Written question – Motor Neurones Disease [10/01/2022]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with industry stakeholders on the adequacy of funding for the treatment of Motor Neurones Disease ahead of the upcoming Spending review. (57138)

Tabled on: 15 October 2021

Answer:
Gillian Keegan:

There have been no specific discussions.

NHS England and NHS Improvement commission the specialised care and treatment that patients with Motor Neurone Disease may receive from the specialised neurological treatment centres across England. Funding decisions for these are made in line with local priorities. The Department continues to engage with stakeholders including a recent meeting between ministers and the MND Association on ways to significantly boost further research on MND and access government funding for research within existing routes.

The answer was submitted on 10 Jan 2022 at 12:51.

Written question – Cold Weather Payments [10/12/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Cold Weather Payments have been issued by her Department to households in Inverclyde in each of the last five years. (86114)

Tabled on: 02 December 2021

Answer:
Guy Opperman:

The Cold Weather Payment scheme is administered at weather station level rather than at a constituency or regional level. The coverage area for each weather station is determined by the Met Office, which assesses the most appropriate weather station for each postcode area. Cold weather payments are triggered when the average temperature recorded at the weather station has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0oC or below over seven consecutive days, during the Cold Weather season (November to March)

The constituency of Inverclyde covers all or part of the following postcode areas: PA11, PA13, PA14, PA15, PA16, PA17, PA18 and PA19.

These postcode areas are covered by the weather station Bishopton, which also include constituencies other than Inverclyde.

Table 1 Postcode districts mapped to Weather Stations
Weather stationPostcode Districts Covered
BishoptonG1-5, G11-15, G20-23, G31-34, G40-46, G51-53, G60-62, G64, G66, G69, G71-78, G81-84, ML4-5, PA1-19, PA21-27, PA32.

Table 2 summarises the number of triggers in the Bishopton weather station over the last 5 complete Cold Weather Payment seasons and the estimated number of payments in the Bishopton weather station area.

Table 2 Estimated number of Cold Weather recipients linked to the Bishopton weather station
YearTriggers for Bishopton weather stationEstimated number of payments for Bishopton weather station
20/211139,000
19/2000
18/191137,000
17/182276,000
16/1700

Where there have been no cold weather triggers in the Bishopton weather station area, no payments were made to eligible recipients.

Notes

  1. The number of eligible claimants given here is an estimate as information on the exact number is not readily available. These figures are produced by determining the volume of eligible recipients in each weather station area at the start of the winter season. These figures are then used throughout the winter to estimate payments and expenditure based on the actual triggers recorded.
  2. The number of payments made is not necessarily the total number of individuals benefitting from a Cold Weather Payment. Any individuals making a joint claim for one of the qualifying benefits, such as a couple living together, will receive one payment between them rather than one payment each. Furthermore, if a weather station triggers more than once throughout a cold weather season then the recipients will receive more than one payment.

The answer was submitted on 10 Dec 2021 at 11:20.

Written question – DWP/Employment [03/12/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that departmental staff who have underlying health conditions can continue to work from home and not mandated to return to the office on a hybrid basis. (81990)

Tabled on: 25 November 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help support departmental staff who have been working from home since the outbreak of covid-19. (81991)
    Tabled on: 25 November 2021

Answer:
Guy Opperman:

We take the Health and Safety of DWP staff and customers very seriously. We have robust risk assessments and guidance to ensure all appropriate mitigations are in place to keep our people safe.

As part of regularly reviewing our risk assessments, working with our departmental and local trade union colleagues, we consult the legislation and guidance of the devolved administrations ensuring that any differences are reflected within the risk assessment and communicated to staff based in offices in Scotland and Wales.

Staff based in Scotland should be following the safety measures included in the DWP risk assessments that incorporate any differences in Scottish government guidance.

Since the start of the pandemic, DWP has rigorously followed guidance from the respective governments in the devolved nations, thus allowing people to work safely from the office, or at home. We are committed to continuing this approach as we learn to live with the virus and return more of our people to the workplace in a safe, steady and controlled way.

