Rob Roberts Portrait

Rob Roberts

Independent - Delyn

First elected: 12th December 2019



Scheduled Event
Friday 17th May 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Government of Wales (Referendum on Devolution) Bill: Second Reading
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Scheduled Event
Friday 17th May 2024
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Immigration and Nationality Fees (Exemption for NHS Clinical Staff) Bill: Second Reading
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Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Reform)
voted Aye
One of 2 Independent Aye votes vs 2 Independent No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 81
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
Last week, I wrote to Israel’s ambassador in the UK. It occurred to me that, for as long as I …
Written Answers
Monday 29th January 2024
Programme for International Student Assessment
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 7th December 2023
Welsh devolution
That this House recognises that devolution in Wales was established by a 50.3% Yes vote based on a 50.2% turnout …
Bills
Wednesday 13th December 2023
Immigration and Nationality Fees (Exemption for NHS Clinical Staff) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to exempt NHS clinical staff from the requirement to pay fees under section 68 of the Immigration Act …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 20th March 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: AirBus
Address of donor: 8-10 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH
Amount of donation or nature and value …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2024
No confidence in the Speaker
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 9th September 2020
Houses in Multiple Occupation Bill 2019-21
A Bill to amend the law relating to the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation; to increase penalties for the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Rob Roberts has voted in 601 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Rob Roberts Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(13 debate interactions)
James Davies (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(34 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(29 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(28 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(26 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rob Roberts's debates

Delyn Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Delyn signature proportion
Petitions with most Delyn signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Home office is charging almost ten times the actual processing cost of indefinite leave to remain application fee from overseas health care workers. The Government should stop making profit from foreign health workers and instead seek to retain those foreign doctors and nurses in our NHS.

Provide a mechanism within existing legislation whereupon a person with parental responsibility (PR) is found guilty of murdering the other parent with PR, has PR automatically suspended throughout the duration of the term of imprisonment of the aforesaid person convicted.


Latest EDMs signed by Rob Roberts

21st February 2024
Rob Roberts signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
92 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 46
Scottish National Party: 41
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
30th January 2024
Rob Roberts signed this EDM on Wednesday 7th February 2024

Childhood cancer

Tabled by: Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour - South Shields)
That this House notes that over 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year; further notes that cancer is still the biggest killer by disease of children and young people in the UK; recognises the unique medical and psychosocial impacts of cancer on children …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 16
Independent: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Scottish National Party: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Rob Roberts's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rob Roberts, 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.


Rob Roberts has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Rob Roberts

Friday 28th January 2022

10 Bills introduced by Rob Roberts


A Bill to exempt NHS clinical staff from the requirement to pay fees under section 68 of the Immigration Act 2014; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 13th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 17th May 2024
Order Paper number: 6
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

A Bill to make provision for a referendum on devolution in Wales; to provide that no further such referendum may take place within twenty five years; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 13th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 17th May 2024
Order Paper number: 5
(Possibly be Debated)

A Bill to exempt NHS clinical staff from the requirement to pay fees under section 68 of the Immigration Act 2014; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 20th March 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision for a referendum on devolution in Wales; to provide that no further such referendum may take place within twenty five years; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 18th October 2023

A Bill to make provision for unaccompanied asylum seeking children to receive legal advice and for extending the deadline for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child to appeal an asylum decision

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading : House Of Lords
Wednesday 12th July 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision for the automatic electoral registration of school students who have reached the age of 16; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading : House Of Lords
Thursday 9th June 2016

A Bill to make provision for the registration of voters by registration officers; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Tuesday 10th June 2014

A Bill to amend the Immigration Act 1971.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Lords
Monday 10th June 2013

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to raise the level of debt below which pre-paid meter customers may change their energy supplier; and for connected purposes;

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 5th September 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for a statutory right to an employment retention assessment to determine entitlement to a period of rehabilitation leave for newly disabled people and people whose existing impairments change; and for connected purposes

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 16th November 2010

1 Bill co-sponsored by Rob Roberts

Houses in Multiple Occupation Bill 2019-21
Sponsor - Ian Levy (Con)


106 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
21st Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish statistics on the number of words spoken in Cabinet meetings in the last 12 months broken down by individual.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet, and its Committees, is not normally shared publicly.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people are employed in (a) the civil service and (b) local government with a salary in excess of £160,000 as at 13 September 2021.

The latest available data centrally, as at 31 March 2021, shows there were 130 Civil Servants earning a full-time equivalent salary in excess of £160,000. Responsibility for employees of local government sits with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to provide a BSL interpreter on screen along with the Minister and others in all televised Downing Street briefings and press conferences.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 115575 answered on 19 November 2020 and PQs 39766 and 41529 answered on 4 May 2020.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to her Department's National semiconductor strategy, published on 19 May 2023, what steps she is taking to ensure adequate focus on manufacturing in the UK.

The Government has an ambitious strategy to build on the UK’s strengths in semiconductors to grow our sector, increase our resilience and protect our security.

To deliver our strategy we are investing to £200 million over the years 2023-25 and up to £1 billion in the next decade.

At the Spring Budget, the government announced a £500 million per year package of support for R&D intensive businesses through changes to R&D tax credits. In addition, the government also announced 'Full Expensing' - a £27billion business tax cut – which means the UK now has the joint most generous capital allowance regime of any major developed economy.

We understand that the semiconductor industry faces specific challenges, so we have also committed to announcing plans by the autumn to further support the competitiveness of the semiconductor manufacturing sector that is critical to the UK tech ecosystem or the UK’s national security.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what funding streams are available for the development of tidal lagoon projects.

The Government is open to considering well-developed tidal range proposals, provided that these proposals demonstrate energy system benefits, plausible environmental mitigation strategies, and clear value for money in the context of other renewables.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with Ofgem on levels of consumer debt in the domestic energy sector.

The government continues to work closely with Ofgem to improve outcomes for consumers with energy debts. Ofgem collects information from energy companies on average debt levels which can be sourced here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-data-and-research/data-portal/all-available-charts?keyword=debt&sort=relevance. Energy companies are required to follow Ofgem regulations to collect debt from customers. These rules include treating customers fairly by proactively contacting those in payment difficulty to establish an appropriate repayment plan based on the customer’s Ability to Pay, and making customers aware of debt advice services.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
21st Jul 2020
What steps his Department is taking to tackle climate change.

The UK has demonstrated that clean, green growth is absolutely possible.

Between 1990 and 2018 we grew our economy by 75 per cent, whilst cutting emissions by 43%.

In his Summer Statement, my Rt hon Friend, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer set out £3 billion pounds to improve the energy efficiency of homes and public buildings which will also support around 140,000 green jobs.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions her Department has had with international sporting bodies to help ensure that no major events take place in Russia following that country's invasion of Ukraine.

The Government strongly condemns Russia’s recent actions. Russia must not be allowed to exploit major sporting and cultural events on the world stage to seek to legitimise its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The international sporting community has a pivotal role to play in standing up to the illegitimacy of the Russian Government's actions. Our absolute objective is to ensure that international sporting events do not take place in Russia, and that Russian teams cannot compete internationally. The Government has been vocal on this issue and helped to ensure that sporting bodies, in this country and globally, have taken swift action.

In particular, my Rt Hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and I convened a forum of national governing bodies on 28 February to support them in their response to this unprovoked attack, and strongly encourage engagement with their International Federations. The Government is also engaging with international ministerial counterparts this week to help build a collective approach on these issues. This dialogue and has already resulted in numerous sports bodies moving events away from Russia, and being clear that Russian and Belarussian athletes cannot participate internationally.

We applaud and strongly support the sports who have already taken many steps to respond to our calls for what is right.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of PISA test scores.

The OECD’s PISA 2022 results showed that 15-year-old pupils in England performed above the OECD averages for all of reading, mathematics and science. While the pandemic has had an adverse impact on education across the world, and also affected the study, England was ranked 11th in maths and 13th in both reading and science – up from 27th in maths, 25th in reading and 16th in science in 2009.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the quality and affordability of (a) breakfast clubs, (b) after-school clubs and (c) childcare during school holidays.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

The department is committed to continuing our support for school breakfast clubs, announcing up to £24 million to continue our national programme until July 2023. This funding will support up to 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas, meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn.

The department understands that good-quality wraparound childcare has a positive impact on children’s outcomes. Research shows that participating in organised sports and joining after school clubs can help to improve children’s academic performance, as well as their social, emotional, and behavioural skills.

