Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2016-17 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Banff and Buchan)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 November 2016
Department for Education
Overseas Students: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on reintroduction of the post-study work visa.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Department engages regularly with the Home Office on matters of student migration.

Overseas students can remain in the UK to work following their studies by switching to several existing visa routes, including Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas.

The Government closed the dedicated Post Study Work visa route in 2012 on the grounds that it was open to immigration abuse (including low-skilled work and fraudulent applications).

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 November 2016
Ministry of Justice
Rape: Criminal Proceedings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timetable is for the review of the use of rape complainants' sexual history during court cases.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Secretary of State and Attorney General agreed to look at how section 41 is operating in practice and the Crown Prosecution Service is currently conducting a study of a sample of case files.

Q
Asked by Nusrat Ghani
(Wealden)
Asked on: 17 February 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Human Rights: Minority Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what programmes his Department runs other than Prevent which aim to ensure that young people from minority ethnic communities understand their rights within UK law.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Department for Communities and Local Government funds a number of integration programmes that bring young people from different backgrounds together to promote social mixing and learn about their rights and responsibilities as UK citizens. For example, our £9.7 million funding for Near Neighbours since 2011 has supported the Catalyst leadership scheme which helps young people in diverse communities to develop leadership skills to help them play their part in building a strong civil society. The Anne Frank Trust works with young people from all backgrounds to help students understand the damage caused by prejudice and hatred. Similarly, Streetwise works with young people to tackle anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hate crime. We have also recently funded the Joseph Interfaith Foundation to support a project which helps young refugees to understand the social culture of Britain and integrate into British society.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 February 2017
Department for Education
Schools: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much additional funding her Department would require in order to ensure that no school saw a cut in its budget for 2017-18 as part of the Schools National Funding Formula.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 27 April 2017

In December 2016 the Department confirmed dedicated schools grant (DSG) funding settlements for 2017-18 to local authorities. For all local authorities, funding has been protected in cash terms per pupil. Further details are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2017-to-2018.

In 2017-18, individual schools’ funding is decided at a local authority level. The Department allocates funding to each local authority, who then allocate this funding to their schools using their local formulae. The Minimum Funding Guarantee (MFG) ensures that the maximum any individual school can lose is 1.5% per pupil. Local authorities are now finalising and will shortly be confirming their 2017-18 funding to schools. Further information is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/school-revenue-funding-settlement-for-2017-to-2018.

We are currently consulting on our proposals for a National Funding Formula, which will come into force in 2018-19. The consultation will run until March 22nd and is available at https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula2/.

Q
(Blackpool South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 February 2017
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Written Statement of 6 February 2017, HCWS458, on the sale of part of the English student loan book, how many graduates will have their student loans sold; what the face value of the remaining loans in that part of the English student loan book is; and what the fair market value of the remaining loans in that part of the English student loan book is.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Government has started the process required to sell part of the English student loan book. The sale covers loans issued under the previous (“pre-2012”) system, specifically those which entered repayment between 2002 and 2006. A loan enters repayment the April after the student has left their course. Loans held by around 450,000 borrowers are in scope of the sale. The position of these graduates will not be affected as a result of the sale.

The total face value of the pre-2012 loan book is around £46bn (2014-15 figures).

The face value of the outstanding balances of the loans in the scope of the first sale totalled around £4 billion (at end of Financial Year 2014-15). The retention value to Government is lower and is calculated using standard Treasury Green Book methodology developed for asset sales, and also accounts for Government subsidy of the student loan system. The loans which are being sold have already been in repayment for over ten years, and therefore much of the original value of the loans has already been paid back to Government.

The retention value to Government is lower and is calculated using standard Treasury Green Book methodology developed for asset sales, and also accounts for Government subsidy of the student loan system. The loans which are being sold have already been in repayment for over ten years, and therefore much of the original value of the loans has already been paid back to Government.

Estimates of the fair market value are not something the Government can discuss if we are to preserve a competitive commercial process which delivers value for money for taxpayers.

