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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

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.
Showing 1-20 out of 98365
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
[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 March 2019
Home Office
Home Office: Vetting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2019 to Question 223140 on Home Office: Staff, whether a (a) Counter Terrorist Check, (b) Security Check and (c) Developed Vetting has been required for each of the staff contracted by suppliers.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 26 March 2019

Staff contracted by suppliers are required to have a minimum clearance level of Base Level Clearance (BPSS).

All roles are assessed against the security framework to establish the level of clearance required. Where deemed appropriate for the role, staff contracted by suppliers are must also successfully complete a Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) or Security Check (SC). There are no resources on the programme that require Developed Vetting (DV).

Q
Asked by Norman Lamb
(North Norfolk)
[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 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Employment Tribunal: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) average waiting time and (b) longest wait between the Employment Tribunal receiving an employment tribunal application and the date of the first hearing has been in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 March 2019

The average and the longest waiting times between the Employment Tribunal receiving an employment tribunal application and the date of the first hearing, in each of the last five years can be found in the table below.

Waiting time (in weeks) from receipt to first hearing

April 14 - March 15

April 15 - March 16

April 16 - March 17

April 17 - March 18

April 18 – Sept 18

Time (weeks)

Time (weeks)

Time (weeks)

Time (weeks)

Time (weeks)

All Claims (Median) 1,2

26

23

24

24

26

Oldest Claim

748

530

704

682

561

1 Single claims are made by a sole employee/worker, relating to alleged breaches of employment rights.

2 Multiple claims are where two or more people bring proceedings arising out of the same facts, usually against a common employer. In this instance the lead multiple claim would be listed for hearing. This table provides the average listing time for both single and lead multiple claim cases.

Median – This shows the waiting time for the claim in the middle of the distribution: half of all claims waited for less time and half waited longer.

A claim may contain one or more jurisdictional complaint (grounds for the claim). Depending upon the complexity of the jurisdiction this may importantly influence the listing of such claims.

All data was taken from the Employment Tribunals Central database and as such is management information that is, provisional and subject to change.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, and is the best data that is available at the time of publication.

95% of multiple claims are stayed waiting decisions from a lead claim, as these are usually complex claims involving jurisdictions such as equal pay, holiday pay and pensions and it can take some time for these claims to be dealt with. This explains why the oldest claims in the table exceed ten years in length as they spend the majority of this period as a stayed claim.

All data was taken from the Employment Tribunals Central database and as such is management information that is provisional and subject to change. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, and are the best data available.

Q
(Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
Asked on: 04 March 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Stronger Towns Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Barnett Formula be applied to calculate the share of the Stronger Towns Funding to be allocated to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 26 March 2019
Holding answer received on 11 March 2019

The Government will seek to ensure that towns in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can benefit from this funding and we will announce further details in due course.

Grouped Questions: 228691 | 228692
Q
(Glasgow 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: 05 March 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Stronger Towns Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the Barnett consequentials of the Stronger Towns Fund will be for (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 26 March 2019
Holding answer received on 11 March 2019

The Government will seek to ensure that towns in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can benefit from this funding and we will announce further details in due course.

Grouped Questions: 228032 | 228692
Q
(Glasgow 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: 05 March 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Stronger Towns Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the Barnett consequentials of the Stronger Towns Fund will be made available to the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and to Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 26 March 2019
Holding answer received on 11 March 2019

The Government will seek to ensure that towns in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can benefit from this funding and we will announce further details in due course.

Grouped Questions: 228032 | 228691
Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[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: 05 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances deductions are made from a claimant's universal credit payment in order to contribute to her Department's administration costs; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 26 March 2019
Holding answer received on 11 March 2019

The Department does not take deductions from a claimant’s Universal Credit award with the sole intent of contributing to the Department’s administrative costs.

For example, where payments of child maintenance are made via the Child Maintenance Service, rather than directly between clients, a 20% collection fee is incurred by the paying parent. This applies to deductions from benefit, including Universal Credit, in the same way as any other collection method.

Similarly, in cases of benefit fraud an administrative penalty can be recovered as a deduction. These penalties are offered as an alternative to prosecution, are not imposed by the Department and can be declined by claimants.

Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
[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 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants have moved to Universal Credit from legacy benefits to date.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 26 March 2019

Claimants move from existing benefits to Universal Credit when they experience a significant change in their circumstances that triggers a new claim to benefit. We do not centrally collate the number of claimants that have made a new claim to Universal Credit as a result of such a change in circumstances.

Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
[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 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants who will move to universal credit from legacy benefits (a) in total and (b) through managed migration.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 26 March 2019

We estimate that 4.6 million households will move to Universal Credit from legacy benefits in total. Of this, we estimate that 2 million households will be moved to Universal Credit from legacy benefits without a change in circumstance.

We anticipate that the Universal Credit caseload will increase in size from around 1.3 million households today to around 6.5 million households by the end of 2023.

Asked on: 11 March 2019
Department for International Trade
Agricultural Products: Import Duties
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the UK’s revised World Trade Organization tariff schedule relating to agricultural imports will come into effect.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 26 March 2019

In the event of a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU, the UK’s tariff schedule for all goods will come into effect at the point that the UK leaves.

The UK will implement this temporary tariff regime for up to 12 months whilst a full consultation and review on a permanent approach is undertaken.

In the event of a deal being secured the UK will continue to apply the EU’s Common External Tariff during any implementation period. The UK would seek to negotiate a Future Economic Partnership with the EU during this time and publish a revised applied tariff schedule at the end of the implementation period.

Q
(Canterbury)
[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: 11 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Private Rented Housing: Rents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Rent Repayment Orders have been made by each of the five regional First-Tier residential property tribunals under (a) section 44, (b) section 45 and (c) section 46 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 March 2019
Holding answer received on 14 March 2019

All Rent Repayment Orders (RROs) are made by the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) under section 43 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Section 46 lays out the circumstances where the maximum RRO is to be be set (regardless of whether it is a tenant or a local housing authority application).

Internal management information shows:

Number of RROs made in response to applications from tenants up to the end of September 2018

Number of RROs made in response to applications from local housing authorities up to the end of September 2018

Number of RROs set at maximum under s46 up to the end of September 2018 (from tenant or local housing authority application)

London

7

0

0

Northern

0

0

0

Midland

6

0

0

Eastern

5

3

2

Southern

0

0

0

Total

18

3

2

Data are management information and are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics.

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Agency Workers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was spent on NHS agency staff in the last ten years for which records are available.
Answered on: 26 March 2019

Due to the way that agency expenditure was measured across legacy organisations prior to the creation of NHS Improvement, comparable figures are only available from 2012-13 onwards.

The following table shows that after a 40% increase in total agency expenditure between 2012-13 and 2015-16, new measures introduced to reduce agency spend across the National Health Service have been successful. Since their introduction, agency spend has fallen from a peak of £3.6 billion in 2015-16 to £2.4 billion in 2017-18 – a £1.2 billion reduction.

We recognise that there is still more to be done in this area, and we are committed to reducing trusts’ reliance on expensive agency workers, whilst ensuring they can meet their temporary staffing needs. One of the ways we are achieving this is by working with NHS Improvement to support trusts to develop tech-enabled, sustainable and effective in-house staff banks that cover all staff groups and therefore provide a viable alternative to agency.

Year Total Agency Expenditure

2012-13 £2,113 million

2013-14 £2,589 million

2014-15 £3,190 million

2015-16 £3,635 million

2016-17 £2,935 million

2017-18 £2,407 million

2018-19 (year to date, month 10) £1,999 million

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Staff
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many NHS staff were killed at work in each of the last ten years for which records are available; and what were the reasons for those deaths.
Answered on: 26 March 2019

Individual trusts are responsible for maintaining such records at a local level.

The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for maintaining national records of people killed at work. However, these statistics do not separately identify whether individuals are National Health Service staff.

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
Borders: Northern Ireland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 11 March (HL13966), of which part of the internal discussions on avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is it not in the public interest to disclose details; and what assessment they have made of the relationship between any decision not to disclose those details and the Prime Minister having identified the issue as that which prevents a deal being agreed with the EU on Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 26 March 2019

On 13 March we published details of our plans to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland in a no deal scenario. We have confirmed a temporary, unilateral approach to checks, processes and tariffs to do all we can to achieve this. The UK Government would not introduce any new checks or controls on goods crossing from Ireland to Northern Ireland, including any new customs declarations. The UK temporary tariff regime would therefore not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.

As these are unilateral measures, they only mitigate the impacts from exit that are within the UK Government’s control. These measures do not set out the position in respect of tariffs or processes to be applied to goods moving from Northern Ireland to Ireland. We also recognise that there challenges and risks for maintaining control of our borders and for the competitiveness of businesses in Northern Ireland. That is why we are clear that this approach would be strictly temporary.

