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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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
(Newcastle upon Tyne North)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness about childcare support.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Regarding the operating costs of the childcare vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare schemes, I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given on 8 February 2018 (126730).

In March 2017, the government launched the Childcare Choices website which brings together information about all the different help with childcare offered by the government – including Tax-Free Childcare.

HMRC and DfE are working together on a communications and engagement programme, which includes national, regional and social media, and communications through industry stakeholders. Parents who have signed up for updates on the new schemes are also being notified by direct email when they become eligible. HMRC officials are continuing to attend industry events, across the UK, to promote Tax-Free Childcare to childcare providers, local authorities, parent groups and other childcare industry stakeholders.

Grouped Questions: 128526
Q
(Newcastle upon Tyne North)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide a breakdown of the operating costs of (a) the childcare voucher scheme and (b) tax-free childcare.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Regarding the operating costs of the childcare vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare schemes, I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given on 8 February 2018 (126730).

In March 2017, the government launched the Childcare Choices website which brings together information about all the different help with childcare offered by the government – including Tax-Free Childcare.

HMRC and DfE are working together on a communications and engagement programme, which includes national, regional and social media, and communications through industry stakeholders. Parents who have signed up for updates on the new schemes are also being notified by direct email when they become eligible. HMRC officials are continuing to attend industry events, across the UK, to promote Tax-Free Childcare to childcare providers, local authorities, parent groups and other childcare industry stakeholders.

Grouped Questions: 128525
Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
[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 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Lotteries: Excise Duties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many licensed small lotteries received an exemption for excise taxes in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 23 February 2018

No society lotteries, of any size, are subject to tax on their proceeds. This is in keeping with the wider principle of not taxing charities. Where a single-branded umbrella lottery scheme is managed by an External Lottery Manager (ELMs), the External Lottery Manager will pay corporation tax on their own profits in the usual manner.

Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Income Tax: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people received relief from income tax on personal allowance in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The table below shows estimates for the number of people receiving income tax or National Insurance Contributions relief for each of the requested allowances. The estimates show people that would face a higher tax liability if the individual allowances and/or thresholds were removed, and include people who are currently non-taxpayers where their income is covered by these thresholds and/or allowances.

Estimates of the number of people who received tax/NIC relief (Millions) (1)

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Personal Allowance

46.2

46.5

46.8

Class 1 National Insurance: Primary Threshold

29.9

30.3

30.7

Personal Savings Allowance

-

18.0

18.0

Dividend Allowance

-

4.8

4.9

(1) The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and presented in millions.

Information for the Personal Savings Allowance and the Dividend Allowance is only available from 2016-17 onwards, as they were introduced in April 2016.

Estimates are based on the 2014-15 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI), projected to 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 using economic assumptions consistent with the office for Budget Responsibility’s November 2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The SPI is based on information held by HMRC on individuals who could be liable to UK income tax. Not all dividends and savings income is reported to HMRC. There is not always a requirement to report income from dividends or savings which fall within the Dividend Allowance or the Personal Savings Allowance. Dividend and savings incomes of individuals not in Self-Assessment are estimated from other sources, including the Family Resources Survey.

The total number of individuals receiving relief from these allowances is likely to be greater than the figures above. HMRC does not hold information for all people with incomes below the Personal Allowance (£10,000 in 2014-15).

There are also other mechanisms by which income is exempted from income tax, such as Investment income generated within Individual Savings Accounts. This income does not benefit from the reliefs in question.

Grouped Questions: 128529 | 128530 | 128531
Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Income Tax: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people received relief from income tax on personal savings allowance in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The table below shows estimates for the number of people receiving income tax or National Insurance Contributions relief for each of the requested allowances. The estimates show people that would face a higher tax liability if the individual allowances and/or thresholds were removed, and include people who are currently non-taxpayers where their income is covered by these thresholds and/or allowances.

Estimates of the number of people who received tax/NIC relief (Millions) (1)

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Personal Allowance

46.2

46.5

46.8

Class 1 National Insurance: Primary Threshold

29.9

30.3

30.7

Personal Savings Allowance

-

18.0

18.0

Dividend Allowance

-

4.8

4.9

(1) The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and presented in millions.

Information for the Personal Savings Allowance and the Dividend Allowance is only available from 2016-17 onwards, as they were introduced in April 2016.

Estimates are based on the 2014-15 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI), projected to 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 using economic assumptions consistent with the office for Budget Responsibility’s November 2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The SPI is based on information held by HMRC on individuals who could be liable to UK income tax. Not all dividends and savings income is reported to HMRC. There is not always a requirement to report income from dividends or savings which fall within the Dividend Allowance or the Personal Savings Allowance. Dividend and savings incomes of individuals not in Self-Assessment are estimated from other sources, including the Family Resources Survey.

The total number of individuals receiving relief from these allowances is likely to be greater than the figures above. HMRC does not hold information for all people with incomes below the Personal Allowance (£10,000 in 2014-15).

