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 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 15 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Events Industry: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to reopen the conference, events and exhibitions industry as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the safe reopening of that industry of the ability of conferences, exhibitions and events to use effective tracking and tracing as a result of the high proportion of pre-registered attendees at those events; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 23 July 2020

The events industry and its suppliers have been severely affected by the current situation. I fully understand their desire for a reopening date.

Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the Covid-19 guidance.

From 1 August, exhibition and conference centres are allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable government-backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.

From 1 October, it is expected that events of all types (such as trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences) will be allowed at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing. As with all aspects of the Government’s response to COVID-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

We have worked closely with events stakeholders through both the Visitor Economy and Events & Entertainment Working Groups to develop Covid-19 Secure reopening guidance for the business events industry. We continue to meet with the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel to discuss the specific issues facing the industry.

Since 11 July, a range of outdoor events have been able to take place - including agricultural shows, literary fairs and car boot sales.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 22 July 2020
Department for Transport
Transport: Schools
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department is having with (a) coach operators and (b) the Department for Education on ensuring that there is sufficient capacity within the commercial transport sector to transport children to and from school at the start of the next academic year as a result of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on those providers; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 22 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Protective Clothing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to enable care homes to access supplies of centrally purchased personal protective equipment; and if he will make statement.
Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 22 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Government Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to offer (a) financial and (b) other assistance to care homes as a result of the nationwide fall in occupancy rates; and if will make a statement.
Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 22 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the care sector on the role that sector will play in providing the Government with early data in the event of a future increase in cases of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 22 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on ensuring that care homes and care providers can continue to recruit staff from outside the UK in the event that vacancies remain unfilled when advertised to the domestic labour market; and if will make a statement.
Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 22 July 2020
Ministry of Justice
Coronavirus: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of fines wrongfully issued under (a) the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and (b) Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 22 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Contact Tracing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that powers in Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 will not be used to coerce people to comply with the voluntary Test and Trace scheme.
Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Personal Care Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to review his decision on reopening beauty salons to ensure that facial services for women are provided on an equal footing to grooming services for men.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 21 July 2020

As set out in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s announcement on 17 July, close contact services including treatments to the face are allowed to resume as of 1 August, as long as they operate in a COVID-secure way.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 July 2020
Department for Transport
Driving Instruction: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, whether trainee driving instructors who are practising for their test will continue to be permitted to instruct learner drivers on a no fee basis; when he plans that DVSA instructor ability tests will resume; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 June 2020
Home Office
Windrush Generation: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department has made on ensuring that people eligible for compensation under the Windrush scheme have received the financial recompense they are entitled to; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 16 July 2020

There has been significant outreach and communication activity to publicise the Windrush Compensation Scheme. These events have been promoted by stakeholders and on local and social media. We are now continuing events online: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/windrush-online-engagement-events.

We also work with MPs, local councils and stakeholders to raise awareness and materials on the scheme are available on GOV.UK and have been provided to community groups to try to ensure that all those affected are aware of the scheme.

Our recently published statistics on the payments made under the Windrush Compensation Scheme, show a clear increasing trajectory of payments: £362,997 paid in the first 12 months of the scheme, of which £300,799 was paid in the most recent three months of that period. Comprehensive data can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-may-2020.

The Home Office has additionally made offers of approximately £280,000 in compensation through the scheme. Once the offers are accepted by the applicants, the payments will be made.

We work with claimants throughout the process to obtain as much information about the claim as possible. This approach ensures that claimants receive the maximum possible amount to which they are entitled under the scheme.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Treasury
Economic Situation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what (a) financial and (b) economic modelling his Department is undertaking to assess the effect of the Government's guidance on (a) travelling, (b) social distancing and (c) social gatherings during the covid-19 outbreak on the UK economy; and if he will make statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the UK economy and the Government has taken swift action to deliver unprecedented rescue packages.

While the actions we have taken have come at significant fiscal costs, the costs of inaction would have been far higher.

