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: 11 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Children
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the causes of the fall in real-terms funding per child for low-level mental health services in 60 per cent of local authorities in England given the £226 million reported as planned spending for 2018/19.
Answered on: 29 April 2019

Local authority funding is a matter for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Department recognises the need to increase funding for National Health Service mental health services for children and young people. The planned spend by NHS clinical commissioning groups on children and young people’s mental health for 2018/19 is £727.3 million. This represents an increase of around 40% from the spend in 2015/16, which was £516 million.

Asked on: 06 February 2019
Department for Education
Schools: Hate Crime
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to tackle hate crime in schools; and what assessment they have made of the recent incident of vandalism at Bahr Academy.
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 13 February 2019

Hate crime has no place in our society and no child should live in fear of racism or bullying. Schools must promote our shared values, which include mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs, and they must comply with the requirements of the Equality Act. Schools must also have a behaviour policy which includes measures to prevent bullying.

Recent research commissioned by the Department for Education details common strategies that schools have found to be effective for combating bullying. The department is funding a number of projects to help schools tackle bullying, including hate-related bullying, and recently published the attached ‘Respectful Schools Communities’ toolkit, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline.

The department is also taking forward a number of commitments in the government’s attached ‘Hate Crime Action Plan’ to support the sector to tackle and prevent prejudice and hate-related issues, as well as in the attached ‘Integrated Communities Strategy’ to support integration and community cohesion.

Vandalism of any kind is unacceptable, and where a school is vandalised, the welfare of pupils and staff is paramount. We are aware of the incident at Bahr Academy. We have liaised with the local authority and stand ready to work with partners and assist the school in any way we can.

Asked on: 28 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to address hardship caused in Universal Credit pilot areas, and (2) to ensure that the same impacts on debt and health are not caused by the future roll-out of Universal Credit.
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2018

Universal Credit Full Service has been introduced gradually in stages across the country since April 2017 with full roll-out completing this month. From 2019 onwards we will begin to manage migrate legacy benefit claimants to Universal Credit.

DWP is working closely with stakeholders to design how we identify and support those claimants who will need extra help with the process of managed migration. This will begin with a lengthy period of careful introduction and will be at a small scale to ensure our processes are working effectively before we take on larger volumes from 2020 onwards. Once managed migration has been completed there will be an additional £2.1 billion spend per year on Universal Credit compared to the current legacy system.

More severely disabled people will also receive higher payments under Universal Credit, with around 1 million disabled households gaining on average about £100 more per month and the managed migration regulations currently before Parliament, include transitional protections to ensure that no one loses out at the point of transition.

Claimants may have pre-existing debts prior to claiming Universal Credit – for example rent arrears (which are usually temporary and are cleared over time). However, this year, following Autumn Budget 2017, we have implemented a comprehensive package of improvements. These include making advances of up to 100 per cent of the indicative award available (from the start of a claim), removing the 7 waiting days, providing an additional payment of 2 weeks of Housing Benefit to support claimants when they transition to Universal Credit, and changing how claimants in temporary accommodation receive support for their housing costs.

We announced further support at Autumn Budget 2018. Work Allowances will increase by £1000 a year from next April. This will benefit working parents and people with disabilities – 2.4 million households will be up to £630 better off per year in a package worth £1.7bn by 2023/24. From July 2020, payment of the income related elements of Employment and Support Allowance, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support will continue for two weeks after a claim for Universal Credit has been made.

Finally, our new Universal Support partnership with Citizens Advice (CA) and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) from April 2019 will deliver a high-quality and consistent service for our most vulnerable claimants, to assist them manage their Universal Credit claim, get paid on time and budget effectively.

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