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
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 February 2019
Department for Transport
Blue Badge Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to issue guidance to local authorities on changes to the Blue Badge scheme extending eligibility to those with less visible conditions.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 13 February 2019

The Department for Transport is currently developing guidance, drawing on expertise from medical and healthcare professionals, as well as various disability organisations and local authorities, so that authorities will be able to assess applications under the expanded eligibility criteria for non-physical and hidden disabilities. The guidance will be published to coincide with a forthcoming revision of the statutory regulations, planned for the end of April.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 04 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to respond to the letter of 14 January 2019 from the hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich on Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Technical Group.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 12 February 2019

A response to the letter was sent on 6 February.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Treasury
Mortgages: Islam
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of Sharia-compliant home purchase plans.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 12 February 2019

The Government is committed to the availability of Islamic finance in the UK to ensure that no one is denied access to competitive financial products for reasons of faith. We are doing this by working to ensure that Sharia-compliant financial products can be supplied on the same terms and at the same standard as conventional financial products. The UK is already the western leader in Islamic finance, however we continue to explore areas where Islamic finance can be developed further.

Home purchase plans are enabled by regulations overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the independent regulator set up by the Government to ensure consumers are receive appropriate protection.

Beyond the requirements set out in the FCA regulations, decisions around the pricing and availability of individual mortgage loans remain commercial decisions for lenders, and the Government does not seek to intervene in these decisions.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 05 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Services: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect on children receiving social care of the decision to distribute the social care support grant via the adult social care relative needs formula rather than the children’s services relative needs formula.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 11 February 2019

At Autumn Budget 2019, the Chancellor made available £410 million in 2019/20 for social care services in local authorities – both adult and children’s social care. We proposed in the provisional local government finance settlement to distribute these resources based on the existing Adult Social Care relative Needs formula, as the best available method. Consultation responses overwhelmingly supported this approach which was confirmed at final settlement. Local authorities have welcomed the additional funding and the discretion to spend in a way which best fits their community’s needs.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS Trusts: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his oral contribution of 7 January 2019, Official Report, column 84, on NHS Long Term Plan, when he plans to write to the hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich with further details of the effect of changes to the market forces factor on funding for NHS Trusts in London to be allocated as part of the Plan.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 28 January 2019

NHS England is responsible for decisions on the weighted capitation formula used to allocate resources between clinical commissioning group (CCGs). NHS England take advice from the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, a group of academics and other experts. This process is independent of Government.

The CCG allocation formula takes account of unavoidable cost differences between areas by applying the Market Forces Factor (MFF) to all services except for prescribing.

The MFF has not been updated in nearly ten years so it was right that this has been reviewed as part of the changes made in the Long Term Plan. NHS England and Improvement are responsible for updating the methodology and underlying data used to calculate the MFF.

The proposed changes would result in changes in income and allocations for some providers and commissioners. Changes would be implemented over five years to phase the impact on providers.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care will write to the hon. Member shortly.

Grouped Questions: 211307
Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes to the market forces factor on future funding for NHS Trust and Clinical Commissioning Groups in London.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 28 January 2019

NHS England is responsible for decisions on the weighted capitation formula used to allocate resources between clinical commissioning group (CCGs). NHS England take advice from the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, a group of academics and other experts. This process is independent of Government.

The CCG allocation formula takes account of unavoidable cost differences between areas by applying the Market Forces Factor (MFF) to all services except for prescribing.

The MFF has not been updated in nearly ten years so it was right that this has been reviewed as part of the changes made in the Long Term Plan. NHS England and Improvement are responsible for updating the methodology and underlying data used to calculate the MFF.

The proposed changes would result in changes in income and allocations for some providers and commissioners. Changes would be implemented over five years to phase the impact on providers.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care will write to the hon. Member shortly.

Grouped Questions: 211306
Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 January 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether all international treaty and non-treaty arrangements in which the UK participates through membership of the EU will be replicated by 29 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 16 January 2019

We are committed to maintaining the relationships and cooperation we currently enjoy with third countries and international organisations as we exit the EU. This is why we have agreed with the EU that they will notify treaty partners that the UK is treated as a Member State for the purposes of its international agreements with third countries during the Implementation Period. This provides a basis for continuity during this period.

