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: 17 January 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 January 2017 to Question 59797, if she will make it her policy to publish data on cases covered by the Dublin Regulation.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 24 January 2017

We are currently considering options for the publication of data related to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children transferred to the UK under the Dublin Regulation and the criteria for section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, in line with the Immigration Minister and Minster for Vulnerable Children and Families’ Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) dated the 1 November 2016.

The WMS can be found here:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Lords/2016-11-01/HLWS231/

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 17 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the role is of the trustees of the special share company of the Green Investment Bank.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 January 2017

The Government has set out its plans for the sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) in the document “Green Investment Bank: sale of shares” laid before Parliament on 3 March 2016.

The special share will be held by an independent company – the Green Purposes Company Limited, with trustees who have been selected independently of Government and of GIB. The independent trustees will have the right to approve or reject any proposed change to the green purposes of GIB, as set out in the company’s Articles of Association, if such a change were ever proposed.

Grouped Questions: 60281
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 17 January 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 trustees of the special share company of the Green Investment Bank will authorise individual investment proposals.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 January 2017

The Government has set out its plans for the sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) in the document “Green Investment Bank: sale of shares” laid before Parliament on 3 March 2016.

The special share will be held by an independent company – the Green Purposes Company Limited, with trustees who have been selected independently of Government and of GIB. The independent trustees will have the right to approve or reject any proposed change to the green purposes of GIB, as set out in the company’s Articles of Association, if such a change were ever proposed.

Grouped Questions: 60280
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 17 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many staff at the Green Investment Bank have previously worked for the Government's preferred bidder for the Government's shares in that bank.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 24 January 2017

The sale process is currently ongoing and neither Government nor the Green Investment Bank are able to provide any update on the identity of any bidders.

All parties have been required to sign confidentiality agreements and these place strict restrictions on the disclosure of information. These restrictions apply both to bidders and the Government.

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 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2017 to Question 59325, on whose instruction the 10 new subsidiary companies were established at the Green Investment Bank in November and December 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 January 2017

In November and December 2016 the Green Investment Bank (GIB) incorporated twelve new Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs): Galloper Holdco Limited; OSW Co Holdings 1 Limited; OSW Co Holdings 2 Limited; OSW LP Holdco Limited; Project G Holdco Limited; Project G Holdings 1 Limited; Project G Holdings 2 Limited; Rampion Holdco Limited; WMR Holdco Limited; Rampion Investco Limited; New Green Interim Holdco Limited; and UK Green Investment Lyle Limited.

The SPV ‘UK Green Investment Lyle Limited’ was incorporated in the course of business-as-usual to support GIB’s investment in the Lincs offshore wind farm (publicly announced by GIB on 13 January 2017).

The remaining eleven SPVs were incorporated in order to facilitate the potential introduction of private capital in to a number of GIB’s offshore wind assets, following discussion between GIB and the UK Government. These entities are currently dormant and own no assets.

Grouped Questions: 60235 | 60232 | 60233 | 60234
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 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2017 to Question 59325, whether the Government's preferred bidders for the Green Investment Bank had any involvement in the decision to establish the 10 new subsidiary companies at that bank in November and December 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 January 2017

In November and December 2016 the Green Investment Bank (GIB) incorporated twelve new Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs): Galloper Holdco Limited; OSW Co Holdings 1 Limited; OSW Co Holdings 2 Limited; OSW LP Holdco Limited; Project G Holdco Limited; Project G Holdings 1 Limited; Project G Holdings 2 Limited; Rampion Holdco Limited; WMR Holdco Limited; Rampion Investco Limited; New Green Interim Holdco Limited; and UK Green Investment Lyle Limited.

The SPV ‘UK Green Investment Lyle Limited’ was incorporated in the course of business-as-usual to support GIB’s investment in the Lincs offshore wind farm (publicly announced by GIB on 13 January 2017).

The remaining eleven SPVs were incorporated in order to facilitate the potential introduction of private capital in to a number of GIB’s offshore wind assets, following discussion between GIB and the UK Government. These entities are currently dormant and own no assets.

Grouped Questions: 60236 | 60232 | 60233 | 60234
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 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2017 to Question 59325, whether private capital had been secured for the offshore wind assets before the decision to establish the new companies was taken.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 January 2017

In November and December 2016 the Green Investment Bank (GIB) incorporated twelve new Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs): Galloper Holdco Limited; OSW Co Holdings 1 Limited; OSW Co Holdings 2 Limited; OSW LP Holdco Limited; Project G Holdco Limited; Project G Holdings 1 Limited; Project G Holdings 2 Limited; Rampion Holdco Limited; WMR Holdco Limited; Rampion Investco Limited; New Green Interim Holdco Limited; and UK Green Investment Lyle Limited.

