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.

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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.
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Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Defence
Commonwealth: Veterans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many British Commonwealth personnel are in receipt of (a) a War Disablement Pension or (b) the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
A
Answered by: Johnny Mercer
Answered on: 05 June 2020

Information on the nationality of War Pension recipients is not recorded centrally.

As of 31 March 2019, approximately 209 British Commonwealth personnel, as defined by the British Nationality Act 1981, were in receipt of an ongoing payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Figures covering the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 will be published on the Gov.UK website within the next four weeks, at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/armed-forces-compensation-scheme-statistics-index

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Independent Case Examiner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2020 to Question 43913 on the Independent Case Examiner, how many new Independent Case Examiners were recruited between 1 February 2020 and 31 March 2020 to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

Funding has been made available in the 2020/21 financial year to allow the Independent Case Examiner’s (ICE) Office to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation. Its headcount will increase from 89 to 112. The recruitment of additional Investigation Case Managers commenced in February 2020, but was paused following the introduction of the Coronavirus lockdown measures. That pause has now been lifted and the Office is currently concluding the recruitment exercise.

Q
Asked by Rosie Cooper
(West Lancashire)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Ophthalmic Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the backlog of ophthalmology appointments that were cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 June 2020

We continue to work closely with the National Health Service and partners and guidance has already been issued to the NHS on the process of starting to restore urgent non-covid services in a safe way.

This will be done on the principle that the most urgent treatments should be brought back first and this will be driven by local demands on the system. The approach will be flexed at local level according to capacity and demand in different parts of the country. The restoration of services will be gradual, over weeks.

Q
Asked by Stella Creasy
(Walthamstow)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Car Washes: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether car washes are permitted to operate during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

The guidance on working safely during COVID-19 is aimed at working environments, not whether a specific business can reopen.

The guidance is designed to help employers, workers and the self-employed understand how to work safely, including what employers need to think about to adapt a workplace to manage risk in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

We know that every organisation is different. Whether hand or automatic car washes, employers can use the guidance to create specific plans for their business in consultation with those who are affected by their operations, including workers and contractors. Plans will depend on the nature of your business, such as the sector, and the details of your workforce and operations.

Whether a business must remain closed varies according to which part of the UK you are operating in. For England the rules are set out on the gov.uk website. The website also includes links to information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Football Association Premier League: Intellectual Property
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has made to the Government of Saudi Arabia on the blocking of law suits attempted by the Premier League to protect its intellectual property in that country; and if he can make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 05 June 2020

My officials are working closely with their counterparts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Trade to ensure the international interests of the Premier League and other UK sports bodies are protected and promoted around the world. We know that the Premier League is a great soft power asset for the UK, and we will continue to encourage relevant national governments to ensure it receives parity of treatment in all international markets.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Dental Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he is taking to support dentists that were required to close during the covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Steve Barclay
Answered on: 05 June 2020

The Government recognises the important role all medical businesses play to protect and improve the health of the population and is taking many steps to support them during the COVID-19 outbreak. Dentists will be fully remunerated for the NHS work they would have otherwise undertaken, subject to some basic requirements.

Medical practices may also benefit from the range of economic support measures the Government has announced, including:

  • A Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Q
Asked by Kate Osborne
(Jarrow)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospitals: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when routine services and treatments will recommence in NHS hospitals.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

With evidence suggesting that we are through the peak of the first wave of COVID-19, and with the National Health Service well-placed to provide world-leading care for those who do still have the virus, we are bringing back routine services that had been temporarily paused. We are working on the principle that the most urgent treatments should be brought back first and this will be driven by local demands on the system. The approach will be flexed at local level according to capacity and demand in different parts of the country, and will be gradual, over weeks.

We have continued to deliver the most urgent treatments, such as emergency and urgent cancer care, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people contacted by the track and trace system will be told the identity of the covid-19 positive person it is said they have come in contact with (a) as a matter of routine or (b) if they ask for that information.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 05 June 2020

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. This includes enhanced contact tracing.

The NHS Test and Trace service will not share the name or details of a COVID-19 positive person, as this is confidential. This includes where someone who has been named as a contact asks for the identity of the person who is COVID-19 positive.

Q
(Feltham and Heston)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Statistics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish her Department’s response to the DWP Statistics Publication Frequency Review, published in December 2019.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

Our response to DWP statistics publication frequency: statistical notice was published on 19 December and can be found at the top of the page here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/dwp-statistics-publication-frequency-statistical-notice

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the waiver of the Immigration Heath Surcharge for NHS and care workers announced by the Government on 21 May 2020 will also apply to the families of those workers.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 June 2020

Department of Health and Social Care and Home Office officials are working to implement the Prime Minister’s announcement of 21 May and further details will be published shortly.

Q
(Nottingham East)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to increase the level of funding available to key workers for childcare to meet the increased costs of that care as a result of social distancing measures during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Steve Barclay
Answered on: 05 June 2020

Parents continue to have access to the Government’s childcare offers during the Covid-19 crisis. This includes support through Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit worth up to 85% and 70% of childcare costs respectively, up to 30 hours of free childcare a week for 3 and 4-year-olds, and up to £2,000 per year of support through Tax Free Childcare.

Schools also continue to offer places to the children of key workers, as they have done since the end of March.

To ensure key workers working additional hours do not lose their entitlement to free hours or Tax Free Childcare, for this tax year we are temporarily relaxing the maximum income threshold for those parents.

