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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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 Lord Birt
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Natural Gas: Storage
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many billions of KWh of natural gas storage the UK possesses; and what comparative estimate they have made of the equivalent figures for (1) Germany, (2) France, and (3) Italy.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

On the 8th October 2017 (the most recent date for which data is available), there were 21 TWh (21 billion KWh) of natural gas in storage in various facilities across the UK. This is compared to 100 TWh in France, 202 TWh in Germany, and 184 TWh in Italy.

However, a direct comparison between these countries does not reflect the amount of indigenous gas production available to them – when North Sea gas stocks are included in these figures, the UK is broadly in line with the rest of Europe.

Q
Asked by Lord Rooker
Asked on: 11 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Congenital Abnormalities: Research
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what Government-sponsored research is currently under way in respect of neural tube defect births.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), through its Clinical Research Network, is supporting two studies relating to neural tube defects:

  1. Database Development for Newborn Screening Disorders

A study to develop a genotype-phenotype correlative database for six Newborn Screening Disorders by performing Next Generation DNA Sequencing on a small panel of genes and collecting medical record information from screen positive and clinically affected patients.

  1. Prevention of Neural Tube Defects by Inositol (PONTI)

The study is intended to address the question of whether combined treatment folic acid and inositol is more effective at preventing neural tube defects than folic acid alone.

Research relating to neural tube defect births is also be supported through the Research Councils. Examples of current and recent projects supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) include:

  • Understanding the role of the Glycine Cleavage System in Neural Tube Defects

This project studies a group of proteins involved in folate handling and looks at their possible involvement in neural tube defects.

  • Investigating the effect of folic acid on the neural tube defect methylome

In many cases, neural tube defects (NTDs) are preventable by the mother taking periconceptional supplements of folic acid. This study is designed to generate a better understanding of the processes of normal and abnormal neural tube development and how folic acid interacts with this.

As Government funders of health research, neither the NIHR nor the MRC allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area, such as neural tube defects, is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications. MRC welcomes high quality applications in any disease area.

Asked on: 12 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Property Searches
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to authorise the HM Land Registries scheme to digitise local land charge data; and when they plan to provide a fixed timeframe for the sign off of the local land charges register project.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

Work is already underway on the Local Land Charges programme, which will provide a central, digital service for local land charges by consolidating local authority registers into a single register. As with any major project, the government will review and approve the programme at key stages as appropriate.

Q
Asked on: 16 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Bombardier: USA
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many interactions, and with which officials, have they had with the government of the United States regarding the trade dispute brought by Boeing against Bombardier.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set out in his statement to Parliament on 10 October 2017, Ministers and senior officials across government have had extensive engagement with the government of the United States regarding this trade dispute. The total of significant interaction amounts to twenty-five calls and meetings. This includes with senior members of the US Administration and Congress.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has discussed the matter a number of times with President Trump, stressing the importance of Bombardier’s operations in Belfast and asking the US Government to do all they can to encourage Boeing to drop its complaint. Cabinet Ministers, including the Business Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Trade Secretary and the Northern Ireland Secretary, have reinforced the UK’s serious concerns with, among others, the US Secretary of Commerce, the US Secretary of State, the US Treasury Secretary, the US Trade Representative and other members of the US Administration, as well as the EU Trade Commissioner.

Q
Asked on: 17 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nuclear Power
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which departments will be responsible for the management of any future legislation relating to Euratom and EU Directives on (1) radioactive waste and spent fuel management, (2) protection against ionising radiation, (3) the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel, and (4) drinking water.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is the Department responsible for negotiating and reporting on the transposition of legislation relating to Euratom. Arrangements for future co-operation with Euratom are currently under negotiation. The implementation of Euratom Directives on radioactive waste and spent fuel management, protection against ionising radiation and the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel is generally the responsibility of BEIS, although some other Government departments and agencies have responsibility for specific areas. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs generally has responsibility for EU Directives regarding drinking water. Decisions on departmental responsibilities for the management of any future legislation will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q
Asked on: 17 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nuclear Power
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote integrated working between the agencies responsible for licensing nuclear sites and for safeguarding the public and the environment in the UK following the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

Robust arrangements are in place to ensure effective joint regulatory working in relation to safe plant operation and in relation to controlling the use of radioactive substances and the safe management and disposal of consequential waste arisings. It is not anticipated that these arrangements will be affected by the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.

Q
Asked by Lord Mawson
Asked on: 17 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Small Businesses
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government who within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has responsibility for overseeing and monitoring (1) the overall impact of Government legislation, and (2) the burden of regulation, on small and medium-sized enterprises.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Better Regulation Executive within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy works across Whitehall departments and with regulators to deliver the Government’s commitment to regulate more effectively over the course of this Parliament. This includes monitoring and reporting to Parliament on the overall impact of legislation and regulatory burdens on businesses of all sizes.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 17 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Utilities
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish a Green Paper during the current Parliament which covers consumer protection in relation to third-party intermediaries which offer water and energy services.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Government will publish a green paper in due course that will closely examine markets which are not working for consumers.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 15 February (HL5165), what are the greenhouse gas emissions targets, broken down by local authority; and what assessment they have made of progress against each of those targets over the last seven years.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 October 2017

Local Authorities are not mandated to have greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets. However, many cities and places have set their own targets following the Paris Agreement. Over 30 places are members of international agreements such as the Covenant of Mayors and, within the UK, over 70 places have now signed up to UK100 with a political commitment to use 100% clean energy by 2050.

The Government has recently announced support for every Local Enterprise Partnership to develop their own energy strategy and we are developing plans to support local places to build the capacity to deliver more local low carbon projects across England over the next two years.

Q
Asked by Lord Truscott
Asked on: 12 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Foreign Investment in UK: National Security
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks are in place to monitor the safeguarding of UK national security each time a foreign firm invests in the UK.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 October 2017

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the Government has powers to intervene in mergers on the grounds of national security. The Act sets out the processes which are followed in such cases.

More generally, the Government considers carefully any national security issues raised by foreign investments on a case by case basis.

The Government published a Green Paper, ‘National Security and Infrastructure Investment Review’, on Tuesday 17 October setting out its review of current powers and how these might be amended in the short, and long, term to ensure national security is protected. The Government welcomes respondents’ views on its proposals and options for reform.

The Green Paper is available on Gov.uk and in the Libraries of the House.

Q
Asked by Lord Truscott
Asked on: 12 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Foreign Investment in UK: National Security
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to introduce a dedicated body with responsibility for scrutinising those foreign investments which may impact on national security.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 October 2017

The Government published a Green Paper, ‘National Security and Infrastructure Investment Review’, on Tuesday 17 October setting out its review of current powers and how these might be amended in the short, and long, term to ensure national security is protected. The Government welcomes respondents’ views on its proposals and options for reform.

The Green Paper is available on Gov.uk and in the Libraries of the House.

Q
Asked by Lord Myners
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Financial Reporting Council
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to review the effectiveness of the Financial Reporting Council and its independence from the accounting industry.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 October 2017

As part of its green paper consultation on Corporate Governance Reform, the Government invited suggestions on how the UK’s corporate governance framework could be strengthened and on strengthening the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) ability to monitor and enforce corporate governance reporting. The Government response to the consultation published on 29 August this year summarised the consultation responses and set out its conclusions and proposals which include giving further consideration to whether the FRC has the appropriate powers, resources and status to operate effectively. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working closely with the FRC on these issues. The FRC is required to report formally to the Secretary of State each year and these annual reports are laid before Parliament for review by both Houses.

Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Storms
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent statements made by the World Meteorological Organization regarding long-term trends in relation to the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 October 2017

The Government has not conducted a specific scientific assessment of the statements by the World Meteorological Organization regarding the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on low-lying Caribbean islands and the USA, and possible links between these storms and human-made climate change.

The mechanics of tropical cyclones and how they interact with our changing climate is extremely complex. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is a greater than 50% chance that human-induced warming over the next century will lead to an increase in the frequency of intense tropical cyclones in some areas and there is strong evidence that increasing sea temperatures increase the intensity of tropical storms when they develop. Heavier rainfall is also expected as global temperatures rise because a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. Additionally, rising sea levels increase the risk of coastal flooding as hurricanes make landfall.

Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Research: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of concerns expressed by the UK scientific community regarding future participation in EU funded research projects, what funds will be made available to UK research teams following Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 October 2017

This Government wants the UK to be the go-to place for researchers, innovators and investors across the world. This is why we are increasing research and development investment by £4.7 billion over the period 2017-18 to 2020-21, an increase of around 20% to total government R&D spending, more than any increase in any parliament since 1979.

We would welcome an agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives. On 6 September we published a future partnership paper on collaboration on science and innovation. As part of our ambition for a new deep and special partnership with the EU, recognising our shared interest in maintaining and strengthening research collaboration, the UK will seek an agreement that promotes science and innovation across Europe now and in the future.

While we remain a member of the EU, UK businesses and universities should continue to bid for competitive EU funds, and we will work with the Commission to ensure payment when funds are awarded. The Government will underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. This includes awards that are bid for before exit that are successful after exit.

Q
Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Small Business Commissioner
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the commitment set out in the document Small Business Commissioner: Policy for Secondary Legislation, published in February, that the Small Business Commissioner's complaints scheme will formally begin on 1 October, whether small businesses may now submit complaints; and through what process they can do so.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 October 2017

On 2 October my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State announced the appointment of Paul Uppal as the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner (SBC). Mr Uppal and his team will provide general advice and information to small businesses on matters such as resolving payment disputes, including signposting small businesses through the SBC’s website to existing support and dispute resolution services.

The SBC complaints scheme is dependent on secondary legislation, which is currently being considered by Parliament. Small businesses will be able to submit complaints once the service fully launches, including complaints relating to issues from 1 April 2017. The office of the SBC will be operational by the end of 2017, subject to the will of Parliament.

Q
Asked by Lord Patten
Asked on: 12 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Shares
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of public company share buybacks on the economy.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 October 2017

In its response of 29th August to the Corporate Governance Reform green paper consultation, the Government stated that it will take forward its manifesto commitment to commission an examination of the use of share buy-backs by public companies. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will shortly be commissioning research to underpin this work. The research will consider the impact of share buy-backs both on executive remuneration outcomes and on investment by public companies.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Zero Hours Contracts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the social and economic consequences of restricting zero-hours contracts to students and pensioners.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 18 October 2017

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave to question UIN HL893 that states that the government has not made an estimate of the social and economic consequences of restricting zero hours contracts to students and pensioners.

The government has not assessed the social and economic consequences of restricting zero hours contracts to students and pensioners. The Matthew Taylor review found that zero hours contracts have a part to play in a modern, flexible labour market and benefit those who cannot or do not want to work in a regular contract.

However, this government shares the concerns regarding flexible work arrangements. That is why in October 2016 my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister asked Matthew Taylor to carry out an independent review to consider employment practices and whether they need to change to keep pace with modern business models. We are now considering the report and will respond in full later in the year.

Q
Asked by Lord Empey
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Bombardier: Northern Ireland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they provided to Bombardier Aircraft Division for the "C" Series aircraft; what was the amount of that support; and when that support was forthcoming, and under what terms.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The UK Government's Repayable Launch Investment of £113.37 million to support Bombardier Aerospace (Shorts) in the design and development of the C Series aircraft wings was notified to the European Commission on 19 December 2008; and was approved on 18 June 2009.


Terms of the repayable launch investment are commercially sensitive.

Grouped Questions: HL1717
Q
Asked by Lord Empey
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Bombardier: Northern Ireland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether monies provided by them to Bombardier Aircraft Division for the "C" Series aircraft were examined for compliance with EU state aid rules; and, if so, with what result.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The UK Government's Repayable Launch Investment of £113.37 million to support Bombardier Aerospace (Shorts) in the design and development of the C Series aircraft wings was notified to the European Commission on 19 December 2008; and was approved on 18 June 2009.


Terms of the repayable launch investment are commercially sensitive.

Grouped Questions: HL1716
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Food
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total amount of food waste generated by BEIS offices for each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The total amount of food waste generated by BEIS offices for each of the last five years is shown in the attached table. Entries shaded in grey are estimates.

BEIS food waste statistics (Word Document, 16.03 KB)
Q
Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Pregnancy: Discrimination
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what if any proposals they have to provide new and expectant mothers with further protections from redundancy; and whether they have any plans to address the use of confidentiality agreements in out of court settlements which prevent women from speaking publicly about their treatment.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The Government’s response to Women and Equalities Select Committee Inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination earlier this year said that we “will consider further and bring forward proposals to ensure that the protections in place for those who are pregnant or returning from maternity leave are sufficient”. We are reviewing whether we need stronger protection against redundancy for pregnant women and women returning from maternity leave and will consult on options in due course.

The Government has no plans to address the use of confidentiality agreements. Employees and employers need the freedom to reach a mutually acceptable negotiated settlement, so the Government does not want to impose further constraints on the provisions of settlement agreements.

Q
Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Billing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 29 June (HL53), stating that the Payment Practices Reporting online service will be available for users to begin reporting their payment practices from October, whether that online service has yet been launched and advertised; and out of the estimated 15,200 businesses in scope to comply with the payment practices and performance reporting requirements, how many have so far been issued an invitation to use the service.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The Payment Practices Reporting online service has been launched on the GOV.UK website, and is now available to all businesses in scope of the requirements without the need for an invitation. The Department is now working to raise awareness of the existence of the service, including by contacting business representative bodies. Before the service was launched, 350 invitations were issued. The Department does not hold information on how many of these invitations were issued to businesses in scope of the requirement.

Q
Asked by Lord Beecham
Asked on: 02 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Rented Housing: Repairs and Maintenance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of rented properties which they anticipate will benefit from the requirement for landlords to upgrade properties rated in energy bands F and G to at least band E; and what is their estimate of the number of such properties which will be exempted from the requirement on the grounds that the work would be at net cost to the landlord.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 16 October 2017

Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015, all landlords of domestic and non-domestic privately rented property in England and Wales will need to ensure that, from 1 April 2018, their properties reach at least an energy performance rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants, unless a prescribed exemption applies.

Based on the most recent English Housing Survey data, BEIS has estimated that, as of 2017, there were approximately 278,000 domestic, and around 200,000 non-domestic privately rented properties in England and Wales with an energy performance rating below E. We have made no formal estimate of the number of landlords in the domestic sector who may seek an exemption from these requirements on grounds of cost.

Government announced recently in the Clean Growth Strategy that it will consult shortly on steps to make the domestic energy efficiency regulations more effective. We will also look at a longer term trajectory to improve the energy performance standards of privately rented homes, with the aim of upgrading as many private rented homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2030 where practical, cost effective and affordable.

Q
Asked by Lord Hain
Asked on: 13 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Shops: Closures
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many bookshops have closed in the UK since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 04 October 2017

In 2016, there were 2,005 retail units specialised in selling books in the UK, compared to 2,055 in 2010 (ONS business counts).

