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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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 James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much of the funding available for the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21 will be included in the £12.2 billion announced in Budget 2020.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 21 July 2020

At Budget 2020 the Government announced we are investing £12.2 billion to build affordable homes between 2021/22 and 2025/26.

Of this, £9.5 billion is new funding and £2 billion is for long-term strategic partnerships previously announced in September 2018.

This will form the new Affordable Homes Programme. A further £700 million was already allocated as part of the 2016-22 Affordable Homes Programme.

The existing Affordable Homes Programme will be extended by one year. This will help to mitigate the impact of site closures due to COVID-19.

Grouped Questions: 75464
Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of the starts on site reported in the 2019-20 Homes England Housing Statistics Tables 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020 published on 16 July 2020 refer to units which were also reported as having starts on site in each year from 2009-10 to 2018-19.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 21 July 2020

Following careful analysis, Homes England are confident that none of the starts reported as delivered for 2019/20 in the latest statistical release have been reported in previous years.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Social Rented Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to publish a social housing White Paper.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 21 July 2020

The Government will publish the Social Housing White Paper later this year.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the March 2020 Budget, whether the £12.2 billion available for affordable housing from 2021-22 includes funds from the £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 21 July 2020

At Budget 2020 the Government announced we are investing £12.2 billion to build affordable homes between 2021/22 and 2025/26.

Of this, £9.5 billion is new funding and £2 billion is for long-term strategic partnerships previously announced in September 2018.

This will form the new Affordable Homes Programme. A further £700 million was already allocated as part of the 2016-22 Affordable Homes Programme.

The existing Affordable Homes Programme will be extended by one year. This will help to mitigate the impact of site closures due to COVID-19.

Grouped Questions: 75461
Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Housing: Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of (a) fuel poor, (b) social rented and (c) private rented homes that will reach EPC Band C by (i) 2025 and (ii) 2030.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 17 July 2020

As of the most recent fuel poverty statistics, 10% of fuel poor, 56% of social rented and 33% of private rented homes are EPC Band C or above. As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government remains committed to fuel poor homes being upgraded to energy efficiency Band C by 2030, and our aspiration is that as many homes as possible are EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost effective and affordable.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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: 08 July 2020
Treasury
Stamp Duties
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's policy paper of 8 July 2020 entitled, A Plan for Jobs 2020 and the estimated £3.8 billion cost of the temporary reduction in Stamp Duty Land Tax set out in Table 1: Plan for Jobs policy decisions of that policy paper, what estimate he has made of the proportion of that sum that will benefit (a) first-time buyers, (b) existing owner-occupiers moving home, (c) buy-to-let investors, (d) people buying second homes and (e) overseas buyers.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 13 July 2020

This information is not readily available.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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: 24 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much of the £6.6 billion of support for health services identified within the Government’s Coronavirus emergency response fund has been (a) accessed by NHS trusts and (b) used to fund supplier relief sick pay.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 01 July 2020
Holding answer received on 29 June 2020

Of the £6.6 billion COVID-19 response funding for health services announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 13th April, approximately £4.2 billion will fund direct costs incurred by the National Health Service. The remaining will fund centrally-led initiatives such as personal protective equipment, testing and the ventilator programme that will also directly support the NHS’s COVID-19 response.

Spending data is collected on a monthly basis by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Initial data indicates that NHS providers (NHS trusts and foundation trusts) have collectively spent approximately £0.8 billion on COVID-19 related spending in April 2020, with similar levels expected in May 2020, all of which has been fully funded.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Imports: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the import of (a) fresh fruit, (b) vegetables and (c) dairy products, from Israel, whether HMRC accepts Israeli certificates of conformity with marketing standards (i) where the place of origin is within the internationally recognised borders of Israel and (ii) where goods originate from settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 22 June 2020

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs take steps to exclude the possibility that goods of West Bank origin enter the United Kingdom incorrectly described as being Israeli. This is to prevent them benefitting from preferential tariffs in accordance with the terms of EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangements which flow from this.

EU rules do not allow the authorities in any exporting third country (such as the State of Israel) to issue valid certificates of conformity with EU marketing standards for fruit and vegetables originating outside that third country. This includes territories under Israeli administration since June 1967, for example, the West Bank. The situation referred to by the hon. Member in respect of imports originating in Israeli settlements on the West Bank cannot, therefore, arise.

EU rules allow third countries to issue a certificate of conformity, confirming compliance with marketing standards. However, that does not mean that every import consignment will be accompanied by such a document. Importers can also apply for a certificate directly from an EU Member State’s authority.

