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 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
Asked by Alun Cairns
(Vale of Glamorgan)
[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 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of overseas (a) doctors and (b) nurses have indefinite leave to remain.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Q
Asked by Taiwo Owatemi
(Coventry North West)
[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 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of A&E waiting times (a) at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire and (b) in England.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 24 February 2020

Accident and emergency (A&E) attendances have increased both nationally and locally on the previous year, December 2019 A&E attendances were 6.5% up nationally over December 2018, the position at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) was up by 6.6% (4.1% year to date). Latest published performance data for January against the 4 hour A&E performance standard was 77.9% for UHCW compared to 84.6% in January 2019. The latest published national performance for January against the standard was 79.8% compared to 84.5% in January 2019.

The large growth in attendances has had an impact on delivery of the four hour A&E performance standard. The NHS Long Term Plan’s Urgent and Emergency Care reform agenda will look to address this through:

- Urgent Treatment Centres that will reduce attendance at, and conveyance to, A&E;

- Same Day Emergency Care which will increase the proportion of acute admissions discharged on the day of attendance from a fifth to a third; and

- To reduce the number of patients that have unnecessary long lengths of stay (+21 days) in hospital and Delayed Transfer of Care - where patients are still in hospital once medically fit to be discharged back into the community.

Q
Asked by Anna McMorrin
(Cardiff North)
[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 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Environmental Audit Committee's first report of Session 2019 entitled, Invasive Species, if her Department will establish a biosecurity citizens' army to (a) improve public understanding of invasive non-native species and (b) help identify emerging biosecurity threats.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 24 February 2020

Partnership working is vital to deliver long-term management of invasive non-native species (INNS). The Great Britain INNS Strategy aims to guide a strong partnership approach with non-Governmental organisations, businesses, Government and the general public working together to improve biosecurity and reduce the risk from INNS.

Defra funded 29 Non-native Species Local Action Groups (LAGs) between 2011 and 2015 to support their start-up and give them time to become self-sustaining. Defra continues to provide advice to the LAGs and hosts an annual workshop for LAGs to meet and share progress. Non-native Species LAG coordinators and volunteers work with land owners to control INNS in catchment areas to reduce the risk of reinvasion. LAGs provide a key resource to help manage many species and raise awareness and they have mobilised a large number of volunteers in the fight against INNS. Other stakeholders also play a key role, such as Angling Trust members undertaking clearance of Himalayan balsam on river banks and trapping signal crayfish in their ponds. British Canoeing participates in our strategic approach to floating pennywort control and its members are engaged in organised control work alongside the Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust.

We will examine the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendation, and in particular the New Zealand model that it promotes for the mobilisation of large numbers of people. Citizen science is a vital addition to Government surveillance, providing more eyes on the ground and shared responsibility, which improves our overall biosecurity culture. We are assessing the options to facilitate the expansion of current local action into a ‘biosecurity citizens’ army’.

Q
Asked by Anna McMorrin
(Cardiff North)
[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 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if her Department will fund a public awareness campaign on invasive non-native species in 2020.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 24 February 2020

Increasing levels of public awareness is critical to tackling invasive species. Extra resources will be considered as part of departmental business planning and future Government spending reviews, including Spending Review 2020.

The Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat (GBNNSS), on behalf of Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government, is currently reviewing the Be Plant Wise campaign. We will be revising the messaging and extending it to cover terrestrial as well as aquatic plants. The GBNNSS is in discussion with some of the English water companies about extending the very successful partnership work on the Check Clean Dry campaign with them for a further five years beyond 2020 and expanding the campaign to the near Continent.

We launched the first Invasive Species Week in 2015, to bring together a wide range of organisations to raise awareness of invasive non-native species, to highlight work going on to tackle them and to inspire people to get involved and help prevent their spread. Over 320 organisations were involved in last year’s Invasive Species Week with 93 events held across the country. Invasive Species Week 2020 will take place from 18-22 May and I would encourage all hon. Members to look for ways to get involved in their constituencies.

Q
Asked by Anna McMorrin
(Cardiff North)
[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 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of (a) the contribution of the commercial crayfish industry to the UK economy and (b) the cost to the UK economy of signal crayfish damage and control.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 24 February 2020

We have made no specific assessment of the contribution of the crayfish industry to the UK economy. As part of the development of the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019, we engaged with representatives of the crayfish industry to understand the impact of the Order on their businesses.

The 2010 technical report “The economic cost of invasive non-native species on Great Britain” investigated the cost of signal crayfish to the GB economy in regard to management, riverbank restoration, angling and research. The total cost to GB was found to be £2,689,000 annually (England: £1,538,000; Wales: £576,000; Scotland: £575,000. Northern Ireland has no populations of signal crayfish).

