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 Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the (a) 2019 Loan Charge and (b) IR35 reforms on the NHS.
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of locum doctors who are affected by the 2019 Loan Charge.
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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: 19 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, hat estimate he has made of the number of NHS Trusts that rely on blanket IR35 assessments of non-payroll NHS staff.
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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: 12 July 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission: Fraud
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether there is an equivalent offence in planning terms to treating in electoral law.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 17 July 2018
Holding answer received on 17 July 2018

There is no equivalent offence in planning terms to treating, however the Localism Act 2011 requires local authorities to promote and maintain high standards of conduct for officers and elected officials through their own code of conduct. Local authorities must publish their code of conduct which requires officers and councillors to act in accordance with the seven 'Nolan' principles of standards in public life.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Foreign Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will introduce itemised bills for overseas visitors using NHS services; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 16 July 2018

The Department has no current plans to introduce itemised bills for overseas visitors using NHS services.

The national guidance sets out that those patients who are identified as chargeable must be charged using either the national tariff or a locally agreed tariff if there is no national tariff for the treatment or service provided.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 July 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Meters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of energy smart meters that are operating in dumb mode.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 12 July 2018

It is estimated there are currently around 637,000 smart meters being operated by the 14 large suppliers in ‘traditional’ mode.

There were more than 11 million smart and advanced meters operating in Great Britain in ‘smart mode’ as at the end of March 2018.

The Data and Communications Company (DCC) will move SMETS1 meters into its national system, starting later this year, so that all consumers can keep their smart services when they switch energy supplier, regardless of which generation of meter they have installed.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 July 2018
Department for Transport
Govia Thameslink Railway
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons his Department allowed Govia Thameslink to pay £5 million to settle its obligations for two years up to September 2018; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of that decision on incentivising that train operator to improve its performance since that decision was made.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 11 July 2018
Holding answer received on 06 July 2018

The Secretary of State agreed a Remedial Plan with GTR setting out its interim performance regime to deliver improved performance for the two years up to September 2018. Those improvements in performance were being delivered up to the date of the May 2018 timetable change.

The Secretary of State has made clear that the level of service since the May 2018 timetable change is not acceptable and has commissioned a review which will assess whether GTR met its contractual obligations in the planning and delivery of this timetable change.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 2018
Department for Transport
Railway Stations: Hertfordshire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many train services scheduled to stop at (a) Hatfield station and (b) Welwyn Garden City station have been cancelled since 20 May 2018.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The Department does not collect cancellation information to this level of detail. I have asked Govia Thameslink Railway to provide my Rt Hon Friend with this information.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 June 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Foreign Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the bill given to foreign patients using NHS services is not itemised; and whether his Department has any plans to introduced itemised bills for such patients.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Entitlement to free National Health Service care is principally based on being ‘ordinarily resident’ in the United Kingdom. Broadly, this means living here on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being, with non-European Economic Area nationals subject to immigration control also being required to have an immigration status of ‘indefinite leave to remain’. It is not based on nationality.

A person not ordinarily resident in the UK is an ‘overseas visitor’ for the purposes of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations (the ‘Charging Regulations’).

The national guidance sets out that those patients who are identified as chargeable must be charged using either the national tariff or a locally agreed tariff if there is no national tariff for the treatment or service provided.

If and when it is established that charges apply, the NHS body must inform the patient and present them with an invoice for the treatment they have received or an estimation of the charges they are liable for in respect of any future treatment.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 June 2018
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what initial estimate he made of the number of people who will be required to pay tax liabilities to HMRC as a result of the disguised remuneration 2019 Loan Charge.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The Government estimates that up to 50,000 individuals will be affected by the 2019 loan charge. Further information can be found in the ‘Disguised remuneration: further update’ policy paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-further-update/disguised-remuneration-further-update.

Information on how many DR scheme users have repaid their loans is not held. Individuals who have repaid their DR loans must provide this information to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by 30 September 2019.

