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: 16 March 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many herds have been subject to interferon gamma testing in each of the (a) low, (b) edge and (c) high-risk bovine tuberculosis control areas in each year from 2008 to 2016; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The Low, Edge and High-Risk Bovine Tuberculosis areas have only been in place since 2013. However, figures in the table below give figures retrospectively assuming the areas.

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Edge

69

113

23

35

71

82

194

191

205

High

681

617

14

27

31

40

45

44

41

Low

36

44

42

36

22

52

32

45

42

The total number of herds subject to interferon gamma test in 2008 and 2009 are higher than in subsequent years because mandatory IFN-γ testing policy of animals that have been skin tested twice with inconclusive results became redundant and ended in 2010, when all three countries of Great Britain moved to a stricter policy of removing as reactors all those animals that failed to resolve at their first skin retest.

Between 2009 and 2016, the number of samples (animals) tested in England has quadrupled, with the largest increase taking place in the Edge Area.

IFN-γ testing of TB breakdown herds in the HRA is also about to be significantly increased from April 2017.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 24 March 2017
HM Treasury
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has received any advice on the admissibility of Social Investment Tax Relief for community-owned renewable energy projects under EU State Aid Rules from the European Commission or other relevant organisations.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 16 March 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Cattle: Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many cattle movements in the UK were recorded by the British Cattle Movement Service in each year from 2008 to 2016.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 23 March 2017

The number of cattle movements in the UK recorded on the Cattle Tracing System by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) in each year from 2008 to 2016 is shown in the table below:

Year

Cattle Movements

2008

13,445,614

2009

13,194,912

2010

13,654,294

2011

14,570,411

2012

13,810,509

2013

13,736,427

2014

13,742,163

2015

13,783,821

2016

14,084,952

These figures include from April 2010 movements manually entered by BCMS, usually as a result of keeper contact. Where an animal moves off a location and then onto another that is classified in reporting as 2 movements.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 17 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department was aware that the Chair of the UK Green Investment Bank was being considered for other government or commercial roles when it received advice from him on the sale of that bank; and whether his Department made an assessment of the potential effect on that advice of such consideration.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 23 March 2017
Holding answer received on 22 March 2017

The Government is grateful to the Green Investment Bank (GIB) Board for the considered views it has provided throughout the GIB sale. All decisions taken in regard to the sale of GIB are for Ministers alone.

As shareholder, Government works closely with the GIB Board to ensure the business operates to high standards of corporate governance at all times.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 23 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on recent proposed changes to its immigration policy and procedures; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 23 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the current level of threat to democracy in the UK from cyber attacks, propaganda and subversion by hostile states; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 10 March 2017
Cabinet Office
Voting Behaviour
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to increase voter engagement and participation among those least likely to vote including (a) homeless and b) young people; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 22 March 2017

As part of my “Every Voice Matters” tour, I am visiting every nation and region of the United Kingdom to hear about the barriers that prevent some groups – including homeless and young people – from participating in the democratic system. We will publish lessonslearned later this year and work with partner organisations to respond to the issuesidentified.

Specifically, I have visited Cambridge to meet with homelessness organisations and their clients to hear how the electoral registration system could better respond to their needs. We will continue to work with homelessness charities, such as Shelter and others to overcome barriers and help those with no fixed address to register to vote.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Australian High Commission and Macquarie Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many meetings at which Government Ministers and officials of his Department have been present have taken place with representatives or employees from (a) Macquarie Group and (b) the Australian Embassy to the UK since January 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 21 March 2017

Records of all Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website at the following links:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy&publication_type=transparency-data

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bis-quarterly-publications-april-to-june-2012

Department for Energy and Climate Change

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ministers-meeting-with-external-organisations

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Transport
London-Brighton Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2016 to Question 40729, on the London-Brighton railway line, if he will take steps to safeguard critical land in the central Croydon area for the Brighton Mainline upgrade; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 21 March 2017

