy, which gives victims of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour a say in the punishment of perpetrators who receive an out of court punishment, and the Community Trigger, which gives victims of persistent anti-social behaviour the ability to request a formal case review.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to support convenience retailers in Glasgow North East that lost an estimated £194,659 due to shop theft; and if he will make a statement.

This matter is devolved to the Scottish Government.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his Department will continue to provide funding to the National Business Crime Centre.

Ministers are yet to take a decision regarding the award of allocations from the PTF for 2019/2020.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure care workers can continue to come and work in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

In December 2018, the Government set out its proposals in “the UK’s future Skills-based Immigration System” White Paper. The White Paper proposals include a new route for skilled workers which will be open to anyone at RQF level 3 and above, irrespective of where they are applying from. This route will not be capped allowing all of those who meet our requirements to come to the UK.

The White Paper also includes a transitional route for temporary workers which will be open to anyone from qualifying countries, wishing to fill positions at any skill level, for up to 12 months. We do not intend to impose a cap on the number of people wishing to use the route.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he plans to ensure that overseas care workers are exempt from the Tier 2 visa £30,000 salary cap and able to work in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

We have been clear that we want all EU nationals, including those working in the NHS and the care sector, to stay in the UK after we leave the EU.

In their report, EEA migration in the UK, the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended maintaining the existing system of salary thresholds.

The Government has been clear that we will undertake an extensive programme of engagement with a wide range of stakeholders across the UK, including with the private, public and voluntary sector and local government, as well as industry representatives and individual businesses before taking a final decision on the level of salary thresholds.

20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he plans to take to compensate people who paid for a one-week fast-tracking service for a new passport in order to travel on 24 March in the event that the date that the UK leaves the EU is moved back from 29 March 2019.

It is Her Majesty’s Passport Office’s policy to reimburse any out of pocket expenses incurred by a customer as a direct consequence of an error or omission it has made.

As part of our responsibility for preparing citizens for all scenarios, we have made clear in our advice that the changes to the rules for travel to Europe are in the event that the UK leaves the European Union without a deal. There is no error within this advice.

22nd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Government of Zimbabwe on linking trade and aid agreements with decreasing immigration from Zimbabwe to the UK.

The Home Secretary has not had discussions with Cabinet colleagues or the Government of Zimbabwe to the effect of this question.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he plans to award the new asylum accommodation contracts.

The procurement and approval processes for the new asylum accommodation contracts is continuing and we expect to award the contracts as soon as this process concludes.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on how many occasions Police Scotland have attended an asylum seeker's property at the request of Serco, the asylum accommodation provider for Scotland.

Incident Report data is held by Serco and reported to UKVI on a monthly basis. Details of incidents involving the Police and Serco would involve each incident being looked at individually and could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in Scotland have been affected by Serco's decision of 27 July 2018 to issue 7 day lock change eviction notices to asylum seekers that have had their asylum support discontinued.

Asylum seekers who are assessed as being desitute are provided with accommodation until their asylum claim and any appeal is finally determined

Serco informed 17 people that their accommodation support was ending with 21 days’ notice. These service users were no longer entitled to financial support or accommodation as their claims had been decided.

We are unable to provide data for people who will be affected as claims are continually progressing and asylum seekers are able to submit further submissions at any time during the process.

We continue to work closely with Serco and Glasgow City Council to monitor cases that are awaiting a legal decision and Serco have decided to pause the issuance of further lock-change notices whilst this previously untested area of Scottish housing law is clarified through the Courts.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints were (a) made and (b) upheld against Serco COMPASS staff in 2018, in each region of the UK.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in Scotland will be affected by Serco's decision of 27 July 2018 to issue 7 day lock change eviction notices to asylum seekers that have had their asylum support discontinued.

Asylum seekers who are assessed as being desitute are provided with accommodation until their asylum claim and any appeal is finally determined

Serco informed 17 people that their accommodation support was ending with 21 days’ notice. These service users were no longer entitled to financial support or accommodation as their claims had been decided.

We are unable to provide data for people who will be affected as claims are continually progressing and asylum seekers are able to submit further submissions at any time during the process.

We continue to work closely with Serco and Glasgow City Council to monitor cases that are awaiting a legal decision and Serco have decided to pause the issuance of further lock-change notices whilst this previously untested area of Scottish housing law is clarified through the Courts.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of state for the Home Department, how many fines relating to key performance indicators were issued to Serco in its capacity as the asylum accommodation provider in Scotland in 2018.

The deductions of Service Credits are considered to be commercially confidential and as such the Home Office does not publish this information.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seeker households have been accommodated in each postcode area in Glasgow.

The Home Office publishes quarterly figures on the number of asylum seek-ers housed in dispersed accommodation, including under Section 95, by lo-cal authority in the Immigration Statistics release, in table as_16q and 17q in volume 4 of the Asylum data tables. These are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2018-data-tables

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many single parent asylum-seeking families are sharing accommodation provided by Serco.

The use of individual properties across provider’s portfolios changes daily subject to demand.