All schools are encouraged to make their facilities available for use by the wider community, and many schools already do so. To support with the costs of childcare, for example for the use of wraparound childcare such as afterschool clubs, working families can access support through Tax-Free Childcare, with up to £500 every three months for each child and rising to £1,000 every three months for families of disabled children. Working families may also be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs if they are eligible for Universal Credit. This is worth up to £646 for one child, and £1,108 for 2 or more children a month.

Children who are in receipt of free school meals are eligible for a free place on the holiday activities and food programme. Backed by more than £200 million available, we are providing access to healthy food and enriching activities during the longer school holiday periods for more than 600,000 children across the country.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps his Department has taken to promote physical literacy and competitive sport in (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) schools for children with special and other educational needs.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

The physical education (PE) national curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, are physically active for sustained periods of time and lead healthy and active lives. From key stage 1 to 4, pupils are expected to master various fundamental skills relating to physical education.

The PE and sport premium has supported primary schools to deliver high quality PE, sport and physical activity since 2013. We are also developing tailored support to improve the teaching of PE at primary school which, along with a programme to support schools to open up their facilities, will be funded by nearly £30 million a year.

The department funds secondary school initiatives to encourage diverse groups of pupils to take part in and enjoy sport. This includes the Girls Competitive Sport contract, worth up to £980,000 over the next three years, which aims to improve and increase opportunities for girls aged 8 to 16 to access competitive sport and sport leadership opportunities. The Inclusion 2024 grant provides practical support to schools to increase opportunities for disabled young people and those with special educational needs to engage in sport and physical activity.

To support schools to take part in competitive sport, the government has funded the School Games since 2010. The School Games reaches over 95% of schools in England supporting four distinct levels of competition in over 40 sports and activities to cater for different ability levels, intra-school, inter-school, county level and a National Finals. Many schools also take part in their own inter-school competitions and National Governing Bodies of Sport run school sports events.

16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to introduce an arts premium to fund enrichment activities in secondary schools.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

The department is committed to high-quality education for all pupils, and the arts and music are integral to this. With the significant impact of COVID-19 on children’s learning, the department’s priorities have been to focus on education recovery in the recent Spending Review. The government remains committed to the ambitions in the Plan for Cultural Education published in 2013 and will give consideration for a future arts premium in due course.

In recognition of the merit of these subjects and how they contribute to a broad and balanced education in and out of school settings, the department will continue to invest around £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next three years, through music, arts, and heritage programmes.

The above funding is on top of core schools funding. The department has already committed to a real-terms per pupils increase in core schools funding, amounting to a £7 billion increase in the 2024/25 financial year compared with the 2021/22 financial year and nearly £5 billion in education recovery. This should support state-funded schools to provide a broad, ambitious curriculum, which includes cultural education and the arts.

The department has also committed to the publication of a Cultural Education Plan in 2023, working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England.

16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many school places for children with Special Educational Needs his Department has made available in each of the (a) last and (b) next five years.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

The department does not collect or hold capacity data for special schools. As special schools sit outside the Admissions Code and mainstream admissions arrangements, there is currently no official methodology for determining a special school’s capacity. Furthermore, if a school is named in a pupil’s education, health and care plan, that school must admit that pupil without regard to the notional capacity of the school.

The statutory duty to provide sufficient school places sits with local authorities. This includes places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The government does not currently collect data centrally on available or planned SEND provision, but is continuing to work with local authorities to better understand demand for SEND provision as it considers how it can best support the sector going forwards.

In March 2022, the department announced high needs provision capital allocations amounting to over £1.4 billion of new investment. This funding is to support local authorities to deliver new places for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND or who require alternative provision. This funding forms part of the £2.6 billion the department is investing between 2022 and 2025 and represents a significant, transformational investment in new high needs provision.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of establishing a registration system similar to the General Medical Council's register of doctors for teachers in (a) state and (b) independent schools.

The Department has not and is not considering a return to a registration-based system for teachers in state maintained or independent schools. Whilst the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) does not maintain a register of teachers, it does maintain a list of qualified teachers and a list of those individuals prohibited from teaching work. Prospective employers in the state maintained and independent sector are able to verify instantly, via the TRA’s Teacher Services system, whether a teacher is qualified and/or is prohibited from teaching work as part of any recruitment process. Members of the public may check whether an individual is on the prohibited list via the TRA.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether catch-up educational services for primary school pupils will include financial education in the next academic year.

Financial education is taught as part of the national curriculum subjects of mathematics and citizenship. Due to the unprecedented challenges for schools caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government ensured that during the national lockdown restrictions, schools were given flexibility around the education they are providing to their pupils. The Department expected schools and teachers to use their professional judgement and knowledge of their pupils’ educational needs to plan appropriate content that enables education to continue.

Schools should resume teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum, in all subjects, from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package, including £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which is accessible here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the teaching of financial capability to children and young people as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Financial education is taught as part of the national curriculum subjects of mathematics and citizenship. Due to the unprecedented challenges for schools caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government ensured that during the national lockdown restrictions, schools were given flexibility around the education they are providing to their pupils. The Department expected schools and teachers to use their professional judgement and knowledge of their pupils’ educational needs to plan appropriate content that enables education to continue.

Schools should resume teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum, in all subjects, from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package, including £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which is accessible here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the provision of financial education for primary school aged children.

Financial education is taught as part of the national curriculum subjects of mathematics and citizenship. Due to the unprecedented challenges for schools caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government ensured that during the national lockdown restrictions, schools were given flexibility around the education they are providing to their pupils. The Department expected schools and teachers to use their professional judgement and knowledge of their pupils’ educational needs to plan appropriate content that enables education to continue.

Schools should resume teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum, in all subjects, from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package, including £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which is accessible here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

For the longer term, the Department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and HM Treasury to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

26th Nov 2020
What steps he is taking to support farmers.

The Agriculture Act will enable us to transform the way we support farmers. Our new policy will be centred around support aimed at incentivising sustainable farming practices. We will support farmers to produce high quality and nutritious food in a more sustainable way, improve transparency in the supply chain and help farmers to reduce their costs and improve their profitability. We will also help those who want to retire or leave the industry to do so with dignity and create new opportunities and support for new entrants coming into the industry.

In our 2019 manifesto we promised to maintain the current annual budget to farmers for the lifetime of this parliament. When we made this commitment in 2019, the total farm support provided to Welsh farmers that year was £337 million. For 2021/22, the UK government have therefore provided new exchequer funding on top of the remaining £95 million of EU funding to ensure that £337 million of support continues to go to Welsh farmers this year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his planned timeline is for the electrification of the north Wales coast line.

We are working closely with the rail industry to develop and deliver on the Government priorities outlined in the Prime Minister’s Network North announcement. We are in the early stages of planning the next steps, including delivery timelines, for the North Wales electrification scheme and will share further information when that work is complete.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Rail network enhancements pipeline spending for the (a) network in England and Wales and (b) Wales Route was in Control Periods (i) 4, (ii) 5 and (iii) 6; and what he expects that spending on that network and that Route to be in Control Periods (A) 7 and (B) 8.

For the purposes of this answer we have taken enhancements spending and Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) spending to be the same.

The RNEP came into effect at the start of CP6 and provides a pipeline approach to enhancements investment with projects taking incremental investment decisions, moving away from the control period cycle. This reflected a change in the way both Network Rail and enhancements were funded and governed following the reclassification of Network Rail in 2014. It is therefore challenging to provide a direct comparator across all Control Periods, and data for "Wales Route" is not available in a comparable format in the time available.

Using data taken from Network Rail's Regulatory Accounts the spend on enhancements for England and Wales in CP4 (2009/10 to 2013/14) was £10.9bn (in 2013/14 prices) and in CP5 (2014/15 to 2018/19) was £14.7bn (in cash prices).

The spend to date for CP6 (2019/20 to 2022/23) is £6.16bn, again as per Network Rail's Regulatory Accounts (in cash prices). The England and Wales enhancements budget for the remaining year of CP6 2023/24 is £2.11bn.

In line with the Chancellor's Autumn Statement 2022, we anticipate that our enhancements budget for England and Wales for the first 4 years of CP7 will be set at c.£8.52bn. Budgets beyond this point have not yet been set and will be subject to future Fiscal Events. As per the RNEP, the allocation of this budget to schemes will be subject to investment decisions on a per scheme basis not yet taken.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what he plans the enhancement spending for the (a) network in England and Wales and (b) Wales Route to be in Control Periods (i) 7 and (ii) 8.

For the purposes of this answer we have taken enhancements spending and Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) spending to be the same.