Treasury officials undertake a wide range of internal analysis to support policy development and advice to ministers. However, the Treasury does not publish forecasts of the economy or the public finances. Indeed, the Office for Budget Responsibility are the UK’s official forecasters.

We continue to monitor the impact of the policies to tackle Covid-19 as circumstances develop. The Chancellor will set out further details on his plans for sustainable and balanced fiscal policy at the next Budget, as the economic and fiscal outlook becomes clearer.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 06 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Theatres: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the announcement entitled, £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions, published on 5 July 2020, whether local authorities will be able to bid for that funding to help support the continued viability of municipal theatres; and if will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 09 July 2020

On 5 July, DCMS announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

We want this package to support organisations across the cultural, heritage and creative sectors, although there will be robust criteria about which individual organisations receive support. We are working closely with the DCMS ALBs to develop guidance indicating who can apply for the different elements of this funding, and we will publish detailed guidance as soon as possible in July.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 24 June 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to inform schools of the outcome of their Condition Improvement Fund bid; and if he will make statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 July 2020

The outcome of the Condition Improvement Fund 2020-21 bidding round was announced on Monday 29 June. The list of successful applications can be found on here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/condition-improvement-fund-2020-to-2021-outcome

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 July 2020
Treasury
Bus Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2020 to Question 52118, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the private coach hire sector on the ongoing risks and issues to that sector of the covid-19 outbreak in order to allocate additional funding to support that sector; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 06 July 2020

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Coach companies, along with other businesses, may be able to benefit from a range of the available support measures.

There are no plans to make any further statements at this time.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Personal Care Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when (a) nail bars, (b) tanning salons, (c) beauticians and (d) tattoo parlours will re-open as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 06 July 2020

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a statement to the House on 23 June where he announce that hairdressers and barbers in England will be able to reopen from 4 July, once they are following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Other close contact services, like tanning salons, beauticians, and tattoo parlours remain closed until further notice.

We are taking a phased, cautious approach to reopening our economy, working with businesses, trade associations and medical experts on the safest way to reopen close contact services like beauty salons, where there is often greater risk of transmission due to prolonged periods of face-to-face contact and close proximity between staff and customers.

We appreciate that this is difficult for some businesses, and we intend to allow close contact services, such as nail bars, to re-open as soon as it is safe to do so. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and every step is weighed against the evidence.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will amend the Health protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations (England) 2020 to clarify that peaceful demonstrations constitute a reasonable excuse for a gathering; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 02 July 2020
Holding answer received on 22 June 2020

The Government strongly supports the right to peaceful protest; however, this pandemic has led to many of our individual freedoms temporarily being curtailed in order to protect and save lives. Peaceful demonstrations are a vital part of democratic society and we understand the strength of feeling around the death of George Floyd. However, COVID-19 remains a real and present threat to all of us. As the Prime Minister announced in his oral statement to the House on 23 June, Official Report, columns 1167-1170, the social distancing Regulation are being amended from 4 July to allow for increased social contact, however gatherings of 30 or more people will remain illegal.

The management of protests and the use of powers are an operational matter for the police.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Highly Protected Marine Areas: Angling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page 65 of the Benyon review Into Highly Protected Marine Areas; if he will make it his policy to not assign recreational angling with the red designation that applies to dredging, littering, discharges and commercial fishing; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 29 June 2020

We welcome the publication of the Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) on 8 June 2020, which is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highly-protected-marine-areas-hpmas-review-2019. We will consider Richard Benyon’s report and issue a formal response to him in due course. The panel recommended that HPMAs would represent the upper end of environmental protection and should exclude all extractive activity, including recreational sea angling, to allow for full ecosystem recovery.