We are constantly reviewing our position as and when new government guidance is issued. No matter where our people are working now, or in the future, their safety and compliance with government guidance is our number one priority.

If your constituents remain concerned about their own, or their colleagues’ personal safety and / or any of the practices within their specific office, they can raise this with their line manager.

The answer was submitted on 03 Dec 2021 at 14:14.

Written questions – Post Offices [02/12/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to migrate customers from the Post Office card account. (81988)

Tabled on: 25 November 2021

Answer:
Guy Opperman:

This process has been ongoing for some time. The Department is writing to all Post Office card account customers to inform them that Post Office card accounts are ending and asking them to update their payment method to a transactional bank, building society, credit union or internet-based account. All Post Office card account customers receive two letters during the phased migration. Post Office card account customers who do not update their payment method to a transactional account are being migrated on a month-by-month basis to the new Payment Exception Service.

The answer was submitted on 02 Dec 2021 at 14:04.

Written question – Post Offices [02/12/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) information and (b) support his Department plans to provide to people who use the Post Office card account in the context of the pending closure of that account. (81987)

Tabled on: 25 November 2021

Answer:
Guy Opperman:

The Department is writing to all Post Office card account customers to inform them that Post Office card accounts are ending and asking them to update their payment method to a transactional bank, building society, credit union or internet-based account. Those who are unable to access or use a bank account will receive a payment card for the Payment Exception Service along with information which explains how the service works. DWP’s Financial Inclusion Customer Contact Centre are also available to support and answer queries from claimants and pensioners, and arrange a home visit where required.

DWP’s most vulnerable customers have successfully been using the Payment Exception Service since it replaced the Simple Payment Service in 2018. It is a basic cash-in cash-out service and is easy for customers to use. For Post Office card account customers migrating to the Payment Exception Service they will be able to continue to collect their payments using a payment card at their local Post Office.

The answer was submitted on 02 Dec 2021 at 14:28.

Written question – Gambling [05/11/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her planned timetable is for commencing trials of a single customer view for online gambling; and whether she has discussed those trials with gambling operators. (65451)

Tabled on: 28 October 2021

Answer:
Chris Philp:

The Gambling Commission has worked closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office to understand how a single customer view can be delivered in compliance with all relevant data protection requirements. The Information Commissioner’s Office recently published a report confirming it should be possible under data protection law for data to be shared safely and securely between online operators to help prevent gambling related harm. The report does not comment on how any single customer view should work in practice. We expect the industry to prioritise the trial of its planned single customer view solution as a next step and will continue to monitor developments closely.

The answer was submitted on 05 Nov 2021 at 15:05.

Written question – Gambling [05/11/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of Public Health England’s review of the evidence on gambling harms, published on 30 September 2021. (65449)

Tabled on: 28 October 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether a gambling ombudsman could be established without primary legislation; and what plans she has for establishing such an ombudsman. (65533)
    Tabled on: 28 October 2021
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has assessed the available data on gambling and gambling harm; and if she will bring forward proposals to fund the collection and assessment of those data through a statutory levy. (65534)
    Tabled on: 28 October 2021

Answer:
Chris Philp:

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of Terms of Reference and a Call for Evidence. The Review is wide-ranging and aims to ensure that the regulation of gambling is fit for the digital age. The Call for Evidence included questions on the need for changes to the system of consumer redress, the appropriate mechanism for recouping the societal and regulatory costs of gambling and on barriers to high quality research. We will publish a white paper setting out our conclusions and vision for the sector in due course, and this will include an indication of how any changes will be implemented, whether by legislation or other means.

Public Health England’s review will be a valuable contribution to our Gambling Act Review and we are considering it carefully. Alongside the Review, we will work with the Department of Health and Social Care and key stakeholders to address the knowledge gaps identified in the evidence review and improve data collection more broadly.

The answer was submitted on 05 Nov 2021 at 15:05.