The RNEP came into effect at the start of CP6 and provides a pipeline approach to enhancements investment with projects taking incremental investment decisions, moving away from the control period cycle. This reflected a change in the way both Network Rail and enhancements were funded and governed following the reclassification of Network Rail in 2014. It is therefore challenging to provide a direct comparator across all Control Periods, and data for "Wales Route" is not available in a comparable format in the time available.

Using data taken from Network Rail's Regulatory Accounts the spend on enhancements for England and Wales in CP4 (2009/10 to 2013/14) was £10.9bn (in 2013/14 prices) and in CP5 (2014/15 to 2018/19) was £14.7bn (in cash prices).

The spend to date for CP6 (2019/20 to 2022/23) is £6.16bn, again as per Network Rail's Regulatory Accounts (in cash prices). The England and Wales enhancements budget for the remaining year of CP6 2023/24 is £2.11bn.

In line with the Chancellor's Autumn Statement 2022, we anticipate that our enhancements budget for England and Wales for the first 4 years of CP7 will be set at c.£8.52bn. Budgets beyond this point have not yet been set and will be subject to future Fiscal Events. As per the RNEP, the allocation of this budget to schemes will be subject to investment decisions on a per scheme basis not yet taken.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the enhancement spending for the (a) network in England and Wales and (b) Wales Route was in Control Periods (i) 4, (ii) 5 and (iii) 6.

For the purposes of this answer we have taken enhancements spending and Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) spending to be the same.

The RNEP came into effect at the start of CP6 and provides a pipeline approach to enhancements investment with projects taking incremental investment decisions, moving away from the control period cycle. This reflected a change in the way both Network Rail and enhancements were funded and governed following the reclassification of Network Rail in 2014. It is therefore challenging to provide a direct comparator across all Control Periods, and data for "Wales Route" is not available in a comparable format in the time available.

Using data taken from Network Rail's Regulatory Accounts the spend on enhancements for England and Wales in CP4 (2009/10 to 2013/14) was £10.9bn (in 2013/14 prices) and in CP5 (2014/15 to 2018/19) was £14.7bn (in cash prices).

The spend to date for CP6 (2019/20 to 2022/23) is £6.16bn, again as per Network Rail's Regulatory Accounts (in cash prices). The England and Wales enhancements budget for the remaining year of CP6 2023/24 is £2.11bn.

In line with the Chancellor's Autumn Statement 2022, we anticipate that our enhancements budget for England and Wales for the first 4 years of CP7 will be set at c.£8.52bn. Budgets beyond this point have not yet been set and will be subject to future Fiscal Events. As per the RNEP, the allocation of this budget to schemes will be subject to investment decisions on a per scheme basis not yet taken.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what he expects the operations, maintenance and renewal spending for the (a) network in England and Wales and (b) Wales Route to be in Control Periods (i) 7 and (ii) 8.

Government provided £44.1 billion for rail operations, maintenance and renewals spending in England and Wales in Control Period 7. This settlement, a 4% real-terms increase on the current settlement, was published on 1 December 2022.

The quantum of funding within this that will be allocated towards spend in Wales remains subject to the completion of the independent regulator’s (the Office of Rail and Road) Final Determination, expected later this year.

The settlement for Control Period 8 will be finalised via the Periodic Review 2028 process which will commence during Control Period 7 (which begins in April 2024).

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of 20 April 2023 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Official Report, column 366, what estimate he has made of the timescale for the electrification of the north Wales Mainline.

In the Transport Decarbonisation Plan the government committed to deliver a net zero rail network by 2050. To do so we will electrify additional lines and deploy battery and hydrogen trains on lines where it makes economic and operational sense.

In relation to individual railway routes, the Great British Railways Transition Team will bring forward costed decarbonisation options for Government to carefully consider in terms of overall deliverability and affordability. No decision has yet been taken on the North Wales Mainline.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of 20 April 2023 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Official Report, column 366, what progress his Department has made on the recommendations of the Union Connectivity Review on improving connectivity between North Wales and North West England on (a) the A55 and (b) the North Wales Coast Main Line.

Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill’s independent Union Connectivity Review recognised the importance of transport connectivity right across our United Kingdom.

I recently visited Wales to meet stakeholders and visit a wide range of transport connectivity projects. I am committed to improving transport via all modes to ensure that opportunity is available to all in every part of our United Kingdom.

My department is working collaboratively with the Welsh Government to consider Lord Hendy’s recommendations and develop options for improving transport connectivity in North Wales. The UK Government will respond to Lord Hendy’s Review as soon as possible.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of 20 April 2023 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Official Report, column 366, whether he has had discussions with the Welsh Government on what steps it is taking to upgrade the A55.

As the member will be aware, road infrastructure in Wales, including delivering improvements to the A55, is the responsibility of the Welsh Government.

The UK Government remains committed to working collaboratively with the Welsh Government, including in devolved areas, to improve transport.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much has been spent on heavy rail infrastructure in (a) England and (b) Wales in each of the last five years up to and including the 2022-23 financial year.

Between 2018-19 and 2021-22, £46.7bn was invested on High Speed Two infrastructure; Network Rail Operations, Maintenance and Renewals; and the Rail Network Enhancements Portfolio. Figures are sourced from DfT and NR published accounts and Network Rail reporting is consolidated for England and Wales. By its nature, expenditure on the railway in any one particular part of the country is likely to also benefit passengers from outside that immediate area who use that railway.

An annual breakdown is included in the table below:

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

10.3

10.0

12.0

14.4

*Figures are in £billions, in nominal prices


** Rail Network Enhancements Portfolio figures do not include 3rd party-funded delivery


*** 2022-23 outturn data is provisional and excluded

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on implementing the recommendations of the Union Connectivity Review.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Department for Transport officials and I have regular discussions with colleagues across Government about Lord Hendy’s of Richmond Hill’s independent Union Connectivity Review. We are engaging with the devolved administrations and with other stakeholders to consider his recommendations and will publish our response as soon as is practicable.

I also recently made visits across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to meet with key stakeholders and visit a wide variety of transport connectivity projects.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps she has taken to increase (a) the number of driving instructors and (b) practical driving test availability.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) licenses approved driving instructors for them to provide paid tuition.

To help increase practical driving test availability, the DVSA is recruiting more than 300 driving examiners across Great Britain. The DVSA’s examiner recruitment campaigns continue to be successful but, like many employers, the DVSA is finding the job market extremely competitive. As it moves through each recruitment campaign, the DVSA will continually review and make changes and improvements to its recruitment and selection process, and training courses.

The DVSA is working hard to provide as many practical driving test appointments as it can, with several measures in place to do this.

These include:

  • offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to driving examiners;
  • asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests where capacity allows;
  • conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends); and
  • resuming the number of driving tests per day to seven for each full-time examiner.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to electrify the entirety of the North Wales train line.

There are currently no plans to electrify the North Wales Coast Line.

The Department has funded extensive development work, through a series of Strategic Outline Business Cases (SOBCs) announced at the Autumn 2017 Budget, to identify where further investment into the Welsh rail network could make a real difference to the people and economy of Wales. Based on the findings of the SOBCs, we are taking enhancement proposals, including journey time improvements along the North Wales Coast Main Line between Llandudno and Chester, through the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline (RNEP), subject to a better understanding and assurance of likely costs.

In addition, the Network Rail-led Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy is developing costed options about the use of electrification and new technologies. This work is a priority for the Department and for Network Rail. It will conclude this year to inform Government decisions about the scale and pace of further rail decarbonisation as part of our Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has for Crewe to be added to the High Speed Two line upon completion of existing plans.

Crewe is already a hub on the existing rail network and current plans will see passengers benefitting from an HS2 interchange, with shorter journey times to London and improved cross-country connectivity.

The Government response to the Crewe Hub consultation confirmed its support for the ‘Crewe Hub’ vision, with up to 5-7 HS2 trains per hour stopping. We continue to work with Network Rail, HS2 and local partners towards realising this vision.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to electrify the Shrewsbury to Chester via Wrexham route.

Since 2010 we have delivered significant electrification to the rail network, delivering benefits for rail users and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Network Rail-led Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy is currently examining whether electrification or new technologies are the better option where diesel trains currently run. This work, which will conclude this year, will inform decisions about electrification or use of new technologies on all parts of the network.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure better connectivity along the North Wales to Chester train line.

The Department has funded extensive development work, through a series of Strategic Outline Business Cases (SOBCs) announced at the Autumn 2017 Budget, to identify where further investment into the Welsh rail network could make a real difference to the people and economy of Wales. Based on the findings of the SOBCs, we are taking enhancement proposals, including journey time improvements along the North Wales Coast Main Line between Llandudno and Chester, through the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline (RNEP), subject to a better understanding and assurance of likely costs.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to improve the connectivity along the Chester to Crewe train line.

