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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Asked on: 02 July 2019
Home Office
Passports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are now issuing British passports without the words "European Union" on the front cover; and if so, why.
Answered on: 16 July 2019

Passport design changes are determined months in advance to ensure that there are sufficient stocks to deliver passport services to nearly seven million British travellers each year.


The issuing of passports to British citizens that no longer include the words European Union was therefore long planned to coincide with the earliest possible date that the UK would leave the EU, and introduced on 30 March 2019.


There is no difference for British citizens whether their passport does or does not reference the EU. Both are equally valid for travel.

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Treasury
Employment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of leaving the EU on 31 October on employment levels.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 16 July 2019

In November 2018 the Government published a detailed set of economic analyses on the long-term impacts of EU exit on the UK economy, its sectors, nations and regions and the public finances.

This government has a strong track record of delivering and protecting jobs. There are 3.7 million more people in work compared to 2010, and the proportion of low paid jobs is at its lowest level for at least 20 years.

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Home Office
Asylum: Community Relations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to encourage the integration of asylum seekers into communities.
Answered on: 16 July 2019

This Government’s priority is to focus our efforts and resources to support those who most need it, rather than invest in integration for those who may not qualify for international protection. Currently, around half of those who seek asylum in the UK are found not to need international protection. This is why support towards integration is offered at the point where someone has been recognised as a refugee.

The Government published the cross-government Integrated Communities Action plan in February 2019. In the action plan we have committed to ensuring all refugees are supported and empowered to integrate and rebuild their lives in the UK, focusing on improving support for English language, employment, mental health, and orientation to life in the UK.

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Home Office
Immigration
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many outstanding leave to remain cases are awaiting decision by the Home Office.
Answered on: 16 July 2019

Information on the number of Leave to Remain applications currently awaiting decision is not available in published statistics.

However, the number of in-country applications in progress is published as part of quarterly transparency data. The latest figures are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/in-country-migration-data-may-2019, which also shows the percentage of straightforward applications considered within service standard.

UKVI - In Country Migration Data - May 2019 (Excel SpreadSheet, 129.91 KB)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Home Office
Knives: Crime
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide sufficient support for police forces tackling increased rates of knife crime among young people.
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The Government is determined to do everything it can to tackle knife crime and break the deadly cycle of violence that devastates the lives of victims, families and communities.

The police funding settlement provides the police with the biggest increase in funding since 2010, and in addition we are providing the additional £100 million to tackle serious violence announced in the Spring Statement on 13 March, which includes £80m of new funding from the Treasury. £63.4 million of this funding has been allocated to the 18 police forces most affected by serious violence to pay for surge operational activity, including increased patrols. £1.6 million has been invested in improving the quality of data on serious violence to support planning and operations. A full list of the forces and the funding they have received from the serious violence fund is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/police-granted-funding-boost-for-action-on-serious-violence

We are also taking wider actions to address knife crime. The £35m of the Serious Violence Fund is being invested in Violence Reduction Units to support multi-agency efforts to tackle serious violence. Through the Offensive Weapons Act we are tightening the law in relation to knives, including making it an offence to possess certain offensive weapons in private. We are also introducing new Knife Crime Prevention Orders, to help to the police address young people who are on the cusp of serious violence, encouraging them make more positive lifestyle choices. We also continue to support the police national weeks of action against knife crime under Operation Sceptre.

Asked on: 25 June 2019
Home Office
Young People: Crimes of Violence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken towards (1) adopting a public health approach to tackling youth violence, and (2) putting in place a long-term strategy, including early intervention, to prevent the murder of young people.
Answered on: 09 July 2019

Tackling serious violence is a top priority for the Government and it is clear we must continue to step up the response to stop this violence.

The Serious Violence Strategy sets out the Government’s approach, which depends on a multi-agency approach across several sectors. The Strategy places a greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention to tackle the root causes of serious violence and provide young people with the skills and resilience to lead productive lives free from crime.

On 1 April, we launched a consultation on a new legal duty to support a public health approach to preventing and tackling serious violence. The consultation closed on 28 May, and the Government response to the consultation will be published shortly.

