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Prepared: 15:44 on 8th September 2014

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House of Lords

Summer Recess 2014

Written Answers and Statements

Energy: Prices 

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans  

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to encouraging energy companies to use income-differentiated tariffs as a means of addressing fuel poverty.[HL1757]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): Energy suppliers provide direct bill support for low income households through the Government’s Warm Home Discount scheme. As the original impact assessment for the scheme made clear, the scheme grew in part out of a concern about affordability of energy bills and accessibility of appropriate tariffs for those on low incomes. The scheme is now hugely successful. This year the Warm Home Discount will give eligible low-income bill payers £140 money off their energy bills, helping over 2 million people including 1.4 million of Britain’s most vulnerable pensioners.

There has been consideration of the role of differentiated tariffs as part of the Hills Review of Fuel Poverty, and in the development of Fuel Poverty: Framework for future action and cutting the cost of keeping warm, the consultation to prepare for a new fuel poverty strategy.

We continue to monitor the impacts of Ofgem’s Retail Market Review and wider Government action to ensure that consumers are treated fairly in the energy market and are better able to choose a deal that suits them. We expect to keep the case for further action under review as part of this.

Prisoners: Self-harm 

Question

Asked by Baroness Stern  

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken in response to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons’ findings in respect of case management procedures to support those at risk of self-harm and the number of self-harm incidents.[HL1583]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The Government is committed to reducing self-harm in prisons. The Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) process provides a prisoner-centred, flexible case management system for prisoners identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons has made recommendations about improving the operation of the ACCT system in a number of prisons during the last year, and action is being taken to address these recommendations within those prisons. Dedicated resources and additional support are being provided to improve safer custody work in prisons, including improving the consistency of the application of the ACCT system.

Ranby Prison 

Questions

Asked by Baroness Stern 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes they plan to make to HMP Ranby in the light of the report of an unannounced inspection of HMP Ranby by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons published on 24 July 2014.[HL1582]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): A comprehensive action plan incorporating essential improvements at HMP Ranby has been drawn up in response to the unannounced inspection by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons published on 24 July 2014. This plan includes a response to all recommendations made and gives specific time-bounded actions. The plan is monitored by NOMS.

Asked by Baroness Stern  

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take to increase the number of prisoners working, in the light of the findings of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons’ report of an unannounced inspection of HMP Ranby, published on 24 July.[HL1584]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice: Since the unannounced inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, activity spaces at HMP Ranby have increased by 95 places. Additional staff are being recruited to allow the workshops to employ further prisoners and further work has been secured.

Supermarkets: Competition 

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans  

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to lay before Parliament the statutory instrument recommended by the Groceries Code Adjudicator to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the maximum level of fine that can be applied for a breach of the Code; and if so, when.[HL1759]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) (Con): The Government intends to bring legislation before Parliament this autumn to set the maximum level of fine that the Groceries Code Adjudicator may impose in respect of breaches of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.


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