Information on the current number of properties shared between single parent families could only be provided at disproportionate cost by examination of individual provider property records.

20th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2018 to Question 191442 on Diamorphine: Glasgow, what the timetable is for the decision on whether to grant a diamorphine prescribing licence to Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership.

All ‘premises’ licence applications- which are considered by the Home Office and, if granted, would allow a specific organisation to possess controlled drugs at a specific address- are considered individually on their merits. We expect to reach a decision on the premises licence application early this year.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2018 to Question 191442 on Diamorphine: Glasgow, what the guidelines are on chronic heroin addiction treatment plans as a condition of his Department permitting a diamorphine prescribing licence to local authorities.

The issue of ‘prescriber’ licences was devolved to the Scottish Ministers in 2012. The timeline for a decision on any prescriber licence or any conditions to be assigned to that licence are matters for Scottish Government.

Any controlled drugs licenses required by the organisation at a specific premises to possess and supply controlled drugs are a matter for the Home Office.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether a legal exemption will be required for the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership to prescribe and supervise the consumption of diamorphine for the treatment of chronic heroin addiction by street drug users who present to a clinic of that partnership.

The Government supports local areas that prescribe diamorphine as part of a treatment plan for those with a chronic heroin addiction. Prescription of diamorphine is a clinical decision and is permitted through Home Office licenced premises. An application to licence premises, for this purpose, is currently being considered.

.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) lessons learned from the current implementation period and b) advice from external bodies was used to draft the provisions of the asylum accommodation contract.

Since the establishment of the project in the autumn of 2016, there has been extensive engagement with strategic stakeholders, including Strategic Migration Partnerships (SMPs), Local Authorities and Statutory Organisations, to feed their views into the design of the next generation of contracts. In addition, the project has undertaken market engagement with private and public sector suppliers to understand what is required to deliver effective solutions for the provision of accommodation and support to asylum seekers.

The Home Office has considered lessons learnt from the existing contracts and Stakeholder feedback had considerable influence on the specifications in the contract, where the Home Office has adopted a host of improvements that were proposed by stakeholders. With these changes we aim to ensure that the new contracts build upon the groundwork for a constructive relationship between central government, local government, the private sector and civil society, to the benefit of communities and those seeking our protection.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have had their temporary Home Office-provided accommodation withdrawn under the COMPASS contract and asylum claim subsequently upheld.

Information on asylum seekers that have had their temporary Home Office-provided accommodation withdrawn under the COMPASS contract and asy-lum claim subsequently upheld is not held in a reportable format and the re-quested information could therefore only be provided at disproportionate cost by examination of individual property records.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department made of (a) external advice and (b) lessons learned from the current contract implementation period prior to the re-tendering of the Compass asylum accommodation contract.

Since the establishment of the project in the autumn of 2016, there has been extensive engagement with strategic stakeholders, including Strategic Migration Partnerships (SMPs), Local Authorities and Statutory Organisations, to feed their views into the design of the next generation of contracts. In addition, the project has undertaken market engagement with private and public sector suppliers to understand what is required to deliver effective solutions for the provision of accommodation and support to asylum seekers.


The Home Office has considered lessons learnt from the existing contracts and Stakeholder feedback had considerable influence on the specifications in the contract, where the Home Office has adopted a host of improvements that were proposed by stakeholders. With these changes we aim to ensure that the new contracts build upon the groundwork for a constructive relationship between central government, local government, the private sector and civil society, to the benefit of communities and those seeking our protection.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the number of asylum seekers whose housing provision has been terminated before the asylum application process including appeals has been completed.

I refer the Hon. Member to the response I gave to UIN 171728 on the 7th September 2018.

7th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria will be used to determine destitution in the renewed asylum accommodation contract.

Section 95 of the of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides that an asylum seeker is destitute and therefore eligible to receive accommodation and other support from the Home Office if:

a) he does not have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it (whether or not his other essential living needs are met); or

b)he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his other essential living needs.

The definition is not changed by the re-tender of the Home Office asylum accommodation contracts. The legislation provides that, unless there are children in their household, a person ceases to be eligible to receive section 95 support 21 days after their asylum claim or any appeal is finally rejected. However, another form of support, including accommodation, is available under section 4(2) of the 1999 Act if the person is taking reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a temporary or legal or practical obstacle that prevents their departure.

Cessation of s95 support occurs once an applicant is no longer eligible, through having exhausted all appeal rights, being granted a form of leave, has been removed from the country or having left the accommodation voluntarily. Operational checks are undertaken to ensure that there are no outstanding issues or applications, and support can be reinstated if information is received to the contrary.

There is no provision in the accommodation contracts that enable people who cease to qualify for section 95 support and do not qualify for section 4(2) support to continue to be housed.

7th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to (a) monitor and (b) enforce the provisions in the asylum accommodation contract that people who would otherwise be destitute will continue to be housed.

Section 95 of the of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides that an asylum seeker is destitute and therefore eligible to receive accommodation and other support from the Home Office if:

a) he does not have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it (whether or not his other essential living needs are met);

or b)he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his other essential living needs.

