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
(Nottingham South)
[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 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Access to Work Programme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 October 2017 to Question 107411, on social security benefits; disability, what savings his Department realised as a result of the cap on individual access to work grants in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 23 November 2017

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Access to Work Programme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 October 2017 to Question 107411 on Social Security Benefits: Disability, what estimate his Department has made of the potential savings from the cap on individual Access to Work grants in each of the next five years.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 23 November 2017

The Department has not produced estimates of potential savings over the next five years.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Access to Work Programme: Hearing Impairment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 October 2017 to Question 107411 on Social Security Benefits; Disability, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on willingness of employers to recruit deaf employees of the Access to Work scheme not meeting the cost of workplace support beyond an employer's obligation to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 23 November 2017

Employer willingness to address the cost of workplace support beyond an employer's obligation to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act is discussed in Paras 3.1.12 to 3.1.14 of The Equality Analysis for the future of Access to Work, published in May 2015, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/426416/future-of-access-to-work-equality-analysis.pdf

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Access to Work Programme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 October 2017 to Question 107411 on Social Security Benefits: Disability, what estimate his Department made of the cost of increasing the Access to Work cap to (a) two-times national average earnings, (b) two and a half-times national average earnings and (c) three times national average earnings.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 23 November 2017

The Equality Analysis for the future of Access to Work, published in May 2015, includes estimated savings over 2014/15 for cap levels including double the average salary. See Table D here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/426416/future-of-access-to-work-equality-analysis.pdf

The information requested in questions (b) and (c) is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Access to Work Programme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the amount of (a) overspend and (b) underspend in the Access to Work scheme in each of the last three years for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 23 November 2017

Access to Work is a demand led scheme and we look to meet that demand from a broader financial envelope rather than have a fixed budget. As the amount spent reflects the number and nature of those demands we do not routinely publish forecast spend.

The amount spent on AtW in each of the last 3 years is set out below

Spend on the Access to Work Scheme

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

Total Access to Work programme spend

£97.0m

£96m

£104m

Associated admin costs

£8m

£7.0m

£8m

Grand total

£105m

£103m

£112m

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 02 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent meetings Ministers of his Department have had with Israeli human rights organisations on restrictions placed on them by the Israeli Government; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of those restrictions on civil society space in that country.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 November 2017

​Israel has a strong and vibrant civil society, and Ministers meet with Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as part of our broad engagement with Israel. We have not made any formal assessment of the impact of recent legislative changes on NGOs in Israel, but consistently call on all countries to avoid any steps which could limit the space for civil society.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 01 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Immigration Controls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on medical exit permits for patients needing to leave Gaza, including cancer patients.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 November 2017
Holding answer received on 06 November 2017

While we have not raised this specific issue, we have consistently called on the Israeli Government to ease movement and access restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are supporting the UN Access Coordination Unit who work with the Israeli Government, Palestinian Authority (PA) and aid agencies to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian goods including medical equipment and supplies. We are aware that Israeli hospitals do treat Palestinian patients following referrals from the PA.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 01 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
West Bank: Hospitals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterparts on accountability for attacks on medical teams by Israeli forces, including the recent raid of al Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 November 2017
Holding answer received on 06 November 2017

While we have not raised this issue specifically, we are clear that medical staff should have the protection that allows them to do their jobs in safety.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Transport
Railway Stations: Access
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many station upgrades are due to start before April 2019 under the Network Rail Access for All scheme.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 19 October 2017

Since 2014 Access for All has completed 30 projects and another 7 are currently on site. A further 28 are due to start construction before 2019.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Transport
Railway Stations: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much has been spent on improving the accessibility of train stations for disabled people under Network Rail's Access for All scheme since 2014 in each region.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 19 October 2017

The spend on Access for All projects is recorded by Network Rail route and the cost of work done to date since 2014 is as follows:

Anglia £11.872m

East Midlands £1.184m

London North East £20.599m

London North West £15.476m

Scotland £13.112m

Sussex £2.196m

Wales £6.387m

Wessex £12.828m

Western £5.583m

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Transport
Railway Stations: Access
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many planned station upgrades under Network Rail's Access for All scheme have been (a) cancelled during rail control period 5 and (b) deferred to rail control period in each region.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 19 October 2017

