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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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
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 10 May 2018
Ministry of Defence
Tornado Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 30 April 2018 to question 136899, if he will provide details of the minimum safe height/sink rate/speed/bank angle envelope, as stated in the tornado aircrew manual.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 18 May 2018

The attached page from the July 2012 version of the Tornado Aircrew Manual provides details of the minimum ejection heights. This version remains current.

Minimum Ejection Heights (PDF Document, 25.34 KB)
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 18 May 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the number of workplace assessments in Scotland for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in each year since 2015.
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 18 May 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of requests for workplace assessments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Scotland which were completed in each year since 2015.
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 18 May 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of completed workplace assessments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Scotland which were followed up with recommendations for work place changes and support in each year since 2015.
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 20 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
Tornado Aircraft: Accidents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a copy of Exhibit 606 as listed in Part 2 of the Service Inquiry report into the accident involving Tornado GR4 ZD743 and Tornado GR4 ZD812 over the Moray Firth on 3 July 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 30 April 2018

I can confirm that the Ministry of Defence holds a copy of Exhibit 606, which is currently being retrieved from our archives. I will write to the hon. Member in due course with the relevant information.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Languages
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many personnel in the (a) Army, (b) RAF and (c) Royal Navy are classed as level 3 or higher linguists in (i) Arabic, (ii) Russian, (iii) Ukrainian, iv) German and (v) French.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 05 April 2018

There are approximately 850 Service personnel across the Ministry of Defence (MOD) trained in some 40 different languages. It is not possible to provide a detailed breakdown because of the strategic and operational sensitivities surrounding them. The MOD's language requirements are met from a Departmental pool of Armed forces and civilian personnel; the Department regularly reviews its future requirements for linguists and trains its personnel accordingly.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Ministry of Defence
Defence: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what funding his Department allocated to (a) submarines, (b) combat air, (c) air support, (d) ships, (e) helicopters, (f) land equipment, (g) weapons and (h) intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 03 April 2018

A breakdown of the budgets issued to the eight main Defence Equipment and Support Operating Centres in financial year 2016-17 is shown below.

Operating Centre

2016-17 (£millions)

Submarines

3,796

Combat Air

2,229

Air Support

1,374

Ships

2,008

Helicopters

917

Land Equipment

1,116

Weapons

1,262

ISTAR

416

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Warships
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the Fleet Ready Escort available was from 1 January to 22 February 2018.
A
Answered by: Margaret Beckett
Answered on: 05 March 2018

There is always one Royal Navy ship that is designated as the Fleet Ready Escort (FRE), although there are always a number of Royal Navy units available in UK waters that could conduct this role depending on the tasking.

Two ships were designated as the FRE from 1 January to 22 February 2018. These ships were the Type 23 Frigates HMS ST ALBANS and HMS WESTMINSTER.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many instances there have been of pilot-reported hypoxia symptoms in the (a) F35B Joint Strike Fighter, (b) Typhoon, (c) Tornado and (d) T-6 trainer aircraft in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 28 February 2018

For each year between 2013 and 2016, inclusive, the number of instances of hypoxia reported by RAF pilots was less than five. These were reported for Tornado and Typhoon aircraft. This information cannot be published in accordance with the Data Protection Act. There were no instances recorded for 2017.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Navy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the reason is for the cancellation of the (a) Royal Navy and Royal Marines monthly personnel statistics for 1 January 2018, 1 February 2018, 1 April 2018, and 1 May 2018 and (b) Royal Navy and Royal Marines quarterly pocket brief for 1 January 2018 and April 2018.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 26 February 2018

The Ministry of Defence held a public consultation regarding the cessation of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines monthly personnel statistics and the quarterly pocket brief from 21 April 2017 to 2 June 2017. This consultation was publicised in the Monthly Personnel Situation Report and Quarterly Pocket Brief. The consultation document, which contains the reasons for the cessation of the personnel statistics and the consultation outcome document can be found on the Gov.UK website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-ministry-of-defence-mod-personnel-statistics

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Reserve Forces: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a list of all UK Armed Forces reserve units based in Scotland.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 February 2018

A list containing the main Royal Navy/Royal Marines and Royal Air Force Armed Forces Reserve units based in Scotland is provided below.

