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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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
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 13 March 2019
Home Office
Police: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how the £100m in additional funding for 2019-20 to tackle serious violence announced in the Spring Statement will be allocated to each police force.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 18 March 2019

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 13 March that an additional £100 million funding in 19/20 will help in the police’s immediate response to the rise in serious knife crime, enabling priority forces to immediately begin planning to put in place the additional capacity they need. The funding will also be invested in Violence Reduction Units, bringing together a range of agencies including health, education, social services and others, to develop a multi-agency approach in preventing serious violence altogether. It is important that we recognise that greater law enforcement on its own will not reduce serious violence and that we must continue to focus on prevention.

The majority of the investment will go towards supporting police forces where violent crime is impacting the most, to take immediate action to suppress the violence we are seeing, to make our streets safer. We are engaging with partners including the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and we are developing the criteria by which forces will receive this funding.

Grouped Questions: 232004
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 13 March 2019
Home Office
Metropolitan Police: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much of the £100m additional funding in 2019-20 to tackle serious violence will be allocated to the Metropolitan Police.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 18 March 2019

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 13 March that an additional £100 million funding in 19/20 will help in the police’s immediate response to the rise in serious knife crime, enabling priority forces to immediately begin planning to put in place the additional capacity they need. The funding will also be invested in Violence Reduction Units, bringing together a range of agencies including health, education, social services and others, to develop a multi-agency approach in preventing serious violence altogether. It is important that we recognise that greater law enforcement on its own will not reduce serious violence and that we must continue to focus on prevention.

The majority of the investment will go towards supporting police forces where violent crime is impacting the most, to take immediate action to suppress the violence we are seeing, to make our streets safer. We are engaging with partners including the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and we are developing the criteria by which forces will receive this funding.

Grouped Questions: 232003
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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 February 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people of retirement age are in receipt of both industrial injuries disablement benefit and constant attendance allowance.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 21 February 2019

There were 1,040 people aged 65 or over who were in receipt of both Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and Constant Attendance Allowance as of March 2018.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions 100% extract data.

Figures are rounded to the nearest 10

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Thailand: Ahmadiyya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made representations to the Thai government on the arbitrary arrests of Ahmadi Muslim refugees.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 07 February 2019

We closely followed the October 2018 detention in Thailand of approximately 100 people, mainly from Pakistan, whom the Thai authorities considered illegal immigrants. This followed arrests and refoulment of Cambodian and Vietnamese nationals in August 2018.

On 2 November 2018, the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, spoke to the Thai ambassador in London to raise our concerns over the detention of foreign nationals, including nationals of Pakistan, in Thailand. The British Embassy Bangkok also raised the issues with the Ministry of the Interior. We believe that the actions of the Thai authorities are not aimed at any specific group or groups, but apply to anyone whom they deem an illegal visa over-stayer. The UK has repeatedly urged Thailand to sign the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. The UNHCR are working closely with the Royal Thai Government over asylum, resettlement issues, and improving conditions for genuine claimants, for example by giving them documentation that allows them to access services and protected them from persecution. We are also working with the Thai authorities to improve conditions of detention.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 25 January 2019
Home Office
Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timetable is for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in full.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 28 January 2019

The Government signed the Istanbul Convention to signal the UK’s strong commitment to tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG). On 30 October 2018, in line with the requirements of the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017, we published a progress report which set out that, in most respects, the UK already complies with, or goes further than, the Convention requires. We have significantly strengthened the legislative framework; introduced new protective tools; and issued a range of guidance and support for frontline professionals.

We have always been clear on our commitment to ratifying the Convention. The Domestic Abuse Bill will be another step towards meeting that commitment by extending extraterritorial jurisdiction over offences required by the Convention which, for England and Wales, is the final legislative step necessary for ratification. We published the Domestic Abuse Bill in draft form for pre-legislative scrutiny on 21 January 2019.

As the criminal law and the majority of the areas covered by the Convention are devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Devolved Administrations are considering what legislative or other changes are necessary for compliance with the Convention in their territories. The Government liaises regularly with the Devolved Administrations on VAWG issues and we will continue working closely with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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 January 2019
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government's review of the loan charge is planned to (a) seek external evidence about, (b) evaluate all aspects of and (c) be able to recommend any changes to the loan charge.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 23 January 2019

The government chose to accept New Clause 26 during the passage of the Finance Bill, and will lay a report in line with the requirements of that New Clause no later than 30 March 2019. The report will include a comparison with the time limits for the recovery of lost tax relating to disguised remuneration loans.

The government also consulted extensively on the detail of the charge on disguised remuneration loans after it was announced at Budget 2016.