Defra recognises the importance of recreational sea angling to the economy, its benefits to the health and welfare of society, and the contribution anglers and angling bodies make to environmental improvements. We appreciate and understand the concerns raised by the recreational sea anglers since publication of the Benyon Review. We would consider the socio-economic impact of HPMAs on all sectors, including recreational sea angling, and consult extensively before any decision to designate a site.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 22 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Highly Protected Marine Areas: Angling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Benyon Review Into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), if he will take steps to ensure that, as in the case of motorised boating, scuba diving, surfing, and personal watercraft, recreational anglers will continue to have access to HPMAs and not be excluded along with mineral extraction, dredging, commercial fishing; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 25 June 2020

We welcome the publication of the Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) on 8 June 2020, which is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highly-protected-marine-areas-hpmas-review-2019. We will consider Richard Benyon's report and issue a formal response to him in due course. The panel recommended that HPMAs would represent the upper end of environmental protection and should exclude all extractive activity, including recreational sea angling, to allow for full ecosystem recovery.

Defra recognises the importance of recreational sea angling to the economy, its benefits to the health and welfare of society, and the contribution anglers and angling bodies make to environmental improvements. We appreciate and understand the concerns raised by the recreational sea anglers since publication of the Benyon Review. We note that the report describes the opportunities that could arise as a result of HPMA introduction, including for recreational fisheries, such as spillover for anglers in adjacent areas. In introducing HPMAs, we note the Panel's recommendation to designate pilot sites by placing them within existing Marine Protected Areas. We would consider the socio-economic impact of HPMAs on all sectors, including recreational sea angling, before any decision to designate a site. Extensive consultation will take place before any decisions are made.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Free School Meals: Fruit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will undertake a review its decision to withdraw funding for the distribution of fruit with free school meals; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 24 June 2020
Holding answer received on 17 June 2020

It was announced on 18 March that all schools in England would remain open only for a very limited number of pupils (children of key workers and vulnerable children) until further notice. At this time the Government made a decision to pause the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS) so that as little fresh produce as possible would go to waste.

In the Government’s ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’, published on 11 May, primary schools were asked to plan to welcome back nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils as of 1 June 2020. However, it was not possible to restart the SFVS from 1 June.

The Department for Education and schools themselves are ensuring that children who attend school continue to receive healthy and nutritious food at school, as well as making provision to support families usually in receipt of free school meals and whose children are not attending school.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 June 2020
Treasury
Administration of Estates: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will issue guidance to (a) banks and (b) other financial institutions on the timely provision of information to Executors seeking to wind-up estates for probate during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 23 June 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government, alongside the financial regulators, has been working closely with the financial services industry to ensure that individuals and businesses have the support they need. If anyone has concerns or questions about their banking, including the administration around bereavement, we urge them to speak to their provider. Frontline staff in banks, building societies and credit unions are working tirelessly to deal with a significant volume of customer enquiries.

The treatment of customers by UK firms which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is governed by its Principles of Business. This includes a general requirement for firms to provide a prompt, efficient and fair service to all of their customers, including those who have recently suffered a bereavement. The Government is also supportive of previous industry efforts to improve handling of these sensitive cases, including the implementation of the British Bankers’ Association’s (now known as UK Finance) Bereavement Principles. These Principles include a commitment from firms to provide support to meet individuals’ needs throughout the bereavement process and to work to resolve everything as quickly and simply as possible.

The Government will continue to work with the FCA and industry to understand how they are handling bereavement processes and policies around probate in the current context.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 June 2020
Department for Transport
Taxis: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 17 June 2020 to Question 59192 on Taxis: Coronavirus, which part of that guidance applies to the licensed taxi trade; whether black cabs are allowed to pick up passengers from international airports serving London; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 23 June 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK guidance instructs those arriving in the UK and required to self-isolate to only use public transport (which includes taxis and private hire vehicles) if they have no other option.

Passengers are advised in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers that a face covering should be worn when using a taxi or private hire vehicle and that they may be refused carriage if they do not wear one. Face coverings should also be worn in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, for example, at stations, interchanges and ports.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Churches: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to issue additional guidance to religious organisations on the opening of churches to conduct wedding ceremonies, and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 17 June 2020

To protect public safety, weddings are among the social and religious events that can’t take place at this time. We understand the inconvenience and disappointment this will cause.