There are also other mechanisms by which income is exempted from income tax, such as Investment income generated within Individual Savings Accounts. This income does not benefit from the reliefs in question.

Grouped Questions: 128528 | 128530 | 128531
Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
Income Tax: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people received relief from income tax on personal dividend allowance in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The table below shows estimates for the number of people receiving income tax or National Insurance Contributions relief for each of the requested allowances. The estimates show people that would face a higher tax liability if the individual allowances and/or thresholds were removed, and include people who are currently non-taxpayers where their income is covered by these thresholds and/or allowances.

Estimates of the number of people who received tax/NIC relief (Millions) (1)

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Personal Allowance

46.2

46.5

46.8

Class 1 National Insurance: Primary Threshold

29.9

30.3

30.7

Personal Savings Allowance

-

18.0

18.0

Dividend Allowance

-

4.8

4.9

(1) The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and presented in millions.

Information for the Personal Savings Allowance and the Dividend Allowance is only available from 2016-17 onwards, as they were introduced in April 2016.

Estimates are based on the 2014-15 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI), projected to 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 using economic assumptions consistent with the office for Budget Responsibility’s November 2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The SPI is based on information held by HMRC on individuals who could be liable to UK income tax. Not all dividends and savings income is reported to HMRC. There is not always a requirement to report income from dividends or savings which fall within the Dividend Allowance or the Personal Savings Allowance. Dividend and savings incomes of individuals not in Self-Assessment are estimated from other sources, including the Family Resources Survey.

The total number of individuals receiving relief from these allowances is likely to be greater than the figures above. HMRC does not hold information for all people with incomes below the Personal Allowance (£10,000 in 2014-15).

There are also other mechanisms by which income is exempted from income tax, such as Investment income generated within Individual Savings Accounts. This income does not benefit from the reliefs in question.

Grouped Questions: 128528 | 128529 | 128531
Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
[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 February 2018
HM Treasury
National Insurance Contributions: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people received relief from national insurance contributions under the primary threshold in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The table below shows estimates for the number of people receiving income tax or National Insurance Contributions relief for each of the requested allowances. The estimates show people that would face a higher tax liability if the individual allowances and/or thresholds were removed, and include people who are currently non-taxpayers where their income is covered by these thresholds and/or allowances.

Estimates of the number of people who received tax/NIC relief (Millions) (1)

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Personal Allowance

46.2

46.5

46.8

Class 1 National Insurance: Primary Threshold

29.9

30.3

30.7

Personal Savings Allowance

-

18.0

18.0

Dividend Allowance

-

4.8

4.9

(1) The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and presented in millions.

Information for the Personal Savings Allowance and the Dividend Allowance is only available from 2016-17 onwards, as they were introduced in April 2016.

Estimates are based on the 2014-15 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI), projected to 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 using economic assumptions consistent with the office for Budget Responsibility’s November 2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The SPI is based on information held by HMRC on individuals who could be liable to UK income tax. Not all dividends and savings income is reported to HMRC. There is not always a requirement to report income from dividends or savings which fall within the Dividend Allowance or the Personal Savings Allowance. Dividend and savings incomes of individuals not in Self-Assessment are estimated from other sources, including the Family Resources Survey.

The total number of individuals receiving relief from these allowances is likely to be greater than the figures above. HMRC does not hold information for all people with incomes below the Personal Allowance (£10,000 in 2014-15).

There are also other mechanisms by which income is exempted from income tax, such as Investment income generated within Individual Savings Accounts. This income does not benefit from the reliefs in question.

Grouped Questions: 128528 | 128529 | 128530
Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Fracking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the Turkish Government on the Turkish Navy's obstruction of vessels involved in hydrocarbon extraction in the eastern Mediterranean.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 23 February 2018

We recognise the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and to exploit its natural resources. We have discussed recent developments with all sides, including Turkey, with a view to encouraging a resolution.

We urge all parties to avoid any actions that risk escalating tensions in the region or could have a negative impact on the prospects for a Cyprus Settlement. Instead, we urge them to look for ways by which development of hydrocarbons can support the search for a settlement, for the benefit of all Cypriots.

Q
(Sheffield Central)
[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 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Modern Working Practices Review
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 October 2017 to Question 106151, when the Government plans to publish copies of the written evidence submitted to the Taylor Review of modern working practices on the Gov.uk website.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Government intends to publish both the submissions to the review and a list of those who responded. Officials are currently in the process of redacting any personal information from the submissions and aim to publish these shortly.

