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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Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Department for Transport
Electric Scooters: Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on public safety of e-scooters used on the public highway.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Given that electric scooters, and other micromobility devices, are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act, they are subject to laws requiring them to conform to technical standards and be used safely. This includes requirements for users to have insurance, driving licences, number plates, and helmets. At present, it is difficult for electric scooters to meet these requirements and as such they are illegal to use on a public road. Therefore, the Department has made no assessment of their effect on public safety. Ministers are actively looking at ways to provide a framework for UK leadership in transport technology and innovation, and safe and effective regulation. The Future of Mobility regulatory review will address the challenges of ensuring our transport infrastructure and regulation are fit for the future. This is a broad programme of work, and we expect to publish an initial consultation in autumn this year.

Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Occupational Health
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the findings of the John Lewis Partnership Working Well report, published on 11 June 2019 on the benefits to public services of greater workplace health prevention and early intervention; and what steps he plans to take ensure that taxation incentivises early intervention from employers.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281710 | 281711 | 281712 | 281713 | 281714 | 281715
Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Occupational Health: Cost Effectiveness
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential benefit to the public purse of workers receiving workplace medical treatment at work instead of after 28 consecutive days of absence.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281709 | 281711 | 281712 | 281713 | 281714 | 281715
Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Occupational Health: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the taxation of employees with occupational health support on the take-up of those services by low paid workers.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281709 | 281710 | 281712 | 281713 | 281714 | 281715
Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Occupational Health: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on (a) health prevention and (b) early intervention of the (a) conditions in relation to 28 day consecutive absence and (b)requirement that a health condition must be a direct result of work in the exemption for employer-funded recommended medical treatment under section 320C of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281709 | 281710 | 281711 | 281713 | 281714 | 281715
Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Occupational Health: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the conditions on tax reliefs for workplace health services with his Department's principles of tax simplification.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281709 | 281710 | 281711 | 281712 | 281714 | 281715
Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Income Tax
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on number of additional workers that would be eligible for the exemption under section 320C of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 of removing the requirement for a 28 consecutive day absence.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281709 | 281710 | 281711 | 281712 | 281713 | 281715
Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Treasury
Medical Treatments: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of removing the requirement for a 28 consecutive day absence and £500 cap per tax year from the s320C ITEPA 2003 (EIM21774) exemption for employer-funded recommended medical treatment.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government recognises the valuable work of employers such as the John Lewis Partnership in providing for the health of their staff.

Employers have a critical role to play in helping disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to remain in work. Keeping more people in work is good for them. But it is good for the economy too, and it reduces spending on out-of-work benefits, and potentially also demand on the NHS. For employers, investing in employee health and wellbeing can lead to increased workforce productivity and help retain key talent in an organisation.

Employers normally incur expenditure on employee healthcare for a business purpose and can already deduct this in full when calculating their taxable profits under the longstanding general rules for business expenses. This means employers already receive full tax relief for these costs. The Government therefore does not believe that the existing tax system for business expenses incurred by employers provides a barrier to those wishing to support employees at work.

The tax system also ensures employees do not pay income tax or National Insurance Contributions (NICs) on several employer-provided, health-related benefits and there is no corresponding Class 1A NICs liability for employers when there is an exemption for income tax. This includes recommended medical treatment of up to £500 intended to help employees return to work.

This particular exemption is targeted at supporting individuals who are expected to reach or who have already reached four weeks of sickness absence. This is because evidence suggests there is an increased likelihood of employees moving on to benefits after an absence lasting four weeks or longer. The £500 cap is in line with the estimated annual cost of the medical treatment that would typically be recommended to help employees return to work.

In July, the Government launched a consultation on measures to reduce ill health-related job loss. The broad focus of this consultation chimes with recommendations in the John Lewis report, including potential financial incentives to encourage more employers to access occupational health services, driving early and supportive employer action and spreading best practice. However, it also notes that there is limited evidence that making the tax treatment more generous is the most effective lever to incentivise more employers to start offering occupational health provision, if the initial cost is the main barrier for them.

The Government will use the evidence and views gathered during this consultation to develop its proposals further, considering an approach which offers the best value for money and is affordable in the context of the next Spending Review.

Grouped Questions: 281709 | 281710 | 281711 | 281712 | 281713 | 281714
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Crimes of Violence: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing the sentence guidelines for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Currently, there is no sentencing guideline for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm (GBH). This offence is covered by common law and separate to the offences related to causing or inflicting GBH.

