24/01/2017 House of Commons


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24/01/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including consideration of amendments made in the House of Lords to the Wales Bill.


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Order! Order! The Ayes to the right, 127. The Noes to the left, 206.

:00:16.:00:36.

The Ayes to the right. 127. The Noes to the left, 206. The Noes half

:00:37.:00:46.

butt, the Noes habit. Unlock. We now come to the Wales Bill, money

:00:47.:01:24.

resolution. It is to move formally. The question is, the money

:01:25.:01:27.

resolution as on the order paper. As many as are of the opinion, say

:01:28.:01:33.

"aye". To the contrary, "no". . The Ayes habit. We now come to the Wales

:01:34.:01:44.

Bill, programme number three motion. The question is, as on the order

:01:45.:01:47.

paper. As many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary,

:01:48.:01:56.

"no". The Ayes habit. The Ayes have it. The clerk will now proceed to

:01:57.:02:04.

lead the orders of the day. The consideration of the Lords

:02:05.:02:09.

amendments. The National Assembly of Wales pass the legislation consent

:02:10.:02:14.

motion on the 17th of January, copies are available online and in

:02:15.:02:19.

the vote office. I must draw the attention that financial privilege

:02:20.:02:23.

is engaged by amendment nine. If it is agreed to, the customary entry

:02:24.:02:29.

waving Commons privilege to be entered into the Journal. We will

:02:30.:02:41.

begin with amendment nine. We will consider Lords amendment 40 four. I

:02:42.:02:46.

call the Minister to move to agree a Lords amendment nine. Alun Cairns.

:02:47.:02:51.

Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker, I beg this House moves to agree with a

:02:52.:02:56.

medal name as you stated. I am pleased to open this debate on the

:02:57.:03:02.

amendments to the Wales Bill in the Other Place. Given the number of

:03:03.:03:05.

members who wish to speak in a short time in the debate, I will aim to

:03:06.:03:13.

keep my comment Spieth. -- believe. I wish to place my gratitude to the

:03:14.:03:18.

peers who contributed to the scrutiny during the House of Lords

:03:19.:03:22.

to the Bill. It is dangerous to name them all for fear of forgetting some

:03:23.:03:28.

of them. There were a number who regularly attended briefing sessions

:03:29.:03:31.

and give feedback during the process who helped get this important piece

:03:32.:03:35.

of legislation through the Other Place without any Government

:03:36.:03:40.

defeats. I want to thank in particular the Lord from Aberystwyth

:03:41.:03:44.

for stealing the Bill through the upper House, sponsored by the

:03:45.:03:51.

equipped for the Bill. I want to take this opportunity to place on

:03:52.:03:55.

record my thanks to a number of honourable and right honourable

:03:56.:03:59.

members of this House. The Honourable Member for Cheshire and

:04:00.:04:06.

Amersham who started the process of when she established a silk

:04:07.:04:11.

commission in 2011. The member for Crewe West who guided the Wales act

:04:12.:04:17.

2014 which implemented the silks commission fiscal recommendation

:04:18.:04:21.

through Parliament. I wish to pay tribute to my right honourable

:04:22.:04:25.

friend, the Member for Pembrokeshire. As a dash as the

:04:26.:04:34.

Secretary of State, the two part in the cross-party St David's Day

:04:35.:04:37.

process that put in place the framework of the Bill. This was a

:04:38.:04:41.

bold move. It sought to bring all parties together to come up with an

:04:42.:04:46.

of constitutional nature that would take both houses together that would

:04:47.:04:49.

understand the politics of both sides of this House and the Other

:04:50.:04:56.

Place. He believed in the importance of this Bill and subjected himself

:04:57.:05:01.

to immense scrutiny of that contacts. A great rebuke to him. --

:05:02.:05:12.

I pay tribute to him. I pay tribute to members on the other side who

:05:13.:05:16.

paid an important part in the scrutiny, the Shadow Welsh

:05:17.:05:20.

secondary, the honorary member -- Honourable Member for... Madam

:05:21.:05:35.

Deputy Speaker, coming to the substance of this group, I wanted

:05:36.:05:41.

amendments nine and 44 to be debated separately this afternoon to give

:05:42.:05:45.

members and this House the opportunity to consider the fiscal

:05:46.:05:47.

framework agreed between the UK Government and the Welsh Government.

:05:48.:05:52.

These amendments are directly linked to that agreement. The agreement

:05:53.:05:57.

between the British and Bell's governments as historic and his the

:05:58.:06:03.

four wheels and to the rest of the generated kingdom. -- Wales. They

:06:04.:06:10.

will be a referendum before Welsh rates of income tax are implemented

:06:11.:06:14.

using scrutiny of the Bill last summer. The fiscal framework paves

:06:15.:06:19.

way for devolution of these historic income tax powers April 20 19. The

:06:20.:06:25.

block grant adjustment mechanisms that will take account of the

:06:26.:06:29.

devolution of stamp duty and land tax, are also part of this

:06:30.:06:34.

agreement. Ensuring that the replacements for these taxes in

:06:35.:06:38.

Wales which the Welsh Government has legislated for come on stream in

:06:39.:06:44.

April 20 18. I am grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way.

:06:45.:06:49.

Like -- whilst he's talking about the fiscal frame, I welcome the

:06:50.:06:54.

lifting on the cap for boring for capital expenditure for 1 billion.

:06:55.:07:01.

It is not quite two billion. -- for boring. Does it give the opportunity

:07:02.:07:06.

for continued investment in the infrastructure in the digital and

:07:07.:07:10.

physical sense and also contribute to increased productivity as well. I

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am grateful for the scrutiny at PV stages and also the comments at

:07:17.:07:22.

integration he has made. -- previous stages. I hope he will recognise

:07:23.:07:27.

this is a mature discussion between two institutions and he is right in

:07:28.:07:31.

this paves the way for the Welsh Government to use its new borrowing

:07:32.:07:35.

powers to legislate and finance things that really matter to the

:07:36.:07:39.

Welsh people. The agreement ensures that when tax powers are devolved,

:07:40.:07:42.

the Welsh Government will have a fair level of funding for the long

:07:43.:07:48.

term, taking into account Welsh tax capacity and treating population

:07:49.:07:52.

change consistently across tax and spending. In doing this, we are

:07:53.:07:58.

delivering on the independent ambition of the long-term, fair

:07:59.:08:01.

funding settlement and agreement for Wales. The professor is clear that

:08:02.:08:10.

this is a fair settlement. There is now no case to say that Wales is

:08:11.:08:14.

underfunded. The Government previously stated that Wales

:08:15.:08:19.

receives a fair settlement. This cements that in place and this

:08:20.:08:27.

enhances the settlement. The fiscal trademark is already out of date

:08:28.:08:33.

because it was before Brexit and we now know that Wales is going to

:08:34.:08:37.

suffer severely if we come out of the single market. Isn't it true

:08:38.:08:43.

that this Bill is just another stepping stone on the way towards

:08:44.:08:49.

forming a new Bill when we get the Thames of Brexit declared? The

:08:50.:08:52.

Honourable Member is well aware that we have a positive dialogue with the

:08:53.:08:58.

Welsh Government in terms of discussing the nature and framework

:08:59.:09:02.

of the process and the ultimate outcomes of exiting the European

:09:03.:09:07.

Union. I was happy to receive a paper from the Welsh Government

:09:08.:09:12.

yesterday with -- about the proposals. I will give it close

:09:13.:09:18.

consideration. It will be subject to a future joint ministerial Committee

:09:19.:09:24.

for the European negotiations. The Secretary of State would disagree

:09:25.:09:27.

his honourable friend who said yesterday in an interview that Wales

:09:28.:09:33.

should get in line with the Brexit process and somehow kowtow to the

:09:34.:09:38.

Prime Minister's agenda. I do not hear my honourable friend's

:09:39.:09:42.

comments. Should there be any attempt to seek to frustrate the

:09:43.:09:46.

process of exiting the European Union by the Welsh Government, that

:09:47.:09:50.

is not something that the Welsh population would expect or want to

:09:51.:09:55.

see. Wales did Vote Leave the European union and it is only right

:09:56.:09:59.

and proper we act on that instruction and direction that came

:10:00.:10:03.

from the public in Wales. I would hope that the Welsh Government would

:10:04.:10:06.

continue to engage positively in terms of the way that they have. I

:10:07.:10:15.

am very grateful for giving way. Does he not feel that given the

:10:16.:10:20.

respect that he says that is between the institution of the National

:10:21.:10:23.

Assembly and the Government in Westminster, he should be

:10:24.:10:27.

disappointed that the supreme court has not ruled today that there

:10:28.:10:31.

should be a formal consultation with wheels via the National Assembly. We

:10:32.:10:38.

maintain that the views of the Welsh Government are important but the

:10:39.:10:42.

views of other stakeholders in Wales are also relevant to the discussion.

:10:43.:10:47.

The wealth discussion will rightly form is few and the UK Government

:10:48.:10:51.

will come to a conclusion that is all part of the Kingdom, including

:10:52.:10:57.

all stakeholders. The legal action at the Welsh Government too, it was

:10:58.:11:01.

a matter for them, we have had the judgment and need to respect it and

:11:02.:11:05.

act upon it. If I can return to the fiscal framework and the funding

:11:06.:11:12.

settlement that comes. I have mentioned professional hops on a

:11:13.:11:21.

moment ago. -- Professor Hoxton. Also to the Chief Secretary of the

:11:22.:11:27.

Treasury for his part in the negotiations. And also for the way

:11:28.:11:33.

in which the Welsh Government and the finance and local Government

:11:34.:11:37.

minister in the National Assembly, and the Welsh Government, in terms

:11:38.:11:42.

of how he went about the negotiations with my right

:11:43.:11:46.

honourable friend as two mature institutions discussion serious

:11:47.:11:49.

matters that will have long-term positive consequences for Wales.

:11:50.:11:54.

Building on the existing funding floor. The Welsh Government will

:11:55.:11:58.

continue to have a fair level of funding for the long-term, taking

:11:59.:12:03.

into account Welsh tax capacity and treating population change

:12:04.:12:06.

consistently. For the first time we have agreed to add a needs -based

:12:07.:12:13.

factor of 115% into the Barnett Formula as was recommended.

:12:14.:12:16.

Embedding the funding will be announced in December 2015 into the

:12:17.:12:20.

mechanisms that decide how Wales is funded. The significance of this

:12:21.:12:25.

should not be understated. This is something that the Labour Party

:12:26.:12:30.

called forth from Cardiff Bay for many years whilst they were in power

:12:31.:12:33.

in this place. It took a Conservative Government to introduce

:12:34.:12:36.

that needs -based factor and deliver on the needs that Wales faced. I

:12:37.:12:40.

hope the honourable lady opposite will recognise a significant step of

:12:41.:12:44.

this needs -based factor that has been brought into the Barnett

:12:45.:12:45.

Formula. Does he not share my concerns that

:12:46.:13:02.

the needs-based factor will be ten years old by the time it comes in

:13:03.:13:05.

and has actually called for a review by the time it starts? I'm grateful

:13:06.:13:09.

to the honourable lady for intervention and the scrutiny and

:13:10.:13:12.

interest she has shown through this bill but I would hope she'd

:13:13.:13:17.

recognise the significance of the fiscal framework. The needs-based

:13:18.:13:21.

factor is 115%. The level at the moment is well above that 115%. It

:13:22.:13:31.

would fall, over time to 15% recognising the first settlement

:13:32.:13:34.

Wales gets because of its needs, but a significant factor in that

:13:35.:13:40.

needs-based factor is that that factor has been introduced into the

:13:41.:13:43.

settlement of Wales for the first time, something that she and her

:13:44.:13:47.

party have been calling for for some time, but it took the Conservative

:13:48.:13:52.

Party to deliver it. I'm grateful to my Right Honourable Friend, who has

:13:53.:13:56.

done a fantastic job steering this through the Commons stages.

:13:57.:13:58.

Interesting point about the figures being out of date. The discussion I

:13:59.:14:04.

had with Professor Horton to talk about Fair funding for Wales, he was

:14:05.:14:07.

clear with me that there was no reason to think that, just because

:14:08.:14:10.

of the passage of time the figures he had in mind are somehow

:14:11.:14:14.

incorrect. The level that has been set by the Treasury is correct for

:14:15.:14:20.

the needs of Wales at this time. My Right Honourable Friend has been a

:14:21.:14:23.

key factor in ensuring that we get to the position of the needs-based

:14:24.:14:26.

factor by framing in a way that we can come out with a successful

:14:27.:14:32.

conclusion. And, ultimately, the Welsh government would

:14:33.:14:35.

understandably have rejected the Wales Bill unless it had an

:14:36.:14:39.

appropriate fair funding settlement. I will give way at the moment. I

:14:40.:14:43.

hope that members opposite will absolutely recognise the

:14:44.:14:45.

significance of this, because it really does matter to the long-term

:14:46.:14:49.

funding public in Wales. I will give way. The Secretary of State is being

:14:50.:14:56.

very generous. Does he accept that as the First Minister set out

:14:57.:14:59.

yesterday that there was a difference between the Barnett

:15:00.:15:04.

formula and the sort of arrangements we have under the CAP? As things are

:15:05.:15:08.

moving rapidly, that Wales will not be left 1p worse off as a result of

:15:09.:15:16.

leaving the European Union? The honourable member is tempting me to

:15:17.:15:19.

go down a route for which no decisions have been taken and we are

:15:20.:15:23.

keen to engage and discuss, we are keen to engage with the Welsh

:15:24.:15:28.

government and with other devolved administrations on future funding

:15:29.:15:32.

arrangements. I hope the honourable member will recognise the fair way

:15:33.:15:37.

in which we have approached the Barnett settlement and the fiscal

:15:38.:15:40.

framework, and that will give him confidence in terms of how we look

:15:41.:15:44.

to get to a fresh settlement for Wales and for all parts of the

:15:45.:15:48.

United Kingdom, as we exit the European Union. I would like to make

:15:49.:15:52.

progress if I can but I will happily give way a little bit later on if

:15:53.:15:58.

time permits. We had agreed a fair way for the block grant to be

:15:59.:16:01.

adjusted to take account of tax devolution and the devolution of a

:16:02.:16:04.

portion of income tax and the traditional multiplier, the 105%

:16:05.:16:08.

within the Barnett formula that would give the Welsh government

:16:09.:16:10.

additional money over and above current levels. Whenever we increase

:16:11.:16:17.

spending in a devolved area. The 105% demonstrates even longer term

:16:18.:16:23.

transitions to getting down to four of 115%. And we're doubling the

:16:24.:16:27.

Welsh government's capital borrowing limit so that it is able to borrow

:16:28.:16:32.

up to ?1 billion, as the honourable member pointed out a moment ago.

:16:33.:16:37.

This will allow the Welsh government to invest in infrastructure across

:16:38.:16:42.

Wales. Amendment mine pits the new cap of borrowing limit in place so

:16:43.:16:46.

that it will be -- Amendment nine, so that it will be available as soon

:16:47.:16:51.

as revenues raised from the taxes that we are devolving. We will put

:16:52.:16:57.

in a new borrowing limit into place well in advance of the devolution of

:16:58.:17:03.

tax powers. This, as the honourable member rightly highlighted, will

:17:04.:17:06.

allow the Welsh government to get on with things that matter and to

:17:07.:17:10.

legislate and use the new financial capacity that will be granted

:17:11.:17:14.

through this bill. Taken together, with the Wales Bill, this agreement

:17:15.:17:19.

paves the way to making the Welsh Assembly a more powerful,

:17:20.:17:22.

accountable and mature institution with greater powers and

:17:23.:17:26.

responsibility to grow and support the Welsh economy. Madam that the

:17:27.:17:29.

Speaker, the fiscal framework agreement resolves once and for all

:17:30.:17:33.

the perceived issues of underfunding that have overshadowed political

:17:34.:17:37.

debate in Wales for so long. It provides the Welsh government with a

:17:38.:17:40.

Golbourne new borrowing limit to deliver much-needed infrastructure

:17:41.:17:44.

investment and ensures that the devolved government in Wales can

:17:45.:17:47.

become truly accountable to the electorate by raising around one

:17:48.:17:50.

quarter of the money that it spends. Gone are the days when poor levels

:17:51.:17:55.

of public service in Wales could be blamed on perceived underfunding.

:17:56.:18:02.

For too long, funding was used as an excuse for poor outcomes, not any

:18:03.:18:07.

longer, Madam Peaty Speaker. If they want big government, the Welsh

:18:08.:18:10.

government could raise taxes to pay for it or if they want to reduce

:18:11.:18:14.

income tax levels they could look to drive out inefficiencies and allow

:18:15.:18:17.

Wales to be seen in a new, entrepreneurial white. -- light. I

:18:18.:18:24.

urge the House to accept these lords' amendments. The question is

:18:25.:18:29.

that this House agrees with the Lords in their Amendment nine. Thank

:18:30.:18:38.

you, Madam Deputy Speaker. And the spirit in which this bill has so far

:18:39.:18:42.

developed we will see something of a rarity in my life in that I will

:18:43.:18:46.

come on occasion, I agree with the government and agree with some of

:18:47.:18:49.

the measures that they have taken but before the Secretary of State

:18:50.:18:53.

gets too excited about that it must be put on record that this bill has

:18:54.:18:56.

had a chequered history. It started out very badly, so badly, in fact,

:18:57.:19:00.

the government have to take it away and start over again. The second

:19:01.:19:05.

attempt was better. We reach a point today where it is still far from

:19:06.:19:08.

ideal but there has been considerable movement by the

:19:09.:19:10.

government as a result of pressure from these benches and from the

:19:11.:19:14.