For dairy products, certificates of conformity with marketing standards are not required regardless of the origin of imports. The EU marketing standards legislation will form part of UK statute and will continue to apply in the UK after the transition period.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2020 to Question 58821 on High Rise Flats: Insulation, in relation to how many of the 10 buildings, against which the Department is aware of enforcement action having been taken, the Joint Inspection Team provided support to local authorities.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 22 June 2020

Of those that only had an 'intent' to remediate in December 2019, the Joint Inspection Team provided support to local authorities for enforcement on two of these buildings, resulting in two improvement notices being issued.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Exercise: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on musculoskeletal health of the Government guidance (a) issued on 23 March 2020 that permitted people to take one form of exercise a day and (b) updated on 11 May 2020 that permits people to exercise outside as often as they wish.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 18 June 2020

It is too early to make any assessment of the effect on musculoskeletal health and the Government guidance on outdoor exercises. The Government wants people to remain fit and active at all times. The Chief Medical Officer is clear that being physically active is very important to long-term health and crucial for keeping people healthy during the ongoing pandemic. Evidence suggests that regular physical activity can promote good physical health and help manage stress and anxiety.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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: 04 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the 40,369 Pillar 2 covid-19 tests reported under delivery routes for 30 April 2020 were (a) ordered and (b) dispatched on (i) 26 April, (ii) 27 April, (iii) 28 April, (iv) 29 April and (v) 30 April 2020.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 16 June 2020
Holding answer received on 11 May 2020

Between 26 – 30 April, over 73,000 home kits were ordered and over 64,000 were dispatched. The difference between the figures is due to the time at which an individual orders a home test, which subsequently impacts the time of its dispatch.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Act 1983: Reform
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish a White Paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 16 June 2020

We have committed to publishing a White Paper which will set out the Government’s response to Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 and pave the way for reform of the Act.

We will publish our White Paper as soon as it is possible to do so. We will consult publicly on our proposals and will bring forward a Bill to amend the Act when parliamentary time allows.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Treasury
Imports: Israel
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many requests for information have been raised by HM Revenue and Customs with the Israeli Customs Authorities to establish whether consignments have been imported from (a) Israel and (b) Israeli settlements under the technical arrangements of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 June 2020

Under the technical arrangement of the EU-Israel Association Agreement a proof of preferential origin document is required that must contain the postal code and the name of the city, village or industrial zone in which the goods were produced. Where HMRC’s risk assessment indicates that the goods may have been produced in non-eligible locations, HMRC perform physical examinations of goods or check proof documents. HMRC refuse preference where the goods cannot be shown to be produced in an eligible location. HMRC can also request that the Israeli Customs Authorities verify the accuracy of the information provided on the proof of preferential origin document.

HMRC raised verification requests with the Israeli Customs Authorities to confirm that claims to preferential tariff treatment were made in compliance with the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement on:

  • 17 occasions in 2017
  • 10 occasions in 2018, and
  • 7 occasions in 2019.

The number of agricultural consignments imported from Israel claiming preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement and checked by HMRC was:

  • 52 in 2017
  • 70 in 2018, and
  • 29 in 2019

In accordance with the terms of EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement, when confirming eligibility to preferential treatment, HMRC should only verify the details on the preferential proof of origin. A certificate of marketing standards is not a preferential proof of origin.

Grouped Questions: 56190 | 56191 | 56194
Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Treasury
Imports: Israel
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many consignments of agricultural produce imported from Israel and claiming preference under the EU-Israel Association Agreement have been checked by HM Revenue and Customs to ensure they did not originate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 June 2020

Under the technical arrangement of the EU-Israel Association Agreement a proof of preferential origin document is required that must contain the postal code and the name of the city, village or industrial zone in which the goods were produced. Where HMRC’s risk assessment indicates that the goods may have been produced in non-eligible locations, HMRC perform physical examinations of goods or check proof documents. HMRC refuse preference where the goods cannot be shown to be produced in an eligible location. HMRC can also request that the Israeli Customs Authorities verify the accuracy of the information provided on the proof of preferential origin document.

HMRC raised verification requests with the Israeli Customs Authorities to confirm that claims to preferential tariff treatment were made in compliance with the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement on:

  • 17 occasions in 2017
  • 10 occasions in 2018, and
  • 7 occasions in 2019.

The number of agricultural consignments imported from Israel claiming preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement and checked by HMRC was:

  • 52 in 2017
  • 70 in 2018, and
  • 29 in 2019

In accordance with the terms of EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement, when confirming eligibility to preferential treatment, HMRC should only verify the details on the preferential proof of origin. A certificate of marketing standards is not a preferential proof of origin.

Grouped Questions: 56189 | 56191 | 56194
Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Treasury
Imports: Israel
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what documentary information is required under the technical arrangements of the EU-Israel Association Agreement for goods entering the UK from Israel to enable differentiation between goods produced within Israel’s internationally recognised borders and Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 June 2020

Under the technical arrangement of the EU-Israel Association Agreement a proof of preferential origin document is required that must contain the postal code and the name of the city, village or industrial zone in which the goods were produced. Where HMRC’s risk assessment indicates that the goods may have been produced in non-eligible locations, HMRC perform physical examinations of goods or check proof documents. HMRC refuse preference where the goods cannot be shown to be produced in an eligible location. HMRC can also request that the Israeli Customs Authorities verify the accuracy of the information provided on the proof of preferential origin document.