Q
(Clwyd 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: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Welsh Government on co-operation between England and Wales for the NHS Test and Trace service.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

The importance of developing a consistent and joined-up approach to contact tracing and testing across the whole of the United Kingdom is regularly discussed between the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and his counterparts in each of the devolved administrations, most recently on 28 May 2020 at the weekly Four Nations ministerial call.

To support this, officials within the Department, NHSX and Public Health England are working closely with counterparts in the Welsh Government – as in each of the devolved administrations – to explore opportunities for aligning and integrating contact tracing and testing systems.

Q
Asked by Stella Creasy
(Walthamstow)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Bereavement Support Payment: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people that are not eligible for bereavement support payment as a result of not being married contacted Tell Us Once service during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

Tell Us Once (TUO) does not collect this information. TUO is purely a notification service and asks a citizen if they wish to notify a range of partner organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions. There is no distinct correlation between the notification issued and Bereavement Support Payment. In addition, Tell Us Once does not form any part of any claim to benefits.

Q
Asked by Zarah Sultana
(Coventry 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: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Eating Disorders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his will make it his policy to work with the eating disorders charity Beat to (a) access the most recent data on issues facing people with eating disorders, (b) support people with eating disorders and (c) allocate additional funding (i) to tackle the causes and (b) for the treatment of those conditions.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

Departmental Ministers and officials engage a wide range of expert organisations to inform its policies and this includes Beat. We recently announced over £9 million of funding support for charities supporting vulnerable people through the COVID-19 pandemic. We were delighted to announce that Beat has been awarded grant funding through this process to continue the valuable work it does in supporting people with eating disorders.

The Government is also funding a new eating disorder study jointly led with King’s College London and eating disorder charity, Beat, via the National Institute for Health Research. The study aims to better understand what may lead to an eating disorder as well as how best we provide more effective treatment.

We are aware that NHS England has consulted Beat on work to improve adult eating disorder pathways in the community to build our understanding of how best to introduce ambitious but achievable improvements to access, quality of care and outcomes.

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: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Hospitals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 29 May 2020 to Question 43030 on Coronavirus: Hospitals, what information his Department holds on the number of (a) admissions and (b) deaths in (i) all and (ii) each Nightingale hospital.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

NHS England collects and publishes information on the deaths of patients who have died in hospitals in England and had tested positive for COVID-19 or where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This data is currently available for two of the Nightingale hospitals (NHS Nightingale Hospital London and NHS Nightingale Hospital North West).

Data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-daily-deaths/

Q
(Wallasey)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Department of Health and Social Care: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department has send replies to letters from Honorable Members from civil servants; and whether those letters were been seen by a Minister in his department before they are issued.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

The Department is currently dealing with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with approximately 22,000 cases received since the beginning of March, a threefold increase in cases compared to the same period last year.

The Department ensures that urgent cases raised by Members are prioritised and has taken steps to provide substantive responses in as short a time as possible.

All lines used to respond to correspondence are provided by the Department’s policy teams and the Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiry unit has daily contact with Ministers’ private offices. As a temporary measure, officials are sending replies with commonly used lines in line with Cabinet Office guidance.

Q
Asked by Clive Lewis
(Norwich South)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to extend the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020 to the families of all key workers who die from covid-19.
A
Answered by: Steve Barclay
Answered on: 05 June 2020

On 27 April, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced a new Life Assurance scheme for frontline NHS and social care workers who die from coronavirus. This recognises the increased risks faced by these staff during the course of their essential and lifesaving work during the crisis, and the need to encourage retired doctors and nurses to fill staff shortages and boost service capacity.

It pays a £60,000 tax-free lump sum where staff die as a result of coronavirus and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted coronavirus.

The government will continue to review the support provided to key workers on the front-line.

Q
Asked by Stella Creasy
(Walthamstow)
[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: 01 June 2020
Women and Equalities
Equality: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what process has been undertaken to consult civil society, including women and equality rights organisations in relation to the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the operation of the Equality Act.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 05 June 2020

All the legislative protections against discrimination provided by the Equality Act 2010, including those relating to sex and to pregnancy and maternity as protected characteristics, continue to apply during the covid-19 outbreak period, and the scope of the Act remains unchanged.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), the helpline for anyone who believes that they have been discriminated against in the provision of goods, services and public functions, remains open and can provide free bespoke advice and in-depth support, as can Acas (0800 464 0979) in relation to employment discrimination issues.

The EASS can be contacted via its website - www.equalityadvisoryservice.com, by telephone on 0808 800 0082, or by text phone on 0808 800 0084. The EASS may contact a service provider on a customer’s behalf to discuss the scope for meeting the customer’s concern; it also liaises with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has powers to enforce the provisions of the Act.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Service Industries: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to create a tailored support package for the events industry to support that sector during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 05 June 2020

We are aware that COVID-19 has significantly impacted multiple aspects of the events industry. My officials continue to gather intelligence from the sector and I regularly engage with events stakeholders to monitor the situation through the Visitor Economy Working Group, the Events Industry Board, and the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group.

Government support for the events sector is set out in the International Business Events Action Plan, which was published in June 2019. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector’s recovery from COVID-19.

Businesses and workers in the events industry can access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package, including the recently extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[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: 01 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Surgery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) operations and (b) types of operation have been cancelled in each NHS trust in England since the covid-19 lockdown measures were implemented in March 2020.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 June 2020
Holding answer received on 04 June 2020

This data is not available in the format requested.

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