Steve McCabe Written Questions

710 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Steve McCabe


Date Title Questioner
21 Oct 2020, 3:28 p.m. UK Visas and Immigration: Correspondence Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on how many occasions hon. Members have waited longer than 20 working days for a response to their enquiry from her Department in the last (a) three and (b) six months.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

Over the last three months the Department has replied to 10,079 letters from hon. Members. Of these, 3,471 (34%) have been replied to in over 20 days.

Over the last six months the Department has replied to 21,204 letters from hon. Members. Of these 7,179 (34%) have been replied to in over 20 days.

Performance has been impacted by a very significant increase in the volume of correspondence received, alongside the need for Ministers and officials to instigate a remote process for drafting and signing correspondence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions. An action plan is currently in place to clear backlogs and drive up performance.

21 Oct 2020, 2:20 p.m. Educational Institutions: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to amend his Department's policies on school and college accountability, including performance tables and data for the 2020-21 academic year, in response to the disruption to education caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Government has been clear that no school or college will be judged on data based on qualifications achieved in 2020. The Department continues to talk to school and college leaders about possible approaches to the use of 2021 educational performance data and further details on accountability arrangements for the 2020/21 academic year will follow shortly.

19 Oct 2020, 2:54 p.m. UK Visas and Immigration: Correspondence Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the current average response time is to enquiries sent by hon. Members to UK Visas and Immigration.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

UK Visas and Immigration work to a target of responding to 95% of Ministerial correspondence within 20 days. We ensure urgent cases raised by Members are prioritised.

We do not hold data on average response times.

16 Oct 2020, 12:23 p.m. Marriage: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he enable local registry offices to permit wedding ceremonies to be held outdoors in the grounds of approved premises if covid-19 social distancing regulations cannot be complied with inside the premises.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. This is an important and complex social policy reform and requires careful thought and consideration.

The Law Commission published its consultation paper on 3 September 2020 and the Government, following the final report, will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission’s recommendations.

In parallel, the Government made clear when it announced the Law Commission project that it would also, as an interim measure, undertake work to allow more civil weddings and civil partnerships to take place outdoors through secondary legislation. This work is ongoing.

The Government has published guidance on planning COVID-19 secure marriages and civil partnerships at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships.

15 Oct 2020, 11:40 a.m. Respite Care: Finance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will allocate additional resources to local authorities in the Comprehensive Spending Review to enable them to fund short respite breaks for children who need palliative care.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The Chancellor has announced that the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will be published this Autumn. Funding for local authorities for children’s care and other services will be set out as part of CSR. The Government recognises the importance of providing support for children and families undergoing palliative care and will continue to engage with Councils to understand their pressures and assess the need for further support.

12 Oct 2020, 4:07 p.m. Police: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what powers police officers have relating to right of entry to private property in order to enforce covid-19 rules in the event that there are grounds to believe that those rules are being broken.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The police are satisfied that they have the necessary powers of enforcement in place.

Although there is no specific power of entry for the police under the coronavirus rules, there are circumstances where other powers of entry may apply. For example if a serious crime is taking place inside a property or the police need to enter to arrest someone.

The police will continue to engage, explain and encourage compliance and will also issue fixed penalty notices for breaches of Covid regulations.

8 Oct 2020, 3:44 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Theft Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to convene the next meeting of the vehicle theft taskforce.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

In May I convened a meeting with industry leaders and the police to start working through what more can be done collectively to tackle vehicle crime.

We are working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Vehicle Crime, through a National Vehicle Crime Working Group, to take forward a programme of work to tackle vehicle crime, overseen by the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce. This governance structure has superseded the vehicle theft taskforce.

6 Oct 2020, 3:06 p.m. Working Tax Credit: Birmingham Selly Oak Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many families with children received the £20 per week uplift in working tax credit basic element payments, announced on 20 March 2020, in Birmingham, Selly Oak constituency in each month since its introduction.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The latest available information on the number of families with children receiving Working Tax Credit at the parliamentary constituency level is for April 2020. In April 2020, the number of families with children receiving Working Tax Credit in Birmingham, Selly Oak constituency was 1,700.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-and-working-tax-credits-statistics-provisional-awards-geographical-analyses-december-2013.

Information on following months is not readily available. The next update to this publication will provide statistics relating to December 2020 and will be available in January 2021.

Final annual information on families with children receiving Working Tax Credits is published once a year and updated each July

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-and-working-tax-credits-statistics-finalised-annual-awards-2018-to-2019.

2 Oct 2020, 1:24 p.m. Universal Credit: Birmingham Selly Oak Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families with children received the £20 per week uplift in universal credit standard allowance payments, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 20 March 2020, in Birmingham, Selly Oak constituency, in each month since its introduction.

Answer (Will Quince)

The available information on the number of households with children with Universal Credit in payment, by parliamentary constituency, is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

25 Sep 2020, 3:11 p.m. National Retail Crime Steering Group Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the national retail crime steering group is next due to meet.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

No date has yet been set but the next National Retail Crime Steering Group meeting is likely to take place in early 2021.

21 Sep 2020, 5:50 p.m. Kickstart Scheme: Birmingham Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many work coaches in Birmingham will be assigned to the Kickstart scheme.

Answer (Mims Davies)

All Work Coaches across the Jobcentre network, including those based in Birmingham, will be able to make referrals to the Kickstart scheme.

DWP are recruiting additional Work Coaches nationally including in Birmingham, the first wave of which are starting to arrive now and will be fully in place by the end of October with further planned recruitment later in the year which will grow capacity even further.

Additional employment support will also be available to young people in Birmingham via the Birmingham Youth Hub, due to open on 30 September 2020. Working in partnership with key local partners, including the Princes Trust and the Local Authority Care Leaver Team, the Hub will provide young people with support to access employment and training opportunities

21 Sep 2020, 2:57 p.m. Kickstart Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many representatives are required from a group of employers to form an application for the Kickstart scheme.

Answer (Mims Davies)

Employers looking to offer roles to fewer than 30 Kickstart applicants over the life of the scheme are able to bid for Kickstart funding via an intermediary, or representative, organisation. Intermediaries can gather employers keen to offer Kickstart jobs to make a collective bid to fund 30 or more vacancies.

Smaller employers will have support from their intermediary to create high quality roles and additional support so that young people get the most out of their placement, this also reduces the administrative burden falling on the small employer.

The department has received significant interest from a wide range of bodies including local authorities, charities and trade/industry bodies looking to help small organisations deliver Kickstart jobs for young people at risk of long term unemployment. There is no limit to the number of employers one intermediary can work with, so long as they are capable of supporting them all through the process.

Intermediaries can also apply to add additional Kickstart jobs and new employers to their portfolio after they have had an initial bid approved to fund 30 or more Kickstart jobs.

21 Sep 2020, 1:34 p.m. Kickstart Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications to be a representative of a group of employers from (a) the West Midlands and (b) the UK her Department has received for the Kickstart scheme.

Answer (Mims Davies)

The Kickstart Scheme only opened to applications on 2 September, and already thousands of employers have expressed interest in providing Kickstart opportunities for young people. We are pleased to confirm that the department is now processing these applications from across the UK, this is currently a clerical process, so reliable management information, particularly on geographical areas, is not yet available.

15 Sep 2020, 4:50 p.m. Non-domestic Rates Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the level of business rates paid by (a) public houses and (b) other businesses with similar turnover.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

In March the Chancellor announced a business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, irrespective of rateable value. This means that pubs in England will pay no business rates this year. Combined with Small Business Rates Relief, over 1 million ratepayers will pay no business rates in 2020-21. This is more than half of all properties in England.

14 Sep 2020, 6:01 p.m. Probate: Birmingham Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of the closure of the Birmingham probate registry office on the processing times for probate claims.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The closure of Birmingham probate registry office in August 2019 coincided with the opening of a Courts and Tribunals Service Centre (CTSC) in Birmingham. The result is a current net increase of 51 full time equivalent staff employed in probate offices and there has been no direct effect from the closure on waiting times.

14 Sep 2020, 6:01 p.m. Probate Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what comparative assessment he has made of the average length of waiting time for applicants to receive a grant of probate (a) before and (b) after the introduction of HM Courts & Tribunals Service new case management system.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The introduction of a new digital case management system in March 2019 changed the business process for accounting for the receipt date of applications which need to be held due to errors or missing documentation. The change enabled more transparent and accurate reporting of waiting times and these timings are now included in published official statistics.

It also coincided with legislative change to the probate application process which removed the need for applicants to travel to town centre locations to swear an oath before a court officer or a commissioner for oaths. The receipt date was previously recorded from the date an application had been checked whereas it is now recorded from the date of first receipt by the probate service.

The figures since the introduction of the new digital case management system are therefore not directly comparable to the old system.

The current waiting times are published on gov.uk via Family Court Statistics Quarterly (Table 26).

14 Sep 2020, 5:13 p.m. Probate: Solicitors Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to help improve communications between (a) probate registry offices and (b) solicitors.

Answer (Chris Philp)

As part of the £1bn HMCTS reform programme a new online service has been introduced for use by probate professionals. The service is available 24 hours a day and enables professionals access to real time information about the progress of their digital case without the need to contact HMCTS.

In addition to the online system, as of March 2020, all calls are now answered by the Courts & Tribunals Service Centres which are equipped with modern technology to monitor performance levels and make improvements to the service being offered.

HMCTS also regularly meets with a variety of probate legal professional representative bodies to consult and update on forthcoming changes whilst gathering and responding to feedback.

10 Sep 2020, 5:47 p.m. Israel: Palestinians Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2020 to Question 73751 on Israel: Palestinians, when the research component will be completed; and whether it will be published.

Answer (James Cleverly)

The research component for this programme is very important as it seeks to look more broadly at the impact of People-to-People work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to build the evidence base in this area - something that is presently limited.

Work on this is currently underway by an internal panel who are reviewing the report. The panel hope to complete their review by Autumn this year. Once the full process of analysing the findings is complete, we will then use this research to inform future programming decisions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We will seek to publish the research results in due course.

10 Sep 2020, 2:26 p.m. Newspaper Press: Internet Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of whether newspapers with online subscription fees are passing the savings from the removal of VAT onto their consumers.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government looks to businesses to pass on the benefit to customers and has encouraged them to do so. However, this is ultimately a commercial decision for businesses to make.

9 Sep 2020, 3:03 p.m. Hezbollah Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the number of UK residents who are members of Hezbollah.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

The Government does not comment on intelligence matters.

Hizballah is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK and membership is therefore a criminal offence. Decisions to investigate and prosecute for proscription offences are a matter for the police and Crown Prosecution Service. Statistics on prosecutions for proscriptions offences are routinely published in the report on the ‘Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000’. The most recent publication, up to year ending March 2020, was published on 11 June on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/operation-of-police-powers-under-the-terrorism-act-2000-financial-year-ending-march-2020.

9 Sep 2020, 2:57 p.m. Islamic Resistance Support Organization Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Islamic Resistance Support Organisation operates in the UK.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

The Home Office does not keep a central register of all the organisations that operate in the UK.

7 Sep 2020, 2:19 p.m. Disability: Public Sector Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government has taken to make public services more accessible to people with hidden disabilities.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

The Government is ensuring that disabled people, including people with hidden disabilities have access to public services, such as access to Changing Places toilet facilities, the Blue Badge scheme for parking, and accessible communications. The Government, via the Cabinet Office Disability Unit, is supporting the British Standards Institute in its development of a public information symbol to support disabled people with non-visible disabilities.

We will publish a National Strategy for Disabled People to ensure that all disabled people can play a full role in society. The Strategy will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects and phases of life, including employment, housing, education and transport.

1 Sep 2020, 12:39 p.m. Middle East: International Assistance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to allocate funding to the People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund upon its creation.

Answer (James Cleverly)

The UK remains committed to making progress towards a two-state solution. We welcome efforts towards peace. We also support the growth of civil society in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and efforts to improve the Palestinian economy. We will continue to monitor the People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund as it progresses through the US legislative system.

21 Jul 2020, 5:19 p.m. Personal Care Services: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to enable the beauty industry to resume facial treatments as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answer (Paul Scully)

As set out in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s announcement on 17 July, close contact services including treatments to the face are allowed to resume as of 1 August, as long as they operate in a COVID-secure way.

21 Jul 2020, 4:08 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the 2019-20 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between her Department and the Palestinian Authority, what assessment her Department made in 2019-20 of the compliance of the Palestinian Authority with the commitments in that MOU; and what representations her Department has made to the Palestinian Authority on compliance with that MOU.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and DFID’s ‘partnership principles’. We have an active dialogue with the PA on the issues identified through these channels and we assess that the PA continues to demonstrate a credible commitment to our agreements and the ‘partnership principles’.

21 Jul 2020, 4:08 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the 2018-19 Memorandum of Understanding between her Department and the Palestinian Authority, what assessment her Department made in 2018-19 of whether there had been any breach by the Palestinian Authority of the commitments set out in the MoU; and what discussions her Department had with the Authority on the importance of transparency and compliance with those commitments.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and DFID’s ‘partnership principles’. We have an active dialogue with the PA on the issues identified through these channels and we assess that the PA continues to demonstrate a credible commitment to our agreements and the ‘partnership principles’.

20 Jul 2020, 4:54 p.m. Middle East: Peace Negotiations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the passing of The Middle East Partnership for Peace Act 2020 by the US House Committee on Appropriations on peace in the Middle East.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Peace will only come through negotiations between the parties, but international action has a role in facilitating progress. We welcome all efforts towards peace. The UK remains committed to the objective of to making progress towards a two-state solution. We support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state; based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for refugees.

9 Jul 2020, 5:28 p.m. Social Clubs: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance has been provided to social clubs that hold bingo sessions on the restarting of those sessions from 4 July.

Answer (Mr Simon Clarke)

Since 4 July, multi-purpose community facilities have been opened more widely for a range of activities, including social clubs. Guidance on how such buildings can be opened safely can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities .

9 Jul 2020, 5:13 p.m. Further Education: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding is available to support residential colleges during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Gillian Keegan)

To help manage the pressures of COVID-19, we can confirm that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will continue to pay grant funded providers, including residential adult colleges, their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 funding year. And for 2019/20 only, the ESFA will not carry out the final reconciliation for grant funded providers in receipt of ESFA funded adult education budget (AEB) and the advanced learner loans bursary (ALLB) fund, subject to them meeting certain conditions set out in the further education (FE) Operational Guidance on maintaining education and skills training provision, published on 23 March 2020.

ESFA has issued both AEB and Advanced Learners Loans funding allocations to residential colleges in preparation for 2020/21.

The government appreciates the importance of adult education to improving people’s life chances. We are currently reviewing funding for Residential Specialist Designated Institutions, focusing on the residential support for learners funded via the AEB and the ALLB. We will complete this review in autumn 2020.

As announced last summer, we will next year be increasing investment in education and training of 16 to 19 year olds by £400 million, including an increased base rate, and more funding for high cost and high value subjects, which will help the sector to deliver in the difficult circumstances we are facing during the outbreak. In March this year, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor announced that we are going to transform FE colleges across the country, investing £1.5 billion of new capital by 2025-6.

On 29 June my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced a transformative ten-year construction programme to deliver the world-class education and training needed to get Britain back on its feet. This includes £200 million for urgent repairs and upgrades to FE colleges this year.

We are also looking carefully at all elements of FE funding in preparation for the forthcoming Spending Review.

9 Jul 2020, 5:13 p.m. Further Education: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to residential colleges during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Gillian Keegan)

To help manage the pressures of COVID-19, we can confirm that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will continue to pay grant funded providers, including residential adult colleges, their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 funding year. And for 2019/20 only, the ESFA will not carry out the final reconciliation for grant funded providers in receipt of ESFA funded adult education budget (AEB) and the advanced learner loans bursary (ALLB) fund, subject to them meeting certain conditions set out in the further education (FE) Operational Guidance on maintaining education and skills training provision, published on 23 March 2020.

ESFA has issued both AEB and Advanced Learners Loans funding allocations to residential colleges in preparation for 2020/21.

The government appreciates the importance of adult education to improving people’s life chances. We are currently reviewing funding for Residential Specialist Designated Institutions, focusing on the residential support for learners funded via the AEB and the ALLB. We will complete this review in autumn 2020.

As announced last summer, we will next year be increasing investment in education and training of 16 to 19 year olds by £400 million, including an increased base rate, and more funding for high cost and high value subjects, which will help the sector to deliver in the difficult circumstances we are facing during the outbreak. In March this year, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor announced that we are going to transform FE colleges across the country, investing £1.5 billion of new capital by 2025-6.

On 29 June my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced a transformative ten-year construction programme to deliver the world-class education and training needed to get Britain back on its feet. This includes £200 million for urgent repairs and upgrades to FE colleges this year.

We are also looking carefully at all elements of FE funding in preparation for the forthcoming Spending Review.

1 Jul 2020, 5:20 p.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 51571 on Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus, whether the easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions will affect the right of clinically vulnerable people to access (a) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) other support in the event that their employer cannot provide a safe working environment.

Answer (Paul Scully)

As stated in the answer I gave the Hon. Member on 9 June 2020 to Question 51571, employees who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, as well as individuals whom they live with, should be supported by their employers as they follow the required social distancing and shielding measures.

Employers have a legal duty to make sure the workplace is safe for their employees and should consider whether a person has a disability or is clinically vulnerable in their risk assessment. Employers must also consider reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities. In the first instance, employers should support clinically vulnerable employees in working from home, including moving them to another role if required. Where it is not possible to work from home, employers should provide the safest onsite roles available to enable them to follow social distancing measures.

If an employer is unable to provide a safe working environment, clinically vulnerable employees can still access a range of government packages including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for employees who have already been furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June) and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. This support will build on the £1bn announced at Budget to support the financial security of vulnerable people, through a half billion boost to the welfare system, and a half billion-pound Hardship Fund for Local Authorities.

1 Jul 2020, 4:56 p.m. Palestinians: Textbooks Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 42246 on Palestinians: Textbooks, by what date she expects the internal panel of researchers to complete their analysis.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our three-year People to People programme aimed to bring together Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate on issues which can have a positive impact on both communities, helping to build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict in support of a peaceful, negotiated resolution.

The research component for this programme seeks to look more broadly at the impact of People to People work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to build the evidence base in this area – something that is presently limited. To ensure a thorough analysis of this programme, an internal panel is reviewing the report. Work on this is currently underway and the panel hopes to complete its review by Autumn this year.

1 Jul 2020, 4:55 p.m. Palestinians: Textbooks Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 42246, on what date she expects the George Eckert Institute to deliver its interim report.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Following UK calls for action, our European partners commissioned the Georg Eckert Institute to conduct an independent review of Palestinian textbooks, which is currently underway.

We understand the report has been delayed due to COVID-19. We have regular discussions with our European Partners on the review and we continue to encourage the EU to finalise the interim report as soon as possible.

1 Jul 2020, 4:54 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the 2019-20 Memorandum of Understanding between her Department and the Palestinian Authority, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the steps taken by the Authority to ensure that funding allocated by her Department was not used to cover payments made to prisoners or their families.

Answer (James Cleverly)

No UK Aid is used for payments to prisoners or their families, or the so called Martyrs’ Fund. Our financial support to the Palestinian Authority health and education sectors goes into a dedicated bank account and is only paid to individual workers who have been carefully vetted through the PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism). Each payment is independently audited to ensure it has been received by the intended recipient. This rigorous process means we are confident no UK aid is being diverted.

Our partnership with the PA is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding and our ‘partnership principles’. We continue to judge that the PA is demonstrating a credible commitment to DFID’s partnership principles. Our partnership works to improve the lives of Palestinians and support the UK’s commitment to maintain the viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

1 Jul 2020, 4:54 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the 2018-19 Memorandum of Understanding between her Department and the Palestinian Authority what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to ensure that funding from her Department was not used to cover payments made to prisoners or their families as administered by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

Answer (James Cleverly)

No UK Aid is used for payments to prisoners or their families, or the so called Martyrs’ Fund. Our financial support to the Palestinian Authority health and education sectors goes into a dedicated bank account and is only paid to individual workers who have been carefully vetted through the PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism). Each payment is independently audited to ensure it has been received by the intended recipient. This rigorous process means we are confident no UK aid is being diverted.

Our partnership with the PA is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding and our ‘partnership principles’. We continue to judge that the PA is demonstrating a credible commitment to DFID’s partnership principles. Our partnership works to improve the lives of Palestinians and support the UK’s commitment to maintain the viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

1 Jul 2020, 4:53 p.m. Palestinians: Curriculum Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the 2019-20 Memorandum of Understanding between her Department and the Palestinian Authority, what assessment she has made of the Palestinian Authority's progress on curriculum reform.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding and our ‘partnership principles’. We continue to judge that the PA is demonstrating a credible commitment to this Memorandum and the ‘partnership principles’.

We are pleased the PA is currently revising its textbooks and hopes to update them before the start of the new school year in September. I most recently discussed progress of the PA’s review with the Minister for Education on 4 June.

30 Jun 2020, 4:57 p.m. Multiple Occupation: Students Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance the Government issues for landlords of houses of multiple occupation specifically let to students on cleaning properties before new tenants move in.

Answer (Christopher Pincher)

On 13 May we announced that anyone in England could now move home as long as they followed the advice at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

This sets outs that letting agents and landlords should take steps to ensure any properties are prepared ready for new tenants. This may include cleaning to minimise any potential spread of the virus in line with government advice at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings.

Letting agents and landlords should consider how best to conduct tenancy check-ins for new tenancies agreed while broader measures remain in place, taking care to follow government advice on social distancing to minimise possible spread of coronavirus.

30 Jun 2020, 4:50 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Students Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance the Government has issued to students who are due to return to their university towns to commence tenancies in July 2020.

Answer (Christopher Pincher)

On 13 May we announced that anyone in England could move home as long as they followed the advice at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

This includes students moving into university-run and privately rented accommodation. Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.

Letting agents and landlords should also consider how best to conduct tenancy check-ins for new tenancies agreed while broader measures remain in place, taking care to follow government advice on social distancing

29 Jun 2020, 5:54 p.m. Driving: Licensing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the ability of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to process (a) online and (b) postal applications to renew driving licenses.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services have continued to operate as normal throughout the pandemic. However, paper applications are taking longer to process as they must be dealt with in person.

This is because the DVLA currently has a reduced number of staff on-site to comply with social distancing requirements and ensure staff safety.

All photocard driving licences expiring between 1 February and 31 August have been extended by seven months. Drivers do not need to take any action as the extension is automatic.

25 Jun 2020, 6 p.m. Coronavirus: Research Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to commission research into the long terms effects of covid-19 on people whose symptoms last longer than three weeks.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The Department invests over £1 billion a year in health and care research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The following calls are currently open to researchers to submit proposals on the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The NIHR Recovery and Learning Call will fund research to better understand and manage the health and social care consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic beyond the acute phase. The research will focus specifically on health outcomes, public health, social care and health service delivery and to mitigate the impact of subsequent phases and aftermath.

This follows on from the UK Research and Innovation-NIHR Rapid Response Rolling Call for COVID-19 research (closing at the end of June), which funds projects that could make a significant contribution to the understanding, prevention and/or management of the COVID-19 outbreak within 12 months.

25 Jun 2020, 5:04 p.m. Marriage: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 54003, when he plans to review the restrictions imposed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on weddings taking place to allow for small weddings to take place with social distancing.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The Government understands the huge significance of weddings. We recognise that because weddings have not been able to take place in recent months this has caused difficulty and distress for many people. As set out in the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, published in May, the Government has been examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups better to facilitate small weddings. We have worked closely with faith leaders and local government on how best to achieve this. The Prime Minister announced on 23 June that wedding and civil partnership ceremonies will be able to take place in England from 4 July. People should avoid having a large ceremony, and should invite no more than thirty family and friends. Venues should ensure they are COVID-19 secure.

25 Jun 2020, 1:28 p.m. Contact Tracing: Computer Software Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will endorse a covid-19 symptom study app similar to those endorsed by the Scottish and Welsh governments.

Answer (Ms Nadine Dorries)

Project OASIS is a combined effort between NHSX and the jHub to create a much clearer picture of the public’s experience with COVID-19 by incorporating data from multiple third party symptom tracker apps commonly used by the public with the National Health Service’s own internal data. The data will be used by the NHS to understand the spread of COVID-19 at a national and local level.

22 Jun 2020, 2:21 p.m. Care Homes: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason Public Health England will not assist in the testing of symptomatic care home residents until a (a) case or (b) outbreak of covid-19 is suspected.

Answer (Helen Whately)

Every care home in England can access whole home testing, regardless of whether residents have symptoms. This testing can be arranged through the Department’s online testing portal at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home

Responsibility for whole home testing lies with the Department.

Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for the testing of symptomatic residents at the point a case or an outbreak is first suspected in a care home. When a PHE local Health Protection Team is notified of a suspected resident case or outbreak of COVID-19 in a care home, they will undertake a risk assessment, offer public health advice (including infection prevention and control advice) and, where appropriate, arrange for testing to be done for all symptomatic residents at the time of reporting. The risk assessment is undertaken to ensure that the symptoms being reported are consistent with COVID-19 infection.

18 Jun 2020, 4:15 p.m. Prisons: Video Conferencing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement on 15 May 2020 to introduce video calling in the absence of family visits to prisons, when his Department plans to roll out video calling to the remainder of prisons in England and Wales.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

We have introduced temporary emergency video calling in recognition of the
importance of maintaining family contact while social visits have been temporarily suspended in
prisons in England and Wales. We have published information regarding the provision of video
calls on GOV.UK and made clear we will continue to expand secure video calling to more establishments during this time. Details of which prisons are operating live services for families and friends can be accessed via the following link;

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visit-a-prisoner-using-a-video-call

At the appropriate time, we will consider future options for video calling beyond
Covid-19 restrictions.

16 Jun 2020, 9:33 a.m. Overseas Students: Visas Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether international students who start their courses online due to the covid-19 outbreak and spend less than 11 months studying in the UK will be eligible for the graduate route visa.

Answer (Kevin Foster)

The Graduate route will be introduced in the summer of 2021.

We have been clear no migrant will be penalised due to circumstances outside their control related to Covid-19, including those who need to complete part of their courses online due to the covid-19 outbreak.

9 Jun 2020, 10:57 a.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the guidance published by the Government on 11 May 2020 which stated that workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open, whether employees who are clinically vulnerable have the right to request (a) reasonable adjustments to and (b) social distancing measures in their workplace during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government has stated that vulnerable people who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) need to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. Members of staff who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, as well as individuals whom they live with, should be supported by their employers as they follow the required social distancing and shielding measures.

It is critical that employers offer safe workplaces. The Government has published guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These guides cover a range of working environments and are available at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

This guidance does not replace health and safety or equalities legislation, it provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

Employees have a legal duty to make sure the workplace is safe for their employees; this includes reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities and those who are clinically vulnerable.

If employers cannot provide a safe working environment for clinically vulnerable employees or those with disabilities, and no other options are suitable, they may consider using the Job Retention Scheme.

8 Jun 2020, 12:14 p.m. Mobile Phones: Equipment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what information his Department holds on the reasons why operators cluster mobile and cellular network equipment at the same locations.

Answer (Matt Warman)

A key factor that explains why mobile network operators cluster mobile and cellular network equipment at the same locations is their need to take advantage of specific locations that provide optimum mobile coverage and capacity to their customers.

A number of other factors also influence mobile network operators’ decision making. Planning considerations are important because where a local planning authority has already granted permission for telecommunications infrastructure to be built at a specific location for one operator, it is much easier for new operators to deploy there too. In doing so it also reduces the environmental impact of numerous sites in an area. In addition, where a wayleave agreement for backhaul transmission and site access has already been granted, or power supply to a site installed, incremental costs and associated barriers for new operators to use this site will likely be reduced.

The Government supports the view that the mobile network operators, wherever viable, should share mobile sites and network infrastructure, such as masts and antennas, as this can make the deployment of mobile networks more cost effective, minimise the number of masts needed and, in doing so, help to minimise any environmental impact.

Industry already has extensive mast sharing arrangements in place that cover many sites. Vodafone and O2 have a mast sharing agreement for which they founded a joint venture called Cornerstone Telecommunications, while EE and Three also have a similar agreement in place through their joint venture, Mobile Broadband Network Limited.

While a site might be the optimum location for multiple mobile network operators to ensure that their radio networks deliver the best service for their customers, it is not, however, always possible to share infrastructure or equipment at a specific site. An operator may need to build a second site at a shared location to handle increased capacity demand for example.

Site sharing will be essential to the delivery of the Shared Rural Network Programme which will deliver 95% 4G coverage across the whole of the UK by the end of 2025.

8 Jun 2020, 12:07 p.m. Mobile Phones and Telecommunications: Infrastructure Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what measures are in place to ensure that operators are required to remove redundant mobile and telecommunications equipment.

Answer (Matt Warman)

The Electronic Communications Code regulates the installation and maintenance of telecommunications equipment on public and private land. Under the Code, landowners can require the removal of telecoms equipment for a range of reasons - including where the equipment is no longer in use - by giving notice to operators. Where necessary, the court may enforce these rights by ordering operators to remove their equipment and restore the land to its original condition.

In addition, the Ofcom Code of Practice for the Electronic Communications Code requires operators to ensure that sites that are no longer required (i.e. redundant) are decommissioned within a reasonable time period. As it may be preferable to leave some telecoms equipment safely in place, such as underground ducts and cables, operators are advised to discuss decommissioning proposals with landowners.

When a landowner requests that the operator remove redundant equipment, operators should respond within a reasonable time, either by agreeing when the apparatus will be made safe or removed, or by explaining that the equipment will still be needed.

4 Jun 2020, 5:45 p.m. Mobile Broadband: Infrastructure Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of a high concentration of 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G equipment, including 20 metre masts on residential areas.

Answer (Matt Warman)

The effects of installation of electronic communications equipment and infrastructure in residential areas are considered by local authority planning processes. DCMS does not have responsibility for undertaking these assessments.

Local planning processes take into account or otherwise reflect relevant domestic and international health and safety standards. They also take into account impacts on the environment and communities.

In the UK, planning is a devolved matter under each of the devolution settlements. Further information about the specific planning regimes applicable in each of the devolved administrations can be obtained from those administrations if required.

There is no credible evidence of any negative health effects from the additional deployment of 5G equipment. Overall exposure levels are expected to remain well within international guidelines.

4 Jun 2020, 3:42 p.m. Mobile Broadband: Infrastructure Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average life lifespan is of (a) 2G, 3G and 4G equipment and (b) masts.

Answer (Matt Warman)

The average lifespan for 2G, 3G and 4G equipment is typically eight years, with the lifespan of masts typically at least 20 years. Lifespans can, however, often last far longer as equipment parts are regularly upgraded and expanded depending on coverage and capacity needs, including upgrades to deliver a change from one generation of mobile technology to another, and as masts are inspected each year on health and safety grounds to ensure they continue to be fit for purpose.

3 Jun 2020, 10:20 a.m. Schools: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether headteachers will be able to decide which (a) age and (b) year groups are prioritised for return to school as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department has asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers), from 1 June. The rationale for identifying these year groups is included in guidance for schools and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June. More details are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020.

The three year groups within mainstream primary have been prioritised because they are key transition years. Children in Reception and year 1 are at the very beginning of their school career and are mastering the essential basics, including counting and the fundamentals of reading and writing, and learning to socialise with their peers. Year 6 children are finishing Key Stage 2 and are preparing for the transition to secondary school and will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready.

The Department is asking that schools only welcome back these eligible year groups from 1 June. Our ambition is to bring all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review. We will only welcome back additional year groups if the most up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus indicates it is appropriate to have larger numbers of children within schools. The safety of children and staff is our utmost priority.

27 May 2020, 11:08 a.m. Children in Care: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to extend financial assistance offered to support Looked After Children during and after the period of school closures due to the covid-19 outbreak to all children who are subject to a Special Guardianship Order.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Schools in England receive £2,345 Pupil Premium Plus funding for each child recorded on their census as having left the care of an English or Welsh local authority on a special guardianship order, which is the same rate as attracted by looked-after children. Since 2018, special guardians have been able to benefit from the expert advice of local authority virtual school heads, and schools are required to appoint a designated teacher to provide support in school. Providers have discretion, working with other partners where appropriate, to continue to offer education provision to children and young people who they deem to be vulnerable. This may include children who have left care because they are the subject of an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order.

Local authorities also have a duty to provide for special guardianship support services, including financial support where necessary. Provision of support is discretionary and is based on an assessment of the guardian’s support needs. Where the child was looked after immediately prior to the making of the special guardianship order, funding from the Adoption Support Fund is available to pay for therapeutic services where they need help to recover from their previous experiences and bond with their new family.

We are also providing financial support to schools to meet additional costs arising from COVID-19. In addition, local authorities across England will receive a further £1.6 billion to help them to deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19. This takes the total funding to support councils to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak to over £3.2 billion. Local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major COVID-19 service pressures in their local area, including special educational needs and disabilities and children’s social care.

21 May 2020, 9:13 p.m. Taxation: Self-assessment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that people without access to the internet in their home are not excluded from accessing and completing their tax return online.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Without internet access at home, a taxpayer could use an agent, telephoning through figures for the agent to input online. Alternatively, anyone can call HMRC and request a blank return and complete it manually.

19 May 2020, 6:05 p.m. Children: Maintenance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support the Government is providing to victims of abuse who are waiting for missed child maintenance payments.

Answer (Mims Davies)

Where parents have reported domestic abuse, agents are trained to signpost clients to additional sources of support, including the new gov.uk page which highlights support routes in a crisis, as well as advice services. The Child Maintenance Options (CMO) website provides advice and signposting information to a number of specialist domestic abuse support organisations, as well as advice and information on staying safe.

Paying Parents have a regular schedule of payments to make and are still expected to pay child maintenance throughout this period.

If arrears do accrue during this period due to missed payments, the Service will deal with the debt once the current situation stabilises, to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run. The Service will update calculations as soon as possible and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued. Any parent found to have abused the system will find themselves subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers – including prosecution through the courts.

18 May 2020, 5:41 p.m. Children: Maintenance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to resume chasing missed child maintenance payments.

Answer (Mims Davies)

Child Maintenance Service is currently offering a reduced service due to coronavirus pandemic, in agreement with ministers, and will focus on priority work. We will not take action to collect arrears during this current period but we will collect any unpaid amounts including any missed payments at a later date.

The DWP are currently formulating a recovery plan, which details our staged approach to move back to normal service. Based on current planning assumptions, Child Maintenance Service expects to provide further detail on the approach to missed payments in July 2020.

13 May 2020, 11:37 a.m. Action Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2020 to Question 3275 on Action Fraud, what steps her Department is taking to increase the capacity of Action Fraud to meet increased demand.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

The City of London Corporation (as the Police Authority for the City of London Police) commissioned an independent review by Sir Craig Mackey QPM into the standards, culture and management of Action Fraud. The finding and recommendations of that review were published on 24th January: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/Pages/police-authority.aspx

Working with the City of London Corporation, the NCA and Home Office, the City of London Police will address Sir Craig’s recommendations regarding Action Fraud and the NFIB.