Other Place. I would like to place on record my thanks to my

:19:15.:19:17.

predecessors, the members for Llanelli and Newport West and their

:19:18.:19:23.

front bench teams for the work they have done during the passage of this

:19:24.:19:28.

Bill. Particularly with my colleague Baroness Morgan and her team on the

:19:29.:19:32.

Other Place with their stunning efforts to secure numerous

:19:33.:19:35.

improvements to this bill through debates and discussions with the

:19:36.:19:39.

government, utilising a constructive approach to concessions. Therefore,

:19:40.:19:43.

we do support this bill in its current, improved form and we will

:19:44.:19:46.

not attempt to frustrate its passage. I am not going to detain

:19:47.:19:49.

the House for any longer than need be on matters where there are no

:19:50.:19:53.

disagreement, but there are amendments tabled by the opposition

:19:54.:19:57.

at the tail end of the group of amendments that I do wish to make

:19:58.:20:00.

substantial points on and may wish to test the will of the House on,

:20:01.:20:04.

but we are hopeful that we can make good progress and get it those

:20:05.:20:08.

amendments. Given me importance of the consequences of amendments nine

:20:09.:20:13.

and 44, should put something on the record about them. These amendments

:20:14.:20:17.

will raise the Welsh government's capital borrowing ceiling to ?1

:20:18.:20:23.

billion and from 2019 the annual capital borrowing limit will rise to

:20:24.:20:29.

15% of the overall figure, 150 million. This, as Secretary of State

:20:30.:20:33.

has pointed out, stems from the fiscal framework agreed by the

:20:34.:20:36.

government in Westminster and the Welsh government. This is welcome

:20:37.:20:40.

news and I congratulate the Welsh government, particularly the Cabinet

:20:41.:20:45.

Secretary, as has the Secretary of State, Mark Draper, the Cabinet and

:20:46.:20:50.

Local Government Secretary for sealing this important deal with the

:20:51.:20:54.

UK Government. I pay tribute to the government for moving on this issue.

:20:55.:20:58.

The increase in borrowing ability is so important because the austerity

:20:59.:21:02.

that successive Conservative chancellors have imposed on Wales

:21:03.:21:05.

has had severe consequences in terms of the ability of the Welsh

:21:06.:21:08.

government to invest in infrastructure, in particular. And

:21:09.:21:12.

that has been pointed out the loss of European funding that Wales will

:21:13.:21:17.

experience once we lose -- leave the EU, the ability to invest in

:21:18.:21:20.

infrastructure becomes even more critical. Therefore, moves to

:21:21.:21:25.

enhance the Welsh government's ability to invest and develop

:21:26.:21:27.

infrastructure for the future are of course welcome and this is all about

:21:28.:21:31.

investing in Wales, boosting the economy and it is a measure that

:21:32.:21:34.

will go a significant way to doing that. Since a wider structure

:21:35.:21:39.

investment led by the Welsh government will help towards

:21:40.:21:41.

improving productivity rates in Wales and will help increase the GVA

:21:42.:21:51.

of Wales. But the government plans do not go far enough. In the Other

:21:52.:21:56.

Place, my front bench colleague Baroness Morgan tabled an amendment

:21:57.:22:01.

to raise the borrowing cap to ?2 billion based on the Holton

:22:02.:22:04.

recommendations. We accept ?1 billion as a step forward but you

:22:05.:22:07.

probably meet the demands of the Welsh economy it is clearly not

:22:08.:22:10.

enough. Before the minister responsible is point, I caution that

:22:11.:22:14.

the government should not view the cap as a target. The point is to

:22:15.:22:20.

show the flexibility and dynamism from the higher limit rather than

:22:21.:22:23.

just looking at how much is borrowed. Many successful businesses

:22:24.:22:27.

do not utilise 100% of their borrowing facility but leveraged

:22:28.:22:31.

borrowing to a sensible percentage of the facility based on the

:22:32.:22:34.

economic context in which they are operating. We hire ?2 billion limit

:22:35.:22:39.

would not necessarily have been utilised but would allow greater

:22:40.:22:43.

flexibility and freedom for the Welsh government to invest in a

:22:44.:22:46.

greater number and greater scale of critical schemes and infrastructure

:22:47.:22:50.

projects. I make these points to the Minister, just put them on record,

:22:51.:22:54.

and to push his conversations with the Treasury and head of the

:22:55.:22:58.

forthcoming budget, but as I have said, we do welcome them as a step

:22:59.:23:03.

forward that Lords Amendments nine and 44 provide, and we will not be

:23:04.:23:14.

voting against them. Paul Flynn. Thank you very much. It is a matter

:23:15.:23:18.

of some pleasure to see this bill going through. It started off, as My

:23:19.:23:23.

Honourable Friend the member for Cardiff Central said, as a dreadful

:23:24.:23:29.

bill, a very ugly Bill, not with the smack of firm government, this is

:23:30.:23:34.

the timid cringe away week, uncertain government who do not know

:23:35.:23:38.

what direction they were going in. But the result of it is generally

:23:39.:23:44.

beneficial and it is a step forward, a statutory step forward, not one

:23:45.:23:48.

that we can feel greatly proud of, and we know that we have to come

:23:49.:23:51.

back to this because the world has changed post-Brexit. Whilst

:23:52.:23:55.

accepting that there has been improvement with this ?1 billion in

:23:56.:24:01.

this amendment that we talked about, it should have been ?2 billion, and

:24:02.:24:07.

there is a very good record in a Welsh Assembly, in their investments

:24:08.:24:11.

in infrastructure and other projects. But, we do need investment

:24:12.:24:18.

in the future. The great success of purchasing Cardiff Airport, were

:24:19.:24:23.

never greatly criticised... Can I thank the honourable member for

:24:24.:24:27.

giving way? Much has been made of this ?1 billion cap. As the

:24:28.:24:31.

honourable member will know the M4 relief road has been talked about

:24:32.:24:34.

and access to borrowing has been available to the Welsh government to

:24:35.:24:37.

crack on with that scheme, but they have done nothing. I think ?1

:24:38.:24:41.

billion is a sensible number and I wonder where did the Jedward comment

:24:42.:24:46.

on whether these powers are being used. The honourable gentleman well

:24:47.:24:50.

knows why delays have taken place on that scheme, because of the

:24:51.:24:54.

obstacles in the way, to go through the system of appeals and public

:24:55.:25:00.

inquiry, but certainly, there is unlimited enthusiasm. It is nice to

:25:01.:25:03.

see him sitting there amongst half an acre of empty green leather today

:25:04.:25:09.

and I notice, on a previous reading of this Bill, where one party in

:25:10.:25:14.

this House took great advantage with a video swiped during this part of

:25:15.:25:18.

the House as empty, and their three members here, but the visual image

:25:19.:25:26.

of that was that the person speaking was a Plaid Cymru member who

:25:27.:25:32.

habitually empties these houses as people stampede to the tearoom

:25:33.:25:40.

whenever he speaks! People should not like by using these misleading

:25:41.:25:47.

pictures of the House. What we have before us is challenges to Wales

:25:48.:25:53.

that are unprecedented. And we must understand what leaving the single

:25:54.:25:58.

market will do for Wales, for Welsh industry, for Welsh farming, for the

:25:59.:26:01.

health service. It will hate us much harder in the effect than in England

:26:02.:26:07.

and we must make allowances for that and we're not doing anything of that

:26:08.:26:12.

kind. On the question of roads, raised by the gentleman for Cardiff

:26:13.:26:16.

North, we have a great problem in that the highway robbery which

:26:17.:26:21.

lasted the 52 years of the Severn Bridge tolls, of double taxation to

:26:22.:26:28.

local people, is set to continue, and I think that is an

:26:29.:26:34.

infrastructure project that perhaps the Welsh SMB could look into,

:26:35.:26:37.

because it is an outrage, that people are paying twice for the

:26:38.:26:43.

tolls, we pay for the National road schemes throughout the United

:26:44.:26:47.

Kingdom, we pay our share of that in Wales and the West of England and we

:26:48.:26:51.

pay over again for the tolls. It was accepted by this House under the

:26:52.:26:57.

Severn Bridge tolls Act to do that for a certain period. That period

:26:58.:27:02.

will come to an end later this year or early next year when the Severn

:27:03.:27:05.

Bridges have the same status as every other piece of motorway in the

:27:06.:27:09.

rest of the United Kingdom and should be treated as such. And the

:27:10.:27:14.

cost of maintenance should be borne by the national funding for road

:27:15.:27:20.

services. That is an unquestionable argument in favour of the abolition

:27:21.:27:28.

of the tolls. Those are set to begin similar argument on another bridge

:27:29.:27:31.

but their genesis was rather different. We cannot allow this

:27:32.:27:37.

psychological barrier to Wales to continue to exist. We want to give

:27:38.:27:41.

the impression, complete accessibility, that will be

:27:42.:27:46.

beneficial to those living on both sides of the river Severn, and I

:27:47.:27:50.

hope the government can look at this again. I think, when we look at

:27:51.:27:56.

these bills that come up year after year, we have seen a growing upset

:27:57.:27:59.

this by the people of Wales or the idea of devolution. I'm glad to see

:28:00.:28:05.

there is a total absence of that band of Conservative MPs who have

:28:06.:28:08.

tried to vote against a clause very similar to this one, at the third

:28:09.:28:11.

Reading debate that we had here. This will give the Welsh assembly

:28:12.:28:28.

the position of dignity and status as a real parliament. And from that

:28:29.:28:32.

point of view we welcome it. We would far prefer the grudged nature

:28:33.:28:43.

of devolution. What the decision from the Supreme Court is saying is

:28:44.:28:47.

that this parliament will rule on powers that have already been

:28:48.:28:56.

devolved to Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. They have no right to

:28:57.:29:01.

do that. They are reversing the judgment. This Bill will not take

:29:02.:29:06.

account of Brexit or to the's decision by the Supreme Court. I

:29:07.:29:18.

hadn't planned to say anything this afternoon but I felt I would take

:29:19.:29:23.

the opportunity to do so. To put on record my thanks and congratulations

:29:24.:29:27.

to the Secretary of State for the fantastic way he has steered this

:29:28.:29:31.

Bill through the Commons stages and handled discussions with the Welsh

:29:32.:29:35.

Government and the opposition parties to bring this Bill to

:29:36.:29:40.

fruition. I would like to put on record my thanks to somebody who has

:29:41.:29:45.

not been mentioned this afternoon, Baroness Anderson. When she was a

:29:46.:29:53.

minister in the Welsh office. She was a rock of wisdom and support,

:29:54.:29:58.

and advice on matters about devolution. The matters give effect

:29:59.:30:06.

to the fiscal framework agreement. They do represent the culmination of

:30:07.:30:09.

all those original aims that we set out for this next stage of

:30:10.:30:15.

devolution. I remember 2.5 years ago sitting down with David Cameron in

:30:16.:30:19.

the lead up to the Scottish referendum, a time that we all felt

:30:20.:30:24.

we were in a moment of unique constitutional history and having a

:30:25.:30:28.

discussion with about where does this leave Wales? Do they need to do

:30:29.:30:30.

something further on Welsh devolution? That was on a shelf. My

:30:31.:30:40.

feeling was it was not good enough for Wales to leave Welsh devolution

:30:41.:30:44.

in limbo. There was pressure coming from the Welsh Government and some

:30:45.:30:47.

of the opposition parties to give effect to silk two. We could have

:30:48.:30:54.

resisted that. I felt it was the right thing to do, to pick up the

:30:55.:30:58.

challenge and to do something in terms of the next stage of Welsh

:30:59.:31:04.

devolution. I am grateful to my honourable friend, the current

:31:05.:31:11.

Secretary of State, and others, that we talked about, to look at what we

:31:12.:31:16.

should now do. Comments being made this afternoon about the way that

:31:17.:31:20.

this Bill changed from its precise format as a draft Bill. It has

:31:21.:31:27.

followed an entirely correct process as a draft Bill, consulting, taking

:31:28.:31:32.

guidance, coming back with Edmonds. And listening. That has been the

:31:33.:31:36.

tone through this process. -- amendments. What we wanted to do at

:31:37.:31:44.

the start has not changed. We wanted a stronger devolution settlement for

:31:45.:31:49.

Wales, a clearer settlement. The end some of the constant argument that

:31:50.:31:52.

ended in the Welsh Government and UK Government trotting off to the

:31:53.:31:58.

Supreme Court to argue which institution was responsible for

:31:59.:32:03.

which policy. Ridiculous. We wanted a fair settlement as well. I will

:32:04.:32:10.

gladly give way. I pay tribute to what he did and I know my colleague

:32:11.:32:15.

enjoyed her experience working with him and how he has pushed this

:32:16.:32:20.

agenda forward. I pay tribute to that. One of the tests that he

:32:21.:32:24.

employed, it should stand the test of time and the chapter should be

:32:25.:32:29.

close. Wheels will get used to its new constitutional settlement and we

:32:30.:32:33.

do not need to turn to devolution in the future. Has that has been met? I

:32:34.:32:38.

do not think this is the end of the book in terms of Welsh devolution. I

:32:39.:32:44.

think we do need a prolonged period with the Welsh Government learns to

:32:45.:32:48.

deploy its powers and uses it competencies in a way that it

:32:49.:32:51.

benefits the people of Wales. Talking about the Severn Bridge

:32:52.:33:00.

error. We needed to get the new money for the Welsh Government to do

:33:01.:33:05.

something. The M4 upgrade. I remember taking a question on it.

:33:06.:33:11.

William Hague was sat next to me, he lent across and said he was talking

:33:12.:33:15.

about this 20 years ago when he was Secretary of State for Wales and

:33:16.:33:20.

we're still waiting for action. That was the challenge that risks

:33:21.:33:23.

corroding public support for devolution in Wales. The sense that

:33:24.:33:28.

the Welsh Government, despite the additional powers that they keep

:33:29.:33:31.

receiving to get, is unable to crack on and take the big and bold

:33:32.:33:35.

decisions to improve the lives of people in Wales. Coming back to the

:33:36.:33:39.

point I was making about the core objectives that we set out. I do

:33:40.:33:42.

believe this Bill meets those objectors. It creates stronger

:33:43.:33:48.

devolution, with additional powers for the assembly as an institution

:33:49.:33:54.

and for Welsh Government. It creates a clearer settlement as a result of

:33:55.:33:58.

the fiscal framework. The amendments that we are debating in this

:33:59.:34:01.

particular section which gives effect to the funding with the new

:34:02.:34:06.

borrowing powers that the Welsh Government will get. I remember 2.5

:34:07.:34:11.

years ago, being told that those four things they wanted to achieve,

:34:12.:34:15.

there was no chance of getting them. I was told the Treasury would not

:34:16.:34:18.

agree, the Welsh Government would not agree to take on tax-raising

:34:19.:34:23.

powers, income tax, I was told that the backbenchers would not agree to

:34:24.:34:28.

it. The approach of all parties working together, trying to sketch

:34:29.:34:32.

out and respecting the differences of each other, parties like Plaid

:34:33.:34:36.

Cymru have the long-standing aspirations and ambitions for Welsh

:34:37.:34:42.

devolution that none of the whales bills have met over the years.

:34:43.:34:46.

Nevertheless, there was a constructive tone that led a good

:34:47.:34:50.

foundation and provided the smooth passage for what I believe is a

:34:51.:34:54.

reasonably good Bill. Not the end of the story but I hope the end of an

:34:55.:34:57.

interesting chapter on Welsh devolution. I am sure the House will

:34:58.:35:10.

join me in wishing the best to my honourable friend, the Member for

:35:11.:35:16.

Carmarthen East. He is expecting the imminent arrival for the latest

:35:17.:35:22.

member of his family and I sympathise with all MPs who have to

:35:23.:35:27.

balance family life with their duty. I extend a welcome to the fact that

:35:28.:35:31.

the fiscal framework is now in place. It gives the Welsh Government

:35:32.:35:36.

a degree of financial accountability that is intrinsic for any fully

:35:37.:35:41.

functioning democratic parliament. Judgement is still very much out on

:35:42.:35:45.

whether it can really deliver the economic accountability and the

:35:46.:35:50.

levers for growth that are required. I therefore want to start with

:35:51.:35:56.

making a few brief comments from the lack of aggression -- ambition for

:35:57.:36:05.

this. I will discuss how this trademark will work and then

:36:06.:36:10.

discussing the capital expenditure. Despite having the fiscal framework

:36:11.:36:15.

in place, we still are behind every devolved administration in terms of

:36:16.:36:19.

the powers and responsibilities we have got. Earlier today, as it seems

:36:20.:36:25.

on most days, we are embroiled with the Brexit conundrum and all the

:36:26.:36:31.

unravelling economic complications. This Government on the patchwork

:36:32.:36:33.

approach to devolution means that Wales will not have the real levers

:36:34.:36:37.

it needs for growth in need at this most difficult of economic times. If

:36:38.:36:42.

the Party opposite wants to talk about the opportunities that a

:36:43.:36:45.

single market and Customs union exit brings for Wales, we should look at

:36:46.:36:50.

the fiscal levers for growth, including the most important tax for

:36:51.:36:54.

Wales, value added tax and how that could be devolved. I hope this

:36:55.:36:58.

minister will indicate he plans to review this framework in light of

:36:59.:37:09.

recent developments to make sure that Wales has got these fiscal

:37:10.:37:12.

levers. I want to touch on this technical point which my colleague,

:37:13.:37:14.