In Step 2 of our Roadmap to Recovery strategy we said that we would examine how to enable people to gather to facilitate small marriage ceremonies. Government continues to look at this issue in great detail to see what will be possible while minimising risk.

We understand the frustration couples waiting to marry must be feeling, and as with all COVID-19 restrictions, we will look to ease them as soon as it is safe to do so.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 June 2020
Treasury
Food: Wholesale Trade
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the (a) Business Rates Relief and (b) Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Grant to the food and drink wholesale sector; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 17 June 2020

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors.

Businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to have been particularly affected by COVID-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall. The Government has provided enhanced support to these businesses through a twelve-month business rates holiday. The Government also recognises that small businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. To help these small businesses, the Government created the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, which gives grants of up to £25,000 to businesses which occupy properties used for these purposes with a rateable value below £51,000.

Local Authorities (LAs) can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. The Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to LAs to enable them to give discretionary grants. While food and drink wholesalers are not one of the priority groups which Government has asked LAs to focus on, LAs may choose to make payments to businesses outside of these priority groups, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government (with the exception of grants from the SEISS).

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 June 2020
Department for Transport
Taxis: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that licensed black cabs can continue to drive people arriving in the UK from international airports to (a) London and (b) surrounding areas after the introduction of the fourteen day quarantine period; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 17 June 2020

The Government guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK advises how those arriving in the UK can reduce the chance of a second wave of coronavirus in the UK and help prevent family, friends and the community from contracting coronavirus, as well as helping to protect the NHS. This includes using public transport only if no other option is available.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Riot Control Weapons: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential future granting or withholding of export licences in relation to crowd and riot control equipment manufactured in the UK and destined for the US; and if she will make a statement.
A
Corrected answer by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Corrected on: 15 June 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 08 June 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Any licence granted by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade may be subject to conditions. In addition, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. There are currently nine eight extant licences that may be linked to law enforcement agencies. Six are Open Individual Export Licences (‘OIELs’), which have potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. Three Two are Standard Individual Export Licences (‘SIELs’), which have numerous potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. There are also 15 Open General Licences (‘OGLs’) for which businesses can register that cover the export of anti-riot gear.

Much information is in the public domain already. We publish information on all export licences issued, refused and revoked on a quarterly and annual basis as official statistics on GOV.UK – at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data – and whilst data on actual exports is not required to be centrally held, the licences issued until the end of December 2019 are available.

A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 08 June 2020

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Any licence granted by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade may be subject to conditions. In addition, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. There are currently nine eight extant licences that may be linked to law enforcement agencies. Six are Open Individual Export Licences (‘OIELs’), which have potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. Three Two are Standard Individual Export Licences (‘SIELs’), which have numerous potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. There are also 15 Open General Licences (‘OGLs’) for which businesses can register that cover the export of anti-riot gear.

Much information is in the public domain already. We publish information on all export licences issued, refused and revoked on a quarterly and annual basis as official statistics on GOV.UK – at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data – and whilst data on actual exports is not required to be centrally held, the licences issued until the end of December 2019 are available.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 03 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Riot Control Weapons: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government has powers to attach conditions to the granting of export licenses, in relation to sale and export of riot and crowd control equipment to the US and other countries which if not met could result in a license being cancelled; and if she will make a statement.
A
Corrected answer by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Corrected on: 15 June 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 10 June 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Any licence granted by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade may be subject to conditions. In addition, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. There are currently nine eight extant licences that may be linked to law enforcement agencies. Six are Open Individual Export Licences (‘OIELs’), which have potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. Three Two are Standard Individual Export Licences (‘SIELs’), which have numerous potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. There are also 15 Open General Licences (‘OGLs’) for which businesses can register that cover the export of anti-riot gear.

Much information is in the public domain already. We publish information on all export licences issued, refused and revoked on a quarterly and annual basis as official statistics on GOV.UK – at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data – and whilst data on actual exports is not required to be centrally held, the licences issued until the end of December 2019 are available.