It is for the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, which is independent of government, to develop sentencing guidelines and monitor their use. The Sentencing Council are in the process of reviewing the definitive guideline on assault offences, and anticipate issuing a consultation on a revised guideline in early 2020.

The Assault guideline and evaluation are available here:

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/publications/?type=publications&s=&cat=&topic=assault&year=

Q
Asked by Dan Jarvis
(Barnsley Central)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Veterans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 276194, how many former armed service personnel who have declared their membership of those services are serving a sentence in each prison in the UK.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Since January 2015, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service has actively been recording service in the Armed Forces as part of the screening process for newly received prisoners into custody.

Recently published Experimental Statistics (October 2018) have indicated that as of 30 June 2018, there were 1,782 prisoners who had declared themselves as ‘ex-service personnel’ serving a sentence in prisons across England and Wales representing 3% of the total prison population for whom we have data on this matter. The attached table shows a breakdown per establishment. The information requested for Northern Ireland and Scotland is not covered by this department.

The department is due to release the next estimate in October 2019.

The Ministry of Justice remains committed to encouraging individuals to declare service in the Armed Forces, as early as possible or at any point whist serving their sentence. This enables them to access the support available whether in custody or the community.

Data Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 20.83 KB)
Q
(Hayes and Harlington)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Treasury
Tax Havens
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has received reports of UK involvement in the tax arrangements disclosed by the Mauritius Leaks in July 2019; and what steps he is taking to tackle the use of tax havens.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

HMRC have reviewed the data disclosed by the Mauritius leaks and identified limited information relating to UK taxpayers. HMRC will investigate any allegations of wrongdoing identified.

The UK Government is at the forefront of the international tax agenda and driving increased collaboration between tax authorities, including through the ground-breaking Common Reporting Standard that is shedding new light on offshore financial accounts around the world. In March 2019, HMRC refreshed their Offshore strategy, called No Safe Havens which sets out how they will continue to help those who try to get it right and tackle those who go overseas in an attempt to pay less than they should. This builds on HMRC’s success in tackling offshore non-compliance which, since 2010, has secured and protected £2.9 billion through offshore disclosure facilities from those who mistakenly believed they could hide money offshore.

HMRC continue to work alongside UK and international partners to identify and tackle tax and economic crime in all its forms.

Q
(Hayes and Harlington)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Equal Pay
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the 2016 HMRC Equal Pay Audit provides assurance that HMRC's pay system is free from bias in terms of the protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The purpose of the 2016 Equal Pay Audit has been to give assurance that HMRC’s pay system is free from bias in terms of the protected characteristics and that HMRC continue to comply with the Equality Act 2010 legislation.

Transparency, reporting and monitoring are critical to tackling any inequality revealed through examining pay gaps. HMRC believe that their pay system does not unlawfully discriminate against their people, but they are looking at what is driving pay gaps, considering opportunities to change them and using this as a benchmark to improve.

Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Ministry of Justice
Courts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to activate the working group established by the then Lord Chief Justice and then Lord Chancellor in January 2016 to implement the problem-solving court model in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Problem-Solving Courts Working Group was asked to advise on the feasibility of pilot models and its planned work did not include an implementation stage. The group concluded the workstreams set out in its published terms of reference and has not been reconvened.

There remain barriers to testing or applying the problem-solving courts’ approach in a meaningful way, including upfront resource implications and the need for primary legislation to implement some of the models being proposed, as well as gaps in evidence. However, we are testing and applying “problem-solving approaches”, for example in the testbed sites for on the community sentence treatment requirement protocol and through our support for models applied in Family Drug and Alcohol Courts.

Grouped Questions: 284931
Q
Asked by Lesley Laird
(Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Ministry of Justice
Legal Aid Scheme: Terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what legal aid is available to the families of victims of terrorist attacks.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 09 September 2019

In England and Wales, legal aid can be provided if the matter or issue in question is within scope of the legal aid scheme, as defined in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

Legal aid is available for advice and assistance for all inquests, subject to a means and merits test. Legal aid funding for legal representation for a family, during an inquest hearing, is not in scope of LASPO. However, families are supported by coroners who can ask questions on their behalf to help them get the answers they need and we are developing a range of measures to improve this service further.

The Government recognises that for certain inquests, bereaved people may require representation; legal aid may therefore be available, through the Exceptional Case Funding scheme, if certain criteria are met:

(a) if a failure to provide such representation would breach, or likely risk a breach of, the government’s obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, usually Article 2; or

(b) where the Director of Legal Aid Casework (DLAC) makes a determination that there is a ‘wider public interest’ in legal representation being granted.