In addition, as part of the 20/21 police funding settlement, City of London Police received additional funding to allow them to recruit additional staff for the Action Fraud call centre. Despite the current challenging circumstances, work has continued to recruit and develop remote training for these additional staff at pace.

12 May 2020, 5 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to renew support for the People for Peaceful Change Project.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our three-year People to People programme aimed to bring together Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate on issues which can have a positive impact on both communities, helping to build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict in support of a peaceful, negotiated resolution.

The programme includes a research component that is looking more broadly at the impact of People to People work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to build the evidence base in this area, which is presently limited. An internal panel of researchers is in the process of analysing the findings. Once this work is complete, we will use the research to inform decisions on future programming in this area. We will seek to publish the research results in due course.

12 May 2020, 5 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will place a copy of the People for Peaceful Change research element in the Library.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our three-year People to People programme aimed to bring together Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate on issues which can have a positive impact on both communities, helping to build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict in support of a peaceful, negotiated resolution.

The programme includes a research component that is looking more broadly at the impact of People to People work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to build the evidence base in this area, which is presently limited. An internal panel of researchers is in the process of analysing the findings. Once this work is complete, we will use the research to inform decisions on future programming in this area. We will seek to publish the research results in due course.

12 May 2020, 4:19 p.m. Palestinians: Overseas Aid Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if she will place copies of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 Memoranda of Understanding between her Department and the Palestinian Authority in the Library.

Answer (James Cleverly)

Our 2019-20 Memoranda of Understanding with the Palestinian Authority were published on Dev-tracker (https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/projects/GB-GOV-1-300050/documents) and copies were placed in the Library. The 2020-21 Memoranda of Understanding will be published on Dev-tracker in due course.

12 May 2020, 3:58 p.m. Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will give registrars discretion to extend the period of validity for Superintendent Registrar Certificates when weddings have had to be postponed as a result of covid-19.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

The Government acknowledges the significant upheaval that Covid-19 is causing for couples who were looking to marry at this time. The requirement to solemnize a marriage within twelve months of giving notice to marry is set out in primary legislation and would require primary legislation to amend.

We are exploring what changes might be possible in relation to marriages at this time, and in line with Public Health England guidance on social distancing.

11 May 2020, 5:44 p.m. Palestinians: Textbooks Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 272116 on Palestinians: schools, whether the initial international review covering the first 70 textbooks will be published in Spring 2020; and when that review will be placed in the Library.

Answer (James Cleverly)

The UK government is deeply concerned about allegations of incitement in Palestinian Authority’s school textbooks.

Following UK calls for action, we secured agreement from European partners to commission the Georg Eckert Institute to conduct an independent review, which is currently underway. We expect an interim report by June, with a full report later in the year.

We have regular discussions with our European Partners on the Review and we continue to encourage the EU to publish the report. The issue was most recently raised on 18 February by the UK Consul General Jerusalem with the EU Representative in Jerusalem.

11 May 2020, 3:52 p.m. Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the explanatory memorandum on the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, what plans he has to undertake that continuous review of the regulations; whom he plans to consult to determine the effect of the regulations on children and young people; and how frequently he plans to undertake that consultation.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

We have committed to keeping these regulations under continuous review. We will consider the continued need for and impact of these regulations through regular engagement with a range of stakeholders across the children’s social care sector. As part of this process, we will be monitoring the local need for and use of the flexibilities provided, including through feedback from frontline practitioners and the newly formed Regional Education and Care Teams which consolidate those Department for Education teams that have regular contact with local authorities.

28 Apr 2020, 4:43 p.m. Qualifications: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish guidance on how (a) functional skills and (b) vocational qualifications will be graded as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Gillian Keegan)

The department has been working at pace with Ofqual to take the necessary action to deliver assessments for vocational and technical qualifications as a result of the cancellation of exams and assessments in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 9 April, Ofqual published its approach to vocational and technical qualifications – this can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/awarding-vocational-and-technical-qualifications-this-summer.

As the vocational and technical qualifications landscape is complex, different assessment approaches will be appropriate for different types of qualification. The publication set out the approaches that should be taken.

Ofqual launched its consultation on 24 April on the implementation of these measures. The consultation closes on 8 May and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/exceptional-arrangements-for-assessment-and-grading-in-2020.

28 Apr 2020, 3:56 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Testing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance he has published for vehicle owners whose MOT was due before 30 March 2020 and whose appointment was cancelled due to temporary garage closures during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

MOT requirements have been temporarily altered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has published guidance relating to light vehicles which were due for an MOT before 30 March. This is available online at the following web address: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-mots-for-cars-vans-and-motorcycles-due-before-30-march-2020.

8 Apr 2020, 4:07 p.m. Special Educational Needs; Children and Young People Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that children and young people with (a) speech, language and communication needs and (b) other special educational needs and disabilities continue to receive adequate support during the school closure period.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that all appropriate arrangements, and support, are in place for all DfE sectors – from the early years and childcare, schools and children’s social care, and for vulnerable groups including children with special educational needs.

We understand that parents will be worried about continued provision for their children with special educational needs now that schools have closed. Local authorities, schools and colleges, together with parents, should assess the risks to children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans) to judge whether they can be safely cared for at home or whether it is safer for them to remain at school or college. Local authorities and education settings have discretion to do a similar risk assessment for any individual children and young people who do not have an EHC plan but who have complex needs that could mean it is safer for them to be at school or college than at home.

The government has published questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

We have also published guidance to support management of children and young people in residential educational settings, including boarding schools, residential special schools and specialist colleges and children’s homes: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings.

Further useful guidance on social distancing can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

We encourage people to keep up to date by regularly checking the GOV.UK webpages, which is where we will publish reliable updates and guidance.

8 Apr 2020, 4:07 p.m. Schools: Special Educational Needs Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to issue guidance to (a) speech and language specialists and (b) other specialist staff who work in schools on continued support for children and young people during the school closure period.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that all appropriate arrangements, and support, are in place for all DfE sectors – from the early years and childcare, schools and children’s social care, and for vulnerable groups including children with special educational needs.

We understand that parents will be worried about continued provision for their children with special educational needs now that schools have closed. Local authorities, schools and colleges, together with parents, should assess the risks to children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans) to judge whether they can be safely cared for at home or whether it is safer for them to remain at school or college. Local authorities and education settings have discretion to do a similar risk assessment for any individual children and young people who do not have an EHC plan but who have complex needs that could mean it is safer for them to be at school or college than at home.

The government has published questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

We have also published guidance to support management of children and young people in residential educational settings, including boarding schools, residential special schools and specialist colleges and children’s homes: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings.

Further useful guidance on social distancing can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

We encourage people to keep up to date by regularly checking the GOV.UK webpages, which is where we will publish reliable updates and guidance.

27 Mar 2020, 2:04 p.m. Airports: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial support the Government is providing to (a) airports and (b) airport staff during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

Following the Chancellor’s recent announcement, we are working urgently to develop proposals to support the UK aviation industry - we are committed to ensuring the sector and its employees continue to thrive. Next steps will be announced shortly.

19 Mar 2020, 3:27 p.m. Bus Services: Concessions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure equal access to concessionary bus passes throughout the country.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

There are no current plans to change the concessionary bus travel arrangements in England.

Concessionary travel is a devolved policy area. This means that there are separate schemes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the administrative arrangements are entirely separate.

Eligibility for the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) is linked to the state pension age. The ENCTS costs around £1 billion annually, so any changes, such as extending free bus travel to those who are not yet eligible for the ENCTS, need to be carefully considered for their impact on the scheme’s financial sustainability.

19 Mar 2020, 1:40 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) advice and (b) guidance her Department is providing to claimants of social security benefits on the administration of those (i) claims and (ii) benefits during the covid-19 outbreak; and what such (A) advice and (B) guidance her Department is providing to those claimants at high-risk of developing a severe illness as a result of a covid-19 infection.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

On 12 March 2020 regulations (The Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020) were laid to give effect to the measures outlined in the Budget, designed to help delay the spread of COVID-19 and ensure people are not penalised for doing the right thing. This will represent a boost of almost £500 million to the welfare system and ensure work search and work availability requirements within Universal Credit (UC) are switched off. Affected self-employed claimants will also not have a Minimum Income Floor (as assumed level of income) applied for a period of time within UC.

To avoid increasing the burden on health care professionals and the risk of further infection, we are removing the requirement for fit notes in relation to both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and UC claims relating to COVID-19 only. In line with current NHS guidance; anyone required to self-isolate or having COVID-19 will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA and UC without the requirement for medical evidence or undergoing a Work Capability Assessment.

In addition, to better support the needs of people (particularly the self-employed and those not eligible for SSP) and/or not entitled to UC, we are removing the seven waiting days that currently apply to ESA. This means that everyone who makes a new claim for ESA; is entitled to the benefit and is infected with Covid-19 or required to self-isolate will be paid from day one of their claim.

Government officials continue to work closely together to understand the potential impacts of COVID-19 on employment and benefits. The Department has introduced new guidance about claiming benefits which can be found at: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

19 Mar 2020, 1:33 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to postpone (a) employment support allowance and (b) personal independence payment assessments during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

We announced on Monday 16 March that, as of Tuesday 17 March, face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be suspended for the next three months, including those for Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment. Anyone who has a face-to-face assessment appointment scheduled from Tuesday 17 March onwards does not need to attend and will be contacted to discuss next steps and alternative arrangements, which could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments.

18 Mar 2020, 1:06 p.m. Educational Visits: Coronavirus Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to make financial support available to schools that have cancelled international school trips and not been able to issue a refund due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Government advises against any overseas trips for children under 18 organised by educational settings. Affected schools should check with their travel providers and credit card companies regarding securing refunds in the first instance. If unable to recoup their full costs, academies signed up to the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) for schools should then submit their claims as per the RPA membership pack and other affected schools should contact their individual insurance providers. The Government’s COVID-19 travel guidance for the education sector is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance-for-the-education-sector.

12 Mar 2020, 6:02 p.m. Diabetes: Medical Equipment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what percentage of people with type 1 diabetes have been prescribed a flash glucose monitoring in each clinical commissioning group since April 2019; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

NHS England and NHS Improvement estimates that in primary care, flash glucose monitoring uptake has increased markedly in all regions since April 2019. National uptake is now estimated to be 24% of all type 1 patients which is an increase of 19 percentage points from the start of the programme (1 April 2019).

It should be noted that NHS England and NHS Improvement have activity reporting for the prescribing of flash glucose monitors up to and including the end of Quarter 3 of this financial year. Due to differences in the way activity is reported between secondary and primary care, only primary care activity at clinical commissioning group (CCG) level can be reported. This data is aggregated at a national and regional level. Some flash glucose monitors are prescribed via secondary care, but NHS England and NHS Improvement do not have this activity broken down by individual CCG. Patient population data is based on the National Diabetes Audit 2017/18.

12 Mar 2020, 5:05 p.m. Schools: Uniforms Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to respond to the findings of Children's Society in its report entitled The Wrong Blazer 2018: Time for action on school uniform costs, published in August 2018, average school uniform costs for (a) secondary and (b) primary school children.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to a school of their choice. The Government is pleased to support the Private Members’ Bill to ‘Make provision for guidance about the cost aspects of school uniform policies’ which was introduced to Parliament on 5 February, in order to make our guidance on the cost considerations for school uniform statutory at the earliest opportunity. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring that school uniform costs are reasonable and addresses the Children’s Society’s desire for our guidance to be legally binding.

12 Mar 2020, 12:53 p.m. Speech and Language Therapy: Recruitment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's news story entitled National recruitment campaign for paramedics, radiographers and nurses begins published on 3 March 2020, what plans he has to recruit more speech and language therapists.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The NHS People Plan, due to be published by the National Health Service in 2020, will set out a clear framework for growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS. As of November 2019 there were 6,284 full time equivalent speech and language therapists in England, this is a 5% increase since 2016.

In December 2019 the Government announced additional maintenance grant funding of at least £5,000 per academic year for students studying most allied health professions, including speech and language therapy. In addition, students with child dependents will benefit from an extra £1,000.

11 Mar 2020, 4:20 p.m. Marine Environment: Treaties Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who will represent the UK at the fourth session of the UN Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity in March and April 2020.

Answer (James Duddridge)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have been closely involved in the negotiation of a new Implementing Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction - the BBNJ Agreement - as an important step forward in addressing the challenges that the ocean faces. The UK is pressing for an ambitious Agreement to be concluded in 2020. It will be a key mechanism in enabling the designation of at least 30 per cent of the global ocean as Marine Protected Areas by 2030. A joint FCO-DEFRA team of officials will represent the UK in these talks based on positions agreed by ministers. The question of Ministerial participation is being kept under review.

10 Mar 2020, 5:13 p.m. Parking: Private Sector Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to tackle private parking companies operating car parks with unclear signage.

Answer (Mr Simon Clarke)

The Government has supported a Private Members Bill to improve the situation for motorists in relation to private parking companies. The Parking (Code of Practice) Act received Royal Assent in 2019. This Act will lead to the creation of an independent Code of Practice for private parking companies and a “one-stop-shop” for parking appeals.

The Government has already proposed that the new Code should require clear signage and surface markings, and clear and accessible displays of terms and conditions. This proposal was made in the advisory Code of Practice which has been laid in the House of Commons Library.

On 3 November 2019, the Government announced that the British Standards Institution (BSI) will write the Code in consultation with consumer and industry groups. The Government has committed to developing the final code this year, and will carry out a full public consultation, to give the parking industry, the public and other interested parties the opportunity to have a say.

Until such time as the Act is implemented, private parking companies must be a member of a trade association if they wish to access DVLA data to issue parking charges to vehicle owners. The two parking trade associations have their own codes of practice and appeal procedures to which they expect their members to adhere, including setting minimum standards such as the clarity of signage.

5 Mar 2020, 5:57 p.m. Asylum: Children in Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how his Department (a) monitors and (b) quality assesses local authority pathway planning for unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children in care.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Under s20 of the Children Act 1989 the local authority has a statutory responsibility to accommodate unaccompanied, asylum seeking children (UASC). Where the child is accommodated for more than 24 hours they become a ‘looked after’ child and the local authority where the child presents has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare in the same way as any other looked after child.

Ofsted, as part of its children’s services inspection framework, monitor and quality assess local authority processes in relation to all looked after children and care leavers. This will include an assessment of pathway planning.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ and ‘Children Act 1989: planning transition to adulthood for care leavers’ set out how local authorities should appropriately pathway plan in a way that meets the needs of unaccompanied care leavers. This guidance is available at the following links: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656429/UASC_Statutory_Guidance_2017.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/397649/CA1989_Transitions_guidance.pdf.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ also sets out how local authorities should appropriately care plan for UASC in accordance with the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. The regulations apply to all looked after children, regardless of their immigration status, nationality or documentation.

The statutory guidance makes clear that social workers’ knowledge of the asylum process should include an understanding of the child’s asylum process, the purpose of the asylum case review and the different possible outcomes of a child’s asylum claim and how that impacts on pathway planning. Social workers should also have a broad understanding of the immigration system. In addition, the department is developing bespoke materials for social workers to support their understanding of the asylum process. These materials are currently being tested by a sample of local authorities prior to wider dissemination across England. We have also commissioned the No Recourse to Public Fund Network to produce guidance on pathway planning for unaccompanied adolescents who are care leavers.

As part of the care planning process, local authorities must carry out a health assessment of all their looked after children. The Regulations and Statutory Guidance ‘Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked-After Children’ makes clear that an assessment should include the child’s emotional and mental health needs and this must be reviewed regularly. Statutory guidance also makes clear that for unaccompanied children, the health assessment should ascertain any physical, psychological or emotional impact of experiences as an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery. Any past trauma or experiences should be noted, along with any consequential need for psychological or mental health support to help the child deal with them. Mental health provision is provided at a local level.

5 Mar 2020, 5:57 p.m. Asylum: Children in Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has published for children’s social care on how to support unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children through the asylum and immigration system.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Under s20 of the Children Act 1989 the local authority has a statutory responsibility to accommodate unaccompanied, asylum seeking children (UASC). Where the child is accommodated for more than 24 hours they become a ‘looked after’ child and the local authority where the child presents has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare in the same way as any other looked after child.

Ofsted, as part of its children’s services inspection framework, monitor and quality assess local authority processes in relation to all looked after children and care leavers. This will include an assessment of pathway planning.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ and ‘Children Act 1989: planning transition to adulthood for care leavers’ set out how local authorities should appropriately pathway plan in a way that meets the needs of unaccompanied care leavers. This guidance is available at the following links: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656429/UASC_Statutory_Guidance_2017.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/397649/CA1989_Transitions_guidance.pdf.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ also sets out how local authorities should appropriately care plan for UASC in accordance with the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. The regulations apply to all looked after children, regardless of their immigration status, nationality or documentation.

The statutory guidance makes clear that social workers’ knowledge of the asylum process should include an understanding of the child’s asylum process, the purpose of the asylum case review and the different possible outcomes of a child’s asylum claim and how that impacts on pathway planning. Social workers should also have a broad understanding of the immigration system. In addition, the department is developing bespoke materials for social workers to support their understanding of the asylum process. These materials are currently being tested by a sample of local authorities prior to wider dissemination across England. We have also commissioned the No Recourse to Public Fund Network to produce guidance on pathway planning for unaccompanied adolescents who are care leavers.

As part of the care planning process, local authorities must carry out a health assessment of all their looked after children. The Regulations and Statutory Guidance ‘Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked-After Children’ makes clear that an assessment should include the child’s emotional and mental health needs and this must be reviewed regularly. Statutory guidance also makes clear that for unaccompanied children, the health assessment should ascertain any physical, psychological or emotional impact of experiences as an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery. Any past trauma or experiences should be noted, along with any consequential need for psychological or mental health support to help the child deal with them. Mental health provision is provided at a local level.

5 Mar 2020, 5:57 p.m. Asylum: Children in Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what specialist mental health support is available for unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children in care.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Under s20 of the Children Act 1989 the local authority has a statutory responsibility to accommodate unaccompanied, asylum seeking children (UASC). Where the child is accommodated for more than 24 hours they become a ‘looked after’ child and the local authority where the child presents has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare in the same way as any other looked after child.

Ofsted, as part of its children’s services inspection framework, monitor and quality assess local authority processes in relation to all looked after children and care leavers. This will include an assessment of pathway planning.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ and ‘Children Act 1989: planning transition to adulthood for care leavers’ set out how local authorities should appropriately pathway plan in a way that meets the needs of unaccompanied care leavers. This guidance is available at the following links: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656429/UASC_Statutory_Guidance_2017.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/397649/CA1989_Transitions_guidance.pdf.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ also sets out how local authorities should appropriately care plan for UASC in accordance with the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. The regulations apply to all looked after children, regardless of their immigration status, nationality or documentation.

The statutory guidance makes clear that social workers’ knowledge of the asylum process should include an understanding of the child’s asylum process, the purpose of the asylum case review and the different possible outcomes of a child’s asylum claim and how that impacts on pathway planning. Social workers should also have a broad understanding of the immigration system. In addition, the department is developing bespoke materials for social workers to support their understanding of the asylum process. These materials are currently being tested by a sample of local authorities prior to wider dissemination across England. We have also commissioned the No Recourse to Public Fund Network to produce guidance on pathway planning for unaccompanied adolescents who are care leavers.

As part of the care planning process, local authorities must carry out a health assessment of all their looked after children. The Regulations and Statutory Guidance ‘Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked-After Children’ makes clear that an assessment should include the child’s emotional and mental health needs and this must be reviewed regularly. Statutory guidance also makes clear that for unaccompanied children, the health assessment should ascertain any physical, psychological or emotional impact of experiences as an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery. Any past trauma or experiences should be noted, along with any consequential need for psychological or mental health support to help the child deal with them. Mental health provision is provided at a local level.

5 Mar 2020, 5:57 p.m. Asylum: Children in Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who has parental responsibility for unaccompanied and asylum-seeking children who are in care on a voluntary agreement under section 20 of the Children’s Act 1989.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Under s20 of the Children Act 1989 the local authority has a statutory responsibility to accommodate unaccompanied, asylum seeking children (UASC). Where the child is accommodated for more than 24 hours they become a ‘looked after’ child and the local authority where the child presents has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare in the same way as any other looked after child.

Ofsted, as part of its children’s services inspection framework, monitor and quality assess local authority processes in relation to all looked after children and care leavers. This will include an assessment of pathway planning.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ and ‘Children Act 1989: planning transition to adulthood for care leavers’ set out how local authorities should appropriately pathway plan in a way that meets the needs of unaccompanied care leavers. This guidance is available at the following links: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656429/UASC_Statutory_Guidance_2017.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/397649/CA1989_Transitions_guidance.pdf.

The statutory guidance ‘Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery’ also sets out how local authorities should appropriately care plan for UASC in accordance with the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010. The regulations apply to all looked after children, regardless of their immigration status, nationality or documentation.

The statutory guidance makes clear that social workers’ knowledge of the asylum process should include an understanding of the child’s asylum process, the purpose of the asylum case review and the different possible outcomes of a child’s asylum claim and how that impacts on pathway planning. Social workers should also have a broad understanding of the immigration system. In addition, the department is developing bespoke materials for social workers to support their understanding of the asylum process. These materials are currently being tested by a sample of local authorities prior to wider dissemination across England. We have also commissioned the No Recourse to Public Fund Network to produce guidance on pathway planning for unaccompanied adolescents who are care leavers.

As part of the care planning process, local authorities must carry out a health assessment of all their looked after children. The Regulations and Statutory Guidance ‘Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked-After Children’ makes clear that an assessment should include the child’s emotional and mental health needs and this must be reviewed regularly. Statutory guidance also makes clear that for unaccompanied children, the health assessment should ascertain any physical, psychological or emotional impact of experiences as an unaccompanied child or child victim of modern slavery. Any past trauma or experiences should be noted, along with any consequential need for psychological or mental health support to help the child deal with them. Mental health provision is provided at a local level.

5 Mar 2020, 4:48 p.m. Asylum: Children in Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were looked after by (a) care placement and (b) legal status as at 31 March 2019.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Figures on the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children by care placement and legal status at 31 March 2019 are shown in the attached table.

4 Mar 2020, 5:13 p.m. Legal Aid Agency: Correspondence Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of enquiries made by Members of Parliament to the Legal Aid Agency that receive a response within 20 working days.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

For the most recent completed financial year, 98% of enquiries made by Members of Parliament to the Legal Aid Agency received a response within 20 working days.

Information for the remaining questions posed could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

4 Mar 2020, 5:13 p.m. Legal Aid Agency: Complaints Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of complaints made to the Legal Aid Agency that involve a statutory charge on an individuals property in each of the last 10 years.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

For the most recent completed financial year, 98% of enquiries made by Members of Parliament to the Legal Aid Agency received a response within 20 working days.

Information for the remaining questions posed could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

4 Mar 2020, 5:13 p.m. Legal Aid Agency: Standards Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average length of time is for the Legal Aid Agency to resolve a complaint.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

For the most recent completed financial year, 98% of enquiries made by Members of Parliament to the Legal Aid Agency received a response within 20 working days.

Information for the remaining questions posed could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

4 Mar 2020, 5:13 p.m. Legal Aid Agency: Complaints Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many complaints have been made to the Legal Aid Agency on not implementing a court order, in each year since 2009.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

For the most recent completed financial year, 98% of enquiries made by Members of Parliament to the Legal Aid Agency received a response within 20 working days.

Information for the remaining questions posed could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

3 Mar 2020, 12:28 p.m. Nuisance Calls Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to prevent nuisance telephone callers making unwanted calls after a telephone number is registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

Answer (Mr John Whittingdale)

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) impose strict obligations on organisations that make direct marketing calls to individuals in the UK. Organisations must not call a number that has been registered on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) list. For calls relating to pensions and personal injury claims, calls must not be made at all unless the consumer has provided his or her consent.

The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing PECR and publishes details of the actions it has taken for breaches of the legislation on its website:

https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/nuisance-calls-and-messages/

We are committed to reducing the level of nuisance calls and continue to work with industry and regulators to identify further steps to tackle the problem. For example, we have been working with National Trading Standards to supply call blocking devices to some of the most vulnerable in society.

27 Feb 2020, 1:47 p.m. Nurses: Training Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the proposed nursing bursary will affect student loan entitlements.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The non-repayable maintenance grants announced by the Government on 18 December 2019 are available to new and continuing students from September 2020.

Student loans provided by Student Finance England will not be affected by these non-repayable maintenance grants and students can continue to access the student loans system in England.

26 Feb 2020, 5:55 p.m. Department for International Development: Departmental Responsibilities Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Answer (Wendy Morton)

The Prime Minister has set out an ambitious programme to enhance the UK’s global leadership and demonstrate that the UK is open, outward-looking and confident on the world stage.

A key element of this is the UK’s continued commitment to spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on international development.

The Prime Minister is particularly keen to ensure that this money is spent well and is aligned with the UK’s foreign policy priorities. Therefore, he has appointed a fully joint junior DFID – FCO ministerial team.

26 Feb 2020, 5:31 p.m. Hospitals: Radio Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide consistent levels of funding to support hospital radio.

Answer (Edward Argar)

Hospital radio can provide National Health Service patients and visitors with a positive experience at a time when they are feeling vulnerable. NHS trusts work locally with volunteers and organisations to provide this service. Decisions about funding the service are made most appropriately at a local level.

26 Feb 2020, 12:39 p.m. Maternity Allowance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2020 to Question 10295, on Maternity Allowance, on what date the service level agreement came into force; which parties are bound by that agreement; and whether she plans to revert to clearing claims for maternity allowance within 24 working days.

Answer (Mims Davies)

There is no formal Service Level Agreement in place; that term was used to describe the process by which the department considers a variety of factors to identify the most appropriate balance of resources to deliver a good level of customer service. Currently we work to a planning assumption of a maximum waiting time of 24 days, but our actual processing time is currently eight days.

19 Feb 2020, 9:57 a.m. Dementia: Social Services Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he is taking to (a) tackle high care costs faced by people affected by dementia and (b) increase investment in dementia care.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

At the 2019 Spending Review, the Government provided an additional £1bn funding for social care in 2020-21. In addition the Government has committed to urgently seek a cross-party consensus to bring forward proposals and legislation for long-term reform of adult social care.

14 Feb 2020, 2:37 p.m. Leasehold: Reform Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe is for bringing forward legislation on leasehold reform.

Answer (Christopher Pincher)

The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes working with the Law Commission to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, quicker and more cost effective – and to reinvigorate Commonhold and Right to Manage. We are moving forward with legislation, particularly on measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges, and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions and will introduce a bill when parliamentary time allows.

13 Feb 2020, 1:01 p.m. Cervical Cancer: Screening Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve access to cervical cancer screenings for disabled women requiring hoists in GP surgeries.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

General practitioner practices are required to ensure that their premises are suitable for the delivery of essential services and that they are sufficient to meet the reasonable needs of its patients, including those with disabilities. This involves making any necessary reasonable adjustments; making alternative arrangements, such as referral to a specialist screening provider; or undertaking the procedures in another setting that is more suitable given any limitations to a patient’s mobility. Where a patient requires specialist equipment, clinical staff will ensure that patients have access to its use in a safe environment.

NHS England is continuously investing in initiatives to help ensure equality of access to screening and, through the Section 7A public health functions agreement, aims to improve public health outcomes and reduce inequalities.

Professor Sir Mike Richards’ review of Adult Screening programmes was published on 16 October 2019 and recognised that people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or mental health conditions tend to have lower uptake of screening programmes than the general population. Professor Richards’ report included recommendations on improving access to services and sharing good practice on physical and learning disabilities. The Department is considering the report with NHS England and Public Health England and will publish an implementation plan in the spring.

12 Feb 2020, 6:21 p.m. Leasehold Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report entitled Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market: Summary of consultation responses and Government response, published in December 2017, what plans he has has to bring forward legislative proposals to amend section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925.

Answer (Esther McVey)

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. The Government is aware that homeowners could be subject to a possession order or the granting of a lease of their home by the rentcharge owner over rentcharge arrears. As part of our leasehold reform work we have committed to repeal Section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to ensure homeowners are not subjected to unfair possession orders.

Furthermore, where people pay estate rentcharges, it is not right that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs. That is why the Government intends to legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rentcharges as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services covered by estate rentcharges.

We are moving forward with legislation with these measures.

Furthermore, the Government asked the Regulation of Property Agents working group, chaired by Lord Best, to look at how service charges for leaseholders - and estate rentcharges for resident freehold homeowners - could be made more transparent. The group also considered in what circumstances other fees and charges, such as administration charges or permission fees which affect both leaseholders and freeholders, are justified or whether they should be capped or banned. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report). We are considering the report’s recommendations and will announce next steps in due course.

12 Feb 2020, 6:21 p.m. Freehold Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report entitled Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market: Summary of consultation responses and Government response, published in December 2017, what plans he has has to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate rent charges paid by freeholders.

Answer (Esther McVey)

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. The Government is aware that homeowners could be subject to a possession order or the granting of a lease of their home by the rentcharge owner over rentcharge arrears. As part of our leasehold reform work we have committed to repeal Section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to ensure homeowners are not subjected to unfair possession orders.

Furthermore, where people pay estate rentcharges, it is not right that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs. That is why the Government intends to legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rentcharges as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services covered by estate rentcharges.

We are moving forward with legislation with these measures.

Furthermore, the Government asked the Regulation of Property Agents working group, chaired by Lord Best, to look at how service charges for leaseholders - and estate rentcharges for resident freehold homeowners - could be made more transparent. The group also considered in what circumstances other fees and charges, such as administration charges or permission fees which affect both leaseholders and freeholders, are justified or whether they should be capped or banned. The working group published its final report to Government (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulation-of-property-agents-working-group-report). We are considering the report’s recommendations and will announce next steps in due course.

5 Nov 2019, 4:09 p.m. Housing: Insulation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) tower blocks and (b) other residential dwellings with dangerous cladding; and how many of those properties have completed remedial work on that cladding.

Answer (Esther McVey)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

4 Nov 2019, 11:13 a.m. High Rise Flats: Safety Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding from the affordable homes budget has been allocated to tower block safety measures since the Grenfell fire.

Answer (Esther McVey)

The government have committed £600 million for the remediation of buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding. Of this, £400 million has been allocated from the current Affordable Housing Programme to fund Social Sector Cladding Remediation, and will be returned to the Affordable Housing Programme in 2021/22.

1 Nov 2019, 5:30 p.m. Carbon Emissions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to Office for National Statistics publication of 21 October 2019, The decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions: UK evidence, what steps the Government plans to take to tackle the UK's status as the largest per capita net importer of carbon dioxide emissions in the G7.

Answer (Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park)

On 27 June, the UK Government set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. This made the UK the first major economy to set a net zero target in law, ending the UK’s contribution to global warming in three decades.

The Government seeks to support more sustainable patterns of consumption and production by moving towards a more circular economy. This will help reduce carbon emissions related to consumption of imported goods as well as those produced domestically. Our Resources & Waste Strategy (RWS), published in December 2018, sets out how we will do this. We will also publish an indicator framework for the RWS later this year, which will include an indicator on consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions for England.

On 15 October, the Government introduced the landmark Environment Bill to Parliament to tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time. The Bill builds on this Government’s commitments to protect the environment set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan. Legislation to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and hosting the climate-focused COP26 in 2020 will keep the UK at the forefront of international work on these issues.

To ensure environmental protection the Environment Bill will establish a new Office for Environment Protection, which will have a statutory duty to monitor progress in improving the natural environment, including on climate change.

1 Nov 2019, 12:15 p.m. Prisons: Overcrowding Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October to Question 866 on Prisons: Overcrowding, to which (a) programmes and (b) prisons the £2.5 billion will be allocated.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The Prime Minister has committed up to £2.5 billion to transform the prison estate by creating 10,000 additional prison places as part of this government’s commitment to crack down on crime.

We plan to build the first of these prisons on land adjacent to the existing, well-performing, prison at Full Sutton. We have received outline planning permission to build a 1,440 place prison there, so this site can be quickly mobilised for the first of the new prisons.

All future new prison developments are subject to receiving planning permission and will be announced in due course. We are exploring a range of options for new sites and we will announce potential sites in due course.

28 Oct 2019, 5:39 p.m. Smuggling: Bulgaria Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether enhanced security checks are applied to vehicles entering the UK from Bulgaria for the detection of illegal immigrants and contraband.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Border Force search lorries, trailers and containers entering the UK on a targeted or intelligence-led basis. Border Force have also invested tens of millions of pounds in new infrastructure to enhance border security, with all freight vehicles entering the UK screened using a range of techniques. These include the use of carbon dioxide detectors, motion sensors and sniffer dogs to detect clandestine on-board lorries.

Border Force work closely with the Road Hauliers Association to prevent opportunist attacks on individual lorries, which can be frustrated by operators taking relatively simple measures to secure their vehicles.

Hauliers travelling to the UK are expected to operate effective security measures to prevent illegal migrants entering their vehicles. Border Force fine drivers and operators who have failed to implement such measures and migrants have been discovered in their vehicles.

28 Oct 2019, 5:23 p.m. Prisons: Overcrowding Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of overcrowding in prisons on rates of recidivism.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

We are committed to ensuring offenders leaving prison have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime - reducing reoffending and ultimately keeping the public safe.

There is currently little evidence of a direct link between overcrowding and recidivism.

Evidence on what works to reduce reoffending suggests that having a job and a home on release from prison are key factors, among others. There is a concerted cross-government effort to reduce reoffending. We recently announced a National Partnership Agreement with DWP, which sets out how the departments will jointly drive rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. We also continue to work closely with our health and justice partners, and are collaborating with MHCLG and local authorities on our offender accommodation pilots. One year ago, we also published our Education and Employment strategy, which set out how we will transform our approach to ensure prisoners develop the skills they need to secure employment on release.

More examples of criminogenic needs that influence reoffending can be found at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/305319/transforming-rehabilitation-evidence-summary-2nd-edition.pdf

8 Oct 2019, 11:34 a.m. Poliomyelitis: Vaccination Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to work alongside the One Last Push campaign to ensure that (a) funding and (b) other support is available for polio vaccination programmes in countries at risk from that disease.

Answer (Dr Andrew Murrison)

The UK is a leading supporter of efforts to eradicate polio, having invested £1.3 billion since 1995. We work closely with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative through engagement at regular governance meetings as well as working with a wide range of other stakeholders including in encouraging others to provide financial support.

We engage closely with parliamentarians through the International Development Committee and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Immunisations to raise awareness and support for continued financing and support to countries at high risk of polio outbreaks. Parliamentarians have an important role to play in advocating for international financial support.

7 Oct 2019, 6:46 p.m. Special Educational Needs Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 263684, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of schools with (a) equalities legislation and (b) the schools admission code in their admittance and treatment of children with SEND.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, the member for Saffron Walden (Mrs Kemi Badonoch) gave on 5 September 2019 to Question 281573.

