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 2016-17 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
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 18 April 2017
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's total expenditure on independent polling was in the financial years (a) 2014-15, (b) 2015-16 and (c) 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The information requested is not held centrally and therefore is only available at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 18 April 2017
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many surveys his Department commissioned from independent companies in (a) 2014, (b) 2015 and (c) 2016 by (i) polling company, (ii) category of polling project and (iii) geographical location.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The information requested is not held centrally and therefore can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 23 March 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Disability Living Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many eligible disability living allowance (DLA) claimants have been invited to apply for personal independence payments since April 2016; and of those claimants invited to apply, how many have not applied within the time allowed and have had their DLA terminated as a result.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 28 March 2017

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

A decision is made on a case-by-case basis on whether or not to cease DLA payments to claimants who do not register for PIP within the allowed time. Additional support is provided for those claimants identified as ‘vulnerable’ (i.e. mental health or learning disabilities) who do not respond to the PIP invite letter.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 28 February 2017
Home Office
Deportation: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many deportation charter flights there have been from Scotland to other countries in the last 12 months; and on what dates those flights took place.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 07 March 2017

There have been no charter flight operations from Scotland to other countries in the past 12 months.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Biofuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Chatham House research paper, Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate, published in February 2017, if he will (a) reassess subsidies to biomass for electricity and (b) review biomass policy to ensure it delivers carbon emissions reduction.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 March 2017

The Government is firmly committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving to a low carbon economy in a cost-effective way for households and businesses. All biomass power plants in the UK are required to meet mandatory sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions criteria.

As the Chatham House report points out, biomass can be sourced in either low or higher carbon manners, depending on the forestry techniques and the types of wood used.

Our analysis[1] shows that sawdust and sawmill residues made up 43% of material used, forestry residues comprising branches, tops and bark made up 28%, thinnings amounted to less that 14% of all biomass feedstocks, with the remaining 15% made up of materials such as waste wood.

The Department keeps under review the level of subsidies available to biomass technologies and monitors the sustainability of biomass used in heat and power generation. We are currently analysing responses to our Call for Evidence for the future of biomass generation under the Contracts for Difference (CfD) from 2018 onwards.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/490572/Woodfuel_Disclosure_Survey_2015.pdf

Grouped Questions: 66359
Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Coal: Subsidies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to transfer subsidies for coal to established technologies subsidies.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 March 2017

The Government does not subsidise coal.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Biofuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Chatham House research paper, Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate, published in February 2017, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to prevent coal power stations continuing to burn coal indefinitely if they co-fire with biomass.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 March 2017

The Department recently held a consultation on proposals to end unabated coal generation in Great Britain, with the aim to strengthen investment signals as the UK moves towards a cleaner, lower-carbon electricity system. We are currently assessing the many responses received through the consultation process and will be setting out our approach in due course.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 March 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Biofuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on energy and energy subsidies of the Chatham House research paper, Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate, published in February 2017.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 March 2017

The Government is firmly committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving to a low carbon economy in a cost-effective way for households and businesses. All biomass power plants in the UK are required to meet mandatory sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions criteria.

As the Chatham House report points out, biomass can be sourced in either low or higher carbon manners, depending on the forestry techniques and the types of wood used.

Our analysis[1] shows that sawdust and sawmill residues made up 43% of material used, forestry residues comprising branches, tops and bark made up 28%, thinnings amounted to less that 14% of all biomass feedstocks, with the remaining 15% made up of materials such as waste wood.

The Department keeps under review the level of subsidies available to biomass technologies and monitors the sustainability of biomass used in heat and power generation. We are currently analysing responses to our Call for Evidence for the future of biomass generation under the Contracts for Difference (CfD) from 2018 onwards.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/490572/Woodfuel_Disclosure_Survey_2015.pdf

Grouped Questions: 66358
Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 28 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israeli Settlements: UN Resolutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure implementation of UN resolution 2334 (2016).
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 06 March 2017

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 20 January 2017 (PQ 59710).

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 28 February 2017
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Agriculture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans he has to ensure that future UK trade deals take account of the Government's policy on increasing equity and support for farmers and other workers in developing countries.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 06 March 2017

The Department for International Trade and the Department for International Development (DFID) are working together to ensure development and global prosperity are at the heart of UK trade and investment policy.

DFID’s first Economic Development Strategy, launched in January 2017, sets out how the Government will support trade, investment and job creation in manufacturing, infrastructure and commercial agriculture to provide strong foundations for inclusive growth in the developing world.