Q
Asked on: 12 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electric Vehicles
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the capacity of the electricity grid to cope with additional demand resulting from increased numbers of electric cars and buses.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 26 September 2017

The Government has set out its ambition for almost all cars and vans to be zero emissions by 2050, and that sales of new conventional cars and vans will end by 2040. By setting these long-term goals, the Government can ensure that there is plenty of time to ready the grid for the mass transition towards cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

We have regular discussions with all the key parties in the electricity systems – including energy suppliers, network operators and National Grid – to ensure that all parties are prepared for electric vehicle take up. The capacity market is our principal tool for ensuring we have sufficient capacity to meet demand. National Grid use the latest trends in supply and demand (including from electric vehicles) when advising on the volume of capacity to secure through these auctions.

Distribution Network Operators forecast the likely uptake of plug-in electric vehicles, in discussion with Government, in order to shape their investment plans. Government is also taking powers as part of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill to require all new chargepoints sold or installed in the UK to be smart enabled. Smart charging can help reduce the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity network by ensuring that they can flex to the grid’s need, avoiding existing peaks in demand.

Q
Asked on: 11 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lighting
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government who made the decision to replace the lightbulb classification system from watts to lumens; and whether they intend to review that classification system once the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 September 2017

No decision has been made to replace lightbulb classification from watts to lumens. The “luminous efficacy” of lightbulbs has for many years internationally been measured in lumens (measure of brightness) per watt (measure of power). This is the ratio of light out /energy in. There are currently information requirements placed on suppliers of lightbulbs that require the packaging to display the equivalent Watts of the lumen rating. However, as the demand for LEDs increases in the UK, lumens per watt is becoming a more appropriate measure of a lamp’s effectiveness in converting electricity to light.

Q
Asked on: 12 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Small Businesses: Government Assistance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the monetary benefit to individual small and medium-sized enterprises from support provided under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 September 2017

At around 5.5m, small and medium-sized businesses comprise 99.9% of UK businesses. The Government recognises the importance of small and medium-sized businesses and the valuable contribution that they make to our economy.

To avoid overburdening businesses the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 has, amongst other things, reduced regulatory burdens, improved payment practices across the public sector and improved access to finance.

In many instances it would be difficult to quantify the monetary benefit directly attributable to the support provided under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, rather than by other business activities.

Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Hinkley Point C Power Station
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have contractually guaranteed a minimum level of energy production from the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station that consumers or the National Grid will buy in 2030, even if that energy is not needed due to the growth of renewable energy and home energy storage; and, if so, what that level is.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 September 2017

The Government has not contractually agreed a minimum level of energy production from the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The Contract for Difference (CfD), agreed on October 2016, is an agreement to pay the generator the difference between the wholesale market price and a “strike price” for every megawatt hour of electricity they generate. It is the generator’s responsibility to sell their power in the wholesale market.

Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Hinkley Point C Power Station
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have contractually guaranteed a minimum level of subsidy to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station for providing back-up energy capacity; and, if so, (1) what that level is, and (2) whether this will be funded by taxes or by users through their energy bills.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 September 2017

The Government has not contractually agreed a minimum level of subsidy to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station for providing back up energy capacity. System balancing decisions are for the system operator, who may choose to contract with HPC in the 2020s as with any other system user, but no such contracts are currently in place.

Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Hinkley Point C Power Station
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether consumers and households who do not use grid electricity will have to pay for any of the electricity produced by Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 September 2017

No, consumers and households who do not use grid electricity will not pay for any of the electricity produced by Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Q
Asked by Lord Naseby
Asked on: 12 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Hurricanes and Tornadoes: Caribbean
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether use was made of the UK's remote sensing and satellite technology to predict the impact of the storm system of Hurricane Irma; and if so, by whom.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 September 2017

The Met Office is the UK National Met Service and monitors weather around the world, including hurricanes in the Caribbean such as Irma. For this purpose the Met Office uses a wide range of observations, including satellite and remote sensing technologies which form a crucial input to its weather modeling capability. Model predictions on the track of hurricanes together with information on their intensity and structure are used by the Met Office in its briefings to Her Majesty’s Government but also shared with the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Hurricane Centre.

Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electricity: Storage
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to develop a strategy to ensure future continuity on network charging in relation to electricity storage; and if so, how.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 18 September 2017

The charging regime is the responsibility of Ofgem as the independent regulator. In the joint BEIS/Ofgem Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan released on 24 July 2017 it was recognised that at present network charges can put storage at a relative disadvantage to other network users, preventing a level playing field.

The Government is keen to see fair changes to the charging regime that create a level playing field for storage. Ofgem indicated that changes to storage charging would be best and most rapidly brought forward by industry, and two modifications have now been raised to address this issue. Ofgem also expects industry to provide guidance on the treatment of storage as intermittent or non-intermittent in the distribution charging methodologies by the end of 2017.

Asked on: 07 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Cost of Energy Independent Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the specific financial interests which are referred to in the declaration of interest by Professor Dieter Helm published on 6 August in relation to the cost of energy review.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 18 September 2017

The review is being conducted in accordance with well-established principles for transparency and accountability, typical of this kind of independent review. As the declaration of interests makes clear, Professor Helm will not change any financial interest he might have in companies that are active in the UK energy sector during the course of the review.

Q
Asked on: 12 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tidal Power: Swansea Bay
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their timescale for making a decision on plans for a Swansea tidal lagoon, following publication of the Hendry Review in January.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 18 September 2017

The Government is considering the findings of the independent Hendry Review before deciding, in light of the relevant factors, its position on the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project.

Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Groceries Code Adjudicator
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to report on the outcome of the call for evidence into whether there should be an extension of the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 14 September 2017

We are planning to report the outcome of the Call for Evidence on extending the Groceries Code Adjudicator’s remit in the autumn.

Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electricity: Storage
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what definition of electricity storage they intend to use in the provision of storage licences.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 September 2017

The Government and Ofgem’s Smart Systems and Flexibility plan, published in July, announced that Ofgem will shortly consult on a modified generation license for electricity storage facilities. This document set out that the Government and Ofgem will use the definition of storage provided by the Electricity Storage Network, which received broad support from industry, as the basis for defining storage in regulations including licences.

The Electricity Storage Network’s definition is:

• “Electricity Storage” in the electricity system is the conversion of electrical energy into a form of energy which can be stored, the storing of that energy, and the subsequent reconversion of that energy back into electrical energy.

• “Electricity Storage Facility” in the electricity system means a facility where Electricity Storage occurs.

Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electricity: Storage
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to remove the double charging of consumption levies in relation to storage facilities.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 September 2017

The Government and Ofgem’s Smart Systems and Flexibility plan, published in July, addressed the issue of storage operators paying levies intended for final consumers, on the electricity they procure from energy suppliers. Electricity supplied to generation licence holders is excluded from the supply volumes used to calculate the costs of the Renewables Obligation, Contracts for Difference and Feed in Tariffs schemes, and Capacity Market auctions. Ofgem will shortly consult on a new modified generation licence for storage facilities, which would mean that holders of this licence would not pay towards such levies.

The Government has also clarified that the electricity received and stored by electricity storage facilities may be supplied to them free from the Climate Change Levy where relevant conditions are met, as set out in HM Revenue and Custom’s Excise Notice CCL1/3 – Reliefs and special treatments for taxable commodities.

Q
Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Small Businesses: Loans
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the finding contained in the Bank of England's Money and Credit June 2017 Statistical Release that there was a £0.2 billion fall in investment in non-financial small and medium sized enterprises in the year to June; and what plans they have to increase investment in such enterprises.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 September 2017

The statistical release identifies that in July 2017 new loans were made of £5.2bn compared with repayment of existing debts of £5.4bn. However in the previous month there had been a £0.4bn increase in overall lending.