4 Oct 2019, 12:23 p.m. Sentencing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment the Government makes of the effectiveness of sentences for criminal offences prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Answer (Chris Philp)

In August the Prime Minister announced an urgent review of sentencing. This has been an internal review which has focused on the sentencing for the most serious violent and sexual offenders and the rules governing when and how those offenders are released. We have also, as part of this review, looked at changes to sentencing for the most prolific offenders which could help break the cycle of reoffending. Based on the findings of the review, we will be bringing forward proposals shortly for a comprehensive package of legislative reform. This will include amending the automatic release point for the most serious sexual and violent offenders.

4 Oct 2019, 11:54 a.m. Crown Prosecution Service: Finance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the additional funding for the Crown Prosecution Service announced in August 2019, what criteria he will use to decide how to distribute that funding across that Service.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The CPS will face additional demand, following the Government’s investment in 20,000 additional police officers, and the process changes required to improve performance on statutory disclosure obligations. As always the CPS will distribute funding to ensure it has the right levels of resource with the right skills and in the right geographical locations to handle future caseload volumes.

4 Oct 2019, 9:35 a.m. Beer: Excise Duties Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing duty on beer.

Answer (Mr Simon Clarke)

All taxes are kept under review and the impact of a change to beer duty is considered at each fiscal event, including its effect on pubs and the wider economy.

2 Oct 2019, 5:14 p.m. Pupils: Disadvantaged Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 July 2019 to Question 278348 on Pupils: Disadvantaged, whether he has made an assessment of trends in the level of attainment of children whose families are in receipt of universal credit.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The relevant data to make an assessment is not available. Data matching between the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions for research and statistics purposes is ongoing. As these developments complete, work of this kind will become possible in future.

2 Oct 2019, 5:10 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2019 to Question 278350 on Children: Day Care, how many short breaks local authorities provided for disabled children and their families in each (a) region and (b) local authority area in each year since 2011.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The information requested is not held centrally.

Short breaks for disabled children can be provided by local authorities under either section 17 or section 20 of the Children Act 1989. Whilst information on children receiving services is reported in the children in need census, the detail of the specific services or support provided to the child is not collected.

2 Oct 2019, 2:35 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service: Finance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what plans he has for the distribution of the additional funding for the Crown Prosecution Service announced in August 2019.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Spending Round settlement for CPS for 2020-21 included £80m of additional funding.

This additional funding will enable the CPS to:

  • Meet the increased demand pressures following the government’s investment in additional police resource

  • Deliver improved performance in meeting statutory disclosure obligations and

  • Fund any recommended changes arising from the current review of Bar fees

2 Oct 2019, 2:34 p.m. Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what estimate he has made of the number of people brought to trial for all categories of offences by the Crown Prosecution Service in each year since 2010.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of defendants subject to a trial hearing and collates the data collected in financial years.

The table below shows the number of defendants subject to a trial hearing during each year from 2010-11 to 2018-19 in the magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court.

Trial Defendants

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

Crown Court (CC)

19177

18710

18133

16601

17356

17950

17636

16005

13597

Magistrates' Court (MC)

62281

58460

53902

54200

54580

60309

55598

48522

42322

National

81458

77170

72035

70801

71936

78259

73234

64527

55919

1 Oct 2019, 2:55 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit received a (a) budgeting loan and (b) deferral period in the latest period for which data is available.

Answer (Will Quince)

Budgeting loans are not available to claimants in receipt of Universal Credit and therefore we do not hold any data.

Budgeting Advances have replaced Budgeting Loans for those in receipt of Universal Credit helping to provide additional assistance for emergency household costs, such as replacing a broken cooker, getting a job or staying in work or funeral costs. Eligibility for a Budgeting Advance is explained on GOV.UK and can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/other-financial-support

1 Oct 2019, 2:40 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on reductions to deductions for claimants of universal credit in latest period for which data is available.

Answer (Will Quince)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

30 Sep 2019, 4:26 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2019 to Question 281570 on Children: Day Care, how many local authority areas did not meet the duty to provide sufficient childcare in the latest period for which data is available.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department works closely with Childcare Works, our national delivery contractor, to ensure that all local authorities provide sufficient childcare places in order to deliver free early years entitlements. Local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare and make this report available and accessible to parents. At this time, no local authority has reported that they are unable to meet their duty to provide sufficient places.

The Department’s Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey collects data on registered early years childcare places, including those in maintained schools and nurseries. Data is available at a national and regional level. A link to the survey can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2018.

30 Sep 2019, 4:18 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 September 2019 to Question 281567 on Children: Day Care, to which constituencies the £9.1 million was allocated.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

This year, the Department invested £9.1 million to set up local Holiday Activity and Food coordinating organisations in 11 local authority areas. They were responsible for funding and overseeing free holiday clubs so that disadvantaged children in these areas could benefit from high quality provision during the summer holiday. This was a considerable increase from the £2 million that was awarded in 2018. The Department continues to build on its understanding of how free provision can be coordinated and on information about what works in supporting this sector.

The attached table shows the list of constituencies that benefitted from the Department’s funding through the summer 2019 Holiday Activities and Food programme.

30 Sep 2019, 4:15 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353 on Schools: Charitable Donations, what the income was in cash terms from (a) donations and (b) voluntary funds in each year since 2010.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department publishes data on donations and voluntary contributions to schools at national and local level which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-local-authority-school-finance-data.

The data set includes school income and expenditure data for the financial years 2009-10 to 2017-18 for local authority-maintained schools, and for the academic years 2011-12 to 2015-16 for academies.

A detailed breakdown by school is available at the following link: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

The data set includes school income and expenditure data from 2013-14 to 2017-18 for local authority maintained schools and from 2013-14 to 2017-18 for academies. The data is not available at constituency level.

30 Sep 2019, 4:15 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353 on Schools: Charitable Donations, what the income was in cash terms that was generated by schools in each Parliamentary constituency in each year since 2010.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department publishes data on donations and voluntary contributions to schools at national and local level which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-local-authority-school-finance-data.

The data set includes school income and expenditure data for the financial years 2009-10 to 2017-18 for local authority-maintained schools, and for the academic years 2011-12 to 2015-16 for academies.

A detailed breakdown by school is available at the following link: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

The data set includes school income and expenditure data from 2013-14 to 2017-18 for local authority maintained schools and from 2013-14 to 2017-18 for academies. The data is not available at constituency level.

30 Sep 2019, 4:15 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353 on Schools: Charitable Donations, how the income generated by schools is distributed across schools.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department publishes data on donations and voluntary contributions to schools at national and local level which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-local-authority-school-finance-data.

The data set includes school income and expenditure data for the financial years 2009-10 to 2017-18 for local authority-maintained schools, and for the academic years 2011-12 to 2015-16 for academies.

A detailed breakdown by school is available at the following link: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/Help/DataSources.

The data set includes school income and expenditure data from 2013-14 to 2017-18 for local authority maintained schools and from 2013-14 to 2017-18 for academies. The data is not available at constituency level.

9 Sep 2019, 4:57 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353 on Schools: Charitable Donations, what the income was in cash terms from (a) donations and (b) voluntary funds in each year since 2010.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:56 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353 on Schools: Charitable Donations, how the income generated by schools is distributed across schools.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:46 p.m. Pupils: Disadvantaged Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 July 2019 to Question 278348 on Pupils: Disadvantaged, whether he has made an assessment of trends in the level of attainment of children whose families are in receipt of universal credit.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:45 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353 on Schools: Charitable Donations, what the income was in cash terms that was generated was by schools in each year since 2010.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:42 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Pensioners Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of the 22 July 2019 to Question 278349 on Private Rented Housing: Pensioners, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of landlords that allow older renters to make modifications to their rented property to accommodate for mobility issues.

Answer (Esther McVey)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:41 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Pensioners Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who rented a home from a private landlord in each year since 2010; and how many and what proportion of pensioners renting from private landlords were in rent arrears in that time period.

Answer (Esther McVey)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:36 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit received a (a) budgeting loan and (b) deferral period in the latest period for which data is available.

Answer (Will Quince)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:33 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2019 to Question 278350 on Children: Day Care, how many short breaks local authorities provided for disabled children and their families in each (a) region and (b) local authority area in each year from 2011.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:30 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2019 to Question 281570 on Children: Day Care, how many local authority areas did not meet the duty to provide sufficient childcare in the latest period for which data is available.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:27 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 September 2019 to Question 281567 on Children: Day Care, to which constituencies the £9.1 million was allocated.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:07 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2019 to Question 254731 on Universal Credit, for what reason there is a difference between the number of men and women that have been unable to repay their advance within 12 monthly instalments narrows for those aged 40 years old and over.

Answer (Will Quince)

The data supplied in answer to Question 254731 used May 2019 figures. This showed that of the 264,500 with an advance repayment more than 12 months old, 83,500 were aged over 40 years old, and 49,500 (59%) of those were male, and 34,000 (41%) were female. We would expect there to be a difference in the advances outstanding over 12 months’ figures, although the gender split in the original table is more pronounced.

We have no evidence to explain this greater gender difference in outstanding advances over 12 months old.

All data used in researching this response has been sourced from internal management information. It offers a snapshot in time and cannot be compared to any other, similar data released by the Department

9 Sep 2019, 4:05 p.m. Money and Pensions Service: Finance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much funding the Money and Pension Service will receive in 2019.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:04 p.m. Money and Pensions: Advisory Services Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much funding was provided to (a) the Money Advice Service, (b) the Pensions Advisory Service and (c) Pension Wise in each of the five years up to and including 2018.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 4:04 p.m. Universal Credit: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2019 to Question 278344 on universal credit: fraud, what recourse is available to people, particularly vulnerable people, who have benefited financially but who were unaware that a universal credit advance was the source of the money.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 3:57 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of people in rent arrears since the roll-out of universal credit.

Answer (Will Quince)

The Department has not made an assessment of this nature, as any change in rent arrears is not solely attributed to Universal Credit.

The initial analytical work we have carried out with a single housing provider suggests that many tenants are arriving on Universal Credit with pre-existing rent arrears, supporting research carried out by the National Federation of ALMOs which shows over three quarters of their tenants come onto Universal Credit with pre-existing rent arrears. It also shows that arrears tend to increase prior to making a claim for Universal Credit, and that Universal Credit actually appears to be helping to clear arrears over time. We are currently extending this analysis to include a number of housing providers. It will be published when completed.

We have responded to concerns in this area by putting a number of safeguards in place – 100 per cent advances repayable over 12 months, increasing to 16 months in October 2021; a two-week transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment; a new Help to Claim service; and Managed Payment to Landlord Arrangements, which allow for payments direct to the landlord if the tenant is likely to have difficulty in managing their rent payments, is unlikely to pay their rent or is in rent arrears equivalent to two months.

9 Sep 2019, 3:54 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons her Department has decided that a 30 per cent deduction from a universal credit claimant’s standard allowance prevents those claimants from being exposed to excessive financial hardship.

Answer (Will Quince)

A claimant’s Universal Credit award will reflect individual circumstances, topping up any earnings or other income that they may have, so Universal Credit may constitute only a proportion of their total income.

Our deductions policy is designed to protect vulnerable claimants by providing a last resort method for arrears of essential services which might otherwise result in those services being cut off, or being evicted from their home. Under Universal Credit there is a structured approach to deductions from benefit, which simplifies the current complex arrangements of the legacy system. This policy also enables social obligations to be enforced when other repayment methods have failed or are not cost effective.

If a claimant is in financial difficulty as a result of the level of deductions being made they can contact the Department to request that a reduction in deductions be considered. Any adjustment to the rate of repayment will be based on the individual circumstances of the claimant. To support this intention, from October 2019 we are reducing the maximum rate of deductions to 30 per cent and from October 2021 we are increasing the maximum recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months.

9 Sep 2019, 1:48 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of access by universal credit claimants to organisations providing services to manage money in each area served by a job centre.

Answer (Will Quince)

Jobcentre staff have access to information on services and support available in their local area for claimants and will signpost claimants to national and local organisations who provide specialist debt and money management support.

In addition, support is available for Universal Credit claimants via the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). MaPS will help UC claimants with personal budgeting and money management through its free helpline, printed guides and digital guidance.

For those UC claimants who are in most need of debt advice, MaPS will continue to work with the DWP and other agencies to ensure that they are signposted and referred quickly to local provision – MaPS funds free-to-consumer debt advice in England through a network of providers including StepChange, the Money Advice Trust and Citizens Advice.

9 Sep 2019, 1:38 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on reductions to deductions for claimants of universal credit in latest period for which data is available.

Answer (Will Quince)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

9 Sep 2019, 12:53 p.m. Council Tax: Non-payment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to remove the sanction of imprisonment for non-payment of council tax.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government does not have any plans to remove the sanction of imprisonment for non-payment of council tax. However, committal to prison should only ever be the last resort in the collection of council tax arrears. Magistrates courts can only commit someone to prison for non-payment of council tax where they are satisfied that the failure to pay is due to their wilful refusal or culpable neglect. The number of committal warrants has been decreasing, with 34 issued in England in 2017-18.

9 Sep 2019, 12:53 p.m. Council Tax: Non-payment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has plans to remove the ability to issue a prison sentence for people that have not paid their council tax.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government does not have any plans to remove the sanction of imprisonment for non-payment of council tax. However, committal to prison should only ever be the last resort in the collection of council tax arrears. Magistrates courts can only commit someone to prison for non-payment of council tax where they are satisfied that the failure to pay is due to their wilful refusal or culpable neglect. The number of committal warrants has been decreasing, with 34 issued in England in 2017-18.

9 Sep 2019, 12:50 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Vulnerable Adults Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 9 April 2019 to Question 240482, how many vulnerable people the Private Rented Sector Access Fund has helped to access and sustain tenancies in the private sector.

Answer (Luke Hall)

On 1 March 2019 we announced the allocation of £19.5 million to directly fund 66 local authorities through the Private Rented Sector Access Fund.

Reported outcomes show that as of the end of June 2019, we have supported 1,090 households.

This fund is just one of a range of housing support measures that the Government has put in place:

  • In September 2017 the Government announced the Homelessness Advice and Support Team (HAST), a team of expert advisers that provides support and assistance to improve homelessness services.
  • Government is funding the £40 million London Collaboration Project, which aims at increasing collaboration between London boroughs in the procurement of temporary accommodation for households at risk of homelessness, this will be delivered through the creation of the local government owned company, Capital Letters.
  • The Flexible Homelessness Support Grant has allocated £617 million to local authorities over 3 years from 2017/18 to 2019/20, giving them more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures.
  • We have provided £72.7 million in new burdens funding for local authorities to implement the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
  • The Homelessness Reduction Act, the most ambitious reform to homelessness legislation in decades, came into force on 3rd April 2018.

5 Sep 2019, 1:55 p.m. Parents: Low Incomes Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make a comparative assessment of the proportion of parents in low income families who are (a) out of work and (b) in part-time work (i) during the school summer holidays and (ii) at all other times in the school year.

Answer (Will Quince)

National statistics on the proportion of parents in low income families who are (a) out of work or (b) in part time work are published annually in the “Households Before Average Income” publication. These statistics are not possible to break down by distinct periods of the year.

The statistics can be found using the link below, with the statistics for relative low income found in table 5.5ts, and the statistics for absolute low income found in table 5.8ts, both in the file “workingage-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2017-18-tables”.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/792784/hbai-2017-2018-tables-ods-files.zip

5 Sep 2019, 11:32 a.m. Universal Credit: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2019 to Question 278344, on Universal Credit: Fraud, over what period of time the 52 pages were shut down.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

As a result of internal work within the Department and pre-work with social media companies to identify accounts and determine their fraudulent nature, the first Social Media account was closed on the 9th July. We continue to work with social media sites to ensure any pages promoting benefit fraud are closed and have closed down 71 sites to date.

5 Sep 2019, 7:50 a.m. Primary Education: Admissions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 263684, what assessment his Department has made of the overall compliance of schools in England with equalities law and the schools admission code in their admittance and treatment of children with SEND.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

The admission authorities of all mainstream state-funded schools must comply with the School Admissions Code and with equalities law when determining and applying their admission arrangements.

The Admissions Code includes provisions relating to the admission of children with special educational needs and disabilities, both in relation to those children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and those who do not. Where a child has an EHCP that names a particular mainstream or special school, the school has a legal duty to admit that child.

If anyone considers that a school’s admission arrangements are not lawful they may object to the Schools Adjudicator, whose decisions are binding and enforceable. The parents of any child refused admission to a mainstream school also has the right of appeal to an independent appeals panel.

Any parent who feels their admission appeal was not carried out properly can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (for maintained schools) or the Education, Skills and Funding Agency (for academies).

5 Sep 2019, 7:50 a.m. Primary Education: Admissions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2019 to Question 263684, what assessment his Department has made of the merits of the reported practice of parents and reviewing bodies of schools seeking to avoid compliance with equalities law and the schools admission code in their admittance and treatment of children with SEND.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

The admission authorities of all mainstream state-funded schools must comply with the School Admissions Code and with equalities law when determining and applying their admission arrangements.

The Admissions Code includes provisions relating to the admission of children with special educational needs and disabilities, both in relation to those children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and those who do not. Where a child has an EHCP that names a particular mainstream or special school, the school has a legal duty to admit that child.

If anyone considers that a school’s admission arrangements are not lawful they may object to the Schools Adjudicator, whose decisions are binding and enforceable. The parents of any child refused admission to a mainstream school also has the right of appeal to an independent appeals panel.

Any parent who feels their admission appeal was not carried out properly can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (for maintained schools) or the Education, Skills and Funding Agency (for academies).

4 Sep 2019, 4:59 p.m. Schools: Charitable Donations Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 278353, how the 0.7 per cent of funding from donations is distributed across all schools.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The distribution of donations across all schools can be seen on the schools financial benchmarking website: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.

3 Sep 2019, 4:49 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2019 to Question 278350 on Children: Day Care, what support is available for parents of a child with (a) special educational needs and (b) a disability whose childcare costs exceed £4,000 each year.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

Nationally, high needs funding for those with complex additional needs aged 0 – 25 has risen from £5 billion in 2013 to £6.3 billion this year. This includes an additional £250 million allocated in recognition of cost pressures being faced by local authorities.

To support parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability with childcare, we have made 2-year-old children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and/or an Education Health and Care plan eligible for the 15 hours entitlement.

To further support children with special educational needs and disabilities we have:

• introduced a Disability Access Fund worth £615 to settings that provide places for any 3 or 4-year olds who receive disability living allowance;

• required local authorities to have a SEN Inclusion Fund to support early years providers to address the needs of individual children with SEN; and

• introduced the Early Years National Funding Formula, which contains an additional needs element to take account of the number of children with additional needs in an area.

3 Sep 2019, 4:12 p.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2019 to Question 278350 on Children: Day Care, what additional support his Department provides to low income households that require childcare during the summer holidays.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

In addition to the support that the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi), my hon. Friend for Stratford-on-Avon referred to in the Answer of 23 July to Question 278350, my department’s Holiday Activities and Food programme is exploring ways to help disadvantaged children access free holiday club provision over the summer holidays, in 11 local authority areas, including Birmingham.

This summer, we have awarded £9.1 million to 11 organisations to explore how the funding and coordination of free holiday club provision at a local level can help more disadvantaged children access provision for free, and support providers to improve their offer. With this money, around 50,000 disadvantaged children and their parents will be able to access free holiday club provision, including a healthy meal and enriching activities.

The government provides a significant package of childcare support to parents and carers. All 3 and 4 year olds and the most disadvantaged 2 year olds are entitled to receive 15 hours a week of early education for 38 weeks a year. Since 2017, working parents of 3 year olds and 4 year olds have been able to access an additional 15 hours of early education a week, bringing their total to 30 hours a week. The 30 hours policy is worth up to £5,000 a year to families and, since its introduction, around 600,000 children have benefitted. Childcare providers can offer these entitlements stretched across the whole year so that they cover the school holidays.

In addition, tax-free childcare was introduced in 2017 to support families with the costs of childcare for 0 to 12 year olds. For every £8 that parents pay into an online account, the government will pay £2 - up to a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child each year - for children aged up to 12. Working parents in receipt of Universal Credit can also claim back up to 85% of eligible childcare costs through Universal Credit for children up to the age of 16, subject to a monthly limit of £646 for one child or £1108 for 2 or more children. This will make sure that work pays for families on a low income.

The government also recently announced an extra £2.5 million next year to help schools open up their facilities at weekends and over the holidays as part of the School Sport Action Plan.

3 Sep 2019, 2:49 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Pensioners Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2019 to Question 278349 on Private Rented Housing: Pensioners, what assessment he has made of the effect of the ban on letting fees on monthly rental prices.

Answer (Esther McVey)

The Government published an impact assessment for the Tenant Fees Bill on 1 May 2018, which is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tenant-fees-bill-impact-assessment. The Tenant Fees Act came into force for new tenancies on 1 June 2019, with a transitional period until 1 June 2020 (at which point it will also apply to pre-existing tenancies).

The Government will continue to work with the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team and the wider sector to monitor the effects of the ban.

3 Sep 2019, 2:26 p.m. Prisons: Safety and Staff Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on (a) the safety of prisoners and (b) the levels of staffing in prisons in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

In common with all Government Departments, the Ministry of Justice has considered the impact of a No Deal Brexit on its institutions, including prisons.

Preparations are underway to ensure we are ready to leave the European Union on 31 October, with or without a deal. This includes working closely with the Department of Health to make sure that the supply of health products to prisoners is not disrupted; ensuring that our food and retail contracts have alternative arrangements in case of disruption through ports; and co-operating with other government departments to prepare for contingencies such as potential traffic disruption in the South East.

At a local level, all prisons have reviewed their contingency plans and are engaged with their Local Resilience Forums to put in place actions to mitigate against any potential impacts as necessary.

Separately, over the past 3 years, we have invested £100m to provide additional Prison Officers to improve frontline safety, security and rehabilitation. The benefits of this are already being felt with 4675 on landings and a commitment to recruit more in line with business needs.

3 Sep 2019, 11:39 a.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the ability of local authorities to provide sufficient childcare to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities in their local authority areas.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

Local authorities are required to secure sufficient childcare in their area, so far as is practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children). They should report annually to elected members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and make this report available and accessible to parents.

The duty on local authorities to secure sufficient places is described in Part B of 'Early education and childcare' (statutory guidance for local authorities): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/718179/Early_education_and_childcare-statutory_guidance.pdf.

3 Sep 2019, 8:30 a.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2019 to Question 278350 on Children: Day Care, what support is available for parents of a child with (a) special educational needs and (b) a disability who live in a local authority area which is unable to provide sufficient childcare to meet their needs during the school summer holidays.

Answer (Kemi Badenoch)

The former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi), my hon. Friend for Stratford-on-Avon outlined in the response given to 278350, local authorities are required to secure sufficient childcare in their area, so far as is practicable, for working parents or parents who are studying or training for employment for children aged 0 to 14 (or up to 18 for disabled children).

If a parent or carer has a concern about the availability of childcare provision in their area, they should contact their local authority directly in the first instance.

24 Jul 2019, 10:33 a.m. Children: Day Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps in the forthcoming spending review to ensure that funding levels for childcare keep pace with the rising cost of living.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

The government recognizes how important an issue childcare is to families with young children and we’re taking action to help people with the cost of living. That is why we will be spending almost £6 billion a year on childcare support in 2019/20 – a record amount. Spending decisions beyond 2019/20 will be considered in full at the Spending Review.

22 Jul 2019, 1:57 p.m. Private Rented Housing: Pensioners Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what representations he has received from pensioners on the challenges they have faced when renting a home from a private landlord.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

The Department does not record correspondence to the level of detail requested.

The Government has undertaken a number of measures to tackle the challenges faced by tenants, including older renters. These include banning unfair letting fees and capping deposits with the Tenant Fees Act 2019, empowering tenants who are paying rent for unfit properties to take action against their landlords and get compensation through the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, and making £20 million available through the Private Rented Sector Access Fund to enable better access and sustainment of tenancies for people who are, or at risk of becoming, homeless.

19 Jul 2019, 12:06 p.m. Universal Credit: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 272738, what recourse is available to a member of a joint claim whose partner has deliberately prevented them from being made aware of a universal credit advance; and in what circumstances a member of a joint claim who was unaware of an advance of universal credit is no longer liable for repaying that advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Both members of a couple are given individual notice at the time of taking out the advance, via their Universal Credit (UC) journal, which includes the amount of the advance and of their liability to repay the advance. They will also be alerted individually to this UC Journal entry via the contact details provided for each claimant.

The Department will consider all reported cases on their own merits and decisions are made on the strength of any evidence provided.

16 Jul 2019, 4:39 p.m. Whirlpool Corporation: Tumble Dryers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made on ensuring that (a) people who purchased a defective Whirlpool tumble driers are compensated and (b) those dryers are made safe.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

Under the agreed terms of the recall that Whirlpool is carrying out, consumers with an unmodified affected tumble dryer are entitled to a new replacement machine. This will be delivered and installed, with the old one removed, all at no cost. Alternatively, consumers can choose to upgrade to a different model for a reduced fee. A refund based on product age or a modification will be available to those consumers who do not want to take up the offer of a free replacement dryer from Whirlpool.

16 Jul 2019, 11:09 a.m. Armed Forces: Commonwealth Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will publish a response to EDM 2164 on visa costs for Commonwealth service personnel.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

All immigration and nationality fees are set within strict financial limits agreed with HM Treasury and Parliament, and are also aligned with clear principles that balance a number of complex factors, including the benefits likely to be accrued.

The issue of settlement fees for service personnel and their dependants is a complex matter to which the Home Office is giving careful and ongoing consideration.

15 Jul 2019, 3:51 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2019 to Question 263677, for what reason the letter sent to a universal credit claimant’s journal to confirm an advance payment does not specify the (a) amount to be repaid each month or (b) number of months that the repayments will last; and if he will add that information to that letter.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department encourages all Universal Credit claimants to actively consider how best to manage their personal budget, with additional advice and support available from work coaches and case managers. When an advance payment is appropriate, claimants decide what percentage of their expected monthly award to apply for and over what period to repay it, up to a maximum of 12 monthly instalments.

Claimants have the ability to make the decision for themselves on the time period for repayment. Most claimants (around 85%) choose to repay their advance over a 12-month period, with others repaying in a shorter timeframe.

The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. From October 2019 we are reducing the maximum rate of deductions to 30 per cent and from October 2021 we are increasing the maximum recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months.

Claimants can view their Universal Credit statement online to see how their award is calculated and a breakdown of what deductions are being made.

We are committed to keeping all Universal Credit services and processes, under review and will make improvements where necessary.

15 Jul 2019, 3:21 p.m. Universal Credit: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the extent to which fraudulent claims for universal credit have been made by people using a loophole in the online application process to make an application and claim an advance using another person’s information.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department is committed to bringing fraudsters to justice. Last year we, working alongside local authorities, recovered more than £1.1bn in fraud and error across all benefits and brought almost 5,000 prosecutions in 2017/18.

As of June 2019, the Department has received around 42,000 fraud referrals from staff relating to potential fraudulent advance claims, which equates to less than 1 per cent of all Universal Credit claims.

Our investigations are ongoing and we are therefore unable to provide details of how many may have used another person’s identity to make their claim, or to quantify the amount spent on investigations of this type. However, any cases in which this has occurred will be treated accordingly, with the continued use of both prosecutions and tough financial penalties to deter this fraudulent behaviour.

15 Jul 2019, 3:21 p.m. Universal Credit: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information his Department holds on how much has been spent on investigating fraudulent universal credit claims that have been made by people using a loophole in the online application process to make an application and claim an advance using another person’s information.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department is committed to bringing fraudsters to justice. Last year we, working alongside local authorities, recovered more than £1.1bn in fraud and error across all benefits and brought almost 5,000 prosecutions in 2017/18.

As of June 2019, the Department has received around 42,000 fraud referrals from staff relating to potential fraudulent advance claims, which equates to less than 1 per cent of all Universal Credit claims.

Our investigations are ongoing and we are therefore unable to provide details of how many may have used another person’s identity to make their claim, or to quantify the amount spent on investigations of this type. However, any cases in which this has occurred will be treated accordingly, with the continued use of both prosecutions and tough financial penalties to deter this fraudulent behaviour.

15 Jul 2019, 3:16 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to merge the allowances for non-medical, equipment and general support for disabled students’ allowance to permit more flexibility in how that allowance may be spent by undergraduate students.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The department has no plans to merge the 4 separate Disabled Students’ Allowances currently available to undergraduate students.

15 Jul 2019, 3:11 p.m. Universal Credit: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the proportion of successful universal credit claims which are fraudulent; and how that figure compares to legacy benefits.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Under Universal Credit (UC) claimants will only have one claim to benefit, whereas under Legacy, they may have made claims to multiple benefits. It is therefore not possible to draw a direct comparison between the caseloads of UC and Legacy benefits. UC will also incorporate Tax Credits which is currently administered by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, who record their overpayments differently.

The Department is open and transparent about the cost of fraud and error in the benefit system, publishing our National “Fraud and Error in the Benefit System” statistics each year which detail the amount we estimate is lost to both fraud and error across all benefits.

Most welfare losses, across Government, arise from claimants failing to report changes of circumstances, Universal Credit (UC) provides a single, digital interface through which claimants can more easily report these changes. As such, once UC is fully rolled out, we expect cross-welfare losses to fraud, error and overpayments to be reduced by around £1 billion per year. UC also allows us to adjust benefit entitlement in line with changing circumstances in real time. Internal and external data matches are increasingly helping to inform benefit payments and alerting staff to check for any undeclared changes in people’s circumstances.

As of June 2019, the Department has received around 42,000 fraud referrals from staff relating to potential fraudulent advance claims, which equates to less than 1 per cent of all Universal Credit claims.

10 Jul 2019, 2:25 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the specification of laptops supplied to students with vision impairment through the disabled students’ allowance is updated allow updating of necessary software over the duration of degree programme.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The department is currently reviewing the specification of equipment provided to visually impaired students, to ensure that it remains fit for purpose throughout the duration of students’ courses.

Students that experience issues with their equipment are advised to contact their assessment centre or Student Finance England so that these issues can be considered and rectified.

8 Jul 2019, 5:02 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June to Question 266642, for what reasons her Department holds information on the number of universal credit claimants with an existing advance who also receive a maximum budgetary advance and have offered to repay that advance over the maximum time period allowed but does not hold information on the proportion of those people who have repaid their budget advance within the pre-agreed time period.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. The Department does collect information on advances paid and repayments for all advances through the Universal Credit award. However, each advance’s repayment progress would need to be tracked separately and a date in which repayment is completed would need to be calculated.

8 Jul 2019, 5 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2019 to Question 266647 on Universal Credit, for what reason his Department does not hold data on the number of claimants of universal credit that were refused an advance during the that period.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Information on advances refused is not held in a format that is readily accessible. To identify and collate the total number of applications refused for an advance would incur disproportionate cost to the Department.

8 Jul 2019, 4:56 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2019 to Question 266646, what recourse is available to a member of a joint claim whose partner has falsely confirmed that their partner knows and agrees to a universal credit advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Advances are in place to ensure those in genuine need are able to receive financial support. They are not additional money: they are simply an advance of entitlement.

Either member of a couple can apply for an advance payment on behalf of the couple. Since both claimants have a joint and individual liability for the repayment of the advance, they are given written notice at the time of taking out the advance, via their Universal Credit (UC) journal, which includes the amount of the advance and of their liability to repay the advance. They will also be alerted to this UC Journal entry.

8 Jul 2019, 4:50 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June to Question 266643, how many people received a universal credit payment between June 2015 and May 2019.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Universal Credit payments are made at a household rather than individual level. The official Households on Universal Credit statistics series starts in August 2015 and the latest month that has been published so far is February 2019.

2,600,000 households on Universal Credit received at least one payment between August 2015 and February 2019.

Notes:

1) Figures have been rounded to nearest 100,000.

2) Figures relate to both Universal Credit full service and Universal Credit live service.

3) If a household has a Managed Payment to Landlord in place, then some or all of their Universal Credit payment may have been paid directly to the landlord.

2 Jul 2019, 4:32 p.m. Heart Diseases: Health Services Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the costs of untreated patients diagnosed with structural heart disease on the health and social care system; and how many of those patients have died while waiting for treatment in each year since 2010.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The requested information is not centrally held by the Department.

28 Jun 2019, 12:45 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department issues guidance or criteria to its staff on the circumstances in which a request from a universal credit claimant for an advance payment for a (a) new claim and (b) benefit transfer should not be granted.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Comprehensive guidance on Universal Credit Advance payments is available to all staff. This guidance is published in the Commons library and the Department is committed to refreshing this at regular intervals.

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2019-0465/Advances-_New_Claim_v2.0.pdf

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2019-0465/Advances_-_Benefit_Transfer_v3.0.pdf

28 Jun 2019, 12:26 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of universal credit claimants who applied for a budgeting advance (a) received the maximum available advance and (b) chose to repay over the maximum time period allowed.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

A budgeting advance is available for one-off unexpected financial events for Universal Credit claimants and is repayable over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments. Claimants might be able to get help for things such as: emergency household costs, getting a job or staying in work or funeral costs.

Of the 485,000 budgeting advances created, between June 2015 and May 2019, 49% took the maximum entitlement and 78% chose to take the maximum repayment length.

From October 2021 we will be increasing the recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months, further supporting those in financial need.

Notes

  1. Figures relate to Universal Credit full service only

  1. Figures relate to total number of budgeting advances since their introduction

  1. Figures for the number of budgeting advances created is rounded to the nearest 1,000

  1. Budgeting advances with a value of £348, £464 and £812 have been used for proportion of claimants receiving the maximum available advance, as these values relate to the maximum entitlement dependent on the claimant's circumstances.
28 Jun 2019, noon Immigration: Syria Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the revenue accrued to the public purse as a result of fees levied on citizenship applications for children from Syria.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office does not record fees received from applications by children or the country of origin separately to unique account codes within our accounting software, and therefore does not have sufficiently detailed management information to breakdown income into component categories, for example by child or country of application.

28 Jun 2019, 9:03 a.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit have been successful in an application for a budgeting advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

A budgeting advance is available for one-off unexpected financial events for Universal Credit claimants and is repayable over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments. Claimants might be able to get help for things such as: emergency household costs, getting a job or staying in work or funeral costs.

Between June 2015 and May 2019, 404,000 Universal Credit claims have received a budgeting advance.

Notes

  1. Figures relate to Universal Credit full service only
  2. Figures relate to total number of budgeting advances since their introduction
  3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000
  4. Where a claim has received multiple budgeting advances they have only been counted once
28 Jun 2019, 8:49 a.m. Schools: Bereavement Counselling Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to implement a national bereavement policy for schools to help assist children who have experienced the death of a member of their immediate family.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department’s Mental Health and Behaviour guidance includes links to sources of information and support, including on how to respond to bereavement and other traumatic events. This includes MindEd, which the Government has funded to provide online advice and training on mental health for all professionals working with children and young people. Information on MindEd is available here: https://www.minded.org.uk/.

The Department has also provided advice to schools on how to provide access to high quality school-based counselling, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.

Where children need specialist support, it is important that schools are able to make referrals quickly. The NHS long term plan sets out how specialist mental health support will be increased, including through access to crisis care 24 hours a day by 2023/24. It also includes support for at least an additional 345,000 children and young people to access NHS funded mental health services, including through new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges.

