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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

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.
Showing 1-20 out of 112
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 03 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Physiotherapy: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason Soft Tissue Therapists are not able to return to work on 6 July 2020 as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 13 July 2020

There is clearly a risk of greater transmission in close proximity services. That is why we have had to phase their introduction. We had to make difficult choices to keep the R rate below 1.

We’ve now provided close contact services like Soft Tissue Therapists in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people were claiming (a) job seeker's allowance, (b) employment and support allowance and (c) income support at the time at which the £20 uplift was made to universal credit.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 13 July 2020

National Statistics for claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support is published quarterly and the latest available information up to November 2019 can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The statistics for the number of people claiming these benefits to February 2020 and to May 2020 will be published in August and November 2020 respectively.

Statistics for claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance is published monthly by the Office for National Statistics on the NOMIS website, and the latest data to May 2020 can be found at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/

Guidance for users can be found at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/home/newuser.asp

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 13 July 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average award from the Windrush Compensation Scheme was in each month since April 2019.
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 13 July 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many successful applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme have been awarded less than £1000 since April 2019.
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 09 July 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Telephone Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2020 to Question 42141 on Universal Credit: Telephone Services, what the average waiting time for has been for claimants calling the universal credit helpline in each week since 6 January 2020.
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 01 May 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Telephone Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time is for claimants calling the universal credit helpline.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 08 July 2020
Holding answer received on 12 May 2020

The average waiting times change week on week and is demand led.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people with no recourse to public funds have applied for that condition to be lifted as a result of changes to their financial situation since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those applications have been granted.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department. We have been in discussion with the UKSA over this issue and are investigating whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to support people with no recourse to public funds who are unable to access support through covid-19 financial support packages.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this pandemic and are confident we have measures in place to support those who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at this difficult time.

For those whose employment status precludes access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (neither of which are classed as public funds), other assistance is still available. Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits, such as contributory employment and support allowance, are also available to individuals with NRPF who are eligible.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home. Applications are being dealt with compassionately.

In addition, the Government has made in excess of £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of immigrants on a five-year route to settlement have been moved onto a 10-year route because they cannot meet the minimum income threshold as a result of their income being affected by the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office does not collate the information requested.

The Home Office has established a range of measures to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.

To ensure spouses or partners applying for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control, for the purpose of the minimum income requirement:

  • a temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19 will be disregarded, provided the requirement was met for at least six months up to March 2020;
  • an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary;
  • a temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications. Income received via the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will also be taken into account;
  • evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Guidance for our customers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members

This also sets out the ways in which the minimum income requirement can be met using other sources of income instead of, or along with, income from employment or self-employment. For example, income from the couple’s investments, property rental or pension may also be taken into account, together with their cash savings.

These are unprecedented times. We continue to monitor the situation closely and may make further adjustments to requirements where necessary and appropriate to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Habitual Residence Test: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to review the Habitual Residence Test to improve access to (a) universal credit and (b) other welfare benefits for EEA migrants and their families during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Government has taken steps to provide reassurance to and protect the rights of EEA citizens’ resident in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, so that they will be able to continue their lives in the UK much as before. In order to give effect to this, on 30 March 2019, the Home Office fully launched the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

By being granted status under the EUSS, EEA citizens living in the UK are able to continue to work, study and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they did before we left the EU.

EU citizens with settled status who demonstrate habitual residence in the UK will pass the Habitual Residence Test (HRT) and be eligible to access tax-payer funded benefits. EEA citizens with pre-settled status are eligible to claim DWP income-related benefits such as Universal Credit if they are exercising a qualifying EU Treaty Right. This includes those with a worker or self-employed status and EEA workers with retained worker status who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Government measures to support workers and their families through Covid-19 are also available for EEA citizens with pre-settled status under the EUSS who meet the eligibility criteria. These include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-employed Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department will take to ensure that the income of people of colour who are subject to immigration control is not disproportionately affected during the covid-19 outbreak as a result of the no recourse to public funds condition.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

Colour is not a characteristic that is recorded separately by the Home Office and any impact of the no recourse to public funds condition on a person of colour will be because of immigration status. The Government has published advice and information about the support available to migrants living here, including where they are subject to NRPF

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Treasury
Self-employment Income Support Scheme
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many successful applications have been made to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme by people subject to the no recourse to public funds restriction.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 07 July 2020

Applications for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened on 13 May. By 28 June 2020, HMRC had received 2.6m claims representing a total of £7.7bn.

HMRC have published tables showing the number of individuals claiming the SEISS by 31 May 2020 which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-june-2020.

HMRC do not hold data on whether SEISS applicants are subject to the no recourse to public funds restriction.

The revised guidance published alongside the legal Direction makes it clear that grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are not counted as “access to public funds”.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 22 June 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children of families who are subject to the no recourse to public funds condition have received free school meals in each month since May 2020.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 06 July 2020

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Grouped Questions: 62531 | 62532 | 62533
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 22 June 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of permanently extending eligibility for free school meals to pupils with no recourse to public funds.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 06 July 2020

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Grouped Questions: 62530 | 62532 | 62533
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 22 June 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of ending the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility on child (a) hunger and (b) malnutrition.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 06 July 2020

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Grouped Questions: 62530 | 62531 | 62533
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 22 June 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on permanently extending free school meals eligibility to children from families with no recourse to public funds.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 06 July 2020

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Grouped Questions: 62530 | 62531 | 62532
Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 24 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Reorganisation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he had with (a) NGOs, (b) aid recipients, (c) local actors and (d) other key stakeholders ahead of the decision made on 16 June to merge the Department for International Development with his Department.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 06 July 2020

The Government continues to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including UK and international Non-Governmental Organisations, on issues relating to the merger. The Prime Minister has concluded that in the next decade, international issues will be even more important to the lives of our citizens and our own national interest; that the world will become even more complex and competitive, with growing, interconnected challenges and opportunities for the UK; and that therefore we need a new all-of-government approach if we are to secure our values and interests in a changing world.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 24 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Overseas Aid: Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he plans to take to ensure that all Official Development Assistance is fully transparent and used for the primary purpose of tackling poverty.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 06 July 2020

To tackle poverty and advance our Global Britain objectives, the Foreign Office takes evidence-based spending decisions. The FCO is committed to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard, and publishes on GOV.UK all the information on ODA that can be released whilst safeguarding FCO's obligations under UK national security, diplomatic relations and individual's personal information. Further details on how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office allocates Official Development Assistance funding can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/official-development-assistance-oda-allocations-aid-policy.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 25 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Overseas Aid: Departmental Coordination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that international development policy is coherent across all Government Departments.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 06 July 2020

The UK Government is committed to a coherent international development policy that advances our national interests and maximises our influence and impact on development and poverty. The new Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office will bring our world-class expertise to bear and ensure our development and foreign policy goals are fully integrated.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 24 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Reorganisation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he made of the potential merits of merging the Department for International Development with his Department prior to the planned Integrated Review of foreign, defence, security and development policy announced by the Prime Minister on 26 February 2020.
A
Answered by: James Cleverly
Answered on: 02 July 2020

The Prime Minister is committed to a unified British foreign policy that will maximise our influence around the world. The review will define the Government's ambition for the UK's global role and its outcomes will shape the objectives of the new department.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 112
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100