Q
(Blackpool South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 February 2017
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Written Statement of 6 February 2017, HCWS458, what assessment she has made of whether the sale of part of the English student loan book will deliver value for money; and if she will publish the framework used to make that assessment.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The decision to start the sale process for part of the student loan book (set out in Written Statement HCWS458) is based on a robust and comprehensive assessment of the market which showed that it has a good prospect of achieving value for money.

As part of assessing value for money, the Government compares the value of keeping the student loan book and receiving uncertain and fluctuating repayments over time, and selling the rights to the remaining future repayments made on the student loan book and receiving a fixed sum of money for them now.

The sale process itself is also designed to achieve the best possible price for the taxpayer.

A further assessment will be made before the sale is completed (and before any further sales).

As required by the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008, the Government will provide a report to Parliament on the sale arrangements within three months of sale completion. As required by the Act, this report will make reference to value for money.

Q
(Blackpool South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 February 2017
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Written Statement of 6 February 2017, HCWS458, what criteria will be used to assess the suitability of the buyer of the part of the English student loan book that the Government plans to sell.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

Pursuant to Written Statement HCWS458, the proposed sale will comprise the future repayments on the outstanding balances on a selection of English student loans which became eligible for repayment between 2002 and 2006. A loan enters repayment the April after the student has left their course.

A securitisation structure will be used for the sale to enable the Government to maximise value for money for the taxpayer. Under this structure, the loans will be sold to a new independent English-domiciled company - the Issuer - whose sole purpose is to own the loans on behalf of investors. Investors will purchase notes issued by the Issuer and the Issuer will make payments on the notes using the repayments made on the underlying loans.

The sale is a competitive process open to all eligible investors. The different tranches of notes are expected to be attractive to a range of potential investors, thereby promoting an efficient market and efficient pricing. We anticipate insurers, pension funds and alternative asset managers, among others, will be interested.

Investors would have no right to change any of the current loan arrangements or to contact people with student loans.

Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 27 February 2017
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Consultants
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much each government department has spent on external consultants in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 27 April 2017
Holding answer received on 02 March 2017

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

Q
(Northampton South)
Asked on: 01 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Social Rented Housing: Letting Agents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 4.53 of the White Paper, Fixing our broken housing market, published in February 2017, what his Department's definition is of social lettings agencies.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 27 April 2017

Social letting agencies can support vulnerable people and people on low incomes to access and sustain tenancies in the private rented sector. There are a number of different models of social letting agencies and in the Housing White Paper we set out our interest in exploring the relative effectiveness of these different models with the aim of securing more housing for households who would otherwise struggle – providing security for landlords and support for tenants.

Q
(Clwyd South)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 09 March 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Culture, Media and Sport: Secondment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff in her Department have been seconded from (i) businesses and (ii) charities.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 27 April 2017

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Parliament is dissolved.

Q
Asked by Heidi Allen
(South Cambridgeshire)
Asked on: 16 March 2017
Department for Education
Schools: South Cambridgeshire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to close the deprivation attainment gap in South Cambridgeshire constituency.
A
Answered by: Edward Timpson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

We are committed to making this a country where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as his or her talent and hard work will allow. The pupil premium provides schools with significant additional funding - £2.5bn this year alone – to raise the achievement of their disadvantaged pupils and so close the attainment gap. Our guarantee to maintain current per-pupil funding levels for the rest of this Parliament will ensure schools continue to have the support they need to improve disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes.

This year, disadvantaged pupils in South Cambridgeshire will benefit from £2.6 million in pupil premium funding.

Q
Asked by Tom Watson
(West Bromwich East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 March 2017
Ministry of Justice
Written Questions: Government Responses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when her Department plans to respond to Question 66948, tabled by the hon. Member for West Bromwich East on 7 March 2017.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 27 April 2017

Question 66948 tabled by the hon. Member for West Bromwich East was answered on 18 April 2017.