Reserve Unit

Location

Royal Navy

HMS SCOTIA

MOD Caledonia, Rosyth, Dundee, Fife

HMS DALRIADA

Govan, Glasgow

Royal Marine

RMR Scotland HQ

MOD Caledonia, Rosyth, Govan, Glasgow (collocated with RNR Unit), Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen

Royal Air Force

2622 Squadron (Highland)

RAF Lossiemouth, Lossiemouth

612 Squadron (County of Aberdeen)

Leuchars, St Andrews

603 Squadron (City of Edinburgh)

Learmonth Terrace, Edinburgh

602 Squadron (City of Glasgow)

Kings Park, Glasgow

For a list of the Army Reserve units based in Scotland I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my noble Friend, the Minister of State for Defence, Earl Howe, to the noble Lord, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, in the House of Lords on 26 July 2017 to question HL866.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-07-17/HL866/

HL866 - Army Units in Scotland (Word Document, 22.49 KB)
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Flags
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in to the library of the House a copy of his Department's policy on flying the EU flag on departmental property.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 07 February 2018

Government policy on the flying of flags at Government buildings is owned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Ministry of Defence regulations are set out in Queen's Regulations (Chapter 8). These policies are available at the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/15438/flying_flags_guide.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/493547/20150529-QR_Army_Amdt_31_Jul_2013.pdf

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Technology
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has published guidelines for employees on wireless-enabled activity trackers or other personal items of wearable technology; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 05 February 2018

The Ministry of Defence takes the security of its personnel and establishments very seriously. Direction and guidance on personal security, including social media and personal electronic device use, has been issued and is kept under constant review. Specific issues relating to location services, including wireless-enabled activity trackers and other personal items of wearable technology, have been highlighted to personnel in awareness campaigns and briefings over recent years, and reiterated this week. For obvious reasons we do not comment on specific security arrangements or procedures.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 19 January 2018
HM Treasury
Cash Dispensing: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of LINK’s proposed reduction of the interchange fee on (a) consumers (b) small businesses.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 29 January 2018

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with industry, including LINK, to ensure that this access is maintained.

The Government has not made any formal assessment of the potential effect of LINK’s proposals to change the interchange fee rate on consumers, small businesses, the North Dorset constituency or other rural communities. However, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which Government set up as an independent regulator in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users, is monitoring developments within ATM provision, and is conducting ongoing work on the impact that changes may have. The PSR has recently published a summary of their work to date, which can be found at https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-UK-ATM-network.

The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should any of the firms it regulates behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

LINK has assured us and the PSR that industry is committed to maintaining an extensive network of free-to-use cash machines, and to ensuring that the present geographical spread of ATMs is maintained. LINK intends to bolster its Financial Inclusion Programme, which ensures the provision of ATMs in areas of deprivation, where demand would not otherwise make one viable, and has also committed to protecting all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM.

Grouped Questions: 123790 | 123793 | 123877 | 123878 | 123880 | 123881
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 19 January 2018
HM Treasury
Cash Dispensing: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of ATMs which will be withdrawn as a result of LINK's proposed reduction in the interchange fee.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 29 January 2018

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with industry, including LINK, to ensure that this access is maintained.

The Government has not made any formal assessment of the potential effect of LINK’s proposals to change the interchange fee rate on consumers, small businesses, the North Dorset constituency or other rural communities. However, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which Government set up as an independent regulator in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users, is monitoring developments within ATM provision, and is conducting ongoing work on the impact that changes may have. The PSR has recently published a summary of their work to date, which can be found at https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-UK-ATM-network.

