Written question – Thomas Cook [29/10/2019]

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the collapse of Thomas Cook. (2853)

Tabled on: 21 October 2019

Paul Maynard:

The demise of Thomas Cook has hastened the urgency of taking forward reforms in the area of airline insolvency.

The Government announced in the Queen’s Speech on 14 October, that it would be taking forward an Airline Insolvency Bill. This Bill would provide for a special administration regime, alongside other reforms to enable the Civil Aviation Authority to have greater oversight of airlines in distress. This is the first step to protect passengers and the interests of the taxpayer in the event of future airline insolvency.

In addition, the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy has written to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to ensure they prioritise, as a matter of urgency, an investigation into both the causes of the company’s failure and the conduct of its directors. The FRC will conduct a robust investigation into the preparation of the company’s accounts in compliance with these standards and seek areas where lessons may be learned.

The answer was submitted on 29 Oct 2019 at 14:59.


Written question – Thomas Cook [29/10/2019]

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department taken to help ensure customers affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook receive compensation. (2854)

Tabled on: 21 October 2019

Paul Maynard:

We are sympathetic to those affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook. There is an ongoing process of liquidation which is in the hands of the Official Receiver. Passengers with ATOL protection are entitled to a full refund on any future bookings and the CAA publishes the process to follow after the insolvency has taken place.

Government advise customers without ATOL protection to speak to their credit card provider or the company they booked their holiday with. Passengers should also speak to their travel insurance provider to see if they are able to claim back any of their costs.

The answer was submitted on 29 Oct 2019 at 14:54.


Written question – medical cannabis [23/10/2019]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for medical cannabis were issued on the NHS from November 2017 to November 2018. (1919)

Tabled on: 18 October 2019

Jo Churchill:

NHS England and Improvement is using extant systems to monitor use of the newly rescheduled unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in England. In England, these systems monitor the number of items dispensed and associated costs in primary care and the volume of products used and associated cost in secondary care. NHS England’s and NHS Improvement’s Controlled Drug Accountable Officers are also collecting local intelligence in both the NHS and independent sector.

The NHS Business Services Authority is only able to provide information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines that have been prescribed and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority. It does not hold information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines which have been issued but not fulfilled.

The following table shows the number of items for Nabilone and Sativex (licensed cannabis-based medicines) and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines that were prescribed on an National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement between November 2017 and November 2018.

Month Licensed cannabis-based medicines Unlicensed cannabis-based medicines
Nabilone Sativex
November 2017 44 174 0
December 2017 58 202 0
January 2018 54 171 0
February 2018 44 158 0
March 2018 47 182 0
April 2018 48 145 0
May 2018 45 183 0
June 2018 42 157 0
July 2018 48 170 2
August 2018 54 161 0
September 2018 45 172 1
October 2018 50 164 0
November 2018 46 175 2
Total 625 2,214 5

Unlike NHS primary care where all dispensed prescriptions are processed centrally for payment, this is not the case for secondary care. This information is collected by a third party and not routinely published.

The answer was submitted on 23 Oct 2019 at 18:00.

Written question – Finance [21/10/2019]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that people are able to obtain their money from free-to-use ATMs throughout the country. (1067)

Tabled on: 16 October 2019

John Glen:

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK.

The Governments’ Call for Evidence on Cash & Digital Payments highlighted changing payment trends. In response, the Government has set up the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group. This group brings together the key regulators to co-ordinate regulatory work to support the country’s cash infrastructure, including ATMs. It will publicly update on activity in the Autumn.

The Government also believes industry has a crucial role to play in protecting access to cash. In addition to previous commitments, LINK – the UK’s largest ATM network – has recently committed to protect access to cash on high streets with five or more qualifying retailers. It has also created an ATM delivery fund for elected officials to request a new machine in areas with poor access to cash. Furthermore, UK Finance has launched a Community Access to Cash Initiative, offering grants to local communities to improve cash access through alternative solutions.

The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) continues to closely monitor developments in the ATM market and has used its powers to hold LINK to account over commitments to preserve the broad geographic spread of ATMs.

The answer was submitted on 21 Oct 2019 at 15:13.


Written question – Defence [21/20/2019]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether there is a statutory requirement for a (a) military and (b) legal review of the Trident Replacement Decision. (661)

Tabled on: 15 October 2019

Anne-Marie Trevelyan:

There is no statutory requirement for a military or legal review of the decision to maintain the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent.

The answer was submitted on 21 Oct 2019 at 11:58.


Written question – Home Office [7/11/2019]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what due diligence her Department has taken to ensure that the funding provided for the Action Fraud contact meets the demand of the service. (290747)

Tabled on: 25 September 2019

Brandon Lewis:

The Home Office keeps the funding requirements for the Action Fraud service under regular review to ensure that resources can meet the demand from victims. However, the Home Office remains committed to improving the law enforcement response to fraud. That is why we requested that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) conduct a thematic inspection on fraud to ensure our response is meeting the needs of fraud victims

The City of London Police (as the National Lead Force for fraud) is currently implementing recommendations within HMICFRS’ inspection report, which was published on 2nd April.

The Home Office will monitor delivery of HMICFRS’ recommendations through its Economic Crime Delivery Board (chaired by the Permanent Secretaries of the Home Office and HMT) and Economic Crime Strategic Board (chaired by the Home Secretary and the Chancellor).

The answer was submitted on 07 Oct 2019 at 17:14.