The definition is not changed by the re-tender of the Home Office asylum accommodation contracts. The legislation provides that, unless there are children in their household, a person ceases to be eligible to receive section 95 support 21 days after their asylum claim or any appeal is finally rejected. However, another form of support, including accommodation, is available under section 4(2) of the 1999 Act if the person is taking reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a temporary or legal or practical obstacle that prevents their departure.

Cessation of s95 support occurs once an applicant is no longer eligible, through having exhausted all appeal rights, being granted a form of leave, has been removed from the country or having left the accommodation voluntarily. Operational checks are undertaken to ensure that there are no outstanding issues or applications, and support can be reinstated if information is received to the contrary.

There is no provision in the accommodation contracts that enable people who cease to qualify for section 95 support and do not qualify for section 4(2) support to continue to be housed.

7th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have had their housing provision removed before their asylum process was fully completed including the appeals process since 2012.

Section 95 of the of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides that an asylum seeker is destitute and therefore eligible to receive accommodation and other support from the Home Office if:

a) he does not have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it (whether or not his other essential living needs are met);

or b)he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his other essential living needs.

The definition is not changed by the re-tender of the Home Office asylum accommodation contracts. The legislation provides that, unless there are children in their household, a person ceases to be eligible to receive section 95 support 21 days after their asylum claim or any appeal is finally rejected. However, another form of support, including accommodation, is available under section 4(2) of the 1999 Act if the person is taking reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a temporary or legal or practical obstacle that prevents their departure.

Cessation of s95 support occurs once an applicant is no longer eligible, through having exhausted all appeal rights, being granted a form of leave, has been removed from the country or having left the accommodation voluntarily. Operational checks are undertaken to ensure that there are no outstanding issues or applications, and support can be reinstated if information is received to the contrary.

There is no provision in the accommodation contracts that enable people who cease to qualify for section 95 support and do not qualify for section 4(2) support to continue to be housed.

4th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Departments policy on asylum accommodation since 2012.

The Home Office provides accommodation and other support to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute. The accommodation is arranged through a number of housing providers, who are contractually required to provide safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped accommodation that complies with the Decent Homes Standard, as well as standards outlined in relevant national housing legislation.

There is an inspection and contract compliance regime in place to ensure that the standards required in the contracts are met.

We remain in regular discussion with Providers, service users, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders about ways to improve the services provided and we will be making a number of improvements to the design of the future contracted services as a direct result of such feedback.

4th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any bonus payments have been paid by the Government to any companies currently providing asylum seeker accommodation.

The United Kingdom Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI) discharges their statutory duty to provide destitute asylum seeker accommodation and transport via a suite of COMPASS contracts with three providers. The contract payment mechanism is based on per person per night cost and does not include any bonus payment facility.

4th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any government contracts for the provision of housing to asylum seekers include options for the payment of a bonus to the provider if certain criteria are met.

The United Kingdom Visa and Immigration Service (UKVI) discharges their statutory duty to provide destitute asylum seeker accommodation and transport via a suite of COMPASS contracts with three providers. The contract payment mechanism is based on per person per night cost and does not include any bonus payment facility.

4th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether provisions have been included in the draft asylum accommodation renewal contract for the future (a) amendment and (b) termination of the contract; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of enacting such provisions.

The draft asylum accommodation contract includes provision for amendment through a formal change control process that is subject to agreement and formal signing of variation by both parties.

The draft contract also includes provision for termination on grounds of cause or convenience at the authorities absolute discretion. Costs associated with enacting any of these provisions will vary on a case by case basis.

4th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions his Department has had with (a) external experts and (b) asylum seekers on the design of the contract for asylum seeker housing from 2019.

The Home Office has actively engaged with a wide range of stakeholders across local government, statutory and third sector as part of the development of the new asylum accommodation contracts and the information obtained through this process has influenced the design of the future service provision.

4th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush generation cases involve people who live in the Glasgow North East constituency.

The data requested is not available. Information relating to individual Windrush migrants is not recorded by constituency.

27th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the High Court Judgment of 10 October 2017, Medical Justice v. Secretary of State, what steps her Department is taking to review the guidance in respect of torture; and with which organisations her Department has consulted on that guidance.

The Government laid draft revised statutory guidance before Parliament on 21 March 2018, and the corresponding statutory instruments on 27 March, to implement a new definition of torture for the purposes of immigration detention. The new definition of torture and the revised statutory guidance give effect to the High Court judgment to which the hon. Member refers. Whilst there was no obligation to consult on these changes, officials have engaged with interested stakeholders, including a range of non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) and inspectorate bodies. Officials will continue this engagement on the corresponding caseworker guidance and training. Additionally, the Detention Centre Rules 2001 will be reviewed later this year and NGOs and others will be consulted on proposed changes to them. Home Office Ministers have also written to a number of hon. Members and Peers about these issues.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many online passport applications HM Passport Office has received in the last 12 months; and how many applications HM Passport Office has received (a) online and (b) via post (i) throughout the UK, (ii) in Scotland and (iii) in Glasgow North East Constituency in the last 12 months.