We are committed to helping countries in the developing world leave aid dependency behind and become our trading partners of the future.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 28 February 2017
Department of Health
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a scheme for UK citizens who cannot get private health insurance in the event that UK citizens cease to have access to a European Health Insurance Card after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: David Mowat
Answered on: 06 March 2017

While the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union, until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force, including the rights associated with medical treatment abroad.

Nothing has yet been decided on the future of British citizen medical treatment abroad. Government officials are considering the positions and options available to us with the aim of achieving the best outcome for British citizens in the UK and abroad.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 21 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Peace
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic and development-related steps his Department is taking to support peace groups in Israel.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 February 2017
Holding answer received on 24 February 2017

​The UK has regularly supported pro-peace projects run by Israeli Non-Governmental Organisations. We are currently supporting a project to empower young Israeli religious leaders to strengthen support for peace in their communities. The Department for International Development is also developing a programme of support for people-to-people projects in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which will help Israelis and Palestinians work together to achieve tangible improvements in their lives and build understanding.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 February 2017
Cabinet Office
Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has read the six recommendations in the WebRoots Democracy report, Democracy 2:0: Hitting refresh on the Digital Democracy Commission; and what plans he has to (a) reform political education in schools and colleges and (b) pilot the option of online voting in elections.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 22 February 2017

I have read the six recommendations in The Institute for Digital Democracy’s report Democracy 2:0: Hitting refresh on the Digital Democracy Commission’. The Government is committed to building a modern democracy that works for everyone, and I am visiting all nations and areas of the UK to hear how the government can promote political participation and voter registration. This includes listening to ways in which we can contribute to citizenship teaching in schools and colleges.

With regards to e-voting, there are no plans to introduce this at this time.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 February 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to respond to the letter of 15 November 2016 from the hon. Member for Edinburgh East, resent on 6 January 2017, on a constituent's Freedom of Information request.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 22 February 2017

A reply to your letter has been sent to you on 22 February 2017.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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 February 2017
Home Office
Deportation: West Africa
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) detainees, (b) security guards and (c) independent witnesses were on board the deportation charter flight from Glasgow Airport to West Africa on 31 January 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 22 February 2017

There was no flight from Glasgow to West Africa on 31 January 2017.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 08 February 2017
Prime Minister
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, whether she discussed a two-state solution with the Prime Minister of Israel during his visit to the UK of February 2017.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 20 February 2017

During my meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel we discussed the Middle East Peace Process and the UK’s firm commitment to a two-state solution as the best way to bring stability and peace to the region. I also reiterated the UK’s opposition to settlement activity.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 03 February 2017
Department for Transport
Aviation: EU Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that airports continue to meet the requirements of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive during airspace change decision-making processes.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 08 February 2017

Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the EU and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. During this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. The outcome of those negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU. Irrespective of our future relationship with the EU we share its goals of ensuring that airspace is modernised to ensure sufficient capacity to accommodate growth in air traffic whilst remaining safe and minimising environmental impacts.

The Department for Transport would expect all airports to continue to meet the requirements of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive during airspace change decision-making processes.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 30 January 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentres: Edinburgh
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether a public consultation will take place on the proposal to close St Andrew Street job centre in Edinburgh.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 02 February 2017

There will be no public consultation on the proposal to close Edinburgh City Jobcentre as the proposed move to merge with High Riggs Jobcentre is 1.1 miles in distance. We have committed to a public consultation for offices over three miles and 20 minutes away by public transport.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 30 January 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentres: Edinburgh
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what criteria St Andrew Street job centre, Edinburgh, has been selected for closure.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 02 February 2017

The Department has sought, where feasible, to merge sites in close proximity as part of its overall review of estate. Merging the staff and services from Edinburgh City into High Riggs Jobcentre optimises use of space, ensures value for money and enables effective delivery of services to the public. The merge in reverse was explored however this was deemed not viable due to the underutilisation of space.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[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: 30 January 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentres: Edinburgh
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants living in Edinburgh East constituency are served by St Andrew Street job centre, Edinburgh; and how many of those are (a) disabled and (b) women.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 02 February 2017

Edinburgh City claimant count is currently shared with High Riggs Jobcentre and primarily split by age group as opposed to postcode.

The claimant count for High Riggs is 2245 of which 720 are female. This information is available from the following link: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/home/newuser.asp

These are UC and JSA claimants served by Edinburgh City and High Riggs Jobcentres. We are unable to identify disabled claimants, or provide exact figures of ESA and IS claimants, however the purpose of the equality analysis is to help establish how many people are likely to be affected by the proposal.

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