As part of its Continuous Modular Strategic Planning work on long term strategy for the rail network, Network Rail is currently developing a proposal to assess what is required to support future rail enhancements planned for the West and Wales area, focusing on the railway hubs of Crewe, Chester and Warrington.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have an outstanding overpayment of benefits as of 15 November 2023; what the value of those overpayments is; and how many of those cases are the result of an error by his Department.

The number of people with outstanding benefit overpayments recoverable by DWP and the total value of those debts as at 16 November 2023 is set out below:

Volume of Customers

2.765m

Outstanding Debt Value

£7.060bn

*The data provided has been extracted from internal DWP management information and has therefore not been subject to the same quality assurance checks applied to our published official statistics.

As all overpayments of certain welfare benefits are recoverable in law, irrespective of how they occurred, there is no requirement to categorise departmental error in all cases and we cannot therefore provide this information.

Our latest full estimates on fraud and error can be found at Fraud and error in the benefit system Financial Year Ending (FYE) 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an estimate of (a) the cost to the public purse of increasing the State Pension paid to UK pensioners resident overseas to the level it would have been had it increased in line with inflation in each year since 2010 and (b) the cost to the public purse of continuing to increase the State Pension paid to UK pensioners resident overseas in line with inflation in each year between 2023 and 2030, starting from that value.

UK State Pensions are payable worldwide and up-rated overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so. The policy on up-rating UK State Pensions overseas is long-standing and has been supported by successive post-war Governments for over 70 years.

In response to (a): No recent assessment has been made of the annual cost of uprating the UK State Pension to UK pensioners living abroad.

In response to (b): The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average amount of state pension paid to individuals who live outside the UK is; and if he will provide a breakdown of the average state pension payment in each country in which recipients reside.

In November 2020, the average (mean) amount of State Pension paid to individuals who live outside the UK was £70.61 per week.

Table 1. Average Amount of State Pension paid to individuals who live outside the UK, November 2020

Residency

Mean Weekly State Pension Amount

Outside United Kingdom

£ 70.61

Source: Stat-Xplore - Home (dwp.gov.uk)

Below is a table of the average (mean) amount of State Pension paid to individuals who live outside the UK, broken down by country of residence, in November 2020.

Table 2. Average Amount of State Pension by Country of Residence, November 2020

Country of Residence

Mean Weekly State Pension Amount

Abroad - Not known

£ 112.62

Albania

£ 110.57

Alderney

£ 126.99

Algeria

£ 62.41

Andorra

£ 94.96

Anguilla

£ 64.93

Antigua

£ 74.02

Argentina

£ 65.18

Aruba

£ 60.29

Ascension Island

£ 91.68

Australia

£ 50.09

Austria

£ 49.24

Azerbaijan

£ 166.77

Bahamas

£ 66.64

Bahrain

£ 97.27

Bangladesh

£ 39.49

Barbados

£ 116.97

Belarus

£ 111.17

Belgium

£ 63.62

Belize

£ 85.01

Bermuda

£ 81.36

Bolivia

£ 106.19

Bosnia and Herzegovina

£ 73.12

Botswana

£ 75.98

Brazil

£ 81.20

Brunei

£ 121.78

Bulgaria

£ 122.47

Burkina Faso

£ 54.09

Cambodia

£ 119.76

Cameroon

£ 58.81

Canada

£ 46.34

Cape Verde

£ 52.18

Cayman Islands

£ 89.42

Chile

£ 72.13

China

£ 96.39

Colombia

£ 89.09

Cook Islands

£ 57.92

Costa Rica

£ 81.75

Cyprus

£ 122.54

Denmark

£ 58.40

Dom Commonwealth (Dominica)

£ 77.73

Dominican Republic

£ 107.52

Dutch Caribbean

£ 67.76

Ecuador

£ 85.95

Egypt

£ 78.64

El Salvador

£ 80.36

Equatorial Guinea

£ 142.11

Ethiopia

£ 88.34

Falkland Islands and Dependencies

£ 85.64

Faroe Islands

£ 33.01

Fiji

£ 73.66

Finland

£ 58.89

France

£ 113.52

French Overseas Departments

£ 84.34

French Polynesia

£ 55.84

Gambia

£ 91.46

Germany

£ 46.48

Ghana

£ 56.69

Gibraltar

£ 100.77

Greece

£ 109.44

Greenland

£ 23.21

Grenada

£ 77.33

Guam

£ 83.49

Guatemala

£ 77.73

Guernsey

£ 84.86

Guyana

£ 60.60

Honduras

£ 79.02

Hong Kong

£ 85.42

Hungary

£ 102.32

Iceland

£ 71.68

India

£ 50.10

Indonesia

£ 106.53

Iran

£ 70.85

Iraq

£ 64.11

Ireland

£ 66.41

Isle of Man

£ 127.85

Israel

£ 101.27

Italy

£ 56.79

Jamaica

£ 116.05

Japan

£ 46.97

Jersey

£ 70.02

Jordan

£ 67.90

Kazakhstan

£ 124.13

Kenya

£ 79.34

Kuwait

£ 103.54

Kyrgyzstan

£ 76.07

Laos

£ 100.66

Lebanon

£ 88.20

Lesotho

£ 59.64

Liechtenstein

£ 28.62

Luxembourg

£ 83.34

Macau

£ 77.52

Madagascar

£ 62.23

Malawi

£ 71.90

Malaysia

£ 77.87

Malta

£ 104.22

Mauritius

£ 108.25

Mexico

£ 74.98

Moldova

£ 124.94

Monaco

£ 111.96

Montserrat

£ 65.67

Morocco

£ 75.51

Mozambique

£ 74.56

Myanmar

£ 84.84

Namibia

£ 70.17

Nepal

£ 63.99

Netherlands

£ 55.81

Nevis, St Kitts-Nevis

£ 75.56

New Caledonia

£ 79.61

New Zealand

£ 46.44

Nicaragua

£ 79.72

Nigeria

£ 27.65

Norfolk Island

£ 55.18

North Macedonia

£ 24.20

Norway

£ 58.24

Oman

£ 89.53

Pakistan

£ 48.74

Panama

£ 96.96

Papua New Guinea

£ 75.49

Paraguay

£ 68.41

Peru

£ 88.02

Philippines

£ 138.86

Poland

£ 59.39

Portugal

£ 119.47

Puerto Rico

£ 77.32

Qatar

£ 113.55

Republic of Croatia

£ 62.10

Republic of Estonia

£ 78.98

Republic of Georgia

£ 129.54

Republic of Latvia

£ 68.34

Republic of Lithuania

£ 42.71

Republic of Slovenia

£ 60.38

Romania

£ 99.40

Russia

£ 85.51

Saint Helena & Dependencies

£ 89.27

San Marino

£ 29.33

Sark

£ 117.68

Saudi Arabia

£ 86.88

Senegal

£ 74.13

Serbia

£ 123.58

Seychelles

£ 79.10

Sierra Leone

£ 52.66

Singapore

£ 89.20

Solomon Islands

£ 79.08

Somalia

£ 44.20

South Africa

£ 56.52

South Korea

£ 41.69

Spain

£ 120.61

Sri Lanka

£ 59.98

St Lucia

£ 76.63

St Vincent & Grenadines

£ 80.10

State Union of Serbia and Montenegro

£ 53.44

Sudan

£ 71.27

Suriname

£ 151.95

Swaziland

£ 79.26

Sweden

£ 57.52

Switzerland

£ 51.98

Syria

£ 63.61

Tahiti

£ 77.00

Taiwan

£ 105.85

Tanzania

£ 87.61

Thailand

£ 119.10

The Czech Republic

£ 92.30

The Slovak Republic

£ 49.82

Togo

£ 50.10

Tonga

£ 73.36

Tours (Individuals on Tour)

£ 133.34

Trinidad & Tobago

£ 55.37

Tunisia

£ 88.16

Turkey

£ 132.24

Turks and Caicos Islands

£ 118.32

Uganda

£ 88.33

Ukraine

£ 115.86

United Arab Emirates

£ 107.46

United States

£ 74.19

United States Minor Outlying Islands

£ 75.89

Uruguay

£ 77.74

Vanuatu

£ 85.86

Venezuela

£ 67.62

Vietnam

£ 125.09

Virgin Islands (British)

£ 91.77

Virgin Islands (USA)

£ 72.74

Western Samoa

£ 34.12

Yemen

£ 42.90

Zambia

£ 75.67

Zimbabwe

£ 48.98

Source: Stat-Xplore - Home (dwp.gov.uk)

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many individuals in receipt of state pension outside the UK reside in (a) a Commonwealth and (b) a non-Commonwealth country.