The SPV ‘UK Green Investment Lyle Limited’ was incorporated in the course of business-as-usual to support GIB’s investment in the Lincs offshore wind farm (publicly announced by GIB on 13 January 2017).

The remaining eleven SPVs were incorporated in order to facilitate the potential introduction of private capital in to a number of GIB’s offshore wind assets, following discussion between GIB and the UK Government. These entities are currently dormant and own no assets.

Grouped Questions: 60236 | 60235 | 60233 | 60234
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 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2017 to Question 59325, whether nominated trustees of the special share company of the Green Investment Bank were alerted to the establishment of new companies.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 January 2017

In November and December 2016 the Green Investment Bank (GIB) incorporated twelve new Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs): Galloper Holdco Limited; OSW Co Holdings 1 Limited; OSW Co Holdings 2 Limited; OSW LP Holdco Limited; Project G Holdco Limited; Project G Holdings 1 Limited; Project G Holdings 2 Limited; Rampion Holdco Limited; WMR Holdco Limited; Rampion Investco Limited; New Green Interim Holdco Limited; and UK Green Investment Lyle Limited.

The SPV ‘UK Green Investment Lyle Limited’ was incorporated in the course of business-as-usual to support GIB’s investment in the Lincs offshore wind farm (publicly announced by GIB on 13 January 2017).

The remaining eleven SPVs were incorporated in order to facilitate the potential introduction of private capital in to a number of GIB’s offshore wind assets, following discussion between GIB and the UK Government. These entities are currently dormant and own no assets.

Grouped Questions: 60236 | 60235 | 60232 | 60234
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 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2017 to Question 59325, whether Ministers or officials of his Department were aware at the time of the creation of 10 new subsidiary companies at the Green Investment Bank in November and December 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 January 2017

In November and December 2016 the Green Investment Bank (GIB) incorporated twelve new Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs): Galloper Holdco Limited; OSW Co Holdings 1 Limited; OSW Co Holdings 2 Limited; OSW LP Holdco Limited; Project G Holdco Limited; Project G Holdings 1 Limited; Project G Holdings 2 Limited; Rampion Holdco Limited; WMR Holdco Limited; Rampion Investco Limited; New Green Interim Holdco Limited; and UK Green Investment Lyle Limited.

The SPV ‘UK Green Investment Lyle Limited’ was incorporated in the course of business-as-usual to support GIB’s investment in the Lincs offshore wind farm (publicly announced by GIB on 13 January 2017).

The remaining eleven SPVs were incorporated in order to facilitate the potential introduction of private capital in to a number of GIB’s offshore wind assets, following discussion between GIB and the UK Government. These entities are currently dormant and own no assets.

Grouped Questions: 60236 | 60235 | 60232 | 60233
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: 20 January 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's policy is on the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize which is scheduled for a decision on 27 January 2017 at the European Commission under Directive 2001/18/EC; what account she has taken in formulating that policy of representations from the devolved administrations; and if she will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 11 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Minimum Wage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answers of 15 November 2016 to Questions 52386 and 52387, and with reference to paragraph 1.8 of the National Audit Office report, Ensuring Employers Comply with National Minimum Wage Regulations, published in May 2016, and paragraph 5.191 of the Low Pay Commission's Autumn 2016 report, what the reasons are for the difference between the figure of £3.84 million given for the total sum of arrears identified through the self-correction mechanism in 2015-16 provided in those Answers and the figure of £4.6 million in those reports.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Questions 52386 and 52387 related to different subsets of arrears totals for 2015/16 – respectively these are:

(a) £688,695 self-corrected arrears owed by employers found to be non-compliant with the national minimum wage but not issued with a Notice of Underpayment or financial penalty;

(b) £3,154,112 additional, self-corrected arrears owed by employers who were issued with a Notice of Underpayment and a penalty.

The £4.6m figure for self-correction quoted in both the National Audit Office May 2016 report and the Low Pay Commission’s November 2016 report is another subset of 2015/16 arrears, given to the NAO before figures for 2015/16 were finalised. This includes the figures quoted above as well as:

(a) £742,587 arrears voluntarily disclosed by employers who took part in HM Revenue and Custom’s 2015 National Minimum Wage campaign

(b) £3,560 arrears owed by employers who were issued with a Notice of Underpayment but no penalty.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Department for Education
Universities: China and India
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to promote the role of UK universities in (a) China and (b) India.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The Government is actively promoting the role of UK universities in China and India through Government-to-Government forums and bilateral programmes. We recognise the educational, economic and diplomatic importance of international higher education collaboration for the UK.