No schemes under Access for All have been cancelled during Control Period 5. The construction of 26 stations has been deferred to Control Period 6 and these stations are in the following regions:

North West 1

North East 2

East 3

East Midlands 2

West Midlands 1

Wales 4

West 1

London 9

South East 3

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 12 October 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) people whose primary medical condition is difficulty in hearing and (b) other recipients of Access to Work grants (i) are still in receipt of awards above £42,800 during the transition period for the cap on awards and (ii) have been given awards at the level of the cap since its introduction in April 2015.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 12 October 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department has provided to Access to Work recipients whose grants will be reduced in April 2018 due to the end of the transition period for the cap on awards.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 17 October 2017

Access to Work customers identified as being affected by the award limit have been contacted each year by specialist advisers to review and discuss their needs and progress towards managing within the cap amount once their transitional protection ends.

Advisers have promoted workplace assessments and technological solutions; we will also be inviting affected customers to take part in a trial of Personalised Budgets in order to give grant recipients greater choice and control in meeting their needs from their grants.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 04 September 2017
Department for Education
Classroom Assistants: Average Earnings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2017 to Question 61630, on classroom assistants: average earnings, if she will provide the same salary data for 2016.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 07 September 2017

The following table shows the average salary for all full-time teaching assistants and higher level teaching assistants, and all teaching assistants in local authority maintained schools, academy schools and free schools in England, as at November 2016.

Full-time Teaching Assistants

Full-time Higher Level Teaching Assistants

Full-time All Teaching Assistants

2016

Local Authority Maintained Schools

£19,300

£22,500

£19,700

Academies

£19,000

£21,800

£19,300

Free Schools

£16,900

£19,400

£17,000

All Schools

£19,100

£22,300

£19,400

Source: School Workforce Census

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 04 September 2017
Department for Transport
Rolling Stock: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the rail industry's preparedness for all UK rolling stock to be compliant with the Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability by 31 December 2019.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 07 September 2017

This Government recognises how important improving access to public transport is for disabled people and is committed to making transport more inclusive. However, it is the responsibility of the rolling stock operator to ensure its trains meet modern accessibility standards by 31 December 2019, including the Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability. The Department is liaising regularly with the industry on the progress being made on upgrading stock built before 1999 and currently 70% of all trains in operation were either built to or have been refurbished to meet accessibility standards.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with (i) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (ii) officials of HM Treasury on rail fares policy since 13 June 2017.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 13 July 2017

There have been no discussions between the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Rail Fares policy since the 13 June 2017.

Officials from the Department of Transport and HM Treasury officials have regular working level coordination meetings covering a range of issues including rail fares policy.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: East Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his oral contribution of 4 July 2017, Official Report, column 1137, which routes currently operated under the East Midlands franchise are anticipated to benefit from a significantly shorter journey time as a result of the new Thameslink timetable; and what those changes in journey times will be.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

Network Rail and the train operators are currently undertaking the detailed work to develop the 2018 timetable for the Midland Main Line.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page five of High Speed Two Limited's Initial Framework Agreement with the TUC, published on 8 April 2016, if he will list the dates on which the joint committee has met.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

Work on establishing a full Joint Committee is in process. There have been five meetings with the TUC in the last year to work on establishing the full committee. Those meetings are proving constructive and as HS2 moves into the first construction phase later this year, dates and arrangements for the full Joint Committee will be formalised.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
National Air Traffic Services: Government Shareholding
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 13 April 2016 to Question 33920, on National Air Traffic Services: Government shareholding, if it remains his policy to sell the Government's shareholding in the National Air Traffic Service.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 12 July 2017

At the 2015 Spending Review, the Chancellor announced we were considering a potential sale of the Government’s 49% shareholding in NATS. Since then, HMG has indicated that no final decisions have been taken and HMG will continue to keep its investment under review.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2017 to Question 1538, on railways: fares, what plans he has to increase the cost of regulated rail fares by RPI plus zero per cent in 2018.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

The Government recognises that the cost of travelling for rail passengers can seem high – this is why since 2014 we have taken action and capped the regulated rail fares at RPI+0%. Train fare revenue is crucial to funding day-to-day railway operations and delivering the investment and massive upgrade programme currently underway, all of which passengers demand and expect.

We of course keep policies under review.

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