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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 41-60 out of 17070
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
Police: Road Traffic Control
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many traffic police by police region there were in England and Wales in (1) 2015, and (2) 2016.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the primary function of police officers, as part of the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales (see attached table )These data include officers whose primary function is “Road Policing”. Officers with multiple responsibilities are recorded under their primary function.

Some forces are unable to make a clear distinction between certain functions and therefore record the majority of, or all, employees under one function. In particular, some forces have employees who work within units whose function is to provide both roads policing and armed policing. Reclassification of roles within a force can lead to fluctuations in the number of officers in a particular role between years.

Table - HL1737 (Excel SpreadSheet, 26 KB)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
Road Traffic Offences
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, of the court prosecutions for traffic offences in 2016, how many (1) were generated by camera enforcement or initiated by police officers, and (2) ended with (a) disposals by use of National Driver Offender Retrainer Schemes, and (b) Fixed Penalty Notices.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the number of motoring offences dealt via a fixed penalty notice (FPN) in the ‘Police powers and procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins. Data up to 2015 can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales

Data on FPNs for motoring offences issued in 2016 will be published in the next edition of the ‘Police powers and procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin. This bulletin is scheduled for release on Thursday 26th October.

Offences that come under ‘neglect of traffic directions’ and ‘speed limit offences’ may be detected by the police or by traffic enforcement cameras.

Data on these offences, up to 2015, can be found in the following table broken down by camera detected and non-camera detected:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/561976/fixed-penalty-notices-police-powers-procedures-hosb1516-tables.ods

When an individual receives a FPN for a motoring offence, there are a number of outcomes they could face: pay a fine, receive points on their driving licence, attend a driver retraining course or face court action which may lead to prosecution. Once an individual faces court action they lose the option of attending a driver retraining course.

The Home Office has previously only published FPNs which resulted in a fine or points on a drivers licence. In the next edition of the ‘Police powers and procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin the Home Office has widened the scope of the data it publishes to include the additional outcomes (such as driver retraining courses).

Information on convictions for motoring offences is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Transport
Driving under Influence: Prosecutions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 21 December 2016 (HL4034), what progress has been made in collecting and publishing figures for the prosecution of incidents of drink driving which involve a casualty.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Government are not yet in a position to publish any robust data in this area. Although preliminary work to develop suitable methodologies has taken place, it has not yet been possible to develop these into a data set that can be generated in a regular or systematic way. Both departments will continue to keep this area under close review going forwards.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Ministry of Justice
Dangerous Driving
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prosecutions there were in 2016 for causing death by driving; and of those, how many resulted in a conviction.
A
Answered on: 23 October 2017

Defendants proceeded against and found guilty at all courts in England and Wales 2016 for offences of causing death by driving are in the table below:

Defendants prceeded againt at magistrates' courts and offenders found guilty at all courts of causing death by driving (1) in England and Wales 2016 (2)(3)

Offence

Procecuted at Magistrates' courts

Found guilty(4)

01. Causing death by dangerous driving

229

157

02. Causing death by careless driving under influence of drink or drugs

20

32

03. Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving

215

225

03a. Causing death by driving without due care / consideration while over prescribed limit - specified controlled drug

2

-

04. Causing death by driving unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers

7

5

05. Causing death by aggravated vehicle taking

3

-

- ' = Nil

(1) defined as Sections 1, 3 (a)(b)(c) Road Traffic Act 1988 and 12A of the Theft Act 1968.

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

(4) Convictions may exceed prosecutions in a given year because defendants who appear before both courts may be convicted at the Crown Court for a different offence to that for which they were originally proceeded against at magistrates’ court.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Ref: PQ HL 1740

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many complaints were received regarding the Life in the UK citizenship test in each month since 2010.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect that passing the Life in the UK citizenship test has in promoting British values and improving integration.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Life in the UK test is based upon our handbook – Life in the UK: A Guide for New Residents – which is available for all applicants to study as part of their test preparation. It was revised substantively in 2013, and took into account feedback received from previous applicants and others who had provided comments on it. The content of the handbook moved away from statistics and related information and put the emphasis on British history, culture and democracy. The test questions were revised at this time to reflect the change in emphasis.

The test is designed to allow an applicant to demonstrate that they share key knowledge with the broader population, and possess an understanding of the expectations of an integrated migrant.

We worked with the test provider to set the level and format of the test, ensuring the consistency of tests between applicants. We continue to review the questions and tests with the provider.

Grouped Questions: HL1748 | HL1749 | HL1750
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation they have undertaken with any of the more than two million new citizens since the Life in the UK citizenship test was first used in 2005 to ensure that the test is a satisfactory measure of the possession of knowledge of life in the UK sufficient for citizenship.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Life in the UK test is based upon our handbook – Life in the UK: A Guide for New Residents – which is available for all applicants to study as part of their test preparation. It was revised substantively in 2013, and took into account feedback received from previous applicants and others who had provided comments on it. The content of the handbook moved away from statistics and related information and put the emphasis on British history, culture and democracy. The test questions were revised at this time to reflect the change in emphasis.