26 Jun 2019, 10:52 a.m. Vagrancy Act 1824 Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

This Government is clear that no-one should be criminalised simply for having nowhere to live and sleeping rough. The cross-Government Rough Sleeping Strategy, which was published in August, committed to reviewing homelessness and rough sleeping legislation, including the Vagrancy Act 1824. The Government believes that review of the 1824 Act, rather than immediate wholesale repeal, is the right course of action to ensure the consequences of repeal are fully understood. MHCLG will report no later than March 2020.

In its first year, our Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) provided over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff. This year we have expanded the RSI with investment of £46 million for 246 areas – providing funding for an estimated 2,600 bed spaces and 750 staff. We have also backed the Rough Sleeping Strategy with £100 million of funding.

24 Jun 2019, 4:41 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether there is a minimum level of income that a claimant of universal credit must retain after a 40 per cent reduction to repay an advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

There is no set minimum level Universal Credit award for a claimant to retain. A claimant’s award will reflect their individual circumstances, topping up any earnings or other income that they may have, so their Universal Credit might just constitute a small proportion of their total income. Deductions from the award are calculated in relation to the Universal Credit standard allowance and the maximum rate of deductions cannot normally exceed 40 per cent of the Universal Credit standard allowance. From October 2019 this will be reduced to 30 per cent.

24 Jun 2019, 4:41 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether there is a minimum level of income that a universal credit claimant must retain after a 40 per cent reduction to repay an advance has been applied.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

There is no set minimum level Universal Credit award for a claimant to retain. A claimant’s award will reflect their individual circumstances, topping up any earnings or other income that they may have, so their Universal Credit might just constitute a small proportion of their total income. Deductions from the award are calculated in relation to the Universal Credit standard allowance and the maximum rate of deductions cannot normally exceed 40 per cent of the Universal Credit standard allowance. From October 2019 this will be reduced to 30 per cent.

24 Jun 2019, 4:28 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of claimants of universal credit with an existing advance that have successfully applied for a budgeting advance have (a) received the maximum available budgeting advance, (b) chosen to repay the budgeting advance over the maximum time period allowed and (c) repaid the budgeting advance within the pre-agreed time period.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Universal Credit new claim and benefit transfer advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due, ensuring no one has to be left without means of financial support.

A budgeting advance is available for one-off unexpected financial events for Universal Credit claimants and is repayable over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments. Claimants might be able to get help for things such as: emergency household costs, getting a job or staying in work or funeral costs.

Of the Universal Credit claims repaying an existing advance:

a) 8% of these claims received a budgeting advance which was the maximum amount available to them

b) 13% of these claims received a budgeting advance to be paid over the maximum time period allowed

c) Information regarding those budgeting advances repaid within the pre-agreed time period is not readily available, and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Notes:

  1. Figures relate to Universal Credit full service only
  2. Figures relate to claims repaying an advance between March 2018 and February 2019
  3. Figures are rounded to the nearest %
  4. Budgeting advances with a value of £348, £464 and £812 have been used for proportion of claimants receiving the maximum available advance, as the values relate to the maximum entitlement dependent on the claimant's circumstances

24 Jun 2019, 4:22 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2019 to Question 263677 on universal credit, what recovery methods her Department uses.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Claimants are advised from the onset advances of Universal Credit are not loans. They are Universal Credit awards paid early which is then recovered over an agreed period via deductions from their Universal Credit payment. Universal Credit New Claim Advances are recovered over a maximum of 12 months, this increases to 16 months in 2021. Exceptionally, the maximum period could be deferred by up to three months. Claimants can opt to repay the advance over a shorter period. For advances made after the payment due date, the full amount is recovered immediately from arrears payable.

24 Jun 2019, 4:06 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants had advance payments refused for a (a) new claim and (b) benefit transfer in the last 12 months.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Universal Credit new claim advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first payment is due. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, for which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months. From October 2021, this maximum repayment period will be extended from 12 to 16 months.

The Department ensures claimants are made aware of their maximum advance entitlement and informed that their Universal Credit award will be adjusted over the relevant recovery period to take into account the advance of benefit they received.

There were 1,046,000 claims made to Universal Credit during January to December 2018 which went into payment. Of these claims, 598,000 (57%) received an advance by end of February 2019 and 449,000 (43%) did not receive an advance. Those who did not receive an advance will include instances of advance payments being refused. However, to identify and collate the total number of applications refused for (a) new claim and (b) benefit transfer in the last 12 months would incur disproportionate cost to the Department.

Notes:

  1. Figures relate to Universal Credit full service
  2. Figures capture all advances types
  3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000
  4. Advances paid are provided for claims which went into payment in the 2018 calendar year to ensure enough time has elapsed to be certain these claims did actually progress to payment
24 Jun 2019, 3:18 p.m. Taxis: Disability Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals to make disability equality training mandatory for taxi and minicab drivers.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

I know that disability awareness training can provide taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to give disabled passengers the assistance they need, and am clear that licensing authorities should use their existing powers to require drivers to complete it.

On 12th February the Government published its response to the report of the Chair of the Task and Finish Group on Taxis and PHV licensing, indicating its intention to introduce mandatory disability awareness training as part of National Minimum Standards when Parliamentary time allows.

21 Jun 2019, 12:51 p.m. Homophobia: Hate Crime Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department has taken to reduce homophobic hate crime.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

In October 2018 the Government published Action Against Hate: the Government’s plan for tackling hate crime two years on.

The Action Plan includes a number of commitments that are addressing all forms of hate crime, including a review of hate crime legislation by the Law Commission which commenced earlier this year, a public awareness campaign which has run twice, and the current Online Harms White Paper consultation.

There are also a number of specific commitments addressing homophobic hate crime, which have been informed by the Government’s 2018 LGBT Ac-tion Plan. These include: the Crown Prosecution Service working with partners to improve the recording and monitoring of equalities data for LGBT victims of hate crime and reviewing and refreshing its LGBT Hate Crime Schools Pack; further Government Equalities Office funding for anti-bullying interventions in schools from March 2019 to March 2020; support from the Home Office to the police to improve training in responding to victims; multiple Home Office funded projects aimed at tackling homophobic hate crime; and continued engagement with LBGT stakeholders.

21 Jun 2019, 12:07 p.m. Funerals: Costs Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 May 2019 to Question 249851, what steps her Department takes to (a) make funerals accessible to everyone and (b) co-ordinate actions between the various bodies listed to ensure they are making funerals accessible to everyone.

Answer (Will Quince)

The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payments provides a significant contribution towards funeral costs for claimants on qualifying benefits. It continues to meet the necessary costs of a cremation or burial and up to £700 towards other costs. In 2017-18 around 25,500 Funeral Expenses Payment awards were made. This amounted to £37.1 million of support for funeral costs. Interest-free Social Fund Budgeting Loans and Universal Credit Budgeting Advances are now also available to assist with funeral costs.

The Department holds regular discussions with funeral providers and related organisations, including a Ministerial Roundtable on 18th June 2019 to discuss the Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payments scheme and listen to views for suggested future improvements.

21 Jun 2019, 11:14 a.m. Primary Education: Admissions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recent London School of Economics report which has found that children with special educational needs and disabilities who attend nurseries based in primary schools are significantly less likely than their peers to be admitted into the school’s reception class.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The government’s ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is the same for every other child: to make the most of early education, thrive in school and to live happy fulfilled lives.

The London School of Economics report focusses on data related to the behaviour of schools and a cohort of children born into the 2006/07 academic year. This report does not consider parental choice in that some children may have gone onto a special school rather than the primary school they attended as their preschool choice.

Where a child’s education health care (EHC) plan names a school, the child must be admitted to that school. Where a child does not have an EHC plan, places will be allocated in accordance with the school's published admission arrangements.

Furthermore, all mainstream state-funded schools must comply with the school admissions code and wider admissions law, as well as with equalities law. The code is clear that admission authorities must ensure their arrangements will not disadvantage unfairly, directly or indirectly a child with SEND.

20 Jun 2019, 9:33 a.m. Orkambi Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what contingency plans his Department has put in place in the event that Vertex declines NHS England’s latest offer for the supply of Orkambi.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

NHS England is leading the negotiations with Vertex and has made a revised and improved offer to Vertex that would provide immediate funding for Orkambi, and Symkevi in advance of assessment by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and expanded access to Kalydeco which is already funded on the National Health Service for certain patients.

The Government fully supports NICE and NHS England in seeking to ensure access for patients to effective and innovative medicines at a price that represents value to the NHS, and it is not for Ministers to intervene in this process. The Department’s approach remains to urge Vertex to accept NHS England’s generous offer, but we will explore other options to ensure patients can access treatments as soon as possible.

20 Jun 2019, 9:33 a.m. Orkambi: Clinical Trials Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of launching a large scale clinical trial of the generic version of Orkambi.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

NHS England is leading the negotiations with Vertex and has made a revised and improved offer to Vertex that would provide immediate funding for Orkambi, and Symkevi in advance of assessment by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and expanded access to Kalydeco which is already funded on the National Health Service for certain patients.

The Government fully supports NICE and NHS England in seeking to ensure access for patients to effective and innovative medicines at a price that represents value to the NHS, and it is not for Ministers to intervene in this process. The Department’s approach remains to urge Vertex to accept NHS England’s generous offer, but we will explore other options to ensure patients can access treatments as soon as possible.

20 Jun 2019, 9:05 a.m. Zero-hours Contracts Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that people employed on zero-hours contracts are able to take advantage of employment rights which are gained after a period of qualifying service.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

An individual’s eligibility for statutory employment protections in the UK is determined by their employment status and not the type of work they do, or label given to the arrangement. Individuals who are on a zero hours contract, part-time contract, or any other type of flexible arrangement can still be eligible for the same statutory employment rights as any permanent, full-time individual if they are doing the same work.

The latest figures show that the proportion of people on zero hours contracts remains small (2.6 per cent of the labour force). The number of people reporting being employed on a zero hours contract is 57,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

19 Jun 2019, 2:43 p.m. Estate Agents: Licensing and Registration Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to introduce (a) a registration and (b) a licensing scheme for estate agents; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

We have commissioned the Regulation of Property Agents working group, chaired by Lord Best, to consider and advise Government on a new regulatory approach to letting, managing and estate agents. The group is due to report in July 2019 and Government awaits their recommendations before determining next steps.

19 Jun 2019, 2:26 p.m. Cancer: Health Services Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve NHS waiting times for cancer patients.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out plans to improve early cancer diagnosis, and a new ambition that, by 2028, the proportion of cancers diagnosed at stages one and two will rise from around half to three-quarters of cancer patients. This will be achieved through raising greater awareness of symptoms of cancer, accelerating access to diagnosis and treatment, maximising the number of cancers that are identified through screening, and harnessing new innovations in technology. A radical overhaul of the way diagnostic services are delivered will ensure that people can get their diagnosis more quickly, including the roll-out of new Rapid Diagnostic Centres across the country to upgrade and bring together the latest diagnostic equipment and expertise.

The independent cancer taskforce recommended the introduction of a new faster diagnosis standard to ensure that people receive a life changing confirmation of whether or not they have cancer within 28 days. This proposed new standard is being considered as part of the clinical review of National Health Service access standards currently being undertaken by NHS England.

18 Jun 2019, 4:22 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 6 June to Question 258971, what information her Department holds on the proportion of universal credit claimants who have successfully applied for a reduction in their deduction in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

As at 13th June 2019 the proportion of Universal Credit claimants with a benefit overpayment, who have successfully applied for a reduction in the rate at which they are repaying that overpayment, was 9.2%.

The Department ensures that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect claimants who have deductions from their benefit to repay overpayments. If a claimant is struggling they can contact the Department’s Debt Management Team to discuss lowering their repayment rate. Any adjustment to the rate of repayment will be based on the individual circumstances of the claimant.

*The data provided in this response has been sourced from internal management information and was never intended for public release. It is not comparable to any other, similar data subsequently released by the Department.

18 Jun 2019, 3:35 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have been offered a deferral period for advance repayments in the last 12 months.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

This information is not centrally collated and could only be supplied at a disproportionate cost to the Department.

The Department recognises that exceptional circumstances may occur to claimants that were not foreseen when a Universal Credit advance was taken out. Should claimants face unexpected financial hardship as a result of such changes, they can ask the Department for a deferral of the repayment of any advance they have taken out. The deferral periods are up to 3 months for a new claim, benefit transfer or change of circumstances advance and up to 6 months for a Budgeting advance.

18 Jun 2019, 3:32 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June to question 260538, what assistance is available for universal credit claimants who (a) are unable to repay their advance, (b) have already had their repayments deferred for three months, (c) are not eligible for benefit transfer or change of circumstance advances and (d) are still repaying a previous budgeting advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

A key part of the process for agreeing an advance payment on Universal Credit is ensuring that the claimant can afford to repay it. We will not make advances which encourage recipients to become over-indebted.

The Department encourages all Universal Credit claimants to actively consider how best to manage their personal budget, with additional advice and support available from work coaches and case managers. When an advance payment is appropriate, claimants decide what percentage of their expected monthly award to apply for and over what period to repay it, up to a maximum of 12 monthly instalments.

The Department does not levy penalties on claimants who do not repay their advance within either a calendar 12 month from taking out the advance, nor where they do not repay the advance in 12 monthly instalments. Outstanding repayments are actively monitored and managed, ensuring we support claimants experiencing financial challenges whilst maintaining responsibility to the taxpayer for recovery.

18 Jun 2019, 3:32 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June to Question 260540, what the consequences are for universal credit claimants who are unable to repay their advance within the agreed timescale.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

A key part of the process for agreeing an advance payment on Universal Credit is ensuring that the claimant can afford to repay it. We will not make advances which encourage recipients to become over-indebted.

The Department encourages all Universal Credit claimants to actively consider how best to manage their personal budget, with additional advice and support available from work coaches and case managers. When an advance payment is appropriate, claimants decide what percentage of their expected monthly award to apply for and over what period to repay it, up to a maximum of 12 monthly instalments.

The Department does not levy penalties on claimants who do not repay their advance within either a calendar 12 month from taking out the advance, nor where they do not repay the advance in 12 monthly instalments. Outstanding repayments are actively monitored and managed, ensuring we support claimants experiencing financial challenges whilst maintaining responsibility to the taxpayer for recovery.

18 Jun 2019, 3:21 p.m. In Vitro Fertilisation Steve McCabe

Question

What recent discussions his Department has had with clinical commissioning groups on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s guidance on fertility treatment.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have a statutory responsibility to commission healthcare services that meet the needs of their whole population, including fertility services. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Aauthority’s guidance for commissioners is a new tool to help them implement National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Fertility guidelines and utilise the benchmark price for In Vitro Fertilisation.

I have written to all CCGs to promote the guidance and benchmark price, and encourage them to fully implement NICE Fertility Guideline recommendations.

18 Jun 2019, 3:04 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants who have an existing advance have been offered an additional budgeting advance in the last 12 months.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Universal Credit new claim and benefit transfer advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due, ensuring no one has to be left without means of financial support. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments. In the Autumn Budget 2018, we announced that from October 2021, the repayment period for these advances will be extended to 16 monthly instalments.

A budgeting advance is available for one off unexpected financial events that the claimant is unable to meet and is repayable over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments.

The latest available data shows in the 12 months between March 2018 and February 2019 around 840,000 claims received a new claim or benefit transfer advance. In the same period 134,000 claims received budgeting advances, where for the previous assessment period prior to receiving a budgeting advance there was a repayment of a previous advance for that claim.

Notes:

  1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000.
  2. Figures relate only to Universal Credit full service.
  3. Figures do not relate to those who may have been repaying an advance from a previous claim.
14 Jun 2019, 10:57 a.m. Public Spaces Protection Orders: Homelessness Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what regulations are in place to stop local authorities from the excessive use of public space protection orders against homeless people.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

Revised statutory guidance on the use of the powers provided by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, published in December 2017 made it clear that public space protection orders should be used proportionately and should not be used to target people based solely on the fact that someone is homeless or sleeping rough.

14 Jun 2019, 10:33 a.m. Bus Services: Disability Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress his Department has made on the installation of audio visual equipment in buses.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Government understands the importance of accessible on-board information in helping bus passengers to travel with confidence, and in Summer 2018 published a public consultation on proposals to require its provision on local bus services throughout Great Britain.

We continue to analyse responses to the consultation and expect to announce our next steps regarding the making of Regulations and publication of guidance later in the year. In the meantime, we welcome operators’ efforts to provide accessible information onboard their services ahead of the Regulations being made.

13 Jun 2019, 1:33 p.m. Dementia Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative estimate his Department has made of the average cost of (a) caring for a dementia patient at home with care provided by family and (b) care provided in an in-patient setting.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Department has made no such comparative estimate.

The average cost of caring for a dementia patient at home by family is not collected or reported centrally.

Data on the average cost of care provided in an in-patient setting is not available in the format requested.

13 Jun 2019, 1:04 p.m. Carers: Leave Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of providing a statutory entitlement to up to 10 days paid care leave.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Government recognises the challenges of balancing work and care. Improving support for carers to do so is a key part of the action plan that we published in June 2018.

The Department is working with colleagues across Government to consider the question of dedicated employment rights for carers alongside existing employment rights (such as the right to request flexible working and the right to time off for family and dependants).

13 Jun 2019, 1:04 p.m. Carers: Leave Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing the statutory right for employees taking longer-term unpaid care leave to return to their original employment after their caring duties have finished.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Government recognises the challenges of balancing work and care. Improving support for carers to do so is a key part of the action plan that we published in June 2018.

The Department is working with colleagues across Government to consider the question of dedicated employment rights for carers alongside existing employment rights (such as the right to request flexible working and the right to time off for family and dependants).

11 Jun 2019, 10:53 a.m. Bus Services: Concessions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will protect the concessionary bus pass in the forthcoming Spending Review.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

Decisions on public spending, including on concessionary travel, will be made in the round as part of the Spending Review.

10 Jun 2019, 3:58 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 April 2019 to Question 240478, for what reason the decision was made to extend the recovery period for advances to 16 months.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Currently, the maximum amount of an advance is determined by the claimants expected UC payment and the need to repay it over 12 months at a maximum deduction rate of 40% of the standard allowance.

We have announced that we will reduce this maximum rate to 30% to ensure that claimants with the highest rate of deductions will keep more of their monthly payment. UC claimants who currently have deductions of over 30% will benefit from this change, because they will have up to 10% more of their Universal Credit standard allowance available each month.

We recognise that this could impact the maximum advance available to claimants, to ensure that this does not happen and that claimants still receive the level of support they need, we have increased the amount of time claimants have to repay the Advance from 12 to 16 months.

10 Jun 2019, 2:08 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May to Question 249845 on Universal Credit, what proportion of universal credit claimants who had not fully repaid their advance as of 5 May 2019 had taken out that advance prior to 5 November 2017.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

8.1% of UC advances which were paid before 5 November 2017, have not been fully repaid as at 5 June 2019, which is the latest position available.

Universal Credit new claim advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, for which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months. From October 2021, this maximum repayment period will be extended further to 16 months.

Notes:

1. This data has been sourced from internal management information and was not intended for public release. It should therefore not be compared to any other similar data subsequently released by the Department.

10 Jun 2019, 12:58 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May to Question 254729 on universal credit, what penalties can be levied on claimants of universal credit if they are unable to repay their advance within 12 repayment instalments.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department does not levy penalties on claimants who do not repay their advance within either a calendar 12 month from taking out the advance, nor where they do not repay the advance in 12 monthly instalments.

10 Jun 2019, 12:43 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 April 2019 to Question 240478, if he will itemise each step referred to in that Answer.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that the recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable.

Affordability is managed by ensuring the recovery rate for these advances will not be more than the equivalent of 40 per cent of the claimant’s standard allowance. The claimant is given the choice over the repayment period and it is explained to them exactly how much will be deducted each month depending on the option they choose. If the claimant is making the advance application online, these options are clearly displayed on screen for them to choose from.

If during the recovery of an advance the claimant experiences an unforeseen expense that would cause them or their family genuine hardship if they were required to continue to repay the advance, then they can be offered a deferral period of the repayment of the advance of up to 3 months for a new claim, benefit transfer or change of circumstance advance and up to 6 months for a budgeting advance.

The Department has also announced that from October 2019 the maximum rate of deductions from a claimant’s standard allowance will be reduced from 40 per cent to 30 per cent and from October 2021 we will be increasing the recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months, further supporting those in financial need. This is in addition to having previously increasing the amount a claimant could receive as an advance payment from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of their indicative award.

10 Jun 2019, 12:20 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the number of claimants of universal credit without a permanent fixed address.

Answer (Will Quince)

This information is not centrally collated, and to do so would create a disproportionate cost to the Department. Universal Credit case managers and work coaches are aware of the reported circumstances of individuals and are able to provide a tailored approach, which includes those without a fixed address.

The Department is committed to ensuring that those who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, get the appropriate support to stabilise their lives and move into work. There is a range of support which can be considered, such as access to Alternative Payment Arrangements, easements to work-search requirements, and partnerships between Jobcentres and housing organisations. By law, work coaches in England must offer a voluntary referral to claimants they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a Local Housing Authority.

Data on homelessness by local authority level, provided by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics

6 Jun 2019, 4:55 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to answer of 20 May 2019 to Question 254733, what information her Department uses to verify the statement that if a claimant is in financial difficulty as a result of the level of deductions being made they can contact the Department to request that a reduction in deductions be considered.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Government recognises the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. Claimants’ circumstances are always taken into account when applying debt repayment thresholds to avoid undue hardship.

Universal Credit already has procedures and regulations in place to protect claimants from excessive deductions. The maximum rate of deductions cannot normally exceed 40 per cent of the Universal Credit standard allowance, and from October 2019 this will be reduced to 30 per cent.

If a claimant is in financial difficulty as a result of the level of deductions, where it relates to benefit debt, a social fund loan or rent arrears, they can request that a reduction be considered. Similarly, if a claimant is having difficulty repaying a benefit overpayment, they can request a reconsideration of the amount that is being taken. Reductions are always based on the individual circumstances of the claimant, rather than the amount of the overpayment, which helps to ensure that a sustainable repayment plan based on affordability is put in place.

The claimant should provide reasonable evidence to support their request. This could include information about the household income and expenditure where hardship is claimed on financial grounds. Where hardship is claimed because either the claimant or a member of their family is seriously ill, they would need to provide supporting evidence to explain how or why recovery would be detrimental to the health or welfare of the claimant or their family.

A Repayment Negotiation Framework based on the individual circumstances of the customer, rather than the size of the debt and repayment period has been developed. This makes the process much simpler, and ensures both on and off benefit customers are treated fairly. This framework is contained within the Benefit Overpayment Recovery Guide which can be found on Gov.uk via the link below. The Repayment Negotiation Framework can be found on page 38, paragraph 5.68.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/616116/benefit-overpayment-recovery-guide.pdf

6 Jun 2019, 4:11 p.m. Counselling: Sign Language Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of deaf-focused NHS counselling using British sign language as the first language in England; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The National Health Service Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is available to all adults. If an individual is deaf and requires British Sign Language (BSL) to be used, services can either use a BSL interpreter or refer them to Sign Health, an IAPT service which delivers therapy using BSL trained therapists. Sign Health is available nationally but is funded via individual funding requests, so clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for funding decisions. In 2018/19 Sign Health received £1 million from 116 CCGs for the treatment of around 250 people. Other alternatives that may be suitable for deaf people include therapy delivered via a digital route, for example text messaging.

The NHS England IAPT manual, published in June 2018, specifies that commissioners, managers, primary and secondary care clinicians should develop local IAPT care pathways in consultation with patient groups and community leaders, including under-represented groups. The IAPT manual recommends that commissioners and providers consider commissioning services that have bilingual clinicians who speak the language of local minority groups, including clinicians who are fluent in BSL for deaf people.

Local commissioners have to pay due regard to the equality legislation when commissioning IAPT services. They are able to decide whether they meet their responsibilities through services who provide BSL trained therapists or through interpreters in their locality.

6 Jun 2019, 4 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the demographic of (a) universal credit claimants and (b) universal credit claimants that have taken out an advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Statistics on demographics of those on Universal Credit, including age, gender and postcode area, can be found under the ‘People on Universal Credit’ dataset available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Demographic data on Universal Credit claimants who received an advance is collected but is not published regularly as part of the official statistics. Data relating to advance payments associated with a UC award, rather than individual claimants, can be provided by region, constituency and local authority.

6 Jun 2019, 3:37 p.m. Mental Health Services: Hearing Impairment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of mental health support for people who (a) are deaf and (b) have a hearing impairment; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Government is committed to ensuring that all people who have a mental health need, including those who are deaf or have a hearing impairment, are able to access appropriate support when they need it regardless of other physical health conditions. Commissioners are responsible for commissioning appropriate cultural and linguistic provisions when planning services for deaf people.

Deaf patients are able to access mental health services based on a clinical assessment of need with the support and involvement of clinicians (including consultant psychiatrists and mental health nurses) with the skills and experience of working with deaf people with mental illness and who are able to communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) where needed.

NHS England commissions specialised mental health services for children, young people and adults who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. These include inpatient and outreach services for children and young people and services for adults who require inpatient care, including care in secure mental health services.

The Specialised Mental Health Clinical Reference Group provides advice and support to NHS England about improving commissioning, including through service specifications and quality schemes. NHS England has developed a specific Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme in 2019-20 for specialised deaf services aimed at introducing a standardised approach to the assessment and understanding of a patient’s individual communication skills, which will improve the effectiveness of interactions with staff, care planning and delivery.

The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health has published guidance for commissioners of primary care mental health services for deaf people. This is for use by clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and service providers across primary and secondary care. The content is evidence based and incudes what is deemed to be best practice when commissioning mental health services for deaf people. The guide is available at the following link:

www.improvement.nhs.uk/resources/improving-mental-health-services-for-deaf-people/

The guidance recommends the training of psychological wellbeing practitioners through an accredited standard Improving Access to Psychological Therapies low intensity training course adapted for delivery in BSL. It also sets out the benefit of providing the current specialist BSL workforce with access to continuing professional development training so that they are able to further develop their skills and expertise through programmes such as high intensity therapy, counselling for depression, supervision qualifications and other appropriate interventions.

6 Jun 2019, 3:37 p.m. Mental Health Services: Hearing Impairment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) guidance and (b) training is available to clinicians on assessing and referring deaf patients to specialist mental health support.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Government is committed to ensuring that all people who have a mental health need, including those who are deaf or have a hearing impairment, are able to access appropriate support when they need it regardless of other physical health conditions. Commissioners are responsible for commissioning appropriate cultural and linguistic provisions when planning services for deaf people.

Deaf patients are able to access mental health services based on a clinical assessment of need with the support and involvement of clinicians (including consultant psychiatrists and mental health nurses) with the skills and experience of working with deaf people with mental illness and who are able to communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) where needed.

NHS England commissions specialised mental health services for children, young people and adults who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. These include inpatient and outreach services for children and young people and services for adults who require inpatient care, including care in secure mental health services.

The Specialised Mental Health Clinical Reference Group provides advice and support to NHS England about improving commissioning, including through service specifications and quality schemes. NHS England has developed a specific Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme in 2019-20 for specialised deaf services aimed at introducing a standardised approach to the assessment and understanding of a patient’s individual communication skills, which will improve the effectiveness of interactions with staff, care planning and delivery.

The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health has published guidance for commissioners of primary care mental health services for deaf people. This is for use by clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and service providers across primary and secondary care. The content is evidence based and incudes what is deemed to be best practice when commissioning mental health services for deaf people. The guide is available at the following link:

www.improvement.nhs.uk/resources/improving-mental-health-services-for-deaf-people/

The guidance recommends the training of psychological wellbeing practitioners through an accredited standard Improving Access to Psychological Therapies low intensity training course adapted for delivery in BSL. It also sets out the benefit of providing the current specialist BSL workforce with access to continuing professional development training so that they are able to further develop their skills and expertise through programmes such as high intensity therapy, counselling for depression, supervision qualifications and other appropriate interventions.

3 Jun 2019, 1:51 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May 2019 to Question 249847, what assessment of a universal credit claimant’s financial situation is made when calculating what percentage of their payment will be deducted in order to repay an advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The maximum amount a claimant can receive as a new claim advance payment is 100 per cent of their total indicative Universal Credit award. The claimant can decide the length of repayment period when they request the advance. This can be up to a maximum 12 months. The rate of repayment is decided by dividing the total advance amount by the agreed repayment period.

Affordability is managed by ensuring the recovery rate is not more than the equivalent of 40 per cent of the standard allowance and help is available for those struggling to meet the recovery rate once recovery begins. In many cases, because claimants choose to repay advances over many months, advance repayments constitute less than 40% of a standard allowance. In exceptional circumstances, recovery can be deferred for up to 3 months from the start of the recovery period.

Advances are not loans; they are an interest free advance payment of benefit, available to help people who need immediate financial support, which is then recovered over an agreed period. The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. From October 2019 we are reducing the maximum rate of deductions to 30 per cent and from October 2021 we are increasing the maximum recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months.

24 May 2019, 1:07 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 May to Question 249846, whether she has made an assessment of the feasibility of a claimant living with a 40 per cent reduction in their universal credit payment; and if she will make a statement.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. From October 2019 we are reducing the maximum rate of deductions to 30 per cent of standard allowance and from October 2021 we are increasing the maximum recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months.

24 May 2019, 12:02 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what penalties universal credit claimants incur if they are unable to repay their advance within 12 months.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Before accepting a Universal Credit Advance the number of monthly repayment instalments is agreed with a claimant, up to a maximum of 12. For a variety of reasons, instalments may not occur consecutively, so claimants do not incur a penalty if it takes them more than 12 calendar months.

The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. From October 2019 we are reducing the maximum rate of deductions to 30 per cent and from October 2021 we are increasing the maximum recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months.

23 May 2019, 4:28 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May to Question 249845, what proportion of universal credit claimants who had not fully repaid their advance as of 5 May 2019 had taken out that advance prior to 5 November 2018.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The latest available data shows there were 610,000 claimants who had not fully repaid a Universal Credit Advance which had been taken out prior to 5 November 2018. This equates to around 40% of the total claimants with a Universal Credit Advance.

Notes:

  1. Data is a snapshot of information held on 15 May 2019 and has been rounded to the nearest ten thousand.
  2. Many Universal Credit advances are taken out over a 12-month repayment period, so this snapshot of data includes cases where repayments are being made to the agreed timeline.
  3. This data has been sourced from internal management information and due to the time available, has not been quality assured to the usual standards for public release. It should therefore not be compared to any other similar data subsequently released by the Department.
22 May 2019, 1:11 p.m. Children's Centres Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to (a) reverse the closure of children's centres and (b) publish a strategy for the long-term expansion of the provision of children's centres.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

As set out in the government response to recommendation 13 of the Education Select Committee report on tackling disadvantage in the early years, published on 4 April 2019, we are clear that children’s centres have an important role to play in achieving my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s social mobility ambition, but it is right for local authorities to decide how to use them as part of the wider system of local services. The government response can be accessed here: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/Education/Correspondence/Government-response-to-committee-9th-report-tackling-disadvantage-in-the-early-years-CP-68.pdf, the select committee report can be accessed here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmeduc/1006/1006.pdf.

The government’s role is to engage with the sector, find out what works and support local areas to make the right decisions for their communities, which is why we have commissioned the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) to examine research and practice evidence with the aim of developing tools to help local authorities make informed choices about their children’s centre provision. The EIF project is part of the Department for Education’s £8.5 million local government programme, which will inform the next steps, including considering any future consultation, on children’s centres. Funding for the local government programme runs until March 2020, with evidence and learning emerging by its conclusion.

20 May 2019, 3:48 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May to Question 249845, what information her Department holds on the demographics of universal credit claimants who have been unable to repay their advance within 12 months.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The table below shows the volumes of customers who have had an advance of their Universal Credit award on the system for a year or more as of 13 May 2019, broken down by age, gender and region. All figures are rounded to the nearest 500.

Prior to taking a new claim advance, the claimant agrees the number of monthly instalments in which they will repay it, up to a maximum of 12. For a number of reasons, their 12 monthly instalments may not necessarily run consecutively. Claimants do not incur a penalty if it takes them more than a calendar 12-month timescale to replay their advance.

Age of Claimant

Female

Female

Male

Male

Total

England & Wales

Scotland

England & Wales

Scotland

Under 20

2,000

500

2,000

500

5,000

20-29

35,000

4,500

53,000

8,000

100,500

30-39

24,000

2,500

43,500

6,000

76,000

40-49

15,500

2,000

24,000

3,500

45,000

50-59

12,000

1,500

16,000

2,000

31,500

60+

2,500

500

3,500

500

7,000

Total

90,500

11,000

142,000

21,000

264,500

Note:

This data has been sourced from internal management information and has not been quality assured to the usual standards for public release. It should therefore not be compared to any other similar data subsequently released by the Department.

20 May 2019, 3:48 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May 2019 to Question 249847, what information her Department holds on the proportion of universal credit claimants who have (a) requested a reduction in their deduction and (b) received a reduction in their deduction.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

20 May 2019, 2:31 p.m. Paediatrics: Staff Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will support the Children and Young People's Transformation Programme within the NHS Long Term Plan by (a) publishing the Government's timetable for the implementation of the paediatric Workforce Implementation Plan and (b) guaranteeing that the Workforce Implementation Plan will be fully-funded from the public health budget.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 May 2019 to Question 249197.

Whilst there are no plans for a specific ‘paediatric Workforce Implementation Plan’, the NHS People Plan will include those working with children and young people. A final Plan will be published following the 2019 Spending Review.

13 May 2019, 3:48 p.m. 101 Calls: Fees and Charges Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department receives any money from the 15 pence service charge on calls to the non-emergency police hotline 101.

Answer (Mel Stride)

VAT is applied at the standard rate of 20% to all telephone service call charges.

10 May 2019, 2:57 p.m. Universal Credit: Private Rented Housing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 April to Question 243333, on Universal credit: private rented housing, what percentage of new claimants contact the Money and Pensions Service within three months of signing on to universal credit.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The requested information is not centrally collected by the Department.

The Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has replaced the three existing providers of government-sponsored financial guidance – the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – which has brought together the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance for the first time, streamlining the services offered and reducing confusion for members of the public on who they should contact.

The new body delivers free and impartial financial guidance and a more streamlined service to members of the public providing easier access to the information and guidance.

From January to March 2019 around 9,300 individuals visited the Money Manager tool for Universal Credit claimants, hosted on the Money Advice Service website. Additionally, over the same period, The Money and Pension Service money guidance contact centre was contacted around 1,100 times regarding Universal Credit.

10 May 2019, 2:57 p.m. Universal Credit: Private Rented Housing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 April to Question 243333 on Universal Credit: Private Rented Housing, if he will make an assessment of trends in the level of claimants making contact since February 2019 as a result of those changes.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The requested information is not centrally collected by the Department.

The Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has replaced the three existing providers of government-sponsored financial guidance – the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – which has brought together the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance for the first time, streamlining the services offered and reducing confusion for members of the public on who they should contact.

The new body delivers free and impartial financial guidance and a more streamlined service to members of the public providing easier access to the information and guidance.

