Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 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 Tracey Crouch
(Chatham and Aylesford)
[N]
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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 June 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to encourage take up of the social investment tax relief scheme to rebuild communities after the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 15 June 2020

SITR is designed to support a broad range of social enterprises, which may have a variety of social missions and community benefits. The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the SITR scheme to date, including as to why it has been used less than anticipated and what impact it has had on access to finance for social enterprises. A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

The Government is committed to helping social enterprises and charities through the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has helped to accelerate the release of previously committed dormant bank account money. This initiative has enabled Big Society Capital to establish and capitalise a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund, which aims to improve access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for social enterprises.

Grouped Questions: 57176
Q
Asked by Tracey Crouch
(Chatham and Aylesford)
[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 June 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Loneliness
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the use of the social investment tax relief scheme to support the Government's strategy to tackle loneliness.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 15 June 2020

SITR is designed to support a broad range of social enterprises, which may have a variety of social missions and community benefits. The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the SITR scheme to date, including as to why it has been used less than anticipated and what impact it has had on access to finance for social enterprises. A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

The Government is committed to helping social enterprises and charities through the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has helped to accelerate the release of previously committed dormant bank account money. This initiative has enabled Big Society Capital to establish and capitalise a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund, which aims to improve access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for social enterprises.

Grouped Questions: 57175
Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the combined effect on social enterprises of the covid-19 outbreak and the cessation of social investment tax relief after the sunset clause is reached in 2021.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 01 May 2020

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is intended to support risk finance into social enterprises by offering investors a 30% tax relief on their qualifying investment. HMRC figures up to 2017-18 show that around 80 social enterprises have used the scheme since its introduction in 2014.

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers. In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the SITR in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017. A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

The Government is committed to helping social enterprises and charities through the COVID-19 outbreak. This is why it has enabled other, more direct forms of support for the sector. Big Society Capital has established and capitalised a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund which aims to improve access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for social enterprises. The initiative has been enabled by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) accelerating the release of previously committed dormant bank accounts money.

Grouped Questions: 39487
Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the operation of social investment tax relief to support social enterprises and charities during and after the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 01 May 2020

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is intended to support risk finance into social enterprises by offering investors a 30% tax relief on their qualifying investment. HMRC figures up to 2017-18 show that around 80 social enterprises have used the scheme since its introduction in 2014.

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers. In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the SITR in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017. A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

The Government is committed to helping social enterprises and charities through the COVID-19 outbreak. This is why it has enabled other, more direct forms of support for the sector. Big Society Capital has established and capitalised a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund which aims to improve access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for social enterprises. The initiative has been enabled by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) accelerating the release of previously committed dormant bank accounts money.

Grouped Questions: 39486
Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 17 March 2020
Treasury
Bank Services
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to review the purposes for which funds raised under the dormant assets scheme can be committed.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 25 March 2020

As you may be aware, the Government recently launched a consultation on expanding the dormant assets scheme beyond bank and building society accounts to include a wider range of financial assets. That consultation set out the way that money from dormant assets is distributed, in line with the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008.

The Act specifies that funds in England must be used for causes related to youth, financial capability and inclusion, or social investment. The scheme’s focus on creating impact in these three areas was agreed through a public consultation at its inception. It enables the scheme to create a lasting legacy, driving systemic change to address entrenched social issues and protects this impact from being diluted.

The scheme is based on voluntary industry participation and enjoys widespread support from the banks and building societies who continue to contribute to it. The Government currently has no plans to change how the distribution of dormant assets funding functions. This includes the causes to which the funds are directed.

Grouped Questions: 30700
Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 17 March 2020
Treasury
Third Sector: Finance
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will create a community wealth fund dedicated to improving outcomes for the most deprived neighbourhoods over the long term into which all new assets listed under the proposed expanded dormant assets scheme must be paid.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 25 March 2020

As you may be aware, the Government recently launched a consultation on expanding the dormant assets scheme beyond bank and building society accounts to include a wider range of financial assets. That consultation set out the way that money from dormant assets is distributed, in line with the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008.