The test is designed to allow an applicant to demonstrate that they share key knowledge with the broader population, and possess an understanding of the expectations of an integrated migrant.

We worked with the test provider to set the level and format of the test, ensuring the consistency of tests between applicants. We continue to review the questions and tests with the provider.

Grouped Questions: HL1747 | HL1749 | HL1750
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Life in the UK citizenship test prior to setting the pass rate for that test.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Life in the UK test is based upon our handbook – Life in the UK: A Guide for New Residents – which is available for all applicants to study as part of their test preparation. It was revised substantively in 2013, and took into account feedback received from previous applicants and others who had provided comments on it. The content of the handbook moved away from statistics and related information and put the emphasis on British history, culture and democracy. The test questions were revised at this time to reflect the change in emphasis.

The test is designed to allow an applicant to demonstrate that they share key knowledge with the broader population, and possess an understanding of the expectations of an integrated migrant.

We worked with the test provider to set the level and format of the test, ensuring the consistency of tests between applicants. We continue to review the questions and tests with the provider.

Grouped Questions: HL1747 | HL1748 | HL1750
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of UK nationals’ knowledge of life in the UK for the current Life in the UK citizenship test.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Life in the UK test is based upon our handbook – Life in the UK: A Guide for New Residents – which is available for all applicants to study as part of their test preparation. It was revised substantively in 2013, and took into account feedback received from previous applicants and others who had provided comments on it. The content of the handbook moved away from statistics and related information and put the emphasis on British history, culture and democracy. The test questions were revised at this time to reflect the change in emphasis.

The test is designed to allow an applicant to demonstrate that they share key knowledge with the broader population, and possess an understanding of the expectations of an integrated migrant.

We worked with the test provider to set the level and format of the test, ensuring the consistency of tests between applicants. We continue to review the questions and tests with the provider.

Grouped Questions: HL1747 | HL1748 | HL1749
Q
Asked by Lord Laird
Asked on: 09 October 2017
HM Treasury
Overseas Loans: Republic of Ireland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the UK is still owed by the Republic of Ireland as a result of loans connected to the financial crash of 2007; what are the arrangements for repayment; and whether they will arrange for such information to be published in the Official Report.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 23 October 2017

I refer the noble Lord to the most recent statutory report which the Treasury provided to Parliament as required by Section 2 of the Loans to Ireland Act 2010. The last report was laid in Parliament on 18 April 2017 and is available in the Printed Paper Office.

This report shows the outstanding principal is £3,226,960,000, with repayments due in tranches from 15 April 2019 until 26 March 2021. The timetable for repayment set out in this report remains unchanged.

Q
Asked by Lord Laird
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
Electronic Surveillance: USA
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, or propose to take, since the publication of the Annual Report from the Interception of Communications Commissioner on 8 April 2014 and the findings of fact by Judge Gerard Hogan of the Irish High Court on 18 June 2014, in relation to the surveillance of European citizens’ data through the US Prism programme.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Interception of Communications Commissioner said in his report covering 2013 that:

Public authorities do not misuse their powers under RIPA Part I to engage in random mass intrusion into the private affairs of law abiding UK citizens. It would be comprehensively unlawful if they did. I have considered whether there is a material risk that unlawful intrusion might occur in the operation of Section 8(4). Subject to some further investigation, I conclude there is no material risk.

I am quite clear that any member of the public who does not associate with potential terrorists or serious criminals or individuals who are potentially involved in actions which could raise national security issues for the UK can be assured that none of the interception agencies which I inspect has the slightest interest in examining their emails, their phone or postal communications or their use of the internet, and they do not do so to any extent which could reasonably be regarded as significant.

British intelligence agencies do not circumvent domestic oversight regimes by receiving from US agencies intercept material about British citizens which could not lawfully be acquired by intercept in the UK.”

Notwithstanding this endorsement of the intelligence agencies’ practices, since the Commissioner’s report in 2014 Parliament has enacted the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 which completely overhauls and updates the legal regime, safeguards and oversight which govern the intelligence agencies’ use of surveillance powers. The Act also addresses a number of the recommendations contained in reports from the Commissioner, as well as responding to independent reviews by David Anderson QC (then the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation), the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament and the Royal United Services Institute.

With regards to the case before the Irish High Court, this related to the sharing of information of European citizens with the United States of America under the “Safe Harbour” agreement. The Irish Court referred the case to the European Court of Justice. Since then, the US and European Commission have negotiated a new agreement for data transfers known as “Privacy Shield”.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Egypt: LGBT People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Egypt regarding recent reported increases in prosecutions and raids on the LGBTQ community in Egypt.
A
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The UK is committed to raising the issue of protection of the human rights of LGBT people and to supporting the legal, cultural and social change required to make equality a reality for LGBT people the world over.