A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 10 June 2020

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Any licence granted by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade may be subject to conditions. In addition, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. There are currently nine eight extant licences that may be linked to law enforcement agencies. Six are Open Individual Export Licences (‘OIELs’), which have potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. Three Two are Standard Individual Export Licences (‘SIELs’), which have numerous potential end users that include law enforcement agencies. There are also 15 Open General Licences (‘OGLs’) for which businesses can register that cover the export of anti-riot gear.

Much information is in the public domain already. We publish information on all export licences issued, refused and revoked on a quarterly and annual basis as official statistics on GOV.UK – at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data – and whilst data on actual exports is not required to be centrally held, the licences issued until the end of December 2019 are available.

Q
(Broxbourne)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Treasury
Government Securities: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a Coronavirus Recovery Bond with an above market, fixed coupon to help generate an income return for existing and new small scale investors and savers; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The Government will continue to fulfil its financing requirements via its normal debt management operations. This includes the package of measures to provide the critical support needed by individuals, families and businesses in the wake of COVID-19, which as previously announced by the Chancellor will be fully funded through the Debt Management Office’s (DMO’s) core gilt programme.

The Government also raises finance through National Savings and Investments (NS&I), which operates in the retail sector and offers a number of savings products for retail customers, which can help generate income for small-scale investors. NS&I’s core remit is to raise cost-effective financing for government. In effect, customers’ deposits with NS&I are a form of Government borrowing, and the rates that NS&I offer impact the cost to Government of this borrowing. HM Treasury therefore has a close interest in whether borrowing through NS&I is cost effective when compared with other methods of government financing.

At present, the UK Government does not have any plans to introduce a special gilt in response to COVID-19, nor does it have any plans to introduce a special NS&I product. The Government remains open to the introduction of new debt instruments, but would need to be satisfied that any new instrument would meet value-for-money criteria, enjoy strong and sustained demand in the long-term and be consistent with wider fiscal objectives.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance the Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has issued in relation to the releasing of results to laboratories analysing test results of swabs provided to them by employers; and if he will make statement.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 10 June 2020
Holding answer received on 09 June 2020

The release of results to laboratories analysing test results of swabs provided to them by employers is not within the remit of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and so it has not issued any guidance on this subject.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 June 2020
Treasury
Taxation: Company Cars
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will review the tax charge on company cars in cases where the covid-19 outbreak has reduced their use or resulted in them being unused by the beneficiary.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 08 June 2020

Where a car is made available to an employee which they can use for private purposes, this represents a taxable non-cash benefit, regardless of whether the employee uses the car.

Normally, HMRC would only consider a company car to be unavailable if it has been physically handed back. However, the Government recognises the challenges faced by households as a result of COVID-19, including restrictions on movement that may prevent a company car from being handed back or collected. Therefore, during this period HMRC will accept that a car is unavailable if its keys are returned and either the contract is terminated or thirty consecutive days pass.

HMRC’s guidance on this can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-treat-certain-expenses-and-benefits-provided-to-employees-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 19 May 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Leisure: Children and Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Government has to publish guidance on the opening of dance studios and other providers of activity for young and school-aged children; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 02 June 2020

The Prime Minister has set out a clear roadmap through which we can begin to resume normal activities safely. The content and timing of future steps, however, will be dependent on the risk posed by the virus.

We recognise that organisations need time to plan and implement guidance. As such, DCMS remains in close contact with its sectors and, as part of that, has launched the Recreation and Leisure taskforce which will support plans for recovery across DCMS sectors. This will be informed by eight working groups, including an Entertainment and Events Working Group and a Sport Working Group that will bring together representatives from the sector as well as medical advisors to develop advice and guidance on reopenings.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 19 May 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with so-called umbrella employment companies about waiving the obligation to fund the additional 12 per cent entitlement to holiday pay, to enable contractors of those companies to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 02 June 2020

The Department has talked to a number of different groups and organisations in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), including representatives of umbrella companies.

Employment rights remain unchanged under the CJRS. Therefore, all workers’ right to holiday accrues to the extent and in the same way it did prior to being placed on to furlough under the CJRS, as provided by the individual’s statutory and contractual rights.