Q
Asked by Liz McInnes
(Heywood and Middleton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 27 March 2017
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the value to the public purse of the sale of the student loans book.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The decision to start the sale process for part of the student loan book (set out in Written Statement HCWS458) is based on a robust and comprehensive assessment of the market which showed that it has a good prospect of achieving value for money.

As part of assessing value for money, the Government compares the value of keeping the student loan book and receiving uncertain and fluctuating repayments over time, and selling the rights to the remaining future repayments made on the student loan book and receiving a fixed sum of money for them now.

The sale process itself is also designed to achieve the best possible price for the taxpayer.

A further assessment will be made before the sale is completed (and before any further sales).

As required by the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008, the Government will provide a report to Parliament on the sale arrangements within three months of sale completion. As required by the Act this report will make reference to value for money.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 27 March 2017
Home Office
Asylum: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the proportion of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children accepted under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 that would otherwise have been eligible for transfer to the UK under the family-reunification provisions of the Dublin III Regulation.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Government has confirmed that the specified number under section 67(1) of the Immigration Act 2016 will not include cases transferred to the UK under the Dublin III Regulation.

Q
Asked by Tom Watson
(West Bromwich East)
Asked on: 28 March 2017
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Written Questions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when she plans to answer Question 66948, tabled on 7 March 2017 by the hon. Member for West Bromwich East.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 27 April 2017

Question 66948 tabled by the hon. Member for West Bromwich East was answered on 18 April 2017.

Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Communities and Local Government: Data Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many (a) official and (b) official sensitive documents have been recorded as lost by his Department since 8 May 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 27 April 2017

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

Q
Asked by Martyn Day
(Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Education
Universities: Overseas Students
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for universities of the Universities UK report, entitled The economic impact of international students, published in March 2017.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Government values the contribution that international students make to higher education, research, and the UK, both economically and culturally. That is why we have no plans to introduce a cap on the number of genuine international students who can come here to study, or to limit the numbers that individual higher education institutions can recruit. The reforms the Government is introducing through the Higher Education and Research Bill recognise the importance of the sector to the economy and will help to ensure that it continues to be one of the most sought after places for global talent to study.

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
Asked on: 30 March 2017
Department for Education
Pupils: Disadvantaged
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students attending (a) comprehensive and (b) grammar schools in England are within each decile of the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 27 April 2017

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

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
Asked on: 30 March 2017
Department for Education
Pupils: Per Capita Costs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much (a) revenue and (b) capital funding was provided to each pupil in state (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools in each region and local authority in (A) cash terms and (B) 2014 prices in each year since 2005-06.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 27 April 2017

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

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 30 March 2017
House of Commons Commission
House of Commons: Security
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many people holding security passes for other Government Departments are granted access to the House of Commons Commission's premises with that pass, by Department.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The number of people from Government Departments who hold security passes granting access to the House of Commons Commission’s premises is as follows:

Department Description

Count

10 Downing Street

131

Attorney-General’s Office

21

Business, Innovation & Skills[1]

39

Cabinet Office

236

Crown Prosecution Service

1

Culture Media & Sport

81

Defence

112

Department for International Trade

56

Department for Transport

98

Department for Education

106

Department for International Development

44

Dept of Communities and Local Government

94

Dept for Exiting the EU

48

Dept of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy

53

Dept of Energy & Climate Change

13

Environment Food & Rural Affairs

38

European Commission

1

European Parliament

1

Food Standards Agency

7

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

123

General Synod of the Church of England

6

Government Car Service

65

Government Legal Department

20

H M Revenue & Customs

29

Health

62

Home Office

211

Intelligence & Security Committee

9

Ministry of Justice

103

National Audit Office

23

Northern Ireland Office

20

Ofgem

1

Parliamentary Counsel Office

60

Scotland Office

14

Serious Fraud Office

4

Treasury

96

Wales Office

11

Work & Pensions

72

TOTAL

2109

[1] Now Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

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