The Act specifies that funds in England must be used for causes related to youth, financial capability and inclusion, or social investment. The scheme’s focus on creating impact in these three areas was agreed through a public consultation at its inception. It enables the scheme to create a lasting legacy, driving systemic change to address entrenched social issues and protects this impact from being diluted.

The scheme is based on voluntary industry participation and enjoys widespread support from the banks and building societies who continue to contribute to it. The Government currently has no plans to change how the distribution of dormant assets funding functions. This includes the causes to which the funds are directed.

Grouped Questions: 30699
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Social Investment Tax Relief.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the loss of the Social Investment Tax Relief to social enterprises after the sunset clause is reached in 2021.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the availability of social investment tax reliefs to investors in the UK.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policies of Big Society Capital’s 2019 data on the (a) size and (b) quantity of deals made using the Social Investment Tax Relief.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of voluntary organisations that have benefited from Social Investment Tax Relief.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

HMRC publish annual statistics of the use of the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) scheme. The most recent release is on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/enterprise-investment-scheme-seed-enterprise-investment-scheme-and-social-investment-tax-relief-statistics-may-2019.

From the introduction of SITR in the tax year 2014-15 up to 2017-18, 80 social enterprises received investment through the scheme, including community benefit societies, charities and community interest companies. Data for the tax year 2018/19 will be published in May 2020.

‘Voluntary organisations’ is not a category used by HMRC to record information in respect of social enterprises using SITR.

Grouped Questions: 21381
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of social enterprises that have benefited from Social Investment Tax Relief.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

HMRC publish annual statistics of the use of the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) scheme. The most recent release is on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/enterprise-investment-scheme-seed-enterprise-investment-scheme-and-social-investment-tax-relief-statistics-may-2019.

From the introduction of SITR in the tax year 2014-15 up to 2017-18, 80 social enterprises received investment through the scheme, including community benefit societies, charities and community interest companies. Data for the tax year 2018/19 will be published in May 2020.

‘Voluntary organisations’ is not a category used by HMRC to record information in respect of social enterprises using SITR.

Grouped Questions: 21380
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Social Investment Tax Relief in increasing investment in (a) SMEs and (b) start-ups.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department has received on extending the Social Investment Tax Relief consultation.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the effect the Social Investment Tax Relief has made on community businesses.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21385 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to make a comparative assessment of the support available to social businesses compared with for-profit businesses.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21386 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of Social Investment Tax Relief on bringing new investors and capital into social enterprises and charities.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21387
Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Treasury
Social Enterprises: Tax Allowances
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of Social Investment Tax Relief on the affordability of capital for eligible social enterprises and charities.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review to ensure that they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers.

In 2019, the Government comprehensively reviewed the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), in line with commitments made when SITR was enlarged in 2017.

As part of this review, the Government published a Call for Evidence in April 2019, which ran for 12 weeks.

The Call for Evidence examined SITR’s effectiveness at incentivising individuals to invest in social enterprises, and its impact on the social investment and enterprise markets. A list of questions asked in the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence/social-investment-tax-relief-call-for-evidence.

The Call for Evidence received responses and evidence from a range of interested parties, including social enterprises, charities, community businesses, investors, and intermediaries.

A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 21376 | 21377 | 21378 | 21379 | 21382 | 21383 | 21384 | 21385 | 21386
Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 20 January 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the work of Habitat for Humanity in the UK and abroad; and what consideration they have given to using (1) self-build volunteer work, (2) revolving funds, and (3) interest-free mortgages, in parts of England and Wales where there are urgent housing needs.
Answered on: 30 January 2020

I would like to take the opportunity to recognise the good work that Habitat for Humanity do through their community house building and renovation projects, both in the UK and abroad. MHCLG has considered a number of funding proposals for social investment organisations to help finance community-led housebuilding schemes.

While discussions are ongoing in some cases, no such investment has yet been made or agreed by MHCLG. Ministers are considering all budgets in the round and allocations for future years will be considered at the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review. While HM Treasury usually leads on mortgage policy and regulation , MHCLG keeps various approaches to increasing home ownership under review.

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