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 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: Touting
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: Touting
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.

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