From January to March 2019 around 9,300 individuals visited the Money Manager tool for Universal Credit claimants, hosted on the Money Advice Service website. Additionally, over the same period, The Money and Pension Service money guidance contact centre was contacted around 1,100 times regarding Universal Credit.

9 May 2019, 2:19 p.m. Children's Play Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to implement the child's right to play in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child through the establishment of a national play strategy.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The UK government remains fully committed to children’s rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and I reaffirmed our commitment in my Written Ministerial Statement on 20 November 2018.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework sets the regulatory standards for ‘learning and development’ and ‘safeguarding and welfare’ requirements for all early years providers caring for children from birth to 5. The framework defines 7 areas of learning and development and is clear that each area must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.

The EYFS Statutory Framework is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2.

9 May 2019, 2:09 p.m. Swimming: Primary Education Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to introduce a statutory requirement to provide primary school (a) teaching and (b) support staff with (i) training and (ii) regular up-skilling in swimming and water safety; and if he will ensure that all pupils of primary age have adequate opportunities to access publicly-funded swimming facilities.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

Swimming is a vital life skill, which is why swimming and water safety are compulsory elements of the national curriculum physical education (PE) at key stages 1 and 2. It sets out the expectation that pupils should be taught to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres;
  • use a range of strokes effectively; and
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

The government asked the Swim Group, which includes representatives from across the swimming and education sector, to submit an independent report setting out recommendations for improving curriculum swimming, as part of the Sporting Future strategy. The department has worked closely with Swim England and other members of the Swim group to review the recommendations in their report. In October 2018, we announced that schools would receive extra support to help all pupils to swim and know how to be safe in the water by the time they leave primary school. This included guidance to schools on:

  • effective use of the PE and sport premium to support additional teacher training and top-up swimming for those children not yet able to meet the national curriculum requirements after core lessons;
  • a drive to boost partnerships between independent schools to offer the use of facilities, coaching and other forms of support to schools in their area;
  • new guidance from Swim England and the Swim Group for swimming providers, primary schools, swimming teachers and parents and carers.

Information on school swimming pools is not held centrally. Since 2012, Sport England has invested £67 million into 46 new local authority facilities which include pools, resulting in around £700 million investment from those authorities. In addition, Sport England is currently working with around 100 local authorities which have plans for new pool provision.

Sport England also provide guidance to local authorities on facility management options and specifications, this guidance is currently under review and will be available in the forthcoming months.

The new guidance will contain information on pool programming from Swim England and will reference good practice where facility management organisations have worked in cooperation with primary schools to improve logistics in relation to delivery of school swimming.

8 May 2019, 5:20 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the number of universal credit claimants that have debts in addition to a universal credit advance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Government recognises the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. Universal Credit already has procedures and regulations in place to protect claimants from excessive deductions. The maximum rate of deductions cannot normally exceed 40% of the Universal Credit standard allowance, and from October 2019, this will be reduced to 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance of their UC award. If a claimant is in financial difficulty as a result of the level of deductions being made they can contact the Department to request that a reduction in deductions be considered.

Universal Credit (UC) new claim advances provide access to a payment for those in financial need, which can be accessed on the same day, until their first UC payment is due. Claimants can access up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, for which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months, and in the Autumn Budget 2018, we announced that from October 2021, the payback period for these advances will be extended further, up to 16 months.

Currently there are around 850,000 claimants that have a UC advance repayment in place. Of these claimants, the table below shows 440,000 also have at least one other debt relating to benefit overpayments, social fund loans or previous advances (figures rounded to nearest ten thousand). The data held by the Department does not include other third party debts, for example arrears, utility bills or other borrowing. However, research conducted by Almo’s shows that while many people join UC with pre-existing arears, this fell by a third after 4 months on universal credit.

Debt Source/Combination

Volume

Percent

Tax Credits only

120,000

27.31

Social Fund only

80,000

18.29

Other Combinations inc Social Fund

62,000

14.04

Other Combinations

40,000

9.05

UC Overpayment only

22,000

4.94

Other Combinations inc UC

20,000

4.49

Other Combinations inc Leg OP & SF

18,000

4.05

Legacy Benefit overpayment only

18,000

4.04

Other Combinations inc Legacy

17,000

3.89

UC Recoverable Hardship Payment

10,000

2.39

Legacy Benefit overpayment and Social Fund

10,000

2.22

Housing Benefit only

10,000

2.20

Tax Credits & Housing Benefit

9,000

2.05

Housing Benefit & Social Fund

5,000

1.03

Source: DWP internal statistics

Notes:

1. Data has been sourced from DWP internal statistics.

2. The figures within the data table for those with more than two types of benefit debt have been combined and reported according to whether they have both a legacy benefit (LegOP) and a social fund (SF) debt, either of these singularly or another UC related debt.

8 May 2019, 5:10 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2019 to Question 243330 on Universal Credit, what assessment her Department makes of other repayment commitments that claimants may have alongside their obligation to repay a universal credit advance; and whether any such assessments affect the repayment period relating to such advances.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The purpose of Universal Credit new claim advances is to provide those in financial need with fast access to a payment to see them through until their first Universal Credit payment is due. Introducing an assessment of claimant’s other repayment commitments would delay this.

Affordability is managed by ensuring the recovery rate will not be more than the equivalent of 40% of their benefit unit’s standard allowance. Help is available for those struggling to meet the recovery rate. In exceptional circumstances, recovery can be deferred for up to 3 months from the start of the recovery period.

Advances are not loans; they are an interest free payment benefit advance, available to help people who need immediate financial support, which is then recovered over an agreed period. The Department has taken a number of steps to ensure that advances meet the needs of claimants and that the recovery arrangements are personalised and reasonable. From October 2021 we are increasing the recovery period for advances from 12 to 16 months, further supporting those in financial need.

8 May 2019, 10 a.m. Universal Credit: Private Rented Housing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2019 to Question 243334 on Universal Credit: Private Rented Housing, whether she has plans to classify being in receipt of benefits as a protected characteristic in order to eliminate discrimination against benefit recipients in the rental housing market.

Answer (Will Quince)

The Government has no current plans to classify receipt of benefits as a protected characteristic (under Equalities Legislation).

Ministers are working with stakeholders from across the private rental sector to discuss how it can work with them to eliminate practices which prevent benefit recipients from renting property.

8 May 2019, 7:45 a.m. Children's Play Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the (a) quality, (b) number and (c) adequacy of the content of local authority play strategies throughout England.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework sets the regulatory standards for ‘learning and development’ and ‘safeguarding and welfare’ requirements for all early years providers caring for children from birth to 5. The framework defines 7 areas of learning and development and is clear that each area must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.

The department is not currently reviewing local authority play strategies in England. The EYFS does not promote a particular pedagogical approach - instead, it is for individual early years settings to determine how the areas of learning should be implemented to support children to meet the expected level of development by the end of the reception year.

7 May 2019, 4:09 p.m. Health Services: Children and Young People Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Children and Young People's Transformation Programme in the NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, if he will publish the timeframe for the implementation of the essential paediatric Workforce implementation plan; and take steps to ensure that the workforce implementation plan will be funded from the public health budget.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

The National Health Service budget will increase by £33.9 billion in cash terms, the equivalent of £20.5 billion in real terms by 2023/24, reflecting the fact that the NHS is the Government’s top spending priority.

The NHS Long Term Plan prioritises services for children and young people. It provides a clear focus on improving the health of children and young people across mental health, learning disabilities, cancer and elsewhere. It is critical in prioritising services for children and young people in future, and it will continue to influence the wider issues that impact on children’s health. Creation of a Transformation Programme for Children and Young People will provide an improved strategic and coordinated response to meet the diverse needs of children and young people.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has asked Baroness Harding to take forward the development of a People Plan, as part of the overall implementation plan for the Long Term Plan, in order to ensure the challenges of supply, reform, culture and leadership can be met. This will sit alongside the broader Implementation Plan that will be developed at all levels to make the Long Term Plan a reality. An interim People Plan will be published this spring and a full plan will be published within two months of the conclusion of the Spending Review.

7 May 2019, 1:53 p.m. Funerals: Fees and Charges Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of families were unable to afford the funeral of family member in each of the last five years.

Answer (Will Quince)

No such assessment has been made.

Funeral poverty is not just an issue for Government. Providers of funeral services, including the church, funeral directors, local authorities and owners of crematoriums, all have a role to play in ensuring funerals are accessible for everyone.

7 May 2019, 12:59 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that the universal credit childcare support offer does not require parents to (a) pay childcare costs upfront and (b) provide receipts.

Answer (Will Quince)

We recognise the difficulty that some claimants might have in paying upfront childcare costs. Where the initial month’s childcare costs may prevent a claimant from starting work, Jobcentres will use the Flexible Support Fund to help claimants in the first instance. This is a non-repayable award, which can be used to meet the upfront childcare costs to help support a claimant into work.

For claimants who are in work and need help with upfront childcare costs, budgeting advances are available that can be used to cover the cost of paying upfront childcare costs or a deposit.

The payment of Universal Credit Childcare costs is based on monthly reporting by the claimant of the actual childcare costs the household incurs. Claimants are required to provide a receipt of the eligible costs they have paid and these are then reimbursed within their Universal Credit award. Such monthly reporting ensures accuracy whilst reducing the levels of error and the possibility of overpayments.

30 Apr 2019, 2:58 p.m. Maternity Payments Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many women have received the Sure Start maternity grant in each year since 2010.

Answer (Will Quince)

The number of Sure Start Maternity Grant awards in Great Britain is reported annually in Appendix 1 of the Social Fund Annual Report:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-fund-annual-report-2017-to-2018

The number of Sure Start Maternity Grant awards are provided in the table below.

Number of Sure Start Maternity Grant awards, 2010/11 to 2017/18

Year

Number of awards

2010/11

257,000

2011/12

89,000

2012/13

77,000

2013/14

73,000

2014/15

66,000

2015/16

59,000

2016/17

55,000

2017/18

50,500

As of 24 January 2011, Sure Start Maternity Grants are provided for the birth of the recipient’s first child only. Previously it was payable for the birth of each child.

30 Apr 2019, 2:46 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department does not inform automatically Healthy Start on the eligibility of claimants of universal credit.

Answer (Will Quince)

Responsibility for the Healthy Start scheme, including eligibility for it, lies with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). In support of that, upon request, DWP provides DHSC with confirmation of whether people applying for Healthy Start are getting Universal Credit and if so, whether their earnings are below the threshold set by DHSC.

30 Apr 2019, 2:31 p.m. Maternity Allowance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason women receiving maternity allowance do not qualify for the Sure Start maternity grant.

Answer (Will Quince)

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a payment of £500 to provide important help for families with the costs of a new baby.

The grant is available to recipients, and partners of recipients, of a qualifying benefit or tax credit i.e Income Support, Pension Credit, JSA (income-based), Universal Credit, Support for Mortgage Interest, Child Tax Credit, or Working Tax Credit with a disability or severe disability element. A customer may also be eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant where one of the above benefits is being paid in addition to their Maternity Allowance.

By restricting the availability to those in receipt if income related benefits the Government is focussing the available resource where it is needed most.

30 Apr 2019, 12:54 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason universal credit classifies maternity allowance as income and statutory maternity allowance as earnings.

Answer (Will Quince)

Universal Credit is a means tested system of support. Where claimants have income available to meet their everyday living costs, such as maternity allowance, it is right that their entitlement to UC is adjusted accordingly (as currently is the case with other DWP legacy means tested working age benefits).

Statutory maternity pay is paid by an employer and is therefore a form of earnings subject to the work allowance and tapering within Universal Credit, as are other earnings.

29 Apr 2019, 3:04 p.m. 101 Calls: Fees and Charges Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether there is a requirement for telephone providers to have a 15 pence service charge for calls made to the police on the non-emergency 101 number.

Answer (Margot James)

There is no obligation on telecom service providers to supply the 101 service free of charge as is the case with 999/112 under the 2003 Communications Act. Calls to 101 cost 15p from a mobile device or landline phones, from anywhere in the country and regardless of duration. Calls are free from payphones. The public have always paid to contact the police by telephone for non-emergencies and the 15p cost of the call goes to the telephony providers to cover the cost of carrying the calls. The police and government receive no money from calls to 101.

24 Apr 2019, 2:24 p.m. 101 Calls: Fees and Charges Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of removing the 15 pence service charge on 101 calls so that non-emergency phone calls to the police are free of charge.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

Calls to 101 cost 15p from a mobile device or landline phones, from anywhere in the country and regardless of duration. Calls are free from payphones.

The public have always paid to contact the police by telephone for non-emergencies and the 15p charge per call is a transparent rate that fully funds the 101 non-emergency service. Police non-emergency numbers (such as 0845 numbers) which were used before 2011 could cost members of the public up to 40p per minute. While it may not be an option for everyone, the public can also report non-emergency crimes online via forces’ websites, free of charge.

The Home Office is supporting the digital transformation of policing through programmes such as the Digital Policing Portfolio (DPP), led by the NPCC. Within the DPP, the Digital Public Contact programme aims to provide appropriate digital channels for the public to report and track crime online, facilitating greater public-police interaction in real time.

1 Apr 2019, 4:45 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the five week wait for payment on universal credit on an individual's ability to manage their money.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

No claimant has to go five weeks without receiving support, as advances, worth up to 100 per cent of a claimant’s indicative award, are available up front, if there is a need. Advances are paid back over a period of 12 months and in the Autumn Budget 2018, we announced that from October 2021, the payback period for these advances will be extended further, up to 16 months.

New Claims are often made as a result of a life event such as losing a job or separating from a partner, and these events can be associated with financial problems. To support our claimants fully at these times, the Department has introduced a number of measures to support claimants before they receive their first Universal Credit award.

Following the Autumn Budget 2017, we have already removed waiting days and are providing an additional 2 weeks of Housing Benefit to eligible claimants to support them when they move to Universal Credit.

From July 2020, we are introducing a two-week run-on for all those on Employment Support allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s allowance who move to Universal Credit and their claim for Universal Credit terminates their existing benefit award

On the 1st January 2019, The Money and Pension Service (MAPS) replaced the three existing providers of government-sponsored financial guidance – the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – which has brought together the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance for the first time.

The new body delivers free and impartial financial guidance and a more streamlined service to members of the public providing easier access to the information and guidance.

1 Apr 2019, 4:36 p.m. Universal Credit Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure recipients of universal credit can rent accommodation from private landlords.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

We know that there are people who have experienced difficulties when trying to rent a property whilst claiming benefit. We strongly encourage landlords and agents to consider all potential and existing tenants in receipt of Universal Credit on an individual basis. We are keen to understand more about the issue and work with stakeholders to consider what further action Government might take.

With Universal Credit, payments can be paid directly to the landlords and we continue to listen to feedback and work with landlords to improve the system. We have recently announced further changes to make it simpler for landlords to request direct payments through Universal Credit.

1 Apr 2019, 4:10 p.m. Migrant Workers: Nurses Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the salary exemption announced for nurses under Tier 2 visas will be (a) maintained after the UK leaves the EU and (b) extended to EEA citizens; and what further steps the Government is taking to ensure effective recruitment from EU and non-EU countries to meet demand for NHS and social care staff after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

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

In December 2018, the Government set out its proposals in “the UK’s future Skills-based Immigration System” White Paper. In line with the independent Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations the White Paper proposes a new route for skilled workers, which will be open to occupations at RQF level 3 and above. The MAC also recommended maintaining the existing system of salary thresholds.

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

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

1 Apr 2019, 3:29 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Computers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February 2019 to Question 217437 on Disabled Students' Allowances: Computers, if he will publish those contracts.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The Student Loans Company, as one of the department’s non-departmental public bodies, is subject to the government’s transparency requirements and will publish any contract with a value over £10,000 on Contracts Finder subject to any applicable redactions.

6 Mar 2019, 1:45 p.m. Schools: Finance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what schools are able to spend their one-off capital payment announced in Budget 2018 on.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Schools can spend their allocations from the additional £400 million announced at Budget 2018 on capital projects to meet their own priorities. This may include improvements to buildings, equipment, and other facilities, such as ICT. The individual allocations for schools and other eligible institutions are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-allocations. Payments were made at the beginning of February through the same routes as devolved formula capital.

6 Mar 2019, 1:41 p.m. Schools: Birmingham Selly Oak Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the commitment in Budget 2018, when schools in Birmingham, Selly Oak constituency will receive the one-off capital payment of (a) £10,000 to each primary school and (b) £50,000 to each secondary school.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

On 28 January 2019, the Department for Education published allocations from the additional £400 million announced at Budget 2018. Payments were made at the beginning of February through the same routes as devolved formula capital (DFC). As with DFC, individual allocations vary according to the number and phase of education of pupils in a school. An average primary and secondary school have been allocated at least £10,000 and £50,000 respectively. Individual allocations and an explanation of the methodology used to calculate them, are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-allocations.

6 Mar 2019, 11:05 a.m. Pharmacy: Negligence Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the outcome of the consultation on Pharmacy legislation on dispensing errors and organisational governance.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board met on 18 October 2018 and 23 November 2018 to discuss the responses received to the public consultation on the draft Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Hospital and Other Pharmacy Services) Order 2018 and the draft Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc.) Order 2018.

After considering the responses received at length, the Board has recommended that all proposals made in respect of the two draft Orders are progressed - albeit with minor amendments to the draft Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc.) Order 2018. These proposed amendments will be subject to agreement with Parliamentary Counsel.

The Department remains committed to laying the two draft Orders before Parliament as quickly as possible, subject to legal and Parliamentary time and European Union exit preparations. The Government’s response to the consultation will be laid in Parliament alongside the draft legislation.

4 Mar 2019, 5:39 p.m. NHS: Standards Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to undertake a public consultation on the proposed review of NHS performance times.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

The clinically-led review of standards was announced by the Prime Minister in June 2018. The review is considering the appropriateness of operational standards for physical and mental health relating to planned, unplanned urgent or emergency care, as well as cancer.

The Long Term Plan provides a platform upon which innovative models of patient care can and are being developed. In that context, the National Health Service’s National Medical Director has been working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Healthwatch England and many others to consider what matters most to patients, on the clinical issues with the current target regime, and what NHS staff believe will help them provide the best quality care for patients.

The review will report its interim findings in the spring of 2019, after which any recommended changes will be carefully tested across the NHS and be subject to a rigorous approach before they are implemented.

We are committed to ensuring that any potential changes to NHS performance standards are based on clinical evidence, and work in the interest of patient safety. If new standards are implemented they will not diminish current performance standards.

4 Mar 2019, 5:37 p.m. Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, how many cases have been passed to the CPS by the police which the CPS has decided not to pursue (a) in each region and (b) at CPS Direct in each year since 2009.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of suspects (not cases) referred to prosecutors for a pre-charge decision and the number of decisions not to prosecute suspects following a charging decision.

The tables at Annex 1 show the outcome of referrals from the police for a pre charge decision. Data is provided for each one of the CPS’ regional Areas from 2009/10 to 2017/18. This dataset incorporates all decisions taken by CPS Direct over this period.

The outcome of a decision can be one of the following:

  • Charge; Prosecutors must be satisfied there is enough evidence to provide a "realistic prospect of conviction" against each defendant and that the prosecution is in the public interest.

  • Take no further action for either evidential or public interest reasons;

  • Recommend that an out of court disposal is appropriate, such as a caution, conditional caution or that the offence is taken into consideration with other charges;

  • Administratively Finalise in cases where an early investigative advice has been sought by the police or, there is insufficient evidence to bring a charge at first referral, the police have been asked to complete an action plan and no further evidence is forthcoming. These cases may be reopened, if at a later date, new material is provided to the prosecution enabling a charging decision to be made; and

  • Other, when the result of the charging decision is not known or has not been given for that suspect.

The Charging and No Further Action (NFA) rates will vary from Area to Area depending upon the practice of local police forces to NFA weak cases without reference to the CPS. The Administratively Finalised rate is largely determined by the number of cases referred to the CPS for early investigative advice. In recent years, there has been a rise in the proportion of cases administratively finalised following an increased use of early investigative advice in rape cases.

4 Mar 2019, 10:56 a.m. Cycling and Walking: Infrastructure Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to allocate funding to local authorities to implement Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) are used by Local Authorities to identify and prioritise investment for cycling and walking schemes from local funds and relevant national funding streams, such as the Highways Maintenance Fund, Integrated Transport Block, Transforming Cities Fund, Future High Streets Fund, Housing Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Air Fund.

Decisions on future funding for cycling and walking will be made in the context of the forthcoming Spending Review.

1 Mar 2019, 2:56 p.m. Prisons: Crimes of Violence and Self-harm Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February to Question 217444 on Prisons: Crimes of Violence and Self-harm, what assessment his Department made for the reasons for trends in the level of (a) deaths, (b) assaults and (c) self-harm in prisons.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The causes of self-harm and violence in prisons are complex. They include imported factors, such as the characteristics of the population coming into prison; and custodial factors, such as the nature of the prison environment and regime. Among other factors, we know that the trade in illicit drugs is fuelling much of the violence in prisons. The drugs themselves also play a significant part in the number of deaths and the amount of self-harm. We are confident that the measures outlined in the Answer to Question 217444 will reduce the incidence of self-harm and violence. The growing population of older prisoners means that the number of deaths from natural causes is likely to continue to rise.

28 Feb 2019, 4:28 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Lighting Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what safety standards on headlamps will apply to vehicles in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

There will be no change to the current safety standards for headlamps which must be met before a vehicle can be sold, registered or used in the UK.

28 Feb 2019, 4:25 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Lighting Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which regulations cover the use of LED and Xenon car headlights.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Before cars can be sold or registered in the UK, where fitted with LED and Xenon headlights these must comply with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulations 112 and 98 respectively. All vehicles used on the UK roads must comply with the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (as amended).

26 Feb 2019, 11:53 a.m. Mental Illness: Community Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether powers exist to compel an individual to accept mental health treatment in the community.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

An individual cannot be compelled to have treatment in the community if they do not want it.

For individuals who have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, section 17A of the Act makes provision for Community Treatment Orders. This allows conditions to be placed on an individual when in the community, following detention under s3 or s37 of the Mental Health Act. If conditions are not followed, and an individual’s mental health declines, they can be recalled back to hospital for treatment.

26 Feb 2019, 11:51 a.m. Postnatal Depression Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the conclusions of the June 2017 National Childbirth Trust report entitled The Hidden Half: Bringing postnatal mental illness on a lack of support for new mothers with mental health issues.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department is aware of the National Childbirth Trust’s ‘Hidden Half’ report and campaign, which are making an important contribution to the debate around the need to develop and improve perinatal mental health services.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes a commitment for a further 24,000 women to be able to access specialist perinatal mental health care by 2023/24, building on the additional 30,000 women who will access these services each year by 2020/21 under pre-existing plans as set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

Specialist care will also be available from preconception to 24 months after birth, which will provide an extra year of support.

General practitioners and primary care teams have a crucial role in supporting the identification of perinatal mental illness and treatment, and are part of an integrated pathway of services. This includes monitoring early onset conditions, providing pre-conception counselling and referring women to specialist mental health services, including Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and specialist perinatal community teams, if necessary.

Over £1.2 million was provided in 2017 to enable the training of primary care, maternity and mental health staff to increase awareness and skills related to perinatal mental health.

25 Feb 2019, 5:24 p.m. Birmingham Prison: G4S Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February to Question 217442 on Birmingham Prison: G4S, whether G4S (a) was required to pay any forfeitures as a result of the step-in and (b) paid during the period of the step-in.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Any additional costs incurred to HMPPS as a result of the step-in action, including HMPPS staff and for cells taken out of operational use, are being claimed from G4S in accordance with the terms of our contract with them. The details of that claim are commercially restricted.

While we are confident that the action taken at HMP Birmingham has begun to arrest the decline and brought signs of improvement, as I have said previously, we will not return the prison to G4S control until we are assured that it the issues which gave rise to the step-in have been remedied and are not likely to recur. We have decided to extend the step-in and the position will be reviewed again in summer 2019. We will not hand the prison back to G4S unless we are completely satisfied it is safe to do so.

25 Feb 2019, 5:24 p.m. Birmingham Prison: G4S Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February to Question 217442 on Birmingham Prison: G4S, what assessment he has made of the capacity of G4S to fulfil the terms of its contract to run that prison.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Any additional costs incurred to HMPPS as a result of the step-in action, including HMPPS staff and for cells taken out of operational use, are being claimed from G4S in accordance with the terms of our contract with them. The details of that claim are commercially restricted.

While we are confident that the action taken at HMP Birmingham has begun to arrest the decline and brought signs of improvement, as I have said previously, we will not return the prison to G4S control until we are assured that it the issues which gave rise to the step-in have been remedied and are not likely to recur. We have decided to extend the step-in and the position will be reviewed again in summer 2019. We will not hand the prison back to G4S unless we are completely satisfied it is safe to do so.

25 Feb 2019, 4:56 p.m. Police Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers were employed in each year since 2010.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of police officers employed by each police force in England and Wales on a bi-annual basis. These data are published in the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins.

Data on the number of police officers in England and Wales, as at 31 March each year and going back to March 2007, can be found in the accompanying Open Data Table:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/629362/open-data-table-police-workforce.ods

The latest published figures, representing the picture as at 30 September 2018, can be accessed in ‘Table 1’ of the accompanying data tables here:


https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-30-september-2018

25 Feb 2019, 4:47 p.m. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner: Mayors Steve McCabe

Question

What oversight he has of the consultation to merge the role of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner with that of West Midlands Mayor.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Government supports the second devolution deal for the West Midlands which envisaged incorporating the role and powers of the PCC into the Mayoralty.

A two-stage public consultation is being carried out locally to seek views on the transfer. The conduct of the consultation is a matter for the West Midlands Combined Authority.

25 Feb 2019, 11:51 a.m. Road Traffic Offences: Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 11 of February 2019 to Question 217439 on Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands, how many minor motoring cases there were in England and Wales in each year since 2010.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of prosecuted defendants by twelve Principal Offence Categories, including the category of Motoring Offences.

The table below shows the number of summary-only prosecutions at magistrates’ courts allocated to the Motoring Offences category during each available year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 and the change in both volume and percent.

Year

Motoring Prosecution Caseload

Volume Change

% Change

2010-2011

287,677

-

-

2011-2012

255,270

-32,407

-11.3%

2012-2013

224,832

-30,438

-11.9%

2013-2014

166,028

-58,804

-26.2%

2014-2015

107,698

-58,330

-35.1%

2015-2016

107,227

-471

-0.4%

2016-2017

100,058

-7,169

-6.7%

2017-2018

94,738

-5,320

-5.3%

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

It is not possible to disaggregate figures to show separately the volume and outcome of proceedings for individual offences within the Motoring Offences category.

25 Feb 2019, 11:47 a.m. Crown Prosecution Service Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2019 to Question 213932 on Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands, what the change has been in the caseload for the Crown Prosecution Service for each principal offence category in each year from 2010.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the volumes of completed prosecutions, or caseload, as a count of the number of defendants and collates the data collected in financial years. At the conclusion of each prosecution case the defendant is allocated one of 12 Principal Offence Categories that indicates the most serious offence with which the defendant is charged at the time of finalisation.

The tables in Annex 1 show the number of finalised prosecution outcomes in the CPS nationally for each Principal Offence Category, during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18, and the year on year change in both volume and percent.

21 Feb 2019, 4:24 p.m. GP at Hand: Finance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether funding allocated to patients that sign up to the Babylon GP at Hand application is transferred to the Hammersmith and Fulham Care Commissioning Group where the application is hosted.

Answer (Steve Brine)

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

21 Feb 2019, 4:24 p.m. GP at Hand Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing compensation to GP practices that lose income as a result of patients signing up to the Babylon GP at Hand application.

Answer (Steve Brine)

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

21 Feb 2019, 4:24 p.m. GP at Hand: Birmingham Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether patients in Birmingham that sign up to the Babylon GP at Hand application are recorded as a patient of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG in London.

Answer (Steve Brine)

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

21 Feb 2019, 4:24 p.m. GP at Hand Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has been made of the trends in the level of patients presenting at (a) A&E Departments and (b) GP Walk-in Centres as a result of being deregistered from their local GP Practice after signing up for the Babylon GP at Hand application.

Answer (Steve Brine)

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

21 Feb 2019, 4:24 p.m. GP at Hand Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguards his Department has put in place to ensure that patients that have signed up to Babylon GP at Hand application maintain access to a local GP practice in the event that they need to see a GP face-to-face.

Answer (Steve Brine)

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

21 Feb 2019, 4:24 p.m. GP at Hand: Birmingham Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason NHS England lifted the ban on the Babylon GP at Hand plans to expand into Birmingham before the independent evaluation by IPOS Mori of that service is published next month.

Answer (Steve Brine)

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

20 Feb 2019, 5:18 p.m. Crimes of Violence: Homelessness Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment his Department made of the level of violent crime directed at homeless people.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

We do not hold relevant data on levels of violent crime directed at homeless people, however in April 2018 the Government published the Serious Violence Strategy which sets out our evidence and analysis of violent crime.

The Strategy identifies a range of risk and protective factors that may increase an individual’s involvement in violent crime and the evidence suggests that being homeless is one of the markers for increased risk of both victimisation and perpetration of serious violence and also substance abuse. We also know that the homeless are particularly targeted by county lines gangs.

18 Feb 2019, 5:29 p.m. Pancreatic Cancer Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that every patient with pancreatic cancer receives treatment within the first 20 days of diagnosis.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The information is not available in the format requested.

Clinical priority remains the main determinant of when a patient should be treated.

NHS England will shortly be introducing a new Faster Diagnostic Standard for all cancer patients, including those with suspected pancreatic cancer, which will see patients given a diagnosis or the all clear within 28 days. The 31-day standard of decision to treat to undergoing first treatment will remain in place. However, this is an upper limit and clinical priority will always remain the main determinant of when a patient should be treated.

18 Feb 2019, 5:29 p.m. Pancreatic Cancer Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many pancreatic cancer patients received treatment within 20 days of diagnosis in each of the last five years.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The information is not available in the format requested.

Clinical priority remains the main determinant of when a patient should be treated.

NHS England will shortly be introducing a new Faster Diagnostic Standard for all cancer patients, including those with suspected pancreatic cancer, which will see patients given a diagnosis or the all clear within 28 days. The 31-day standard of decision to treat to undergoing first treatment will remain in place. However, this is an upper limit and clinical priority will always remain the main determinant of when a patient should be treated.

14 Feb 2019, 5:38 p.m. Prisons: Crimes of Violence and Self-harm Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of (a) deaths, (b) assaults and (c) cases of self-harm in prisons.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Prisons should be places of safety and reform. Violence is never acceptable, and we recognise that the current level of suicide and self-harm is too high.

With this in mind, the Government is taking unprecedented action, including:

  • investing in over 4,300 additional staff since October 2015;
  • introducing new suicide and self-harm prevention training, which has already reached over 24,000 staff;
  • improving support for prisoners in their early days and weeks and rolling out a ‘key worker’ scheme which ensures each prisoner has dedicated support from a particular prison officer;
  • funding the Samaritans to provide their valuable Listeners Scheme for a further three years;
  • improving the ACCT case management process for those identified as at risk of self-harm or suicide.
  • investing an extra £70 million to improve safety, security and decency, and equipping officers with rigid-bar handcuffs, PAVA incapacitant spray and body-worn cameras to help prevent serious harm to staff and prisoners when dealing with violent incidents and assaults; and
  • tackling the drugs that we know are fuelling much of the violence in custody - introducing new x-ray scanners, drug-detection dogs and dedicated search teams.

We are also committed to taking action to improve prisoners’ health. Since April 2018, a new National Partnership Agreement has been in place, marking an even stronger level of co-operation and cohesiveness between agencies that influence the policy, commissioning and delivery of prison health services. The agreement sets out how the partnership (DHSC, NHS England, MoJ, HMPPS and Public Health England) will work together to deliver its three core objectives. It agrees ten key priority areas for 2018-2021, including reducing incidents of self-harm and self-inflicted deaths in the adult secure estate.

In addition, NHS England has published a new Service Specification for Integrated Substance Misuse Treatment Services in Prisons in England, which brings greater focus to the treatment of users of psychoactive substances and makes stronger links to mental health.

14 Feb 2019, 5:12 p.m. NHS: Recruitment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the NHS is able to recruit nurses from the EU after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Government is committed to developing a future borders and immigra-tion system that will cater for all sectors of the UK, including for those who make a very valuable contribution to our NHS.

On 19 December, we published an immigration White Paper on the UK’s future skills-based immigration system, intended to provide for a single sys-tem applicable to both EU and non-EU nationals, to be implemented after 2021. In this, we have proposed a new skilled worker route, which will not be capped, removed the requirement for employers to undertake a Resi-dent Labour Market Test for high skilled roles and committed to providing a simpler and more streamlined sponsorship system.

As we have been clear, the White Paper provides the basis for a national conversation. We are launching an extensive 12-month programme of engagement with UK-wide businesses and organisations on key proposals contained in the White Paper before making final policy decisions on these issues.

In the meantime, we have been clear that we want all EU nationals, including those working in the NHS, to stay in the UK after we leave. And for those making an important contribution from outside of the EU, we have implemented a number of preferential provisions within the current system specifically for nurses. This includes a change we made last July to exempt all non-EEA overseas nurses and all doctors needed in the UK from the Tier 2 annual cap, allowing them to be recruited into critical roles in the NHS without a restriction on their numbers.

14 Feb 2019, 5:03 p.m. Prisoners: Learning Disability Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his Department holds on the rates of learning difficulties among the prison population.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Data on offender learning participation, and learner characteristics, is published by the Department for Education.

Data on learning difficulties and/or disabilities amongst those prisoners who engage in prison education is at: OLASS: participation and achievement by equality and diversity & English and maths level: 2010/2011 to 2017/18. Self-declared data on learning difficulties and/or disabilities gathered as part of the assessment of prisoners’ levels of maths and English on reception is at: OLASS English and maths assessments by ethnicity and learners with learning difficulties or disabilities: participation 2014/2015 to 2017/2018. The data consistently show that around one third of prisoners have a learning difficulty and/or disability.

In April 2016, the Department for Education published a breakdown of the type of learning difficulty and type of learning disability amongst prisoner learners for academic years 2011/12 to 2014/15. That data is at: Offender Learning breakdown by disability and learning difficulty 2011/12 to 2014/15.

14 Feb 2019, 4:30 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Computers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contracts the Department of Education has with the companies that supply laptops under the Disabled Student Allowance.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The department does not hold contracts for the supply of laptops under Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).

The Student Loans Company administers DSAs, and recently announced its intention to place contracts for the supply of DSAs assistive technology equipment and training.

14 Feb 2019, 4:29 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Computers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the value for money students who have paid £200 to receive a laptop under the Disabled Student Allowance receive.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The department has not made an assessment of the value for money of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) computer equipment. However, recent research commissioned by the department indicates that, overall, 73% of 558 students surveyed were satisfied with IT equipment funded by DSAs.

The research is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770546/Evaluation_of_DSAs_Report_IFF.pdf.

14 Feb 2019, 2:58 p.m. Social Rented Housing: Overcrowding Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps he has taken to tackle overcrowding in social housing.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing to provides homes for those who need them.