Alan Price, has raised with the finance Secretary. The 115% rule

:37:15.:37:19.

that is being referred to as the Horton floor is based on a satellite

:37:20.:37:22.

criteria that determine the relative need of Wales in 2009-10. There are

:37:23.:37:29.

plans to conduct a review of this relative need to grind it is

:37:30.:37:31.

implemented in the Mac years from now. It is perfectly reasonable to

:37:32.:37:41.

interpret them as being ten years out of date. Although we had

:37:42.:37:48.

something of a debate over this in the interventions, surely the 115%

:37:49.:37:52.

rule cannot be set in stone for all time. I would ask the Minister to

:37:53.:37:56.

bring forward a proposal to investigate that. I am happy to

:37:57.:38:03.

clarify the point that the fiscal framework agreement supported by the

:38:04.:38:11.

Welsh Government, it does include opportunities for periodic review. I

:38:12.:38:14.

welcome his comment on periodic reviews. It is timely given we are

:38:15.:38:21.

holding this discussion now. Rather than using ten-year-old statistics,

:38:22.:38:25.

this is a resident point and I do welcome his comment. I would like to

:38:26.:38:29.

raise some concerns about the dispute resolution framework

:38:30.:38:33.

mechanism. This may not be the time to do it here and it could be

:38:34.:38:36.

something that can be resolved in discussions in the future. I would

:38:37.:38:40.

like to finish on a final point that emphasises the lack of ambition of

:38:41.:38:45.

both governments. In the House of Lords, Plaid Cymru called for the 10

:38:46.:38:48.

billion capital expenditure limit and it was supported by Labour.

:38:49.:38:55.

Under pressure from the devolution sceptic Conservative Party, we're

:38:56.:38:59.

left with an expenditure of half of that. I am pleased that a fiscal

:39:00.:39:06.

framework is finally in place. I cannot avoid the observation that

:39:07.:39:10.

Wales is once again being short-changed by a lack of vision

:39:11.:39:20.

and the of ambition. Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker for calling me

:39:21.:39:26.

to speak in a debate that is important to me as somebody who has

:39:27.:39:30.

served as a member of the National Assembly of Wales for it back years,

:39:31.:39:35.

come here, spending six years. Most of my political life has been

:39:36.:39:41.

dogged, if I can use that word, on whales bills, of one sort or

:39:42.:39:45.

another. I do not know if I will still be a member of this Party when

:39:46.:39:50.

this -- this parliament when the next one comes. There may well be

:39:51.:39:55.

the next round. It is a great honour to speak in a debate about the

:39:56.:40:01.

whales Bill which is particularly important and does take devolution

:40:02.:40:08.

foreword to a much more stable place than it has been since 1999 when it

:40:09.:40:12.

was first established. There is a whole host of areas where I could

:40:13.:40:20.

speak about. On some of them there will be disagreement across the

:40:21.:40:23.

floor of this House. There are two Mac principles that are important to

:40:24.:40:31.

me. The fiscal issues. I do think the reserved powers model, moving to

:40:32.:40:35.

a reserved powers model is fundamental and hugely important.

:40:36.:40:37.

There will be disagreements about what should be the reserved to the

:40:38.:40:43.

Westminster Parliament and what should not. Moving to a reserved

:40:44.:40:47.

powers model is a very big step forward. I have been part of Colin

:40:48.:40:53.

Ford at since 1999. I do not think we should forget that in discussions

:40:54.:41:04.

about finance. What we have been and discussion in this debate is to do

:41:05.:41:07.

with financial issues. There is one related to borrowing powers and I

:41:08.:41:12.

greatly support that. It does give new and important borrowing powers

:41:13.:41:16.

to the Welsh Government. There have been some issues. Members have

:41:17.:41:22.

raised it is not big enough or high and. I have heard that the

:41:23.:41:28.

responsible Government minister in Cardiff, they will not borrow ?1

:41:29.:41:33.

billion that is allowed in the first instance in any case. This does make

:41:34.:41:37.

this borrowing power, it does make a significant difference to how the

:41:38.:41:42.

Welsh Government can operate. Another issue that there has been

:41:43.:41:48.

some debate about, it is the 115%. A number of speakers have referred to

:41:49.:41:52.

this. Since I have been involved in the politics of Wales, we have had

:41:53.:41:58.

the members of the opposition usually calling for exactly that.

:41:59.:42:02.

Colin for your level of spending in Wales that was the equivalent of

:42:03.:42:06.

what would happen in Britain. A is it. -- were hundreds and 15% is it.

:42:07.:42:18.

It is below what is happening now. It is not sufficient... Not

:42:19.:42:25.

sufficient appreciation has ever been for the skill of funding that

:42:26.:42:29.

the current Government makes to Wales. Just complaining about

:42:30.:42:33.

something all the time can give the wrong impression. What is being

:42:34.:42:37.

called for since I have been a member of the assembly in 1999 and

:42:38.:42:41.

here, has actually been delivered and we should recognise that. The

:42:42.:42:46.

one other point I want to finish on, it has been particularly important

:42:47.:42:49.

to me, is the devolution of income tax. I've long believed that this

:42:50.:42:58.

was crucial. The devolution was going to move forward. Any future

:42:59.:43:04.

Welsh Government would be accountable to the Welsh people, it

:43:05.:43:08.

has to be financially accountable. It has to be a form of

:43:09.:43:13.

accountability that the voting public recognise. Income tax is

:43:14.:43:19.

that. It income tax is devolved, there will be a debate at every

:43:20.:43:22.

election about the appropriate level of income tax. And people will be

:43:23.:43:27.

voting looking at both sides of the ledger. What the Government intends

:43:28.:43:31.

to spend and what it intends to raise. All we have had is a spending

:43:32.:43:32.

plan. I would only refer to it as a

:43:33.:43:46.

spending plan, not our budget. You have got to have both sides. That is

:43:47.:43:50.

where we are moving too, with the devolution of income tax. This bill,

:43:51.:43:56.

and I am hugely proud to have been a supporter of it, I think it is a

:43:57.:44:00.

very good bill, it isn't the end of the story, of course it isn't. Who

:44:01.:44:04.

knows what is going to be done in the next Parliament? But it is a

:44:05.:44:08.

good bill. It takes is forward to a position that is much more stable.

:44:09.:44:12.

It gives the Welsh government much more accountability. It delivers,

:44:13.:44:20.

first of all, a position within a unified United Kingdom which I think

:44:21.:44:25.

is clear. But it also does give a degree of influence and power to the

:44:26.:44:29.

Welsh government to deliver the sort of devolution and power which the

:44:30.:44:34.

people who live in Wales actually want the Welsh government to have.

:44:35.:44:47.

Thank you. No more standing up. The question is, this House agrees with

:44:48.:44:52.

the the Lords in their amendment nine, As many as are of that opinion

:44:53.:44:56.

say Aye, contrary No. The Ayes have it, the Ayes have it. Ministers will

:44:57.:45:05.

move to agree to Lords Amendment 44, formerly. The question is that this

:45:06.:45:10.

House agrees with the laws in their amendment, 44. As many as are of

:45:11.:45:14.

that opinion say Aye, contrary No. The Ayes have it, the Ayes have it.

:45:15.:45:21.

We come to Lords Amendment ten and will consider the other amendments

:45:22.:45:27.

listed on the selection paper. I call the Minister to move to agree

:45:28.:45:34.

to Lords' amendment ten. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Madam Deputy

:45:35.:45:44.

Speaker, this group of amendments delivers a comprehensive and lasting

:45:45.:45:47.

devolution settlement for Wales on water and sewerage. Members will

:45:48.:45:52.

know that water is an issue of great symbolic importance as well as

:45:53.:45:56.

practical significance in Wales. Throughout the passage of this bill,

:45:57.:46:01.

few issues of race more passion and debate than the issue of water.

:46:02.:46:04.

There is no question that there cannot be a lasting devolution

:46:05.:46:10.

settlement with Wales without water devolution. The government has

:46:11.:46:13.

therefore been determined to grasp the nettle and resolve the matter

:46:14.:46:18.

once and for all. Madam Deputy Speaker, I was delighted to be able

:46:19.:46:22.

to announce last autumn that we would rip place the Secretary of

:46:23.:46:27.

State's powers to intervene on both of statutory agreement between the

:46:28.:46:30.

UK and Welsh governments, in other words, a water protocol between the

:46:31.:46:35.

two governance Madam Deputy Speaker, replaced those intervention powers,

:46:36.:46:40.

representing a clear break with the past and on another landmark in

:46:41.:46:44.

history of Welsh devolution. The existing intervention powers put in

:46:45.:46:49.

place in the government of Wales Act 2006 when the party opposite was in

:46:50.:46:53.

government. Since then, they have taken on an almost totemic status

:46:54.:46:58.

despite having never been used. Their removal is another important

:46:59.:47:02.

change alongside many others in this bill that makes the coming-of-age of

:47:03.:47:07.

devolved government in Wales. Amendments 30, 31 and 30 to give

:47:08.:47:14.

effect to this historic change. -- 32. We are absolutely clear that

:47:15.:47:22.

this will be a protocol that has teeth. Both governments will be

:47:23.:47:26.

subject to a duty to Act in accordance with the new agreements

:47:27.:47:29.

and, once in place, both will need to agree any changes to it. The

:47:30.:47:35.

agreement will also need to have a process that both governments sign

:47:36.:47:39.

up to, for resolving any disagreements. The new arrangements

:47:40.:47:42.

will need to be negotiated, and that may take some time, but the bill as

:47:43.:47:46.

amended in the House of Lords ensures that the Secretary of

:47:47.:47:50.

State's intervention powers can be repealed once an agreement is

:47:51.:47:54.

formally entered in to do. Amendment 31 is a crucial part of this package

:47:55.:47:58.

as it enforces a duty on both UK and Welsh ministers to have regard to

:47:59.:48:04.

putting this on either side of the border when exercising functions

:48:05.:48:07.

relating to water resources, water supply or water quality. Madam

:48:08.:48:13.

Deputy Speaker, the removal of these intervention powers ensured we were

:48:14.:48:16.

able to conclude our consideration of the wider devolution issues

:48:17.:48:20.

relating to water and sewerage, including the question of whether

:48:21.:48:23.

powers over water and sewerage should be aligned with the England

:48:24.:48:27.

and Wales order and whether the sewerage intervention policies, of

:48:28.:48:34.

course 46 in the Delve when it with this House, could be removed.

:48:35.:48:37.

Amendment 30 removed those intervention powers from the Bill

:48:38.:48:39.

and a great deal of work has gone into the question of where the

:48:40.:48:42.

devolution boundary should be aligned with the geographical

:48:43.:48:46.

boundary of Wales. I will take a quick intervention from the

:48:47.:48:49.

honourable member. I'm grateful to the menace of giving way. Thank you,

:48:50.:48:55.

Madam Deputy Speaker. I thought might the giving of the intervention

:48:56.:48:59.

power. Does the Minister remain concerned, as I am, that will be no

:49:00.:49:06.

direct line of accountability between Ofwat and the Welsh

:49:07.:49:11.

ministers? There will be an opportunity to consult and work

:49:12.:49:14.

through with the Secretary of State on that issue and a protocol that

:49:15.:49:19.

has been put in place should reveal more detail in due course but it is

:49:20.:49:24.

a fact that we are moving in that direction on the basis protocol

:49:25.:49:28.

between the two governments that the honourable should welcome. Yes, I

:49:29.:49:33.

will give way to the honourable member. I am most grateful, he has

:49:34.:49:39.

been very generous. Would you clarify the position as far as the

:49:40.:49:42.

Competition and Markets Authority is concerned? They have a regulatory

:49:43.:49:50.

role that is very relevant to water. Will they be accountable to the

:49:51.:49:53.

Welsh government and to the Assembly? Is important to highlight

:49:54.:50:01.

that this Bill is not devolving competition power. It is actually

:50:02.:50:05.

being reserved. There will be an ability for the Welsh government and

:50:06.:50:09.

for This Place, obviously, to ensure that the views of electors in Wales

:50:10.:50:13.

on this important issue are taken into account, but clearly,

:50:14.:50:15.

competition issues are being reserved, as part of this Bill.

:50:16.:50:24.

Further work is needed to consider the practical implications of

:50:25.:50:25.

implementing the commission recommendations. The government set

:50:26.:50:31.

up the joint government 's programme board with Welsh government to at

:50:32.:50:35.

these issues and report on the likely affect implementing the

:50:36.:50:38.

recommendations would have won the efficient delivery of water and

:50:39.:50:43.

sewerage services. After considering the conclusions of that work,

:50:44.:50:51.

governments put forward amendment 28 of the government of Wales Act 2006

:50:52.:50:55.

and says Tobias J Gill won into this Bill to be amended to devolve both

:50:56.:50:59.

water and sewerage policy as it relates to Wales. While on paper

:51:00.:51:04.

this signify -- simplifies the devolution arrangements it will

:51:05.:51:09.

involve the unpicking of several parts of primary and secondary

:51:10.:51:13.

legislation with the England and Wales border. Amendment 29 provides

:51:14.:51:16.

an order making power limited to making changes to previously

:51:17.:51:21.

transferred functions and functions directly conferred by planning

:51:22.:51:24.

legislation relating to water and sewerage that we will be able to

:51:25.:51:29.

make the various changes through secondary legislation, once the

:51:30.:51:33.

spill has been enacted. Madam Deputy Speaker, the amendments of this

:51:34.:51:37.

group provide a significant package of water devolution to Wales. They

:51:38.:51:41.

deliver a stable, mature and affect the devolution settlement by

:51:42.:51:45.

aligning powers over water and sewerage with the national border

:51:46.:51:49.

and replacing the Secretary of State's intervention powers relating

:51:50.:51:52.

to water with an intergovernmental protocol. These new arrangements are

:51:53.:51:55.

in the best interests of water consumers on both sides of the

:51:56.:52:00.

border and I urge the House to accept these laws' amendments. The

:52:01.:52:05.

question is that this House agrees with Lords Amendment ten. Thank you,

:52:06.:52:13.

Madam Deputy Speaker. I would like to speak about the amendments in

:52:14.:52:15.

this section. The devolution of water and sewerage matters to the

:52:16.:52:20.

Welsh government is welcome and somewhat overdue. The tragedy will

:52:21.:52:26.

never be forgotten but the amendments in this section should be

:52:27.:52:30.

another step forward in ensuring that nothing like it will ever

:52:31.:52:34.

happen again. More broadly, whilst some cross-border aspects of water

:52:35.:52:38.

regulation remains, we are pleased that the Secretary of State has

:52:39.:52:41.

given up his ability to intervene on this issue and like the member for

:52:42.:52:48.

Cardiff Central, I find myself in a somewhat strange place of thanking

:52:49.:52:51.

the government for their movement on this issue, albeit after some

:52:52.:52:59.

prodding year and on the Other Place. Unlike the member for Cardiff

:53:00.:53:02.

Central I believe that these amendments do not go far enough.

:53:03.:53:07.

Whilst these amendments correct some problems, there remains discrepancy

:53:08.:53:16.

is, as the member for McAfee raised in an intervention. There is the

:53:17.:53:21.

matter of Ofwat and this accountability to the Welsh

:53:22.:53:24.

government. When it is discharging its function in Wales, it surely

:53:25.:53:27.

ought to be accountable in some form to the National Assembly of Wales

:53:28.:53:31.

and Welsh ministers. As it stands, Welsh ministers regulate water and

:53:32.:53:37.

sewerage operators in Wales but with the Secretary of State being able to

:53:38.:53:40.

exercises functions are giving general direction to Ofwat without

:53:41.:53:43.

any legal, mandated consultation with Welsh ministers. To be clear,

:53:44.:53:49.

our argument would be for Welsh ministers only to be able to provide

:53:50.:53:52.

directions in connection with matters relating to water and

:53:53.:53:58.

sewerage operators in Wales, or were licensed activities are carried out

:53:59.:54:02.

using this is why system of water and sewerage operators in Wales.

:54:03.:54:07.

Does that not seem a very reasonable and straightforward request? Surely

:54:08.:54:09.

not a step beyond imagining for the Minister. That the regulator for the

:54:10.:54:15.

sector should be mandated to consult with and speak to politicians

:54:16.:54:19.

dealing with the implementation of that sector. As the member for

:54:20.:54:26.

Wrexham may well expand on it, it is not sufficient to believe that

:54:27.:54:29.

regulation from London will always work in the interests of communities

:54:30.:54:34.

in Wales. I will let them expand upon this point and the

:54:35.:54:38.

ramifications of these amendments with the campaign he's fighting in

:54:39.:54:41.

this community, but I pay tribute to him and his work on raising this

:54:42.:54:45.

issue and I would assure the House that we on this House, on the side

:54:46.:54:52.

support him in it. The member for Cardiff Central, despite the gaps we

:54:53.:54:57.

have in these amendments, we will not be voting against them today. I

:54:58.:55:02.

would like the Minister to provide a substantial response to the points I

:55:03.:55:05.

raised and give some assurance that the issue of Ofwat and the Welsh

:55:06.:55:10.

government can be looked at through some mechanism outside of the bill,

:55:11.:55:16.

and that he keeps the House informed of his progress with it. Yes, you

:55:17.:55:32.

are on! In my advanced state of years I did not hear you, for which

:55:33.:55:36.

I apologise but I am greatly honoured at being called by the

:55:37.:55:40.

front bench speakers in this debate. I welcome this legislation. I'd go

:55:41.:55:46.

as far as to say that its impact and its existence is actually having an

:55:47.:55:51.

impact before it hits the statute book, because, as a firm believer in

:55:52.:55:57.

the adage that there are no coincidences in politics, just as

:55:58.:56:03.

this Bill and the amendment being put down in the Lords, my

:56:04.:56:12.

constituency and that of my good friend from Clwyd South, our local

:56:13.:56:19.

water company, the Valley water, was the subject of a takeover bid from

:56:20.:56:23.