There are around 465,000 individuals who are in receipt of State Pension who reside in a Commonwealth country (excluding the UK) and there are around 688,000 individuals who are in receipt of State Pension who reside in a non-Commonwealth Country.

Table 1. The number of individuals who are in receipt of the UK State Pension and reside outside the UK, grouped by whether they live in a Commonwealth or non-Commonwealth country, November 2020

Country Type

Number of Individuals in receipt of State Pension

Commonwealth (Exl UK)

465,000

Non-Commonwealth

688,000

*Rounded to the nearest 1000

Source: Stat-Xplore - Home (dwp.gov.uk)

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress his Department has made on the implementation of pension dashboards.

The Government has made significant progress in implementing pensions dashboards, working in close collaboration with key delivery partners including the Pensions Dashboards Programme which is part of the Money and Pensions Service, the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Following extensive consultation with industry and other interested parties, the Department laid the draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022, in Parliament on 17 October 2022. This was an important milestone, setting out detailed requirements for occupational pension schemes and for organisations seeking to provide a qualifying pensions dashboard service. The Regulations were subsequently approved in Parliament on 16 November 2022 and are due to come into force this winter. Alongside this, the Financial Conduct Authority intends to publish final rules for personal and stakeholder pensions shortly and The Pensions Regulator is providing support to help schemes meet their connection deadlines, including through guidance and writing to schemes at least 12 months ahead of their deadline.

The Pensions Dashboards Programme is responsible for delivering the digital architecture that will make dashboards work. They published their latest progress report on 26 October 2022 outlining key milestones and next steps, such as finalising a suite of operational and technical standards for dashboards. The Programme intends to consult on design standards this winter. The PDP has consulted on the data, technical, code of connection, and reporting standards relating to dashboards and will publish a response later this year. The overall delivery timetable remains on track with the Programme focused on building and testing the digital architecture to enable the first cohort of schemes to connect from April 2023.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken in this Parliament to help disabled people get into work and close the disability employment gap.

A range of DWP initiatives are supporting disabled people and people with health conditions to live independent lives and start, stay and succeed in work. These include the Work and Health Programme, the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident. and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services.

Over the next three years we will invest £1.3bn in employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions.

In 2017 the Government set a goal to see one million more disabled people in employment between 2017 and 2027. The latest figures released for Q1 2022 show that between Q1 2017 and Q1 2022 the number of disabled people in employment increased by 1.3m – meaning the goal has been met after only five years.

The disability employment gap was 28.2 percentage points in Q1 2022. This is a decrease of 0.2 percentage points on the year, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points since Q1 2020 and an overall decrease of 5.6 percentage points since the same quarter in 2014.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps her Department has taken to reduce the level of child poverty across the UK.

The latest available data on in-work poverty shows that in 2019/20, children in households where all adults were in work were around six times less likely to be in absolute poverty (before housing costs) than children in a household where nobody works.   Compared with 2010, there are nearly 1 million fewer workless households and almost 540,000 fewer children living in workless households in the UK. Since 2010, there are also 200,000 fewer children in absolute poverty before housing costs.

This Government is committed to reducing child poverty and supporting low-income families, and believes work is the best route out of poverty.  With a record 1.3 million vacancies across the UK, our focus is firmly on supporting people to move into and progress in work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment - particularly where it is full-time – in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children.

Our multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs has protected, supported and created jobs across the country. This includes our Way to Work campaign, which between January 31 and June 21, we estimate has seen at least 485,000 unemployed Universal Credit claimants have moved into work.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps her Department has taken to ensure that there are appropriate sanctions for people who commit benefit fraud.

On 19 May 2022, we published our plan for Fighting Fraud in the Welfare System, setting out how the Department will root out existing fraud in the system and prevent new fraudulent claims being made. The £600 million plan will boost the counter-fraud frontline with 2000 additional staff, and is estimated to save taxpayers £2 billion over three years.

The plan also outlines a range of additional strong measures that we intend to introduce, when Parliamentary time allows, to future proof our work tackle fraud and error. This includes the commitment to introduce a new civil penalty for cases of fraud which can be applied where cases meet a civil burden of proof, sitting below criminal fraud but above error.

This action will ensure that fewer people escape punishment when they have committed wrongdoing, and that the consequence reflects the cost to the taxpayers.

DWP has a published penalty policy [Penalties policy: in respect of social security fraud and error - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)), which sets out the range of penalties currently available for benefit fraud. This includes financial penalties, prosecution, loss of benefit penalties and seeking redress through proceeds of crime.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has had recent discussions with (a) officials in her Department and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of a temporary uplift to disability benefits in order to support people with disabilities with the rising cost of living in the context of those people potentially having to power specialist machinery and equipment as a result of their needs.

I meet regularly with Ministers and officials from across Government to discuss a wide range of issues related to support for disabled people, including rising costs.

The government has announced a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23. This includes:

  • A £200 discount on their energy bill this Autumn for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain. This will be paid back automatically over the next 5 years.
  • A £150 non-repayable Council Tax Rebate payment for all households that are liable for Council Tax in Bands A-D in England.
  • £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax Rebate.

28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answers of 20 November to Questions 2738 and 2739 on Intensive Care: Hospital Beds and Hospital Beds respectively, if she will make a comparative estimate of the number of NHS acute hospital beds (a) available and (b) required in winter 2023-24; how many and what proportion of the 5,000 additional beds that were promised have been deployed; and what her planned timeframe is for the deployment of the remainder of the 5,000 beds in each constituency.

Published data from NHS England shows that there were 99,067 total general and acute (G&A) beds available in October 2023, including 96,781 core beds and 2,285 escalation beds.

Our Delivery Plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services set the ambition to increase the core G&A bed base by 5,000 permanent staffed beds in 2023/24 compared to planned levels for 2022/23. This would increase the number of core beds to 99,500. As of October, the National Health Service has delivered 2,281 additional core beds. NHS England continues to work with local systems and trusts to deliver this ambition this winter.

G&A bed numbers are expected to peak in January 2024 in response to expected demand. A breakdown of these additional beds by constituency is not available centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS England publication of 20 January 2023 entitled Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services, what his planned timetable is for delivering 5,000 additional permanent beds; and what steps the Government is taking to progress delivery of those additional beds.

Our Delivery Plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services set the ambition to increase the core general and acute bed base, above originally planned 2022/23 levels, by 5,000 sustainable, permanent beds in 2023/24. This takes the funded core bed base to over 99,000. NHS England in continuing to work with local systems and trusts to deliver this ambition.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of hospital beds for acute treatment.

Our Delivery Plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services set the ambition to increase the core general and acute bed base, above originally planned 2022/23 levels, by 5,000 sustainable, permanent beds in 2023/24. This takes the funded core bed base to over 99,000. NHS England in continuing to work with local systems and trusts to deliver this ambition.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many nightingale hospitals were constructed during the covid-19 pandemic; and what the total cost was of those facilities.

There were seven temporary Nightingale hospitals constructed during financial year 2020/21 and the total cost for the Nightingale hospital programme in that year was £362 million.

23rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any mechanisms exist to allow the Government to intervene in devolved health matters if it believes there is a significant risk to patient health.

Broadly, healthcare is devolved and it is the responsibility of the Devolved Governments to ensure the safety of patients accessing health services.

The Parliament of the United Kingdom retains the power to legislate in devolved areas and would usually do so with the consent of Devolved Governments. Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, there are reserved emergency powers to make regulations when an emergency is declared within the terms defined in the Act, which include protecting human life, health and safety or treating human illness or injury.

7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government's commitment to build 40 new hospitals, where those hospitals will be located.

The locations of the announced schemes in the New Hospital Programme, along with hospital upgrades and other investment in equipment and technology, are available at the following link:

https://engage.dhsc.gov.uk/nhs-recovery/buildings/

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with counterparts abroad about ensuring that the standards of nursing education in their countries meet the requirements of the NHS; and what recent discussions he has had with the Nursing and Midwifery Council on their acceptance of the qualifications of foreign nurses applying to work in the NHS.

There have been no recent discussions. As the independent regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council define the requirements for overseas nurses applying to work in the United Kingdom.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 20 June 2022 to Question 19015 on Medical Treatments: Innovation, if his Department will take steps to help ensure that research and data collected by the (a) Innovative Medicines Fund and (b) Cancer Drugs Fund will be shared with NHS bodies in the devolved legislatures.

