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 Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 18 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Government Departments: Digital Technology
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 276284 on Government Departments: Digital Technology, if he will publish that information before the summer recess.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 24 July 2019

I refer the Hon Member to the response to PQ 276284.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 16 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Food: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will introduce a 9pm watershed on advertising of junk food products on (a) TV and (b) on-demand services.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 22 July 2019

We want to reduce children’s exposure to advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), so have consulted on introducing a 9pm watershed on TV and similar protection online (including around on-demand services), as well as other possible options. Despite strict restrictions already being in place to prohibit HFSS product advertising around children’s programming, and similar protection online, evidence suggests children are still exposed to significant levels of HFSS advertising across the media they engage with most.

There is no lead option in our consultation and we will be led by the evidence in determining the way forward. The consultation closed last month, and is available to view at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/further-advertising-restrictions-for-products-high-in-fat-salt-and-sugar. We are carefully considering responses and will respond as soon as possible.

Q
(Tewkesbury)
[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: 16 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the BBC on requiring people in care homes to purchase TV licences; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Government remains clear that residents of care homes may be eligible for an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence fee concession. Licences issued under this concession currently cost £7.50 per room, flat or bungalow, and the Government has no intention to change this.

Guidance on the concession can be found on the TV Licensing website: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ78 .

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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: 16 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Cybercrime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the cyber security implications of permitting DNS over HTTPS resolvers operating in the UK to reside outside of UK jurisdiction.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 22 July 2019

We are working with industry to understand rollout plans for DNS over HTTPS, including intentions relating to the use of resolvers. We are working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre to ensure that cyber security implications are considered alongside privacy and safety implications of DNS over HTTPS and that solutions will not compromise the security of UK businesses and citizens online.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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: 16 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Internet: Cryptography
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on online safety of the (a) DNS and (b) HTTPS protocol.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 22 July 2019

We are aware of ongoing developments relating to the DNS and HTTPS protocol and are working with industry and other relevant stakeholders on them. Work to understand the potential implications on online safety and other government policies is ongoing and we are committed to ensure that online protections are maintained.

Q
(Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Gambling: Video Games
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to regulate the use of loot boxes in online games aimed at children.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 22 July 2019

Products, such as loot boxes, and other microtransactions in online games have to comply with consumer legislation which protects consumers of all ages from misleading and/or aggressive marketing. Consumers requiring advice should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/). Consumers living in Scotland should contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 (www.consumeradvice.scot/).

The government welcomed the introduction last year by the Video Standards Council Rating Board and PEGI (Pan European Game Information) of a new label for video games to warn parents where they include the potential to make in-game purchases such as loot boxes.

However, we are aware of concerns around loot boxes, and will continue to look closely at any evidence around this issue.

Q
Asked by Kevin Brennan
(Cardiff West)
[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: 17 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Internet: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the jurisdiction of the (a) Information Commissioner’s Office and (b) Ofcom to the development of an age appropriate design code of practice for online services.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Data Protection Act 2018 introduced a requirement on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to produce a statutory code of practice on age-appropriate design. The code will provide guidance on the design standards that the providers of online services, which process personal data and are likely to be accessed by children, will be expected to meet. Earlier this year, the Information Commissioner undertook a public consultation on her draft code.

Separately, we have also set out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online in the Online Harms White Paper. This will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups. The government has also committed to developing practical advice for companies on keeping children safe online, including through technical guidance.

Q
(Tewkesbury)
[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 for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will hold further discussions with the BBC to ensure that free TV licences are provided to all people over the age of 75; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 15 July 2019

I made a statement to the House on 11 June 2019, and spoke on the matter at Oral Questions on 04 July 2019.

The Government has expressed its disappointment with the BBC’s decision for taking the most narrowly focused review option. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

Q
Asked by Gerald Jones
(Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)
[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: 01 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the withdrawal of free TV licences for over-75s on the (a) well-being and (b) isolation of elderly people.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 04 July 2019

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is a matter for the BBC. Parliament transferred responsibility in passing the Digital Economy Act in 2017. On the specific issues of the well-being and isolation of the elderly, My Department work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care, and the Government is taking steps to address loneliness. These include appointing a minister to lead work on tackling loneliness; publishing the world’s first government strategy on loneliness; and securing £20 million of new grant-funding for projects run by charities and community groups to bring people together.

Q
Asked by David Simpson
(Upper Bann)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with representatives from the BBC on the BBC's decision to charge people aged over 75 for TV licences.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 03 July 2019

Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

Q
(Haltemprice and Howden)
Asked on: 24 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the BBC on the proposed removal of free television licences for people aged over 75.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 02 July 2019

Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

Q
(Glasgow North East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people over 75 who cannot afford to pay for a TV licence will be able to access democracy and keep informed of current affairs from June 2020.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 02 July 2019

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. In the 2015 funding settlement, the Government and the BBC agreed that responsibility for the concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020.

However, the Government is disappointed with the BBC’s decision as it has been clear that it wants and expects the BBC to continue this concession. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

Grouped Questions: 269765 | 269766
Q
(Glasgow North East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people over 75 who do not use the internet are not digitally excluded and will receive the necessary support to pay for a TV licence from June 2020.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 02 July 2019

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. In the 2015 funding settlement, the Government and the BBC agreed that responsibility for the concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020.