Employers are able to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant to cover wages paid to their workers, up to 80% of the worker’s usual pay. This includes payments made to a worker on annual leave, but where holiday pay owed exceeds the amount in the grant, the employer is required to make up the difference.

Further guidance to help employers manage holiday pay during Coronavirus is available on gov.uk.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 19 May 2020
Treasury
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Sole Traders
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will amend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme so that sole traders, acting as limited companies, that complete their yearly payroll after 19 March can access that scheme.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 02 June 2020

To be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), firms must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020; enrolled for PAYE online; and have a UK bank account.

Processing claims for the CJRS where there was no RTI data by 19 March would require much greater manual handling by HMRC and significantly slow down the system, while risking substantial levels of fraud. It would also require greater resource for HMRC when they are already under significant pressure to deliver the system designed.

Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 15 May 2020
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, when the telephone line for IPSA will be re-opened.
A
Answered by: Sir Charles Walker
Answered on: 19 May 2020

On 17 March, IPSA moved all of its staff to homeworking, in line with Government guidance. Members were asked to communicate any queries by email, and IPSA staff then called or emailed them back to provide advice or resolve any issues.

Phone lines reopened on 21 April, when IPSA adopted the common retail approach of a call booking system. This was trialled with around 70 MPs’ offices on their User Group in order to ensure the system worked effectively. Following a successful trial, on 4 May the approach was implemented for all Members of Parliament and their staff who are now able to book phone calls with IPSA payroll and support staff at a convenient time. IPSA has received 286 call bookings so far.

IPSA will keep these arrangements under review to ensure effective support to Members and their staff at this time.

Q
(Harwich and North Essex)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: Pay
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the mean salary is of the permanent staff of IPSA.
A
Answered by: Sir Charles Walker
Answered on: 06 February 2020

In 2018-19, the mean salary of the permanent staff at IPSA was £38,930.92.

Q
Asked by Scott Benton
(Blackpool South)
Asked on: 16 January 2020
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Pay
Commons
To ask the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what plans the Committee has to review the arrangements on access to salaries and expenses for hon. Members and their staff who do not take their seats.
A
Answered by: Sir Charles Walker
Answered on: 30 January 2020

Arrangements for paying salaries and expenses to MPs and their staff are for IPSA to determine, as set out in the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. Section 4(6) of the Act states that IPSA is only able to pay the salaries of MPs who have taken the Oath and thereby take their seats in parliament. MPs who do not take the Oath, and the staff employed by them, are nonetheless eligible to claim for business costs in pursuit of their constituency work in line with the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses.

Q
Asked by Scott Benton
(Blackpool South)
Asked on: 16 January 2020
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members: Allowances
Commons
To ask the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the total cost has been to the public purse of hon. Members who have not taken their seats in the House of Commons in (a) 2015, (b) 2016, (c) 2017 and (d) 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Charles Walker
Answered on: 30 January 2020

All MPs are able to claim for business costs and expenses in line with the rules established by IPSA in the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses. All business costs and expenses claimed by MPs, including those who have not taken their seats in the House of Commons, are routinely published and can be viewed on IPSA’s website: www.theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs/your-mp/.

The figures below outline the business costs and expenses of those MPs who have not taken their seats.

Financial Year

MPs with Published costs

Office Costs

Staffing

Staff Absence

Winding-Up Budget

Accommodation / Hotels

Travel

Total

2015-16

6

£12,334.65

£545,454.86

NA

£89,712.95

£0.00

£597.69

£648,100.15

2016-17

4

£20,504.85

£434,266.07

NA

£0.00

£0.00

£5,146.49

£459,917.41

2017-18

8

£115,569.72

£683,680.99

£0.00

£35,163.41

£7,835.00

£32,210.58

£874,459.70

2018-19

7

£115,667.58

£893,333.79

£7,879.49

£0.00

£19,597.03

£119,282.23

£1,155,760.12

Under a resolution of the House, Representative Money is provided to opposition parties represented by Members who have chosen not to take the Oath. Payment of Representative Money is administered by the House of Commons Members’ Hub. Budget allocations for Representative Money since 2005-6 are published in Appendix 4 of the following document: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN01663 .