We have made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver 250,000 new affordable homes, including for social rent. Since 2010, we have delivered over 407,000 new affordable homes, including over 293,000 affordable homes for rent.

On 18 September we announced an additional £2 billion of long-term funding certainty for housing associations to 28/29. This extra funding will deliver more affordable homes and stimulate the sector’s wider building ambitions, through strategic partnerships.

Further, by abolishing the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap at Autumn Budget, we have given councils the tools they need to deliver a new generation of council housing. Local authorities are now free to borrow to build new council homes in line with the Prudential Code, and we expect them to double building to deliver up to 10,000 homes per year by 21/22.

Through the Localism Act 2011 we have retained the statutory ‘reasonable preference’ requirements that ensure that social housing is prioritised for those in housing need, including people who are in overcrowded housing.

In the Social Housing Green Paper we set out our intention to undertake an evidence gathering exercise to help us understand how the allocations system is working and whether it is striking the right balance between fairness, support and aspiration.

14 Feb 2019, 2:57 p.m. Birmingham Prison: G4S Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether G4S will resume management of HMP Birmingham once the safety standards of the prison have improved; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

We regard well-run prisons as fundamental to the proper functioning of our justice system, and a vital part of our reform plans. Private providers continue to play an important role in the prison estate. The ability for G4S to take back control of the prison will not happen until we are assured that it would be safe to do so and that the issues which gave rise to the step-in have been remedied and are not likely to reoccur. The decision to return the prison to G4S control will be determined by their capacity to safely manage the prison and maintain a trajectory of improvement across a range of issues. We have therefore taken the decision to extend the step-in until the summer, when the position will be reviewed. This will provide time for the changes we are making to bed in, for improvements to gather pace, and for a conclusion to be reached on the longer-term future of the prison.

Our priority is the safety of the prisoners, and ultimately the safety of the public.

14 Feb 2019, 11:55 a.m. NHS: Vacancies Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 30 January 2019 to Question 214461, what comparative estimate his Department has made of cost of filing 80 per cent of nursing and 85 per cent of medical vacancies with (a) the bank and agency staff and (b) permanent staff members.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

We do not currently have clear estimates of the comparative cost of filling National Health Service vacancies with permanent rather than bank and agency staff. However, we do recognise that the cost of meeting the current level of staff shortages through bank and agency is greater than if those vacancies were filled by permanent staff. This is why we are working hard to boost NHS recruitment and reduce reliance on expensive agency workers.

The Department has provided a 25% increase in funding available for training places for doctors and nurses from September 2018. There are currently over 52,000 nurses in undergraduate training, over 30,000 doctors in undergraduate training, and over 50,000 doctors in foundation and specialty postgraduate medical training. The Department is continuing to work closely with universities and stakeholders to ensure the uptake of additional training places.

We are also working with NHS Improvement to implement a number of measures to reduce agency expenditure and ensure that trusts have effective and efficient banks. As a result of this work, total agency expenditure across NHS trusts in England has fallen from a peak of £3.6 billion in 2015/16 to £2.4 billion in 2017/18 – a £1.2 billion reduction.

14 Feb 2019, 11:50 a.m. Nurses: Recruitment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2019 to Question 214460 on Nurses: training and with reference to NHS Digital data showing 33,500 nurses left the NHS in 2016-17, what steps his Department is taking to increase the recruitment and retention of nurses.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

The National Health Service employs more staff now than at any other time in its 70 year history. There are currently 16,100 more nurses on wards in England than in 2010, with a further 52,000 undergraduates in training.

The latest University and College Admissions Service data shows that applications for full-time undergraduate nursing and midwifery courses has increased by 4.5% on last year. We also announced additional clinical placement funding to support 5,000 more training places each year from September 2018.

The Government has put in place a range of measures to increase nursing workforce supply, including a new route in to nursing through a Nurse Degree and Nursing Associate apprenticeships.

National programmes led by NHS Improvement, NHS Employers and Health Education England are focused on improving staff retention, increasing the number of nurses returning to practice, increasing overseas recruitment and improving sickness absence.

Around 1 million NHS workers will benefit from the new Agenda for Change pay and contract reform deal. The deal includes important changes to pay and non-pay benefits to help support recruitment and retention and boost productivity in return for additional pay investment.

11 Feb 2019, 4:57 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Computers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2019 to Question 213927, if he will make further financial assistance available to students already in receipt of the maximum amount of maintenance loan who are required to pay £200 in order to receive specialist computer hardware allocated to them under the Disabled Student Allowance.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

A basic computer is now a mainstream cost of study for all students, disabled or not.

​We believe it is therefore reasonable for students to fund this £200 from their Maintenance Loan. Students from the lowest-income households who started their courses this year have access to the largest ever amounts of cash-in-hand support for their living costs.

11 Feb 2019, 11:38 a.m. Crown Prosecution Service: Expenditure Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what the change has been in the level of funding allocated by the Crown Prosecution Service at (a) a regional level and (b) CPS Direct level in each year from 2010 to 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The table below provides a breakdown of the funding at regional level and for CPS Direct from 2010 to 2018.

Area

FY10

FY11

FY12

FY13

FY14

FY15

FY16

FY17

FY18

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

Cymru Wales Area

26.5

24.8

22.5

22.3

20.2

19.1

19.4

19.2

19.8

East of England Area

25.5

24.1

21.8

20.7

19.5

20.6

19.1

19.8

19.0

East Midlands Area

30.6

29.4

27.1

26.3

24.5

22.7

23.3

24.6

25.1

London

110.1

104.1

98.5

94.1

85.5

80.4

79.0

81.2

79.7

Mersey Cheshire Area

21.0

20.0

17.8

17.2

15.1

14.9

14.6

14.9

16.0

North East Area

23.7

23.0

21.4

20.0

18.4

18.0

17.1

17.9

17.2

North West Area

45.6

45.6

40.4

40.1

37.9

34.6

33.9

33.7

30.9

South East Area

29.1

27.1

25.4

23.8

22.2

23.1

21.8

21.8

22.8

South West Area

20.9

20.8

19.4

18.8

18.0

17.3

16.8

16.5

16.7

Thames and Chiltern Area

26.4

25.6

24.4

24.2

22.5

23.0

21.6

21.0

20.7

Wessex Area

22.1

21.2

19.9

18.2

17.6

17.8

17.1

15.4

14.8

West Midlands Area

45.5

42.6

39.3

36.0

33.1

32.7

34.4

36.8

35.6

Yorkshire and Humberside Area

42.6

40.3

36.8

35.8

33.8

32.5

32.2

31.8

30.8

CPS Direct

13.5

13.0

11.8

12.8

21.2

20.5

19.1

18.0

16.1

11 Feb 2019, 11:35 a.m. Crown Prosecution Service Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2019 to Question 213932 on Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands, what the change has been in the number of offences for each crime type in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England in each year since 2010.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of offences recorded against crime types. However, the CPS does collect data which reports the number of prosecuted defendants allocated to twelve Principal Offence Categories which is collated in financial years.

The tables in Annex A show the number of finalised prosecution outcomes by Principal Offence during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 in the West Midlands CPS Area and in England.

During the 8 year period reported in the table, magistrates’ courts caseload has fallen by 31% and Crown Court caseload by 23% in the West Midlands Area, compared to falls of 47% and 34% respectively across England as a whole.

Despite the falling caseload it is important to be aware that the types of cases prosecuted in the West Midlands and England have changed significantly in the period between 2010 and 2018. The CPS is prosecuting more serious and complex cases in the West Midlands Area as evidenced by a 46% rise in homicide (35% in England), a 34% increase in fraud and forgery (compared to a fall of 17% in England) and a 55% increase in sexual offences cases (26% in England). During this period, minor motoring cases have fallen by 67% in the Area with a similar fall reflected across England. This followed changes to the list of specified offences made in 2012 which transferred responsibility for prosecuting many low level motoring offences back to the police

11 Feb 2019, 11:35 a.m. Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2019 to Question 213932, what the change has been in the case load of the Crown Prosecution Service for each crime type, in the West Midlands, in each year from 2010 to 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of offences recorded against crime types. However, the CPS does collect data which reports the number of prosecuted defendants allocated to twelve Principal Offence Categories which is collated in financial years.

The tables in Annex A show the number of finalised prosecution outcomes by Principal Offence during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 in the West Midlands CPS Area and in England.

During the 8 year period reported in the table, magistrates’ courts caseload has fallen by 31% and Crown Court caseload by 23% in the West Midlands Area, compared to falls of 47% and 34% respectively across England as a whole.

Despite the falling caseload it is important to be aware that the types of cases prosecuted in the West Midlands and England have changed significantly in the period between 2010 and 2018. The CPS is prosecuting more serious and complex cases in the West Midlands Area as evidenced by a 46% rise in homicide (35% in England), a 34% increase in fraud and forgery (compared to a fall of 17% in England) and a 55% increase in sexual offences cases (26% in England). During this period, minor motoring cases have fallen by 67% in the Area with a similar fall reflected across England. This followed changes to the list of specified offences made in 2012 which transferred responsibility for prosecuting many low level motoring offences back to the police

6 Feb 2019, 4:52 p.m. Social Rented Housing: Mental Illness Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with mental health issues receive support to access social housing.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Regulator of Social Housing’s tenancy standard requires registered providers to develop and deliver allocations processes in a way which supports their effective use by the full range of actual and potential tenants, including those with support needs.

In the Social Housing Green Paper we set out our intention to undertake an evidence collection exercise to help us understand how the allocations system is working and whether it is striking the right balance between fairness, support and aspiration. The Social Housing Green Paper also recognises that many landlords play a role that goes beyond their key responsibilities, which includes providing signposting to vital services such as mental health services. Through the Green Paper, we sought to gather evidence on the impact of the important role that many social landlords are playing. We are considering responses to the Green Paper and will respond in Spring 2019.

Within social housing, and more widely, supported housing provides a vital service for vulnerable people, including people with mental health issues. Safeguarding provision and supply of appropriate supported accommodation is a priority for my Department and we will continue to provide capital grant funding to promote new supply of supported housing. Our August 2018 announcement confirming that funding for all supported housing is staying in Housing Benefit will have given increased confidence to the sector to continue to invest in new supply. We are also reviewing oversight arrangements for all supported housing. As a Government, we are investing record levels in mental health, spending £11.98 billion in 2017/18.

6 Feb 2019, 4:12 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, how many staff were employed in each Department in the CPS in the West Midlands on (a) 30 May 2010 and (b) 30 September 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

(a) As of 30 June 2010* a total of 794 staff were employed within what was the Crown Prosecution Service West Midlands Group.

Department

Headcount Total

CPS Staffordshire

129

CPS Warwickshire

35

CPS West Mercia

133

CPS West Midlands

497

Grand Total

794

(b) As of 30 September 2018 a total of 422 staff were employed within the Crown Prosecution Service West Midlands. Each constituent Unit (Department) of the Crown Prosecution Service West Midlands is shown below:

Department

Headcount Total

West Midlands Area Business Centre

14

West Midlands Complex Casework Unit

23

West Midlands Crown Court Unit

171

West Midlands Magistrates Court Unit

158

West Midlands Management Unit

17

West Midlands RASSO Unit

39

Grand Total

422

Note: * CPS HR management information in relation to staff in post is only available from June 2010. (Data Source Trent HR Database as at 31.01.2019)

Following an organisational restructure in 2011, the separate Areas of Crown Prosecution Service Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands combined under a single Chief Crown Prosecutor leadership to form the Area of Crown Prosecution Service West Midlands.

6 Feb 2019, 4:09 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service: Staff Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, how many staff were employed in each department within the CPS on (a) 30 May 2010 and (b) 30 September 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

(a) As of 30 June 2010*, the Crown Prosecution Service employed a total of 8,569 staff across its Area/Regional and HQ functions:

Department

Headcount Total

CPS Headquarters

574

Central Casework

530

CPS Direct

153

East Midlands

547

Eastern

419

North West Group

772

London

1278

Merseyside & Cheshire

355

North East

446

South East

406

South West

347

Yorkshire & Humberside Group

700

Thames & Chiltern

439

Cymru Wales

441

Wessex

368

West Midlands group

794

Grand Total

8,569

Note: *CPS HR management information in relation to staff in post is only available from June 2010. (Data Source Trent HR Database as at 31.01.2019)

(b) As of 30 September 2018, the Crown Prosecution Service employed a total of 5,936 staff across its Area/Regional and HQ functions.

Department

Headcount Total

CPS Headquarters

502

Central Casework Divisions

706

CPS Direct

181

Cymru Wales

275

East Midlands

318

East of England

258

London North

456

London South

476

Mersey Cheshire

235

North East

259

North West

464

South East

251

South West

219

Thames & Chiltern

271

Wessex

217

West Midlands

422

Yorkshire & Humberside

426

Grand Total

5936

6 Feb 2019, 4:04 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what the change has been in the overall caseload for the Crown Prosecution Service in each year from 2010 to 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the volumes of completed prosecutions, or caseload, as a count of the number of defendants and collates the data collected in financial years.

The table below shows the number of finalised prosecution outcomes during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 and the year on year change in both volume and percent.

Prosecution Caseload

Volume Change

% Change

2010-2011

958,834

-

-

2011-2012

896,505

-62,329

-6.5%

2012-2013

806,458

-90,047

-10.0%

2013-2014

736,696

-69,762

-8.7%

2014-2015

664,490

-72,206

-9.8%

2015-2016

637,778

-26,712

-4.0%

2016-2017

588,021

-49,757

-7.8%

2017-2018

533,161

-54,860

-9.3%

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

It is important to be aware that the types of cases prosecuted have changed significantly in the period between 2010 and 2018. The CPS is prosecuting more serious and complex cases as evidenced by a 38% increase in homicide, a 26% increase in fraud and forgery and a 26% increase in sexual offences cases. During this period, minor motoring cases have fallen by 67% across England and Wales. This followed changes to the list of specified offences made in 2012 which transferred responsibility for prosecuting many low level motoring offences back to the police.

6 Feb 2019, 4:04 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what the change has been in the overall case load for the Crown Prosecution Service between May 2010 and September 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the volumes of completed prosecutions, or caseload, as a count of the number of defendants and collates the data collected in financial years.

The table below shows the number of finalised prosecution outcomes during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 and the year on year change in both volume and percent.

Prosecution Caseload

Volume Change

% Change

2010-2011

958,834

-

-

2011-2012

896,505

-62,329

-6.5%

2012-2013

806,458

-90,047

-10.0%

2013-2014

736,696

-69,762

-8.7%

2014-2015

664,490

-72,206

-9.8%

2015-2016

637,778

-26,712

-4.0%

2016-2017

588,021

-49,757

-7.8%

2017-2018

533,161

-54,860

-9.3%

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

It is important to be aware that the types of cases prosecuted have changed significantly in the period between 2010 and 2018. The CPS is prosecuting more serious and complex cases as evidenced by a 38% increase in homicide, a 26% increase in fraud and forgery and a 26% increase in sexual offences cases. During this period, minor motoring cases have fallen by 67% across England and Wales. This followed changes to the list of specified offences made in 2012 which transferred responsibility for prosecuting many low level motoring offences back to the police.

6 Feb 2019, 12:43 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether financial assistance is available for students from the lowest-income households who qualify for the disabled student allowance to help with the £200 required to access specialist equipment.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Students from the lowest-income households who started their courses this year have access to the largest ever amounts of cash-in-hand support for their living costs. Students from lower income households are eligible to receive the maximum amount of maintenance loan available in addition to Disabled Students’ Allowances. Some higher education providers may help students to meet the £200 contribution, but that is at the provider’s discretion.

6 Feb 2019, 12:40 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2018 to Question 203779 on Disabled Students Allowances, what the timetable is for the (a) commencement and (b) conclusion of that research project.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The research was commissioned in late 2017, and the report ‘Evaluation of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)’ was published on 17 January 2019 and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-disabled-students-allowances-dsas.

​The report sets out students’ views on the effectiveness of the application and assessment processes for DSAs, their levels of satisfaction with the support provided through DSAs and by their higher education providers, and the impact that this support has had on their studies.

4 Feb 2019, 5:25 p.m. Designated Public Places Orders: Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the answer of 7 January 2019 to question 203778 on Designated Public Places Orders: Prosecutions, how many prosecutions there were for the offence of consumption of alcohol in a designated public place under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 by location of the court in each year from 30 May 2009.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The number of defendants prosecuted for the offence of consumption of alcohol in a designated public place by Police Force Area in each year from 2009 to 2017 can be found in the accompanying table.

4 Feb 2019, 4:16 p.m. Disabled Students Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the disabilities that students who qualified for the Disabled Students Allowance in each year since 2014-15.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Neither the Department for Education nor the Student Loans Company routinely collects data on the disabilities of students eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances. Advance HE publishes annually a national student equality data report for higher education institutions. Its most recent report can be found at https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/resources/2018_HE-stats-report-students.pdf table 2.3 on page 83 shows a profile of all disabled students over time by impairment type.

4 Feb 2019, 3:06 p.m. NHS: Vacancies Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to fill staff vacancies in the NHS.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

The National Health Service employs more staff now than at any other time in its 70-year history, with an increase of 72,100 full time equivalent staff since May 20101. Posts may be vacant for a variety of reasons, including maternity and career breaks. Trusts make decisions based on local needs about how they fill these posts, including looking at short-term options for cover, including bank and agency staff. The latest data from NHS Improvement’s quarterly performance report shows that as at September 2018, around 80% of nursing and 85% of medical vacancies are filled by a combination of bank and agency staff.

The Department has provided a 25% increase in funding available for training places for doctors and nurses from September 2018. There are currently over 52,000 nurses in undergraduate training, over 30,000 doctors in undergraduate training, and over 50,000 doctors currently in foundation and specialty postgraduate medical training. The Department is continuing to work closely with universities and stakeholders to ensure the uptake of additional training places.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a vital strategic framework to ensure that over the next 10 years the NHS will have the staff it needs, so that nurses and doctors can administer the expert compassionate care they are committed to providing. Baroness Dido Harding, Chair of NHS Improvement, working closely with Sir David Behan, Chair of Health Education England, will lead a number of programmes to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. Baroness Harding and Sir David Behan will present initial recommendations to the Department in spring 2019. A final workforce implementation plan will follow later in the year, taking into account the outcomes of the Spending Review.

Note:

1NHS Digital Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics for England: latest data as at October 2018

4 Feb 2019, 2:56 p.m. Nurses: Training Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the removal of bursaries for undergraduate nurses on the number of people choosing to study nursing.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

The NHS Long Term Plan, published 7 January 2019, sets out a vital strategic framework to ensure that over the next 10 years the National Health Service will have the staff it needs so that nurses have the time they need to care, working in a supportive culture that allows them to provide the expert compassionate care they are committed providing.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, working closely with Sir David Behan, to lead a number of programmes to engage with key NHS interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce, including consideration of additional staff and skills required, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff.

The University and College Admissions Service end of cycle data, published in December 2018, shows that the demand for nursing and midwifery courses remained strong in 2018, with 22,200 acceptances to study nursing and midwifery at English providers in England.

4 Feb 2019, 1:59 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what the change has been in the overall case load for the CPS in the West Midlands between May 2010 and November 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the volumes of completed prosecutions, or caseload, as a count of the number of defendants and collates the data collected in financial years.

The table below shows the number of finalised prosecution outcomes in the West Midlands CPS Area during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 and the year on year change in both volume and percent.

Prosecution Caseload

Volume Change

% Change

2010-2011

84,299

-

-

2011-2012

78,303

-5,996

-7.1%

2012-2013

72,389

-5,914

-7.6%

2013-2014

69,584

-2,805

-3.9%

2014-2015

59,878

-9,706

-13.9%

2015-2016

65,808

5,930

9.9%

2016-2017

66,841

1,033

1.6%

2017-2018

58,849

-7,992

-12.0%

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

It is important to be aware that the types of cases prosecuted by West Midlands CPS have changed significantly in the period between 2010 and 2018. The Area is prosecuting more serious and complex cases as evidenced by a 46% increase in homicide (38% nationally), a 34% increase in fraud and forgery (26% nationally) and a 55% increase in sexual offences cases (26% nationally). During this period, minor motoring cases have fallen by 67% in both the Area and across England and Wales as a result of the transfer of responsibility for the prosecution of these offences back to the police.

4 Feb 2019, 1:59 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what the change has been in the overall case load for the Crown Prosecution Service in the West Midlands in each year from 2010 to 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the volumes of completed prosecutions, or caseload, as a count of the number of defendants and collates the data collected in financial years.

The table below shows the number of finalised prosecution outcomes in the West Midlands CPS Area during each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18 and the year on year change in both volume and percent.

Prosecution Caseload

Volume Change

% Change

2010-2011

84,299

-

-

2011-2012

78,303

-5,996

-7.1%

2012-2013

72,389

-5,914

-7.6%

2013-2014

69,584

-2,805

-3.9%

2014-2015

59,878

-9,706

-13.9%

2015-2016

65,808

5,930

9.9%

2016-2017

66,841

1,033

1.6%

2017-2018

58,849

-7,992

-12.0%

Data Source: CPS Management Information System

It is important to be aware that the types of cases prosecuted by West Midlands CPS have changed significantly in the period between 2010 and 2018. The Area is prosecuting more serious and complex cases as evidenced by a 46% increase in homicide (38% nationally), a 34% increase in fraud and forgery (26% nationally) and a 55% increase in sexual offences cases (26% nationally). During this period, minor motoring cases have fallen by 67% in both the Area and across England and Wales as a result of the transfer of responsibility for the prosecution of these offences back to the police.

4 Feb 2019, 1:54 p.m. Road Traffic Offences: Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 26 November 2018 to Question 194050 on Crown Prosecution Service: Staff, what the figure was for prosecutions for minor motoring offences (a) at the beginning of that period (b) at the end of that period.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of prosecuted defendants by twelve Principal Offence Categories, including the category of Motoring Offences.

The table below shows the number of summary-only prosecutions at magistrates’ courts allocated to the Motoring Offences category for both the 12 months ending September 2008 and September 2018 and the change in both volume and percent.

Year Ending September 2008

Year Ending September 2018

Volume change

% Change

CPS Motoring Prosecution Caseload

367,905

95,726

-272,179

-74.0%

Data Source: Case Management Information System

It is not possible to disaggregate figures to show separately the volume and outcome of proceedings for individual offences within the Motoring Offences category.

While the number of overall prosecutions has decreased during the period, the highest fall in caseload has been in magistrates’ courts, where volumes reduced by 54.1%. This followed changes to the list of specified offences made in 2012 which transferred responsibility for prosecuting many low level motoring offences back to the police.

4 Feb 2019, 1:46 p.m. Crown Prosecution Service: Staff Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, what estimate he has made of the number of people (a) the CPS employs and (b) who were employed by the CPS in May 2010.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service employed 5,946 staff at 31 December 2018 and 8,569 staff at 30 June 2010. CPS HR management information in relation to staff in post is only available from June 2010.

21 Jan 2019, 3:26 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the upgrading of old SMETS1 meters so they have SMETS2 functionality, which types of SMETS1 meters will be enrolled into each phase of the upgrade programme; and which types of SMETS1 meters are not included in those plans.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Government expects all significant populations of SMETS1 meters to be enrolled into the national smart metering communications infrastructure run by the Data and Communications Company (DCC).

The Government has put an obligation on energy suppliers to ensure that all consumers with a smart meter will retain smart services upon switching by the end of 2020.

14 Jan 2019, 4:58 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Part-time Education Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December to Question 203781 on Disabled Students Allowances: Part-time Education, from which budget was the additional funding for the Disabled Students Allowances in 2017-18 allocated.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Each year, as part of the Main and Supplementary Estimates process, Parliament approves the total spend against specific objectives (within agreed budgetary limits). It is against these limits that the departmental group, as guided by HM Treasury’s spending control framework, is held accountable for its performance and the use of taxpayers’ funds.

14 Jan 2019, 4:29 p.m. Road Traffic Offences: Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions for careless and inconsiderate driving under the Road Traffic Act 1988 were made by each police force in each year since 30 September 2008.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Data held by the Ministry of Justice relates to the number of prosecutions broken down by the police force area where the defendant was dealt with.

The number of prosecutions for careless and inconsiderate driving under the Road Traffic Act 1988 broken down by the police force area where the defendants were dealt with in court over the last decade is in the public domain. This information is in the Motoring data tool found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2017.

  • For prosecutions, ensure ‘2: Magistrates’ Court’ is selected in the ‘Court Type’ filter.

  • Quarterly figures within individual calendar years can be examined by opening the field list and placing the ‘Quarter’ variable under columns.

  • Move the ‘Motoring offence group’ variable to Filters, and filter it to ‘24. Careless driving offences (excl. mobile phone offences)’. This offence group includes 'Driving without due care and attention', 'Failure to comply with an order to stop a moving vehicle' and 'Other careless driving offences and racing'.

  • Drag ‘Police Force Area’ in to the rows section.

14 Jan 2019, 3 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Part-time Education Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the answer of 19 December to Question 203781 on Disabled Students Allowances: Part-time Education, if he will publish a breakdown expenditure under that allowance in (a) 2017-18 and (b) 2016-17.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

As at August 2018, provisional data provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC), shows that £2 million has so far been paid to English part-time students in Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) for equipment. This compares to £1.4 million paid at the same point in the academic year 2016/17.

Final data for 2016/17 provided by the SLC shows £1.6 million was paid to English domiciled part-time students in DSA for equipment.

14 Jan 2019, 2:50 p.m. Social Enterprises: Corporation Tax Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to amend corporation tax rules for social enterprises to include social enterprise social impact costs to be considered under allowances and charges not included in calculation of trading profits and losses.

Answer (Mel Stride)

The government recognises the contribution that businesses can make in addressing social issues in the UK.

Charities do not pay tax on most types of income, as long as they use the money for charitable purposes. Corporate donations to charities are also deductible from taxable profits.

Many social enterprises are companies. As such, they are subject to corporation tax on their profits, and eligible for the same tax reliefs as any other company.

Providing special tax treatment for social impact costs would be costly, complex to administer, difficult to defend against abuse, and could lead to competitive distortions.

To help address the challenges that social enterprises face raising capital, the government introduced the Social Investment Tax Relief in 2014 to support investment in social enterprises across the UK.

In April 2017, the government increased the amount of investment that qualifying social enterprises could raise through this relief to £1.5 million.

14 Jan 2019, 2:49 p.m. Social Enterprises: Corporation Tax Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much corporation tax was paid by social enterprises in each of the last five financial years.

Answer (Mel Stride)

Many social enterprises are liable to Corporation Tax. HMRC does not collect the level of detail on Corporation Tax returns to estimate revenue received from social enterprises. To do so would present an additional compliance burden to businesses.

14 Jan 2019, 2:44 p.m. Social Enterprises: Corporation Tax Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will he make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the amount of corporation tax payable by a social enterprise if the amount spent on social impact of the enterprise is 50 per cent or more of that enterprise's previous year’s profits.

Answer (Mel Stride)

The government recognises the important contribution that businesses can make in addressing social issues in the UK.

However, providing special tax treatment for social impact costs would be costly, complex to administer, difficult to defend against abuse, and could lead to competitive distortions.

To help address the challenges that social enterprises face raising capital, the government introduced the Social Investment Tax Relief in 2014 to support investment in social enterprises across the UK.

In April 2017, the government increased the amount of investment that qualifying social enterprises could raise through this relief to £1.5 million.

11 Jan 2019, 11:34 a.m. Road Traffic Offences: Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 10 of September 2018 to Question 199279, which motoring offences remain the responsibility of the CPS.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Crown Prosecution Service maintains a list of motoring offences available for prosecution. This is set out as Annex 1.

Offences that are specified by The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) Order 1999 have been highlighted within Annex 1. They are commenced by the police in accordance with Section 12 Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980. The DPP has a duty, in accordance with section 3(2)(a) Prosecution of Offences Act 1985, to take over the conduct of proceedings including proceedings for offences that are no longer specified. An offence ceases to be specified if the accused does not plead guilty.

10 Jan 2019, 3:09 p.m. Leasehold: Reform Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to publish the results of the consultation into Implementing reforms to the leasehold system.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

The Department’s consultation, “Implementing reforms to the leasehold system”, set out how the Government intends to tackle excessive and unjustifiable practices in the leasehold system. We are currently analysing responses and plan to publish the Government’s response in due course.

9 Jan 2019, 5:48 p.m. Leasehold Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward proposals to protect existing homeowners who are prevented from selling their properties due to the amount of time left on the lease.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

We are working with the Law Commission to make it easier, faster, fairer and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold or extend their lease. The Law Commission have recently consulted on possible measures, including introducing a prescribed formula that provides fair compensation to the landlord, whilst also helping leaseholders avoid incurring additional court costs. This consultation closed on 7 January 2019 and the Law Commission will be providing recommendations to Government later this year.

9 Jan 2019, 3:39 p.m. Higher Education: Disability Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 December 2018 to Question 199284 on Disabled Students' Allowances: Visual Impairment, what steps his Department has taken to monitor whether higher education providers are fulfilling their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for all disabled higher education students and not just those in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

In 2017, the Higher Education Funding Council for England published a report of research into higher education providers’ models of support for disabled students in higher education. The report is available at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180322111239/http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rereports/year/2017/modelsofsupport/.

The Office for Students’ equality and diversity objectives include challenging higher education providers to reduce gaps in access, success and progression for students from all backgrounds. This includes reducing the challenges for disabled students in accessing, succeeding and progressing in higher education.

8 Jan 2019, 5:54 p.m. Disabled Students Allowances: Visual Impairment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 December 2018 to Question 199284 on Disabled Students' Allowances: Visual Impairment, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that students are aware of their right to invoke an exceptional case process.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Students who are eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances can apply for the Exceptional Case Process where they have entered into dispute with their Higher Education Provider (HEP). Students will be advised of this process by the HEP’s disability officer or welfare officer. Students will also be advised of the process should they contact the Student Loans Company.

8 Jan 2019, 5:52 p.m. Disabled Students Allowances: Visual Impairment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2018 to Question 199284 on Disabled Students' Allowances: Visual Impairment, what support is available to students who invoke an exceptional case process.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The Exceptional Case Process (ECP) provides support to students eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs), who are in dispute with their higher education provider (HEP) over reasonable adjustments for areas of need identified in the students’ DSAs needs assessment report. The ECP can provide interim funding to pay for recommended support to enable the student to study whilst the dispute is being settled.

It is not the purpose of ECP interim funding to replace reasonable adjustments that should be made by a HEP.

8 Jan 2019, 5:47 p.m. Disabled Students Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2018 to Question 199283 on Disabled Students Allowances, what the provisional figure is for 2016-2017.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The Student Loans Company publish statistics on the number of English domiciled students paid Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA): https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx.

In the academic year 2016/17 the provisional (as at August 2017) figure for the number of English domiciled students paid full-time undergraduate equipment DSA was 18,700.

8 Jan 2019, 5:32 p.m. Higher Education: Student Numbers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2018 to Question 199283 on Disabled Students Allowances, how many full-time undergraduate students were domiciled in England in each year since 2014-15.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publish statistics on the number of students enrolled at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students.

In the academic year 2014/15, there was a total of 972,330 English domiciled students enrolled on full-time undergraduate courses at UK HEIs. This compares to 1,004,505 in the academic year 2015/16 and 1,032,950 in the academic year 2016/17.

Equivalent data for the academic year 2017/18 will be published by HESA on 17 January 2019.

8 Jan 2019, 2:58 p.m. Disabled Students Allowances: Part-time Education Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2018 to Question 199283 on Disabled Students Allowances, if he will publish the information for part-time students.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Provisional data for 2017/18 provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC) shows that 1,600 part-time undergraduate English domiciled students have so far been paid Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) for equipment, a 23% increase on the number paid at the same point in the academic year 2016/17 (1,300).

Data provided by the SLC shows that, in the academic year 2016/17, 1,500 part-time undergraduate English domiciled students were paid DSA for equipment. This compares to 1,700 in the academic years 2015/16 and 2014/15.

For full-time students only, DSA provisional uptake and expenditure data for 2017/18 show an increase in the number of students benefitting from the equipment allowance to 21,800, compared to 18,700 at the same point in the previous year. The overall expenditure has also risen, to £21.5 million in 2017/18 compared to £14.4 million at the same point the previous year: an increase of almost 50%. This means that the average expenditure per student over those two years has risen to £986 in 2017/18 from £770 at the same point in 2016/17.

7 Jan 2019, 5:13 p.m. Designated Public Places Orders: Prosecutions Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prosecutions for the offence of consumption of alcohol in a designated public place under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 were made by each police force in each year from 30 September 2008.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

It is not possible to provide the number of prosecutions for alcohol consumption in designated public places made by each police force. The Ministry of Justice does not hold information about prosecutions brought by individual police forces. Published prosecution breakdowns by location are based only on where defendants were dealt with in court.

The number of prosecutions for alcohol consumption in designated public places is available for each year between 2013 and 2017 in the Experimental statistics: Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code data tool (offence code 14011).

7 Jan 2019, 3:37 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances: Visual Impairment Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 December 2018 to Question 199285, whether support recommended through student needs assessments for students with visual impairments is required to be paid for by those students.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Study needs assessments identify the type and level of support required for a student to access their course. This includes the support available from the student’s higher education provider (HEP), and the help available via Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).

Students should not be required to pay for reasonable adjustments provided by their HEP, or for support recommended by DSAs up to the maximum amount available for each allowance, with the exception of providing a £200 contribution towards computer hardware should this be recommended.

7 Jan 2019, 3:20 p.m. Disabled Students Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2018 to Question 199283 on Disabled Students Allowances, what information his Department holds on the demographic characteristics of the students that chose to take up the disabled students’ equipment allowance in each year since 2014-15.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The department has commissioned a research project to examine the effectiveness of Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) and the impact of DSAs on eligible students.

7 Jan 2019, 2:43 p.m. Students: Disability Aids Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2018 to Question 199283 on Disabled Students Allowances, what steps he is taking to ensure disabled students that are unable to afford the £200 are able to access specialist equipment.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

Students from the lowest-income households who started their courses this year have access to the largest ever amounts of cash-in-hand support for their living costs. Maintenance support is available in addition to Disabled Students Allowance.

7 Jan 2019, 12:05 p.m. Solar Power: Feed-in Tariffs Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Department has made of the potential effect on the number of households choosing to install solar panels of the cessation of payment for excess electricity exported to the grid by solar households.

Answer (Claire Perry)

This is publicly available information: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/767081/FITs_2018_Consultation__Response_Impact_Assessment_signed.pdf.

21 Dec 2018, 1:55 p.m. Drugs: Research Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's policy is on the recommendations in relation to the provision of information on industry (a) activities, (b) risks, (c) costs and (d) returns on R&D made in the report on Pharmaceutical Innovation and Access to Medicines, published by the OECD in November 2018.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

We note the report ‘Pharmaceutical Innovation and Access to Medicines’ published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in November 2018 and agree with the recommendation that a more informed debate on the cost and benefits of research and development would be beneficial. The OECD’s work through the papers published by the health division of the Directorate of Labour and Social Affairs is a welcome contribution to that debate and we look forward to future publications from them.