Severn Trent Water, and I suspect that that bid is not unconnected to

:56:24.:56:29.

the existence of the clauses in this Bill, because, of course, the Bill

:56:30.:56:35.

closes to give more powers and a greater role to Wales, the Assembly

:56:36.:56:39.

for Wales and the Welsh government and, I suspect that the regulators

:56:40.:56:46.

and the accountability that will now be transferred from the UK

:56:47.:56:50.

Government to the Welsh government, it would be much more difficult to

:56:51.:56:56.

advance the policy course which is taking place at the present time as

:56:57.:57:02.

the Severn Trent bid was happening. I can't say too much specifically

:57:03.:57:07.

about that bid because it is actually in the court tomorrow,

:57:08.:57:10.

which is of course the most important court case that's taking

:57:11.:57:11.

place this week! I am a great believer in local

:57:12.:57:28.

accountability and services. In Wrexham we have got a good water

:57:29.:57:33.

Company employing 300 people. The workforce to my knowledge are united

:57:34.:57:39.

in the wish to have the Severn Trent bid rejected. And because water is a

:57:40.:57:49.

monopoly, the role of regulators... There are two Mac regulators

:57:50.:57:52.

involved in this process and there will be in future. It is crucially

:57:53.:58:01.

important. My view is that the regulators have very much let me

:58:02.:58:06.

down. As both a member of Parliament and as a local customer. Let the

:58:07.:58:12.

workforce down and let the community down. The Government have also let

:58:13.:58:16.

the community down because they have stepped aside host the very good,

:58:17.:58:21.

efficient local business is being taken over by a much larger business

:58:22.:58:28.

in what I would regard as a predatory way. The workforce are

:58:29.:58:32.

very worried about their future. I do not want to be part of the

:58:33.:58:39.

customer base that pays into a pot that pays the chief executive of

:58:40.:58:45.

Severn Trent Water ?2.4 million per annum as a salary. I think that is

:58:46.:58:52.

out of touch with the people that I represent. I do not think it is an

:58:53.:58:57.

appropriate course. I do not agree with the situation where we are

:58:58.:59:01.

having one less water company as a result of this proposed takeover.

:59:02.:59:07.

That means we will have less competition and less benchmarks

:59:08.:59:10.

against which to measure water companies in terms of price and

:59:11.:59:16.

quality. I am disappointed that the competition and markets authority

:59:17.:59:23.

have not got involved and have not revealed this enquiry to stage two

:59:24.:59:28.

Mac enquiry to look into it in more detail. I think the Government has

:59:29.:59:37.

let local people in Wrexham and Chester, where the valley water

:59:38.:59:45.

supply watered-down, the regulator have let the people down. And the

:59:46.:59:57.

RNA situation where the proposals in this Bill are very welcome indeed. I

:59:58.:00:03.

do wish they happened one day to go. If they happened one year ago, the

:00:04.:00:09.

people of the community that I represent would have been listened

:00:10.:00:13.

to by a Government that had influence and authority and would

:00:14.:00:18.

have exerted influence to prison -- to prevent the predatory taking over

:00:19.:00:24.

of our local business which is serving our community well and has

:00:25.:00:27.

been let down badly by this proposal. I rose to speak to the

:00:28.:00:37.

second group of amendments led by amendment ten. My noble friend, a

:00:38.:00:45.

Ridley, welcomed the proposals to have power over water. He outlined

:00:46.:00:52.

how a historic wrong could be righted. He outlined in the great

:00:53.:00:58.

depth how the drowning of Welsh valleys have motivated his politics

:00:59.:01:03.

and so many people in Wales. How 50 years ago in Cabra Philae, the

:01:04.:01:07.

expulsion of people from their homes on land led to the destruction of

:01:08.:01:16.

communities. The high-handed way in which the people of Westminster

:01:17.:01:22.

treated the people in Wales has repercussions. It is amendment 30

:01:23.:01:28.

where this so-called water protocol is outlined which embodies the

:01:29.:01:31.

entrenched Tory resistance to addressing this in Justin 's in any

:01:32.:01:38.

meaningful terms. -- this injustice. What protocol this could take could

:01:39.:01:43.

not be fleshed out. We could have a -- we do not have a draft protocol

:01:44.:01:48.

in this Bill. We do not have an outline of a draft protocol. Or a

:01:49.:01:54.

protocol by which to arrive at a protocol. Despite this lack of

:01:55.:01:58.

clarity, the Government are willing to include Clauses watering down

:01:59.:02:04.

this already thin provisioning. Amendment 31 explicitly charges

:02:05.:02:07.

Welsh ministers with the interest of English consumers when it comes to

:02:08.:02:12.

any changes to our water supply. It is important to note that it

:02:13.:02:17.

references English consumers. We are not concerned with communities or

:02:18.:02:20.

individuals. Communities are what matter. Consumers in this amendment

:02:21.:02:28.

are what matters and the Welsh national resources are not ours to

:02:29.:02:31.

dispose of two our best advantage. The Government is encouraging the

:02:32.:02:38.

privacy of competition over the interests of Wales. The amendment

:02:39.:02:43.

refers to the water industry act 1991. This act was based on the

:02:44.:02:49.

issue of promoting competition. This -- does this means that we will have

:02:50.:02:54.

a protocol, the well-being of the water consumer is tied up with the

:02:55.:02:58.

tenants of free-market competition. Perhaps the Minister could explain

:02:59.:03:04.

it further? I thank you for allowing me to intervene. In relation to the

:03:05.:03:09.

contents of the protocol and whether it will be inclusive of the

:03:10.:03:12.

Thatcherite dogma, surely that will be a matter for the Welsh Government

:03:13.:03:17.

to agree with Westminster so they will be no Thatcherite dog but

:03:18.:03:20.

unless the Welsh Government agrees to it. The Minister did explain that

:03:21.:03:25.

competition was a reserved matter. It does beg the question what does

:03:26.:03:29.

the dogma have to do with either of -- reserved powers in order for

:03:30.:03:34.

Wales. My Party and many people in Wales feel cheated when the Minister

:03:35.:03:38.

played the card of water devolution, we were led to believe this would be

:03:39.:03:44.

a real game changer. It is no more than smoke and mirrors. We

:03:45.:03:50.

considered putting 1132 vote but we will spill the chamber this exercise

:03:51.:03:54.

because people only tweak with the wording something we have already

:03:55.:03:59.

opposed. I want the record to reflect we will not be taken in by

:04:00.:04:03.

empty words dressed up as substance by the Government. This remains a

:04:04.:04:08.

cynical political sleight of hand, endeavouring to gain capital from a

:04:09.:04:13.

historic event that is deep emotional significance in Wales. As

:04:14.:04:20.

much as two Mac words can ever encapsulate a feeling or a sense, I

:04:21.:04:28.

think those two Mac words remember... I do hope that we do not

:04:29.:04:34.

look back on this year and think of another four words as in calculating

:04:35.:04:38.

the spirit of our age. I do hope those words... Remembered the Valley

:04:39.:04:48.

water. What my friend, the Honourable Member for Wrexham stated

:04:49.:04:54.

powerfully, is a difficulty that is happening in our part of the North

:04:55.:04:58.

East Wales which threaten the livelihoods of many people working

:04:59.:05:02.

for a local water company. It is a David and Goliath battle in a sense.

:05:03.:05:07.

There is real fear that on this occasion, David might not win. David

:05:08.:05:13.

is in the courts tomorrow. We cannot speak of many of the intricacies of

:05:14.:05:20.

this. What we can say is one of the smallest UK water companies, it

:05:21.:05:24.

might be the smallest water company, the details on that I would have to

:05:25.:05:30.

check, one has the fourth lowest water bills of any water Company in

:05:31.:05:36.

the United Kingdom. It is in court against its Goliath. It is in court

:05:37.:05:43.

to do with issues as to the votes of shareholders. One thing that this

:05:44.:05:49.

does show, what we have seen in North East Wales over this issue, we

:05:50.:05:56.

have seen what used to be called the unacceptable face of capitalism.

:05:57.:06:01.

Where a monastic, large predator can come and try to take over a local

:06:02.:06:08.

workforce, a local company, quite against the wills of the local

:06:09.:06:18.

workforce and local consumers. I fear that the course of great

:06:19.:06:23.

regret. When my honourable friend, the Member for Wrexham, speaks about

:06:24.:06:27.

issues concerning us, issues to do with the role of competition and

:06:28.:06:34.

markets authority. And the of linkage in terms of devolution to

:06:35.:06:38.

the Welsh assembly. And also points he raised about of watch. They are

:06:39.:06:47.

serious points indeed. There are serious points when we consider the

:06:48.:06:52.

future of water in our area. There is symbolism that attaches itself

:06:53.:06:58.

and rightly so. The chair of the action

:06:59.:07:18.

Committee I would charge this House, as we approach the devolution of

:07:19.:07:33.

water, forget capably about what is happening with Dee Valley water.

:07:34.:07:36.

Aspects of company law, it should not be right if local people,

:07:37.:07:41.

shareholders, employees of the company, if local ownership matters

:07:42.:07:47.

to us then surely a predatory takeover is in nobody 's interests

:07:48.:07:49.

other than the large predator itself.

:07:50.:08:03.

I welcome those aspects which are devolving water to the Welsh

:08:04.:08:09.

Government. I agree it is totemic and a symbolic. I want something

:08:10.:08:13.

that works and something that works for people in North East Wales.

:08:14.:08:21.

Thank you for calling me to say a few words specifically on Clause 46

:08:22.:08:27.

of amendment 30 of the water protocol. Every time I travel south

:08:28.:08:32.

in my constituency I go past a very famous bit of graffiti.

:08:33.:08:42.

Intermittently, that acceptable bit of graffiti has been vandalised by

:08:43.:08:47.

others. No sooner has it been vandalised. It does not take long

:08:48.:08:51.

for it to be restored to its glory. And so it should. The Government

:08:52.:08:59.

have a knowledge sensitive issues need to be dealt with sensitively.

:09:00.:09:05.

History does not always them those sensitivities. In that spirit I

:09:06.:09:14.

reflect on the very long gestation period of the water protocol. It was

:09:15.:09:19.

recommended by Sir Paul silk in February 2015... I remember my Party

:09:20.:09:26.

's representative as long as -- as well as the predecessor, employed in

:09:27.:09:30.

the Wales Office, when we went through the silk recommendations and

:09:31.:09:35.

came across the devolution of water responsibilities and sewage. It was

:09:36.:09:38.

easier to dispense with sewage than it was with water. The officials

:09:39.:09:48.

were charged with going back and looking at this issue. It was

:09:49.:09:53.

complex. Not least assigning boundaries, national boundaries with

:09:54.:09:58.

water companies responsibilities. I am pleased with the Government in

:09:59.:10:04.

the St David's Day agreement having knowledge, my part in association

:10:05.:10:07.

with the Conservative Party in Government too, that there should be

:10:08.:10:14.

a water protocol. On paper at least, the protocol makes eminent sense. It

:10:15.:10:19.

must be said that it will be easier for us to pass judgment on it where

:10:20.:10:27.

we too have some draft. Indeed, any assessment of the criteria under

:10:28.:10:33.

which it will work. That was a point made by the lordships in another

:10:34.:10:37.

place. More detail would have been helpful as well as a timescale. The

:10:38.:10:43.

protocol will swing into action and sometimes kill will be helpful. I

:10:44.:10:49.

ask you to give some indication of that. There were some concerns

:10:50.:10:52.

raised in another place, right up until the end of proceedings. If I

:10:53.:10:58.

could summarise them. I look to the Minister to assure me these matters

:10:59.:11:05.

will be dealt with. The lordships were looking for a clear statement

:11:06.:11:08.

that the National Assembly has total control over the creation of

:11:09.:11:15.

reservoirs in Wales. They were looking for the assembly to have

:11:16.:11:19.

legislative control over all matters relating to water in all of Wales.

:11:20.:11:29.

In terms of worth the Welsh border. Is he satisfied that those questions

:11:30.:11:34.

will be adequately addressed by the protocol when it is enacted and

:11:35.:11:40.

becomes a reality? The pedantic point on the first line about the

:11:41.:11:47.

amendment, the new Clause 46, Welsh ministers and the Secretary of state

:11:48.:11:53.

may make a protocol. Should that not read, shall make a protocol?

:11:54.:11:59.

Anything less than this protocol that does not emerge on the list

:12:00.:12:03.

difficulties in achieving this, it would not serve the people of Wales

:12:04.:12:09.

well. I welcome the attempts. There are still unanswered questions and I

:12:10.:12:12.

look forward to hearing from the Minister.

:12:13.:12:21.

With Leader of the House will take Lords Amendments 28-32, 46...

:12:22.:12:31.

Question then. -- with leave of the House. The question is does the

:12:32.:12:37.

House agree with amendment ten from the Lords, As many as are of that

:12:38.:12:43.

opinion say Aye, contrary No. The Ayes have it. With leave, we will

:12:44.:12:49.

take Lords Amendments 28, 32, 46, and 137 together. I call the

:12:50.:12:55.

Minister to move amendments 28-32, 46, and 130 seven. The question is

:12:56.:13:01.

that this House agrees with the Lords Amendments 28-32, 46, 137, As

:13:02.:13:09.

many as are of that opinion say Aye, contrary No. The Ayes have it, the

:13:10.:13:14.

Ayes have it. We now come to Lords Amendment one with which it will be

:13:15.:13:16.

convened to consider the remaining Lords Amendments A and B to

:13:17.:13:28.

amendment 30 six. I call the Minister to agree with amendment

:13:29.:13:33.

one. I beg to me that this House agrees with amendment one. As I

:13:34.:13:39.

stated earlier, we have engaged with peers, the Welsh government, the

:13:40.:13:47.

number of colleagues on all sides of this House and interested parties to

:13:48.:13:52.

the issues raised. We have been opened and making changes to improve

:13:53.:13:55.

the bill where there is a good case to do so and the bill before us

:13:56.:14:00.

today is a better one as a result. Madam Deputy Speaker, there are

:14:01.:14:04.

large number is of amendments in this grouping, testament to the fact

:14:05.:14:08.

that the government has been open to improving the new devolution

:14:09.:14:12.

settlement we can. Whilst I do not intend to discuss each amendment in

:14:13.:14:18.

detail, there are a number of amendments to the bill I would like

:14:19.:14:19.

to draw to the attention of the to draw to the attention of the

:14:20.:14:23.

House. We've amended the bill to deal with particular concerns about

:14:24.:14:27.

how universities are treated in the new reserve powers model. During the

:14:28.:14:31.

passage of the bill through the Other Place, concerns were raised by

:14:32.:14:38.

the higher education sector that defining universities as Wales

:14:39.:14:40.

public authorities might suggest they should be classified more

:14:41.:14:44.

widely as public authorities. This was not our intention. Amendments

:14:45.:14:53.

three, four, and 115 resolve this by naming Wales public authorities as

:14:54.:14:56.

devolved Welsh authorities. This response to the calls from

:14:57.:15:01.

university specifically as well as universities in Wales. We have

:15:02.:15:05.

ensured that the Open University will be defined as an authority

:15:06.:15:09.

which carries out the mix of devolved and reserved functions

:15:10.:15:14.

reflecting status as a UK wide institution this will allow the

:15:15.:15:19.

Assembly to legislate to confer functions on the Open University

:15:20.:15:22.

without requiring the consent of a UK minister. We have expanded the

:15:23.:15:28.

list of devolved Welsh authorities in response to concerns raised by

:15:29.:15:32.

the Welsh government and others. Turning to tribunal is, Madam Deputy

:15:33.:15:35.

Speaker, the government also brought forward a number of amendments

:15:36.:15:41.

relating to these. These amendments resulted from extensive discussions

:15:42.:15:44.

with the Welsh government, the Ministry of Justice and the senior

:15:45.:15:47.

judiciary. They are intended to improve their way it is managed and

:15:48.:15:55.

to maximise flexibility in deploying judicial resources in Welsh tribunal

:15:56.:15:59.

's. The amendments tabled in the Other Place would create a statutory

:16:00.:16:04.

office of president of Welsh tribunal is to oversee the work of

:16:05.:16:08.

the devolved Welsh tribunal 's. New schedule five of the bill provides

:16:09.:16:12.

for a two stage process for the appointment of a person to this new

:16:13.:16:17.

statutory role. These new clauses will also allow for the deployment

:16:18.:16:21.

of judges between the tribunal 's and between reserve tribunal is in

:16:22.:16:24.

England and Wales, to share expertise in a way that cannot

:16:25.:16:30.

happen under current legislation. These are important amendments, a

:16:31.:16:33.

product of constructive work with the Welsh government, the Ministry

:16:34.:16:39.

of Justice and others. Madam Deputy Speaker, the government 's key aim

:16:40.:16:42.

in introducing the new reserve powers model is to deliver clarity

:16:43.:16:47.

in the boundary to been the Assembly's competence and the

:16:48.:16:50.

competence of this Parliament, particularly in light of the Supreme

:16:51.:16:54.

Court judgment relating to the agricultural wages board settlement.

:16:55.:16:59.

Many amendments, therefore, either alter or remove altogether

:17:00.:17:01.

reservations contained in the new schedule seven A. The government has

:17:02.:17:05.

brought forward a number of amendments to deal with the planning

:17:06.:17:11.

system and the war that governs the construction of buildings,

:17:12.:17:13.

responding to concerns raised by the Welsh government. Amendment 71

:17:14.:17:18.

divorce companies are planning information to railways making it

:17:19.:17:20.

consistent with the position in Scotland. We brought forward

:17:21.:17:26.

amendments to replace the full reservation of compulsory purchase

:17:27.:17:29.

with one that covers only compensation. This, again, was in

:17:30.:17:35.

the calls to respond to discussions between the UK Government and the

:17:36.:17:39.

