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
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 May 2018
Treasury
Minimum Wage: Arrears
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the HM Revenue and Customs press release of 9 May 2018, 200,000 receive back pay as HMRC enforces National Minimum Wage, how much of the £15.6 million of minimum wage arrears identified in 2017-18 was identified through self-correction by employers; and how many of those 200,000 people those arrears self-corrected by employers relate to.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 22 May 2018

The government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum and Living Wage (NMW) receives it. Anyone who feels they have been underpaid NMW should contact the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100 or use the online pay and work rights complaints form on gov.uk. HMRC review all complaints that are referred to them.

In 2017/18 HMRC identified over £15.6 million arrears for over 200,000 workers. This included around £5.9 million self-correction arrears affecting around than 72,000 workers.

HMRC always takes action to ensure workers receive what they are entitled to, and has robust assurance processes in place to make sure that all employers fully repay their workers. If HMRC believes that the employer has not self-corrected completely, or becomes aware of another NMW risk, the employer will be investigated again

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 May 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 May 2018 to Question 136701, what the criteria will be by which his Department will assess the cost-effectiveness of the potential additional deployment of offshore wind.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 2018
Department for International Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation of Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp in Southern Damascus; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 2018
Department for International Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he is taking to ensure protection and relief to Palestinian refugees affected by the conflict in Syria; and whether her Department has any plans to increase the UK's allocation of budget to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 May 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, published on 5 March 2018, for what reason he proposes to amend the duty on local planning authorities to make decisions that are in line with the objectives and provisions of the Climate Change Act 2008 to decisions that are within the context provided by that Act; and if he will make it his policy to restore the direct link between the objectives and provisions of that Act and local planning in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 May 2018
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Refugee Action report, Waiting in the dark, published on 16 May 2018, what steps he plans to take to improve the (a) quality and (b) speed of the asylum decision making process; and if he will provide independent support and information to asylum seekers about the asylum system when they apply for asylum.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 May 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Written Statement of 10 May 2018, HCWS674 on Immigration, if he will make is his policy that information in response to the call for evidence to inform design of the compensation scheme will not (a) be used for the purposes of immigration enforcement and (b) affect access to welfare benefits.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 17 May 2018

Information provided as part of the Call for Evidence will only be used to inform the design options and scope of the compensation scheme. It will not be used for the purposes of immigration enforcement or affect individual’s access to welfare benefits.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Gaza
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has had discussions with its Israeli counterpart on the use by the Israeli military of expanding bullets in the Gaza Strip between February 2018 and May 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 17 May 2018

​Whilst we have not raised this specific issue, the use of live fire is deeply troubling and has led to significant loss of life. I raised concerns about the use of live ammunition against protestors in Gaza with my Israeli counterpart on 13 May. The Minister for Human Rights, also raised this issue with the Israeli government during his visit to Israel on 11 April. As I said in my statement of 14 May we continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 May 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Opencast Mining: County Durham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed ‘Bradley’ open-cast coal mine in Pont Valley, County Durham on the UK meeting its carbon reduction targets in the Climate Change Act 2008.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 17 May 2018

The Secretary of State is currently considering requests to revoke the planning permission, granted on 3 June 2015, for surface coal mining at the Bradley site. These requests are being considered in the light of the current policy on revocation. I am therefore unable to comment on any aspects of this proposal as to do so is likely to be prejudicial. As a decision is reached however the Secretary of State will take into account the matters raised in the requests, including those set out in your correspondence of 1 March. A decision will be issued shortly.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if will make it his policy to suspend all UK arms export licenses to Israel in the light of ongoing investigations into human rights violations by that country.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 17 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
Bangladesh: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many armed forces personnel from Bangladesh received training at Sandhurst Military Academy in each year since 1997; and whether any of the four cases of Bangladeshi military and police personnel serving in UN field missions implicated in allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse received any training from the UK military at (a) Sandhurst and (b) elsewhere.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 04 May 2018
House of Commons Commission
Parliamentary Estate: Plastics
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February 2018 to Question 128463, on Parliamentary Estate: Plastics, what the outcome was of the Administration Committee’s consideration of the proposed 25p charge for disposable cups on the parliamentary estate; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Tom Brake
Answered on: 16 May 2018

The Administration Committee discussed a range of initiatives proposed to reduce the consumption of single use disposable plastics on 26 March 2018, including the introduction of the 25p charge for disposable cups on the Parliamentary Estate.