20 Dec 2018, 4:02 p.m. Cataracts: Surgery Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cataract procedures have been undertaken by each NHS trust in each of the last five years.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The information requested is attached. NHS Digital has provided data on the number of finished consultant episodes where a cataract procedure has occurred in English National Health Service Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector between 2013/14 and 2017/18.

5 Dec 2018, 12:08 p.m. Palliative Care: Children Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2018 to Question 189538 on Palliative Care: Children, what processes (a) NHS England and (b) his Department have in place to assess the level of collaboration between the relevant authorities and organisations.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

NHS England and the Department do not currently have any processes for measuring or monitoring collaboration between services involved in delivering children’s palliative care. NHS England and the Department would expect all the partners involved to be regularly talking to, and working with, relevant organisations, given their remit to identify overall local need and to join up services.

As with the vast majority of NHS services, the funding and commissioning of palliative and end of life care is a local matter over which individual National Health Service commissioners have responsibility. Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and commission services to meet those needs accordingly. The only exception to this are small numbers of specialist paediatric palliative care inpatient services, commissioned nationally by NHS England from eight centres across England as part of its remit to deliver specialised services.

To support effective service collaboration locally, NHS England has worked with Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission to provide bespoke end of life care data and support packs to sustainability and transformation partnerships to plan for, and improve, end of life care services.

3 Dec 2018, 5:29 p.m. Fires: Solar Power Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 14 November 2018 to Question 191271 on Fires: Solar Power, whether there are processes in place to oblige local fire and rescue authorities to consider firefighter guidance recommendations made by relevant reports.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

No. As set out in the Fire and Rescue National Framework for England, it is not for Government to prescribe operational matters, which are best determined locally. It is therefore for individual fire and rescue authorities to determine whether they consider and implement recommendations from such reports.

3 Dec 2018, 4:28 p.m. Pensions: Advisory Services Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 14 November 2018 to Question 191268, on Pensions: Advisory Services, what steps he is taking to encourage those identified in the pension wise service evaluation report for 2016-17 who are not pre-disposed to taking actions that help them make informed decisions on their pensions.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

Take up of the Pension Wise guidance service is growing. Between 2015/16 and 2017/18, take up of appointments more than doubled and continues to increase. Pension schemes and providers are required to signpost people to Pension Wise at key contact points. Pension providers are consistently cited by around half of the people who contact Pension Wise as the place they first heard of the service. The Financial Conduct Authority have consulted on changes to these requirements with a view to increasing the take up of Pension Wise guidance.

The Pension Wise marketing strategy across TV, Radio, web, Press and Video on Demand, as well as search engine optimisation, aims to get maximum reach amongst the target audience. This has proven to an effective way of both raising awareness of the service and driving take-up of appointments.

Pension Wise is also working with employers nationally and locally to engage with their employees at their place of work. Pension Wise delivery partners also undertake local promotional activities, raising awareness of the service at local events.

The Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 establishes a new Single Financial Guidance Body which will bring together the services currently provided by the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. The new body will make it easier for people to access information and guidance to help them make effective financial decisions. This Act also set a framework for implementing a stronger final nudge towards Pension Wise at the point people seek to access their pension and we are engaging with providers to find the most effective approach.

The 2016-17 Pension Wise service evaluation report did not specifically identify a group who are not pre-disposed to taking actions that help them make informed decisions on their pensions. It was predominantly a survey of Pension Wise customers, but included a group of non-users, for the purposes of comparison and to help understand why they had not used the service.

The latest Pension Wise service evaluation report has now been published and is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-wise-service-evaluation-2017-to-2018-customer-experiences-and-outcomes

Finally, the DWP has just issued a consultation on the Pensions Dashboard, which will specifically assist on the provision of information to all consumers on the issue of pensions and retirement planning.

The dashboard statement can be found here:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-09-04/HCWS933/

26 Nov 2018, 5:17 p.m. Housing: Solar Power Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2018 to Question 163508 on Housing: Solar Power and with reference to the Building Research Establishment's report, Fire and solar PV systems - recommendations for the photovoltaic industry, published on 17 July 2017, what steps his Department plans to take as a result of those recommendations.

Answer (Claire Perry)

This interim report made recommendations to industry, standards bodies and training organisations for changes to further reduce the already very small risk of fires caused by solar photo-voltaic systems.

Since its publication the BRE National Solar Centre has been working on behalf of the Department to ensure relevant bodies, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, British Standards Institute and the International Electrotechnical Commission, are aware of the findings so they can take steps to update standards, guidance and advice accordingly.

Most recently they held a workshop on 20th November, with relevant technical experts, to consider amongst other issues whether changes to building regulations might be required.

26 Nov 2018, 11:39 a.m. Crown Prosecution Service: Staff Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2018 to Question 175908, how many staff the Crown Prosecution Service employed (a) in each region and (b) at CPS Direct as at (i) 30 September 2018 and (ii) 30 September 2008.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

As of 30 September 2018, the CPS employed a total of 5,936 staff across its Area/Regional and HQ functions. A breakdown is provided in the following table:

Department

Headcount Total

CPS Headquarters

502

Central Casework Divisions

706

CPS Direct

181

Cymru Wales

275

East Midlands

318

East of England

258

London North

456

London South

476

Mersey Cheshire

235

North East

259

North West

464

South East

251

South West

219

Thames & Chiltern

271

Wessex

217

West Midlands

422

Yorkshire & Humberside

426

Grand Total

5936

As of 30 September 2008, the CPS employed a total of 8,768 staff across its Area/Regional and HQ functions. A breakdown is provided in the following table:

Department

Headcount Total

CPS Headquarters

587

Central Casework

233

CPS Direct

158

East Midlands

596

Eastern

432

Greater Manchester

498

Lancashire & Cumbria

331

London

1367

Merseyside & Cheshire

385

North & West Yorkshire

415

North East

462

South East

444

South West

370

South Yorkshire & Humberside

311

Thames & Chiltern

422

Cymru Wales

480

Wessex

392

West Midlands

885

Grand Total

8,768

(Data Source Trent HR Database as at 22/11/2018)

1 Nov 2018, 4:07 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether everyone who is successful in the ballot and deemed eligible for the Midlands voluntary right to buy pilot will have the opportunity to buy a property under that scheme.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Department will closely monitor the progress of the Midlands pilot, and the spending of the budget as the pilot progresses, to ensure that as many eligible tenants as possible have the opportunity to become home owners under the scheme.

6,000 tenants were successful in the ballot. Evidence from the scheme for council tenants, and the initial small-scale pilot that completed in 2017, suggests that a high number of tenants who make an application may not go on to complete a sale, for example because they do not meet the eligibility criteria, or because they are unable to fund the remainder of the purchase.

It is expected that the pilot budget of £200 million will fund somewhere in the region of 3,000 sales, though this figure may vary, depending on the average discount being claimed, and the level of drop out.

1 Nov 2018, 4:07 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will undertake a mid-point review of the Midlands voluntary right to buy pilot to assess whether there is sufficient funding in place to cover all sales.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Department will closely monitor the progress of the Midlands pilot, and the spending of the budget as the pilot progresses, to ensure that as many eligible tenants as possible have the opportunity to become home owners under the scheme.

6,000 tenants were successful in the ballot. Evidence from the scheme for council tenants, and the initial small-scale pilot that completed in 2017, suggests that a high number of tenants who make an application may not go on to complete a sale, for example because they do not meet the eligibility criteria, or because they are unable to fund the remainder of the purchase.

It is expected that the pilot budget of £200 million will fund somewhere in the region of 3,000 sales, though this figure may vary, depending on the average discount being claimed, and the level of drop out.

1 Nov 2018, 3:17 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether someone seeking to port their right to buy discount for a second time is entitled to if their first attempt to purchase and use that discount is unsuccessful.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

If a tenant is offered and accepts the opportunity to 'port' their Right to Buy discount to another property through the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot, their application will be paused to allow them time to discuss alternative properties with their housing association. It is up to individual housing associations to determine the extent of their porting offer, and the number of alternative properties that will be made available to tenants, depending on what is reasonable for the circumstances locally.

The Government has not collected information on the number of homes that are available to buy under the porting arrangements. This will be gathered as part of the Government’s evaluation of the pilot that will follow its completion.

1 Nov 2018, 3:17 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the number of homes that are available to buy under the porting arrangements of the Midlands voluntary right to buy pilot.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

If a tenant is offered and accepts the opportunity to 'port' their Right to Buy discount to another property through the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot, their application will be paused to allow them time to discuss alternative properties with their housing association. It is up to individual housing associations to determine the extent of their porting offer, and the number of alternative properties that will be made available to tenants, depending on what is reasonable for the circumstances locally.

The Government has not collected information on the number of homes that are available to buy under the porting arrangements. This will be gathered as part of the Government’s evaluation of the pilot that will follow its completion.

30 Oct 2018, 5:01 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide full details of the discount available to tenants under the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy pilot.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The discounts available to tenants under the Voluntary Right to Buy are calculated in the same way as for the statutory Right to Buy. Discounts increase in line with the length of tenancy, up to a maximum discount of £80,900 or 70 per cent of the value of the property, whichever is the lower. Full details can be found on the Government’s website at https://righttobuy.gov.uk/what-discount-could-you-get/.

Under the voluntary agreement between the Government and the National Housing Federation, housing associations have discretion as to which homes they will sell under the Voluntary Right to Buy. Associations taking part in the Midlands pilot have published their individual policies on their websites. The Government has not collected information on the total number of properties falling into each category.

9,146 individuals entered the ballot for the Midlands pilot and 6,000 of these were given Unique Reference Numbers, enabling them to apply in full to their housing association. The Government has not collected information on how many of these tenants will be able to apply to buy the homesthat they are living in, and how many will be offered a portable discount, to buy an alternative housing association property. This information will be gathered as part of the Government’s full evaluation of the pilot that will follow its completion.

30 Oct 2018, 5:01 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many homes are (a) available to purchase under and (b) exempt from inclusion in the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy pilot.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The discounts available to tenants under the Voluntary Right to Buy are calculated in the same way as for the statutory Right to Buy. Discounts increase in line with the length of tenancy, up to a maximum discount of £80,900 or 70 per cent of the value of the property, whichever is the lower. Full details can be found on the Government’s website at https://righttobuy.gov.uk/what-discount-could-you-get/.

Under the voluntary agreement between the Government and the National Housing Federation, housing associations have discretion as to which homes they will sell under the Voluntary Right to Buy. Associations taking part in the Midlands pilot have published their individual policies on their websites. The Government has not collected information on the total number of properties falling into each category.

9,146 individuals entered the ballot for the Midlands pilot and 6,000 of these were given Unique Reference Numbers, enabling them to apply in full to their housing association. The Government has not collected information on how many of these tenants will be able to apply to buy the homesthat they are living in, and how many will be offered a portable discount, to buy an alternative housing association property. This information will be gathered as part of the Government’s full evaluation of the pilot that will follow its completion.

30 Oct 2018, 5:01 p.m. Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people have been successful in the ballot under the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot in the midlands; and how many of those successful applicants are living in exempt properties.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The discounts available to tenants under the Voluntary Right to Buy are calculated in the same way as for the statutory Right to Buy. Discounts increase in line with the length of tenancy, up to a maximum discount of £80,900 or 70 per cent of the value of the property, whichever is the lower. Full details can be found on the Government’s website at https://righttobuy.gov.uk/what-discount-could-you-get/.

Under the voluntary agreement between the Government and the National Housing Federation, housing associations have discretion as to which homes they will sell under the Voluntary Right to Buy. Associations taking part in the Midlands pilot have published their individual policies on their websites. The Government has not collected information on the total number of properties falling into each category.

9,146 individuals entered the ballot for the Midlands pilot and 6,000 of these were given Unique Reference Numbers, enabling them to apply in full to their housing association. The Government has not collected information on how many of these tenants will be able to apply to buy the homesthat they are living in, and how many will be offered a portable discount, to buy an alternative housing association property. This information will be gathered as part of the Government’s full evaluation of the pilot that will follow its completion.

23 Oct 2018, 2:52 p.m. Road Traffic Offences Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of undertaking a review of the effectiveness of driving (a) offences and (b) penalties.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government continues to keep offences and penalties under review to ensure that the courts are able to deal with driving offences appropriately and proportionately.

The Government also recognises that there are concerns about sentencing for driving offences. In October 2017, the Ministry of Justice published its response to a consultation on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury. The response confirmed proposals to increase the maximum penalty for the offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, from 14 years to life and to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. Proposals for changes in the law will be brought forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

19 Oct 2018, 9:58 a.m. Taxis: Licensing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring individuals applying for a private hire vehicle licence to undertake disability equality training before such a licence is granted.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) provide a vital service for many disabled people. However, as of March this year, only 38% of licensing authorities required drivers to complete disability awareness and equality training; I would urge the remainder to use their existing licensing powers to ensure that all taxi and PHV drivers have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide every passenger with the assistance they require.

Next year we will consult on revised best practice guidance for taxi and PHV licensing authorities which will recommend that authorities require drivers to complete disability awareness and equality training and take robust action against those found to have discriminated against disabled passengers.

18 Oct 2018, 5:22 p.m. Telecommunications: Fraud Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with the Home Office on measures to tackle vishing.

Answer (Margot James)

The Government takes all types of fraud extremely seriously, including vishing. The Home Office holds responsibility for the Joint Fraud Taskforce and Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where fraud should be reported. Action Fraud has produced guidance on its website to help individuals and organisations prevent fraud.

18 Oct 2018, 4:36 p.m. Nuisance Calls Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department will respond to the consultation on taking tougher action against directors whose companies are responsible for breaches of legislation in relation to nuisance calls and electronic messages.

Answer (Margot James)

The Government's consultation which sought views on tackling nuisance calls and messages by taking action against rogue directors, was open for 12-weeks from 30 May to 21 August 2018. We have analysed the responses to the consultation and will be publishing the Government's response shortly.

9 Oct 2018, 4:58 p.m. Universal Credit: Housing Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2018 to Question 168974, whether people claiming universal credit and living in (a) specified supported and (b) supported exempt accommodation who do not receive care, support or supervision as part of their tenancy terms and conditions are entitled to housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

People living in specified accommodation, as set out in Housing Benefit Circular A8/2014 are entitled to Housing Benefit in respect of their housing costs, rather than support for housing costs through Universal Credit. It is not necessary for the provision of care, support or supervision to be part of the tenancy agreement, however, it must be provided:

  • By the landlord,
  • On the landlord’s behalf;
  • By a third party using a property provided by a social landlord or non-profit charitable or voluntary organisation where the claimant must have been placed to meet an identified need.

9 Oct 2018, 4:56 p.m. General Practitioners: Data Protection Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will clarify whether (a) pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2018 to Question 168973, GP practices will not be allowed to charge third parties for subject access to patient medical records or (b) pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2018 to Question 162134, the right of access under GDPR confers more personal information than is needed or is justified for insurance underwriting. Accordingly, insurance companies should instead use the established mechanism of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 (AMRA) to obtain summary medical reports from general practitioners (GPs).

Answer (Steve Brine)

According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), general practitioners (GPs) cannot charge patients or third parties for subject access to patient medical records, except where the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive and where the third party is an insurance company. Where the access request is deemed manifestly unfounded or excessive, the GP can either refuse the request or charge an appropriate administration charge for the work involved. Also, where the third party is an insurance company, the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA) 1988 would apply. The AMRA allows the GP to charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of copying the report.

18 Sep 2018, 9:08 a.m. Beer: Excise Duties Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing duty on beer.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

This government remains clear in its support for consumers, pubs and breweries, and we have taken action to this end – meaning that the price of a pint of beer is 12p is lower than it otherwise would have been since 2013/14.

However, we cannot ignore the cost to the Exchequer of successive freezes – equal to over £4 billion since 2013/14. Any assessment of the merits of further freezes or cuts needs to consider the resulting reduction in funds available for vital public services.

17 Sep 2018, 1:46 p.m. Public Houses: Non-domestic Rates Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending Business Rate Relief for pubs after the 2018-19 tax year.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

The government remains clear on its support for pubs, which are a vital part of local communities.

Pubs are benefiting from wider action on alcohol duty and business rates. Autumn Budget 2017 announced a freeze to all alcohol duties, including beer duty. Cuts to alcohol taxes since 2013 mean the average tax on a typical pint of beer is estimated to be 12p lower than it otherwise would have been. Pubs are also benefiting from recent cuts to business rates worth over £10 billion by 2023.

All taxes are kept under review. Future decisions on business rates will be taken as part of the normal Budget process.

3 Sep 2018, 3:08 p.m. Immigration: Windrush Generation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date the decision was taken to destroy the landing cards of Windrush migrants stored in her Department's offices in Croydon; and which Minister signed off that decision.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

No decision was taken to destroy ‘Windrush migrant’ information specifically and records were not categorised as being related to a ‘Windrush migrant’ or the ‘Windrush generation’. Any Windrush papers would have been destroyed in line with the retention and disposal periods set for the wider records collections in which they were located.

23 Jul 2018, 3:21 p.m. Overseas Students: Immigration Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of student finance provision for students who began their university course as an international student but were subsequently granted indefinite leave to remain while still studying.

Answer (Mr Sam Gyimah)

Students who obtain permanent residence within the first three months of the start of the academic year can apply for student finance for the current academic year and future years, subject to meeting the normal eligibility criteria.

Generally, to meet the eligibility requirements for student support, a student should be resident in England, have ‘settled’ status or a recognised connection with the UK and have been a resident of the UK and Islands (Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for the three years prior at the start of the course. Residence in the UK and Islands must not have been wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education.

23 Jul 2018, 3:21 p.m. Overseas Students: Immigration Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward proposals to enable international students who are granted indefinite leave to remain while undertaking a degree to access student loans.

Answer (Mr Sam Gyimah)

Students who obtain permanent residence within the first three months of the start of the academic year can apply for student finance for the current academic year and future years, subject to meeting the normal eligibility criteria.

Generally, to meet the eligibility requirements for student support, a student should be resident in England, have ‘settled’ status or a recognised connection with the UK and have been a resident of the UK and Islands (Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for the three years prior at the start of the course. Residence in the UK and Islands must not have been wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education.

18 Jul 2018, 3:38 p.m. Cameroon: Human Rights Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will help secure access to British Southern Cameroons territory for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

I met the Cameroonian Commonwealth Minister Mbayu and the then Foreign Secretary met Prime Minister Yang at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April. We both pressed for action to resolve the ongoing dispute in the Anglophone regions and for adherence to core Commonwealth values and principles, including tolerance, respect and understanding.

The UK ensured that the European Union Statement at the Human Rights Council meeting, in Geneva in June, included a call for access to the Anglophone regions of Cameroon for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). We also welcomed the statement by the UNHCHR, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, at that meeting, in which he called for the Cameroonian authorities swiftly to approve a mission by his Office to all parts of the country. We will continue to work with international partners and through Ministerial engagement and our High Commission in Yaoundé to urge the Cameroonians to allow UNHCHR unhindered access.

9 Jul 2018, 2:36 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timetable is for SMETS2 meters to be made available for pre-payment consumers.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Energy suppliers are currently testing their SMETS2 pre-payment metering solutions. When these are made available to their customers is a matter for individual energy suppliers.

9 Jul 2018, 2:36 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of removing gas meter installations from the smart meters implementation programme; and the effect of the removal of those installations on dual fuel energy tariffs.

Answer (Claire Perry)

We have made no such assessment as there is a compelling case for including gas meters in the roll-out of smart meters across Great Britain as set out in our latest Cost Benefit Analysis.

6 Jul 2018, 12:50 p.m. In Vitro Fertilisation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of multiple births in England in 2017 were a result of IVF treatment which took place outside the UK.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

This information is not collected centrally.

The Department has been made aware anecdotally of an increasing number of couples going outside of the regulated sector in the United Kingdom to have fertility treatment, which results in multiple pregnancies. The expectant mothers are returning to the UK to receive their maternity care within the National Health Service.

Multiple births involve higher risks for mothers and babies. Prematurity and low birth weight are the main reason for increased mortality and disability for these children.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has worked in partnership with professional stakeholders and UK clinics over the last 10 years to significantly reduce multiple births in UK fertility treatment through a policy of single embryo transfer.

6 Jul 2018, 12:50 p.m. In Vitro Fertilisation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what was the cost to the NHS of (a) multiple births resulting from IVF treatment outside the UK for mothers who were refused such treatment in the UK and (b) other multiple births resulting from IVF treatment outside the UK in the last period for which figures are available.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

This information is not collected centrally.

The Department has been made aware anecdotally of an increasing number of couples going outside of the regulated sector in the United Kingdom to have fertility treatment, which results in multiple pregnancies. The expectant mothers are returning to the UK to receive their maternity care within the National Health Service.

Multiple births involve higher risks for mothers and babies. Prematurity and low birth weight are the main reason for increased mortality and disability for these children.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has worked in partnership with professional stakeholders and UK clinics over the last 10 years to significantly reduce multiple births in UK fertility treatment through a policy of single embryo transfer.

5 Jul 2018, 10:12 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons the installation of SMETS2 meters is taking longer than that of SMETS1 meters; and what assessment he has made of the effect of that time taken on (a) installation costs and (b) the customer experience.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Feedback from energy suppliers based on their SMETS2 installations does not indicate that installation times will be materially different to SMETS1 installation times once installer experience of second generation metering matures.

We will continue to monitor the consumer experience as SMETS2 deployment increases.

5 Jul 2018, 10:11 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons the end date for the installation of SMETS1 meters has been extended again; and what assessment he has made of the effect of multiple extensions to the SMETS1 deadline on the readiness of the supply chains for (a) SMETS1 and (b) SMETS2 meters.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The leading energy suppliers have started rolling out SMETS2 meters to their customers and others are working with the Data Communications Company to complete testing of SMETS2 meters ahead of moving to full scale roll-out.

The Government is consulting on making a final adjustment to the deadline for installing SMETS1 meters to give those energy suppliers who need more time to ensure their customers get a good experience of SMETS2 meters from the outset and so consumers can continue to benefit from SMETS1 meter installations in the meantime.

We have amended the proposed deadline in response to evidence from energy suppliers and the DCC and have given notice to allow energy suppliers to manage the transition including in relation to installation capacity.

5 Jul 2018, 10:11 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent extension to the SMETS1 installation deadline on the installation capacity of energy suppliers.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The leading energy suppliers have started rolling out SMETS2 meters to their customers and others are working with the Data Communications Company to complete testing of SMETS2 meters ahead of moving to full scale roll-out.

The Government is consulting on making a final adjustment to the deadline for installing SMETS1 meters to give those energy suppliers who need more time to ensure their customers get a good experience of SMETS2 meters from the outset and so consumers can continue to benefit from SMETS1 meter installations in the meantime.

We have amended the proposed deadline in response to evidence from energy suppliers and the DCC and have given notice to allow energy suppliers to manage the transition including in relation to installation capacity.

5 Jul 2018, 10:11 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timetable is for his Department to classify the compatibility of SMETS2 gas meters with the DCCs communication systems as reliable, and what assessment he has made of the effect of that timetable on progress on the 2020 deadline for the smart meters roll-out programme.

Answer (Claire Perry)

This is a matter for individual energy suppliers to decide. Their assessment of the reliability of their SMETS2 offering will need to take account of, amongst other things, their own progress in integrating their meters with the DCC system and the testing of their own back office systems.

5 Jul 2018, 10:11 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many meters a DCC communications hub will need to have (a) tested and (b) operating on its communication system before a decision can be made on the reliability of that system.

Answer (Claire Perry)

This is a matter for individual energy suppliers to decide. Their assessment of the reliability of their SMETS2 offering will need to take account of, amongst other things, their own progress in integrating their meters with the DCC system and the testing of their own back office systems.

5 Jul 2018, 10:11 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of the 14 June to Question 151039 on Energy: Meters, how his Department calculated the £1.50 per customer allowance for the cost of the smart meter roll-out to energy suppliers in the pre-payment meter price cap; and how many SMETS2 gas meters that have been (a) installed and (b) connected to the DCC communication system.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Ofgem are responsible for setting the safeguard tariff (or ‘price cap’) for pre-payment meter customers and it was not calculated by BEIS.

As of the end of June 2018 there were over 2000 SMETS2 meters connected to the DCC live environment, over 1000 of these were gas meters.

5 Jul 2018, 10:10 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2018 to Question 151046 on Energy: Meters, how many full-time equivalent working hours it will take his Department to convert the installation costs from the 2016 Cost-Benefit Analysis expressed in 2011 prices into current prices for comparison.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Government publishes supplementary guidance to the HMT Green Book which includes information that can be used to convert values in 2011 prices to current prices. The guidance is available in Table 19 at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/valuation-of-energy-use-and-greenhouse-gas-emissions-for-appraisal.

5 Jul 2018, 10:10 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made on a communications solution for signal penetration issues which prevent the installation of smart meters in properties.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Data Comms Company has contracted for Wide Area Network coverage for at least 99.25% of premises in Great Britain. The Government’s strategy for smart metering Home Area Network (HAN) coverage aims to ensure 100% HAN coverage. The core solution ensures 70% of premises have Home Area Network coverage. This will increase to around 95% of premises from early 2019. Industry is working to develop HAN solutions for the remaining c. 5% of premises.

5 Jul 2018, 10:09 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made on the plans of the Data Communications Company to (a) enrol and (b) adopt SMETS1 meters; what information he holds on the timetable for the completion of those plans; and whether the services of the DCC need to be fully scalable and reliable before those plans can be completed.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Work to design, build and test a service to enrol and adopt SMETS1 meters continues. This will see the Data and Communications Company (DCC) link its systems to at least two companies already providing SMETS1 services to energy suppliers at scale. The DCC’s current plan is that the enrolment service for the first cohort of SMETS1 meters will go live at the end of the year. We expect to publish the Government’s conclusions to consultations in this area later this summer and to consult on enrolment of the remaining cohorts of SMETS1 meters.

5 Jul 2018, 10:06 a.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of the 14 June to Question 151038 on Energy: Meters, whether (a) there is a duty on Ofgem to use that methodology; and (b) the methodology proposed will ensure that the full cost of installations will be reflected in the tariff cap.

Answer (Claire Perry)

It is for Ofgem to determine the methodology for proposed the price cap and in doing so must take account of the views of stakeholders as part of their consultation process.

4 Jul 2018, 10:05 a.m. Civil Proceedings: Legal Aid Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 June 2018 to Question 151043, whether his Department collects data on the types of civil cases which receive early legal advice; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

A more detailed breakdown of this information, including a breakdown by case according to the applicable category of law, can be found in the National Statistics on Legal aid in England and Wales. These are published by the Ministry of Justice on a quarterly basis and are available via https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics.

3 Jul 2018, 3:29 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made on tackling the problem in the north of the UK with Data Communications Company hubs being unable to communicate with SMETS2 meters; and what information he holds on the timetable for resolving that problem.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The DCC service for the North region is already operational with SMETS2 meters installed. Initial operational experience has identified improvements which are being implemented by end of July 2018

3 Jul 2018, 3:28 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the mobile solution to the DCC hub communication problem in the southern UK region to the northern mobile region; and, what assessment he has made of the effect on the future-proofing of the smart meters toll-out programme of a network reliance on 2G technology.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Separate networks are in place for the Central and South Regions and the North. There are no plans to change these arrangements.

The Data and Communications Company (DCC) has contracted with Telefonica to reach at least 99.25% of properties, and Telefonica’s initial batch of communications hubs for the first 15% of the service will use dual 2G/3G chips providing flexibility and future proofing.

The DCC’s system has both commercial and technical protections to ensure future proofing, and energy suppliers have a responsibility (and interest) to ensure they can continue to use their smart meter for its asset lifetime, which they have taken into consideration as part of their asset procurement.

27 Jun 2018, 4:03 p.m. NHS: Migrant Workers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that the UK's withdrawal from the EU does not adversely affect the number of medical professionals entering the UK to work in the NHS in (a) interventional radiology and (b) other understaffed positions.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The Department continues to monitor and analyse overall staffing levels across the National Health Service and adult social care, and we are working across Government to ensure there will continue to be sufficient staff to deliver the high quality services on which patients rely following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

On 8 December the UK and EU Commission reached an agreement which delivered on the Prime Minister’s number one priority, to safeguard the rights of people who have built their lives in the UK and EU, following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The latest nationality statistics show as at March 2018 4,558 more EU nationals excluding the UK (EU27) employed in NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups than in June 2016.

The agreement will guarantee the rights of the 158,000 EU nationals working in our health and care system. It means that EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now.

In addition to this, my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sajid Javid) recently announced that doctors and nurses have been removed from the Tier 2 visa cap, meaning the NHS will be able to recruit to understaffed medical positions.

27 Jun 2018, 1:29 p.m. Radiology Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to increase the number of funded training places for radiologists in order to be provide continuous interventional radiology services throughout the country.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Interventional radiology is a sub-specialty of clinical radiology. In the Cancer Workforce Plan for England which was published in December 2017, Health Education England (HEE) set out the case for the need to target additional training support for clinical radiology, histopathology, oncology and diagnostic and therapeutic radiography.

As committed to in the Cancer Workforce Plan, HEE increased the number of clinical radiology training programmes by 35 in 2017, which will lead to 35 additional clinical radiology posts each year for the next five years.

Clinical radiology has achieved a 100% fill rate over the last four years. HEE will consider whether further action is required to increase net supply beyond 2021 in the light of the longer-term workforce strategy.

27 Jun 2018, 1:29 p.m. Radiology Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to mitigate the disparity between the number of interventional radiology consultants working in the NHS and the increasing demand for interventional radiology procedures throughout England.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Interventional radiology is a sub-specialty of clinical radiology. In the Cancer Workforce Plan for England which was published in December 2017, Health Education England (HEE) set out the case for the need to target additional training support for clinical radiology, histopathology, oncology and diagnostic and therapeutic radiography.

As committed to in the Cancer Workforce Plan, HEE increased the number of clinical radiology training programmes by 35 in 2017, which will lead to 35 additional clinical radiology posts each year for the next five years.

Clinical radiology has achieved a 100% fill rate over the last four years. HEE will consider whether further action is required to increase net supply beyond 2021 in the light of the longer-term workforce strategy.

27 Jun 2018, 1:18 p.m. NHS: Migrant Workers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, what plans he has to ensure that the number of medical professionals entering the UK to work in the NHS in understaffed positions including interventional radiology is maintained when the UK leave the EU.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Government values the contribution which migrants makes to the NHS

We have commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU and also on how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.
The Government will want to ensure that decisions on the long-term arrangements are based on evidence. The commission that we have asked the MAC to undertake is very much part of this. The MAC are due to publish their final report by September 2018.

27 Jun 2018, 1:16 p.m. Migrant Workers: Deportation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many migrant workers have been deported as a result of (a) exceeding their 20-day annual limit on unpaid leave from work and (b) participating in strike action.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The requested information is not published by the Home Office, and could only be compiled manually and at a disproportionate cost.

26 Jun 2018, 4:30 p.m. Multiple Births Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the NHS was of multiple births in each year since 2010.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department does not hold this data in the format requested. Maternity delivery episodes are not costed by multiple or singleton birth; they are costed by physiological delivery, assisted delivery and planned or emergency caesarean.

26 Jun 2018, 2:56 p.m. NHS Improvement Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2018 to Question 151034 on NHS: staff, what the main aspects of the NHS Improvement programme are referred to in that answer.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

NHS Improvement, in partnership with NHS Employers, are working with National Health Service trusts across England to reduce nursing staff turnover. The immediate focus is on NHS providers, particularly mental health providers, to support delivery of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

Targeted support is available to all NHS trusts in England alongside an extensive programme of improvement work and retention events. The overall objectives for the programme are to:

- bring down leaver rates in the NHS by 2020;

- bring an increased local focus within trusts’ focus on retention;

- provide trusts with knowledge and tools to improve retention; and

- reduce variation in retention rates across providers.

26 Jun 2018, 2:31 p.m. Trauma: Counselling Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the merits of introducing a state-funded national resilience programme to provide people with counselling and support in the aftermath of a terrorist attack or other traumatic event.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

There are no plans to introduce a state-funded national resilience programme. The Department of Health and Social Care is working closely with NHS England and others to support local areas to respond appropriately to the mental health needs of victims of terrorism. People affected can access existing NHS mental health services via GPs and local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services. There are also locally agreed arrangements for children and young people, with schools able to provide support or referrals to local services. These mental health services have staff trained to deliver evidence based treatment for conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.
To ensure that victims of terrorism receive the support and assistance they need, we established a cross-HMG Victims of Terrorism unit to co-ordinate support to those directly affected by terrorist events at home or overseas. Comprehensive information on support services providing emotional, practical and mental health support is available at
victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk

25 Jun 2018, 4:17 p.m. Asylum: Detainees Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make it his policy to grant discretionary leave to remain in the UK to asylum seekers who have waited a year or longer at immigration detention centres .

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Almost all asylum claims are processed in the community. Those who have their claim processed in detention are those who claim only after having been detained for removal, or who are detained for public protection reasons. We may also detain failed asylum seekers for removal if they refuse to leave the UK voluntarily.

In all cases, the appropriateness of detention is considered through regular reviews and whenever there is new evidence about removability or vulnerability. Detention is kept to the shortest period necessary. It may be maintained only whilst there is a realistic prospect of removal within a reasonable period of time.

There are no plans to review the Discretionary Leave policy.

25 Jun 2018, 1:54 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Cancer Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the three-month delay before receiving support on the financial security of young people with cancer applying for personal independence payments, and if she will make a statement.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 May 2018 to Question UIN 144155.

25 Jun 2018, 1:44 p.m. Livestock: Exports Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that the proposed ban on live animal exports will prevent live exports for the purpose of fattening.

Answer (George Eustice)

The Government has always been clear that it would prefer animals to be slaughtered close to the point of production. Our manifesto made it clear that we would take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter, once we leave the European Union (EU).

We recently launched a call for evidence on the control of live animal exports for slaughter and on improving animal welfare during transport for all purposes including fattening after the UK leaves the EU. The call for evidence closed on 22 May 2018 and we are currently analysing the responses. The Government has also asked the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) to look at what improvements could be made to the transport regulatory regime for all animals and for all purposes, we hope to receive the recommendations from the FAWC later in the year.

21 Jun 2018, 4:38 p.m. Retail Trade: Crime Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how his Department is assessing the effect of its policy to allow police forces to convict people who steal under £200 by post on levels of retail crime; and what assessment he has made of the effect of that policy on the regional disparity in retail crime offences.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

Shop theft is a high-volume crime that has a significant impact on retailers and the wider community. This is why we encourage retailers to report these crimes to the police, so that proportionate action can be taken against those who commit these offences.

By virtue of section 176 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the shoplifting of goods of a value of £200 or less is a summary offence unless the defendant, if an adult, elects to be tried in the Crown Court. Where a summary offence, the case can be handled as a police-led prosecution, and the defendant will be given the opportunity to plead guilty by post.

Police-led prosecutions were introduced to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system by allowing for a simpler, more proportionate police-led process in high-volume, low-level, uncontested cases. We have not undertaken a specific assessment of the effect of this approach in relation to shop theft, including in relation to any regional variations in retail crime offences. However, the National Retail Crime Steering Group which I co-chair with the British Retail Consortium provides a forum for addressing issues in relation to shoplifting, which is a priority issue for the Steering Group.