Welsh government. Turning to amendments to schedule one more

:17:40.:17:45.

widely we have benefited willingness to devolve significant further

:17:46.:17:48.

powers to the Assembly were a clear rationale can be made for doing so.

:17:49.:17:52.

This removes the reservation relating to teachers' pay and

:17:53.:17:56.

conditions. This was something that I was keen to devolve from the

:17:57.:18:00.

outset, that recognise concerns issued with colleagues on all sides

:18:01.:18:06.

of the House as well as teachers' unions. Following constructive

:18:07.:18:10.

engagement with the First Minister and discussions between officials,

:18:11.:18:14.

we are pleased that we came to the same conclusion, that education is a

:18:15.:18:18.

devolved matter, it makes more sense for the Assembly and Welsh ministers

:18:19.:18:23.

to sign -- set the pay and conditions of teachers in Wales, in

:18:24.:18:28.

light of the greater divergences between the education model in

:18:29.:18:33.

England and the one in Wales. It is sensible to devolve teachers' terms

:18:34.:18:38.

and conditions. We are devolving the community infrastructure Levy in

:18:39.:18:42.

Wales amendment 72, that was a priority for the Welsh government

:18:43.:18:46.

and has been for a number of years. Would listen to the case that they

:18:47.:18:50.

have made and we are delivering on demand that the Welsh government has

:18:51.:18:57.

made. We're happy to respond and constructively in due course.

:18:58.:19:00.

Finally, Madam Diede Speaker, amendments 36 and 52 devolve

:19:01.:19:05.

legislative and exit the competence to the Assembly to regulate the

:19:06.:19:11.

number of high stake gaming machines in new betting premises licences in

:19:12.:19:15.

Wales. This is an issue that the honourable lady the member for

:19:16.:19:18.

Swansea East showed particular interest and passion in during the

:19:19.:19:22.

early stages of this scripting of the bill. The commission made no

:19:23.:19:29.

recommendation on the depletion of betting, gaming and lotteries but we

:19:30.:19:32.

agreed as part of the St David's Day process in that constructive

:19:33.:19:38.

dialogue to consider... In a moment, to consider non-fiscal

:19:39.:19:41.

recommendations made by the Smith Commission that would be appropriate

:19:42.:19:43.

to take forward in Wales. I will give way. May I, too, place on

:19:44.:19:50.

record my congratulations to the member for Swansea East for her

:19:51.:19:54.

campaign on this issue? With the Secretary of State agree that when

:19:55.:19:58.

we see statistics that an average of ?3000 a day is being staked on these

:19:59.:20:01.

machines, it's important that these powers are devolved and that

:20:02.:20:08.

regulation takes place. I come to the specific point because there's a

:20:09.:20:14.

review being conducted by the Department for Culture, Media and

:20:15.:20:16.

Sport which will be able to answer some of the specific issues raised,

:20:17.:20:21.

but for the moment I will stick to explaining the rationale behind the

:20:22.:20:23.

amendments relating to fixed odds betting terminals. One of the

:20:24.:20:30.

proposals was that the powers should be devolved to stop the

:20:31.:20:34.

proliferation of the so-called fixed odds betting terminals and we

:20:35.:20:37.

concluded that these powers should be devolved in Wales as they are in

:20:38.:20:42.

Scotland, that came out of the Smith Commission. Amendment 36 and 52

:20:43.:20:47.

ensured that the bill mirrored the provisions of the Scotland Act 2016

:20:48.:20:51.

in respect of high-stakes gaming machines. This applies to sub

:20:52.:20:58.

category B two gaming machines and will address public concerns in

:20:59.:21:02.

Wales regarding the proliferation of these machines. Of course these

:21:03.:21:07.

machines were established as part, regulated by the gambling Act of

:21:08.:21:11.

2005 that was introduced when the party opposite was in power. The

:21:12.:21:15.

amendments tabled by the opposition propose going much further than what

:21:16.:21:20.

is already devolved in the Scotland Act by extending this provision to

:21:21.:21:23.

all existing gaming machines with a stake of more than ?2, and devolving

:21:24.:21:30.

powers over existing licenses. We did not believe that was

:21:31.:21:34.

appropriate, because, as I mentioned a moment ago, the government has

:21:35.:21:37.

already announced a review of the issue, because you recognise the

:21:38.:21:43.

flaws in the 2005 Act and, as a result we are carrying out a

:21:44.:21:46.

thorough process that will look at all aspects of gaming machine

:21:47.:21:51.

regulation. This will include examining the categorisation,

:21:52.:21:54.

maximum stakes and prizes, location, number and the impact they have on

:21:55.:21:58.

players and the communities in relation to problem gambling and

:21:59.:22:03.

crime amongst other things. All these factors are potentially

:22:04.:22:08.

relevant and interrelated. These powers, the powers we have agreed to

:22:09.:22:13.

devolve, are intended to enable the Welsh government and the Assembly to

:22:14.:22:16.

take action to prevent the proliferation of fixed odds betting

:22:17.:22:20.

terminals. Madam Deputy Speaker, the review we have announced is the

:22:21.:22:23.

appropriate mechanism to consider all these issues in a more holistic

:22:24.:22:27.

way and I would encourage the members opposite to withdraw their

:22:28.:22:32.

amendment. If they do not, I will seek to do my best to respond to

:22:33.:22:36.

some of the issues of concern. I would urge members to support the

:22:37.:22:42.

Lords Amendments within this. The question is that this House agrees

:22:43.:22:46.

with the Lords in their amendment one, Susan Wyn Jones. I wish to

:22:47.:22:53.

speak in favour of the Labour amendment, limiting the amount of

:22:54.:22:58.

staked on the fixed odds betting terminals to ?2. I think this is

:22:59.:23:06.

actually very important. I welcome the review that the DCMS is carrying

:23:07.:23:12.

out in This Place and I welcome the move to devolve this measure to the

:23:13.:23:19.

Welsh Assembly. But the reason I support that, very much in line with

:23:20.:23:23.

all the work My Honourable Friend, the member for Swansea East has done

:23:24.:23:26.

in this, is that we could be in the ridiculous position, we all know

:23:27.:23:31.

apart from certain advocates for the betting industry that what is

:23:32.:23:33.

happening with fixed odds betting terminals is deeply concerning.

:23:34.:23:39.

Figures of round about ?1.7 billion are among those quoted now as

:23:40.:23:44.

profits made on these horrible machines, that are causing so much

:23:45.:23:48.

devastation in our communities. We all know something has to be done,

:23:49.:23:55.

and fairly urgently, on this matter. What I actually fear is that we

:23:56.:23:58.

could have a situation where this House, collectively, could vote for

:23:59.:24:05.

a stake below 10% on these machines and, yet, if we pass this measure as

:24:06.:24:10.

it stands, all that would happen in Wales would be that it would go down

:24:11.:24:17.

to a maximum, a minimum stake of ?10. Now that, to me, does not seem

:24:18.:24:23.

right. In fact, let's think of it in this way. We could have a situation

:24:24.:24:27.

where, collectively, this House votes for it in England and Wales to

:24:28.:24:33.

be ?2, but, once it is devolved in Wales, the Welsh government would be

:24:34.:24:39.

limited to ?10, but then this House could not vote for a lower stake

:24:40.:24:42.

here because the government would say it's English Votes for English

:24:43.:24:47.

Laws, so we would be banned to bringing it. What we're asking for

:24:48.:24:51.

is something very pragmatic, something that would give the right

:24:52.:24:55.

to decide on that level of steak and something that would benefit

:24:56.:24:58.

communities, because let's make no bones about it, those machines and

:24:59.:25:05.

what is happening in the gambling industry is hitting our poorest

:25:06.:25:10.

communities the most. We see it in our industrial villages and towns,

:25:11.:25:14.

we see the impact of it. And let me say once and for all to the harder

:25:15.:25:18.

elements of the gambling industry, some of which will be e-mailing us

:25:19.:25:25.

later, the nonsense of what is happening with fixed odds betting

:25:26.:25:30.

terminals has to come to an end. Do not think that you can intimidate us

:25:31.:25:34.

and those in the communities who are fed up of the whole bat you have on

:25:35.:25:38.

them. It is time to Act firmly and it is time that we give the Welsh

:25:39.:25:42.

government full devolution on this government full devolution on this

:25:43.:25:44.

and it is time that we lower the staked a possible until the Welsh

:25:45.:25:49.

government has the power to do it, and hopefully, This Place will, too.

:25:50.:25:56.

I beg to move the amendments made in my name and those of my Right

:25:57.:26:00.

Honourable Friends. As Secretary of State has pointed out the ra a large

:26:01.:26:05.

number of amendments on important areas but given the limited time I

:26:06.:26:09.

want to focus on Lords Amendment 36 and are amendments to that. We

:26:10.:26:15.

welcome the government's Lords Amendment 36 as we did in the Other

:26:16.:26:19.

Place but we want to go further and we have the opportunity today to

:26:20.:26:23.

achieve that. The main contention we have with the government amendment

:26:24.:26:27.

is that it limits the powers being devolved to the Welsh Assembly to

:26:28.:26:30.

regulate fixed odds betting terminals. That ability to regulate

:26:31.:26:34.

will only apply to machines licensed after the bill becomes law and which

:26:35.:26:40.

have a stake of ?10 and above. The campaign for fair gambling have been

:26:41.:26:43.

campaigning on this issue for some time and have been an invaluable

:26:44.:26:48.

source of help on this amendment and I would like to put on record my

:26:49.:26:52.

thanks to them. I would also like to thank the All Party Parliamentary

:26:53.:26:58.

Group on betting terminals so ably chaired by my Noble Friend, the

:26:59.:27:01.

member for Swansea East. They have completed their inquiry into these

:27:02.:27:04.

machines and they are due to publish their report very shortly.

:27:05.:27:08.

Both groups are clear that the ?10 threshold set by the government

:27:09.:27:14.

amendment is still too high. They are the only machines on the High

:27:15.:27:20.

Street, fixed odds betting terminals are the only machines with stakes of

:27:21.:27:24.

?2 and above, and all of the machines in pubs, arcades and bingo

:27:25.:27:31.

halls are capped at ?2 and and air. The first part of the amendment

:27:32.:27:34.

seeks to allow devolved regulations of machines with stakes of ?2 and

:27:35.:27:40.

above, rather than ?10, and only fixed odd betting terminals will be

:27:41.:27:45.

covered by this. Any fears that the Welsh Assembly would be overstepping

:27:46.:27:48.

devolution or limits would be confounded. In a similar spirit,

:27:49.:27:54.

part B would ensure the assembly has the power to regulate all current

:27:55.:27:58.

and future licensed fixed odds betting terminals at the point it

:27:59.:28:02.

becomes law. This is important because there are an estimated 1500

:28:03.:28:06.

terminals in Wales. According to the latest figures, covering 2015, ?50

:28:07.:28:11.

million was staked and lost on them during that period. The financial

:28:12.:28:17.

and social problems, the harm that these machines cause in communities

:28:18.:28:20.

across Wales is well known. Having the ability to regulate terminals

:28:21.:28:24.

already in place ensures that the Welsh Assembly does not have its

:28:25.:28:27.

hands tied in seeking to deal with the issue. The Secretary of State

:28:28.:28:34.

mentioned in the first part of his remarks about how they devolved

:28:35.:28:40.

teacher paid to the Welsh government, because education is

:28:41.:28:45.

devolved. We are in a situation where fixed odds terminals are being

:28:46.:28:51.

devolved. It simply means we will be coming back in a nerd Wil Wales Bill

:28:52.:28:56.

to reintroduce those relations. If the government concedes on this

:28:57.:28:58.

point, would my honourable friend simply agree that it would just mean

:28:59.:29:06.

we have these proposals in place now? It means we could lead the way

:29:07.:29:13.

in Wales. The Secretary of State is aware of the social and economic

:29:14.:29:17.

problems these machines cause. Although the DC MS review is going

:29:18.:29:20.

to be underway, there is an opportunity here for stuff we know

:29:21.:29:24.

what the problem is and we know we could deal with it right now. I know

:29:25.:29:31.

the Minister has said the government's attention is simply to

:29:32.:29:39.

match the powers given to Scotland. Devolution arrangements across

:29:40.:29:41.

Wales, England and Scotland are already different. They are not in

:29:42.:29:46.

alignment. There is no reason why the Government could not accept this

:29:47.:29:49.

amendment is today and agree to the lowering of the state and the

:29:50.:29:53.

application of that state through all current and future machines.

:29:54.:29:58.

Anything less than that would be both a bureaucratic nightmare for

:29:59.:30:02.

the assembly, and only half a solution to an already accepted

:30:03.:30:07.

problem. I believe it is unacceptable for the Government to

:30:08.:30:09.

refuse to give the Wales assembly the full powers it needs to seek to

:30:10.:30:13.

deal with this, simply because Scotland doesn't yet have those

:30:14.:30:17.

powers. Madam Deputy Speaker, there has been a 50% increase in betting

:30:18.:30:22.

shops in Welsh town centres since 2004, but this overall statistic

:30:23.:30:30.

masks the true story. The Campaign For Gambling Fairly shared some

:30:31.:30:35.

research with me that shows what many on the bench is already know,

:30:36.:30:39.

that there are four times more betting shops in areas of high

:30:40.:30:43.

unemployment. These machines are deliberately placed so people in

:30:44.:30:46.

areas least able to cope with the drain on their finances that problem

:30:47.:30:50.

gambling can cause are subjected to the highest exposure of machines

:30:51.:30:55.

most likely to cause it. These terminals allow players to stake up

:30:56.:31:00.

to ?100 every 20 seconds, which is why, despite only 3% to 4% of the

:31:01.:31:06.

population using fixed odds betting terminals, these players account for

:31:07.:31:13.

66% of all UK gaming machine losses. Already massively profitable

:31:14.:31:15.

bookmaking companies benefit even more from those losses, to the tune,

:31:16.:31:20.

as my honourable friend has already pointed out, of ?1.7 billion on

:31:21.:31:25.

those terminals just in the last year across the UK. It is not just

:31:26.:31:30.

those on the opposition benches that think this is a problem. Polling

:31:31.:31:35.

done for the campaign showed that 82% shop customers perceive fixed

:31:36.:31:42.

odds betting terminals as an addictive activity, with 32% of

:31:43.:31:45.

these borrowing cash in order to feed their habit and 72% had

:31:46.:31:48.

witnessed violent behaviour emanating from people playing on

:31:49.:31:53.

these machines. Other research has backed this up and consistently

:31:54.:31:56.

shown that fixed odds betting terminals are one of the most

:31:57.:32:00.

addictive unproblematic forms of gambling. One study published in an

:32:01.:32:08.

article from the Harvard Medical School found the terminals had a

:32:09.:32:12.

fourfold correlation with problem gambling, higher than any other

:32:13.:32:15.

gambling product available in the UK. The machines are already causing

:32:16.:32:20.

real and lasting damage to some gamblers and exacerbating problem

:32:21.:32:22.

gambling more than any other form of betting. If the UK Government will

:32:23.:32:28.

not tackle this issue now, they need to give the Welsh Assembly the power

:32:29.:32:32.

so that it can do it instead in Wales. The power to regulate

:32:33.:32:35.

existing machines is crucial to tackling the harm they are causing

:32:36.:32:40.

to communities across Wales and our amendments help to ensure that all

:32:41.:32:44.

such machines can be regulated. I urge the Minister to follow his own

:32:45.:32:48.

logic, to be innovative and accept our amendments. If he does not, I am

:32:49.:32:52.

ready to test the will of the house, certainly on our first Amendment.

:32:53.:32:59.

I welcome this amendment and the consideration that honourable

:33:00.:33:04.

colleagues in the other place have given to this. I do declare an

:33:05.:33:07.

interest as chair of the All-party Group On Fixed Odds Betting

:33:08.:33:17.

Terminals Norma,. I have campaigned on this issue for over a year and

:33:18.:33:20.

sometimes feel it has taken over my life. There are 35,000 fixed odds

:33:21.:33:27.

betting terminals in betting shops across the UK. These casino style

:33:28.:33:34.

games are in low supervision environments and are easily

:33:35.:33:37.

accessible to those most vulnerable to gambling related harm. There is a

:33:38.:33:42.

growing problem with them in local communities in Wales. According to

:33:43.:33:47.

the latest statistics, over ?50 million was lost on the machines in

:33:48.:33:53.

2015. While the amendment is welcome, in my opinion the bill does

:33:54.:33:57.

not go far enough. The Welsh Assembly should have powers to

:33:58.:34:00.

devolved to it and allow local authorities to deal with existing

:34:01.:34:05.

clusters of betting shops in deprived areas. The most effective

:34:06.:34:09.

way of doing this is to reduce the maximum stake to ?2. This power is

:34:10.:34:17.

not included in the Wales Bill. The call for a reduction in the maximum

:34:18.:34:22.

stake is growing, with over 93 local councils across the UK, led by new

:34:23.:34:26.

council, having petitioned the Government to reduce the stake to

:34:27.:34:34.

