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)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Forests: Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her Department's plans are for new woodland establishment and tree planting during the transition period from the existing Countryside Stewardship scheme towards the new Environmental Land Management Schemes being fully established by 2024 in order to begin sequestering carbon to deliver the UK 2050 net zero target.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of the estimated £1 trillion financial implication of delivering the UK’s 2050 net zero target can be attributed to afforestation and tree planting outside of woodland.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which Committee on Climate Change scenario was used to calculate any costs associated with afforestation and tree planting outside of woodlands in order to meet the UK’s net zero target.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what financial incentivisation mechanisms other than her Department's new Environmental Land Management scheme would be expected to contribute towards any increase in tree cover accounted for under the estimated £1 trillion cost of delivering the UK 2050 net zero target.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Environmental Land Management test and trials projects incorporate an objective to increase tree cover through woodland creation, agroforestry or increased hedgerows; and how many or those projects will undertake to investigate carbon storage or mitigation.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how she plans to ensure that Environmental Land Management test and trials incorporate projects with a focus on carbon mitigation via increasing tree cover in order to meet the UK's 2050 net zero target; and if she will publish details of the proposed trials.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to enable the natural regeneration of trees and shrubs to contribute to the delivery of the UKs 2050 net zero target.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the contribution the new Environmental Land Management Scheme will make towards a national increase in tree cover (a) to meet the 2050 net zero target and (b) within ten years of that scheme being established; and what proportion will be delivered by (i) increased woodland, (ii) agroforestry, and (iii) hedgerow creation.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to (a) encourage farmers to engage directly with the tests and trials phase of Environmental Land Management Scheme where such trials offer scope to increase tree cover, (b) communicate to farmers the future financial benefits of tree planting and woodland creation activities under the Environmental Land Management Scheme and (c) provide financial support to farmers to engage in those activities.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Subsidies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department plans to prioritise (a) agroforestry and (b) other farming systems in future farm payments.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Subsidies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department will include (a) silvo-arable and (b) silvo-pastoral systems in the Environmental Land Management Scheme test and trial period.
 
Withdrawn
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: 10 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Prisons: Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the mental health of prisoners.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 15 July 2019

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently working across the entire criminal justice pathway to develop and improve services for offenders with mental health difficulties.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with partners to intervene at the earliest opportunity to ensure that offenders receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Liaison and Diversion Services operate in police stations and courts to identify and assess people with vulnerabilities including mental health issues. Where that individual is subsequently sent to prison the receiving prison will have the relevant information of the individual’s mental health needs to inform the reception healthcare staff so that they can implement appropriate interventions as soon as possible after they arrive.

Health services are available across the estate where assessment identifies treatment needs.

The service specification for prison mental health services was reviewed in 2017-18. This review, led by clinicians in conjunction with stakeholders and informed by experts with experience, was published in March 2018, with all new services being commissioned against it from April 2018. The new specification includes the Royal College of Psychiatrists Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services standards, ensuring equity of quality across the estate.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently consulting on revised Transfer and Remission guidance to ensure that new clinically developed timescales are set which ensure timely and appropriate access to mental health treatment in hospital when necessary, in a clinically safe and well managed way. The consultation ends on 19 July 2019.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to a new service to support people leaving custody to remain engaged with community-based healthcare services. The reconnect service will support continuity of care when people return to the community.

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: 10 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Prisoners: Mental Illness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the prison population with mental health problems.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 15 July 2019

No estimate has been made of the proportion of the prison health population with mental health problems.

Currently a closed system is used to record clinical data in prisons. The Health and Justice Information Service system, being rolled out between 2018-20, will have the ability to share information with community healthcare services; this is integral to the collection of relevant data that is quality assured and robust.

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: 08 July 2019
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of disapplying the 2019 Loan Charge to loans made before the Finance (No. 2) Act 2017 received Royal Assent.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 11 July 2019

An estimate of the cost of amending the loan charge to remove loans made before 2017 is not available. The loan charge was legislated in the Finance (No.2) Act 2017 and is part of a package which was estimated to yield £3.2 billion over five years.

HMRC have written directly to scheme users identified through their compliance work, IT records and tax return data. This includes individual scheme users, employers and company directors.

In addition, HMRC have actively encouraged DR scheme users to come forward through their regular contact with taxpayers, and seek to increase awareness through their series of Spotlight publications, social media activity, and webinars.

HMRC are not aware of any individuals affected whom they have not yet contacted.

Grouped Questions: 274514
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: 08 July 2019
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of people affected by the 2019 Loan Charge that have not been contacted by HMRC.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 11 July 2019

An estimate of the cost of amending the loan charge to remove loans made before 2017 is not available. The loan charge was legislated in the Finance (No.2) Act 2017 and is part of a package which was estimated to yield £3.2 billion over five years.