At the UK-China Education Summit in September 2015, I signed a new UK-China Partners in Education Framework with China’s then Minister for Education, Yuan Guiren. The Framework aims to increase collaboration across all areas of education, including university collaboration. Last September, I led a delegation of 25 senior UK university representatives to China for the Pujiang Innovation Forum, China’s leading innovation conference. Last month, the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, and China’s new Minister for Education, Chen Baosheng, co-chaired the 9th UK-China Education Summit in Beijing. They approved an Action Plan to operationalise the new Framework. It includes a new UK-China Knowledge Economy and Education Partnership programme (KEEP) focusing on larger scale university collaborations to ensure the UK is building competitive and sustainable long-term partnerships with China. The UK is currently the number one transnational education provider in China with over 270 joint initiatives at higher education level. Many UK universities are active partners in joint UK-China research projects funded under the auspices of the Newton Fund.

In November 2016, I also led a delegation of 25 UK universities to the UK-India Tech Summit, where they had the opportunity to engage with Indian institutions and to create strong and long lasting links with India. I also met with both the Minister for Human Resource Development and the Indian Minister for Science and Technology, with whom I hosted a celebration of the links between our two countries research communities. Forums such as the UK-India Tech Summit are important opportunities to promote UK ties with India.

The UK-India Education and Research Initiative is successfully creating UK-India partnerships in education and research. It has so far delivered over 1000 UK-India partnerships across all areas of education and research, and 25,000 exchanges of academics, researches and students. This initiative has proven to be popular and the Government has extended the UK-India Education and Research Initiative by another five years to 2021 with a new £10m investment for partnerships in research, leadership and skills. This year we announced the first call for applications and received almost 400 from UK and Indian institutions.

The Government is also promoting the role of UK universities in India through the Newton Fund, or the Newton Bhabha Fund as it is known locally. The Newton Bhabha Fund promotes partnerships between UK and Indian universities to address some of the grand challenges that the world faces today. Programmes under the Newton Fund are creating research links and exchanges and are promoting the UK’s universities not only as centres of excellence, but also the positive role that they and the UK can take in the world.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Department for Education
Overseas Students
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the economic value of international students to UK universities and their local areas.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The most recent estimate of the value of international education to the UK can be found in the Government’s International Education Strategy, published in July 2013. This analysis showed that EU and Non-EU students at UK universities contributed an estimated £9.7bn in 2011 to the UK economy (tuition fees and living expenditure). The analysis does not separate this contribution for local areas.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 January 2017
Department for Transport
c2c
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received on the legal basis for the proposed sale by National Express of the c2c franchise to Trenitalia; what discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) external stakeholders on that proposed sale; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 January 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Franchises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what role he has in granting authorisation for one rail franchisee to sell its potential franchise to another commercial organisation; if he will set out the process and procedures for any such sale; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department for Transport
Speed Limits: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects to publish the findings of research commissioned by his Department into the effects of 20 mph speed zones.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 17 January 2017

The research is due to be completed at the end of 2017 and we expect to publish the findings early next year.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 11 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Minimum Wage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 4 May 2016 to Question 36447 and pursuant to the Answers of 1 June 2016, corrected on 8 September, 7 October and 7 December 2016, to Questions 38139, 46899 and 56533, what the reasons are for the (a) increase in employer investigations resulting in the identification of minimum wage arrears from 964 in the whole of 2015-16 to 1,420 in the first half of 2016-17 and (b) apparent growth in the number of workers for whom arrears were recovered from 58,080 in 2015-16 to 48,154 in the first half of 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 17 January 2017

In 2015/16 we increased the National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement budget allocated to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by £7m to £20m. These additional funds have allowed the recruitment of additional NMW compliance officers, so in addition to responding to every worker complaint, HMRC has been able to conduct more proactive, risked-based investigations into sectors where workers are more at risk of being underpaid.

The increasing numbers of successful cases closed by HMRC show that our continued investment in minimum wage enforcement has had a real and positive impact on the lives of some of our most vulnerable workers.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 January 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 Government's preferred bidder for the Green Investment Bank submitted the highest bid for that bank.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 17 January 2017

One of the main objectives of the sale is to achieve value for money for the taxpayer. Decisions on the sale price of the Green Investment Bank is commercially confidential and will depend on the outcome of discussions with potential investors.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Department for Education
Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to publish the Education Bill.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 16 January 2017

The Government’s legislative reforms are set out annually in the Queen’s speech.

The Government recently publish a consultation document, ‘Schools that work for everyone’, setting out a number of policy proposals. The consultation closed on 12 December 2016. The Department is now considering the submissions received and expects to publish its response in the spring.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Minimum Wage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2016 to Question 55486, how many of the 687 employers named by his Department for non-compliance with the national minimum wage under the naming and shaming scheme have identified further arrears not included in the sum of arrears for which they were named under the self-correction mechanism; what the total was of those further self-corrected arrears; and to how many workers those further self-corrected arrears were owed.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 16 January 2017

The requested information will require some time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member with the requested information and place a copy of my response in the House library.

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