There are existing mechanisms in place where the outcomes of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) and the Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) are available to the devolved administrations. Medicines funded through the CDF and subsequently from the IMF are re-appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to determine whether the products can be routinely funded by the National Health Service, including with evidence generated through the CDF and IMF. NICE publishes the papers considered by its appraisal committees online, including the outcomes from data collected through the CDF and IMF on outstanding clinical uncertainties.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made on its stated commitment that no person needing care should be forced to sell their home to pay for it.

From October 2023, the new £86,000 cap and higher capital limits will mean that more people will be able to preserve more of their assets if they need care.

When assessing the contribution towards care, housing assets are only considered if the individual is receiving care in a residential home and no eligible adult continues to live in the residence. Where accessing these assets is required to pay for care, a Deferred Payment Agreement is available, with any costs deducted from the estate after death. This will ensure that no-one will need to sell their home to pay for their care in their lifetime.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department has allocated for dementia research in each of the (a) last and (b) next five years.

The Department funds research on dementia through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Between 2017/18 and 2021/22, the NIHR allocated over £42 million in funding for dementia research. The following table shows the funding allocated to dementia research in each of the last five years.

2017/18

£7.7 million

2018/19

£3.1 million

2019/20

£7.8 million

2020/21

£11.8 million

2021/22

£11.9 million

Information on expenditure through the NIHR’s infrastructure is not held in the format requested.

The Government has committed to invest £375 million in neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years to fund projects into a range of diseases including dementia. However, it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics, therefore the information requested on funding dementia research for the next five years is not currently held. The NIHR relies on researchers submitting high-quality applications to access funding.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many clinical jobs there are in the NHS; what proportion of those jobs are staffed by overseas workers; and how many vacancies in clinical roles there are, as of 15 June 2022. .

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England, but not staff working in primary care or in general practice surgeries, local authorities or other providers. The information requested as of 15 June 2022 is not currently held. However, as of December 2021, there were 642,560 full-time equivalent (FTE) professionally qualified clinical staff working in National Health Service trusts and CCGs. This includes 127,959 doctors and 339,942 nurses, midwives and health visitors.

The following table shows the FTE number and proportion of professionally qualified clinical staff by self-reported nationality as at December 2021. Nationality does not imply that workers were trained or previously worked overseas.

Staff group

Total FTE

Number of staff with non-United Kingdom nationalities

Proportion of staff with non-UK nationalities

Professionally qualified clinical staff

642,560

133,848

20.8%

Including:

Ambulance staff

18,042

1,199

6.6%

HCHS doctors

127,959

40,660

31.8%

Scientific, therapeutic and technical staff

156,617

17,708

11.3%

Nurses, midwives and health visitors

339,942

74,281

21.9%

Source: NHS Digital Workforce Statistics

NHS Digital publishes quarterly vacancy data collected by NHS England and NHS Improvement for NHS hospital trusts for three staff groups: doctors, registered nurses and ‘other staff’. The following table shows the number of FTE nursing vacancies and medical vacancies as of March 2022. Many of the vacancies will be filled by bank and agency staff.

Nursing

38,972

Medical

8,016

Other staff

58,867

Total workforce

105,855

Source: NHS Digital Vacancy Statistics

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made in supporting the development of new treatments for serious diseases, including through the Cancer Drugs Fund; and what future plans he has to support the development of such treatments through (a) the Cancer Drugs Fund and (b) the Innovative Medicines Fund.

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) supports patient access to the most promising new licensed cancer medicines and has benefitted more than 80,000 patients, with funding provided for 96 medicines treating 218 different cancers. We are providing £340 million for the Innovative Medicines Fund (IMF) will support early access for National Health Service patients to new non-cancer medicines while further evidence is collected to address clinical uncertainty. This data will inform a future National Institute for Care and Health Excellence assessment of whether the medicine is cost effective. In addition, the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway and Project Orbis will support the rapid introduction of effective new medicines for the benefit of NHS patients.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help people tackle gambling addictions.

The Department has responsibility for the treatment of gambling-related harms in England. The NHS Long Term Plan announced the creation of 15 specialist gambling clinics in England by 2023/24 to treat those experiencing severe gambling addiction. Five clinics are in operation, with a further three sites expected to open this year. NHS England intend to undertake one selection exercise for the location of the remaining seven clinics. This is expected to commence in July 2022, with all clinics to mobilise during Quarter 4 of 2022/23.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will shortly publish a white paper on proposals for gambling reform across Great Britain.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to make it easier for people with (a) learning disabilities and (b) autism to be discharged from hospital.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to achieving at least a 50% reduction in the number of people with a learning disability and autistic people who are inpatients in mental health hospitals by March 2024. In 2022/23, we are investing more than £90 million in community services and support for discharges in England for people with a learning disability and autistic people. This includes £21 million for the Community Discharge Grant.

The Building the Right Support programme aims to strengthening community support and reduce reliance on specialist inpatient care in mental health hospitals. We will publish an action plan for the programme as soon as possible.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made on its commitment to extend healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035.

We will set out a strategy to address the causes of health inequalities in the health disparities white paper, which we expect to publish later this year.

13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many non-clinical vacancies exist in the NHS with salary expectations in excess of £160,000 per annum as at 13 September 2021. .

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are employed by the NHS in a non-clinical capacity with a salary in excess of £160,000 as at 13 September 2021.

NHS Digital produces information on staff earnings in the hospital and community health sector which covers staff working for hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England but does not cover the independent sector, social care or primary care. There were 383 staff with total earnings of at least £160,000 in National Health Service infrastructure support in the period April 2020 to March 2021, which is the latest data available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the level of overseas applicants for clinical positions in relation to demand.

Information on the number of overseas applicants to clinical positions is not collected centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the number of clinical vacancies across the NHS; and what steps he is taking to increase recruitment accordingly.

The latest data for June 2021 shows that there are over 38,900 nursing and midwifery vacancies almost 9,700 doctor vacancies. Some of these vacancies will be filled by bank and agency staff.

We are recruiting 50,000 more nurses in this Parliament and supporting record numbers of people to enter medical and nursing training programmes. Alongside this the NHS Retention Programme is continuously seeking to understand why staff leave, resulting in targeted interventions to support staff to stay in the National Health Service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of taking steps with the Home Secretary to waive the fees for overseas NHS workers applying for (a) indefinite leave to remain and (b) British citizenship with a caveat that those fees would become payable should those workers subsequently leave the employment of the NHS.

We have made no specific assessment. However, we value and welcome the contribution of all overseas staff to the National Health Service and have introduced the Health and Care Visa, exempting overseas staff from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge and offering free and automatic visa extensions for those that were due to expire between 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the effect of the National Security Law on the people of Hong Kong.

The enactment and imposition by China of national security legislation for Hong Kong constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. It violates the high degree of autonomy of executive and legislative powers and independent judicial authority, provided for in the Joint Declaration.

We are also deeply concerned by the arrest of Jimmy Lai, and other individuals, in Hong Kong. Freedom of the press is explicitly guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Basic Law, and supposedly protected under Article 4 of the National Security Law. The arrests are further evidence that the National Security Law is being used to silence opposition. The Hong Kong authorities must uphold the rights and freedoms provided for in the Joint Declaration.

Following the enactment of the national security legislation, the Foreign Secretary announced on 20 July that the UK would take clear action in response, including offering a new immigration path for British Nationals (Overseas), suspending the UK’s extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and extending our arms embargo on mainland China to Hong Kong.

The Foreign Secretary set out concerns to State Councillor/Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, on 8 June and 28 July. FCO officials have raised recent arrests with the Hong Kong authorities over recent weeks, including with members of the Executive Council and the President of the Legislative Council.

We will continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their freedoms, and to hold China to their international obligations.

11th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2024 to Question 8220 on Inflation, what specific (a) fiscal and (b) other steps he has taken to help reduce inflation; and what the outcome of each of those steps was.

There are four key things the government has done to reduce inflation:

  1. Remaining steadfast in our support for the Bank of England as it takes action to return inflation sustainably to the 2% target.
  2. Keeping borrowing under control. Borrowing is lower this year and next than it was forecast to be in the Spring.
  3. Introducing ambitious supply-side measures to support non-inflationary growth, including delivering full expensing.
  4. Boosting labour supply. Labour market conditions are a key problem affecting UK businesses’ growth, as well as a significant driver of domestic inflation. Together, the packages at Autumn Statement and Spring Budget 2023 were the two largest increases to labour supply and potential GDP resulting from policy the OBR has ever scored.

The OBR confirms policies in the Autumn Statement reduce inflation next year and do not “have a material impact on the path of inflation” over the scorecard.