These movements are best understood as part of the broader context which shows that since summer 2016, loans to non-financial small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have consistently been higher than the previous 12 months and this remains the case in the latest data. In the 12 months ending July 2017, net bank lending to SMEs actually rose by £1.2bn.

We are working hard to give UK SMEs the support they need to start and grow. Growth Hubs provide information and guidance across the country and British Business Bank programmes are supporting £3.4 billion of finance to more than 59,000 smaller businesses.

Q
Asked on: 06 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Diesel Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the investigation by the German anti-trust authorities into German car manufacturers that are alleged to have operated a cartel and colluded to misrepresent diesel emissions; whether they intend to report those companies to the National Crime Agency to investigate whether any UK directors and managers were involved; and if not, why not.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 September 2017

Investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices are a matter for the independent competition authorities – the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and, where relevant, the European Commission.

Q
Asked on: 07 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electric Vehicles: Batteries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Faraday Challenge will promote research and development of new technologies to support the sustainable disposal or recycling of used electric vehicle batteries.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 September 2017

£246m of funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has been committed to the ‘Faraday Challenge’ to develop world leading batteries, designed and manufactured in the UK, to fully exploit the industrial opportunity of vehicle electrification. The scope of research is expected to focus on themes including safety, cost reduction, performance and recyclability.

Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Cost Effectiveness
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to ensure that energy service providers provide value for money for the consumer.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 12 September 2017

Energy service providers could play an important role in delivering valuable services to consumers including, but not limited to, energy management, energy efficiency improvements and demand side response. The Government will continue to consider the role of energy service providers as the market for services they offer develops.

Q
Asked by Lord Stunell
Asked on: 05 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Construction: Billing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the report they commissioned from Pye Tait Consulting on cash retentions in the construction industry has been submitted by that firm; and if so, when they intend to publish that report, and what action they plan to take in the light of its recommendations.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 12 September 2017

The Department will be publishing the Pye Tait report, alongside a consultation document on the practice of cash retentions under construction contracts shortly.

The Government will not pre-empt the outcome of the consultation, but will consider the responses to the forthcoming consultation carefully before making decisions about further action in this area.

Q
Asked by Lord Jones
Asked on: 20 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Manufacturing Industries: Staff
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of workers employed in the UK in (1) the aerospace industry, and (2) the motor industry.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 03 August 2017

Based on data from the Office for National Statistics in 2016, the Aerospace industry, covering the manufacture, maintenance and repair of aircraft, directly accounted for 120,000 jobs. Automotive Manufacturing accounted for 159,000 jobs and separately recorded, the Wholesale, Retail and Repair of Motor Vehicles accounted for 634,000 jobs.

These figures cover direct employment only excluding indirect jobs that these industries may support in other sectors of the economy, through their supply chains.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 20 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tickets: Sales
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect consumers from abuse of the secondary ticket market; and whether they intend to introduce a regulatory regime for that market, including the establishment of an appropriate regulatory authority.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 02 August 2017

The Government appointed Professor Waterson in 2015 to review consumer protections in the secondary ticketing market. He produced his report last year and in March 2017 the Government responded accepting his report in full and included amendments to the Digital Economy Act designed to enhance protections further.

The Government has no plans at this time to introduce additional legislation.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 20 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tickets: Sales
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the adequacy of resources (a) made available to, and (b) spent by, trading standards services since 2012, to ensure the compliance of the secondary ticket market with relevant legislation, and (2) the impact on those resources of their response to the Waterson review, published on 13 March.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 02 August 2017

As part of the Government’s response to the Waterson review, National Trading Standards have been tasked with investigating potential enforcement cases against sellers and secondary ticketing websites that do not comply with legislation from within their current and forthcoming annual budgets.

The National Trading Standards Board have allocated £300,000 towards investigation work on ticketing for this current financial year.

Local Authority Trading Standards also play an important role in tackling consumer detriment. Spending or resourcing decisions are for individual Local Authorities to make. We do not hold the requested data centrally.

Q
Asked by Lord Bird
Asked on: 20 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage, promote and support businesses, including social enterprises, to increase their trade with other businesses at a local level.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 01 August 2017

Businesses and social enterprises are vital to our economy and it is important we create the best possible environment to enable firms, both large and small, to identify and exploit opportunities to trade locally, nationally and in overseas markets. As part of our Industrial Strategy, we will make the most of the diverse strengths of all of Britain’s cities and regions to attract more investment and therefore create more opportunities for companies to trade with each other. For example the decision by BMW to build the all-electric Mini at its plant in Oxford will boost commercial opportunities for existing and new companies in the local region.

Industrial Strategy will also help us identify opportunities to help all businesses create jobs and wealth across the economy. The Government has invested £44m in the creation of a network of 38 Growth Hubs via Local Enterprise Partnerships, to provide access to impartial and coordinated business support to all registered businesses in England.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the social and economic consequences of restricting zero-hours contracts to students and pensioners.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 31 July 2017

Government has not made an estimate of the social and economic consequences of restricting zero hour contracts to students and pensioners.

Further to my oral statement in the House on 11 July regarding the publication of the independent Review of Modern Working Practices by Matthew Taylor, the Review concluded that the UK has employment levels and rates that are at historic highs. It also concluded that the UK is widely recognised as having one of the most flexible labour markets in the world and many people working on atypical contracts value the flexibility that they bring and choose to work this way.

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 31 July 2017

Within the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators budget it is not possible to identify the membership costs for any individual member state. Details of their costs and the work they do are set out in their Programming Document[1] for 2017-2019.

In common with other EU agencies, as part of exit negotiations the government will discuss with the EU any potential future relationship with the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

[1] http://www.acer.europa.eu/en/The_agency/Mission_and_Objectives/Documents/ACER%20Programming%20Document%202017-September%202016.pdf

Q
Asked by Lord Rennard
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how they apply the business impact target (BIT) to regulations relating to fire safety in buildings; whether they intend to review the application of BIT to such regulations; and whether they intend to exempt such regulations from BIT.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 31 July 2017

The Government is considering how best to continue to deliver its commitment to regulate more efficiently and effectively over the course of this Parliament.

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to preserve businesses' confidence as part of a transitional plan for Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 31 July 2017

We need an economy that works for everyone and the Government is working to deliver a bold, long term Industrial Strategy that builds on our strengths and prepares us for the years ahead.

Government is engaged in extensive and diverse engagement with businesses of all sizes across the UK, having open and honest conversations about both the challenges that leaving the EU poses, but also the opportunities that will become open to us. As part of this, government is creating a new EU exit business advisory group to ensure business is not only heard but is influential throughout the negotiations.

We are also providing as much certainty and clarity as we can at every stage. For example the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill aims to maximise certainty for businesses by ensuring that the laws and rules that we have now will, wherever practicable, continue to apply once we have left the EU. This provides the basis for a smooth and orderly exit.

Asked on: 04 July 2016
Department of Health
School Libraries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what resources were allocated in, or are planned for, (1) 2016–17, (2) 2017–18, (3) 2018–19, and (4) 2019–20, for (a) university social work programmes via student bursaries and the Training Support Grant; (b) the Frontline social work trainee programme; (c) the Think Ahead trainee programme; (d) the Step Up to Social Work trainee programme; (e) social work teaching partnerships; and (f) the start-up and continuing costs for the accreditation of child and family social work.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 12 July 2016

The following table shows the funding allocated to the Frontline social work trainee programme, the Think Ahead trainee programme, the Step Up to Social Work trainee programme and social work teaching partnerships in the 2016-17 financial year.