All individual case funding decisions are taken by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA). It is important that these decisions are, and are seen to be, free from political and Government influence.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Children: Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had their (a) driving licence and (b) passport removed as a result of Child Maintenance Service enforcement measures.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 09 September 2019

This information is not reported. However we do hold clerical data and can advise 15 driving licenses have been removed or suspended and 3 passports have been suspended.

The information regarding committal orders, or sanctions as they are called in the Child Maintenance Service, are reported in our published statistics and can be on found table 11 of the tables document on the attached link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-august-2013-to-march-2019-experimental

We reported enforcement activities in our CSA statistics until September 2017 when we reduced the number of tables published because most CSA cases had been closed or had begun the Case Closure process. The last publication including the enforcement activities can be found on table 22 of the attached link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-support-agency-quarterly-summary-of-statistics-june-2017

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prison Accommodation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce the prison population.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 09 September 2019

Sentencing is a matter for our independent courts, which take into account the circumstances of the case, including any aggravating and mitigating factors. We are clear that sentencing must match the severity of a crime.

Prison numbers can fluctuate, which is why we have a robust set of plans in place to ensure we will always have enough places for offenders sent to custody by the courts. The Prime Minister recently announced his ambition to transform the prison estate with an additional investment of £2.5 billion which will deliver 10,000 additional prison places.

Q
Asked by John Lamont
(Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for International Trade
Free Zones: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has plans to establish areas that are outside the UK’s customs territory in Scotland.
A
Answered by: Conor Burns
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Secretary of State for International Trade recently announced the creation of new UK Freeports that will boost trade, attract inward investment and drive economic growth after Brexit.

Whilst we develop the policy, it is important that we consider a Freeport model that works in the best interests of the whole of the UK. Once a model has been decided, a selection process will take place where specific locations for UK Freeports will be chosen.

Q
(Feltham and Heston)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electric Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what incentive schemes the Government has established to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles; and what assessment her Department has made of the outcomes of each of those schemes.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 09 September 2019

We are investing nearly £1.5bn‎ between April 2015 and March 2021 to support the transition to zero emission motoring. Grants are available for ultra-Low emission vehicles, including cars, vans, lorries and taxis. We also provide schemes to support the installation of charge points in homes, workplaces and on residential streets for those without off-street parking. This represents one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world for the transition to zero emission vehicles. In 2013 we published Driving the Future Today A strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK, in which we projected Ultra Low Emission Vehicles would be between 3% – 7% of the market, we remain on track to meet this target.

Q
Asked by Chris Elmore
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Ministry of Justice
Probation: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve the provision of probation services in rural locations in Wales.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government set out its response to the consultation ‘Strengthening probation, building confidence’ on 16th May 2019.

This consultation response confirmed that we intend to bring the supervision of medium and low risk offenders, currently supervised by the Community Rehabilitation Company, into the National Probation Service across England and Wales. Recognising the unique circumstances of Wales, we are seeking to achieve this by the end of 2019 so that advice to court, risk and need assessments, sentence planning and managing enforcement and recall will all sit within a single organisation.

A number of market engagement events have been held in Wales to help inform the design of the future services and we are keen to work with a range of providers including both the private and voluntary sector. HMPPS in Wales work closely with the Welsh Government, the PCCs and other key stakeholders in Wales to ensure we capture how our services can best meet our shared objectives and align with existing arrangements. We are taking into account the landscape in Wales, including consideration of Welsh legislation, Welsh language and other priorities identified in our design work to date. In doing this, we will seek to reduce duplication in existing services and encourage partners to design, develop, commission and deliver in an integrated way.

NPS in Wales covers the whole of Wales, which has a mix of urban and rural areas creating different challenges and opportunities. There are five geographical local delivery units that are configured in a way to ensure that there is local oversight of issues such as rurality and an ability to respond to local challenges that may arise.

Q
(Morley and Outwood)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Telemedicine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the (a) range and (b) quality of digital NHS healthcare services offered to patients.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 09 September 2019

We have established a new unit – NHSX – to drive forward the digital transformation of health and social care, and give patients the tools to access online information and services safely and effectively.

We are providing a coreset of national digital services for people to transact with the health and care system and find information.

Innovators can build onto these services for a consistent, trusted and joined up digital experience.

NHSX will also define and mandate technology and design standards for digital services used within the NHS and social care, ensuring all publicly-funded source code is open by default.

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