?2. We have included an inquiry into these machines and found that,

:34:35.:34:38.

beyond reasonable doubt, the maximum stake should be reduced to ?2 on a

:34:39.:34:46.

precautionary basis, in line with the objectives of the gambling

:34:47.:34:50.

commission. The full findings of the report are due to be published

:34:51.:34:54.

shortly. We have been encouraged by the DCMS ministers willing as to

:34:55.:34:59.

work with them on this issue. I very much hope they will respond

:35:00.:35:02.

positively and reduce the stake, and properly regulated FOBTs, and I

:35:03.:35:09.

eagerly await the result of the current review. These machines are

:35:10.:35:13.

directly linked to problem gambling in four out of five FOBT gamblers,

:35:14.:35:19.

exhibiting problem gambling behaviour at stakes in excess of ?13

:35:20.:35:26.

a spin. That is compared to one in five at stakes of ?2 and under.

:35:27.:35:35.

FOBTs are causing significant economic and social problems. In

:35:36.:35:39.

particular, they lead to increasing incidence of money laundering in

:35:40.:35:45.

bookmakers, as the activity is largely unsupervised and is

:35:46.:35:47.

therefore relatively easy for fraudsters to clean their money.

:35:48.:35:52.

More problems with payday loans, as players take out loans to sustain

:35:53.:36:00.

their FOBT usage. Increasing crime levels. Betting shops now account

:36:01.:36:05.

for 97% of all police call-outs to gambling venues. After September

:36:06.:36:12.

2014, there was also a 20% increase in police call-outs to betting

:36:13.:36:18.

shops. The clustering of betting shops in Britain's high streets,

:36:19.:36:23.

there is a 43% increase in betting shops located in towns and city

:36:24.:36:26.

centres, which is destroying the health and vibrancy of our high

:36:27.:36:31.

streets. The most effective way to limit the harm for the machines is

:36:32.:36:35.

to reduce the stake, which can be gambled currently at ?100. A

:36:36.:36:41.

substantially lower stake would bring FOBTs into line with machines

:36:42.:36:46.

in the low supervision environments like adult gaming centres and bingo

:36:47.:36:50.

halls. The gambling Commission themselves said that if they were

:36:51.:36:55.

staking levels that were now being set, they would strongly advise

:36:56.:37:00.

against the ?100 stake on a precautionary basis. A lower stake

:37:01.:37:05.

of ?2 is the level that the previous government said would bring adequate

:37:06.:37:10.

public protection. I would encourage the Government to support this

:37:11.:37:13.

amendment to devolved powers to Wales and to allow local communities

:37:14.:37:20.

to tackle the problems caused by FOBTs. It would be a proactive move

:37:21.:37:25.

to recognise the danger of the machines. It would establish good

:37:26.:37:29.

practice to protect communities from the dangers of these addictive

:37:30.:37:35.

machines, and it would be a positive step to ensuring that, as a society,

:37:36.:37:39.

we are taking our moral responsibility seriously.

:37:40.:37:50.

It is a very wide-ranging group, of course, some, I regret to say,

:37:51.:38:03.

resulted in my party watering the bill down in National Assembly. Time

:38:04.:38:08.

is limited, but I will focus on key amendments salient to my colleague's

:38:09.:38:13.

decision-making. The Government has conceded on certain issues and I

:38:14.:38:18.

commend them for this. This includes areas where Plaid Cymru has put

:38:19.:38:23.

pressure on the Government in both places. This should be noted.

:38:24.:38:28.

Amendment 73 devolves compulsory purchase, as referred to earlier,

:38:29.:38:37.

and we previously give input on that subject, meaning that projects will

:38:38.:38:42.

go ahead. These are only small concessions, and a skirt around more

:38:43.:38:46.

substantive policy areas that could make a difference. Amendment 48, the

:38:47.:38:51.

clause creating a statutory office for the President of tribunal is,

:38:52.:38:56.

already devolved, this is a welcome move on a practical level, but it

:38:57.:39:01.

does little to satisfy those of us, including the Welsh government, I

:39:02.:39:04.

might say, that have been calling for a separate legal jurisdiction.

:39:05.:39:12.

Without a strong and definitive legal jurisdiction of our own,

:39:13.:39:19.

overseeing the challenges that we all face when picking European law,

:39:20.:39:22.

the appeal bill will make it even more difficult. I would go as far as

:39:23.:39:25.

to say that the whole bill has rather been overtaken by Brexit,

:39:26.:39:29.

leaving constitutional lawyers and academics, even people of the Welsh

:39:30.:39:33.

Tories agree with this point, that the constitutional future of the

:39:34.:39:39.

British states are in flux. There are many opportunities and

:39:40.:39:43.

possibilities for both sides, for those championed evolution, such as

:39:44.:39:47.

ourselves, and for those sceptical. Famously, devolution is a process,

:39:48.:39:51.

not an event. We should be clear about the dangers of substantial

:39:52.:39:56.

rollback. This brings me to the main focus of my speech in relation to a

:39:57.:40:01.

series of government amendments, alterations on amendment three,

:40:02.:40:06.

which will give Wales' public authorities a different name,

:40:07.:40:11.

devolved Welsh authorities. This wording clarifies what constitutes a

:40:12.:40:16.

devolved public authority. While the amendment in isolation is not a

:40:17.:40:20.

concern, it does allude to a more worrying aspect of the bill, in

:40:21.:40:23.

which there are substantial rollback. Throughout the scrutiny of

:40:24.:40:31.

the bill we have tabled amendments about the potential effect on the

:40:32.:40:35.

National Assembly's power to legislate powers pertaining to the

:40:36.:40:38.

Welsh line which. The effect of schedule two of the bill is that

:40:39.:40:42.

when the assembly wishes to legislate for the Welsh language, it

:40:43.:40:45.

will require the consent of a UK minister. Another ministerial

:40:46.:40:53.

consent is required only when imposing Welsh language functions on

:40:54.:40:58.

ministers of the Crown. Ministers in both houses have confirmed that if a

:40:59.:41:01.

future Welsh line which measure was to be proposed, it would no longer

:41:02.:41:06.

be applicable to many more reserved authorities, such as HMRC, the Crown

:41:07.:41:09.

Prosecution Service. Consent would be required for the list of devolved

:41:10.:41:14.

public authorities, which are contained in the amendments today.

:41:15.:41:20.

The Minister's words offered no reassurance of justification as to

:41:21.:41:23.

why this bill should include such a regressive step. The National

:41:24.:41:29.

Assembly research service has produced a briefing paper confirming

:41:30.:41:33.

fears, outlining another bill, as it currently understands, and there

:41:34.:41:36.

will be a loss of legislative power relating to the Welsh language. In

:41:37.:41:42.

the other place, the noble Lord agreed this would be true. He

:41:43.:41:45.

justified the government's position by stating that amendments we have

:41:46.:41:53.

tabled to rollback, it would cut across one of the underlying core

:41:54.:41:56.

principles of the bill and the assembly should not be able to

:41:57.:41:59.

impose burdens on non-devolved bodies without agreement. To add a

:42:00.:42:04.

specific exception to the consent process for the Welsh language would

:42:05.:42:08.

undermine that principle. So, Madam Deputy Speaker, this bill does

:42:09.:42:14.

indeed take powers away from the National Assembly. Any exception for

:42:15.:42:19.

the Welsh language would undermine UK sovereignty. I referred earlier

:42:20.:42:24.

in my speech to the dangers of reverse devolution agenda,

:42:25.:42:26.

post-Brexit. It seems as though this is the reality we are facing today.

:42:27.:42:32.

Unfortunately, this is not the only example of significant rollbacks in

:42:33.:42:36.

this bill, some of the measures in it have been the subject of damning

:42:37.:42:41.

criticism and scrutiny. As to any assembly act deemed ancillary for

:42:42.:42:47.

any of the revelations, of which there are in excess of 200, the UK

:42:48.:42:52.

Government would be entitled to overrule the assembly. The Plaid

:42:53.:42:56.

Cymru group voted quite clearly against the legislative consent

:42:57.:42:59.

motion for the simple reason that powers are being clawed back. The

:43:00.:43:04.

legislative powers of the assembly were endorsed by a measure of 2-1 in

:43:05.:43:10.

the referendum, in 2011 and the powers implicit in that boat are now

:43:11.:43:12.

being retracted. We tabled amendments at several

:43:13.:43:31.

stages in the bill to include the word normally so that there would be

:43:32.:43:34.

no doubt as to whether the government would grant the Assembly

:43:35.:43:42.

rapidly after this historic Supreme Court ruling today. To finish, I

:43:43.:43:49.

quote no less a person than the leader of the Welsh Tories in a

:43:50.:43:56.

radio interview on January 17, Mr Andrew Davies, who said this will be

:43:57.:44:01.

the last Wales Bill. Brexit will require devolution changes to be

:44:02.:44:04.

aligned with responsibilities. I can assure the House today that my party

:44:05.:44:07.

will be doing everything in its power to reverse the rollbacks, to

:44:08.:44:11.

ensure that both ministers are taken seriously over exit and to build a

:44:12.:44:15.

truly lasting devolution settlement for Wales. -- over Brexit. I'm

:44:16.:44:23.

grateful to all members that have contributed to the scrutiny of... I

:44:24.:44:30.

shall respond to the points that have been made. Madam Deputy

:44:31.:44:39.

Speaker, I would like to thank all members who have contributed in this

:44:40.:44:43.

section for purposes of the bill as it is passed through this House and

:44:44.:44:47.

the Other Place. I must say I'm disappointed that the opposition are

:44:48.:44:50.

looking to divide on the amendments we brought forward from the Other

:44:51.:44:55.

Place on fixed odds betting terminals. These amendments were

:44:56.:45:00.

responding positively to calls made from colleagues on both sides of the

:45:01.:45:06.

House and from the Welsh government. The Smith Commission made no

:45:07.:45:10.

recommendations in this area of having considered the Smith

:45:11.:45:12.

commission recommendations for Scotland, we believe it is right to

:45:13.:45:17.

put the Assembly on the same footing as a Scottish Parliament and allow

:45:18.:45:20.

them to legislate on the proliferation of fixed odds betting

:45:21.:45:27.

terminals in Wales. There are conservative members of the Welsh

:45:28.:45:32.

Assembly that actually oppose what the government is proposing and have

:45:33.:45:37.

supported the member for Swansea East, including Barry Miller, from

:45:38.:45:40.

North Wales. As he consulted with his Assembly Members on this point

:45:41.:45:45.

as macro the honourable member makes a relevant point and we do take the

:45:46.:45:53.

issue of Rob gambling seriously. As I have already mentioned, we are

:45:54.:45:57.

committed to looking at all aspects of gaming machines -- problem

:45:58.:46:02.

gambling. The regulation of fixed odds betting terminals is covered

:46:03.:46:08.

under the gambling Act, 2005, and we recognise that flaws exist in the

:46:09.:46:13.

current regulatory arrangements. They were introduced by the party

:46:14.:46:17.

opposite and it is time that that was reviewed. And the Secretary of

:46:18.:46:23.

State for Culture, Media and Sport State for Culture, Media and Sport

:46:24.:46:26.

is doing that. We hope that honourable members will vote against

:46:27.:46:30.

amendments tabled by the opposition and vote to support the government

:46:31.:46:34.

amendments that we have brought forward. Madam Deputy Speaker, in

:46:35.:46:40.

closing, it was suggested by the honourable member for Newport West

:46:41.:46:43.

that this was a half-hearted approach towards devolution. In the

:46:44.:46:49.

positive spirit that this bill has progressed through both houses in,

:46:50.:46:54.

can I remind him that legislative competence orders were in place when

:46:55.:46:59.

we came into power in 2010 when we started this process, that there was

:47:00.:47:06.

a conferred model in place. This now introduces a reserved model. We have

:47:07.:47:12.

a needs -based funding settlement in place, something that has been

:47:13.:47:15.

called on for decades were evolving significant tax powers, we've

:47:16.:47:20.

removed the water intervention powers and extended the powers of

:47:21.:47:23.

the Welsh government in a significant range of areas such as

:47:24.:47:27.

energy, fracking, elections and running their own affairs. There's a

:47:28.:47:32.

host of positive steps that have taken place here. I would also say

:47:33.:47:36.

that we all know that members in the Other Place rightly pay very close

:47:37.:47:43.

scrutiny to matters of constitutional importance and bills

:47:44.:47:48.

of this type. The government was not defeated despite it being in a

:47:49.:47:51.

minority in the Other Place. The government was not defeated with

:47:52.:47:55.

this bill. So I therefore hope that members on all sides of the House

:47:56.:48:00.

and all members of the opposition would recognise the significance of

:48:01.:48:04.

this bill and, once and for all, welcome it because of the positive

:48:05.:48:08.

steps it makes in bringing about a settlement of devolution that will

:48:09.:48:13.

last for a long time to come. The question is that this House agrees

:48:14.:48:17.

with the Lord is an amendment one, As many as are of that opinion say

:48:18.:48:21.

Aye, contrary No. I think the Ayes have it, the Ayes have it. With

:48:22.:48:28.

lead, we will take Lords Amendments to - eight, 11-27, 30 3-35 together

:48:29.:48:33.

and for the Minister to move formally to agree those amendments.

:48:34.:48:39.

The question is that this House agrees with the laws and although

:48:40.:48:44.

they are remaining amendments, As many as are of that opinion say Aye,

:48:45.:48:47.

contrary No. I think the Ayes have it, The Ayes have it. I call Jill

:48:48.:48:55.

Stevens to move amendment 36th formers -- formally. The question is

:48:56.:49:00.

that the amendment be made, As many as are of that opinion say Aye,

:49:01.:49:02.

contrary No. Division, clear the lobbies.

:49:03.:49:52.

That the amendment be made, As many as are of that opinion say Aye,

:49:53.:50:02.

contrary No. Tellers for the Ayes Vicky Foxcroft and Jeff Smith,

:50:03.:50:05.

tellers for the Noes, Steve Bryant and Andrew Griffiths. Thank you very

:50:06.:50:06.

much. Order. The ayes to the right, 170.

:50:07.:57:20.

The noes to the left, 281. The noes have it, the noes habit.

:57:21.:02:51.

Unlock. We will take all the remain... Not again! Sorry. Did you

:02:52.:03:01.

give me that? Minister to move to agree to the amendment 36, formerly.

:03:02.:03:06.

The question is that the house agrees with the amendment 36, as

:03:07.:03:17.

many of that opinion say aye? I think the ayes have it. With leave,

:03:18.:03:22.

we will take all of the remaining amendments together. I call the

:03:23.:03:25.

Minister to formally agree to all of the remaining amendments. The

:03:26.:03:29.

question is that the house agrees with the Lords on all remaining

:03:30.:03:37.

Arminians. -- amendments. I think the ayes have it. We now come to

:03:38.:03:42.

motion number five on the charter for budget responsibility. I called

:03:43.:03:56.

the Chancellor to move the motion. I beg to move that the Charter For

:03:57.:04:01.

Budget Responsibility be approved. This debate is not about the

:04:02.:04:07.

technicalities of fiscal policy. It is about our commitment to fiscal

:04:08.:04:10.

responsibility and delivering it in a way that is appropriate to our

:04:11.:04:14.

current circumstances. It is about supporting our economy through the

:04:15.:04:17.

uncertainty following the Brexit vote and preparing it is to take

:04:18.:04:21.

full advantage of the new opportunities ahead. It is about

:04:22.:04:26.

securing Britain's economic future, supporting working families and

:04:27.:04:29.

ensuring that our children are not burdened with debt but our

:04:30.:04:36.

generation chooses not to play. Butland Deputy Speaker, when my

:04:37.:04:41.

predecessor came into office in 2010, he inherited the highest

:04:42.:04:44.

budget deficit in post-war history. Government borrowing was ?1 in every

:04:45.:04:53.

?4 it spent. Debt had almost doubled since 2005-6. Unemployment was up 8%

:04:54.:04:58.

and the UK percentage increase in national debt between 2007-10 was

:04:59.:05:06.

the biggest in the G7. The 2008 recession showed the price that is

:05:07.:05:10.

paid for seven years of irresponsible fiscal policy. It

:05:11.:05:15.

demonstrated once again that it is always the poorest in our country

:05:16.:05:18.

that suffer the most when the economy crashes and unemployment

:05:19.:05:25.

rises. So, we remain resolute in our determination to return the public

:05:26.:05:30.

finances to balance, to get debt falling and to pay our way in the

:05:31.:05:35.

world. But we have to do so in a way that protects our economy and our

:05:36.:05:38.

living standards in challenging times. At the same time, we must

:05:39.:05:47.

maintain our focus on the long-term challenge of productivity, a

:05:48.:05:50.

challenge which we must rise to if we are to seize the opportunities

:05:51.:05:56.

that lie ahead for Britain. Madam Deputy Speaker, in proposing this

:05:57.:06:00.

charter, I'd build on the work of my right honourable friend, the member

:06:01.:06:05.

for Tatton. His plans, action by the hard work of millions of people up

:06:06.:06:09.

and down the United Kingdom, have turned our economy around. The

:06:10.:06:13.

employment rate is at a record high, unemployment is at an 11 year low,

:06:14.:06:18.

income inequality is at its lowest level in 30 years. The OECD and the

:06:19.:06:25.

IMF expect the UK to have been the fastest-growing economy in the G7 in

:06:26.:06:30.

2016. The economic plan that has delivered jobs and growth has also

:06:31.:06:40.

reduced the deficit from 10.1% to 4% of GDP, so in 2016 we borrowed ?1

:06:41.:06:49.

for every ?10 that we spend. These are significant achievements, but we

:06:50.:06:52.

have further to go. Madam Deputy Speaker, in the medium term, we are

:06:53.:07:00.

well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that leaving the

:07:01.:07:03.

European Union presents. But at the time of the Autumn Statement, the

:07:04.:07:07.

