Written question – Gambling & football [24/05/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of gambling advertising during the upcoming European Championships on people at risk of gambling-related harm. (2347)

Tabled on: 17 May 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, what estimate he has made of the number of advertising breaks which will contain a gambling advert during the upcoming European Championships; and if he will take steps to prohibit gambling adverts from being broadcast before the 9.00pm watershed. (2348)
    Tabled on: 17 May 2021

Answer:
Mr John Whittingdale:

The Government does not hold data on the volume of broadcast gambling advertising and so cannot provide an estimate of the number of advertising breaks that will contain a gambling advert during the UEFA European Championship. Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, in line with Ofcom and ASA standards. The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising also prohibits adverts being shown around or during live sports broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

The government has not seen any evidence which demonstrates a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and the development of problem gambling. However, all gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement.

Gambling adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and we are considering the evidence carefully.

The answer was submitted on 24 May 2021 at 15:06.

Written question – Access to cash [20/05/2021]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress he is making on ensuring people have access to cash throughout the UK; and if he will make a statement. (2349)

Tabled on: 17 May 2021

Answer:
John Glen:

The Government recognises that cash is important to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and has committed to legislating to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.

Last year, the Treasury published a Call for Evidence, which sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government has recently announced that it will consult this Summer on legislative proposals for protecting cash for the long term.

The Government has also made legislative changes to support the widespread offering of cashback without a purchase by shops and other businesses as part of the Financial Services Act 2021. These changes will come into effect in late June of this year. The Government’s view is that cashback without a purchase has the potential to be a valuable facility to cash users, and to play an important role in the UK’s cash infrastructure.

The answer was submitted on 20 May 2021 at 10:36.

Written question – Finance – [29/04/2021]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the announcement of a compensation scheme for London and Capital Finance bond holders of 19 April 2021, whether his Department has considered paying similar compensation to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to offset claims they have already settled. (187266)

Tabled on: 26 April 2021

Answer:
John Glen:

Following an extensive investigation, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) found that certain London Capital and Finance (LCF) bondholders were eligible for FSCS compensation.

The FSCS has now paid out £57.6m to over 2,800 LCF bondholders, and has identified and contacted all bondholders whom it believes are eligible for compensation.

As previously announced, the government will establish a compensation scheme for all LCF bondholders who are not eligible for FSCS compensation. Details of this scheme were set out in a Written Ministerial Statement on 19 April. The government expects the scheme to have paid all bondholders within 6 months of securing the necessary primary legislation, which it will bring forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The scheme will not make payments to the FSCS to offset settled claims, as these claims were paid to eligible bondholders in line with FSCS rules. HM Treasury’s separate compensation scheme will compensate those bondholders who are not eligible for FSCS compensation, recognising the unique and exceptional circumstances around LCF’s failure. This compensation will be capped at 80% of bondholders’ initial investments up to a cap of £68,000.

The answer was submitted on 29 Apr 2021 at 07:35.

Written question – Travel [20/04/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Transport and (b) devolved Administrations on the Global Travel Taskforce and restarting cruises as covid-19 restrictions are eased. (181331)

Tabled on: 15 April 2021

Answer:
Nigel Adams:

The FCDO continues to work closely with the Department for Transport about international cruise restart and the Global Travel Taskforce. On the domestic restart of cruises, officials from the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland Executive liaise with the Department of Transport and are closely involved in the taskforce’s work.

International cruises will restart alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the “traffic light” system. This will be subject to continued satisfactory evidence from the domestic restart and cruising in other countries. Travel advice will continue to be informed by the latest public health risk assessments.

For now, national restrictions on international travel remain in place, including only permitting travel abroad for a limited number of reasons set out in law. Holiday travel is not included.

The answer was submitted on 20 Apr 2021 at 16:51.

Written question – Access to cash [20/04/2021]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on bringing forward legislative proposals to allow cashback without a purchase. (178727)

Tabled on: 12 April 2021

Answer:
John Glen:

The Government has supported an amendment to the Financial Services Bill that will introduce legislative changes to allow for the widespread offering of cashback without a purchase by shops and other businesses.

The Government’s view is that cashback without a purchase has the potential to be a valuable facility to cash users, and to play an important role in the UK’s cash infrastructure. The recent Call for Evidence on Access to Cash invited views on this issue. It noted that cashback with a purchase was the second most frequently used method for withdrawing cash in the UK behind ATMs in 2019. There were 123 million cashback transactions when using a debit card to make a purchase amounting to a total value of £3.8 billion.

Pre-existing legislation, which derives from the EU’s Second Payment Services Directive, has meant that if a merchant wanted to offer cashback without requiring the customer to make a purchase, that shop, or its agent, would have to be authorised or registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This presents a significant burden for many businesses.

This legislative change to enable cashback without a purchase will allow merchants to offer this service without being authorised or registered with the FCA. It is only possible now that the UK has left the EU and is a welcome step towards protecting access to cash for the future.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

The answer was submitted on 20 Apr 2021 at 16:12.

Written question – Access to cash [04/03/2021]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that people can continue to access cash; and if he will publish the Government’s timeframe for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect access to cash. (160730)

Tabled on: 01 March 2021

Answer:
John Glen:

The Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. To progress this work, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury has been working closely with regulators and industry to ensure customers continue to have access to essential banking services, including cash, while also protecting the safety of staff and customers. This has meant the vast majority of people have been able to access cash through the pandemic.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, Payment Systems Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority. The members published an update on the actions of its members in July 2020. This included work led by the PSR and FCA to develop a comprehensive picture of cash access infrastructure across the UK.

The answer was submitted on 04 Mar 2021 at 10:15.