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 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
(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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