I refer to the table below which provides the volume of applications Her Majesty’s Passport Office has received in the last 12 months. Please note these figures are for all UK applications.

We are unable to provide data on the number of applications received from the Glasgow North East Constituency, Scotland or any geographical region within the UK, as the data could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Channel

Volume

Online throughout the UK

2,142,734

Via post throughout the UK

3,957,012

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect on low income applicants of increases in the cost of applications for leave to remain.

An impact assessment was completed in early 2016 which considered the changes being made as part of the Immigration and Nationality Fees Order (2016), the details of which can be found via the following link:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2016/33/pdfs/ukia_20160033_en.pdf

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received on the deportation of Kweku Adoboli; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office does not comment on individual cases.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush generation cases involve people who live in the Glasgow North East constituency.

The data requested is not available. Information relating to individual Windrush migrants is not recorded by constituency.

10th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether (a) Team UK, (b) Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, (c) Fincantieri, (d) Navantia, and (e) Japan Marine United Corporation remain in the competition to tender for the Fleet Solid Support Ship design and build contract.

Yes.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
8th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timeframe is for a decision on an upgrade for the Sting Ray torpedo.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in the House of Lords by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe) on 26 February 2019 to Question HL13684 to the Noble Lord, Lord West of Spithead.

A submarine launched heavy-weight torpedo development roadmap is in place.

A roadmap for a replacement lightweight torpedo is subject to the decision on programme timing.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
8th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has agreed a torpedo development road-map.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in the House of Lords by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe) on 26 February 2019 to Question HL13684 to the Noble Lord, Lord West of Spithead.

A submarine launched heavy-weight torpedo development roadmap is in place.

A roadmap for a replacement lightweight torpedo is subject to the decision on programme timing.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
8th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the integration of Sting Ray onto the Boeing Poseidon P-8A.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in the House of Lords by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe) on 16 March 2018 to Question HL6179 to the Noble Lord, Lord West of Spithead.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
8th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what weighting his Department will apply to the national security objective 3 on UK prosperity in future torpedo procurement decisions.

As with all procurement decisions, our investment appraisals process follows HM Treasury Green Book rules, which allow consideration of a range of factors including those within the scope of National Security Objective 3, if relevant, robust data is available.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
3rd Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the outturn budget for the Type 31e programme is maintained at £1.25 billion for five ships.

As announced in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we want five ships at an average price of £250 million per ship. In common with all procurement projects the overall Type 31e programme cost will be determined at the main investment decision point.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of annual payments made by his Department to Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited under the Future Provision of Marine Services contract to date.

Records available show that annual payments by the Ministry of Defence to Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited under the original Future Provision of Marine Services contract, up to 31 December 2018, total £716 million.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the (a) date and (b) location of new vessels introduced by Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited under the Future Provision of Marine Services contract since the start of that contract.

Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited have introduced 29 new vessels under the Future Provision of Marine Services contract:

Location

Vessel

Year

Clyde

SD OILMAN

2009

Clyde

SD EVA

2009

Clyde

SD CLYDE RACER

2008

Clyde

SD CLYDE SPIRIT

2008

Clyde

SD DEPENDABLE

2009

Clyde

SD RELIABLE

2009

Clyde

SD RESOURCEFUL

2010

Clyde

SD JUPITER

2009

Clyde

SD NORTHERN RIVER

2010

Kyle

SD RAASAY

2009

Portsmouth

SD VICTORIA

2008

Portsmouth

SD OCEANSPRAY

2010

Portsmouth

SD NAVIGATOR

2009

Portsmouth

SD SOLENT RACER

2008

Portsmouth

SD SOLENT SPIRIT

2008

Portsmouth

SD CHRISTINA

2010

Portsmouth

SD SUZANNE

2010

Portsmouth

SD INDEPENDENT

2009

Portsmouth

SD INDULGENT

2010

Portsmouth

SD TEMPEST

2018

Portsmouth

SD BOUNTIFUL

2010

Devonport

SD TAMAR RACER

2008

Devonport

SD TAMAR SPIRIT

2008

Devonport

SD EILEEN

2010

Devonport

SD DEBORAH

2010

Devonport

SD TILLY

2008

Devonport

SD MARS

2008

Devonport

SD HERCULES

2009

Devonport

SD WATERPRESS

2010

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of sub-contractors have been engaged by Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited to deliver the Future Provision of Marine Services contract; and what the value of each such sub-contract is.

Serco Denholm Marine Services have sub-contracted the entire service provision to Serco Marine Ltd, who in turn have three main sub-contractors for the provision of specialist services. The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on the value of each sub-contract as this is a matter for the company.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian (a) seafarer, (b) dock and (c) marine engineering staff, including sub-contractors, were employed under the Future Provision of Marine Services contract between his Department and Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited in each year since 2007 to date.

The Ministry of Defence does not hold information regarding the number of staff employed under the contract; this is a matter for the company.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the value for money of the Future Provision of Marine Services contract between his Department and Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited.

