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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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 Lord Scriven
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Detainees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are aware of the organisation responsible for carrying out the arrests of Bahraini female activists Zakeya Albarboori and Fatema Dawood Juma on 17 May.
A
Answered on: 25 June 2018

Our Embassy in Bahrain has a continuing dialogue with the Government of Bahrain and all Bahraini human rights oversight bodies. Officials are seeking clarification over the cases of Zakeya Albarboori and Fatema Dawood Juma.

The UK encourages those with concerns about treatment in detention to report these to the relevant human rights oversight bodies. We urge these bodies to carry out swift and thorough investigations. The UK continues to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for International Trade
Import Duties: USA
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect that the tariffs on steel and aluminium introduced by the United States will have on the British economy.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 25 June 2018

In 2017 the US accounted for, in terms of tonnage, 7% and 3% respectively of UK steel and aluminium exports in scope of these tariffs, at a value of £360 million and £29 million respectively.


We are working closely with the steel and aluminium industries to assess the potential impact of these measures.


We remain committed to robustly defending and protecting the UK steel and aluminium industries and its employees. The government will continue to press the US for an EU wide exemption from these unjustified tariffs, in order to ensure our steel and aluminium industries are not damaged.

Asked on: 12 June 2018
Department for International Trade
EU External Trade: USA
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of a potential trade war between the United States and the EU on the UK.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The Government is deeply disappointed at the imposition of tariffs on the EU for the export of steel and aluminium.


It is right to seek to defend our domestic industries from the damaging direct and indirect impacts of these US tariffs. The government has worked closely with the EU as part of our unified response. The response must be measured, proportionate and within the boundaries of the rules-based trading system, of which the UK is a strong advocate.

Q
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Home Office
Domestic Violence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to (1) respond to the consultation on, and (2) publish the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill announced in the Queen's Speech on 21 July 2017.
Answered on: 25 June 2018

On 8 March we launched a 12 week public consultation on proposals for a landmark domestic abuse Bill and a supporting package of practical action to transform the response to domestic abuse. The consultation closed on 31 May. Over 3,200 responses to the consultation were received. The responses to the consultation are being considered and a draft Bill will be published later this session.

Q
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Home Office
Immigration
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 May (HL7540), whether spouses of EU citizens from countries outside the EU will be included in the right to free movement in the UK; and if not, how they reconcile the statement that "family members will be able to join EU citizens on current EU law terms" with EU law determining that those spouses may have access to the applicable EU state.
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The references to “family members” and “close family members” in the Written Answer of 14 May (HL7540) include those from countries outside the EU.

Q
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Bereavement Support Payment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government why cohabiting couples with young children are not eligible for Bereavement Support Payments.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 25 June 2018

Bereavement Support Payment is paid to, and for the benefit of, a surviving spouse or civil partner. Entitlement does not depend on whether or not the deceased had children.

Marriage and civil partnerships are legal contracts that are associated with certain rights, including inheritance, recognition in the tax system and entitlement to certain benefits.

A key principle of the National Insurance system is that all rights to benefits derived from another person’s contributions are based on the concept of legal marriage or civil partnership.

Moreover, proving that cohabitation existed could be a complex process likely to cause distress at a time of bereavement.

However, cohabitees do have access to income-related benefits. They may also qualify for help with funeral costs from the Social Fund and may of course choose to provide security for their families by way of private pension or life insurance arrangements.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Emergency Powers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will call on the government of Turkey to end the current state of emergency before the general election on 24 June.
A
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​We have consistently urged the Turkish government to lift the state of emergency as soon as possible. We have noted Turkish media reporting that President Erdogan has said publicly that he would end the state of emergency if re-elected on 24 June. We believe that doing so would signal a return towards normality.

Asked on: 13 June 2018
Ministry of Justice
Child Arrangement Orders
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what records they keep on the outcomes for children who have been subject to child arrangements orders in the family courts since 2000; and how many of those orders setting out parenting time between a father and his children were broken in 2017.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 25 June 2018

Child Arrangements Orders replaced separate contact and residence orders in April 2014. The Department does not hold information on the outcomes for children who have been subject to such orders in the family courts. This information, including court ordered time with a father, could only be obtained by checking each court file at disproportionate cost. The Department does, however, publish information on the number of children who are the subject of applications and orders for enforcement in private law Children Act 1989 proceedings where a breach of an order is alleged. This is set out in Tables 3 and 4 of Family Court Statistics Quarterly available from www.gov.uk.

Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Children: Maintenance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many deaths since 2000 have been linked to Child Support Agency cases or cases managed by the Child Maintenance Service.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 25 June 2018

We have interpreted your question to refer to the death, for any reason, of receiving or paying parent who is named on a case managed by the Child Support Agency (CSA) or the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

Data is only available for the 2003 CSA scheme, and for the CMS since December 2015. IIt is standard practice for the Department to be informed of a death and for this to be recorded on departmental systems. It is only possible to identify a death of a case participant where the Department has a National Insurance number for the parent involved and has been informed of the death. Where the Department is informed of a death only the date is recorded as standard practice and as such any link beyond involvement in a case cannot be established.

For 2003 scheme cases managed by the CSA there were 71,200 deaths informed to DWP between 2003 and 31st December 2017.

For cases managed by the CMS there were 3,500 deaths informed to DWP between 1st December 2015 and 31st December 2017.

Numbers have been rounded to the nearest one hundred.