Defra recently published the results of a scoping study documenting the current evidence in relation to the ecosystem service impacts of invasive non-native species (INNS) in the UK. This study[1] sought to determine the feasibility of expanding on the 2010 report by estimating natural capital costs resulting from INNS, alongside the direct economic costs which were the focus of the 2010 report. This found that the costs of control were higher than the reported economic impacts, but these did not include river bank damage or wider ecosystem costs.

[1] Scoping study: ecosystem services and natural capital costs of invasive non-native species in the UK - BE0162 http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&Completed=1&ProjectID=20315

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 February 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2019 to Question 12926 on Social Security Benefits, if she will publish the agendas of the Independent Serious Case Panel meetings for each meeting that panel has held since 2018.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 24 February 2020

More information about the Serious Case Panel will be published in due course.

Q
(South Shields)
[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 February 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have successfully disputed the Real Time Information on which their awards have been based in the most recent 12 months for which data are available.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Department has been working closely with HMRC since Universal Credit went live in 2013 to support and inform employers who report earnings to emphasise the importance of timely reporting via the Real Time Information (RTI) system.

HMRC have guidance to reiterate to employers the importance of reporting accurate dates and the impact on payment cycles; the Financial Secretary to the Treasury is also working closely with HMRC and employers to do this.

Between February 2019 to January 2020 the Department completed over 23 million Universal Credit earnings calculations using RTI data. Of these, 107,463 were disputed and 20,418 were upheld.

Q
(South Shields)
[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 February 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence payment decisions have been challenged (a) successfully and (b) unsuccessfully at (i) mandatory reconsideration and (ii) tribunal.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 24 February 2020

Data on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MR) and appeals for initial decisions following a PIP assessment can be found in Table 5A of the “Data tables: PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019” available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 February 2020
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 8 of the Green Finance Strategy published on 2 July 2019, what correspondence he has sent to the Bank of England (a) Financial Policy Committee and (b) Prudential Regulation Authority to clarify their responsibilities to have regard to the Paris Agreement on climate change; if he will publish that correspondence; what plans he has to further clarify those responsibilities; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Government has a statutory obligation to issue letters of recommendations to the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority at least once in each Parliament, and a remit and recommendations letter to the Financial Policy Committee at least once per calendar year. The Treasury lays copies of these letters before Parliament.

In order to meet its statutory obligation, the Government last issued these letters on 4 November 2019. Given the pre-election period was about to begin, the Government decided to roll over the existing remits.

The Government continues to recognise the importance of making clear the responsibilities of these bodies in relation to the COP21 Paris Agreement and will set this out in their next remit letters.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 February 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Commons
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of his Department's spending was allocated to grassroots sport in each year from 2010.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 24 February 2020

Between April 2010 and March 2019, The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has provided over £870m in Exchequer funding to Sport England, the arms-length body of government responsible for investing in and supporting grassroots sport in England. The table below provides a year-by-year breakdown.

Sport England Grant-In-Aid/Funding

Year

Outturn £'000

2010/11

£121,389

2011/12

£97,571

2012/13

£99,814

2013/14

£88,634

2014/15

£83,044

2015/16

£93,885

2016/17

£105,649

2017/18

£81,343

2018/19

£98,765

Details of DCMS's Exchequer funding to other policy areas can be found in the department's annual reports which are available online.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[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 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to follow the US in imposing sanctions on any company involved in the construction of Nord Stream II pipeline in the Baltic.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The UK remains concerned about the impact Nord Stream 2 will have on European energy security and on the interests of Ukraine. We continue to be supportive of initiatives that strengthen and diversify the supply of gas and competition across the European market. We engage regularly with our close allies and partners on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and European energy security more broadly.

There are currently no unilateral UK sanctions being imposed with respect to Nord Stream 2. ​During the transition period, the UK will continue to be bound by the EU sanctions regime.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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 February 2020
Attorney General
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions there have been under the Modern Slavery Act since 2015 for cases involving child victims.
A
Answered by: Michael Ellis
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The CPS records all offences charged under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and within those, the offences that involve child abuse are flagged. Since the Act came into force and up to the end of September 2019, the CPS has prosecuted 59 Modern Slavery Act offences involving child abuse.

Cases referred to the CPS by the police as modern slavery are often prosecuted under other legislation. The CPS has prosecuted 209 defendants for human trafficking offences involving child abuse, from 2015/16 to September 2019.