HMRC have written directly to scheme users identified through their compliance work, IT records and tax return data. This includes individual scheme users, employers and company directors.

In addition, HMRC have actively encouraged DR scheme users to come forward through their regular contact with taxpayers, and seek to increase awareness through their series of Spotlight publications, social media activity, and webinars.

HMRC are not aware of any individuals affected whom they have not yet contacted.

Grouped Questions: 274513
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: 02 July 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on recognition of the plight of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 08 July 2019

​I am yet to discuss this matter with my Israeli counterpart. The history of Jewish migration and displacement in the region is highly complex and cannot be ignored. We acknowledge that the Jewish community has experienced unacceptable suffering. We continue to support the aspiration for a Jewish homeland in the modern state of Israel, just as we support the objective of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. A peaceful future for the Middle East depends on a peace agreement that offers fair restitution for both sides, and a willingness on the part of all countries in the region to respect the rights of minorities and build inclusive societies which enshrine and uphold those rights.

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 June 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Coal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of existing coal stocks to meet expected needs for electricity generation before coal is phased out.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 13 June 2019
Holding answer received on 10 June 2019

The latest statistics are publicly available (Energy Trends table 2.1.)

The government is committed to ending unabated coal power by 2025. As a result of our existing policies, including carbon pricing and our support for renewables, we have already made great headway in reducing our reliance on coal, which fell from 39% of electricity in 2012 to 5% in 2018. There are now regular coal free periods, and in May the UK went without running coal power generation for over two weeks – the longest coal-free period in the country since the 1880s.

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 June 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Coal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what consideration he has made of the implications of the level of stockpiles of coal for planning decisions on new and proposed coal mining operations, including those currently under consideration or review.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 10 June 2019

The Government is committed to clean growth and is taking action to reduce our reliance on coal. We have set out our aim to end electricity generation from unabated coal by 2025 and we are also taking action to reduce coal use in industry and heating.

Our world leading plans to end electricity generation from unabated coal by 2025 are expected to further this trend, and I am delighted that 30 countries, 22 states and cities, and 28 businesses have signed up to our Powering Past Coal Alliance.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that planning permission should not be granted for the extraction of coal unless the proposal is environmentally acceptable or the national, local or community benefits outweigh its likely impacts. The Framework is a material consideration in the determination of all applications for coal extraction in England. Given my quasi-judicial role in the planning system, it would not be appropriate to comment on the merits of current or future planning applications for coal extraction.

Grouped Questions: 259968 | 259969
Q
Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)
Asked on: 04 June 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Coal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications of the Committee on Climate Change's report on net zero carbon emissions for (a) current and future planning decisions on coal mines for which approval has recently been granted, recommended or sought, and (b) planning guidelines for new coal mining applications and possible revision of the National Planning Policy Framework.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 10 June 2019

The Government is committed to clean growth and is taking action to reduce our reliance on coal. We have set out our aim to end electricity generation from unabated coal by 2025 and we are also taking action to reduce coal use in industry and heating.

Our world leading plans to end electricity generation from unabated coal by 2025 are expected to further this trend, and I am delighted that 30 countries, 22 states and cities, and 28 businesses have signed up to our Powering Past Coal Alliance.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that planning permission should not be granted for the extraction of coal unless the proposal is environmentally acceptable or the national, local or community benefits outweigh its likely impacts. The Framework is a material consideration in the determination of all applications for coal extraction in England. Given my quasi-judicial role in the planning system, it would not be appropriate to comment on the merits of current or future planning applications for coal extraction.

Grouped Questions: 259967 | 259969
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 June 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Coal: Opencast Mining
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will introduce urgently a presumption against all applications for deep or opencast coal mines in England.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 10 June 2019

The Government is committed to clean growth and is taking action to reduce our reliance on coal. We have set out our aim to end electricity generation from unabated coal by 2025 and we are also taking action to reduce coal use in industry and heating.

Our world leading plans to end electricity generation from unabated coal by 2025 are expected to further this trend, and I am delighted that 30 countries, 22 states and cities, and 28 businesses have signed up to our Powering Past Coal Alliance.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that planning permission should not be granted for the extraction of coal unless the proposal is environmentally acceptable or the national, local or community benefits outweigh its likely impacts. The Framework is a material consideration in the determination of all applications for coal extraction in England. Given my quasi-judicial role in the planning system, it would not be appropriate to comment on the merits of current or future planning applications for coal extraction.

Grouped Questions: 259967 | 259968
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