HMRC has agreed settlements with over 5,000 individuals and employers since the announcement of the 2019 loan charge at Budget 2016. This has raised over half a billion pounds for the Exchequer. Information is not held on how many people have settled as a direct result of the loan charge as it is one of a number reasons for settling with HMRC.

Grouped Questions: 153788
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 June 2018
Treasury
Tax Avoidance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people have (a) agreed to repay their loans and (b) agreed a settlement offer with HMRC as a result of the disguised remuneration 2019 Loan Charge.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The Government estimates that up to 50,000 individuals will be affected by the 2019 loan charge. Further information can be found in the ‘Disguised remuneration: further update’ policy paper: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-further-update/disguised-remuneration-further-update.

Information on how many DR scheme users have repaid their loans is not held. Individuals who have repaid their DR loans must provide this information to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by 30 September 2019.

HMRC has agreed settlements with over 5,000 individuals and employers since the announcement of the 2019 loan charge at Budget 2016. This has raised over half a billion pounds for the Exchequer. Information is not held on how many people have settled as a direct result of the loan charge as it is one of a number reasons for settling with HMRC.

Grouped Questions: 153787
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 June 2018
Treasury
Tax Avoidance: Self-employed
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who will be directly affected by changes to IR35.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 19 June 2018

In 2016, when the Government consulted on possible reform of the off-payroll working rules (known as IR35) in the public sector, it estimated that around 26,000 people working through personal service companies would be affected by the changes. Reform to the rules in the public sector were introduced in April 2017.

The Government is currently consulting on how to tackle non-compliance with the current rules in the private sector. No decisions have been made on any changes to those rules.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 June 2018
Treasury
Aviation: Training
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Strategic Review of General Aviation, published by the Civil Aviation Authority in July 2006, whether his Department has conducted a review of whether the current VAT treatment applied to flight training places UK flying schools at a competitive disadvantage to those based in other countries; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 06 June 2018

The government does not hold information on tax revenues that can be broken down to assess the impact of tax on flight training.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 May 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Plans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the role and remit of local plan inspectors.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 21 May 2018

I refer my Rt Hon Friend to the answers given to Questions UIN 143714 and UIN 143713 on 17 May 2018.

The role and remit of Planning Inspectors is set out in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Planning Inspectors act on behalf of the Secretary of State to assess the soundness of a Local Plan in line with national planning policy, following a transparent and rigorous public examination process. The Inspector is responsible for making recommendations to the local planning authority on whether or not the plan is sound. However, the Inspector can only make such recommendations if formally requested to do so by the local planning authority.

During the examination, the Inspector can recommend ‘main modifications’ (changes that materially affect the policies) to make the plan sound and legally compliant but only if asked to do so by the local planning authority. The council can also put forward ’additional modifications’ of its own to deal with more minor matters. The local authority will be required to consult on “main modifications” and the Inspector’s Report will be issued following the consideration of any representations by the Inspector.

The decision whether to adopt a Local Plan is made by the local planning authority. They may choose to withdraw a Local Plan after considering the Inspector’s report. While there is no formal mechanism to appeal against the recommendations in an Inspector’s report, the adopted Local Plan could be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.

Grouped Questions: 144879
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 May 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Plans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, under what circumstances a local plan inspector is able to recommend the alteration of a local plan; and what the remit for a local authority, group or individual to appeal an inspector’s recommendation which will increase housing is.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 21 May 2018

I refer my Rt Hon Friend to the answers given to Questions UIN 143714 and UIN 143713 on 17 May 2018.

The role and remit of Planning Inspectors is set out in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Planning Inspectors act on behalf of the Secretary of State to assess the soundness of a Local Plan in line with national planning policy, following a transparent and rigorous public examination process. The Inspector is responsible for making recommendations to the local planning authority on whether or not the plan is sound. However, the Inspector can only make such recommendations if formally requested to do so by the local planning authority.