HMRC raised verification requests with the Israeli Customs Authorities to confirm that claims to preferential tariff treatment were made in compliance with the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement on:

  • 17 occasions in 2017
  • 10 occasions in 2018, and
  • 7 occasions in 2019.

The number of agricultural consignments imported from Israel claiming preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement and checked by HMRC was:

  • 52 in 2017
  • 70 in 2018, and
  • 29 in 2019

In accordance with the terms of EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement, when confirming eligibility to preferential treatment, HMRC should only verify the details on the preferential proof of origin. A certificate of marketing standards is not a preferential proof of origin.

Grouped Questions: 56189 | 56190 | 56194
Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Treasury
Imports: Israel
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the import of (a) fresh fruit, (b) vegetables and (c) dairy products from Israel, what checks are made by HMRC to ensure that the place of origin given on the certificate of marketing standards is consistent with the post codes given on the relevant invoice/EUR1.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 16 June 2020

Under the technical arrangement of the EU-Israel Association Agreement a proof of preferential origin document is required that must contain the postal code and the name of the city, village or industrial zone in which the goods were produced. Where HMRC’s risk assessment indicates that the goods may have been produced in non-eligible locations, HMRC perform physical examinations of goods or check proof documents. HMRC refuse preference where the goods cannot be shown to be produced in an eligible location. HMRC can also request that the Israeli Customs Authorities verify the accuracy of the information provided on the proof of preferential origin document.

HMRC raised verification requests with the Israeli Customs Authorities to confirm that claims to preferential tariff treatment were made in compliance with the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement on:

  • 17 occasions in 2017
  • 10 occasions in 2018, and
  • 7 occasions in 2019.

The number of agricultural consignments imported from Israel claiming preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Association Agreement and checked by HMRC was:

  • 52 in 2017
  • 70 in 2018, and
  • 29 in 2019

In accordance with the terms of EU-Israel Association Agreement and the technical arrangement, when confirming eligibility to preferential treatment, HMRC should only verify the details on the preferential proof of origin. A certificate of marketing standards is not a preferential proof of origin.

Grouped Questions: 56189 | 56190 | 56191
Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Building Safety Programme: 26th monthly data release, data as at 31 December 2019, published by his Department, how many of the 75 private sector residential buildings with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet building regulations that were reported in that data release as having responded with an intent to remediate and are developing plans (a) do not yet have a remediation plan in place and (b) have had enforcement action taken against them.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 16 June 2020

As at 31 May 2020, there were 40 high-rise private sector residential buildings that had reported an intent to remediate and are developing plans. Where building owners are failing to make acceptable progress, those responsible should expect further action to be taken – including tougher enforcement action by local authorities and Fire and Rescue Services.

Of those that only had an 'intent' to remediate in December 2019, the Department is aware of enforcement action that has been taken against 10 of them, including those where the Joint Inspection Team has provided support to local authorities.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Overseas Trade: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether compliance with the technical arrangements of the EU-Israel Association Agreement is replicated in the UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement which will enter into force at the end of the transition period.
A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 15 June 2020

All committee decisions made within the framework of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement were carried across into the United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement, which will enter into force after the end of the Transition Period on 1st January 2021.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
[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
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government Finance: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether (a) the £3.2 billion in funding allocated to help local authorities respond to the covid-19 outbreak and (b) any future funding to assist local authorities to support vulnerable groups during the covid-19 outbreak can be used to accommodate and support people with (i) conditions attached to their leave and (ii) no leave at all, and who have no recourse to public funds.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 15 June 2020

The Government is aware of concerns about those with no recourse to public funds experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.

We are ensuring local authorities are supported, with £3.2 million in targeted funding to help support individuals who are sleeping rough off the streets, and an additional £3.2 billion provided to local authorities as part of the wider government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been provided to help local authorities to reduce risks to public health and to support individuals on the basis of need.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended.

The Government recognises that these are unprecedented times, and expects local authorities to support people who are sleeping rough, and also to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.

Q
Asked by James Murray
(Ealing North)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion: Occupied Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 12 May to Question 42243 on Overseas Trade: Israel, what processes her Department has put in place to exclude from the trade and investment promotion activities, businesses (a) operating and (b) investing in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 11 June 2020

The United Kingdom does not treat the Occupied Palestinian Territories as part of Israel. The settlements are not covered by the EU-Israel Association Agreement nor by the United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement. Products produced in the settlements are, therefore, not entitled to benefit from preferential tariff treatment.

The Department for International Trade does not provide direct support to business activity in the settlements and my officials work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to encourage companies to put rights and responsibilities at the centre of everything they do.

Grouped Questions: 56196
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