Written Question – Treasury [12/12/2017]

HM Treasury has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (117218):

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the Financial Conduct Authority about the introduction of a duty of care for the banking sector to support people with cancer. (117218)

Tabled on: 04 December 2017

Stephen Barclay:

The government believes that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as the UK’s independent conduct regulator for the financial services industry, is best placed to evaluate the merits of a duty of care for financial services providers. We therefore welcome the FCA’s commitment to publish a Discussion Paper on the subject, which the FCA plans to publish after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The answer was submitted on 12 Dec 2017 at 14:50.



Written question – Health [10/10/2017]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Justice on making drugs policy a responsibility of his Department. (10383)

Tabled on: 13 September 2017

Steve Brine:

As set out in the 2017 Drugs Strategy, the complexity and pervasiveness of drug misuse and the harms it causes means that no one department can tackle it alone. The Home Office remains the lead department for policy on drugs and implementation of the Strategy working closely with the Department of Health, Ministry of Justice and other interested Government Departments and agencies, and there are no plans to change this.

The answer was submitted on 10 Oct 2017 at 13:51.


Written question – Gambling [09/10/2017]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a statutory levy on bookmakers to fund the work of GambleAware. (10477)

Tabled on: 13 September 2017

Tracey Crouch:

As I made clear at Departmental Oral Questions on 18 September, I am determined that the gambling industry acknowledges its social responsibilities, including properly funding the work undertaken by GambleAware, and other organisations, on research, education and treatment for gambling-related harm.

The industry currently contributes over £8 million per year to GambleAware. GambleAware is seeking to increase this to £10 million per year in line with work that has been done by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) to cost the short term work of delivering the National Responsible Gambling Strategy.

The industry must step up and fulfill their obligations under these new targets.

The answer was submitted on 09 Oct 2017 at 12:14.


Written question – Home Office [20/09/2017]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the devolved administrations on making cannabis available through pharmaceuticals where use of that drug can be helpful. (8282)

Tabled on: 04 September 2017

Sarah Newton:

Cannabis, in its raw form, has no recognised medicinal benefits in the UK.

There is a clear regime in place, administered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to enable medicines (including those containing controlled drugs such as cannabis) to be developed, licensed and made available for medicinal use to patients in the UK.

The Minister for Safeguarding, Vulnerability and Crime has recently written to and met with the Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care to consider how to ensure cannabis-based medicines are available where appropriate.

Minister of State, Baroness Williams wrote to her counterpart Lord O’Shaughnessy on the same issue earlier in September.

Officials in the Home Office remain in frequent dialogue with officials of the devolved administrations on all aspects of drug policy.

The answer was submitted on 20 Sep 2017 at 14:18.


Written question – Health [18/09/2017]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how his Department plans to work with the Scottish Government on protecting children from junk food marketing. (9910)

Tabled on: 11 September 2017

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

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on developing advertising powers to enable that government to protect children from junk food marketing. (9911) Tabled on: 11 September 2017
  2. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department plans to take to allow the Scottish Government to restrict junk food advertising to children. (9912) Tabled on: 11 September 2017

Answer: Steve Brine:

Departmental officials will continue to work with colleagues in the devolved administrations, sharing our thinking and progress to ensure children across the United Kingdom can have the best start in life.

Current advertising restrictions in the UK on high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) products are among the toughest in the world. Strict new rules came into effect on 1 July banning the advertising of HFSS food or drink products in children’s media. These restrictions apply across all non-broadcast media including in print, cinema, online and in social media.

In August we announced £5 million investment in a policy research unit on childhood obesity to provide a robust evidence, evaluation and research capability including looking at the impact of marketing on childhood obesity. The unit’s findings will be fed into future meetings with colleagues across the UK.

The answer was submitted on 18 Sep 2017 at 15:47.

