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
(Kensington)
Asked on: 08 January 2019
Ministry of Defence
Nuclear Reactors: Regulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what dates safety cases for the operation of the PWR2 Steam Raising Plant were submitted by his Department for regulatory approval.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 16 January 2019

The PWR2 Naval Reactor Safety Case is a live document which is maintained through-life to justify and ensure continued safe operation of the reactors in our submarines. It is a requirement that a major stand alone review of each Safety Case is undertaken at approximately ten-year intervals. The last periodic full review was completed in 2014.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 08 January 2019
Ministry of Defence
Trident Submarines: Nuclear Reactors
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contingency plans he has put in place to monitor the integrity of the fuel elements in Vanguard submarine reactors.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 16 January 2019

The safety of the United Kingdom's submarine force remains our highest priority. We continue to work closely with the independent regulators to ensure the safety of operations both alongside and at sea. I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Grouped Questions: 206475
Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 08 January 2019
Ministry of Defence
Trident Submarines: Nuclear Reactors
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contingency plans he has put in place for fuel element breaches in a Vanguard submarine reactor.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 16 January 2019

The safety of the United Kingdom's submarine force remains our highest priority. We continue to work closely with the independent regulators to ensure the safety of operations both alongside and at sea. I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Grouped Questions: 206474
Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 08 January 2019
Ministry of Defence
HMS Vengeance and HMS Vigilant: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the need to refuel (a) HMS Vigilant and (b) HMS Vengeance in their remaining years of service.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 15 January 2019

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor (Guto Bebb) on 26 January 2018 to Question 123641 to the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury).

123641 - Warships (Word Document, 26.96 KB)
Q
(Kensington)
[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 Transport
Underground Railways: Disability
Commons
If he will support Transport for London to increase the number of step-free access underground stations in London.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 10 January 2019

Transport in London is devolved to the Mayor and delivered by Transport for London. It is a matter for the Mayor to determine how to increase step free access at Underground stations.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 13 December 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Association of Composite Door Manufacturers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for building safety of making the Association of Composite Door Manufacturers the governing body of the composite door industry with the stated aim of promoting the use of composite doors.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 19 December 2018

MHCLG are working with the Association of Composite Door Manufacturers (ACDM) as industry representatives to raise standards through Industry-led action. No changes have been made to the status of ACDM by the Department. The Department understand any change to ACDM's stated purpose is a voluntary action being taken by its members.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the effect of delaying managed migration of existing social security claimants to universal credit on the cost to the public purse of universal credit transitional protection; and whether those estimates constitute a saving to the public purse.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 13 December 2018

It is not possible to disaggregate the spending impact of delaying managed migration. HM Treasury did publish an overall spending impact of the budget changes, which can be accessed at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/752208/Budget_2018_policy_costings_PDF.pdf.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 05 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
HMS Victorious
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what sources of information his Department consulted in its assessment which led to the decision not to refuel HMS Victorious.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 12 December 2018

The Ministry of Defence has considered a wide range of safety, technical and programmatic information in formulating its decision not to refuel HMS Victorious.

I can confirm that our ability to operate all our nuclear submarines safely is not in doubt.

Q
(Kensington)
[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
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Grenfell Tower: Fires
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether officials from his Department have met with representatives of the insurance industry on limiting liability exposure after the Grenfell Tower fire.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 06 December 2018

Officials from my department have had no meetings with the insurance industry to discuss limiting liability exposure.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many high-rise blocks owned by local authorities and housing associations will have their cladding removed between 1 November 2018 and 20 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 28 November 2018

The Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe Aluminium Cladding Material (ACM) cladding systems on social residential buildings which are 18 metres and over and owned by councils and housing associations, with costs estimated at £400 million.

The Building Safety Programme releases monthly data on the identification and remediation status of high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems. As at 31 October 2018, 28 have finished remediation, 87 have started remediation, and 40 have a remediation plan in place. The latest data release is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-end-october-2018.

The remediation of buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems is a complex process. Remediation work involves addressing any issues with the exterior cladding system and broader fire safety systems for each building. All of this work takes time and varies considerably depending on the building structure, extent of cladding, and existing fire safety systems.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Self-employed
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many recipients of universal credit are self-employed.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 27 November 2018

We plan to publish statistics on Universal Credit and self-employment, including claimant numbers, in the future. This data is currently going through quality assurance clearance procedures in line with the National Statistics and Official Statistics publication standard.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Independent Case Examiner: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2018 to Question 176686 on Independent Case Examiner, how much additional funding the Independent Case Examiner received in 2017-18 to reduce the waiting time for a decision.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Independent Case Examiner’s Office received no additional funding in the 2017-18 reporting year however, the Office has received funding for additional staff in the current reporting year.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Independent Case Examiner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether complaints to the Independent Case Examiner that have been considered under the early resolution process can be referred directly to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The Independent Case Examiner’s Office routinely considers whether the complaints it accepts for examination can be resolved, to the complainant’s satisfaction, without the need for a full examination of the case. The resolution process will only succeed if the complainant is satisfied that their complaint has been addressed. Decisions on whether to refer a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Office, regardless of the stage at which it was concluded by the Independent Case Examiner’s Office, rest with individual Members of Parliament.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Regulator of Social Housing: Public Appointments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to his Answers of 27 June 2018 to Questions 155404 and 155405, when he will begin recruitment to the post of permanent Chair of the Board of the Regulator of Social Housing; and when he plans to place copies of the revised job description and person specification in the Library.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 27 November 2018

