Written questions and answers

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

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she expects to be able to announce the package of benefits, pensions, healthcare, economic and other rights EU citizens will maintain under the new immigration status.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU was her first priority for negotiations.

The citizens’ rights agreement reached in December, and set out in our Joint Report, will provide EU citizens living in the UK with certainty about their rights going forward.

It will enable families who have built their lives together to stay together, and not only gives more certainty about residence, but also access to healthcare, pensions and other benefits.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Road Traffic Offences: Police
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers have been prosecuted for driving offences committed while on duty in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Home Office does not hold the information requested centrally.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees: France
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to discuss with the French Minister of the Interior (a) the transfer of refugees for family reunification (b) the creation of safe and legal routes for child refugees and vulnerable adults and (c) the creation of reception centres for child refugees in France while their family reunification applications are processed.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Home Secretary met with French Interior Minister Collomb, at the UK France summit on 18 January 2018. They discussed a range of issues in relation to UK and France’s joint efforts to manage illegal migration, including our shared border and our ongoing commitment to effectively implement respective obligations to unaccompanied children and families.

Further details can be found in my Written Ministerial Statement of 19 January 2018.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 17 January 2018
Home Office
Home Office: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many contracts her Department holds with Government strategic suppliers.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The information on the Government Strategic suppliers contracts is published on www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk

Asked on: 24 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Death
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total number of deaths in the UK in each of the last ten years.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Young of Cookham
Corrected on: 20 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 01 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply and I will place a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

UKSA Response (Word Document, 67.5 KB)
UKSA Response (PDF Document, 73.31 KB)
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 01 February 2018

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply and I will place a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

UKSA Response (Word Document, 67.5 KB)
UKSA Response (PDF Document, 73.31 KB)
Q
(Sheffield Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 24 January 2018
Home Office
Engineers and Scientists: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many scientists and engineers have been refused a Tier 2 (General) Certificate of Sponsorship since November 2017 due to the annual cap having been reached; which Standard Occupational Classification codes have been affected by that cap; and how many applications have been refused for each such code.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The specific information requested is not included in statistics published by the Home Office.

The number of restricted certificates of sponsorship granted, and the points threshold, for each monthly allocation since April 2016 is published on the Home Office website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employer-sponsorship-restricted-certificate-allocations/allocations-of-restricted-certificates-of-sponsorship

Q
Asked by Lord Tebbit
Asked on: 25 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Carillion: Insolvency
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they received any forewarnings of financial difficulties at Carillion PLC.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Government constantly monitors the health of all of its strategic suppliers and reviews its contingency plans as necessary. Carillion publicly issued profit warnings on three occasions.

Asked on: 26 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Carillion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 25 January (HL4735), which Carillion contracts encountered problems with continuity and mitigation for service failures; and what estimate they have made of the additional and continuity costs to Her Majesty's Government.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 20 February 2018

Public sector services contracts have maintained continuity without any significant disruption. Construction contracts have had to be made safe and secure and new contractors will be appointed as soon as possible to continue the works. Public sector bodies will continue to pay for the cost of the services that Carillion were providing as they usually would have done to Carillion. HMT have provided working capital to the Official Receiver in order for him to continue to run the public sector services provided by Carillion. Any proceeds from the sales of assets will offset these costs therefore the full cost is not yet known.

Asked on: 26 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Carillion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 25 January (HL4734), which Carillion contracts had a contingency plan put in place; what were the dates when such contingency plans became operable; what was the additional cost to Her Majesty's Government of each contingency plan; and which contracts did not execute a contingency plan.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The continuation of public services has and continues to be our primary focus. To that end, robust contingency plans have been developed by departments as part of routine contract management. Contingency plans for Carillion contracts were enacted once the decision was taken by the company to enter insolvency on 15 January.

Project-level costs are not held centrally, but HM Treasury announced that it was providing £154m to the Official Receiver. It is too early to assess what the final financial position will be.

Asked on: 29 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Crime: Statistics
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a difference between the numbers of crimes reported to the police and the numbers of crimes published in the British Crime Survey for the same period; and, if so, what is their assessment of the reasons why.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Young of Cookham
Corrected on: 20 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 08 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply and I will place a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 130.95 KB)
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 08 February 2018

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply and I will place a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 130.95 KB)
Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of National Compliance and Enforcement Service staff that will be employed in each year to 2022.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Transforming Compliance and Enforcement Programme (TCEP) will transform the National Compliance and Enforcement Service (NCES) and the way in which it operates. We will introduce a new operating model supported by new digital systems. As well as changing the way we do business, the introduction of new technology and streamlined process will increase efficiency, ensuring HMCTS staff can increase performance through focusing on key enforcement activities.

It is estimated that the number of full time equivalent staff working in the NCES from 2020 onward will be 548. Until this point we expect the current FTE level to remain at a similar level to now (1497 in 2017), with the reduction being phased through 2019. The reductions will be made possible through the introduction of improved technology, including a new finance and accounting system, which will enable the automation or streamlining of many of current manual processes and the centralisation to three national enforcement centres from over 50 dispersed locations. Consistent with the provision of wider government financial and accounting services, the ongoing administration of the new finance and accounting system will be delivered through an external provider.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Capita
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many contracts his Department holds with Capita; and what the value of those contracts is.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 February 2018

DCMS calls down from a cross-Government Framework agreement held by the Crown Commercial Service (Contingent Labour One). The spend on this for the financial year 2017/2018 is £3.5million.