We are very concerned about the current situation for LGBT people in Egypt, especially in light of the recent crackdown. The Egyptian Government is well aware of our position and we call on the Government of Egypt to uphold and protect the rights of all its citizens irrespective of religion, belief or sexual orientation.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
Crime: Rural Areas
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of rural crime on farmers and other rural businesses.
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The 2015 Commercial Victimisation Survey found that 24 per cent of agriculture, forestry and fishing premises had experienced at least one incident of crime (excluding online crime) a statistically significant fall of six percentage points compared with the 2013 Survey. Vandalism, theft and burglary were the most common crime types experienced by this sector.

On average there were 330 incidents of online crime per 1,000 premises in this sector, which is around a third of the incidence rate for ‘traditional’ crimes against this sector. The majority of online crime incidents involved computer viruses.

Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Livestock: Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the six-day standstill rule on farmers taking their animals to auction marts.
A
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The current six-day standstill rule for livestock movements balances the risk of disease transmission against the industry’s need to trade livestock. It was introduced in 2003 following the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in 2001. Its purpose is to reduce the spread of undetected disease such as was seen in 2001, reducing the scope and cost of an outbreak.

After extensive modelling, the standstill period was set at six days to take into account the weekly cycle of market sales. The standstill rule includes a range of exemptions that support the regime, including for movements through market.

The Farming Regulation Task Force reviewed standstill in 2011 and recommended the relaxation of standstill rules for movements between farms and where keepers were able to establish approved separation units. There was no consensus amongst industry regarding the right approach, particularly due to concerns around the potential distortion of trade resulting from maintaining standstill for markets and the cost and effectiveness of separation units.

Government is committed to a further review of standstill in 2018, following the implementation of another Farming Regulation Task Force recommendation to simplify the way livestock holdings are defined for recording and reporting purposes which will impact on the number of standstills that need to be complied with.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Athletics: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much (1) HM Treasury, and (2) Lottery, funding has been committed to the proposed UK track and field event on 21 July 2018 between athletes from the UK and the US.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 23 October 2017

Neither the Government nor UK Sport has been approached to provide any level of financial support towards this event. Therefore no funding, either from HM Treasury or the lottery, has been committed.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
London Stadium
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the cost of converting the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from a football stadium to a venue meeting the requirements for an international track and field meet.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The London Stadium is owned and managed by E20 Stadium LLP, a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council. E20 Stadium LLP is responsible for the costs of the seat moves. As previously disclosed the cost of moving the seats had been budgeted at circa £8 million a year. The transition work first requires the seats to be moved backwards at the end of the football season to reveal the athletics track and bringing them forward at the end of the summer. The Mayor of London’s investigation into the London Stadium includes a review of options for reducing these costs in the future.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Olympic Games: Russia
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the position taken by UK Anti-Doping in support of the letter signed by the National Anti-Doping Organisations in their call for Russia to be banned from the Winter Olympic Games to be held in PyeongChang 2018.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The letter underlines the need for Russia to meet all the conditions set by the World Anti-Doping Agency before they can, once again, be considered compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. As our National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO), UK Anti-Doping is determined to ensure that British athletes compete on a clean, level playing field, that also includes all NADOs being compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sports: Data Protection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support an opt-out for sport from the General Data Protection Resolution Regulations (EU) 2016/679 which come into force on 25 May 2018; and what assessment they have made of the impact of those Regulations on (1) the anti-doping policies of UK Anti-Doping, and (2) powers required for effective governance of their sports by national governing bodies of sport.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Data Protection Bill, which recently received its second reading, will create a modern legal framework for the UK, suitable for the digital age, incorporating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Bill allows the processing of sensitive and criminal conviction data in the absence of consent where justification exists, for example bodies responsible for the fight against doping in sport. We are working to ensure there are no unintended consequences contained in the Data Protection Bill which hamper the effective governance of sports by national governing bodies of sport and other relevant sports bodies.

Q
Asked by Lord Myners
Asked on: 09 October 2017
HM Treasury
Help to Buy Scheme
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the costs and benefits of introducing a windfall tax on the surplus profits made by house builders as a result of the Help to Buy Scheme.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The government has announced that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme will continue until March 2021 with an additional £10 billion of funding available. Help to Buy equity loan is intended to help people who otherwise would not be able to afford a deposit to buy a home. It is restricted to new-build properties to ensure that it also helps to drive up the number of homes being built. The programme has played an important role in supporting the housing market since 2013 and the number of homes being built has reached its highest level since 2008.

Q
Asked by Lord Myners
Asked on: 09 October 2017
HM Treasury
Halifax Bank of Scotland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Financial Conduct Authority advised them that their report into the collapse of HBOS would be produced in a manner which would allow it to be published.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 23 October 2017

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) report into the failure of HBOS (developed with the Prudential Regulation Authority) was published in November 2015. Given the independence of the FCA, the government has no involvement regarding the timetable of any on-going FCA investigations.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 41-60 out of 17070
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100