In developing proposals to upgrade the Brighton Mainline, Network Rail is considering land requirements. As I have indicated previously, the Government will continue to support Network Rail in further developing and refining the upgrade proposals. We will consider proposals Network Rail puts forward on land requirements on their merits, and in light of the overall business case for the upgrade, which is at an early stage of development.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Transport
London-Brighton Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2016 to Question 40729, on the London-Brighton railway line, what estimate he has made of the potential cost to Government of safeguarding critical land in the central Croydon area for the Brighton Mainline upgrade; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 21 March 2017

Network Rail will refine its cost estimates for the Brighton Mainline upgrade proposals over time, including for land requirements. Any decision on land requirements needs to be made in view of the overall business case for the upgrade, which is at an early stage of development.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 16 March 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Tickets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page eight of the Action Plan for Information on Rail Fares and Ticketing, published in 2016, what progress has been made on delivering the commitment on enabling customers to claim back relevant expenses relating to having forgotten a valid railcard at the time of travel.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 21 March 2017

A rule change has just been introduced by all train companies which means that, once a year, someone penalised for failing to show a Railcard which they should have been carrying can get a refund if they are able to produce the card later.

This is the first improvement for customers to be accomplished out of a wide-ranging action plan agreed last December between the government, train companies, and consumer groups.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 March 2017
HM Treasury
North Sea Oil
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 3.29 of Spring Budget 2017, if he will make it his policy to engage with non-industry representatives, including non-governmental organisations with expertise in environmental, energy and consumer rights issues when consulting on the formation of future North Sea oil and gas policy.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 March 2017
HM Treasury
North Sea Oil: Taxation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 3.29 of Spring Budget 2017, when he plans to publish the formal discussion paper on the allowing of transfers of tax history between buyers and sellers of North Sea oil and gas assets.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 March 2017
HM Treasury
Fossil Fuels: Taxation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 3.29 of Spring Budget 2017, by what criteria members will be appointed to the new advisory panel on oil and gas tax policy; and when he plans for that new advisory panel to be established.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 March 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Forests: Environmental Impact Assessment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to her Department's Environmental Impact Assessment - Joint Technical Consultation, published on 14 December 2016, how many responses her Department received (a) in support of and (b) in opposition to, proposals to increase the Forestry Environmental Impact Assessment threshold in England; and when her Department plans to respond to that consultation.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 10 March 2017
Cabinet Office
Electoral Register
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to give those with no fixed address access to online voter registration.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 20 March 2017

We are committed to a democracy that works for everyone, including homeless people. I have gathered specific evidence on the registration barriers faced by homeless people as part of my Every Voice Matters tour. We will continue to work with homeless charities such as Shelter to overcome these barriers and help those with no fixed address to register to vote.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel and Occupied Territories: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of how the recently amended Entry to Israel Law will affect UK citizens travelling to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 20 March 2017

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 13 March (PQ 67071).

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how his Department assessed the levels of commitment to the best possible outcome for the UK following its departure from the EU displayed by teams bidding to deliver Market Access Discovery and Trade Remedies Discovery services.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 20 March 2017

All bids were assessed equally and fairly in compliance with procurement law. This included a final interview stage by a panel, in which applicants were assessed against all criteria.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 March 2017
Home Office
Immigration: EEA Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on whether EEA citizens will be removed from or refused re-entry to the UK on the basis that they do not have comprehensive sickness insurance; and if she will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 13 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £3.8 billion of public funding committed to the UK Green Investment Bank since its establishment in 2012, plus any profits made by the Government on its sale, will be reinvested in the UK low-carbon economy on completion of the sale of that bank.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 16 March 2017

The Government remains committed to the UK's Climate Change Act and the transition to clean energy. Climate change remains one of the most serious long-term risks to our economic and national security. We recently committed another £730 million of support for renewables in this Parliament and have reconfirmed the budget of £290m annual support for 15 years for ‘Pot 2’/less established technologies including offshore wind.

Any proceeds from a sale of the Green Investment Bank will be returned to the Exchequer.

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