The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should any of the firms it regulates behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

LINK has assured us and the PSR that industry is committed to maintaining an extensive network of free-to-use cash machines, and to ensuring that the present geographical spread of ATMs is maintained. LINK intends to bolster its Financial Inclusion Programme, which ensures the provision of ATMs in areas of deprivation, where demand would not otherwise make one viable, and has also committed to protecting all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM.

Grouped Questions: 123789 | 123793 | 123877 | 123878 | 123880 | 123881
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 19 January 2018
HM Treasury
Cash Dispensing
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent representations his Department has made to LINK on the (a) proposed reduction in the interchange fee and (b) Financial Inclusion Programme.
A
Answered by: Robert Jenrick
Answered on: 29 January 2018

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with industry, including LINK, to ensure that this access is maintained.

The Government has not made any formal assessment of the potential effect of LINK’s proposals to change the interchange fee rate on consumers, small businesses, the North Dorset constituency or other rural communities. However, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which Government set up as an independent regulator in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users, is monitoring developments within ATM provision, and is conducting ongoing work on the impact that changes may have. The PSR has recently published a summary of their work to date, which can be found at https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-focus/the-UK-ATM-network.

The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should any of the firms it regulates behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

LINK has assured us and the PSR that industry is committed to maintaining an extensive network of free-to-use cash machines, and to ensuring that the present geographical spread of ATMs is maintained. LINK intends to bolster its Financial Inclusion Programme, which ensures the provision of ATMs in areas of deprivation, where demand would not otherwise make one viable, and has also committed to protecting all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM.

Grouped Questions: 123789 | 123790 | 123877 | 123878 | 123880 | 123881
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 15 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Mobile Phones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress GovCoin, Barclays, RWE npower and University College London on behalf of the Department have made in developing technology that welfare claimants can easily adopt to handle their payments through a mobile app.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 January 2018

A small Proof of Concept was undertaken with DISC Holdings (formerly Govcoin) which included a budgeting app that could be used on a mobile phone. There are no plans to roll out any such pilot at scale. If claimants chose to use an account with a mobile app, as long as it has a standard account number and sort code, then they may do so. It is not within the DWP’s remit to promote one company’s product over another.

DWP has liaised with University College London regarding technological developments in this area. No formal projects were initiated as a result of this.

The Department continues to work with industry to understand how emerging technologies can be used to support claimants.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
[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 January 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Living Overseas Allowance for each station.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 16 January 2018

Local Overseas Allowance is paid to cover the additional local day to day living costs of service personnel when serving overseas. The current rates of Local Overseas Allowance for Main Stations are attached. Rates are updated periodically to reflect changes to currency exchange rates which affect the Forces Fixed Rate. I am withholding information regarding the rates of Local Overseas Allowance for Small Stations as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests and release information provided in confidence.

121834 - MOD Local Overseas Allowance (PDF Document, 1008.95 KB)
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 4.61 of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, what the reason was for the increase of 710 civilians employed by his Department as set out in the Quarterly Location Statistics of 1 October 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 20 December 2017

The Ministry of Defence has made a robust start in delivering the ambitious headcount and financial targets set in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and 2015 Spending Review, and has a number of programmes and projects currently under way, as part of the Department’s commitment to improving the efficiency of Defence business. There have, however, been recent manpower increases for value for money reasons; for example, to reduce costs in Defence Equipment and Support, more expensive private sector support partners are being replaced by appropriately trained, but significantly less costly, civil servants. The underlying trend on Civil Service headcount across Defence as a whole is firmly downward.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the evidence given to the Defence Select Committee on Tuesday 17 October 2017, if he will make a statement on his Department's proposal to fit Multifunction Advanced Data Link on platforms other than the F35 Joint Strike Fighter.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 19 December 2017

The Ministry of Defence, alongside US Services, is continuing to explore the value of exchanging the data carried on the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) with other platforms through the classified series of Babel Fish trials. If these trials identify benefits, we will look to set requirements for, and invest in, these types of technologies, noting that other vendors offer capabilities similar to MADL.

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