In 2017, as part of the established review process of this contract, the Strategic Partnering Board chaired by Navy Command accepted and agreed the value for money review by the Reshaping Maritime Services project. This confirmed that the contract with Serco Denholm Marine Services Limited provided good value for money and the appropriate savings for the Ministry of Defence.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the contracts his Department has awarded to subsidiaries of Serco Limited since January 2000 to date; and what the total value of each contract was.

Serco Limited is a subsidiary of the Serco Group. From available records, the Ministry of Defence has held no contracts with subsidiaries of Serco Limited since 2010. Information concerning contracts prior to 2010 is no longer held unless the contract was still open from 2016 onwards.

It should also be noted that since January 2011, details of central government contracts above the value of £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. Contracts published prior to 26 February 2015 can be viewed at:

https://data.gov.uk/data/contracts-finder-archive

Those published after 26 February 2015 can be viewed at:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
25th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much money from the public purse was spent by his Department on the wedding of Princess Eugenie.

Additional costs to the Ministry of Defence (i.e. over and above those normally incurred, such as salaries) resulting from the wedding of Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie to Mr Jack Brooksbank on Friday 12 October in Windsor were less than £250.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the (a) amount and (b) proportion of the defence budget that was spent in Scotland in each year since 2009-10.

The Ministry of Defence does not hold total Defence expenditure figures for Scotland (or any other part of the UK) and, therefore, cannot calculate the proportion of the Defence budget spent in Scotland. However, regional statistics on Defence expenditure with industry in Scotland, and other parts of the UK, are publicly available.

These statistics can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mod-regional-expenditure-with-uk-industry-and-supported-employment-201617

It must be noted that Defence expenditure with industry is only a portion of total Defence expenditure in the region.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the National Shipbuilding Strategy restricts the definition of warships to frigates, destroyers and aircraft carriers.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy stated that warships must be built in the UK, and defined warships as frigates, destroyers and aircraft carriers. This policy decision recognises that preserving the national capability to design, integrate and build warships is critical to national security. There is no underpinning national security reason to mandate that other Royal Navy ships are constructed in UK shipyards.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what competitive tender process was completed for the construction of the current River-class batch two vessels under construction on the Clyde for the Royal Navy.

The contracts for the Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels were awarded non-competitively to BAE Systems in order to preserve the UK sovereign capability to design, build and integrate warships and to set the entry conditions for a successful Type 26 Frigate programme.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether amphibious ships, including the Albion-class landing platform dock are considered as aircraft carriers for the purpose of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

No.

Stuart Andrew
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
9th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of people joining the reserves from the regular armed forces in each of the last five years.

The number of UK Regular Service personnel joining the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) over the last five years is shown below.

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

310

460

710

710

710

Notes: these figures include only direct transfers from Regulars to the FR20 population, without a gap.

Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10, except for numbers ending in a 5 which have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

3rd Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of reservists that have joined the regular armed forces in each of the last five years.

The number of Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) Service personnel leaving to join the UK Regular Forces over the last five years is shown below.

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

250

340

440

520

490

  • The figures only include direct transfers from the FR20 population. Figures do not include cadets leaving the University Officer Training Corps, University Air Squadron and University Royal Navy Unit to join the UK Regular forces.

  • Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10, though numbers ending in a 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

20th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to support SMEs to tender for contracts issued as a result of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy aims to re-energise the UK's shipbuilding industry by encouraging participation from the wider UK shipbuilding enterprise, ensuring that we receive bids from the widest range of suppliers possible. This will ensure that the UK remains globally competitive, and that the Ministry of Defence procurement process is as competitive as possible.

We are committed to making it easier to do business with defence, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As part of this we are working to improve our engagement with smaller businesses; making it easier for them to find opportunities and win defence business.

Since March 2016 we have implemented a range of measures to support SMEs, including revising our polices, advertising all our contracts above £10,000 online, and requiring our prime contractors to similarly advertise subcontract opportunities. Furthermore, we have introduced a new Supplier Portal page, bringing together the key information for suppliers of all sizes.

20th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support and (b) grow the UK defence radar industry.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 April 2018 to Question 135615 to the hon. Member for Bridgend (Madeleine Moon).

20th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to upgrade the Sampson radars on the Type 45 destroyers to provide those destroyers with ballistic missile detection and tracking capability.

There has been some initial investment to investigate the potential for anti-ship Ballistic Missile Defence enhancements to the Type 45 destroyers. These investigations include the Sampson Multi-Function Radar. No decisions have yet been made.

20th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the existing Type 102 radar held in storage by BAE Systems is not currently deployed.

The Type 102 radar system is held in storage as there is, currently, no operational requirement to deploy it.

19th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the current status of the MOD-owned Goliath heavy lift crane at Rosyth is; what estimate he has made of its net disposal value; and what assessment he has made of its potential use in future naval shipbuilding programmes.