OBR judged that in the near term uncertainty about the new trading

:07:08.:07:11.

relationship with the EU, coupled with the impact of higher inflation,

:07:12.:07:17.

driven by the depreciation of the pound, is likely to reduce the rate

:07:18.:07:22.

of economic growth relative to previous expectations. I will give

:07:23.:07:25.

way to the honourable gentleman. I do thank the Chancellor. He makes an

:07:26.:07:30.

interesting case about the strength of the economy. Does he not actually

:07:31.:07:36.

associate something of that growth in the economy with the fact that

:07:37.:07:41.

the government borrowed and invested in the economy, and that borrowing

:07:42.:07:45.

is therefore not necessarily a bad thing in itself? Well, Mr Speaker, I

:07:46.:07:52.

think my track record of one fiscal event answers the honourable

:07:53.:07:55.

gentleman's question. Clearly, I made the decision in November to

:07:56.:08:02.

borrow a discretionary ?23 billion to invest in targeted areas that

:08:03.:08:10.

were specifically focused on raising productivity levels in the UK

:08:11.:08:16.

economy. Of course, the answer to the question can borrowing to invest

:08:17.:08:21.

ever be sensible, the answer is yes, if the circumstances are right, if

:08:22.:08:24.

it is a judicious amount of borrowing and is precisely targeted

:08:25.:08:30.

to achieve a purpose. Madam Deputy Speaker, as I will say... I will

:08:31.:08:34.

give way. I am most grateful to the Chancellor. It is a related point to

:08:35.:08:39.

that raised by the previous member. Does the Chancellor believes that

:08:40.:08:41.

the charter gives him enough flexibility to be able to address

:08:42.:08:45.

any economic issues that make, during the course of the parliament?

:08:46.:08:54.

As I shall explain in a moment, one of the purposes of the new fiscal

:08:55.:08:57.

rules proposed is to allow sufficient flexibility to deal with

:08:58.:09:03.

any unexpected and forecast shocks along the way during a period of

:09:04.:09:08.

more than usual uncertainty in the economy. This OBR judgment and

:09:09.:09:17.

Autumn Statement that I referred to implied ?84 billion of additional

:09:18.:09:23.

borrowing over the forecast horizon, although it should say that the OBR

:09:24.:09:26.

acknowledges a higher than usual degree of uncertainty in the

:09:27.:09:30.

forecast. At Autumn Statement, I had to make a forecast. I could have

:09:31.:09:35.

looked for further savings to maintain the trajectory of

:09:36.:09:38.

consolidation my predecessor set out. I judge this would not be a

:09:39.:09:44.

responsible way to support the economy in present circumstances.

:09:45.:09:47.

The Autumn Statement, I set out the new plan, a plan that offered fiscal

:09:48.:09:52.

had room, if needed, to deal with unforeseen, and forecasted economic

:09:53.:10:00.

shocks, and scope to raise productivity and lift real wages and

:10:01.:10:04.

living standards. Let me set out the principles that inform the fiscal

:10:05.:10:07.

rules I have placed before the house today. First, the public finances

:10:08.:10:13.

should be returned to balance at the earliest date that is compatible

:10:14.:10:17.

with the prudent management of the economy. I judge, in current

:10:18.:10:22.

circumstances, that will be in the next parliament, after our EU exit

:10:23.:10:27.

is complete. In the interim, I have committed to reducing the structural

:10:28.:10:32.

deficit to a low 2% of GDP by the end of this Parliament. Targeting a

:10:33.:10:37.

structural deficit means that I can let the public finances respond to

:10:38.:10:44.

any short-term fluctuations in the economy, through the so-called

:10:45.:10:51.

automatic stabilisers. The OBR forecasted at Autumn Statement 2016

:10:52.:10:55.

that I will meet this rule two years early. This leaves some headroom,

:10:56.:11:00.

about ?27 billion, for a discretionary response to any

:11:01.:11:05.

further shocks, should such a response be necessary. Second, I

:11:06.:11:08.

have committed to getting debt falling by the end of this

:11:09.:11:12.

Parliament and this will be the first time since the start of the

:11:13.:11:18.

century that debt has fallen. Again, the OBR forecast that debt will

:11:19.:11:24.

begin falling two years before the rule requires. Madam Deputy Speaker,

:11:25.:11:27.

delaying the return to balance until the next Parliament not only ensures

:11:28.:11:32.

we have fiscal had room to respond to shocks, but means the government

:11:33.:11:36.

has scope to invest to improve the UK's productivity, and the

:11:37.:11:41.

productivity gap is the biggest challenge facing the UK economy. It

:11:42.:11:44.

has been said many times before, but I will say it again, it takes

:11:45.:11:50.

workers in Germany less than four days to produce what we produce in

:11:51.:11:56.

five days. That means that many British workers work harder, longer

:11:57.:12:02.

hours, for lower pay than their counterparts and this has to change

:12:03.:12:04.

if we're going to build an economy that works for everyone.

:12:05.:12:12.

My right now the trend is absolutely right to point out the productivity

:12:13.:12:18.

gap but may I gently chide him by letting him know that the Nissan

:12:19.:12:22.

plant in Sunderland is second only to the planned in York, in Japan

:12:23.:12:29.

itself, the headquarters. -- in York will hammer. It is outside of Japan

:12:30.:12:35.

the most profitable and productive engineering plant in the Nissan

:12:36.:12:41.

Rogue. Always a pleasure to be gently chided by my honourable

:12:42.:12:44.

friend who is of course absolutely right and that is the conundrum

:12:45.:12:49.

about Britain's productivity. We have some of the most fantastically

:12:50.:12:53.

productive companies, businesses, indeed some of the most productive

:12:54.:12:58.

cities in the world but we also have some of the poorest examples of

:12:59.:13:02.

productivity performance. Working out how to spread across the economy

:13:03.:13:09.

best practice of productivity that we see in our economy so that all

:13:10.:13:13.

regions, all corners of our economy, all sectors of the economy can share

:13:14.:13:19.

in this productivity performance and thus can deliver the higher real

:13:20.:13:24.

wages and living standards that this implies, that is the challenge

:13:25.:13:28.

before us and I say again, it is the biggest challenge facing the UK

:13:29.:13:33.

economy but it is a challenge that successive governments have failed

:13:34.:13:37.

to do anything effective about. I gave way. I thank the right

:13:38.:13:42.

Honourable gentleman and I am certainly not in the mode of wanting

:13:43.:13:45.

to chide him for anything in particular but it is worth pointing

:13:46.:13:50.

out that putting the productivity issues into some context, it is also

:13:51.:13:54.

the case and has been the case during the time that he has been in

:13:55.:14:01.

office but just as Chancellor but since 2010 that our unappointed rate

:14:02.:14:03.

has been rather lower and that perhaps has been a factor in the per

:14:04.:14:08.

productivity that the UK economy has had relative to many of our European

:14:09.:14:12.

partners. The fact has been that this government or more importantly

:14:13.:14:15.

British business have that keeping employment rates had higher and

:14:16.:14:22.

higher than perhaps the very urgent improvements to productivity to its

:14:23.:14:25.

universe. My honourable who represents one of the most

:14:26.:14:30.

productive sub regions in the entire European Union is right of course,

:14:31.:14:38.

there is a perfectly respectable economic argument that as you

:14:39.:14:42.

increase participation in the labour force and bring more marginally

:14:43.:14:47.

productive workers into the labour force that it may have a depressing

:14:48.:14:51.

effect on labour productivity overall but I would say to my

:14:52.:14:56.

honourable friend that when we look at unemployment rates or employment

:14:57.:15:01.

participation rates in Germany and in the UK they are not so different

:15:02.:15:09.

and I do not think we can explain a 30% productivity performance gap by

:15:10.:15:14.

differences in levels of participation in the economy, indeed

:15:15.:15:17.

there is much debate among economists about what the cause of

:15:18.:15:20.

this productivity gap is and more generally what the cause of the

:15:21.:15:25.

generally pure productivity performance of the developed

:15:26.:15:27.

economies over the last few years has been. Madam Deputy Speaker, we

:15:28.:15:37.

chose an Autumn Statement in 2016 to invest an additional ?23 billion

:15:38.:15:38.

through national productivity investment fund which aims to raise

:15:39.:15:43.

productivity, supports job creation and boost real wages and living

:15:44.:15:48.

standards. Every penny we spend from this fund will be used to boost

:15:49.:15:53.

economic infrastructure, research and development and housing, it will

:15:54.:16:00.

bring total investment in the areas to ?170 billion over the next five

:16:01.:16:05.

years and it means that gross public investment will be at least 4% of

:16:06.:16:10.

GDP for the rest of this Parliament, that is higher than in any period

:16:11.:16:15.

between 1983 and the great crash. I gave way. I'm grateful. I think he

:16:16.:16:23.

is right to place productivity at the centre of the economic problem

:16:24.:16:28.

and the productivity will be helpful in terms of infrastructure but one

:16:29.:16:30.

of the challenges is to get the corporate sector by investing which

:16:31.:16:34.

is one of the lessons from I honourable friend from Lichfield, a

:16:35.:16:38.

new factory with new technology and getting corporate to invest can also

:16:39.:16:41.

visit the productivity and I wonder what measures you looking to bring

:16:42.:16:46.

forward on that. My honourable friend is absolutely right, public

:16:47.:16:49.

investment in infrastructure is part of the story, I work and private

:16:50.:16:54.

investment in skills is part of the story, but increasing the stock of

:16:55.:17:00.

capital available for each worker to use is also part of the story of

:17:01.:17:05.

improving labour productivity and we know that business hates

:17:06.:17:10.

uncertainty, and the uncertainty that has been created by the Brexit

:17:11.:17:15.

vote has undoubtedly slowed down business investment decisions but

:17:16.:17:18.

the problem we're looking at in terms of productivity is not a

:17:19.:17:21.

short-term issue in response to the Brexit vote it is a much longer-term

:17:22.:17:25.

challenge in the UK economy, large companies in the UK are well

:17:26.:17:31.

capitalised, similar levels of capitalisation to double businesses

:17:32.:17:36.

elsewhere, but I would suggest that there is a challenge over the

:17:37.:17:39.

capitalisation of smaller businesses in the UK and access to long-term

:17:40.:17:44.

capital in the UK is one of the challenges that we need to address

:17:45.:17:48.

and the government undertook at the Autumn Statement to conduct a review

:17:49.:17:54.

into the availability of patient long-term capital for small

:17:55.:17:57.

businesses in the UK. Madam Deputy Speaker the money that I have just

:17:58.:18:03.

spoken about for public investment through the national productivity

:18:04.:18:07.

investment fund will provide the financial foundations for our

:18:08.:18:12.

industrial strategy, watched yesterday, which works to build on

:18:13.:18:18.

Britain's strengths. When BB clear, this charter is not consistent with

:18:19.:18:23.

the proposal from Labour which is to borrow at all times for anything

:18:24.:18:28.

which its terms investment. And if any of my honourable friend are

:18:29.:18:32.

thinking that this sounds horribly familiar that is probably because it

:18:33.:18:37.

is essentially Gordon Brown's called Golden rule, the very antithesis of

:18:38.:18:41.

budget responsibility and we almost where that got us. An unsustainable

:18:42.:18:45.

boom in government spending, which took that into the great recession

:18:46.:18:49.

with the largest structural deficit in the G seven. And Labour's big

:18:50.:18:55.

idea today is to repeat the same mistake all over again. This is yet

:18:56.:19:01.

another demonstration that the party opposite is not willing to learn

:19:02.:19:05.

from the past, and has no ideas for the future. What I propose is

:19:06.:19:10.

different. The national productivity investment fund will be targeted at

:19:11.:19:15.

economic infrastructure projects, housing and are indeed that will

:19:16.:19:21.

boost our national productivity and the National infrastructure

:19:22.:19:23.

commission will ensure that our future infrastructure decisions are

:19:24.:19:27.

based on independent robust analysis. We choose to invest in

:19:28.:19:35.

productivity, not just because doing so can transform the growth

:19:36.:19:38.

potential of our economy, but because it also contributes to

:19:39.:19:41.

addressing the social challenges that we face. Sustainable living

:19:42.:19:47.

standards for all parts of the country, and all sectors of the

:19:48.:19:53.

population depend on as improving productivity through better skills,

:19:54.:19:57.

opportunities to be trained, veteran infrastructure and better private

:19:58.:20:03.

investment. This investment is only possible because we are prepared to

:20:04.:20:06.

take tough decisions to maintain control of current spending. But as

:20:07.:20:11.

the old BR made clear last week in the fiscal sustainability report the

:20:12.:20:16.

end of the parliament is not the end of the challenge. That report

:20:17.:20:22.

contains some tough messages and some important early warnings, he or

:20:23.:20:27.

BR sets out clearly the significant challenges that we will face as our

:20:28.:20:32.

pop we're -- as our population continues to age over the next half

:20:33.:20:36.

century driven by increasing life expectancy, low fertility rates and

:20:37.:20:41.

the baby boom bubble retiring at the dependency ratio will go from 3.5

:20:42.:20:43.

people of working age supporting each retired the two just 2.2 in

:20:44.:20:53.

2066 and the old BR projects that these demographics will lead to

:20:54.:20:56.

increased spending in age-related areas like health and long-term care

:20:57.:21:00.

and the state pension and at the same demographic and economic trends

:21:01.:21:02.

mean that revenues will remain broadly stable. The old BR notes

:21:03.:21:11.

that we're not the only country facing these challenges and it notes

:21:12.:21:14.

that these figures are highly uncertain and should be seen as

:21:15.:21:18.

illustrative projections rather than precise forecasts but the potential

:21:19.:21:22.

impact on the public finances is very significant. On the assumption

:21:23.:21:28.

of no policy response, ie the assumption that government does

:21:29.:21:31.

nothing which I can promise you Madam Deputy Speaker will not be the

:21:32.:21:37.

case, it could rise to 234% of GDP by the end of the 50 year projection

:21:38.:21:42.

period with two thirds of the increase since the 2015 report being

:21:43.:21:46.

attributed to health care spending. Rather near term the report also

:21:47.:21:51.

shows that without further policy action we will not hit a surplus in

:21:52.:21:55.

the next Parliament and that is why at autumn 2016, the Autumn Statement

:21:56.:22:01.

2016I reiterated the tax and spending commitments for this

:22:02.:22:04.

Parliament set out in the 2015 spending review will be delivered

:22:05.:22:08.

and we will meet our manifesto commitments to protect the budgets

:22:09.:22:14.

and prioritise public services and I confirmed that the government will

:22:15.:22:16.

review public spending priorities and other commitments for the next

:22:17.:22:21.

Parliament in light of the evolving fiscal position at the next spending

:22:22.:22:26.

review. There will be more difficult choices to make, before we have

:22:27.:22:31.

completed the job of restoring the public finances to health. Madam

:22:32.:22:36.

Deputy Speaker controlling our welfare bill is a vital element of

:22:37.:22:43.

getting back to balance, a ?220 billion welfare represent a quarter

:22:44.:22:47.

of all government spending, and in the absence of an effective

:22:48.:22:51.

framework, spending on working age benefits tripled in real terms

:22:52.:22:57.

between 1980 and 2014 so that by 2014 each person in this country in

:22:58.:23:04.

work was contributing an average ?3000 per year to the cost of

:23:05.:23:09.

working age benefits. Action that has been taken since 2010 including

:23:10.:23:14.

the welfare cap in the previous charter has stabilised welfare

:23:15.:23:17.

spending and we will maintain that stability. The charter before the

:23:18.:23:22.

house today introduces a new medium-term welfare gap set to

:23:23.:23:27.

represent the current forecast of eligible welfare spend taking into

:23:28.:23:32.

account the policy changes made since the last budget. The cap will

:23:33.:23:38.

apply to welfare spending in 2021-22, and performance against

:23:39.:23:41.

this cap will be formally assessed by the OBR once in the year before,

:23:42.:23:49.

in 2020,-21. In the interim, progress towards the cap will be

:23:50.:23:52.

monitored by the government based on the tenth eMac's forecast on welfare

:23:53.:23:55.

spending, Madam Debbie Speaker shifting from an annual to medium

:23:56.:24:00.

format will avoid the government have a great short-term responses to

:24:01.:24:05.

changes in the welfare forecast while ensuring that welfare spending

:24:06.:24:07.

remained sustainable over the medium-term. Let me reiterate today

:24:08.:24:14.

to the house what I have said before, the government will deliver

:24:15.:24:19.

the overall portal of welfare savings already identified, but we

:24:20.:24:23.

have no plans to introduce further welfare savings in this Parliament

:24:24.:24:28.

beyond those already announced. I will give way. I am very grateful to

:24:29.:24:33.

my right honourable friend who has been generous in giving way to me.

:24:34.:24:36.

He quite rightly points out that Brexit creates uncertainty and

:24:37.:24:41.

business does not like uncertainty, but in relation to the welfare cap

:24:42.:24:47.

and overall welfare spending I wonder whether he can identify

:24:48.:24:52.

advantages in Brexit whether through tighter controls on certain types of

:24:53.:24:57.

immigration it might mean that the forecast might be lower than he

:24:58.:25:04.

anticipated. My honourable friend is right of course, we will have the

:25:05.:25:09.

ability to set our own immigration controls after leaving the European

:25:10.:25:14.

Union and the kid at the margin be an impact on welfare claims. I think

:25:15.:25:22.

the OBR would say although it is for them and not for me that it would

:25:23.:25:27.

probably be quite marginal, or the data suggests it would be a marginal

:25:28.:25:31.

effect. This government and the previous one have made significant

:25:32.:25:34.

progress in bringing this country back from the brink of financial

:25:35.:25:39.

collapse and fiscal ruin. The framework provided by our charter

:25:40.:25:44.

for budget responsibility played a major role. My predecessor aspired

:25:45.:25:48.

to eliminate the deficit entirely in this Parliament. In the Autumn

:25:49.:25:53.