21 Jun 2018, 4:32 p.m. Retail Trade: Crime Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of retail crime incidents reported by the police have involved the use of mopeds in each of the last five years.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office collects and publishes data on crime recorded by the police in England and Wales but it is not possible to tell from the information held centrally how many of these crimes involved the use of a moped.

21 Jun 2018, 11:38 a.m. Childbirth Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average cost to the NHS was of a (a) multiple birth, and (b) singleton birth in 2017.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Maternity delivery episodes are not costed by multiple or singleton birth. They are costed in three categories: normal delivery, assisted delivery and planned or emergency caesarean.

The most recent statistics available relate to financial year of 2016-17. The following table shows the average cost of each delivery episode and the total cost of each category for 2016-17.

Total

Activity

Average cost per delivery episode (£)

Total cost (£ million)

Normal delivery episodes

380,010

2,288

869.34

Assisted delivery episodes

81,597

3,367

274.70

Caesarean episodes

172,794

4,248

734.00

Total delivery episodes

634,401

2,960

1,878.05

Source: https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/reference-costs

21 Jun 2018, 11:29 a.m. In Vitro Fertilisation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the value for money of the service provided by clinical commissioning groups that offer only partial cycles of IVF treatment.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The evidence reviews and recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) fertility guidance confirm that fertility problems can be managed cost effectively. Where NICE fertility guidance is not followed and an incomplete cycle of in vitro fertilisation, as defined by the NICE guidance, is offered this reduces the effectiveness, and thereby the value for money of the treatment.

21 Jun 2018, 11:25 a.m. In Vitro Fertilisation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England provide no IVF treatment for people with fertility problems; and what plans he has to ensure better provision of such treatment by CCGs.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department does not collect official data on this subject matter. However, we understand from data collected by Fertility Fairness from Freedom of Information requests that there are seven clinical commissioning groups in England that do not routinely provide in vitro fertilisation treatment for their local population.

These are Croydon, Cambridge and Peterborough, Basildon and Brentwood, South Norfolk, Mid-Essex, North and East Essex, and Herts Valley.

In the light of these disappointing local decisions, the Government will give further consideration to what might be agreed with NHS England to support National Health Service fertility services being available on a more equitable basis across England for all those with fertility problems.

21 Jun 2018, 9:25 a.m. Multiple Births Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many multiple births there were in England in each year since 2013; and what proportion of those multiple births were the result of fertility treatments.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

20 Jun 2018, 10:22 a.m. Multiple Births Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many multiple births there were in England in 2017.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

18 Jun 2018, 4:34 p.m. Health Professions: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the quality of patient care of gaps in rotas for higher speciality trainees in hospitals in the West Midlands.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

Responsibility for staffing levels, including the specialty staff, rests with individual National Health Service trusts and their boards who are best placed to decide how many staff they need to provide a given service.

Rotas and any gaps are managed and quality assured by trusts, supported by NHS Improvement and assessed by the Care Quality Commission.

Training programme fill rates vary from specialty to specialty.

18 Jun 2018, 4:33 p.m. Health Professions: Vacancies Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in the level of workforce vacancies on patient care; and if he will support doctors reaching retirement to continue working if they wish by promoting flexible working opportunities.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

There is no historic robust vacancy data showing changes in the level of workforce vacancies.

The vast majority of patients are continuing to receive world class high quality and prompt care, against a backdrop of increasing demand. The overwhelming majority of patients waiting to start planned treatment are seen and treated within a maximum of 18 weeks, with the current average wait around six weeks if these patients are being treated as an outpatient and 10 weeks if they need to be admitted to hospital.

Employers are responsible for engaging doctors about their plans for retirement as they approach their ‘normal pension age’[1].The Government is supporting doctors who want to continue working after reaching retirement age by offering a range of flexible options including working fewer days or hours and options to work in less demanding roles involving fewer responsibilities.

The Department published its ‘Guidance on the re-employment of staff in receipt of their NHS Pension Scheme benefits’ in July 2017. The ‘retire and return’ policy aims to:

- Enable the National Health Service to retain the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to deliver patient care;

- Help support the health and wellbeing of older staff as they approach retirement and wish to continue working; and

- Ensure that the overall workforce costs are managed in line with budgets.

Employers should have clear policies and procedures to deal with ‘retire and return’ applications, so they can demonstrate they have considered business and financial needs when assessing cases. Other flexible retirement options exist to support NHS staff that are approaching or working beyond normal pension age.

More details are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-employing-staff-who-receive-an-nhs-pension

NHS Digital publish figures on advertised posts, derived from ‘NHS Jobs’, the recruitment website used by NHS trusts, and NHS Improvement has begun a monthly collection of staff vacancies from NHS providers which, since September 2017, is published in their quarterly report of the NHS provider sector. Seasonal effects have a large impact on vacancies and as a time series of this data is not yet available, we are currently unable to accurately interpret the data for these effects, making meaningful conclusions hard to draw.

NHS Digital are actively working with NHS Improvement and others to define and publish the various data on a more consistent basis.

Notes:

1Normal pension ages in the NHS Pension scheme are 60, 65 and state pension age for the 1995, 2008 and 2015 NHS Pension Schemes respectively.

18 Jun 2018, 3 p.m. Sharing Economy: Insurance Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to assess the readiness of the insurance sector to offer on-demand insurance to workers in the gig economy; and whether the availability of such insurance products will be assessed as part of the Government's consultation on implementing the recommendations of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

Answer (Andrew Griffiths)

The availability of insurance products, or the type of insurance products available to employees, was not within the scope of the Taylor Review or subsequent consultations.

15 Jun 2018, 1:54 p.m. Civil Proceedings: Legal Aid Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to Question 136774, how much money has been spent from the public purse on early legal advice in civil cases in each year since 2008.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Expenditure on ‘Legal Help’ and ‘Controlled Legal Representation’, which pays for legal advice covering the initial stages of a civil case, is shown below for each financial year from 2009 onwards (based upon the year the applicable claims were remunerated). A more detailed breakdown of this information can be found in the National Statistics on Legal aid in England and Wales, published by the Ministry of Justice on a quarterly basis.

Financial Year

Expenditure (£)

2009-10

255,822,000

2010-11

255,597,000

2011-12

217,643,000

2012-13

188,646,000

2013-14

134,296,000

2014-15

106,945,000

2015-16

97,814,000

2016-17

98,279,000

15 Jun 2018, 12:58 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Theft Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 May 2018 to Question 140558 on motor vehicles: theft, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of mandatory insurance cover for the cost of recovering stolen vehicles from the police.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

In the UK and many other countries the minimum insurance requirement for using a motor vehicle is third party liability cover. This ensures injured parties are financially protected in the event of a collision whilst helping keep the cost of insurance affordable for all motorists. Many motorists however choose to take out more comprehensive cover, which depending on the terms of the policy, may include cover for the cost of recovering their vehicle if it is stolen. If such comprehensive cover were to become mandatory this would likely increase the cost of insurance for motorists. For this reason the Government has no plans to make such cover mandatory.

15 Jun 2018, 10:54 a.m. Immigration: EU Nationals Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how the 2015 change in citizenship rules requiring non-UK EU citizens living in Britain to have a permanent residency card to apply for naturalisation was communicated to those so affected.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The requirement for applicants who are permanently resident in the UK under the EEA Regulations to provide a document confirming this as part of their naturalisation application was introduced in 2015. The requirement is set out in the application form and accompanying guidance which everyone is advised to read before applying, as well the naturalisation pages on Gov.uk.

Where an EEA national does not possess a permanent residence card, then they would still be able to demonstrate that they are free from immigration time restrictions if they have obtained that status through alternative means, such as being granted indefinite leave under the Immigration Rules. However, where they seek to rely on residence under the EEA Regulations then a permanent residence card is required.

The requirement for EEA nationals to provide a document confirming their permanent residence as part of an application to naturalise is in line with the requirements for all other nationals and those EEA nationals who settled under the Immigration Rules, such as Mrs Lockington. Whilst it is regrettable that Mrs Lockington’s application was initially refused, this was promptly addressed and the correct decision reached once brought to the attention of UKVI.

15 Jun 2018, 10:54 a.m. Immigration: EU Nationals Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the case of Inga Lockington, if he will assess the effectiveness of the rules on applying for naturalisation for non-UK EU citizens who have lived in Britain for more than five years.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The requirement for applicants who are permanently resident in the UK under the EEA Regulations to provide a document confirming this as part of their naturalisation application was introduced in 2015. The requirement is set out in the application form and accompanying guidance which everyone is advised to read before applying, as well the naturalisation pages on Gov.uk.

Where an EEA national does not possess a permanent residence card, then they would still be able to demonstrate that they are free from immigration time restrictions if they have obtained that status through alternative means, such as being granted indefinite leave under the Immigration Rules. However, where they seek to rely on residence under the EEA Regulations then a permanent residence card is required.

The requirement for EEA nationals to provide a document confirming their permanent residence as part of an application to naturalise is in line with the requirements for all other nationals and those EEA nationals who settled under the Immigration Rules, such as Mrs Lockington. Whilst it is regrettable that Mrs Lockington’s application was initially refused, this was promptly addressed and the correct decision reached once brought to the attention of UKVI.

15 Jun 2018, 10:54 a.m. Immigration: EU Nationals Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proof of residency EU citizens who apply for British citizenship are able to provide if they do not have permanent residence cards.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The requirement for applicants who are permanently resident in the UK under the EEA Regulations to provide a document confirming this as part of their naturalisation application was introduced in 2015. The requirement is set out in the application form and accompanying guidance which everyone is advised to read before applying, as well the naturalisation pages on Gov.uk.

Where an EEA national does not possess a permanent residence card, then they would still be able to demonstrate that they are free from immigration time restrictions if they have obtained that status through alternative means, such as being granted indefinite leave under the Immigration Rules. However, where they seek to rely on residence under the EEA Regulations then a permanent residence card is required.

The requirement for EEA nationals to provide a document confirming their permanent residence as part of an application to naturalise is in line with the requirements for all other nationals and those EEA nationals who settled under the Immigration Rules, such as Mrs Lockington. Whilst it is regrettable that Mrs Lockington’s application was initially refused, this was promptly addressed and the correct decision reached once brought to the attention of UKVI.

14 Jun 2018, 3:51 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of proposals for an energy price cap in the Tariff Cap Bill on the roll-out of smart meters.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill is clear that Ofgem must take into account an efficient supplier’s ability to finance its activities. This would include the roll out of smart meters, which is a requirement of their supply licence.

14 Jun 2018, 3:50 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to set an allowance for energy suppliers under the proposed energy price cap to reflect the cost of delivering the smart meters implementation programme.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Domestic Gas & Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill places a duty on Ofgem to set a temporary price cap on standard variable and default tariffs. On 25th May 2018, Ofgem published a consultation, “Default Tariff Cap: Policy Consultation Overview” in which they propose a methodology for the treatment of smart metering costs under the tariff cap.

14 Jun 2018, 3:49 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how his Department calculated the £1.50 per customer allowance for the cost of the smart meter roll-out to energy suppliers in the pre-payment meter price cap.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) investigated the retail energy market and found there to be a number of concerns that there market was not competitive for a majority of consumers. Among CMA’s orders and remedies they set a restriction of the amount that could be charged to pre-payment meter customers by an order (the PPM cap). The CMA set the PPM cap after consultation with the energy sector industry and other stakeholders suppliers.

14 Jun 2018, 3:47 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 25 April 2018 to Question 136631, how many SMETS2 gas meters have been successfully installed and connected to the DCC.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The rollout of smart meters is making good progress, with over 400,000 meters being installed every month and 11 million meters operating at the end of March 2018, helping consumers to save money and better understand their energy use.

As of the end of May 2018, industry information showed there were just over 1,000 gas and electricity SMETS2 meters connected to the DCC system.

Energy suppliers are continuing to test their systems ahead of a controlled ramp up of SMETS2 meters in the coming months.

14 Jun 2018, 3:42 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 May 2018 to Question 137413, on energy: meters, for what reasons the data are not directly comparable.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The installation cost estimates published in the 2016 Cost-Benefit Analysis were based on historic and projected costs provided by energy suppliers, and were expressed in 2011 prices.

The latest cost estimates provided by energy suppliers are likely to only show costs to date, for an individual supplier, and be presented in current prices. They are therefore not directly comparable.

14 Jun 2018, 3:10 p.m. Military Intervention Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2018 to Question 138368 on military intervention, how many cases where lethal force has been used by UK forces outside of armed conflict Parliament has not yet been notified of.

Answer (Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton)

None.

14 Jun 2018, 11:20 a.m. Doctors: Migrant Workers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the recruitment of doctors from overseas.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The Government recognises fully the contribution that international doctors working in the NHS make towards delivering the high quality compassionate care we all expect.

Health Education England, through its Global Engagement Directorate, is supporting recruitment from overseas into a number of priority professions, including clinical radiology and emergency medicine. In addition, NHS England is aiming to recruit at least 2,000 overseas general practitioners (GPs) into English general practice as part of its wider commitment to an extra 5,000 GPs compared to 2015.

The Department continues to work closely with the Home Office to ensure the United Kingdom’s immigration system works in the national interest, bringing in talent where we need it while keeping overall numbers under control.

14 Jun 2018, 11:14 a.m. Colorectal Cancer: Screening Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to eliminate regional variations in the provision of Lynch Syndrome testing for people with bowel cancer.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Testing for Lynch syndrome has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as important in identifying genetic predisposition to bowel cancer, which could lead to better outcomes for patients through earlier diagnosis and treatment. Whilst Lynch testing is being carried out in some areas, we are aware that the NICE guideline is not being followed by all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) meaning that some patients and their families are not receiving the test.

The NICE guideline does not carry a funding direction and therefore commissioners (CCGs and NHS England) need to consider the implementation of the guidance alongside other priorities and any financial impact on pathology services and genetic testing services. Also, the NICE guidance recommends, but does not mandate, how healthcare professionals should apply the guidance to those diagnosed with bowel cancer. It is for the clinician to take this information into account (alongside individual circumstances and medical history) when determining the best course of action for the patient.

NHS England will be working with CCG pathology service commissioners during 2018/19 to determine whether we can jointly develop a policy position relating to genetic testing for Lynch syndrome that takes in to account the NICE guidance and helps to ensure that patients and their families receive the test where appropriate.

14 Jun 2018, 10:58 a.m. Dental Health: Children Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of the 27 April 2018 to Question 137414, what information his Department holds on preventative dental health programmes delivered at local authority level.

Answer (Steve Brine)

In May 2018, Public Health England (PHE) published a stocktake which reported on oral health improvement programmes, commissioned by local authorities targeting zero to five years old in England.

Of the 95% of local authorities who responded, the majority (77%) are commissioning oral health improvement programmes for zero to five year olds.

The most commonly commissioned programmes are as follows: training for the wider professional workforce (71%); healthy food and drink policies (57%); supervised tooth brushing in early years and school settings (51%); targeted provision of toothbrushes and toothpaste (46%); integration of oral health into targeted home visits by health and social care workers (44%); local or national government policies used to improve oral health (30%); community fluoride varnish programmes (24%); community water fluoridation (14%) and peer support workers supporting oral health improvement (5%). Further information is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707180/Oral_health_improvement_programmes_commissioned_by_local_authorities.pdf

The Department does not hold information on oral health improvement programmes targeting any other age groups.

13 Jun 2018, 3:17 p.m. Immigrants: Detainees Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 1 May 2018 to Question 138367, whether the information requested relating to the proportion of released detainees who were subsequently detained has been published; and in what format that information is held.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The information requested has not been published.

The Home Office does not hold the information requested with regards to the proportion of released detainees who were subsequently detained within (i) one month of their release and (ii) six months of their release, in a reportable format. The information requested could only be supplied at disproportionate cost.

13 Jun 2018, 1:54 p.m. Fire and Rescue Services and Police: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will consult with people in the West Midlands before making any decision to bring police and fire services under the control of the Mayor for the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Government are determined to honour the second devolution deal with the West Midlands, including proposals to bring police and fire services under the Mayor, as we have done in London and Manchester. It is right that local leaders take decisions on how they wish to obtain local views on these changes.

12 Jun 2018, 3:34 p.m. Doctors: Migrant Workers Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the number of overseas doctors coming to work in the NHS of placing new applicants to the Medical Training Initiative on a revised waiting list from countries not considered priority as identified by the Department for International Development.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The main focus of the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) is to provide training opportunities for doctors from the Department for International Development (DfID) and Lower Income and Lower Middle Income priority countries.

There are 1,000 MTI Certificate of Sponsorships available per year and the majority of these will be allocated to applicants from countries on the DfID approved priority list and Lower Income and Lower Middle Income priority countries.

Applicants from countries not considered DfID priority or Lower Income and Lower Middle Income countries may still apply for the MTI. If there is any remaining capacity at the end of each month having processed all applications from DfID priority and Lower Income and Lower Middle Income countries, other applicants will be awarded a Certificate of Sponsorship taken in order of the receipt of their application.

12 Jun 2018, 1:51 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the opt-in policy for smart meters on the number of smart meter installations; and if he will review his smart meter roll-out policy.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Smart meters are not compulsory for consumers. The rollout of smart meters is making good progress, with over 400,000 meters being installed every month and 11 million meters operating at the end of March 2018, helping consumers to save money and better understand their energy use.

12 Jun 2018, 11:18 a.m. NHS: West Midlands Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to address NHS workforce shortages in the West Midlands.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

Locally, responsibility for assessing and managing staffing levels, including specialty staff, rests with individual National Health Service trusts and their boards who are best placed to decide how many staff they need to provide a given service.

‘Facing the Facts – Shaping the Future – a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027’, sets out actions being taken to ensure sufficient supply of staff across all grades and specialties, including an expansion of undergraduate medical school places and expansions of available nursing and midwifery training places.

In addition, NHS Improvement has launched a programme to improve staff retention in trusts across England and bring down the leaver rates in the NHS by 2020.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care also announced measures to support staff recruitment and retention, including arrangements to support flexible working to help staff to balance work-life commitments and a 'Homes for Nurses' scheme — which will give 3,000 NHS workers first refusal on affordable housing generated through the sale of surplus NHS land.

12 Jun 2018, 11:18 a.m. NHS: Staff Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the speciality staff workforce in the NHS; and what steps he is taking to ensure that vacancies in that workforce are filled as quickly as possible.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

Locally, responsibility for assessing and managing staffing levels, including specialty staff, rests with individual National Health Service trusts and their boards who are best placed to decide how many staff they need to provide a given service.

‘Facing the Facts – Shaping the Future – a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027’, sets out actions being taken to ensure sufficient supply of staff across all grades and specialties, including an expansion of undergraduate medical school places and expansions of available nursing and midwifery training places.

In addition, NHS Improvement has launched a programme to improve staff retention in trusts across England and bring down the leaver rates in the NHS by 2020.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care also announced measures to support staff recruitment and retention, including arrangements to support flexible working to help staff to balance work-life commitments and a 'Homes for Nurses' scheme — which will give 3,000 NHS workers first refusal on affordable housing generated through the sale of surplus NHS land.

4 Jun 2018, 4 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to Question 137102 on Disabled Students' Allowances, excluding the cost of a standard computer, what other equipment his Department includes as a mainstream cost to participate in Higher Education; and what items are covered by a maintenance loan.

Answer (Mr Sam Gyimah)

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) is available solely where a student is obliged to incur additional costs while studying as a result of their disability. In the case of computer equipment, it was clear from evidence that this had become a mainstream cost for all students and that disabled students should therefore contribute towards the cost of computer equipment recommended through DSA. On receipt of a DSA Needs Assessment Report, the Student Loans Company will make a decision where necessary as to whether a particular piece of equipment that has been recommended is a mainstream cost or not.

Maintenance loans are available to help fund the costs of study that all students incur. However, the department does not issue guidance to students on how they should spend these funds.

15 May 2018, 3:39 p.m. Social Services: Children Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report Crumbling Futures published by the Children's Society in March 2018, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that 16 and 17-year-olds referred to children’s services are receiving adequate support as they transition into adulthood.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

We welcome the findings in the Children’s Society ‘Crumbling Futures’ report and agree that this is a difficult and important transition. The government is committed to ensuring that vulnerable children are ready for adult life and is taking action to ensure that services protect and support children. We recognise the importance of avoiding ‘cliff edges’ in support for the most vulnerable children and the offer of support from local authorities now extends to all care leavers up to 25. ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ makes it clear that when children on Child Protection Plans reach 18, local authorities should consider whether support services are still required.

As a priority, we are taking forward a review of the educational outcomes of Children in Need. This review and call for evidence, which was launched on 16 March 2018, is looking at the quality of support provided to all Children in Need including 16 and 17 year olds. We will consider the full range of views we receive in response to the call for evidence, including any around transition to adult services.

We are delivering a major programme of reform to improve the support provided to Children in Need. As set out in ‘Putting Children First’ (2016), we are working to improve the quality of the workforce, develop and spread innovative practice, and improve the quality of local authority children’s services. We are also using the Department for Education’s Social Care Innovation Programme to trial programmes to improve the quality of support for adolescents, including assessing how early help and contextual safeguarding can help protect them from the specific threats they face.

A key finding of ‘Crumbling Futures’ is that the mental health needs of children and young people appear to be one of the main issues affecting older adolescents as they progress into adulthood. The new Mental Health Support Teams proposed in the government’s Mental Health green paper will provide significant support to 16 to 18 year olds in schools and colleges. The Department for Education will also test how the teams can support vulnerable 16 to 18 year olds and other young people not in school or college, such as those in apprenticeships and other work-based learning. Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care is setting up a new national strategic partnership with key stakeholders focused on improving the mental health of 16 to 25 year olds by encouraging more coordinated action, experimentation and robust evaluation.

15 May 2018, 2:35 p.m. Internally Displaced People: Departmental Coordination Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will develop a cross-departmental strategy for the UK’s approach to supporting the (a) prevention of, (b) protection of and (c) solution to the increasing number of internally displaced people around the world.

Answer (Alistair Burt)

The UK Government is strongly committed to meeting the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs). We published a new Humanitarian Reform Policy in October last year which includes a focus on forced displacement and measures that are relevant for mitigating and responding more effectively to displacement. We believe our primary focus should now be at the global level to press for a more effective international response. For example, several UN Member States, including the UK, are now actively exploring options with the UN – including the idea of launching a UN High Level Panel on Internally Displaced Persons, which presents one way of galvanising greater political and operational attention and action on IDPs.

14 May 2018, 4:52 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will ensure that the review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 includes a cross-departmental analysis of the overlapping personal, social and economic effects of that Act on people who were previously entitled to legal aid.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The Secretary of State has confirmed that we will conduct an evidence based review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (2012).

The evidence gathering phase has commenced and will involve consulting other government departments. We will publish our findings later this year.

11 May 2018, 3:21 p.m. Intelligence Services: Detainees Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons his Department has not launched a public consultation on the potential changes to the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees.

Answer (Sir David Lidington)

I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the Prime Minister’s Written Ministerial Statement of 15 September 2016 (HCWS157).

9 May 2018, 5:04 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Theft Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February to Question 128850 on motor vehicles: theft, if she will (a) review her policy of charging victims of car theft to retrieve their vehicles and (b) exempt stolen vehicles from the statutorily prescribed charges for the recovery and storage of vehicles recovered by the emergency services.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The statutory prescribed charges are kept under periodic review. There are no plans currently to change them or to exempt stolen vehicles specifically.

9 May 2018, 1:17 p.m. Stagecoach Group Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will disqualify Stagecoach from bidding for (a) the east coast main line and (b) all future rail franchise contracts.

Answer (Lord Johnson of Marylebone)

The Passport pre-qualification system was put into place in 2015 – all Passports awarded under this system, including the Stagecoach Passport last for a four year period and are kept under review. In line with this published process, Stagecoach’s eligibility to bid for current and future franchise competitions remains under review.

9 May 2018, 10:45 a.m. Drugs: Costs Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 14 March to Question 131104 on Drugs: Costs, what assessment he has made of the cost of branded medicines (a) to the NHS and (b) in comparison with the health systems in other EU countries.

Answer (Steve Brine)

National Health Service spend on branded medicines during 2015-2016 was approximately £11.2 billion. The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) supports the NHS to improve patient access to clinically and cost effective medicines through the rigorous National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal process, which plays important role in helping to ensure the best outcomes for patients with the resources available. This is coupled with industry making payments on branded medicines sales above an agreed growth cap.

The statutory scheme provides a financial safeguard for the NHS, by providing controls on the costs of branded medicines to the NHS where a company has chosen not to join the PPRS. New regulations came into force on 1 April 2018, which amended the statutory scheme to align it more closely with the 2014 PPRS. In particular, the regulations replaced a system of price cuts with a payment system; the payment percentage introduced – 7.8% - is the same as the 2018 percentage in the PPRS.

The Department does not make a formal assessment of branded medicines expenditure in comparison with other European Union countries, and some of the information necessary to do that is commercially confidential. Participation in the EURIPID pricing project ensures we receive regular information on initiatives across EU countries in relation to branded medicines pricing.

4 May 2018, 3:05 p.m. Food Supply Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March to Question 132028 on Food Supply, whether his Department has made contingency plans in the event that the required flow of food goods from the EU is not achieved.

Answer (George Eustice)

The Government is pursuing a unique and ambitious economic partnership that provides the greatest possible tariff free and frictionless trade with the EU.

The UK’s favourable food security is built on access to a diverse range of sources of supply, including domestic production. This will continue to be the case after leaving the EU, even if the source of some UK food supply changes. Food supply is highly resilient with flexibility throughout the supply chain, and industry can respond quickly to ensure ongoing supply.

Defra has longstanding mechanisms in place to work with the food industry. Our industry sector working group can jointly implement contingency plans if required. This comprises food chain Trade Associations and relevant Government Departments including Devolved Administrations and agencies.

Defra is working closely with other Government departments, including the cross-Government Border Delivery Group (BDG), which provides oversight and assurance of departmental plans for managing the border-related impacts of leaving the EU both for Day 1 and beyond. Planning work aims to ensure three key objectives for the border are delivered: maintaining security; facilitating the flow of goods and people; revenue protection. In addition, we are working to ensure that the necessary systems and processes are in place so that trade continues to flow smoothly after we leave.

4 May 2018, 12:02 p.m. Military Intervention Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 24 April 2018 to Question 136629, whether there a limit on the time between the use of lethal force outside of an armed conflict and the subsequent notification of Parliament.

Answer (Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton)

There is no mandated timescale for the notification of Parliament. However, we would do so at the earliest practicable opportunity.

3 May 2018, 4:08 p.m. Foster Care Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 31 January to Question 124432 on Foster Care, what steps his Department is taking to promote the take-up of the foster-family-friendly employer policy by Government departments.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The department is proud to be a foster-family-friendly employer, ensuring that flexibility and support is offered to those balancing work with fostering responsibilities. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions have since introduced similar policies.

3 May 2018, 1:12 p.m. Obesity: Children Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 March to Question 132947 on Obesity: Children, what criteria his Department uses to monitor progress on the delivery of the childhood obesity plan.

Answer (Steve Brine)

We will monitor change in the prevalence of childhood obesity and in the contributory factors of children’s diets and levels of physical activity through various schemes including:

- Commercially available datasets on what food is sold through larger businesses for all sectors of the food industry (retailers and out of home businesses e.g. coffee shops, takeaways, restaurants);

- The National Diet and Nutrition Survey which will continue to measure changes to children’s diets, reporting biennially;

- The National Child Measurement Programme which provides annual data on the prevalence of obesity amongst children in Reception and Year 6;

- The Health Survey for England which provides annual data on specified health conditions including overweight and obesity for all age groups including children aged two to 15; and

- A new survey commissioned by Sport England to assess children’s level of physical activity which will report annually.

In addition, Public Health England will shortly publish its first assessment of progress on sugar reduction; and the National Institute for Health Research Obesity Policy Research Unit will publish its reports on evidence and research as projects are completed.

3 May 2018, 1:06 p.m. In Vitro Fertilisation Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 31 January to Question 124439 on In Vitro Fertilisation, what assessment he has made of the potential merits on making NICE guidelines mandatory in cases where service provision has been (a) decommissioned and (b) reduced after a majority of views expressed in a public consultation supported the retention of that service.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

We have made no such assessment. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and its clinical guidelines represent best practice, are based on the best available evidence and developed through wide consultation. NICE clinical guidelines are not mandatory, although National Health Service commissioners are expected to take them into account alongside local priorities in the design of services.

1 May 2018, 4:35 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 28 March 2018 to Question 133971, for what reasons that answer does not contain information on the difference between the installation cost figures used in the 2016 cost-benefit analysis update and energy suppliers’ current data on installation costs.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The most recent data on energy suppliers’ installation costs are not directly comparable to the data used in the 2016 Cost-Benefit Analysis.

We are analysing the latest data and will ensure that it is provided on a like-for-like basis in the Cost-Benefit Analysis update in 2019, so that valid comparisons can be made.

30 Apr 2018, 2:17 p.m. Hunting Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) reports, and (b) investigations of alleged illegal fox hunting there have been in each year since 2010 in (i) the West Midlands, (ii) Warwickshire and (iii) England and Wales.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office does not centrally hold the information requested.

The enforcement of the Hunting Act 2004 is an operational matter for the police.

30 Apr 2018, 2:09 p.m. Alfie Dingley Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer on 24 April 2018 to Question 136628 on Alfie Dingley, when a decision will be reached on the application for a licence that has been submitted.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

A clinician has sought to register as a user on the Home Office system with a view to making a licensing application, but at this stage the Home Office has not received any application in relation to this case.

27 Apr 2018, 2:01 p.m. Access to Work Programme: Equality Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 April 2018 to Question 133974, on Access to Work Programme, when her Department plans to publish its update to the Equality Analysis.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The Department plans to publish the update to the "Equality analysis for the Future of Access to Work" which considers the impact of raising the annual limit on Access to work Awards to £57,200 per annum from April 2018 shortly after the end of the pre-election period for the forthcoming local Government elections being held on 3rd May 2018.

27 Apr 2018, 1:59 p.m. Dental Health: Children Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 March to Question 133805, on Dental Health: Children, how many and what proportion of local authorities have (a) toothbrushing programmes and (b) community fluoride varnish schemes; and if he will list the local authorities which have such programmes.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Information on how many and what proportion of local authorities have toothbrushing or community fluoride varnish programmes in place are not held in the format requested.

In England, local authorities are responsible for assessing the oral health needs of their local population, developing oral health strategies and commissioning oral health improvement programmes to meet the needs of their local population.

27 Apr 2018, 1:01 p.m. National Retail Crime Steering Group Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2018 to Question 132685, when the National Crime Steering Group's work plan was last updated; how often that work plan is published; and what assessment she has made of whether the objectives of that work plan have been achieved.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The work plan of the National Retail Crime Steering Group is kept up to date on an ongoing basis, and is formally reviewed by the Steering Group when it meets, twice per year.

As co-chair of the Steering Group, alongside the British Retail Consortium, it is part of my role to ensure that members of the Steering Group are satisfied that the work plan reflects the retail sector’s crime priorities and that the required activity is in place to deliver its component parts. I am satisfied that this is currently the case, and I will review this with the full Steering Group at our next meeting, which is due to take place in June.

27 Apr 2018, 12:59 p.m. Retail Trade: Crime Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 April 2018 to Question 132690, what the British Retail Consortium's estimate of the cost of crime to the UK retail industry was for each of the last six years.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The British Retail Consortium publishes its estimate of the cost of retail crime as part of its annual retail crime survey. This is published by the British Retail Consortium on its website: https://brc.org.uk.

26 Apr 2018, 4:11 p.m. Disabled Students' Allowances Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to introduce a means-test for the £200 self-contribution under the disabled students' allowance.

Answer (Mr Sam Gyimah)

Means-tested living costs support for full-time undergraduate students from low income backgrounds increased by 10.3% in 2016/17 compared with the previous grants and loans package. There was a further increase of 2.8% for the current academic year, 2017/18, and a 3.2% increase for the 2018/19 academic year.

All higher education (HE) students now require access to a computer so this is considered a mainstream cost to participate in HE. Eligible HE students are able to access Maintenance Loans, which are paid as a contribution towards a student’s living costs, and we believe it is reasonable for any student to fund the purchase of a standard computer for email and word processing purposes from their maintenance support. The cost of a standard computer has been calculated at around £200.

Disabled students recommended that a higher-powered computer to run assistive software as part of a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSAs) needs assessment are funded for computer costs in excess of £200. Students are not expected to fund any recommended assistive software or the training to use it.

DSAs are not means tested and we do not propose to introduce means testing for any particular element of that support.

26 Apr 2018, 3:37 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to reintroduce legal aid for early advice.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Early legal advice is available for all legal cases within the scope of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), subject to means and merits tests.

Last year, nearly £100m of public money was spent on early legal advice in civil cases.

The changes made to LASPO are currently being reviewed as part of a post-implementation review. This will include the changes made to the scope of early legal advice and legal representation. The results of this review will be published later this year. We will use this opportunity to inform our wider consideration on the future of early legal advice in the justice system.

25 Apr 2018, 3:30 p.m. Energy: Meters Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February to Question 125468, how many gas SMETS2 meters have been installed, and how many of those meters have been connected to the DCC.

Answer (Claire Perry)

The rollout of smart meters is making good progress, with nearly 440,000 meters being installed every month and a total of 10 million meters already operating as of 31 December 2017.

As of 17 April 2018, industry information showed there were around 800 gas and electricity SMETS2 meters connected to the DCC system. Most of these were being operated in test conditions and around 290 had been installed in the live environment.

Energy suppliers are continuing to test their systems ahead of a controlled ramp up on SMETS2 meters in the coming months.

24 Apr 2018, 5:14 p.m. Cannabis: Medical Treatments Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of amending the law on the use of medicinal cannabis to expand its availability for people with (a) chronic pain and b) long-term degenerative conditions for whom other treatments haven't worked.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

We recognise that people with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses will look to alleviate their symptoms. Raw cannabis has no established medicinal or therapeutic benefits in the UK and so it is listed as a Schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and consequently subject to strict control restrictions.

The World Health Organisation’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has committed to reviewing the scheduling of cannabis under the United Nation’s 1961 Convention. This is due to consider the therapeutic use, as well as the dependence and the potential to abuse constituent parts of cannabis. We will await the outcome of this report before considering the next steps.

24 Apr 2018, 4:42 p.m. Military Intervention Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 March 2018 to Question 133771, if his Department will take steps to notify Parliament when lethal force is used by British armed forces outside of an area of armed conflicts to which the UK is party.

Answer (Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton)

As the Government has stated previously, if the UK resorts to the use of lethal force outside of an armed conflict against an armed attack or the imminent threat of an armed attack, Parliament will be notified. However, for security and operational reasons such notification may need to be after any such use of force has taken place.

24 Apr 2018, 4:39 p.m. Alfie Dingley Steve McCabe

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has the power and competence to issue a temporary licence for the treatment of Alfie Dingley which his parents have requested.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Secretary has the legal power under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 to license the supply and possession of a controlled drug. Any applications for a licence would need to be made by senior clinicians using sufficient and rigorous evidence.

24 Apr 2018, 4:36 p.m. Deportation