Programme

2016-17 £ million

Frontline social work trainee programme Contract to deliver a national fast-track programme Pilot grant

2.4 7.2

Think Ahead trainee programme

4.6

Step Up to Social Work trainee programme

11.9

Social work teaching partnerships

7.0

The 2016-17 funding for university social work programmes via student bursaries and the Education Support Grant is currently being finalised and as such is not yet available.

The final costs of the assessment and accreditation system for child and family social workers are subject to future procurement, but will be met within the Department for Education (DfE) Spending Review settlement.

The budgets in future years for each of these programmes, with the exception of the contract with Frontline, an independent charitable organisation, to deliver a national fast-track programme, are not yet agreed and are subject to business planning in the normal way.

DfE has a protected budget of £320 million each year of the Spending Review period for children’s services and Ministers are in the process of making decisions about how best to allocate resources within this envelope. DfE programme figures in this response show the allocations which have already been made.

The following table below shows the allocations to Frontline, up to and including 2019-20, to deliver a national fast-track programme.

Programme

2017 – 18 £ million

2018 – 19 £ million

2019 – 20 £ million

Contract to deliver a national fast-track programme

11.07

16.24

18.49

Asked on: 12 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the benefits and costs of being an associate member of Euratom.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The nature of the UK’s future arrangements with Euratom and the EU will be subject to negotiation. Government’s aim throughout the negotiations with the European Commission will be to maintain our mutually successful civil nuclear cooperation with Euratom and the rest of the world.

Q
Asked by Lord Mawson
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what research and analysis they intend to undertake to assess the impact of, including the unintended consequences of, the implementation of Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, published in July, on (1) the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, and (2), the enterprise culture in the UK.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

I made an oral statement to the House on 11 July 2017 to announce the publication of the Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The report is comprehensive and detailed and, as Matthew Taylor himself recognises, is just the start of a long term programme. It will require detailed, careful thought and further consultation. It is important that we take action where we need to.

This Government will give the report the careful consideration it deserves and will respond in full later this year.

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to convert Regulation (EU) 1223/2009 on cosmetic products into UK law; and, if so, which UK body will assume the role of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety in providing the scientific analysis of products to be placed in the market; and who will replace the Commission's role in ensuring products using prohibited forms of animal testing do not enter the market.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

Regulation (EU) 1223/2009 is directly applicable in the United Kingdom. The Repeal Bill will convert directly applicable EU law into UK law, and provide a power to correct parts of the law that no longer work. The Government is currently considering how to ensure functions currently carried out by the European Commission continue in the UK in an appropriate way.

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to extend the remit of the Grocery Code Adjudicator to cover the dairy sector.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Government published the statutory review of the Grocery Code Adjudicator on 19 July. This review considered the Grocery Code Adjudicator’s performance within the current remit.

The Government separately launched a Call for Evidence to consider whether the remit should be extended. The Government is considering the evidence submitted through the Call for Evidence including considering the position of indirect suppliers within the dairy sector. The Government will respond in due course.

The Grocery Code Adjudicator can already investigate suspected breaches of the Code. It has published statutory guidance on how it will carry out investigation and enforcement functions on GOV.UK (GCA Statutory Guidance on Enforcement and Investigations).

The review decided that the maximum level of fines the Grocery Code Adjudicator could impose would not be amended at this time.

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government when they expect to publish the results of their review into the role and remit of the Grocery Code Adjudicator; and whether the Adjudicator will have powers to (1) investigate alleged breaches of the Code on her own initiative, and (2) increase the level of fines in the event of a breach of the Code.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Government published the statutory review of the Grocery Code Adjudicator on 19 July. This review considered the Grocery Code Adjudicator’s performance within the current remit.

The Government separately launched a Call for Evidence to consider whether the remit should be extended. The Government is considering the evidence submitted through the Call for Evidence including considering the position of indirect suppliers within the dairy sector. The Government will respond in due course.

The Grocery Code Adjudicator can already investigate suspected breaches of the Code. It has published statutory guidance on how it will carry out investigation and enforcement functions on GOV.UK (GCA Statutory Guidance on Enforcement and Investigations).

The review decided that the maximum level of fines the Grocery Code Adjudicator could impose would not be amended at this time.

Q
Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is the budget of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate for 2017–18; how many staff it expects to employ in 2017–18; and how many staff it employed in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate currently employs thirteen members of staff and has a budget of £750,000 for the financial year 2017/18.

The table below details the number of staff employed by EAS in the last five years:

Year

Number of Full Time Equivalent Staff as of the 1st April for each year

2012/13

16

2013/14

12

2014/15

2 (supported by an Administrative Officer)

2015/16

11

2016/17

11

2017/18

13

Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to increase the use of rooftop solar power.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

Solar PV is a UK success story. In 2013 we estimated that solar capacity would reach 10-12GW by 2020. We now expect Government support to bring forward around 13 GW by 2020. The Feed-in Tariff remains open to solar PV which provides an incentive for businesses to invest in rooftop solar.

Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the Euratom Supply Agency.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The European Supply Agency forms part of Euratom Treaty arrangements. The UK will leave the European Supply Agency at the same time that it leaves Euratom.

The nature of future arrangements with Euratom and the EU will be subject to negotiation which started this month. Our aim throughout the negotiations with the European Commission will be to maintain our mutually successful civil nuclear cooperation with Euratom and the rest of the world.

The UK is keen to ensure that there is minimal disruption to civil nuclear trade following the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom. We have bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCAs) in place with several countries that we will continue to rely on after our exit from Euratom.

We intend to maintain continuity of cooperation with our international partners and will develop new arrangements as necessary.

Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the Euratom Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The EU’s Joint Undertaking for ITER (F4E) funds the €540m p.a. EU contribution to the ITER programme. This is funded primarily through the EU central budget with small additional membership fees from member states. The UK pays a €290,000 annual membership fee directly to F4E.

UK membership of F4E gives UK scientists and engineers the opportunity to work at, and in partnership with, ITER on development of fusion as a clean, safe and virtually inexhaustible energy source. It also gives the UK access to intellectual property developed at ITER and helps the UK maintain its position as a world leader in fusion technology.

F4E membership has enabled the UK to win high-value ITER construction contracts, with opportunities to bid for significantly more during the construction which has a current budget of €14.4bn overall and will be complete in 2025.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tickets: Sales
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which the secondary tickets market meets expected standards of consumer protection and fairness; if it does not, whether they intend to lay secondary legislation under the Consumer Rights Act 2015; and if so, when.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Government appointed Professor Waterson to review consumer protections in the secondary ticketing market. He produced his report last year and in March 2017 the Government responded accepting his report in full and included amendments to the Digital Economy Act designed to enhance protections further. The Government has no plans to introduce additional legislation on the matter under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tickets: Sales
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure full cooperation between international jurisdictions to facilitate legal action against alleged abuses propagated within the secondary ticketing market.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently undertaking an enforcement investigation and will liaise with other international enforcement bodies as necessary to progress the investigation.

The CMA is the lead UK member in the Consumer Protection Cooperation partnership and has strong working relationships with other countries.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 24 April (HL6622), what assessment they have made of mass marketing scams that target energy customers.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how many mass marketing scams targeting energy customers there have been since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how many victims of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers since 2016 have required assistance from (1) local authorities, and (2) National Trading Standards.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how much money the victims of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers have lost since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Billing
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 13 July (HL392), whether they will publish the number of businesses which have been issued an invitation to the online payment practices reporting service, broken down by (1) company type, (2) company size, and (3) sector.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

To date, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have directly issued invitations to the payment practices reporting online service to 208 people. The Department does not hold specific information about company type, size or sector of those invited to the service.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Radioisotopes
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, following the UK’s departure from Euratom, (1) whether they have any plans for molybdenum-99 to be produced in the UK; (2) whether design plans for nuclear reactors to produce molybdenum-99 have been approved and tendered; (3) what is the location of any new reactors located in the UK; (4) what is their assessment of how much such reactors will cost; and (5) what is the estimated unit cost of domestic production compared to current import prices.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

Euratom places no restrictions on the export of medical isotopes to countries outside the EU. Such isotopes are not subject to Euratom Supply Agency contracts or to Euratom safeguards.