A negotiated settlement is the only means of sustainably guaranteeing no hard border and protecting businesses in Northern Ireland. In a no deal scenario, we are therefore committed to entering into discussions urgently with the European Commission and the Irish Government to jointly agree long-term measures to avoid a hard border.


Full guidance on the no deal Northern Ireland policy can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-exit-avoiding-a-hard-border-in-northern-ireland-in-a-no-deal-scenario.

Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the E111 European Health Insurance Card will be valid after 29 March in the event of (1) their present exit plan being agreed, (2) a no-deal Brexit, (3) the UK remaining in the Single Market, (4) the UK remaining in a customs union, and (5) the UK remaining in the EU.
Answered on: 26 March 2019

On 19 March 2019, I laid a written ministerial statement (HLWS1396) on the Department’s plans for the continuity of reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event we exit the European Union without a deal. This statement includes specific guidance on European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs).

The United Kingdom Government remains committed to leaving the EU with a deal. Subject to the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by Parliament, UK nationals will be able to continue benefiting from existing EU provisions, such as the EHIC scheme, during the implementation period until the end of December 2020.

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK Government is seeking agreements with Member States, so that no individuals face sudden changes to their healthcare cover.

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Home Office
Obscenity
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) arrests, and (2) convictions, for importing child sex dolls there have been in the financial years (a) 2016–17, (b) 2017–18, and (c) 2018–19.
Answered on: 26 March 2019

The Home Office does not hold centrally the information requested.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of arrests for notifiable offences on a financial year basis but it is not possible to separately identify those for the importation of child sex dolls.

Data on the number of arrests are published in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales

Information on prosecutions and convictions is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to persuade the government of Bahrain to (1) end capital punishment and to reprieve those awaiting execution, (2) release journalists imprisoned as a result of their professional work, (3) end the use of torture in all circumstances, and (4) allow those who have had their Bahraini citizenship removed since 2012 to present their cases for restoral of citizenship.
A
Answered by: Baroness Goldie
Answered on: 26 March 2019

(1) The UK's position on the use of the death penalty is longstanding and clear. We oppose its use in all circumstances and countries. The Government of Bahrain are fully aware of our position


(2) The UK and Bahrain have an open dialogue which enables us to raise our concerns, including on individual cases, through private and senior channels. Where we have concerns we raise them at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain. The UK supports freedom of expression and freedom of speech as both a fundamental right in itself and as an essential element of a full range of human rights. We continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to protect freedom of expression for all of its citizens, in line with its international obligations


(3) We continue to encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body. We encourage the oversight bodies in Bahrain to carry out thorough and swift investigations into any such claims


(4) The UK has raised our concerns on the revocation of Bahraini citizenship at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.​

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Rule of Law
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what practical results have been achieved from their expenditure of £6 million on technical aid to strengthen the Rule of Law and to secure justice reform in Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Baroness Goldie
Answered on: 26 March 2019

We continually assess all programme activity throughout implementation, to ensure it is on track for delivery, as well as upon completion of each individual project. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has provided numerous updates on its work in Bahrain in its annual Human Rights Reports, as well as through Freedom of Information Act requests. This information can be found on the gov.uk website.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Kurds
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish their response to the open letter sent to the Prime Minister on 8 March by Peace in Kurdistan; and if not, why not.
A
Answered by: Baroness Goldie
Answered on: 26 March 2019

​The Government has not to date received the letter in question. We would respond to correspondence we receive in the usual way.

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Home Office
Right to Rent Consultative Panel
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the Right to Rent Consultative Panel has met since the publication of the report by the Chief Inspector on Borders and Immigration on the right to rent scheme.
Answered on: 26 March 2019

The Independent Chief Inspector’s report on the Right to Rent scheme was published in March 2018. The Government’s response can be found at

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/695205/Formal_Response_Right_to_Rent.pdf

Since then the Consultative Panel has met once, in October 2018. The Right to Rent Consultative Panel is scheduled to meet again next month. Home Office officials have also met panel members to discuss the design of a new on-line checking service for landlords and lettings agents.

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Treasury
Child Benefit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 6 March (HL13927), in how many cases there has been a failure by the claimant to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge which the claimant had then been required to repay.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 26 March 2019

High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) is part of the Self-Assessment (SA) process and is reflected in each individual’s overall SA tax charge. This HICBC charge is included in the individual’s annual SA tax return and, where HICBC is recoverable, will form part of the overall tax due by that person. It is therefore not possible to distinguish HICBC charges from other SA charges that may be included for that tax year. For SA overall, 8% of people did not pay by the due date, meaning the vast majority (92%) paid on time.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 98365
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100