Recruitment for a permanent Chair of the Regulator of Social Housing will begin in the New Year. The job description and person specification will be publicly available once the recruitment launches.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Local Housing Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether local housing allowance rates for tenants in the private rented sector will be set at the 30th percentile of local market rents at the end of the freeze of those rates in March 2020.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 26 November 2018

We are currently considering plans for Local Housing Allowance rates beyond March 2020.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Local Housing Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of reducing the age limit for the Shared Accommodation rate of Local Housing Allowance from 35 to 30 years old; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 26 November 2018

No such estimate has been made. The shared accommodation rate applies to those individuals aged under 35, who are single, living on their own and renting privately, with exemptions for certain vulnerable groups.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 October 2018, to Question 176689 on Employment Support Allowance, what written evidence her Department holds on the British Medical Association and Royal College of General Practitioners agreement to the revised wording of the ESA65B letters sent to claimants’ GPs when they fail the work capability assessment.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 26 November 2018

There is no written evidence relating to the agreement obtained from the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners on the revised wording of the ESA65B letter.

In accordance with the Answer of 30 May 2018 to Question 146987, agreement on the final wording of the ESA65B was obtained via the regular meetings DWP holds with both organisations.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 19 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Independent Case Examiner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints to the Independent Case Examiner were concluded by (a) the early resolution process, (b) settlement following a review of the evidence and (c) a full investigation in each month from January 2017 to October 2018 inclusive.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 26 November 2018

The table below provides details of the complaints concluded by the Independent Case Examiner’s Office in each month from January 2017 to October 2018, broken down by (a) resolution (b) settlement and (c) a full investigation.

Month

Concluded by Resolution

Concluded by Settlement

Concluded by ICE Report

January 2017

12

6

54

February 2017

3

9

58

March 2017

5

26

78

April 2017

7

9

42

May 2017

5

14

65

June 2017

4

17

64

July 2017

9

13

61

August 2017

7

6

56

September 2017

7

18

46

October 2017

8

18

55

November 2017

5

7

64

December 2017

6

9

50

January 2018

10

8

67

February 2018

5

7

70

March 2018

10

15

58

April 2018

12

9

53

May 2018

8

10

69

June 2018

13

10

85

July 2018

14

16

61

August 2018

13

12

79

September 2018

16

14

61

October 2018

24

29

87

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the provision of support for heating costs provided by local authorities and Housing Associations to social housing tenants while unsafe cladding systems are removed from their homes.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 26 November 2018

The Government is providing funding to ensure that social housing providers can prioritise the remediation of buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding without needing to divert resources from other housing programmes, including maintaining existing properties and new build programmes.

The application guidance sets out the costs covered by government funding. This is intended to cover costs associated with the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding systems (including insulation), such as access (e.g. scaffolding or mast climber), removal and disposal of existing cladding, replacement materials, labour and reasonable on-costs, and VAT on these costs where the building owner is not able to claim this back. The fund is not intended to cover revenue costs, including those associated with interim measures.

The Regulator of Social Housing requires that homes in the social housing sector meet the Decent Homes Standard, which includes having efficient heating and effective insulation. As social landlords have responsibility for the overall standards of their buildings, we would expect them to take action and engage with residents to ensure disruption is reduced whilst the works are completed as quickly and safely as possible. We would expect those who have concerns about their ability to do this to contact MHCLG or the Regulator of Social Housing.

Grouped Questions: 193618
Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the funding allocated to social housing providers to remove Grenfell-style cladding systems will also cover compensation to tenants who face increased heating costs as a result of the removal of that cladding.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 26 November 2018

The Government is providing funding to ensure that social housing providers can prioritise the remediation of buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding without needing to divert resources from other housing programmes, including maintaining existing properties and new build programmes.

The application guidance sets out the costs covered by government funding. This is intended to cover costs associated with the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding systems (including insulation), such as access (e.g. scaffolding or mast climber), removal and disposal of existing cladding, replacement materials, labour and reasonable on-costs, and VAT on these costs where the building owner is not able to claim this back. The fund is not intended to cover revenue costs, including those associated with interim measures.

The Regulator of Social Housing requires that homes in the social housing sector meet the Decent Homes Standard, which includes having efficient heating and effective insulation. As social landlords have responsibility for the overall standards of their buildings, we would expect them to take action and engage with residents to ensure disruption is reduced whilst the works are completed as quickly and safely as possible. We would expect those who have concerns about their ability to do this to contact MHCLG or the Regulator of Social Housing.

Grouped Questions: 193611
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