On 13 March, an additional £100 million to tackle serious violence was announced at the Spring Statement. £63.4 million of this funding has been allocated to 18 police forces worst affected by serious violence to support increased police operational activity, and £1.6m is being used to improve the data available on knife crime to support police activity. On 17 April, we announced that the remaining £35m of this funding will be invested in the development of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) in areas most affected by serious violence. The VRUs will bring together a range of agencies to address the causes of violence.

The Home Secretary has also established a new £200m Youth Endowment Fund that will provide targeted intervention and support over the next 10 years for those young people most at risk of serious violence. A key purpose will be to develop the evidence base demonstrating which interventions are most effective in deterring children and young people away from crime and violence and, since it will operate for a minimum of ten years, it will have the capacity to bring successful interventions all the way through from pilot stage to deployment at scale. The Fund will ensure that this vital learning is shared and help ensure that the most effective interventions are funded.

The Youth Endowment Fund became effective from the start of April. It is independent of Government and is being run by the charity Impetus, working in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation and Social Investment Business. The first funding round is open for applications from 28 May until 23 July.

Asked on: 25 June 2019
Home Office
Deportation: Commonwealth
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to remove the threat of deportation from those people of Commonwealth parentage who were born after the introduction of the British Nationality Act 1983 and who were subsequently denied British citizenship.
Answered on: 09 July 2019

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, the Secretary of State has a legal duty to make a deportation order in respect of a foreign criminal sentenced to a period of 12 months or more imprisonment. This is subject to a number of exceptions, including where to do so would breach a person’s ECHR rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

We have no plans to make changes to the UK Borders Act 2007 or Article 8 public interest considerations which were approved by Parliament during the passage of the Immigration Act 2014.

A child of a Commonwealth national, born after 1 January 1983, can apply to the Windrush Scheme for evidence of their immigration status. Unless they are liable to deportation on grounds of criminality, they will not be removed from the UK.

Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Young People: Crime Prevention
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support youth services working to deter young people from crime, and violent crime in particular.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 04 July 2019

Youth services and their strategic partners provide crucial preventative and targeted interventions and are an important partner in the strategy to tackle serious violence.

My Department allocated over £863m between 2014/15 and 2018/19 to youth programmes providing positive activities for young people.

The Home Office’s £200m Youth Endowment Fund will deliver a ten-year programme of grants enabling interventions targeted at those who are most at risk of involvement in crime and violence in England and Wales. This follows an investment of £22m by the Home Office between 2018/19 and 2019/20 through the Early Intervention Youth Fund to support community services which deter young people from violent crime.

Her Majesty’s Government will continue to work together closely to implement the Home Office’s Serious Violence Strategy.

Asked on: 10 June 2019
Cabinet Office
European Parliament: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what instructions they gave to local electoral returning officers regarding the posting of postal votes for the recent elections to the European Parliament.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 19 June 2019

The running of polls is a matter for independent Returning Officers. The Electoral Commission provides guidance and resources for Returning Officers administering European Parliamentary elections on its website.

It is for Returning Officers to contract with suppliers and service providers for the production and distribution of items like poll cards and postal votes. Delivery times would depend on a number of factors including the recipient’s location.

Grouped Questions: HL16218 | HL16219
Asked on: 10 June 2019
Cabinet Office
European Parliament: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many days they expected postal ballots to take to reach each recipient for the recent elections to the European Parliament.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 19 June 2019

The running of polls is a matter for independent Returning Officers. The Electoral Commission provides guidance and resources for Returning Officers administering European Parliamentary elections on its website.

It is for Returning Officers to contract with suppliers and service providers for the production and distribution of items like poll cards and postal votes. Delivery times would depend on a number of factors including the recipient’s location.

Grouped Questions: HL16217 | HL16219
Asked on: 10 June 2019
Cabinet Office
European Parliament: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what service providers other than the Royal Mail they engaged in the postal vote distribution for the recent elections to the European Parliament.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 19 June 2019

The running of polls is a matter for independent Returning Officers. The Electoral Commission provides guidance and resources for Returning Officers administering European Parliamentary elections on its website.

It is for Returning Officers to contract with suppliers and service providers for the production and distribution of items like poll cards and postal votes. Delivery times would depend on a number of factors including the recipient’s location.

Grouped Questions: HL16217 | HL16218
Asked on: 10 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Absent Voting
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the regulations regarding the posting of ballots were last reviewed.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 19 June 2019

The Government keeps under review all electoral legislation, including the requirements relating to postal voting, to ensure it continues to support electors’ participation in elections and effective electoral administration. As part of this, we will consider any recommendations that the Electoral Commission may make about the current postal voting arrangements, for example, in its reports on elections and referendums.