Options for the disposal of the Goliath crane are under consideration but no decisions have been taken.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons there are no key industrial capabilities with regard to the UK complex warship building industry identified in the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy set out that we would seek to ensure the UK's long term operational advantage and freedom of action by strengthening the nation's industrial shipbuilding base, including the ability to design, build and integrate warships.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the decision to decommission HMS Ocean in 2018 was finalised before the refit of that warship in 2014.

HMS OCEAN entered service in 1998 with a specified service life, based on her build specification, of 20 years. Work on HMS OCEAN's refit began in December 2012 and was completed in August 2014. The timing of the refit was driven by the mandatory requirement to revalidate the ship's safety and environmental certification. The decommissioning date of 2018 is the same as that planned at the time of this refit.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the National Shipbuilding Strategy is planned to achieve upper quartile performance in the UK complex warship building industry as previously set out in the Terms of Business Agreement signed in 2009 between his Department and the company currently known as BAE Surface Systems Ships Ltd.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy lays the foundations for a modern and efficient shipbuilding sector capable of meeting the country's future defence and security needs.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons his Department has decided no longer explicitly to commit to achieving the national sovereign capability to achieve a build interval of one shipbuild every 12 months and a design interval of every six years for complex warships as previously set out in the Terms of Business Agreement signed between his Department and the company currently known as BAE Surface Systems Ships Ltd.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy lays the foundations for a modern and efficient shipbuilding sector capable of meeting the country's future defence and security needs.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which aspects of the Terms of Business Agreement signed in 2009 between his Department and the company currently known as BAE Systems Surface Ships Ltd have been transferred to the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy lays the foundations for a modern and efficient shipbuilding sector capable of meeting the country's future defence and security needs.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of ending Hawk aircraft manufacture in the UK on the UK's sovereign capability to design, build and maintain fast jet aircraft; and if he will take steps to maintain that sovereign capability.

This Government is committed to keeping the UK a leading aerospace nation. The production line for the Hawk aircraft continues, and will do so for at least another 12 months after Qatar signed a Statement of Intent to buy six new Hawks earlier this year. We continue to work closely with BAE Systems to secure further export orders.

More broadly, we recognise that UK industry leads the world in a number of aerospace-related technology and capability areas. We are already working with industry on our long-term requirements, for example, through engagement with BAE Systems on the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. This work will help inform decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned fast jet aircraft and provide us with some of the most advanced platforms in the world.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the decommissioning of HMS Ocean on the Royal Navy's LHD capability and the suitability of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers to undertake that role in addition to their replacing the Invincible Class aircraft carriers.

HMS OCEAN entered service in 1998 with a specific service life, based on her build specification, of 20 years. In accordance with this, OCEAN will be decommissioned, as planned, in 2018.

It was stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 that a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier would be enhanced to support our amphibious capability. Together with the existing amphibious ships of the Royal Navy and the Bay Class ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, this will provide the capability to deploy our amphibious forces.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether implementation of the National Shipbuilding Strategy will include steps to benchmark shipbuilding facilities at Birkenhead, Glasgow and Rosyth against the international benchmark originally established by First Marine International as part of the Terms of Business Agreement signed between BAE Systems and his Department so as to ensure that UK complex warship building yards will be able to achieve upper quartile status in international performance.

One of the key aims of the National Shipbuilding Strategy is to improve the international competitiveness of the UK shipbuilding industry. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is working with industry through the Maritime Enterprise Working Group to undertake a long term programme of improvement. Their initial work will include establishing a comparative assessment of the capacities and capabilities of UK shipbuilders, and exploring best practice. As part of that work, MOD officials have asked the chair of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group to undertake a series of benchmarking studies, the details of which are currently being scoped.

22nd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to reduce mortality among homeless people.

Every person who dies while they do not have a place to call home is one too many and we have a moral duty to act.

It should not happen that people die prematurely and on the street because they are homeless. Whilst we recognise that suitable housing is a key part of the solution, health services have a significant role to play, alongside other public services.

My Department is working with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure that rough sleepers have the health care they need, when they need it. In its long-term plan, the National Health Service committed to investing up to £30 million extra on meeting the needs of rough sleepers. This will ensure that the parts of England most affected by rough sleeping have better access to specialist homelessness NHS mental health support, integrated into existing outreach services.

We are also ensuring that where a homeless person dies, or is seriously injured, Safeguarding Adult Reviews take place where appropriate, so that local services can learn lessons from these tragic events to better prevent them from happening in the future.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
22nd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what representations he has made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on additional funding for local authority children’s social services.

My Department works on a regular basis with the Her Majesty’s Treasury regarding funding for local government. This includes children’s services and I speak to colleagues at the Department for Education on this matter as well. At the last Autumn Budget, Government made available an additional £410 million to local authorities for spend on children’s and adult’s social care in the next year. Our Departments will continue to work closely together in the run-up to the next Spending Review.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
22nd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of council tax rises on the living standards of low-income families.

Council tax decisions are for local authorities to take having considered local circumstances. However, the Government has maintained referendum thresholds to give council tax-payers in England the right to veto excessive increases in a local referendum and council tax this year remains lower in real terms than in 2010. To assist those facing financial hardship, including those in receipt of low incomes, authorities in England are required to have locally designed council tax support schemes in place.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to improve the provision of housing for disabled people.

