Dear Sir David,
I have today received the following written answer to a parliamentary question, which I tabled on 20 May:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were given leave to remain in the UK subject to the no recourse to public funds condition in 2019. (49575)
Kevin Foster: The information you have requested is not assured to the standard required by ONS for publication and as it would be too costly to do so, we are unable to provide it.
The answer was submitted on 02 Jun 2020 at 13:47.
I found this answer puzzling. What would be involved in assuring the single number I asked for “to the standard required by ONS for publication”? How costly would this be? Do you regard this as an acceptable reason for declining to answer such a straightforward question?
Thank you for your help.
Stephen Timms MP
Chair, Work and Pensions Select Committee