The Representative Money allocation figures for the four years in question are as follows:

Financial Year

Period

Main Allocation

Travel Allocation

Total Allocation

£

£

£

2015/16 *

01/04/15 - 07/05/15

11,511.00

329.45

11,840.45

08/05/15 - 31/03/16

87,783.00

1,898.90

89,681.90

2016/17

01/04/16 - 31/03/17

97,556.00

2,224.32

99,780.32

2017/18 *

01/04/17 - 08/06/17

18,737.00

431.41

19,168.41

09/06/17 - 31/03/18

130,970.00

2,901.64

133,871.64

2018/19

01/04/18 - 31/03/19

165,864.00

3,674.62

169,538.62

* General Election years

Since 2016-17 it has been a requirement to publish the amounts paid for the financial year and these can be found on the Parliament website via the following link: https://www.parliament.uk/site-information/foi/transparency-publications/hoc-transparency-publications/financial-information/financial-assistance-to-opposition-parties/previous-financial-assistance-to-opposition-parties/.

The Representative Money actual expenditure for each financial year since 2016-17 was as follows:

Financial Year

Period

Main Allocation Spend

Travel Allocation Spend

Total Spend

£

£

£

2016/17

01/04/16 - 31/03/17

97,743.00

0.00

97,743.00

2017/18 *

01/04/17 - 08/06/17

18,737.00

0.00

18,737.00

09/06/17 - 31/03/18

131,824.00

0.00

131,824.00

2018/19

01/04/18 - 31/03/19

166,005.00

0.00

166,005.00

* General Election years

Any spend above the Main Allocation has been funded by the parties themselves.

Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 27 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Tobacco: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Green Paper entitled Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s, when he will call for independent evidence to assess the effectiveness of heated tobacco products in helping people to quit smoking and reduce the health harms from smoking.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 30 January 2020

As announced in the Prevention Green Paper, as part of our commitment to evaluate the evidence on new products , we will run a call for independent evidence to assess further how effective heated tobacco products are, or are not, in helping people quit smoking and reducing the associated health harms.

The call for evidence will be announced by summer 2020. We continue to monitor the evidence base on e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products. The next Public Health England annual review is to be published shortly.

Grouped Questions: 8194
Q
(Broxbourne)
[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: 27 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Smoking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to evaluate and harness the potential benefits of (a) heated tobacco products and (b) other new technologies in order for the Government to meet its smoke-free target by 2030.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 30 January 2020

As announced in the Prevention Green Paper, as part of our commitment to evaluate the evidence on new products , we will run a call for independent evidence to assess further how effective heated tobacco products are, or are not, in helping people quit smoking and reducing the associated health harms.

The call for evidence will be announced by summer 2020. We continue to monitor the evidence base on e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products. The next Public Health England annual review is to be published shortly.

Grouped Questions: 8193
Q
(Broxbourne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 January 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Cypriot counterpart on ensuring that UK nationals residing in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will still be able to readily cross the Green Line to (a) use facilities on the Greek Cypriot side of the island of Cyprus and (b) access Larnaca airport for travel after the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 28 January 2020

​The Prime Minister has been consistently clear that safeguarding the rights of United Kingdom nationals living in the EU after Brexit is a priority. The Withdrawal Agreement has now received Royal Assent. Under the terms of this Agreement, United Kingdom nationals will be able to travel freely within the EU until the end of the transition period on 31 December. During this time there will be no change to the rules on travel to, from or within Cyprus for United Kingdom nationals, including motorists crossing the Green Line. On 16 January, I discussed arrangements beyond the end of 2020 with the Cypriot Minister of the Interior, building on discussions that the British High Commissioner in Cyprus has taken forward. On 24 January, the High Commissioner also wrote an open letter to the British community on the latest developments. We will keep United Kingdom nationals updated as we have more information.

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