Grouped Questions: 210061
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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 January 2019
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that members of the public can contribute to the review of the 2019 Loan Charge.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 23 January 2019

The government chose to accept New Clause 26 during the passage of the Finance Bill, and will lay a report in line with the requirements of that New Clause no later than 30 March 2019. The report will include a comparison with the time limits for the recovery of lost tax relating to disguised remuneration loans.

The government also consulted extensively on the detail of the charge on disguised remuneration loans after it was announced at Budget 2016.

Grouped Questions: 210060
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 December 2018
Treasury
Bankruptcy: Tax Avoidance
Commons
What estimate he has made of the number of people who will be made bankrupt as a result of the 2019 Loan Charge.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 11 December 2018

The Government recognises the charge on DR loans will have a significant impact on some people who have used schemes where loans were used to avoid paying tax on earnings.

An impact assessment was published when the measure was announced at Budget 2016.

HMRC wants to help people put things right and has an outstanding track record of helping people, but it can only help those who come forward.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Products: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the total cost to the public purse is of processing and issuing a permit for the importation of a hunting trophy for species listed in Appendix I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The UK licensing service for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is subject to the policy of full cost recovery so that it is not a burden on the public purse. Where an import permit is required, applicants need to pay a fee. Details of these import permit fees can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/355264/cites-ag-ct-01.pdf

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 13 November 2018
Treasury
Private Finance Initiative
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his Department's definition is of privately financed in relation to infrastructure projects.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 19 November 2018

Private finance is a way to deliver infrastructure projects in which the private sector invests equity and/or lends in order to facilitate the development, delivery, and/or operation of a project, asset or entity with the expectation of earning a return on the investment.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 13 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Heathrow Airport: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the expansion of Heathrow Airport on the ability of the UK to meet the net-zero emissions target by 2050.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 19 November 2018

Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on 1.5 degrees, published in October, we commissioned advice from our independent advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), on its long-term emissions reduction targets, including on the setting of a net zero target. This commission asks for evidence from the CCC on how reductions might be delivered in key sectors of the economy and the expected costs and benefits of different scenarios.

The Committee will also publish a report on aviation in Spring 2019. As set out in the Committee’s recent progress report, this will include consideration of the potential to reduce aviation emissions over the period to 2050 and beyond.

The Government will consider carefully the Committee’s advice on both these issues when it is received. Subject to this review, the Government will consider whether it is appropriate to review the Airports National Policy Statement, in accordance with Section 6 of the Planning Act 2008.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 13 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to introduce legislation proposals to set the target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 19 November 2018

Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on the impacts of climate change of 1.5 degrees on 8 October, we commissioned our independent experts, the Committee on Climate Change, to provide their advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets, including on setting a net zero target. The letter requesting the CCC’s advice is available here.

We will consider the Committee’s evidence-based advice carefully when it is received in Spring 2019. We believe that is the right way to approach such an important question.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 14 November 2018
Treasury
Heathrow Airport: Railways
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what level of capital funding he plans to allocate for the delivery of improvements to rail access related to the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 19 November 2018

The Government’s position in relation to funding Surface Access at airports is set out in the 2013 Aviation Policy Framework and reiterated in the Airports National Policy Statement which was designated in June 2018. Where a scheme is not solely required to deliver airport capacity and has a wider range of beneficiaries, the Government, along with relevant stakeholders, will consider the need for a public funding contribution alongside an appropriate contribution from the airport on a case by case basis. The Government is supporting Heathrow Surface Access schemes subject to the development of a satisfactory business case and the agreement of acceptable terms with the Heathrow aviation industry.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport: Railways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the capital contribution required by his Department to ensure the delivery of (a) southern rail access and (b) western rail access into Heathrow airport.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 14 November 2018

The Government’s position in relation to funding Surface Access at airports is set out in the 2013 Aviation Policy Framework and reiterated in the Airports National Policy Statement which was designated in June 2018. Where a scheme is not solely required to deliver airport capacity and has a wider range of beneficiaries, the Government, along with relevant stakeholders, will consider the need for a public funding contribution alongside an appropriate contribution from the airport on a case by case basis. The Government is supporting these schemes subject to the development of a satisfactory business case and the agreement of acceptable terms with the Heathrow aviation industry.

In line with the published Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline, my Department is developing the Business Case for the Western Rail Link to Heathrow. Network Rail intends to apply for planning powers in 2019, and details of the scheme funding will be published.