National policy sets out clearly the need for local planning authorities to plan for the housing needs of all members of the community, including suitable properties for disabled people. Our recent Housing White Paper sets out the ways in which the planning system will be used to deliver more suitable homes for people with disabilities, including proposals to strengthen the National Planning Policy Framework. We are also introducing a new statutory duty on the Secretary of State to produce guidance for local planning authorities on meeting the housing needs of older and disabled people.

In addition, since 2011, we have delivered 27,000 supported housing units for disabled, vulnerable and older people. At Autumn Statement 2015, we announced £400 million new specialist affordable homes also for the vulnerable, elderly or those with disabilities. We have also increased funding for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). Since 2012, the Government has invested over £1.6 billion into the Grant, providing around 250,000 adaptations by the end of the 2017-18 financial year. By 2020, we expect to have invested around a further £1 billion, with year-on-year increases meaning that spending on DFG will more than double to over £500 million from £220 million in 2015-16. Budget 2017 announced an additional £42 million for DFG in 2017-18.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
26th Jun 2019
To ask the Minister for Justice, what support he plans to provide to the courts service to deal with the potential increase in non-payment prosecution for TV licences by vulnerable defendants over the age of 75 who do not pay for a TV licence from June 2020.

TV Licensing prosecutions are dealt with via the Single Justice Procedure, which was introduced in 2015 to allow for more efficient resolution of low-level, summary only-non imprisonable offences in which the offender pleads guilty or does not respond. HMCTS has not made any specific arrangements for any potential increase in non-payment prosecutions for TV licences from June 2020. If required, to meet any emerging demand HMCTS will deploy its planning and allocation processes which allow for resource adjustment or reallocation.

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Minister for Justice, whether he has made an estimate of the potential increase in the number of prosecutions there will be of people over 75 who have not paid for a TV licence from June 2020.

The lead department on TV licencing is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS).

The responsibility for TV licence fee concessions will pass from government to the BBC in June 2020, at which time the BBC has taken the decision to end free TV licences for all over 75s.

The Ministry of Justice has reviewed prosecution data between 1992 and 1999 for TV licence fee evasion, prior to the introduction of the concession, and established that there were no prosecutions of defendants over the age of 75 during this period.

13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the ability of sponsors to meet the legal costs of refugee family reunion (a) applications and (b) subsequent reviews or appeals to those applications.

The Government does not collect data on the private legal costs of individuals to assist with a refugee family reunion application.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing providing legal aid support to potentially trafficked people to ensure that they are able to make an informed decision on whether to enter the National Referral Mechanism.

The Government has always been clear that publicly-funded immigration legal advice is available for individuals identified as potential victims of trafficking or modern slavery.

There is specific legal aid provision for victims of modern slavery and human trafficking for immigration advice and representation, including assistance with applications for leave to enter or remain, subject to means and merits.

However, advice on whether to enter the National Referral Mechanism, such as that provided by a first responder or local authority, would not be within the scope of legal aid funding.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many successful applications for exceptional case funding were made in relation to an application for refugee family reunion in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what provisions are made available for covering the costs of raising a claim at a British court where the person raising the claim is a UK citizen living on nil income and not in receipt of benefits.

Assistance with paying Courts and Tribunals fees is available through Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals’ Services Help with Fees scheme. Legal aid is provided for claimants in cases which fall within scope, subject to means and merits tests

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether there is provision for covering the costs of raising a claim at the European Court of Human Rights from the public purse for a person who is a British subject living on a nil income and not in receipt of benefits.

There is no fee for applying to the ECtHR. In England and Wales, legal aid is not available for proceedings before the ECtHR. Legal help may be used to advise a client of their position under England and Wales law and of the options available but may not be used to make an application to ECtHR or for legal aid from that court.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) administers its own legal aid scheme which may be granted where the Court is satisfied that it is necessary for the proper conduct of the case before the Court; and the applicant has insufficient means to meet all or part of the costs, as set out in rules 100-105 of the Court’s Rules.

23rd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken was for processing immigration appeals in 2016-2017.

The average time taken to clear an immigration appeal in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in 2016-2017 was 51 weeks. The average time taken to clear a case in 2015-2016 was 35 weeks.

The average clearance time, which is measured from receipt of an appeal to its conclusion, went up between 2015-16 and 2016-17 because of the Tribunal significantly reducing its outstanding caseload and clearing older cases during that period. Outstanding caseload has now reduced from 64,800 in June 2016 to 35,100 at the end of December 2017.

Immigration includes Managed Migration, Entry Clearance Officer, Human Rights, EEA Free Movement Family Visit Visa, Deportation and Deprivation of Citizenship Appeals.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken was for processing immigration appeals during 2015-2016.

The average time taken to clear an immigration appeal in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in 2016-2017 was 51 weeks. The average time taken to clear a case in 2015-2016 was 35 weeks.