Asked on: 10 June 2019
Cabinet Office
European Parliament: Elections
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many electors required a postal ballot for the recent elections to the European Parliament.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 17 June 2019

Data on the number of postal votes applied for and cast are not collected by the Government. The Electoral Commission will publish this data alongside its statutory report on the European Parliamentary elections in the Autumn.

Asked on: 07 May 2019
Home Office
British Nationality: Fees and Charges
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the UK citizenship application fee in (1) 2000, (2) 2010, and (3) 2015, for both children and adults in each such year.
Answered on: 21 May 2019

The fees for UK citizenship applications were as follows:

Route

Calendar Year

Dates each fee applicable

Fee

Naturalisation

2000

01/01/00 to 31/12/00

£150 per applicant

2010

01/01/10 to 05/04/10

£640 per applicant / Spouse or Civil Partner additional £50

06/04/10 to 20/11/10

£655 per applicant / Spouse or Civil Partner additional £115

21/11/10 to 31/12/10

£700 per applicant / Spouse or Civil Partner additional £150

2015

01/01/15 to 05/4/15

£826 per applicant

06/04/15 to 31/12/15

£925 per applicant

Adult Registration Fees

2000

01/01/00 to 31/12/00

£120 per applicant

2010

01/01/10 to 05/04/10

£460 per applicant

06/04/10 to 20/11/10

£470 per applicant

21/11/10 to 31/12/10

£500 per applicant

2015

01/01/15 to 05/4/15

£743 per applicant

06/04/15 to 31/12/15

£833 per applicant

Child Registration Fees

2000

01/01/00 to 31/12/00

£120 per applicant

2010

01/01/10 to 05/04/10

1st Child £460/ each subsequent child £50

06/04/10 to 20/11/10

1st Child £470 each subsequent child £97

21/11/10 to 31/12/10

1st Child £500/ 2nd Child £100/ each subsequent child £150

2015

01/01/15 to 05/4/15

£669 per applicant

06/04/15 to 31/12/15

£749 per applicant

Asked on: 07 May 2019
Home Office
British Nationality: Fees and Charges
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of asylum-seeking children who are unable to apply for UK citizenship due to the cost of the application fee.
Answered on: 21 May 2019

The Home Office have not made any estimation of the number of asylum seeking children unable to apply for UK citizenship due to the cost of the application fee.

In line with international law, the UK does not charge for asylum applications. Those granted refugee status can then apply for indefinite leave to remain at the end of their limited leave period. This application is also free of charge.

Applying for British nationality is not mandatory and many individuals who have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status choose not to apply. This is because, in addition to lawful permanent residence in the UK, a person with ILR enjoys the benefits of full access to the UK labour market, state education and healthcare and the ability to sponsor family members’ residence in the UK. Fees for citizenship applications apply equally to all applicants.

Asked on: 07 May 2019
Home Office
Asylum: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether funding currently dedicated to asylum matters will be ring-fenced following the UK's departure from the EU.
Answered on: 21 May 2019

There are currently no plans to apply a ring fence to asylum payments in this financial year.

Any new restrictions to departmental spending would be agreed with HM Treasury. Any further changes would form part of the Spending Review discussions taking place this year for financial year 2020-21 onwards.

Asked on: 01 May 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the 165 per cent increase in rough sleeping since 2010; and what are the causes of this increase.
Answered on: 15 May 2019

There are many different reasons why an individual may sleep rough, and it is often a highly complex and unique situation. We are committed to alleviating all forms of homelessness and want to make sure we get to the root of the problem unique to every local authority, tackling the complex range of reasons why people are homeless. That is why localised funding and plans are so important to dealing with the issue, and we are determined to provide local authorities with tailored support for their specific challenges.

Government commissioned independent research better to understand the causes of homelessness and rough sleeping. This was published on 25 March 2019 and can be (attached) found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/causes-of-homelessness-and-rough-sleeping-feasibility-study.

No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

Through programmes such as the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) and the Rapid Rehousing Pathway, we are delivering services that get people the help they need, as soon as they need it. This has already made a real difference throughout the country with the RSI enabling local authorities to provide a number of services, including over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff in its first year, in collaboration with our expert rough sleeping advisers.