Q
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Department for International Development
Burma: Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what UK economic aid, if any, is provided to the Burmese army.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The UK provides no economic aid to the Burmese Army.

Q
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Travellers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the government of Ukraine's undertaking to respond by March 2018 to the UK's request for action to ensure that individuals from Ukraine's Roma community are afforded full and equal access to an education, fair treatment by law enforcement bodies and the judiciary, and a right to acquire a nationality, what response they have received from the government of Ukraine.
A
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​The UK raised the treatment of members of the Roma community during Ukraine's Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations in November 2017. In their response, Ukraine noted that it was implementing the 2013-20 Strategy for the Protection and Integration of the Roma National Minority into Ukrainian Society, including efforts to improve the documentation of the Roma population and school attendance of Roma children. The UK continues to engage with the Ukrainian authorities and non-governmental organisations on this issue.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Department for International Trade
Department for International Trade: Liability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, on how many occasions his Department has been unable to notify Parliament of the particulars of a liability and thus fulfil the required 14 days’ notice prior to that liability going live in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 25 June 2018

There have been no contingent liabilities in the Department for International Trade that were less than 14 days’ notice to Parliament.

Q
(Preston)
[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 June 2018
Home Office
Hate Crime: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May to Question 145549 on racially aggravated offences: Lancashire, what guidance has been (a) updated and (b) implemented into police policy since publication of the Hate Crime Action Plan; and what effect that plan has had on the number of incidents of hate crime reported in Lancashire.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The College of Policing issued operational guidance on hate crime in 2014 to support police forces in England and Wales. The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s national lead for hate crime supports police forces to implement the guidance.

It is for the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable for Lancashire Constabulary to assess the effectiveness of the police response to hate crime in Lancashire.

Asked on: 14 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Eritrea: Mining
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recent report by Eritrea Focus to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea, Mining & Repression in Eritrea: corporate complicity in human rights abuses, and its implications for Government policy.
A
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​The Government has received the recent report by Eritrea Focus. Eritrea remains a human rights priority country under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Annual Human Rights Report. The FCO and the British Embassy in Asmara regularly engages with UK companies, and companies with UK investment, involved in the extractive sector in Eritrea. Discussions include their duty to comply with the legislative and regulatory requirements of operating in Eritrea, and the human rights of Eritrean nationals involved in their operations in Eritrea.

The British Government will take appropriate action against companies and/or individuals who fail to comply with the relevant legislation.

Asked on: 14 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel since 30 March, to encourage their cooperation with the independent, international commission of inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
A
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The UK has been clear that we support an independent and transparent investigation into recent events in Gaza, including Hamas’s role and the Israeli DeFence’s conduct. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary expressed concern about the loss of Palestinian lives during the Gaza protests when they met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in London on 6 June.

Q
Asked by Lord Shinkwin
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they spend on supporting people with disabilities and health conditions; and how much this amount has risen in real terms since 2010.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 25 June 2018

In 2018/19, forecast expenditure on benefits to support disabled people and people with health conditions is £54.0 billion. This is £9.3 billion more than in 2010/11.

Q
Asked by Lord Shinkwin
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how UK public spending on disability and incapacity compares with other G7 nations.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 25 June 2018

As a share of GDP, latest data shows that the UK’s public spending on disability and incapacity is the second highest in the G7. Public incapacity spending in the G7 countries is shown in the table.

Public spending – incapacity-related (per cent of Gross Domestic Product)

Germany

2.1

United Kingdom

2.0

Italy

1.7

France

1.7

United States of America

1.4

Japan

1.0

Canada

0.8

Source: Social Expenditure Database, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Q
(Mitcham and Morden)
Asked on: 15 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Breast Cancer: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to his Written Ministerial Statement of 4 June 2018 on Breast Cancer Screening Update, HCWS731, and the figures contained in that statement, what criteria his Department used to determine which women would be contacted; and how many and what proportion of women who were not affected by the breast cancer screening computer failure were contacted by his Department.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 25 June 2018

Initial analysis of records held by NHS Digital suggested that 195,568 women were registered with a general practitioner in England and had not been invited as expected for a breast screen between their 68th and 71st birthdays. These women were all sent a letter to alert them to the potential problem as soon as possible.

Subsequent analysis showed that 72,839 (37%) of them had received a screen or an invitation for a screen between their 68th and 71st birthday. The main reason for the discrepancy was that, in line with usual practice, women who move house are sent invitations to both addresses, while some had been invited before their 68th birthday but screened after it.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 15 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Diabetes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will fund approved diagnostics for diabetes.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 25 June 2018

As part of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, NHS England has provided implementation funding to local health economies (sustainability and transformation partnerships and their partner clinical commissioning groups, and local authorities) to support the identification, coding, and onward referral of those individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes. Eligibility is defined by a blood glucose reading (HbA1C or FPG) within the last 12 months in the at risk category.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nuclear Power Stations: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2018 to Question 147430 on Nuclear Power Stations: Construction, what criteria his Department will use to decide for the release of future publications on value for money assessments of new nuclear power stations.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The Government published a value for money assessment for Hinkley Point C at the time of the deal being signed.

As I said in my response on 4th June 2018 to Question 147430 the Government will ensure that appropriate value for money assessments are completed before any final deal on a new nuclear project is signed and will consider releasing future publications at the appropriate time.

As my rt. hon. friend the Secretary of State committed in his statement to Parliament on 4th June 2018, the Department will continue to keep Parliament informed through the negotiation process.

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