We are also working with third countries to put in place new arrangements that replicate the effects of existing agreements, as far as possible and where relevant, and which would come into force either on exit in the event of ‘no deal’ or at the end of the Implementation Period.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Industrial Health and Safety: Funerals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the implementation of EU Directive 2004/37/EC on the funeral sector.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 08 January 2019

The Government is aware of the concerns that the funeral sector has raised about a new occupational exposure limit value for Formaldehyde in the latest proposed amendment to EU Directive 2004/37/EC. Officials have liaised with representatives of the sector to gather information to inform the continuing negotiations at EU level. The UK will continue to represent the concerns of the funeral sector as part of those negotiations.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Service Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2018 to Question 201700 on Letting Agents, whether the Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Technical Group discussed the threshold of £250 consultation limit for large developments with multiple apartments under one lease at those meetings.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 27 December 2018

The Technical Group discussed the effectiveness of section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, including the monetary thresholds that result in a consultation taking place prior to carrying out any qualifying works to a building.

The Technical Group’s work and early recommendations on section 20 are being taken forward by the Regulation of Property Agent’s working group, chaired by Lord Best. This is to ensure the section 20 considerations are aligned with the wider reform agenda for both service charges and managing agents. The working group is expected to report back to government in summer 2019.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Judgements: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what the total amount of money spent by the Government was to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal the decision of the Inner House to make a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union on Wightman and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 21 December 2018

The total amount of money spent cannot be quantified because work conducted on this case, like others, is recorded under a general DExEU legal file. Accurate estimations cannot be provided due to the nature of work undertaken. Our Annual Report and Accounts for Financial Year 18/19, will disclose the Department's legal costs.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 12 December 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Letting Agents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to Paragraph 66 of the consultation paper entitled, Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market: call for evidence, published by his Department in October 2017, on what dates the meetings held by the Technical Group on an update of Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 took place.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 17 December 2018

Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Technical Group met on three occasions: 11 July 2017, 28 September 2017 and 20 April 2018.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 December 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Prime Minister’s statement on the EU negotiations on 21 September 2018, whether people who derive residency rights (a) as (i) a Chen carer (ii) an Ibrahim child (iii) a Teixeira child (iv) an Ibrahim carer (v) a Teixeira carer and (b) under the Surinder Singh route will have their rights protected in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The Government does not want or expect a no deal outcome, and we have now reached an agreement, in principle, with the European Union.

The Withdrawal Agreement protects individuals currently resident under the Chen and Ibrahim and Teixeira principles. We have committed that provision will be made in the Immigration Rules for them to apply for leave to remain.

The Government has confirmed that in a deal scenario those here under the Surinder Singh provisions will be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, even though they are not protected under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Further details on the provisions for these groups in the unlikely event of no deal will be provided in due course.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 December 2018
Treasury
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 26 November 2018 to Question 194204 on Brexit and with reference to paragraph 4.111 of the Office for Budget Responsibility's Economic and Fiscal Outlook published in October 2018, what proportion of the £400 million underspend relates to the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 06 December 2018

On 13 March 2018, the Treasury confirmed allocations of c.£1.6bn to departments. A full breakdown of the allocation can be found in the Chief Secretary’s Written Ministerial Statement, HCWS540, laid on 13 March https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-03-13/HCWS540/.

The Economic and Fiscal Outlook is produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). As part of their fiscal forecast they take a judgement on how much departments will underspend on aggregate DEL spending. Further information on how the OBR reach their judgement is available at https://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/tax-by-tax-spend-by-spend/departmental-expenditure-limits/.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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: 21 November 2018
Treasury
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2018 to Question 185719 on Brexit and with reference to paragraph 4.111 of the OBR’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook published in October 2018, how much of the current £0.4 billion underspend estimate is within the Brexit funding pot.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 26 November 2018

On 13 March 2018, the Treasury confirmed allocations of c.£1.6bn to departments. A full breakdown of the allocation can be found in the Chief Secretary’s Written Ministerial Statement, HCWS540, which can be found at https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-03-13/HCWS540/.