The Committee endorsed all the proposed measures including the introduction of the 25p charge, which will be implemented before the House returns from the summer recess later this year. They were agreed by the Commission on 14 May.

A comprehensive statement outlining the strategy being implemented to tackle single-use avoidable plastics over the next 12 months was published on 15 May:

https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/commons/media-relations-group/news/parliaments-ambitious-plastic-plans-unveiled-/

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 16 May 2018
Treasury
Instalment Credit
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 14 May 2018 to Question 141345 on Instalment Credit, whether (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials of his Department have discussed the feasibility of introducing a total cap on the cost of rent-to-own goods with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 16 May 2018
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to bring forward the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 to 2030.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 15 May 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Opencast Mining: County Durham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of the proposed Bradley open-cast coal mine in Pont Valley, County Durham on the Government’s commitment to restore the natural environment.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 04 May 2018
Treasury
Instalment Credit
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his Department's policy is on the introduction of a cap on the total cost of rent-to-own goods; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 14 May 2018

The government is committed to protecting consumers from unfair lending practises. To this end, the government has given the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) strong powers, including the power to cap the cost of credit, and it will do so if it thinks it is necessary to protect consumers.

The FCA is conducting a review of the high-cost credit market, including rent-to-own, and will publish an update later this month. The government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure that all customers are treated fairly.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 08 May 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nuclear Power: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 3 August 2016 to Question 42312 and with reference to the written statement HCWS137 of 14 September 2017, HCWS445 of 2 February 2018, and HCWS617 of 16 April 2018, what his Department’s current estimate is of the total additional cost of creating a domestic nuclear safeguards regime to replace the regime currently provided through membership of EURATOM.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 14 May 2018

The total estimated cost to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime is up to £10 million, as explained in the explanatory notes to the Nuclear Safeguards Bill republished on 24th January 2018. This estimate includes any expenditure made from cash advances received from the Contingencies Fund. The Department’s applications to the Contingencies Fund were notified to Parliament on 2 February 2018 and 16 April 2018.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Omar Shakir
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the revocation of the Director of Human Rights Watch Israel and Palestine, Omar Shakir’s work permit.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 May 2018
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of children in families with the legal right to remain in the UK with an attached no recourse to public funds condition on their leave to remain who are unable to access free school meals; and what plans the Government has to review the policy and practice in those circumstances.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking: Insolvency
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will introduce mechanisms to protect the public purse in the event that a fracking company becomes insolvent after Government consent has been provided for a project and fracking has taken place; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 04 May 2018

Each shale gas licensee (and there may be more than one for each licence) is responsible for their well(s). When operations finish, the licensees are responsible for safe decommissioning of their well(s) and for restoring the well-site to its previous state or a suitable condition for re-use.

The Government has been clear that it considers that the financial resilience of a company wishing to hydraulically fracture is a relevant consideration in the consents process. As set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 25 January 2018, on Energy Policy, HCWS428, as a matter of policy we will look at the financial resilience of all companies wishing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations alongside their application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State has therefore asked the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to assess the financial resilience of Third Energy UK Gas Ltd, including its ability to fund decommissioning costs.

BEIS officials are also working with the industry’s trade body UK Onshore Oil and Gas to ensure that liabilities for shale wells are addressed in the rare circumstance where all of the companies on a licence became insolvent, and where no rescue mechanism for those companies could be found.

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