More information on these programmes can be found on the gov.uk website at the (attached) following links: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/james-brokenshire-announces-30-million-immediate-support-for-rough-sleepers (Rough Sleeping Initiative 2018/19 funding) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/james-brokenshire-confirms-funding-to-help-people-off-the-streets (Rough Sleeping Initiative 2019/20 funding) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rapid-rehousing-pathway-2019-to-2020-funding-allocations (Rapid Rehousing Pathway)

Independent research (PDF Document, 1.29 MB)
2018/19 funding (PDF Document, 28.48 KB)
2019/20 Funding (PDF Document, 171.32 KB)
Asked on: 01 May 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support rough sleepers with (1) alcohol, and (2) drug, dependency
Answered on: 15 May 2019

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

This Government, and my Department, has policy responsibility for setting the national framework for homelessness and rough sleeping policy in England alone. It should be noted therefore that the interventions detailed in this response refer to England alone.

In its first year, our Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) provided over 1,750 new bed spaces and 500 staff. This year we have expanded the RSI with investment of £46 million for 246 areas – providing funding for an estimated 2,600 bed spaces and 750 staff.

We know that many rough sleepers have substance misuse needs, and also that rough sleepers can struggle to access the support they need to tackle substance dependency. As set out in the Rough Sleeping Strategy we are conducting a rapid audit of health service provision to rough sleepers, including mental health and substance misuse treatment; £2 million has been allocated to test community-based models of access to health services for rough sleepers, including substance misuse services, and new training is being made available for front-line workers to help them support rough sleepers under the influence of new psychoactive substances such as spice.

We are also working across Government to ensure that rough sleepers who require treatment for substance misuse have access to the appropriate services. This includes working with the Home Office to ensure rough sleepers are considered in the forthcoming Alcohol Strategy, and continuing to support the forthcoming independent review of drugs policy, led by Dame Carol Black.

Asked on: 01 May 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Homelessness: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support homeless children in the UK.
Answered on: 13 May 2019

This Government remains clear that one person without a home is one too many and we are committed to preventing and reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. Time spent in temporary accommodation means people are getting help and it ensures no child or family is without a roof over their head.

As well as allocating over £1.2 billion to tackle all forms of homelessness over the spending review period, the government has also taken forward a number of important actions to specifically prevent and reduce homelessness.

The Homelessness Reduction Act, which came into force in April 2018, bolsters the support offer for families and individuals by ensuring that there are more opportunities for local authorities to put in place bespoke interventions to either prevent homelessness from happening in the first place, or relieve them from a homelessness crisis where it does occur. Local authorities have a duty to house eligible households with children.

We also replaced the Department for Work and Pension's (DWP) Temporary Accommodation Management Fee with a Flexible Homelessness Support Grant which local authorities can use more strategically to prevent homelessness and help households find a settled home. This amounts to £617 million over three years from 2017/18.

Our new Homelessness Advice and Support Team, drawn from local authorities and the homelessness sector, is providing support to authorities to deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act and effective homelessness services.

Asked on: 24 April 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the cost of (1) imprisoning a person under the Vagrancy Act 1824, and (2) subsidising the provision of a hostel bed.
Answered on: 09 May 2019

Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS), formerly known as the National Offender Management Service, does not calculate separately the costs by type of sentence. The information recorded on the HMPPS central accounting system does not allow the identification of such costs. However, an average cost per prisoner, costs per prison place and overall prison unit costs for each private and public sector prison in England and Wales are routinely published by HMPPS. This information is produced on an annual basis and is published after the end of each financial year.

Information on prison expenditure can be accessed in the Prison and Probation Performance Statistics pages for each financial year on the www.gov.uk website. Prison unit costs can be found within the Excel document Costs per prison place and cost per prisoner by individual prison establishment in the ‘Cost by Establishment’ tab.

A specific figure on the amount of subsidy provided for a hostel bed space is not available. The 2016 Supported Accommodation Review, published by DWP and MHCLG, showed that the estimated average weekly Housing Benefit award for working-age claimants living in supported housing in England (which would include those living in hostels) was £180 per week, attached (see Table B.11, page 119). https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/572454/rr927-supported-accommodation-review.pdf

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

Supported accommodation Review (PDF Document, 1.7 MB)
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