Q
(Stockton North)
[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 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to (a) publish the principal options for a replacement to the Emissions Trading Scheme and (b) consult on those options.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Saudi Arabia: European Fighter Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he and his ministerial colleagues have to discuss further sales of BAE Systems' Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during his visit to the UK in March 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

​Discussions with the Saudi Arabian authorities on a further purchase of Typhoon aircraft remain ongoing. British Ministers have supported these discussions when appropriate.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Churches
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will raise with his counterpart in the Government of Sudan the recent demolition of an evangelical church in the Khartoum suburb of Haj Yousif.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 23 February 2018

​We remain concerned at the infringements of religious freedoms, including the demolition of churches, and will continue to raise our concerns with the Government of Sudan as part of our regular dialogue on human rights. Promoting freedom of religion or belief as a means of enhancing tolerance and inclusion will remain a key part of our ongoing engagement with the Government of Sudan.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Public Appointments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether a Director Economic Security and Prosperity has been appointed.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The post of Director of Economic, Security and Prosperity has been filled since its creation on 1 December 2017.

Grouped Questions: 128636
Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Social Services: Minimum Wage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the total sleep-in back pay for which care providers in (a) Scunthorpe constituency, (b) the North East Lincolnshire Council area and (c) the North Lincolnshire Council area will be liable.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 23 February 2018

This information is not centrally held.

Social care is usually commissioned by local authorities but it can also be commissioned by the National Health Service, or paid for by self-funding individuals.

The Government recognises the pressures these liabilities are placing on providers of social care, and we are exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nigeria: Christianity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the United Nations on the recent cases of the murders of Christians in the states of Adamawa, Nasarawa and Benue in Nigeria to ensure that those responsible are apprehended as a matter of urgency.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 23 February 2018

We are concerned by clashes involving pastoralists and local farmers of all faiths. We judge that the best approach is to raise our concerns bilaterally at State and Federal government levels. We welcome President Buhari's commitment to focus on assisting the affected communities, bring perpetrators to justice and examine longer-term peaceful solutions to the conflict.

Q
(Coventry 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 February 2018
Department for Education
Special Educational Needs: Hearing Impairment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of trends in the number of specialist teachers for deaf children in (a) West Midlands and (b) Coventry since 31 December 2017; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The information on the number of specialist teachers for deaf children is not collected centrally.

Q
(Stockton North)
[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 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobseeker's Allowance: Disqualification
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her policy is on job seekers allowance claimants being sanctioned for spelling mistakes in their CVs.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Claimants will not be sanctioned for providing a CV containing spelling mistakes.

However, it could be envisaged that, where in order to improve a claimant’s chances in the job market, a Work Coach may agree a requirement with the claimant to amend spelling mistakes on their CV (but would always support them to do so). If the claimant then fails to complete this agreed requirement without good reason they could be sanctioned, but it would be about the failure to deliver on an agreed ask, rather than a claimant’s initial spelling error on their cv. Decision Makers will take all the claimant’s individual circumstances, including any health conditions or disabilities, and any evidence of good reason into account before making a decision.

Q
(Stockton North)
[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 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobseeker's Allowance: Disqualification
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number job seekers allowance claimants sanctioned for spelling mistakes in their CVs in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Claimants will not be sanctioned for providing a CV containing spelling mistakes.

However, it could be envisaged that, where in order to improve a claimant’s chances in the job market, a Work Coach may agree a requirement with the claimant to amend spelling mistakes on their CV (but would always support them to do so). If the claimant then fails to complete this agreed requirement without good reason they could be sanctioned, but it would be about the failure to deliver on an agreed ask, rather than a claimant’s initial spelling error on their cv. Decision Makers will take all the claimant’s individual circumstances, including any health conditions or disabilities, and any evidence of good reason into account before making a decision.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
[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 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobseeker's Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the value was of job seeker's allowance as a percentage of average earnings in each of the last 15 years.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The value of Jobseeker’s Allowance as a percentage of average earnings in each of the last 15 years is available in Table 2.4 of the Annual Abstract of Statistics publication.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/673039/abstract-of-statistics-2017-tables.ods

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
[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 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Occupational Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of overall pension contributions in the UK were paid by (a) the employer and (b) the employee in each of the last 15 years.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) has collected information on workplace pension contributions since 2005. The following table provides estimates derived from ASHE, up to the latest year available, of the total annual workplace pension contributions made in Great Britain:

Year

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

All employees

Total saved (£ billions)

88.5

78.7

80.5

82.4

80.5

82.3

79.2

78.9

79.8

82.8

85.9

89.7

Employee contributions

23.6

20.1

20.3

21.5

20.8

21.5

20.5

21.2

23.1

25.0

26.0

27.0

Employer contributions

58.1

52.6

54.0

54.6

53.8

54.6

52.3

51.0

49.0

49.7

51.3

53.8

Income tax relief

6.9

6.0

6.2

6.3

6.0

6.3

6.3

6.6

7.6

8.2

8.6

8.9

Proportion of total saved paid by:

Employee contributions

27%

26%

25%

26%

26%

26%

26%

27%

29%

30%

30%

30%

Employer contributions

66%

67%

67%

66%

67%

66%

66%

65%

61%

60%

60%

60%

Income tax relief

8%

8%

8%

8%

8%

8%

8%

8%

10%

10%

10%

10%

Source: DWP estimates derived from the ONS ASHE, GB, 2005 to 2016

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