Q
Asked by Lord Patten
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Procurement
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefit to the taxpayer when Her Majesty's Government use companies that offer both construction and public services provision within one business.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 20 February 2018

UK public procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money through fair and open competition and in line with our current EU and international obligations. At the same time, we recognise the importance of managing relationships with Strategic Suppliers, including any risks to the operation of public services and the achievement of value for money. Our Strategic Supplier Risk Management Policy has been published on GOV.UK and a copy is attched.

Q
(Barnsley East)
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Child Care Vouchers
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many employees in his Department make use of the childcare voucher scheme.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 20 February 2018

As at 31 January 2018, 386 Cabinet Office employees received childcare vouchers through the departments childcare voucher scheme.

Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 02 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Land
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much land (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies owns in (i) England and (ii) the South West; and how much of that land has been identified as being surplus to requirements.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The current Government Estate Strategy sets out the Government's vision to create an efficient, fit-for-purpose and sustainable estate whose performance matches the best of the private sector. As a Government we are delivering this vision, ensuring that the estate is fit for purpose, is frequently reviewed and aligned to the Estate Strategy, and is managed in an efficient and effective way.

The current landholdings of the Cabinet Office are shown in the table below. This does not include land previously identified as surplus that has now been disposed. The information is correct at time of publication.

Land in Sq m

England

South West

Cabinet Office – Estates Cabinet Office – Residual Estate

16,405 45,444

0 0

Crown Commercial Service

0

0

Non-departmental public bodies

0

0

Total

Of the total land the Cabinet Office holds in England, 24,609 sq m is currently declared as surplus. These figures include agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

Note: We have interpreted this question to refer to freehold property only and “land” refers to building area as the Cabinet Office does not hold any land which is not occupied by an office building; measurements are therefore in square meters rather than hectares.

Asked on: 05 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Public Sector: Contracts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what risk assessments they have carried out in the last five years of Capita and other companies to which public services provision has been outsourced; and which contracts relating to Capita are being reviewed or risk assessed.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 20 February 2018

We recognise the importance of managing relationships with Strategic Suppliers, including any risks to the operation of public services and the achievement of value for money for the taxpayer. Our Strategic Supplier Risk Management Policy has been attached.

Q
Asked by Lord Jopling
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Legislatures
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in relation to each of (1) the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, (2) the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and (3) the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly, (a) how many full members from the UK there are, (b) how many peers serve as full members, (c) what percentage of the total number of delegates those peers represent, and (d) what percentage of the total costs is represented by those peers.
A
Answered on: 20 February 2018

There are 18 full members of the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Four of the PACE delegation are peers, 22.2% of the total, five of the NATO delegation are peers, 27.8 %. There are 13 full members of the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, three of whom are peers, 23.1% of the total.

The allocation of places and costs for peers is decided by the political parties in Parliament.

Further details of the delegations are available at: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/delegations/

The British Government welcomes and encourages the role our national Parliamentarians play in contributing their expertise more widely across the world. In international and regional organisations they underline the UK's commitment to a rules-based international order.

Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for International Trade
Iron and Steel: Overseas Trade
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to prevent adverse impacts on the steel industry of future trade deals.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 February 2018

While seeking greater access to overseas markets, such as through future trade agreements, the Government remains committed to using trade remedy measures in line with WTO rules to ensure that our domestic industries are protected from unfair and injurious trade practices, such as dumping and subsidies.

Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: USA
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what agreements they have entered into with United States counterparts over the past six months regarding the availability of public information about the details or progress of trade negotiations between the UK and the US.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 February 2018

As outlined in the Trade White Paper - ‘Preparing for our Future UK Trade Policy’ - the UK is committed to a transparent approach to international trade. We have invited views on the UK’s approach to future trade agreements, and engagement with stakeholders is ongoing.

On 9th November 2017 the UK and US exchanged letters on mutually agreed protocols for the treatment of information exchanged in the course of the Trade and Investment Working Group. It does not pre-judge the UK’s approach to transparency regarding the details or progress of negotiations.

Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/arrangement-for-exchanging-information-during-the-uk-us-trade-and-investment-working-group

Letter - UK/US T&I Working Group (PDF Document, 1.93 MB)
Letter - UK/US T&I Working Group (PDF Document, 103.89 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need for transparency around trade negotiations; and at what stage in the negotiation of new trade agreements they will release information to Parliament and the public on (1) the subjects under discussion, and (2) potential changes in UK laws and policies being contemplated as part of future trade agreements.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 February 2018

As outlined in the Trade White Paper - ‘Preparing for our Future UK Trade Policy’ – the UK remains committed to a transparent, fair, and rules-based approach to international trade and has invited views on the UK’s approach to its future trade policy including future trade agreements. The Department has undertaken a comprehensive series of engagement activities to ensure a wide range of stakeholder views are gathered. These views will inform our trade policy and legislative framework for future agreements and will help to develop the appropriate processes for public and parliamentary scrutiny. No decisions have yet been taken as stakeholder consultations are ongoing.

We will continue to respect the role of Parliament when agreeing the terms of future trade agreements.

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