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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 February 2020
Department for Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Education, whether his Department collects data from local authorities on the number of (a) trafficked and (b) at risk children in their care.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The latest information on episodes of need where trafficking was identified as a factor at the end of assessment is included in the department’s ‘Characteristics of children in need: 2018 to 2019’ statistical publication, available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2018-to-2019.

Table C3 of this publication shows that, at a national level, trafficking was identified as a factor at the end of assessment in 2,490 (0.5%) of the 498,870 episodes with assessment factor information in the year ending 31 March 2019.

Information on looked-after children is collected from local authorities in the annual looked-after children census, but does not include information on whether the child is specifically considered to be at risk of being trafficked.

The latest information on looked-after children is published in the ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’ statistical release, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[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 February 2020
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Bank of England is subject to regional requirements on its (a) performance, (b) monitoring and (c) reporting.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Bank of England is the central bank for the whole of the United Kingdom.

The Bank has a network of agents operating from twelve agencies across the UK. Up to four agents are based at each agency and they are supported by small administrative teams. The Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions is published four times a year and reflects UK-wide feedback from firms covering all sectors of the economy. The agents also organise visits for the Bank’s policymakers across the UK so they can hear the views of businesses and communities first-hand. This information is used to inform the decisions the Bank of England’s policy committees make. For example, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Financial Policy Committee (FPC) and Prudential Regulation Committee (PRC).

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[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 February 2020
Department for Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department allocated to place children under 16 in (a) unregulated and (b) unregistered care settings in each of the last five financial years.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The information is not held centrally. Core funding for children’s services, including funding for placing looked-after children, is un-ring-fenced and part of the wider local government finance settlement. It is for local authorities to decide how best to spend the funding to meet their local needs, priorities and statutory responsibilities, including for children’s social care.

The local government settlement for 2020-21 set out proposals to increase local government resources by 4.4% above inflation, which is the largest increase in spending power in almost a decade. Under these proposals, core spending power will rise from £46.2 billion in 2019-20 to £49.1 billion in 2020-21.

We recognise the demand pressures on children’s social care. The government is providing local authorities with an additional £1 billion for adult and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament.

Grouped Questions: 1242
Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[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 February 2020
Department for Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department allocated to place children over 16 in (a) unregulated, (b) unregistered, and (c) semi-independent care settings in each of the last five financial years.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The information is not held centrally. Core funding for children’s services, including funding for placing looked-after children, is un-ring-fenced and part of the wider local government finance settlement. It is for local authorities to decide how best to spend the funding to meet their local needs, priorities and statutory responsibilities, including for children’s social care.

The local government settlement for 2020-21 set out proposals to increase local government resources by 4.4% above inflation, which is the largest increase in spending power in almost a decade. Under these proposals, core spending power will rise from £46.2 billion in 2019-20 to £49.1 billion in 2020-21.

We recognise the demand pressures on children’s social care. The government is providing local authorities with an additional £1 billion for adult and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament.

Grouped Questions: 1241
Q
(Glasgow North West)
[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 February 2020
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the Third Report of the Treasury Committee, Session 2019, published on 1 November 2019.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The government responded to the report on 5th February 2020 and the Committee will publish our response in the usual way in due course.

Q
(Glasgow North West)
[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 February 2020
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to place the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for Authorised Push Payment on a statutory footing.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 24 February 2020

In March 2018, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) established a steering group of financial institutions and consumer representatives to develop a voluntary code of good practice to help protect consumers against authorized push payment (APP) scams.

At the end of February 2019, the steering group published the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for Authorised Push Payments (the Code), which sets out the agreed principles for greater protection of consumers and the circumstances in which they will be reimbursed, making a significant step in delivering improved protections for consumers. The Code became effective on 28 May 2019 and customers of those payment service providers that are signatories (which includes all of the 6 largest banks and building societies) are protected under the Code from this date.

The Code is still in its infancy and the Government believes it should be given time to embed and take full effect before its effectiveness can properly be assessed. The Lending Standards Board (LSB), which is responsible for the Code, has committed to a first annual review of its operation in Summer 2020 and will shortly publish more information about its planned approach, including its intention to consult widely with consumer representatives and the industry. The Government looks forward to reviewing these findings when they become available.

Q
Asked by Fiona Bruce
(Congleton)
[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 February 2020
Department for Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the research commissioned by Government from the Early Intervention Foundation on effective local practice with regard to supporting families.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Early Intervention Foundation is due to report findings from its review of effective local practice in spring 2020. A publication date is yet to be agreed.

Q
Asked by Stephen Timms
(East Ham)
[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 February 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the outcome of her Department’s review of the Special Rules for Terminal Illness and Severe Conditions.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 24 February 2020

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

Grouped Questions: 15001
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