Q
Asked on: 20 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund on the construction industry in delivering future housing needs.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), announced in November 2016, will back priority technologies where the UK has the potential to turn research strengths into a global industrial and commercial lead.

The first challenges announced as part of the ISCF will invest over £1bn in creating the UK industries of the future. There will be a wave 2 and Government will be consulting further with industry and other stakeholders over the summer.

Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will include information on twins and multiple births in any formal updates on progress towards their aim of halving the rates in England of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

In November 2015, the Secretary of State announced a national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030. This ambition applies to both single and multiple pregnancies.

The Department will publish an annual report on the progress towards achieving this aim and will include information on twins and multiple births. The first report will be published later this year.

Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether NHS England’s stillbirth care bundle will be reviewed to assess whether it is having an impact on reducing stillbirths among multiple pregnancies; and what plans they have to update it if further improvements are required.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

The Saving Babies Lives care bundle covers all types of pregnancy, including multiple pregnancies. The care bundle will be evaluated so that it can be developed and refined to ensure that it continues to reflect best practice.

The Maternity Transformation Programme Board will drive forward the implementation of the National Maternity Review, Better Births, published in February this year. It will also include work to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England. The formation of the Board marks a clear step forward towards delivering the vision laid out in the National Maternity Review, ensuring that key organisations work together to improve maternity services. Better Births makes recommendations on the use of data including the development of a set of national indicators to aid data comparison. NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement this and the report’s other recommendations, and as part of this are considering the case for a national dashboard. A copy of both Better Births and the Saving Babies Lives care bundle are attached.

The Board held its first meeting on 8 June 2016 and is chaired by Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. The Board members and the organisations they represent are detailed in the following table.

NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement the vision set out in Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review. These plans are likely to include commissioning guidance.

Person

Organisation

Sarah-Jane Marsh

Chair

Jane Cummings

Senior Responsible Officer, Chief Nursing Officer

Keith Willett

Deputy Chair, Medical Director for Acute Care, NHS England

Matthew Jolly

Clinical lead (obstetrics) / workstream lead (data)

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent

Clinical lead (midwifery)

Dame Julia Cumberlege

Stakeholder Reference Group Chair / Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework Panel Chair

Flora Goldhill

Department of Health / workstream lead (best practice for safer care)

Wendy Reid / Bill Irish

Health Education England / workstream lead (workforce)

Viv Bennett

Public Health England / workstream lead (public health)

Ruth May

NHS Improvement (Director of Nursing)

Mike Durkin

NHS Improvement (Director of Patient Safety)

Jimmy Walker

Care Quality Commission

Lauren Hughes

NHS England /workstream lead (local transformation)

James Sanderson

NHS England / workstream lead (choice and personalisation)

Simon Medcalf

NHS England / workstream lead (perinatal mental health)

Tom Denwood

NHS Digital / workstream lead (technology)

Martin Campbell

NHS England / workstream lead (pricing)

David Richmond

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Cathy Warwick

Royal College of Midwives

Nigel Acheson

Regional delivery lead / Regional Medical Director, South

Roz Lindridge

Clinical Networks maternity lead / East Midlands Associate Director, Clinical Networks and Senate

Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government who will be on the NHS England’s Maternity Transformation Board, and whether they plan to introduce a national maternity dashboard to provide analysis relating to both single and multiple pregnancies.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

The Saving Babies Lives care bundle covers all types of pregnancy, including multiple pregnancies. The care bundle will be evaluated so that it can be developed and refined to ensure that it continues to reflect best practice.

The Maternity Transformation Programme Board will drive forward the implementation of the National Maternity Review, Better Births, published in February this year. It will also include work to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England. The formation of the Board marks a clear step forward towards delivering the vision laid out in the National Maternity Review, ensuring that key organisations work together to improve maternity services. Better Births makes recommendations on the use of data including the development of a set of national indicators to aid data comparison. NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement this and the report’s other recommendations, and as part of this are considering the case for a national dashboard. A copy of both Better Births and the Saving Babies Lives care bundle are attached.

The Board held its first meeting on 8 June 2016 and is chaired by Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. The Board members and the organisations they represent are detailed in the following table.

NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement the vision set out in Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review. These plans are likely to include commissioning guidance.

Person

Organisation

Sarah-Jane Marsh

Chair

Jane Cummings

Senior Responsible Officer, Chief Nursing Officer

Keith Willett

Deputy Chair, Medical Director for Acute Care, NHS England

Matthew Jolly

Clinical lead (obstetrics) / workstream lead (data)

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent

Clinical lead (midwifery)

Dame Julia Cumberlege

Stakeholder Reference Group Chair / Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework Panel Chair

Flora Goldhill

Department of Health / workstream lead (best practice for safer care)

Wendy Reid / Bill Irish

Health Education England / workstream lead (workforce)

Viv Bennett

Public Health England / workstream lead (public health)

Ruth May

NHS Improvement (Director of Nursing)

Mike Durkin

NHS Improvement (Director of Patient Safety)

Jimmy Walker

Care Quality Commission

Lauren Hughes

NHS England /workstream lead (local transformation)

James Sanderson

NHS England / workstream lead (choice and personalisation)

Simon Medcalf

NHS England / workstream lead (perinatal mental health)

Tom Denwood

NHS Digital / workstream lead (technology)

Martin Campbell

NHS England / workstream lead (pricing)

David Richmond

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Cathy Warwick

Royal College of Midwives

Nigel Acheson

Regional delivery lead / Regional Medical Director, South

Roz Lindridge

Clinical Networks maternity lead / East Midlands Associate Director, Clinical Networks and Senate

Q
Asked by Lord Wigley
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 26 July 2017

The Government is currently assessing the recommendations of the Hendry Review on tidal lagoons and will publish a response in due course.

Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States in regard to their intended withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty; and what subjects were covered during those discussions.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 25 July 2017

The Department has had several discussions with officials from the United States on civil nuclear cooperation when the UK leaves Euratom, including a future Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with the United States.

Our aim is clear: we want to maintain continuity of our mutually successful civil nuclear co-operation with Euratom and international partners.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 11 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Prior of Brampton on 11 July (HL Deb) on Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, why no reference was made to zero-hours contracts; what consideration they are giving to increasing the level of employment rights protections afforded to workers employed under such contracts towards the level afforded to full-time workers, or the self-employed; and whether they intend to introduce a right to weekly guaranteed minimum paid hours.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 24 July 2017

The oral statement referred to was to bring to the notice of the House the publication of the independent Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Zero hours contracts are just one example of a working practice in the UK labour market and Matthew in his review has considered the labour market as a whole. I refer the noble Lord to the full transcript of the statement where zero hours contracts are discussed.

This Government will give the report the careful consideration it deserves and will respond in full later this year.

Extract from Official Report (PDF Document, 770.49 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the International Atomic Energy Authority following, and in connection with, their decision to withdraw from the Euratom Treaty.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 21 July 2017

The Department engages regularly with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to ensure that the UK continues to meet international standards for nuclear safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation. In addition, my officials have held discussions in London and Vienna with the IAEA to discuss the arrangements that need to be put in place ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.

Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government when they expect to have a UK safeguarding authority that is authorised and approved by the International Atomic Energy Authority to replace the responsibilities undertaken on the UK’s behalf by Euratom.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 21 July 2017

The Government announced in the Queen’s Speech its intention to introduce legislation to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime, to enable the UK to meet international safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation obligations after we leave Euratom. This primary and secondary legislation will provide the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) with the powers needed to take on the role and responsibilities required to meet our international safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation obligations. The ONR is taking its preparatory work forward as a top priority in parallel with the legislative programme.

Q
Asked by Lord Freyberg
Asked on: 28 June 2016
Department of Health
Iraq: Minority Groups
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 27 June (HL645), why no information is available of the number of patients who have died to date, particularly for those patients who consented prior to that answer.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

Genomics England participants have consented to the collection of long term health data via the Health and Social Care Information Centre. This includes data on death but these data are collected and checked in accordance with standard procedures which means that there is a delay in linking to the whole genome sequencing data.

Q
Asked by Lord Freyberg
Asked on: 28 June 2016
Department of Health
Middle East: Minority Groups
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 27 June (HL645), how many of the 8,408 rare disease genomes and 1,671 cancer genomes have been shared with Genomics England's commercial interpretation partners.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

Genomics England has confirmed that 293 rare disease and 310 cancer genomes have been sent to their clinical interpretation partners. Genomics England expects this flow to increase steadily as further links with clinical interpretation providers are established.

Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The Government recognises the importance of an effective and balanced intellectual property regime to support the UK's innovative and creative industries and to make the UK an attractive place for inward investment.

In order to inform our position in the upcoming negotiations with the EU, the Government continues to undertake a rigorous and extensive programme of analysis, which includes intellectual property. The UK's future relationship with the EUIPO will be a matter for negotiations and so it would not be appropriate for me to discuss the details of any analysis now.

Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what negotiations they have undertaken with other members of Euratom to continue the work of the Joint European Torus project at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy after 2018; and what result they hope to achieve.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK continues to lead the world in fusion research [1]. We have taken action to secure the future of the Joint European Torus (JET) facility by guaranteeing the UK’s share of JET costs until the end of 2020.This underwriting of UK JET costs aims to provide the certainty needed to secure the extension of the JET contract and minimise the uncertainty around the future of this world class facility. The relevant Written Ministerial Statement can be found here:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-06-27/HCWS13/.

[1] A 2016 independent review by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) found the UK fusion research programme to be ‘of world-class quality, in facilities, people and impact’.

WMS on JET 27.06.17 HCWS13 (PDF Document, 55.34 KB)
Asked on: 11 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency is funded from the European Union budget. It is a Union Agency established to deliver the EU’s satellite navigation programmes Galileo and EGNOS. The Agency will be responsible for operating the systems, managing the services provided and for promoting their adoption to create new industrial markets.

The Government recognises the benefits our involvement in these programmes brings for the UK.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the TUC estimate that some 500,000 workers are on zero-hours contracts or in insecure temporary employment; and what percentage of the total workforce aged 21 to 65 this represents.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The latest ONS Labour Force Survey shows that the number of people who report they are on a ‘zero hour contract’ in their main employment was 905,000 in the 4th quarter of 2016, which represents 2.8% of those in employment ages 16-65+, with nearly 70% happy with their hours.

Due to the age categories in which ONS reports this data, it is not possible to get a figure for 21 to 65 years old.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how many workers aged 21 to 65 are recognised as self-employed; and what percentage of the total workforce this represents.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The latest ONS Labour Force Survey shows the number of people reporting to be self-employed was 4.8 million in the 4th quarter of 2016.

Due to the age categories in which ONS reports this data, it is not possible to get a figure for 21 to 65 year olds.

However, as a proportion of the total number of people in employment (31,713,000), self-employed people between the ages of 25 and 64 account for 13.1% of total employment. Self-employed people between the ages of 18 and 64 account for 13.7% of total employment.

Q
Asked by Lord Rennard
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether, and how, the wider social costs and benefits of regulations are taken into account by Government departments in (1) achieving their policy objectives for the business impact target, (2) the implementation of the One in, Three out rule announced by the Business Secretary on 3 March 2016, and (3) the application of the requirement to identify £3 in savings for each £1 of additional cost when assessing proposed new regulations.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

HM Treasury’s Green Book guidance on policy appraisal and evaluation sets out how the economic, financial, social and environmental assessments of a policy, or specification of regulations, should be combined. The Government has not yet decided how its better regulation system will operate in this Parliament. This includes any One-In, Two-Out policy and the setting of a target in respect of the economic impact of new regulation on business for this Parliament as required under section 21 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Q
Asked by Lord Rennard
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether the Regulatory Policy Committee is empowered to rate an impact assessment as inadequate on the grounds that it does not adequately consider the wider social costs and benefits of proposed regulatory measures.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) comments on the Government’s performance in assessing regulatory impacts as set out in Impact Assessments. These assessments should address the wider societal costs and benefits. The RPC sets out its view on the analysis contained in the impact assessments in its published Opinions and annual reports. Under its current remit, the RPC cannot rate an impact assessment as ‘not fit for purpose’ in relation to wider societal impacts at final stage. The Government has not yet decided what approach it will take to deliver better regulation during the current Parliament.

Q
Asked by Lord Rennard
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what estimates of (1) the value of lives saved, and (2) additional life years gained, they use when classifying proposed regulatory measures as “in”, “out” or “zero net cost” in departmental submissions to the Regulatory Policy Committee.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 20 July 2017

HM Treasury’s Green Book guidance on policy appraisal and evaluation sets out how the economic, financial, social and environmental assessments of a policy, or specification of regulations, should be combined. It includes guidance on appraising social impacts, such as health and welfare benefits and prevented fatality and how to weight such considerations against other impacts.

Asked on: 05 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the forecast by Barclay's Analysts that the Hinckley Point nuclear power station project will suffer cost overruns of £4.5 billion and a four year delay for completion, and what would be the cost per megawatt hour (MWH) of electricity if those forecasts were realised.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 July 2017

The Government negotiated a very competitive deal which ensures consumers won’t pay a penny until the station begins generating electricity.

Any construction cost overruns or schedule delays are the responsibility of the developer.

The Strike price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (2012 prices) set in the Hinkley Point C Contract for Difference will not change as a result of any construction cost increases or delays to completion.

Asked on: 05 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether, in light of forecasts of sharply increased costs and delays to the Hinckley Point nuclear power station project, they will review their support for it and state the estimated cost for bringing the project to an end.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 19 July 2017

There are no plans to review the Hinkley Point C contract, which the Government believes represents value for money and will deliver a number of benefits including 26,000 jobs and apprenticeships. The developer, NNB is responsible for the project’s funding and construction schedule. Any additional costs incurred are the responsibility of NNBG and will not fall on taxpayers or consumers.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 09 June 2016
Department of Health
S4C
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the total cost to the NHS of insurance premiums for clinical negligence; which Foundation Trust pays the highest amount as a percentage of its budget; and what percentage of its budget that cost represents.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 14 June 2016

The question has been interpreted to mean contributions to the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) which provides indemnity for National Health Service bodies. These are not insurance premiums.

The total cost for 2014-15, which is the last available published figure, is £1,037,742,810.

The information as to which NHS Foundation Trust pays the highest amount as a percentage of its budget is not held centrally.

Q
Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
RAF Northolt
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what online resources are readily available for people struggling with alcohol misuse.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

Local authorities and their health and wellbeing board partners have responsibility for planning the full range of alcohol services, from early intervention and prevention, through to commissioning alcohol treatment services to meet need in their area and ensure services are accessible to everyone. Furthermore in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) public health guidance (PH 24) Alcohol-use disorders: preventing harmful drinking, Public Health England (PHE) encourages health and social care professionals to carry out Identification and Brief Advice through general practitioners and programmes such as NHS Health Checks and Making Every Contact Count. A copy of the NICE guidance is attached.

