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 2017-19 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
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[N]
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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: 29 November 2017
Scotland Office
Offshore Structures: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether there are any plans to identify a redundant floating oil exploration platform and convert it into a museum of the history of Scotland and North Sea Oil.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 04 December 2017

The UK Government currently has no such plans, but my officials would be happy to discuss any proposals brought forward.

A substantial part of the Aberdeen Maritime museum is dedicated to Oil and Gas and there is also a cross industry and academic project, supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy called ‘Capturing the Energy’ which aims to archive and digitise important information about the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 20 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he will take to ensure that people paid weekly do not lose universal credit entitlements in months that contain five Fridays.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 28 November 2017

No one on Universal Credit, who are weekly paid, will see a drop in their total income from earnings and benefits in any assessment period with 5 paydays in it. In contrast because of the way UC works in 5 payday assessment periods, the total income a claimant will receive in that month will always be higher, whether their UC is reduced or extinguished

For example if someone is weekly paid at a rate of £200, and has a gross UC entitlement of £1400 a month their total UC entitlement (assuming no work allowance) is £896 a month and £800 from earnings. Total income in the month, benefits and earnings of £1696.

In a five payday month their earnings rise to £1000, UC falls to £770. Total income from benefits and earnings £1770.

For someone on higher earnings of £450 a week, with the same UC gross entitlement of £1400 will receive in a four payday month earnings of £1800 and UC of £266 a month with a total monthly income of £2066. In a five week month their total earnings rise to £2250, UC entitlement zero but total income in that month is higher than in the four payday month.

Everyone who is weekly paid will have a higher income in the 5 payday month, either through a combination of UC and earnings or on straight earnings. The UC taper ensure that people keep every pound of their earnings, with only a 63% reduction in UC entitlement. This is how the system works and how we make work pay. Media reports to the contrary were wrong, misleading and alarmist for UC claimants and I welcome the opportunity to put the record straight.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 20 November 2017
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to incentivise manufacturers to produce more affordable electric cars.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 28 November 2017

Through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK, the Department for Transport is investing over £200m to support UK businesses to build on their strengths in electric vehicle technology and the design, development and manufacture of electric vehicles. The Government is also incentivising the purchase of electric vehicles with a grant of up to £4500 to consumers to offset the cost of this technology.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 20 November 2017
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the provision of suitably located charging points in remote and rural areas.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The vast majority of charging takes place at home, overnight. To support this, the Government provides funding for the installation of both on-street and off-street charging infrastructure. In addition, support exists UK-wide, including for rural areas, to enable workplaces to install infrastructure for use of employees and fleets.

The UK also now has over 11,500 publically accessible chargepoints, including over 900 rapid chargepoints. This is one of the largest rapid networks in Europe.

In addition, the Automated and Electric Vehicle Bill, currently going through Parliament, will give powers to the UK Government to expand deployment of infrastructure at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers, UK-wide.

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, a new £400m electric car Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (£200m new Government investment to be matched by private investors) will accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure by providing access to finance to companies that deliver chargepoints.

Grouped Questions: 114643
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Asked on: 20 November 2017
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many publicly available charging points for electric cars there are in the UK; and what plans he has to increase the number of charging points.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The vast majority of charging takes place at home, overnight. To support this, the Government provides funding for the installation of both on-street and off-street charging infrastructure. In addition, support exists UK-wide, including for rural areas, to enable workplaces to install infrastructure for use of employees and fleets.

The UK also now has over 11,500 publically accessible chargepoints, including over 900 rapid chargepoints. This is one of the largest rapid networks in Europe.

In addition, the Automated and Electric Vehicle Bill, currently going through Parliament, will give powers to the UK Government to expand deployment of infrastructure at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers, UK-wide.

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, a new £400m electric car Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (£200m new Government investment to be matched by private investors) will accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure by providing access to finance to companies that deliver chargepoints.

Grouped Questions: 114642
Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 18 October 2017
HM Treasury
Bank Services: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to ensure rural and remote communities have access to local bank branches.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 24 October 2017

The Government recognises the need to support local communities adapt to changes to banking, including when branches close. The Access to Banking Standard commits banks to communicate with and assist customers when a branch closes. And since January, 99% of personal and 75% of business customers are able to bank at one of Post Office’s 11,600 branches nationwide. Ultimately, decisions on the opening and closing of individual bank branches are a commercial decision for the banks involved.

Q
Asked by Jamie Stone
(Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
[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: 04 September 2017
HM Treasury
Cash Dispensing: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment the Government has made of the effect of closure of ATMs in rural areas on the economies and communities of those areas.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 07 September 2017

The Government believes that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK.

The Government has made no assessment of the effect of closure of ATMs on rural economies and communities, but is monitoring developments within the UK’s ATM network – LINK - as is the Payment Systems Regulator.

The number of ATMs has increased from 36,000 in 2001 to over 70,000 in 2016. LINK also runs a financial inclusion programme which subsidises free to use ATMs in areas without existing access. LINK has identified 1,700 rural and/or deprived ‘target’ areas, and the majority of these areas are now served by 1,110 ATMs, up from 171 in 2007.

The Government regularly engages with industry on access to payment services.

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