In May 2018, my Department launched a Market Sounding to test the market’s appetite to share the risk of development for a proposed Southern Rail Link to Heathrow in order to reduce the burden on taxpayers and fare payers. A summary of responses will be published later in the Autumn.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport: Air Traffic
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) air pollution, (b) noise pollution and (c) congestion of lifting the air traffic movement cap at Heathrow Airport.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 November 2018

The Appraisal of Sustainability that accompanies the Airports National Policy Statement provides a strategic assessment of the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of expansion, including a) air quality and b) noise.

Following designation of the Airports National Policy Statement, it is down to an applicant for development consent to undertake a detailed assessment of the environmental impacts of their scheme, and to put forward an appropriate package of mitigation measures.

On c), the Airports National Policy Statement is also clear that an applicant for development consent should set out the mitigation measures that it considers are required to minimise the effect of expansion on the existing surface access arrangements. Any application, and its accompanying airport surface access strategy, must include details of how the applicant will increase the proportion of journeys made to the airport by public transport, cycling and walking.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport: Pollution Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that expansion at Heathrow airport is compatible with legal air quality limits.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 November 2018

Following designation of the Airports National Policy Statement, it is now down to an applicant for development consent to undertake a detailed assessment of the air quality impacts of the scheme, including during construction, and put forward to the Planning Inspectorate an appropriate package of mitigations that addresses air quality impacts and demonstrates compliance with air quality obligations.

In order to grant development consent, the Secretary of State would need to be satisfied that, including any mitigations, the scheme would be compliant with legal obligations.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
Heathrow Airport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has received assurances from Heathrow Airport that there are no plans to increase landing charges; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 November 2018

The Secretary of State has set out a clear expectation that airport charges should remain close to 2016 levels under expansion, and Heathrow Airport Limited has stated that it will seek to meet this challenge. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also confirmed in April 2018 that there are credible scenarios in which landing charges could remain close to 2016 levels in real terms.

As the scheme design and regulatory framework continue to develop, the CAA will scrutinise all proposals for expansion to ensure that, in line with its primary duty, they are in the best interest of the consumer. The CAA has confirmed that this could include a small increase in airport charges if that was required to unlock the wider consumer benefits of expansion.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 09 November 2018
Department for Transport
Department for Transport: Private Finance Initiative
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's definition is of private finance in relation to infrastructure projects.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 14 November 2018

Private finance is a way to deliver infrastructure projects in which the private sector invests equity and/or lends in order to facilitate the development, delivery, acquisition, and/or operation of a project, asset or entity with the expectation of earning a return on the investment commensurate with the risk.

Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 26 June 2018
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what impact assessment his Department has conducted on the effect of the 2019 Loan Charge on (a) the economy and (b) public services.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The charge on disguised remuneration loans is targeted at artificial avoidance schemes where earnings were paid in the form of loans, which are never intended to be repaid, made by a third party, which is often based offshore (“disguised remuneration” schemes).

It is unfair to ordinary taxpayers to let anybody benefit from contrived tax avoidance of this sort, and that is why this Government has taken action to ensure that everybody pays the taxes they owe.

The charge on DR loans is specifically targeted at these avoidance schemes and is not expected to have any significant impacts on the economy or public services.

The Government recognises that the charge on DR loans will have a significant impact on some people who have used DR schemes. HMRC wants to help people put things right. It is actively encouraging anybody who is worried about being able to pay what they owe to get in touch with them as soon as possible. HMRC will consider all personal circumstances to agree a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

Further information on the impacts of the policy can be found in the ‘Disguised remuneration: further update’ policy paper published on 22 November 2017: www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-further-update/disguised-remuneration-further-update.

Grouped Questions: 157729
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
[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: 26 June 2018
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the 2019 Loan Charge on the (a) mental health and (b) livelihoods of people affected by that Charge.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The charge on disguised remuneration loans is targeted at artificial avoidance schemes where earnings were paid in the form of loans, which are never intended to be repaid, made by a third party, which is often based offshore (“disguised remuneration” schemes).

It is unfair to ordinary taxpayers to let anybody benefit from contrived tax avoidance of this sort, and that is why this Government has taken action to ensure that everybody pays the taxes they owe.

The charge on DR loans is specifically targeted at these avoidance schemes and is not expected to have any significant impacts on the economy or public services.

The Government recognises that the charge on DR loans will have a significant impact on some people who have used DR schemes. HMRC wants to help people put things right. It is actively encouraging anybody who is worried about being able to pay what they owe to get in touch with them as soon as possible. HMRC will consider all personal circumstances to agree a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

Further information on the impacts of the policy can be found in the ‘Disguised remuneration: further update’ policy paper published on 22 November 2017: www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-further-update/disguised-remuneration-further-update.

Grouped Questions: 157728
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