Inflation has more than halved, but it remains a challenge. The OBR forecasts inflation to return to the 2% target in the first half of 2025 and helping the Bank of England in its fight to do so remains a key focus.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Oral Statement of 22 November 2023 on the Autumn Statement, column 325, what assessment his Department has made of how much each of the steps he is taking has contributed to the reduction in inflation.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing forecasts for the UK economy, including making assessments of the impacts that Government policies have on inflation.

The full EFO can be seen here: Economic and fiscal outlook – November 2023 - Office for Budget Responsibility (obr.uk)

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the difference is between the amount of Government revenue collected from sources in Wales and the amount of funding provided by the Government to the Welsh Government in each of the last five financial years.

All Government revenue collected from sources in Wales in the five years up to the financial year ending 2022 is set out in the Country and regional public sector finances revenue tables published by the Office for National Statistics[1].

Funding provided by the UK Government to the Welsh Government over the past five years is set out in the Block Grant Transparency publication. This publication is updated regularly and the most recent update was published in July 2023.

[1] Country and regional public sector finances revenue tables - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made with Cabinet colleagues of the average cost for each household of (a) taxes and (b) other levies that support net zero policies.

The energy price cap is currently set to £1,923 and is made up of different costs, for example the wholesale cost of gas and electricity, costs to supply energy on the network and VAT. This includes environmental and social costs (“green levies”) worth approximately £170 per year for the typical household.

Environmental and social costs play an important role in reducing energy costs by supporting investment in renewables and helping to reduce our exposure to global price volatility – the key driver of high energy bills.

Taxes are important in delivering our environmental policy objectives, with several taxes designed to encourage businesses and consumers to make greener choices, such as Landfill Tax and the Climate Change Levy.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to close the pension benefits loophole affecting workers with net pay pension schemes who earn between £10,000 and £12,500.

At Autumn Budget 2021, the government announced that it will introduce a system to make top-up payments in respect of contributions made in 2024-25 onwards directly to low-earning individuals saving in a pension scheme using a Net Pay Arrangement. These top-ups will help to better align outcomes with equivalent savers saving into a pension scheme using Relief at Source. An estimated 1.2 million individuals could benefit by an average of £53 a year. The government will set out more detail on the implementation of this policy in due course.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has had recent discussions with relevant stakeholders on the potential merits of a temporary reduction in fuel duty.

In recognition of high prices at the pump and the fact that fuel represents a major cost for households and businesses, including the haulage sector, the Chancellor announced at the Autumn Budget 2021 that fuel duty would remain frozen for a twelfth consecutive year.

A freeze already represents a cut in real terms, providing savings for consumers worth almost £8 billion over the next five years.

All taxes, including fuel duty, remain under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much VAT was collected from domestic (a) electricity and (b) gas bills in each of the last five years.

HMRC does not hold information on VAT revenue from specific products or services because businesses are not required to provide figures at a product level on their VAT returns, as this would impose an excessive administrative burden.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the potential merits of establishing an exemption process for freelance workers who will be subject to forthcoming IR35 legislation.

The changes to the off-payroll working rules come into effect on 6 April 2021. The changes do not introduce a new tax liability. They ensure that the current rules, which have been in place since 2000, are applied correctly and complied with as originally intended.

The rules only apply to individuals who are working like employees under the current employment status tests, and do not apply to the self-employed. It is fair that two individuals working in a similar way pay broadly the same tax and NICs, even if one of them works through their own company.

Establishing exemptions for a certain group of taxpayers, regardless of whether they are working like employees under existing employment status law, would undermine the key principle of the rules that individuals working in a similar way should pay a similar amount of tax.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what was the cost to the public purse of accommodating unprocessed asylum seekers in hotels in the most recent week for which data is available.

Under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999, the Home Office has a statutory obligation to house asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, whilst their claim is under consideration. The cost for hotel rooms has now reached £6 million a day. The enduring solution is to stop the boats and that’s why we have brought forward the Immigration bill.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to (a) help tackle unauthorised encampments established by travellers, (b) introduce new powers for the police to seize (i) vehicles and (ii) other property owned by people who trespass and (c) make intentional trespass a criminal offence.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, which received Royal Assent in April, strengthened the police’s powers to arrest and seize the vehicles and other property of those who set up unauthorised encampments and cause damage, disruption or distress.

The measures also extend the powers of the police to direct trespassers to leave land.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has taken recent steps to strengthen the accountability of Police and Crime Commissioners; what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Police and Crime Commissioner position since it was established; and if she will make a statement.

In March 2022 we completed a two-part Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Review, delivering on the manifesto commitment to strengthen and expand the role of PCCs. Ten years on from the introduction of the PCC model, it is right to have stepped back and evaluated the role of PCCs to ensure we can continue to evolve the model.

Recommendations from the Review will sharpen local accountability, improve transparency and enhance the public’s ability to hold their PCC to account for their record on reducing crime.

The package of reforms will also ensure that PCCs have the necessary tools and levers to cut crime in their local areas; turning the dial on their involvement in the criminal justice system, including establishing the foundations for a greater role in offender management; improving their levers in local partnerships; and increasing their access to criminal justice data.

We are working closely with our partners to implement these important reforms as quickly as possible, including legislating when parliamentary time allows.

Recommendations from Part One of the review were announced to Parliament on 16 March 2021 here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-03-16/debates/21031653000006/PoliceAndCrimeCommissionerReviewConcludingPartOne.

Recommendations from Part Two of the review were announced to Parliament on 7 March 2022 here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-03-07/hcws664.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to establish a National Crime Laboratory.

Establishing a National Crime and Justice Laboratory is part of the Government’s ambition to make better use of data in the fight against crime.

We are working closely with stakeholders from across the Criminal Justice System to deliver this manifesto commitment. This has included a project working with stakeholders and suppliers to explore the technical requirements needed to underpin its development.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress her Department has made on the establishment of a new national cyber crime force; and what recent steps her Department has taken to provide the police with new technologies to help reduce crime.

Fraud is a national threat and often cases can be complex and sophisticated. It is therefore paramount our policing colleagues have what they need to keep pace with criminals and encourage innovation within industry. That is why, through the Spending Review 21 settlement and the Economic Crime Levy an overall package over the next three years of circa £400 million is being used to tackle economic crime, including fraud.

This funding will be used to replace and upgrade Action Fraud with a new national Fraud and Cyber Reporting and Analysis Service which will gather better analysis to improve the number, quality and timeliness of information packages given to police and expand fraud investigation teams across all Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) and increase investigative capacity in the City of London Police (CoLP). This funding will also support the National Crime Agency, (NCA) to increase their capabilities on fraud.

The pilot of a national cyber crime force focused on fraud, based in the NCA was set out in the 2021 Statement of Progress on the Economic Crime Plan. The NCA’s pilot has delivered new tasking, intelligence and strategic communications capabilities in the NCA. This new national cyber crime force focused on fraud will be fully established by 2025.

Later this year, we will publish a new strategy to address the threat of fraud. This will further set out how we will work with law enforcement to tackle fraud and bring offenders to justice.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on recruiting new police officers; and what the breakdown of operational officer numbers was for each of the past seven years in (a) the UK and (b) North Wales.

As part of the Police Officer Uplift Programme, the Home Office publishes a quarterly update on the number of officers (in headcount terms) in England and Wales, broken down by Police Force Area (PFA). Data are available here: Police Officer uplift statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The Home Office collects and publishes information on officers in England and Wales only.

The latest statistics show that as at March 2022 police forces in England and Wales have recruited 13,576 additional officers as part of the Police Uplift Programme. In North Wales 164 additional officers have been recruited.

While the ‘Police officer uplift’ statistical bulletin provides a timely update on overall officer numbers, the Home Office also collects and publishes data on the size and composition of the police workforce in England and Wales on a biannual basis in the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin. These biannual statistics remain the key measure of the size of the police workforce and provide information on both a headcount and a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis.

Information on the total number of officers in England and Wales in each financial year since 2003 can be found in table H3 of the data tables which accompany the latest publication:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060642/police-workforce-mar21-tables-second-edition.ods.ods

Information on the number and proportion of officers performing frontline roles (both visible operational frontline and non-visible frontline) by financial year is published in table F5.

Both these tables are presented in full-time equivalent terms and should therefore not be directly compared with the ‘Police officer uplift’ statistics, which are published in headcount terms.

16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with police representatives on the StreetSafe pilot tool; and what further steps is she taking to raise awareness of that tool.