However, the Government is disappointed with the BBC’s decision as it has been clear that it wants and expects the BBC to continue this concession. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

Grouped Questions: 269764 | 269766
Q
(Glasgow North East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he plans to take to ensure that people over 75 whose level of income is above the threshold of eligibility for pension credit are able to pay for a TV licence from June 2020.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 02 July 2019

The future of the over 75 licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC. In the 2015 funding settlement, the Government and the BBC agreed that responsibility for the concession would transfer to the BBC in June 2020.

However, the Government is disappointed with the BBC’s decision as it has been clear that it wants and expects the BBC to continue this concession. Since the BBC took its decision, I have met with the Chairman of the BBC Board and the Director-General of the BBC and I have asked them to do more to help the most vulnerable groups affected by the decision.

Grouped Questions: 269764 | 269765
Q
(Easington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 13 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the BBC on the over-75s TV licence and the report from Frontier Economics to the Corporation that found only 11 per cent of the poorest tenth households would continue to receive a free licence under the BBC’s means-test plan.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 18 June 2019

I meet with the BBC regularly to discuss a range of issues, including the over 75 licence fee concession. The future of the age-related licence fee concession was entirely a matter for the BBC and it has decided to continue the concession only for those who are aged 75 and above and in receipt of Pension Credit from June 2020.

I am disappointed with this decision and the Government expects the BBC to look at further ways to support older people.

Q
Asked by Kevin Brennan
(Cardiff West)
[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 May 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Culture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the publication of the Government's soft power strategy.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 04 June 2019

I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a range of issues including the soft power strategy. We have been consulting widely across our sectors to ensure the strategy reflects the breadth of our soft power assets.

Q
Asked by Kevin Brennan
(Cardiff West)
[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 May 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Museums and Galleries: Marketing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support he will provide to museums to help promote UK soft power internationally after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 04 June 2019

We will continue to support the work of UK museums and their international counterparts in promoting the free exchange of ideas, knowledge and an understanding of the world around us. It is important that we continue to support the museums, whilst also enhancing their ability to undertake further international trade and build related partnerships through their collections and commercial endeavours. The Government continues to be committed to providing free entry to the permanent collections of the national museums, ensuring that they can be enjoyed by visitors from at home and around the world.

Q
(Bexleyheath and Crayford)
Asked on: 21 May 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Tourism: Historic Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage an increase the number of annual visits to historic houses throughout the UK.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 29 May 2019

In 2018 historic properties responded to a VisitEngland survey of visitor attractions in England, indicating that there were approximately 70m visits to historic properties in 2017. Of these, the most popular types of historic attractions were historic houses, making up 43% of all heritage visits. VisitBritain use historic houses in their promotional material to promote our heritage abroad and incentivise visits to the UK.

VisitEngland also administer the £40m Discover England Fund which helps create innovative, bookable tourism product across England and markets them at international audiences. Products which focus on historic houses include the England’s Originals project, The Great West Way and the Explorers Road.

In addition, Historic Houses work in partnership with the GREAT campaign. The GREAT Campaign use images and events throughout their international marketing campaigns to stimulate tourism and project a positive image of British national heritage abroad.

Q
(Bexleyheath and Crayford)
Asked on: 21 May 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Tourism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help increase tourism to the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 29 May 2019

We are working with the tourism and hospitality sector to ensure it remains globally competitive.

Whether the UK leaves with a deal or not, the UK and the EU have proposed reciprocal visa-free travel arrangements to enable UK and EU citizens to continue to travel freely for tourism in the future. The Government has also confirmed that EU nationals can continue to travel on a national ID card until December 2020 and use e-gates when travelling on a passport. The Home Office has also announced this week that the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have been added to the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to use ePassport gates to enter the UK.

For those visitors who need a visa, the UK Visas and Immigration service (UKVI) aims to deliver a world-class customer experience that is competitive, flexible and accessible. UKVI have a number of projects underway that will deliver significant customer service improvements this year.

The proposed tourism sector deal, which is in formal negotiations, has a strong focus on competitiveness through boosting connectivity (both transport connections and digital connectivity) and working with destinations to build quality tourism products that meet visitors needs and expectations. A key focus is also making the sector more attractive to UK nationals through investment in skills, career development and retention policies.

VisitBritain are also working hard to promote the UK as a destination, using targeted marketing in Europe, increasing work with partnerships such as EasyJet and increasing press engagement in the tourism market, featuring activities for visitors to do in the UK this summer.

Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 April 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Music: Licensed Premises
Commons
What assessment he has made of the potential effect on the financial sustainability of music venues of extending business rates relief to those venues.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 11 April 2019

Grassroots venues are an important part of our music ecosystem and the Hon member will be aware of the assistance the Government has already been able to give them in planning and licensing policy.

We have also announced a £300 million rate relief fund that allows councils to provide support to businesses, like music venues, facing increased bills. We are exploring what more can be done.

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