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 2015-16 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
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 24 May 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to the Answer of 10 May 2016 to Question 36447, how much of the £10.3 million of minimum wage arrears recovered in 2015-16 was recovered from the 145 employers who were not issued with a Notice of Underpayment and who did not have to pay a penalty.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 24 May 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to the Answer of 14 September 2015 to Question 8859, how many employers took advantage of the National Minimum Wage campaign announced on 30 July 2015 to self-report their non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage; how many workers were identified as having been underpaid by those employers; and what the total sum was of arrears recovered for those workers.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 23 May 2016
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, by what date he plans to make a decision on upgrading the Brighton Main Line.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 May 2016
HM Treasury
Children: Maintenance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what procedures are in place to ensure that when a receiving parent has been advised by the Child Maintenance Service to contact HM Revenue and Customs to report possible tax evasion by a paying parent that possible evasion is investigated to ensure levels of child maintenance reflects full income.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 May 2016
HM Treasury
Children: Maintenance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will establish an investigation unit within HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to deal with cases in which the receiving parent has been advised by the Child Maintenance Service to contact HMRC to report possible tax evasion by the paying parent.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 May 2016
Home Office
Marriage Certificates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to provide for (a) mothers' names to be added on marriage certificates and (b) a marriage registration system that takes account of different family circumstances where there may not be a mother and a father; and if she will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 18 May 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what representations the Government has made to the European Commission on provisional implementation of the EU-Canada trade agreement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 18 May 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will make it his policy to oppose the provisional implementation of the EU-Canada trade agreement when it is discussed at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in June 2016.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 18 May 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what plans the Government has for parliamentary scrutiny of the EU-Canada trade agreement; and whether the Government will bring that agreement to the House for a vote.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 May 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which NHS bodies will authorise Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints; what role NHS Improvement will play; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 May 2016
Department of Health
NHS: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Answer of 18 April 2016 to Question 33537 on Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints, how his Department defines a system control total; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ethiopia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 18 April 2016 to Question 33551, when he expects the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to report; what information he holds on the number of reported mass arrests, beatings and killing of protesters, journalists and opposition party leaders and members in (a) the Oromia region and (b) Ethiopia in the last two years; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 11 May 2016

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the handling of demonstrations in Oromia and the reported deaths of a number of protestors, and has repeatedly made representations to the Ethiopian Government over the ongoing situation in Oromia. Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for International Development, raised our concerns with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 21 January, as did I, with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros, at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 27 January. Our Ambassador did the same in a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 26 April.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been appointed to look into the handling of the protests in Oromia, and we await the publication of its report. We will continue to urge the EHRC and the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that their report is credible, transparent and leads to concrete action.

Grouped Questions: 36725 | 36726
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ethiopia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Ethiopian government on the killing of protestors in the Oromia region since December 2015.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 11 May 2016

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the handling of demonstrations in Oromia and the reported deaths of a number of protestors, and has repeatedly made representations to the Ethiopian Government over the ongoing situation in Oromia. Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for International Development, raised our concerns with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 21 January, as did I, with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros, at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 27 January. Our Ambassador did the same in a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 26 April.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been appointed to look into the handling of the protests in Oromia, and we await the publication of its report. We will continue to urge the EHRC and the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that their report is credible, transparent and leads to concrete action.

Grouped Questions: 36736 | 36726
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ethiopia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he make representations to the Ethiopian government on establishing an independent inquiry into the reported use of excessive force during protests in the Oromia region in December 2015.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 11 May 2016

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the handling of demonstrations in Oromia and the reported deaths of a number of protestors, and has repeatedly made representations to the Ethiopian Government over the ongoing situation in Oromia. Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for International Development, raised our concerns with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 21 January, as did I, with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros, at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on 27 January. Our Ambassador did the same in a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on 26 April.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been appointed to look into the handling of the protests in Oromia, and we await the publication of its report. We will continue to urge the EHRC and the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that their report is credible, transparent and leads to concrete action.

Grouped Questions: 36736 | 36725
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 May 2016
Department for International Development
Ethiopia: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent representations the Government has made to the Ethiopian government on the Integrated Development Master Plan; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 May 2016

The Government of Ethiopia withdrew the Addis Ababa Master Plan in January 2016 in response to the wave of protests it had triggered in Oromia. The UK government has raised concerns about the unrest in Oromia, and particularly the reports of a large number of deaths, with the Ethiopian Government on a number of occasions. The Secretary of State raised our concerns directly with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister at Davos in January 2016.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 May 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance: Brighton
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of employment and support allowance (ESA) applicants from Brighton and Hove are being sent to (a) Lewes and (b) Vauxhall for assessment; for what reasons such ESA applicants are being sent to those locations; what impact assessment has been made of sending ESA applicants to centres out of their home city; when and how applicants are remunerated for transport costs; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 11 May 2016

All Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) customers within the Brighton and Hove postcode areas are being asked to attend for an assessment at Lewes Assessment Centre as Lewes is the nearest Assessment Centre to Brighton and Hove.