Just under 14,000 reports have been made on the StreetSafe tool since the pilot began in September 2021, with reports from all jurisdictions in England and Wales, and availability of the tool has been extended post pilot until the end of March 2022. The Home Office is currently working with policing on an evaluation of the pilot, and a decision on the future of the tool will be made shortly.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps are in place to (a) enable entry and (b) provide a fast-track process for Special Constables to enter into the regular police force.

Specials are an incredibly valuable resource for policing. They provide effective community engagement and for many they will go on to join as a Police Constable.

The College of Policing has designed a Special Constable to Police Constable programme which is currently being piloted across a number of early adopter forces. This pilot will support the service in ensuring the valuable experience of Special Constables can be formally recognised when applying for regular entry routes.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications have been made for UK citizenship using one of the occupation codes from the Skilled Worker visa: eligible healthcare and education jobs list in 2021 to date.

The requirements to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a skilled worker can be found at

Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Worker - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Details on the numbers of applications can be found at

Migration statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

No data is recorded on the specific occupation to fully answer your questions.

The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen are set out in The British Nationality Act 1981 in Schedule 1 British Nationality Act 1981 (legislation.gov.uk)

Although some of the requirements are around an applicant’s immigration status and length of residence, there is no requirement to have achieved such status via a particular immigration route and, so, no specific data is recorded which could answer your question.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of applications were made for UK citizenship using one of the occupation codes from the Skilled Worker visa: eligible healthcare and education jobs list in each of the last five years.

The requirements to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a skilled worker can be found at

Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Worker - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Details on the numbers of applications can be found at

Migration statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

No data is recorded on the specific occupation to fully answer your questions.

The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen are set out in The British Nationality Act 1981 in Schedule 1 British Nationality Act 1981 (legislation.gov.uk)

Although some of the requirements are around an applicant’s immigration status and length of residence, there is no requirement to have achieved such status via a particular immigration route and, so, no specific data is recorded which could answer your question.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of applications have been made for indefinite leave to remain in the UK using one of the occupation codes from the Skilled Worker visa: eligible healthcare and education jobs list in 2021 to date.

The requirements to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a skilled worker can be found at

Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Worker - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Details on the numbers of applications can be found at

Migration statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

No data is recorded on the specific occupation to fully answer your questions.

The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen are set out in The British Nationality Act 1981 in Schedule 1 British Nationality Act 1981 (legislation.gov.uk)

Although some of the requirements are around an applicant’s immigration status and length of residence, there is no requirement to have achieved such status via a particular immigration route and, so, no specific data is recorded which could answer your question.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of applications were made for indefinite leave to remain in the UK using one of the occupation codes from the Skilled Worker visa: eligible healthcare and education jobs list in each of the last five years.

The requirements to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a skilled worker can be found at

Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Worker - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Details on the numbers of applications can be found at

Migration statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

No data is recorded on the specific occupation to fully answer your questions.

The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen are set out in The British Nationality Act 1981 in Schedule 1 British Nationality Act 1981 (legislation.gov.uk)

Although some of the requirements are around an applicant’s immigration status and length of residence, there is no requirement to have achieved such status via a particular immigration route and, so, no specific data is recorded which could answer your question.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many individuals have applied for a passport in each of the last five years using an unenrolled deed poll as proof of name change.

Information relating to the evidence provided for a passport applicant’s change of name is not held in a reportable format. The information requested could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2022 to Question 100722, on Military Aid: Health Services, what the cost of the support provided to the Welsh NHS was.

Within the last five years, the cost charged to the Welsh NHS for Defence support is £4,200,000. This figure includes the cost of ongoing Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) tasks.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2021 to Question 87877, on Military Aid: Ambulance Services, what the cost was of the support provided to the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The cost charged to the Welsh Ambulance Service for Defence support over the past five years is £2,802,545. This figure includes the cost of ongoing Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) tasks.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times NHS Wales has (a) submitted to and (b) been granted a MACA request from his Department in each of the last five years.

Within the last five years, NHS Wales had submitted 29 requests for Defence support, 24 of which were approved (as of 11 January 2022). Five of the requests submitted to Defence were cancelled.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times the Welsh Ambulance Service has (a) submitted and (b) been granted a MACA request for assistance from his Department in each of the last five calendar years, including 2021 as of 6 December.

Within the last five years, the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust had submitted eight requests for Defence support, five of which were approved (as of the 6 December).The sixth request was withdrawn as the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust identified a commercial provider.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the impact of devolution arrangements on the strength of the Union.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 14 November 2022 to Question 80942 on UK Shared Prosperity Fund, when he plans to have finalised the validation of investment plans; and whether he plans to notify local authorities (a) when their plans have been assessed or (b) when all assessments have been completed.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 80942, on the 14th November 2022. Further to this, local authorities will be notified when validation has been completed.

7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 7 November 2022 to Question 76136 on UK Shared Prosperity Fund, when he plans to announce the date by which his Department will have finalised its assessments and notified local authorities of the outcomes.

Once the validation of investment plans is finalised, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will promptly communicate to local authorities the date upon which they will be notified of the outcomes of their investment plans.

1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether all local authorities have received a response to their investment plans under the Shared Prosperity Fund allocations; and when local authorities which have not received a response will do so.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) are finalising the validation of UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment plans and will be notifying lead local authorities of the outcome in due course.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the introduction of the Investment Zone initiative in Wales.

Government is committed to boosting growth across the whole of the UK. We will work with devolved governments and other partners to agree how we can deliver Investment Zones in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Discussions are ongoing with the Welsh Government, and we want to ensure Investment Zones maximise the value of both reserved and devolved levers.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, on what date he plans to open the next round of applications to the Levelling Up Fund.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport and investing in cultural and heritage assets. We will open round two in Spring 2022 and will share further details in due course.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken for a person charged with knife possession to have their first appearance before a magistrate is; and what that average length of time was in each of the last five years.

We recognise the impact the pandemic has had on timeliness, and the Government is committed to continuing to work to reduce waiting times for victims, witnesses and other court users.

Over the next three financial years we are investing an extra £477 million for the Criminal Justice System to help improve waiting times for victims of crime.

We are investing £1 million in a programme of work to support the recruitment of new magistrates. Over the next three financial years we are aiming to recruit 4,000 new magistrates.

As a result of these measures, in the magistrates' court, the criminal caseload has fallen from 445,000 in July 2020 to 358,100 in April 2022.

The table below sets out timeliness of magistrates' courts cases for charge to first listing before a magistrate (known also as first hearing, or first appearance) for the offences of:

  • Having an article with a blade or point in a public place
  • Having an article with a blade or point on school premises
  • Threaten with a blade or sharply pointed article on school premises
  • Threaten with blade/sharply pointed article in a public place

Calendar Year

Charge or laying of information to first listing (mean days)

Charge or laying of information to first listing (median days)

2017

19

16

2018

21

17

2019

23

17

2020

32

21

2021

35

20

Notes

1) Data excludes a small number of cases with identified data quality issues and breaches.

2) Only one offence is counted for each defendant in the case. If there is more than one offence per defendant that complete on the same day, a set of validation rules applies to select one offence only and these relate to the longest duration, seriousness and the lowest sequence number of the offence.

3) Data includes cases completed in the magistrates' courts during the specified time period, where no further action is required by the magistrates' courts.

4) Data includes cases that are sent to the Crown Court.

5) Following a technical issue a small amount of data (less than 1% of case disposals) was not included for a single day in September.

Further information on Magistrates' Courts Timeliness can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2021.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jul 2021
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on co-ordinating a UK wide response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I continue to hold regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues as part of the Government response to covid-19. This includes regular meetings with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and, of course, the First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Although each devolved administration controls its own public health policy, we have been coordinating our responses to Covid, seeking alignment in policy and approach where appropriate, to ensure we were able to tackle the pandemic.

This joined-up approach has been pivotal in delivering the successful vaccine rollout right across the UK which has seen over 995,493 of the adult population in Northern Ireland receive both doses of the vaccine. It will be important that we maintain this collective approach as we seek to recover from the pandemic.

8th Sep 2021
What recent progress the Government has made on establishing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

From 2022, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will target the people and places most in need, and we will publish our prospectus in due course.

This will complement work already underway on the Levelling Up Fund, Community Renewal Fund and Community Ownership Fund where applications are currently being considered.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
3rd Feb 2021
What progress his Department has made on signing new Growth Deals in Wales.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we signed a Final Deal Agreement for the North Wales Growth Deal on 17 December 2020.

We also successfully agreed Heads of Terms for a Mid Wales Growth Deal on 22 December with a view to negotiating a Final Deal Agreement at pace.

When this is signed, it will mean that the whole of Wales will be covered by £790m of UK Government City and Growth Deal funding.

David T C Davies
Secretary of State for Wales