The Economic and Fiscal Outlook is produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. As part of their fiscal forecast they take a judgement on how much departments will underspend on aggregate DEL spending. This information is available at https://cdn.obr.uk/EFO_October-2018.pdf.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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: 30 October 2018
Treasury
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 139 of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s report entitled Economic and Fiscal Outlook October 2018, published in October 2018, CM9713, what proportion of the £1.5 billion allocated to the Brexit funding pot will be spent in 2018-19.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 08 November 2018

On 13 March, the Treasury allocated c.£1.6bn to departments on March 2018. A full breakdown of the allocation can be found in the Chief Secretary’s Written Ministerial Statement, HCWS540, laid on the 13th March https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-03-13/HCWS540/.

Details of some of the work done by departments funded by these allocations can be found in the Technical Notices published on 24 August (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario).

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility as part of their fiscal forecast take a judgement on how much departments will underspend on all aspects of DEL spending. This information is available at https://cdn.obr.uk/EFO_October-2018.pdf.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 31 October 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he has made an assessment of the implications for his Department’s policies of the recommendations contained in the Independent Monitoring Board's Charter Flights Annual Report of (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 08 November 2018

Independent scrutiny is a vital part of assurance that our charter operations are safe, secure and humane.

We accepted or partially accepted 16 of the 19 recommendations to the Home Office and our escorting contractor in the 2017 report. We continue to work closely with the Independent Monitoring Boards to assess their ongoing recommendations. As a result of that relationship, the Home Office has introduced new measures to further support returnees on charter flight operations.

The Immigration Minister responded to the Team Leader of the Charter Flight Monitoring Team in June 2018 in respect of the 2016 and 2017 IMB reports.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 09 October 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for people who have secured settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme but who are subsequently absent from the UK for a period of less than five years, what constitutes a return to the UK in order for their leave not to lapse and the clock on absence to be reset.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 17 October 2018

In line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement, where a person granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme has returned here after being absent from the UK for a period of no more than five consecutive years, their settled status will not have lapsed. There is no minimum period for which they must then remain in the UK for the clock on any further absence to be reset.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 October 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will include the World Health Organisation’s limit for fine particulate matter PM2.5 in the upcoming Environment Bill.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 11 October 2018

In our recent draft Clean Air Strategy consultation, we committed to halve the population living in areas with concentrations of fine particulate matter above WHO guideline levels (10 μg/m3) by 2025. We are the first major economy in the world to adopt targets based on WHO guidelines, going far beyond EU requirements. The Clean Air Strategy consultation has now closed and we will set out next steps in due course.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 October 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he is putting in place to protect (a) children, (b) the elderly, (c) people with a (i) lung and (ii) heart condition and (d) other vulnerable people from air pollution.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 11 October 2018

Our recently published draft Clean Air Strategy sets out our proposals to reduce the emission of five regulated air pollutants, including PM2.5, which has the strongest evidence of harm to human health. The proposals in our the draft Strategy will result in reductions to PM2.5 concentrations which will halve the population living in areas with concentrations above the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual guideline of 10μgm-3, making us the first major developed economy to recognise the guideline. This ambition goes beyond EU requirements and has been welcomed by the WHO.

The measures in our draft Strategy will reduce concentrations of damaging pollution for all people, including those who may be more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.

Defra has consulted on the draft Strategy and is currently considering the responses received from a wide range of interested parties, including views about adoption of WHO guideline limits and how best to engage with those who may be more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. An updated Strategy published in due course.

Our proposals included additional powers for local authorities to tackle locally-important sources of air pollution, including around schools, care homes and healthcare facilities, if the local authority deems this appropriate.

Additionally, my officials are working with healthcare organisations to develop bespoke guidance for those who may be more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, including children, older people and those with cardiopulmonary conditions.

In March 2017, Defra, Public Health England and the Local Government Association, jointly published an updated resource “Air Quality: briefing for directors of public health”, which enables further action at the local level.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
[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 October 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Exhaust Emissions: Cars
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the new Clean Air Strategy will include proposals to (a) tackle idling by cars and (b) raise awareness of the harmful levels of pollution inside cars.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 11 October 2018

We set out our proposed approach to address air pollution from road traffic in the Clean Air Strategy Consultation and are currently analysing the responses. It is an offence to leave an engine running unnecessarily while the vehicle is stationary on a road and local authorities have powers to issue fixed penalty notices to drivers who commit such an offence.

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