Written question – Welfare [25/07/2017]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will remove the mandatory reassessment of people with progressive conditions, such as muscle-wasting conditions, who are in receipt of personal independence payments at the enhanced rate. (5325)

Tabled on: 17 July 2017

Penny Mordaunt:

Reviews of PIP are a key part of the benefit and ensure that not only awards remain correct where needs may change and that we also maintain contact with the claimant, both features missing from its predecessor Disability Living Allowance. The length of an award is based on an individual’s circumstances and can vary from nine months to an on-going award with a light touch review at the ten year point. PIP recognises that for the most severely disabled claimants, the award review process could seem unnecessarily intrusive. Existing PIP claimants with the most severe, lifetime disabilities, whose functional ability has remained the same, are more likely to have their evidence reviewed by a DWP Decision-Maker and will not need to have another face-to-face assessment with a healthcare professional.

We will continue to closely monitor developments across the health and disability landscape and engage with stakeholders to improve the service we provide. We are committed to ensuring that the PIP reassessment process works effectively across the spectrum of disabilities and health conditions, including mental health conditions, cognitive impairments and physical disabilities.

On Employment and Support Allowance we are working with our assessment provider, medical professionals and other stakeholders, to develop a set of criteria that will help us identify those with the most severe health conditions or disabilities, for whom reassessments can be stopped unless there is a change of circumstances.

The answer was submitted on 25 Jul 2017 at 15:33.


Written Question – Treasury [20/07/2017]

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will introduce a requirement on the Financial Conduct Authority to set out a reasonable duty of care for financial services providers to exercise towards their customers. (4474)

Tabled on: 12 July 2017

Stephen Barclay:

The government recognises that there are different views on the merits of introducing a duty of care for financial services providers. The government welcomes the Financial Conduct Authority’s commitment to publish a discussion paper to explore the issue of duty of care, as part of the planned review of their Handbook described in their Mission document published in April.

The answer was submitted on 20 Jul 2017 at 15:13.


Written Question – Health [11/07/2017]

Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to increase funding for addiction services in England. (2783)

Tabled on: 04 July 2017

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

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, why expenditure on adult drug misuse services in England has fallen by over £42 million since 2013-14. (2963) Tabled on: 04 July 2017

Answer: Steve Brine:

The Government has committed £16 billion in funding to local councils over the current five year spending review period to tackle public health issues. Any decisions on commission of effective drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services are the responsibility of local authorities based on an assessment of local need.

The answer was submitted on 11 Jul 2017 at 10:49.

Oral Question to the Minister – Spousal Visas [03/07/2017]


Ronnie Cowan MP

What steps she is taking to protect the family rights of UK citizens married to non-EU citizens.

Brandon Lewis MP (Minister for Immigration)

The requirements we have in place promote not just family values but integration, while also striking the right balance to ensure that we take into account the burden on the taxpayer as well, so we have a fair balance between family, integration and the taxpayers’ position.

Ronnie Cowan MP

My constituent Paul McMillan, a medical student from Port Glasgow, is unable to be with his American partner because of the minimum income requirement on spousal visas, which stands at £18,600 and is due to rise. He has decided that because of the UK Government’s increasingly hostile attitude towards immigrants, on completing his studies he will emigrate from Scotland to be with his partner. Scotland will lose not only his future medical expertise but the expertise of his partner, a qualified social worker. Considering Paul’s situation, will the Home Secretary abandon plans to increase the minimum income requirement?

Brandon Lewis MP (Minister for Immigration)

If the hon. Gentleman wants to write to me about any specific case, I will be happy to have a look at it. As a general point, however, it is right that we look at making sure that everybody across the UK has the same position to deal with, so that the system is fair and that it is also fair to taxpayers, so that someone bringing a member of their family to this country can afford for them to be here. I also point out to the hon. Gentleman that the figure of £18,600 is several thousand pounds below the median wage in Scotland.

Written Question – Young People [30/06/2017]

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Internet: Young People
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government plans to publish a green paper on online safety for young people.
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 30 June 2017

Work has started on the DCMS led cross-government internet safety strategy which will give us the opportunity to consider issues of online safety for children and young people. We are considering how this will be taken forward under the Digital Charter.