The majority of services offer interventions that are non-religious and are based on cognitive behavioural principles with motivational enhancement techniques.

There are a number of online resources to help with alcohol issues, including the One You and NHS Choices websites. One You is an integrated social marketing campaign run by PHE which aims to engage adults in making changes to improve their own health. This includes offering users advice and information about alcohol as well as tools which help monitor their drinking. NHS Choices offers a range of information about alcohol dependence and includes an on online directory of local alcohol services that those worried about their alcohol use can approach for assistance.

Q
Asked by Lord Myners
Asked on: 05 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they regard the technology and payments company Worldpay to be a strategic national asset, and whether it intends to intervene to order a review of the proposed takeover of the company by a non–British purchaser.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 18 July 2017

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, Ministers have powers to intervene in mergers which raise public interest concerns in relation to national security, financial stability and media plurality. If the Government decides that there are grounds for intervention and that it should exercise its powers under the Enterprise Act in this case, it will make an announcement.

Asked on: 25 May 2016
Department of Health
Religious Hatred: Islam
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of visits to hospital Accident and Emergency departments during 2015 resulted in admission to hospital.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 June 2016

In 2015 there were 22,434,007 attendances at accident and emergency departments in England. For 18.2% of these attendances, the patient was admitted as an emergency.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the contribution to the economy of the brick industry.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 July 2017

The Annual Business Survey 2015, published 9 June 2017, showed that the “manufacture of bricks, tiles and construction products, in baked clay” sector in 2015 employed 5,000 people across 125 enterprises, with a turnover of £925million.

Whilst there are no individual statistics on the brick industry other data suggests well over half of this sector is brick manufacture. This represents 0.01% of enterprises and 0.03% of turnover and employment in the non-financial business economy.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the proportion of raw materials in the UK house building industry that is sourced in the UK.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 July 2017

The Office of National Statistics, UK input output analytical tables, shows 86% of goods and services consumed in the construction industry are UK sourced.

We do not hold any specific statistical data that contains only the proportion of raw material used in house building that are sourced from within the UK.

Q
Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government why products are not required to carry labels which indicate exactly what flame retardant materials they contain, including those materials which were permitted at the time of production but have since been banned, in order to (1) enable people to avoid those products if they so wish, and (2) ensure that people are aware that it may not be possible to recycle or sell on those products.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 14 July 2017

Product safety legislation requires products to be safe when they are placed on the market. It does not specifically require products to be labelled with information about fire retardant material used in the products.

The Government is currently reviewing the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. One of the proposals under consideration is specific labelling to show the presence of fire retardant chemicals to help inform consumers and to aid consumer choice. A consultation on this issue was held in late 2016. The responses to the consultation will help to inform our decisions on this question and will be included in the Government response, to be issued in due course.

Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Nuclear Weapons: Safety
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 12 October 2015 (HL1940), what plans they have to commission or financially to support further studies that might meet the "specific and relatively narrow criteria" of the 2015 Cochrane review Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries, in the light of the point made in that review’s abstract that "the applicability of the results to current lifestyles is unclear because the majority of the studies were conducted before fluoride toothpastes and the other preventative measures were widely used".
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 June 2016

The 2015 Cochrane review Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries was an update of a Cochrane review first completed in 2000. A panel of experts agreed the search criteria in the original review, and the update kept these largely unchanged.

The National Institute for Health Research is currently funding an evaluation of a water fluoridation scheme in Cumbria. This started in 2013 and the final report is expected to be published in 2021. Findings from the evaluation will be available for consideration in any subsequent systematic reviews relating to water fluoridation.

Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Nuclear Weapons: Safety
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 17 November 2015 (HL3315), why the Executive Summary of the report by Public Health England Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2014 concludes that "The report provides further reassurance that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure", when the Limitations section of the report states that "there was potential for considerable misclassification of exposure status" and the Conclusion section states that "the population-based, observational design does not allow conclusions to be drawn regarding any causative or protective role of fluoride".
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 15 June 2016

The Public Health England report, Water Fluoridation: Health Monitoring Report for England 2014 was, of necessity, an ecological study. An ecological design is appropriate for monitoring health outcomes in fluoridated and non-fluoridated populations. All academic research has limitations. In designing and conducting research consideration must be taken regarding timescales for publication and cost to the public purse. Stating the limitations of the study within the body of a paper is considered good scientific practice.

The report discusses the limitations of this study design, including the potential for mis-classification of fluoride exposure status, using an ecological level of measurement with regard to water fluoridation rather than individual fluoride intake. The report’s findings, however, concur with those of numerous authoritative reviews of water fluoridation that finds levels of tooth decay are lower in fluoridated areas and that there is no convincing evidence that water fluoridation causes adverse health effects.

For these reasons the author’s conclusion "The report provides further reassurance that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure" is appropriate.

With over 70 years’ experience of water fluoridation internationally and over 50 years’ experience in the United Kingdom, there has been no convincing scientific evidence to indicate that water fluoridation has caused harm to health.

Asked on: 06 June 2016
Department of Health
Nuclear Weapons: Safety
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement in the Executive Summary of the Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2014 that there is "no evidence of a difference in the rate of hip fractures between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas", what account Public Health England took of the article "Adding fluoride to water supplies" by Cheng KK et al in the British Medical Journal of 7 October 2007, in which the authors state that if the population of England had an average lifetime exposure of ≥0.9 ppm fluoride in drinking water a modest association between fluoride and hip fracture, if such exists, would have a less than one in five chance of being detected despite potentially causing more than 10,000 excess fractures a year.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 17 June 2016

The possible effects of fluoride in water have been extensively studied and reviewed over the last 50 years. In the United Kingdom the most recent review prior to the publication of Public Health England’s (PHE) Health Monitoring Report was undertaken by the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination based at the University of York and published in 2000. The Medical Research Council subsequently, in 2002, reported to the Department of Health its advice on future research priorities. The US National Research Council reported in 2006 and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council reported in 2007. PHE drew on these authoritative sources in selecting a number of indicators of health conditions for inclusion in the 2014 water fluoridation health monitoring report.

The chosen indicators of various health conditions were selected based on the evidence base, theoretical plausibility, potential impact on population health, the quality and availability of data, and the validity of the indicator. The selected indicators will be reviewed for future reports in the light of emerging evidence.

The article by KK Cheng et al did not provide any new evidence regarding hip fractures, but comments on the chance of detecting an increased risk of hip fracture for a speculated odds ratio of 1.2 in a previous study by Hiller et al. 2000. This only refers to a single study and it is important to consider the overall weight of evidence.

The overall weight of evidence and the consensus of opinion from authoritative reviews do not indicate that a drinking water concentration of 1 part fluoride per million parts of water presents an increased risk of hip fracture.

A more recent review of potential health effects from water fluoridation was published in 2015 by the Irish Research Board. The report concluded that a summary of the existing literature indicates that the relationship between fluoride in drinking water and bone health is inconsistent, with no definitive proof of protective or harmful effects.

Q
Asked by Lord Truscott
Asked on: 29 June 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to produce a new Energy White Paper.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 13 July 2017

The Government has set a clear direction of travel on energy policy, through our legislative framework for reducing carbon emissions, by taking a range of key decisions including on Hinkley Point C and funding for renewable electricity, and by ensuring high levels of security through the capacity market.

Our Clean Growth Plan will set out proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy through the 2020s. We intend to publish that plan when Parliament sits again after summer recess. We are also committed to action to reduce the cost of energy, including tackling unfair practices in the energy market.

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