DWP policy ensures that claimants do not have to travel for more than 90 minutes by public transport (single journey) for a consultation. However, this limit is an absolute maximum and for the majority of claimants their journey will be less than this. For example, it would take applicants from Brighton and Hove approximately 20-30 minutes by bus to reach Lewes Assessment centre.

All claimants who are asked to travel to an assessment are reimbursed either by cheque or directly into a bank account via BACS.

If an ESA customer is unable to attend an appointment, they are asked to contact the provider to discuss their individual circumstances. A home visit can be arranged if there is supportive medical evidence about the claimant’s inability to travel due to their medical condition.

ESA claimants are not asked to travel to the Assessment Centre at Vauxhall which is specifically for claimants of Personal Independence Payment and not ESA.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 09 May 2016
Department of Health
HIV Infection: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans NHS England has to conduct a public consultation on the commissioning of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 11 May 2016

NHS England is in the process of reconsidering its decision in relation to the commissioning of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The outcome of this decision, which is expected at the end of May, will determine whether NHS England will then conduct any form of public consultation on the commissioning of PrEP.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 09 May 2016
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make it her policy to support the work of the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines; with reference to the Prime Minister's comments on the pharmaceutical industry to the BBC on 2 July 2014, what recent assessment she has made of the steps to take to resolve market failure related to the development of new classes of antibiotics in that industry; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 May 2016

The UK is committed to ensuring access to low cost, effective medicines in the developing world, providing a range of significant inputs to increasing access to essential medicines.

We support the provision of essential medicines and other health products through innovative global partnerships such as the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), UNITAID, GAVI and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). We work to strengthen systems weaknesses, such as weak supply chains or poor procurement, which deter private investment, keep medicines prices high or lead to misuse or waste of medicines. We also place a great emphasis on research and development of new vaccines, medicines and diagnostics for conditions that affect millions of poor people. A new £1 billion fund – the Ross Fund - was recently announced with the aim of developing, testing and delivering a range of new products to help combat the world’s most serious diseases, such as malaria, Ebola and TB in developing countries.

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance is a key priority for this Government. We are awaiting the final report of the O’Neill Independent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance later this month and the Department of Health will then lead a cross-Government response.

We support the aims of the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines. For it to fulfil its potential to improve access to affordable and quality medicines, including antibiotics, it will need to take a balanced approach, building on the WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action and engaging with existing global partnerships, and use its influence to galvanise Member States, public and private sectors around a common approach to this important issue.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 28 April 2016
HM Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 26 April 2016 to Question 34460, how many concerns have been captured centrally under the HM Revenue and Customs Whistleblowing and Raising a Concern Policy in the last five years; and how those concerns have been categorised for management of other purposes by his Department.
A
Answered by: Mr David Gauke
Answered on: 10 May 2016

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has a Whistleblowing and Raising a concern policy. Since April 2014 concerns raised under this policy have been captured centrally. Prior to this date, details were only held locally.

According to records held centrally by HMRC, for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015, 78 cases were logged under the Whistleblowing and Raising a Concern Policy, of which:

  • 52 were defined as whistleblowers;

  • 20 were defined as wrongdoing (but not whistleblowing);

  • 2 were defined as grievance; and

  • 4 could not be categorised.

    From 1st April 2015 to date, HMRC has received a further 91 cases, of which 18 have been defined as whistleblowers. The 18 cases were categorised as per wrongdoing type, namely:

    Payroll and Expenses 3

    Conditions of service 11

    Revenue & Benefits 3

    Assets, IT & Comms 1

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 29 April 2016
HM Treasury
Hinkley Point C Power Station
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Base Case Conditions for EU approval of state aid for Hinkley Point C, whether there have been modifications to the (a) date of 31 December 2020 and (b) cap on the amount of debt drawn until Flamanville 3 has completed the trial operation period; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 10 May 2016

The Chancellor’s announcement on 21 September 2015 set out that the government and the Hinkley Point C project company had agreed the terms of a £2 billion guarantee through the UK Guarantees Scheme. This initial guarantee will be repaid in December 2020. There is no further obligation to issue guarantees after that date.

This initial guarantee is the first tranche of debt guarantees that was approved as part of the European Commission’s approval of the wider support package for Hinkley Point C. The government is satisfied that the terms of the guarantee remain within the Closing Decision of the EU Commission.

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