The average clearance time, which is measured from receipt of an appeal to its conclusion, went up between 2015-16 and 2016-17 because of the Tribunal significantly reducing its outstanding caseload and clearing older cases during that period. Outstanding caseload has now reduced from 64,800 in June 2016 to 35,100 at the end of December 2017.

Immigration includes Managed Migration, Entry Clearance Officer, Human Rights, EEA Free Movement Family Visit Visa, Deportation and Deprivation of Citizenship Appeals.

.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jun 2018
What recent steps she has taken to help restore devolved government in Northern Ireland.

The Government continues to engage closely with the political parties and the Irish Government as appropriate, to restore the Executive. This remains a top priority.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the Glasgow city region deal to date.

The Glasgow City Region Deal is a 20 year programme of investment supported by both the UK and Scottish Governments.

To date, the UK Government has paid £45m to the Glasgow City Region Deal partners, a sum that has been matched by the Scottish Government. Accordingly, the total cost to the public purse so far is £90m.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Glasgow North East of 3 August 2018 on the Glasgow School of Art fire and Sauchiehall Street.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland is required to respond to such correspondence within 20 working days; however, on this occasion due to an administrative oversight a response was not issued. A response to your letter was provided on 31 October 2018.

25th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will publish the (a) and (b) locations of all UK ministerial visits to Glasgow North East constituency since the 2010 General Election.

Ministers regularly undertake visits to constituencies across Scotland. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland last visited the Glasgow North East constituency on 31 August 2018 to tour McGhees Family bakers at 10 Keppochhill Drive, Glasgow G21 1HX.

Under the Ministerial Code, Ministers intending to make an official visit are required to inform in advance those MPs whose constituencies are to be included within the itinerary.

25th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he has raised the issue of veteran suicides in Scotland in any meetings with (a) the Ministry of Defence and (b) any other ministers in the UK or Scottish Governments.

I have regular discussions with UK Government and Scottish Government colleagues on a number of matters. I attend meetings of the Ministerial Covenant and Veterans Board, at which both UK and Scottish Government ministers are present. The discussions of the Board have included health issues affecting the armed forces community, including suicide.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating additional Government funding to the Scottish Government to ensure that Glasgow’s museums and art galleries remain free to visit.

The UK Government fully support free access by the public to museums and art galleries. The UK Government provides funds for the Scottish Government through the Block Grant. It is a matter for the Scottish Government to allocate funding for museums in Scotland from within their budget. The hon Gentleman may therefore wish to progress the matter of additional funding for this area with them.

19th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will list all UK Government ministerial visits to the Glasgow North East burgh constituency since it was created in 2005.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent representations he has made to representatives of RBS on ensuring the maintenance of free access to money for people in communities affected by that bank's programme of branch closures.

I have met with RBS to discuss their recent announcements. Decisions on opening and closing branches and the format of the provision of service are taken by the management team of each bank on a commercial basis and the Government does not intervene in these decisions.

The Government is committed to widespread free access to cash. LINK, the organisation that runs the UK’s ATM network, operates a Financial Inclusion Programme, which subsidises ATMs in areas that have poor access to cash and would not otherwise be viable. LINK has committed to protecting all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM.

The Payment Systems Regulator Limited (PSR) has also committed to using their powers to maintain widespread free access to cash should they need to.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what information his Department holds on the (a) amount of social housing stock there was in Glasgow North East constituency in each year from 1999 to date and (b) projected amount of social housing stock in that constituency for each year to 2020.

The provision of social housing is a matter for the Scottish Government and published data can be found on the following link:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/KeyInfoTables

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what representations his Department made to the Chancellor before the Autumn Budget 2017.

My Department is in regular contact with the Treasury, making representations on a wide range of matters with impact in Scotland. I have regular discussions with all my Cabinet colleagues including the Chancellor about matters of importance to Scotland.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will take steps to reimburse VAT payments made by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue between 2013 and 2017.

Under the previous arrangements, Scottish services were locally-funded and were able to recover VAT under UK law, but the new bodies became ineligible to recover VAT as they were no longer locally funded. The Scottish Government was aware of this but decided to restructure in full knowledge of these consequences.

To support our brave police and fire services in Scotland, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2017-18 to allow Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to recover normally irrecoverable VAT which will save Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service c. £40m per year. The change will come into effect in April 2018.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on providing additional resources to the Scottish Government to administer powers repatriated to the Scottish Parliament after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

I have regular discussions with members of the Cabinet, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Barnett Formula is operating as usual where additional funding is being provided to UK Government departments to prepare for EU Exit in devolved areas.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions the Government has had with the Scottish Government on its 14 December 2017 budget.

I meet regularly with Scottish Government ministers to discuss a wide range of issues.

11th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what plans his Department has to secure additional funding for the Scottish Government.

The Autumn Budget demonstrates that the UK Government is delivering for Scotland.

From support for city deals and some of our finest charities to landmark tax measures on oil and gas and whisky, this Budget backs Scotland’s great industries. This is in addition to the £2 billion of extra spending power the Scottish Government will have as a result of this Budget.