During the examination, the Inspector can recommend ‘main modifications’ (changes that materially affect the policies) to make the plan sound and legally compliant but only if asked to do so by the local planning authority. The council can also put forward ’additional modifications’ of its own to deal with more minor matters. The local authority will be required to consult on “main modifications” and the Inspector’s Report will be issued following the consideration of any representations by the Inspector.

The decision whether to adopt a Local Plan is made by the local planning authority. They may choose to withdraw a Local Plan after considering the Inspector’s report. While there is no formal mechanism to appeal against the recommendations in an Inspector’s report, the adopted Local Plan could be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.

Grouped Questions: 144878
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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
Local Plans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much responsibility a Government Local Plan Inspector has for identifying the soundness of a Local Plan.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 17 May 2018

Planning Inspectors act on behalf of the Secretary of State to assess whether a Local Plan is suitably thought through, and whether it satisfies the statutory requirements, following a transparent and rigorous public examination process. The inspector is responsible for making recommendations to the local planning authority.

The decision whether to adopt a Local Plan is made by the local planning authority. They may choose to withdraw a Local Plan after considering the inspector’s report.

While there is no formal mechanism to appeal against the recommendations in an inspector’s report, the adopted Local Plan could be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.

The Secretary of State also has powers to intervene in the Local Plan process if he thinks that a local development document is unsatisfactory. However, wherever possible, Government wants to allow local planning authorities to decide on whether to adopt a plan, without interference from central Government.

Grouped Questions: 143714
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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
Local Plans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the (a) mechanisms for challenging and (b) processes for appealing against the decisions of a Government Local Plan Inspector are; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 17 May 2018

Planning Inspectors act on behalf of the Secretary of State to assess whether a Local Plan is suitably thought through, and whether it satisfies the statutory requirements, following a transparent and rigorous public examination process. The inspector is responsible for making recommendations to the local planning authority.

The decision whether to adopt a Local Plan is made by the local planning authority. They may choose to withdraw a Local Plan after considering the inspector’s report.

While there is no formal mechanism to appeal against the recommendations in an inspector’s report, the adopted Local Plan could be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.

The Secretary of State also has powers to intervene in the Local Plan process if he thinks that a local development document is unsatisfactory. However, wherever possible, Government wants to allow local planning authorities to decide on whether to adopt a plan, without interference from central Government.

Grouped Questions: 143713
Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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: 02 May 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Profits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of all energy network companies refunding excess profits to consumers.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 14 May 2018

Energy network regulation, including the setting of price controls, is a matter for Ofgem as the independent energy regulator and, by law, Government has no role in this process.

The current price control, RIIO-1, has led to significant benefits for consumers with gain share mechanisms resulting in savings worth over £5 billion. As part of this some companies have made voluntary returns of revenue, reflecting changes in investment that were planned at the start of the price controls but are now no longer required. Ofgem estimates that these returns will result in benefits to consumers worth more than £700 million.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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 May 2018
Treasury
Sports: Clubs
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to change in line with inflation the qualifying criteria for tax relief in relation to membership fees for community amateur sports clubs.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 11 May 2018

There are currently no plans to change in line with inflation the upper limit for membership fees for tax relief in relation to membership fees for Community Amateur Sports Clubs. The current level was set following consultation.

Participating clubs within the scheme benefit from a range of tax reliefs, normally only available to charities, including on income, property and, importantly, business rates.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
[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: 30 April 2018
Department for Transport
A1 (M): Hertfordshire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to widen the A1M between Stevenage and Welwyn.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 03 May 2018

The Government recognises that the A1(M) is a route of strategic importance.

A smart motorway upgrade between junctions six to eight, which is the busiest section along that route, is in the Road Investment Strategy being delivered by Highways England. The early design work is underway and the current Highways England delivery plan target is for this scheme to start work on site by March 2020. It is expected to have a two to three year construction phase. The completed section will have an additional running lane, providing three traffic lanes in both directions.

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