Statement 2016 we revealed new fiscal pressures and the referendum

:25:54.:25:58.

result has created additional uncertainty in the economy. And when

:25:59.:26:01.

the facts change it is right to change plans. This charter strikes

:26:02.:26:09.

the right balance for our current circumstances. A credible plan to

:26:10.:26:12.

restore the public finances to health, and flexibility to support

:26:13.:26:17.

the economy in the short-term and scope to invest in productivity to

:26:18.:26:22.

boost real wages and living standards in the medium-term. A

:26:23.:26:26.

charter that will support Brexit, helping us to the short-term

:26:27.:26:30.

uncertainty and preparing us to seize the opportunities that lie

:26:31.:26:37.

beyond it. A charter that underpins our vision of an economy that works

:26:38.:26:41.

for everyone. And I commend it to the house. The question is the

:26:42.:26:47.

motion on the charter for budget responsibility as on the order

:26:48.:26:53.

paper. John McDonald. Madam Deputy Speaker. The motion in front of the

:26:54.:26:57.

house is rewriting the rule by which the government intends to manage its

:26:58.:27:01.

fiscal policies, as the Chancellor set out and the reason this

:27:02.:27:06.

rewriting is urgently needed is because the government's previous

:27:07.:27:10.

fiscal rule now lives in absolute tatters.

:27:11.:27:16.

As we argued at the time, when the amendment was introduced, it was a

:27:17.:27:24.

political device rather than a sound economic tool. In that version, the

:27:25.:27:32.

commitment to reach a budget surplus by the end of the Parliament, we

:27:33.:27:37.

argued was unachievable. That became obvious by the budget last year,

:27:38.:27:42.

when the previous Chancellor had to stretch budget validity to breaking

:27:43.:27:45.

point simply to claim the economy was still on course to achieve the

:27:46.:27:48.

target. This was well before the referendum. By the summer, the

:27:49.:27:54.

target had to be abandoned entirely. It was dropped because the surplus

:27:55.:28:00.

target was never about sound management. No credible economist

:28:01.:28:05.

could be found to support the surplus target because it had no

:28:06.:28:10.

plausible economic justification. The Treasury Select Committee

:28:11.:28:13.

rightly concluded that the old surplus rule was, and I quote, not

:28:14.:28:19.

credible in its current form. So, instead, the previous Chancellor

:28:20.:28:24.

made a political choice to impose the target. The austerity measures,

:28:25.:28:33.

the measures that the target required, there were not just cruel,

:28:34.:28:37.

there were unnecessary. Those measures, members will recall, have

:28:38.:28:41.

meant that people living with disabilities are suddenly were

:28:42.:28:43.

threatened with the loss of their independence. Those in work, doing

:28:44.:28:51.

the right thing, looking after their children, going to work, just

:28:52.:28:57.

attempting to get by, they were suddenly faced with serious cuts to

:28:58.:29:05.

their incomes. The tragedy here is that all those sacrifices, all that

:29:06.:29:12.

suffering, had been made in vain. The record of this government in

:29:13.:29:15.

office speaks for itself. At the same time as imposing grinding

:29:16.:29:19.

spending cuts, the government, as of this morning's figures, have added

:29:20.:29:23.

almost 700 billion to the national debt. This isn't just more than the

:29:24.:29:32.

previous Labour government, it is more boring than any post-war Labour

:29:33.:29:39.

government added together. It is equivalent to ?25,600 of extra debt

:29:40.:29:49.

for every household in the country. Can you confirm it is still his

:29:50.:29:54.

policy to borrow another - billion pounds on top? I am pleased he has

:29:55.:29:58.

raised that. We have just seen 700 billion borrowed over the last seven

:29:59.:30:01.

years as a result of economic failure the Labour Party's policy,

:30:02.:30:08.

based upon the recommendations of the CBI and others, is to look to

:30:09.:30:13.

spend ?500 billion on investment. 200 billion mainstream direct

:30:14.:30:19.

funding, 100 billion to a national investment bank which will prize,

:30:20.:30:23.

from the private sector and elsewhere, 250 billion. The

:30:24.:30:32.

infrastructure investment that is required to tackle the productivity

:30:33.:30:34.

crisis caused by his government, and I will give way. I am grateful to

:30:35.:30:40.

the Right Honourable Gentleman. I wonder if he could clarify? He has

:30:41.:30:44.

just cried the fact that the national debt has increased by ?700

:30:45.:30:47.

billion. Is he saying he would not have spent that ?700 billion? Would

:30:48.:30:52.

he continued to maintain the same deficit that we currently have and

:30:53.:30:57.

spend this ?500 billion on top of that? I am not quite sure of his

:30:58.:31:03.

maths. We would have invested in the beginning in infrastructure and

:31:04.:31:07.

skills, invested in the economy and not had to borrow ?700 billion for

:31:08.:31:11.

failure, rather than growth and success. Because of the focus of the

:31:12.:31:18.

Government being an unobtainable surplus target, they did not use the

:31:19.:31:27.

borrow wisely. The sound policy, as recommended by organisations like

:31:28.:31:30.

the IMF and CBI is to put Britain to work in supporting investment.

:31:31.:31:36.

Instead, in seven wasted years the Government has cut its investment.

:31:37.:31:39.

If I can finish the sentence, it fell to the lowest level in a

:31:40.:31:48.

decade. I thank the Right Honourable Gentleman for giving way. He rightly

:31:49.:31:52.

says, and I think many of us feel, we have borrowed a hell of a lot of

:31:53.:31:56.

money, probably too much money, since 2010, ?700 billion. It does

:31:57.:32:02.

give a lie to the idea that there has been grinding austerity. We are

:32:03.:32:05.

still borrowing huge wads of money and there has been a balance in

:32:06.:32:08.

ensuring welfare has been maintained. In relation to

:32:09.:32:11.

investment, one of the most insidious elements of investment of

:32:12.:32:14.

the last Labour administration was in relation to PPP and PFI schemes,

:32:15.:32:20.

many of which we are still paying off and will be for decades to come.

:32:21.:32:24.

A colossal amount of money of so-called investment, that is

:32:25.:32:26.

actually just adding more to our debt. The honourable gentleman will

:32:27.:32:33.

recall my opposition to PFI in the past. But let's be absolutely clear,

:32:34.:32:37.

borrowing for investment to ensure that people have the skills and to

:32:38.:32:41.

ensure they have the resources to tackle productivity crisis and

:32:42.:32:45.

therefore grow the economy, achieve high skills, high wages, that they

:32:46.:32:50.

can then pay the taxes to afford public services is, on one hand,

:32:51.:32:56.

creditable. Borrowing because of the failure of government economic

:32:57.:32:59.

policy is what we have seen over the last seven years. Instead of the

:33:00.:33:04.

next... I repeat, over nearly seven years, we have seen Government

:33:05.:33:09.

actually cutting investment. The consequence of inadequate investment

:33:10.:33:15.

is clear. Austerity measures and lower investment have fed directly

:33:16.:33:19.

into what the governor of the Bank of England has called a lost decade

:33:20.:33:23.

for earnings. Productivity growth has stagnated, as even the

:33:24.:33:26.

Government's own White Paper on strategy acknowledged. I Shadow

:33:27.:33:33.

Chancellor's concerns. Every hour worked in Britain produces a third

:33:34.:33:37.

less than every hour worked in the US, Germany or France. We have been

:33:38.:33:42.

arguing this case at least since I have been a Shadow Chancellor, but

:33:43.:33:45.

it was not acknowledged by the Government until literally

:33:46.:33:48.

yesterday. It is no use those on the benches opposite talking about a

:33:49.:33:52.

post-Brexit Britain taking on the world with that record of

:33:53.:33:56.

underinvestment. An economy with low productivity can only compete on the

:33:57.:34:02.

lowest common denominator. That means, as happened, slashing wages

:34:03.:34:07.

and salaries and hacking away at social protections like the NHS and

:34:08.:34:12.

pensions. This is the grim reality of the Conservative's low

:34:13.:34:15.

investment, low productivity, low-wage economy. It can easily get

:34:16.:34:21.

worse from here. Clearly, some of the benches opposite, well, for

:34:22.:34:25.

them, and economy shorn of basic protections in the workplace, with

:34:26.:34:29.

rock bottom wages, with social spending provisions stripped to the

:34:30.:34:33.

barest minimum, for some it would be a desirable goal. We have seen a

:34:34.:34:39.

glimpse of that future in the Chancellor's own threats to turn

:34:40.:34:44.

Britain into a tax haven. I will come back to the honourable

:34:45.:34:48.

gentleman. To even hold up this prospect is to admit that the

:34:49.:34:52.

government has no better plan than the steady management of decline.

:34:53.:34:57.

Look, I've been in opposition, so I know what the honourable gentleman

:34:58.:35:01.

is doing, and I understand that. But there has to be a little bit of

:35:02.:35:06.

reality. We are the fastest-growing economy in the G7. I've been to

:35:07.:35:09.

France, as he has, I've been to Germany, to Spain, as he has. Is he

:35:10.:35:15.

aware of the rates of unemployment in those countries? Let's just

:35:16.:35:20.

compare what is happening now, out there, in the real world. We welcome

:35:21.:35:26.

the growth of employment. Let's talk about what has happened to wages. We

:35:27.:35:30.

have had the biggest fall in wages among OECD countries in the last ten

:35:31.:35:43.

years, matched only by Greece. One in five employees were low paid in

:35:44.:35:47.

Britain in 2015. Mark Carney cordoba lost decade of income growth -- he

:35:48.:35:55.

called it the lost decade of income growth. On average, they earn less

:35:56.:36:00.

than 20 years ago. Yes, I welcome the growth of employment, but I

:36:01.:36:03.

don't welcome the growth of poverty payments like this, whether you are

:36:04.:36:08.

self-employed, or an zero hours contracts, or being exploited

:36:09.:36:15.

accordingly. He will know the Rowntree foundation are saying the

:36:16.:36:18.

gap between the rich and the poor has actually reduced since 2010. He

:36:19.:36:26.

will also know that, on a minimum our salaries, on the zero hour...

:36:27.:36:33.

What is the phrase? Thank you, on the zero hour contract! Over half of

:36:34.:36:37.

people polled say that they wish to have that flexibility. Yes, people

:36:38.:36:43.

in self-employment do often earn less, but it is their decision to do

:36:44.:36:48.

it. I was self-employed before I created my own company. It was my

:36:49.:36:52.

choice to do that, rather than earning more in a larger

:36:53.:36:58.

corporation. What we now have in our economy is a scandal of bogus

:36:59.:37:03.

self-employment. A large amount of the growth in self-employment is on

:37:04.:37:06.

that basis, and part of it is the most exploitative. Let's look at

:37:07.:37:09.

some of the figures on inequality. If we use another index, other than

:37:10.:37:15.

the one which does not take into account the outstripping of the

:37:16.:37:21.

super-rich, if he used the ratio of between the tenth and 90th

:37:22.:37:24.

percentile is, inequality has risen every year over the last five years.

:37:25.:37:32.

If you look at what has happened in individual countries, the FTSE 100

:37:33.:37:35.

chief executives, the average total pay off their employees in 2015, the

:37:36.:37:43.

comparison, 129-1. In the mid-1990s, it was no more than 45-1. That is

:37:44.:37:47.

the grotesque level of inequality we are seeing as a result of the

:37:48.:37:51.

economy that has been created over the last seven years. Actually,

:37:52.:37:56.

yesterday's Green paper actually seemed to recognise the failure of

:37:57.:38:01.

previous policy. There has certainly been a change of rhetoric. The Prime

:38:02.:38:08.

Minister has suddenly been one to the... -- won to the merits of that

:38:09.:38:14.

policy. The message that the previous years have failed badly is

:38:15.:38:18.

welcome. But nowhere is it clear that the Government recognises the

:38:19.:38:21.

scale of the problem. The witnesses and inequalities stem from decades

:38:22.:38:26.

of underinvestment, where decisions about where and what to invest has

:38:27.:38:30.

been taken by too few people at the top, to the benefit of that tiny

:38:31.:38:34.

handful. It leads to an economy where what the Government plans,

:38:35.:38:43.

over ?5,000 of investment per head in London, but just ?413 in the

:38:44.:38:49.

north-east of England, or where a single London capital project

:38:50.:38:55.

receives more open and backing on the Yorkshire, or when the 500

:38:56.:38:59.

million announced for the North of England promised yesterday is set

:39:00.:39:05.

against ?18 billion worth of cuts from local authority budgets in

:39:06.:39:10.

2010. I see the honourable gentleman is ready to jump. Defending London's

:39:11.:39:19.

on certain extent. Surely, the Right Honourable Gentleman recognises that

:39:20.:39:26.

significant amounts of money that comes in to the capital for

:39:27.:39:29.

investment, if they didn't come here, it would go to another

:39:30.:39:36.

national capital. Many of the cranes in my constituency, and very near

:39:37.:39:39.

his constituency, near Heathrow, many of them are up with large-scale

:39:40.:39:44.

investment and infrastructure projects. They are producing huge

:39:45.:39:50.

numbers of jobs in construction and contracting well beyond the capital

:39:51.:39:54.

city. It is the case that there is a large amount of investment that goes

:39:55.:39:58.

on here in London. But that has a benefit well beyond the capital

:39:59.:40:05.

city. Don't worry, I was enjoying it. The reality is this, this is

:40:06.:40:10.

Government investment. Those figures, they are just not

:40:11.:40:16.

acceptable. 5000 per head, in London, in comparison with 400 in

:40:17.:40:19.

the north-east, it is not acceptable. That is a level of

:40:20.:40:23.

inequality that has to be challenged, and the gentleman is

:40:24.:40:26.

usually fair, and I am sure he will accept that, no matter how much we

:40:27.:40:31.

are both champions for our capital city. So, yes, the shift in rhetoric

:40:32.:40:35.

is welcome, but it must be backed up by meaningful action. This is where

:40:36.:40:39.

the revised charter still falls short. It's good to see the

:40:40.:40:43.

Chancellor has taken on board labour's recommendations and has

:40:44.:40:49.

ditched the surplus target. In doing so, he has held out at is the

:40:50.:40:52.

potential of letting some of the burden of the austerity measures

:40:53.:40:56.

that have led to crises in health and social care. Yet, last year's

:40:57.:41:00.

Autumn Statement, I deeply regret that he failed to take this option.

:41:01.:41:05.

The result of his failure to act on both the NHS and social care funding

:41:06.:41:10.

has been to contribute to the worst funding crisis to the NHS for

:41:11.:41:15.

decades. A social care system pushed beyond breaking point. There are

:41:16.:41:26.

sometimes an image that captures the plight on a particular issue. A

:41:27.:41:31.

couple of years ago, it was the plight of that child's body on the

:41:32.:41:34.

shores of the Mediterranean that brought to our attention the crisis

:41:35.:41:40.

of the refugees. Last year, it was the plight of that child, the

:41:41.:41:44.

photograph of that child in an ambulance, in blood and dust, being

:41:45.:41:48.

pulled out of the debris in Aleppo. The image to me that has focused the

:41:49.:41:57.

NHS crisis was two weeks ago, of a child below the age of five, in a

:41:58.:42:01.

hospital corridor, being treated on two plastic chairs pushed together.

:42:02.:42:08.

That is unacceptable in the sixth richest country in the world,

:42:09.:42:12.

unacceptable. It is as a result of the failure to act in the Autumn

:42:13.:42:16.

Statement to address the underfunding. I have written now to

:42:17.:42:20.

the chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility to ask if the office

:42:21.:42:24.

can look into providing assessments of the impact of health care funding

:42:25.:42:31.

against expected need. As we saw last month, the British Red Cross

:42:32.:42:35.

has now described the ongoing situation as a humanitarian crisis

:42:36.:42:37.

and the response from the government is to play down the situation,

:42:38.:42:41.

despite the volume of continued complaints from front line NHS

:42:42.:42:46.

staff. I strongly believe that this is leading to widespread public

:42:47.:42:49.

distrust in the Government's presentation of the levels of

:42:50.:42:54.

funding and support for the NHS and social care. So it makes sense to

:42:55.:42:57.

attempt to provide some objective assessment of the real needs of the

:42:58.:43:02.

NHS to help prevent the real terms funding cuts that have taken place

:43:03.:43:06.

under this government. I say to the Chancellor again now, he can and

:43:07.:43:12.

must now take response action to ensure that health and social care

:43:13.:43:17.

are properly funded in this period of crisis. Instead, the Charter

:43:18.:43:22.

represents only the smallest improvement on the previous dire

:43:23.:43:26.

fiscal policy. Unbelievably, contrary to all advice, it still

:43:27.:43:29.

attempts to keep investment spending inside the spending control

:43:30.:43:33.

framework. Already, this has been criticised by experts from the

:43:34.:43:37.

Institute for Fiscal Studies and keeping the investment spending

:43:38.:43:40.

inside the overall cap means that every pound delivered for investment

:43:41.:43:44.

comes at the expense of potential spending on public services.

:43:45.:43:49.

At a time when the costs of capital for government are close to the

:43:50.:43:57.

lowest in history this choice makes little sense. And facing Brexit the

:43:58.:44:05.

challenge for all of us is to think boldly about how this country can

:44:06.:44:10.

respond and the amended rule. Far short of this. And want to ask the

:44:11.:44:16.

honourable gentleman on his position about public debt. Ours is set to

:44:17.:44:21.

peak at just over 90% of GDP and yet he is setting out a course of action

:44:22.:44:26.

which would have public the driving indefinitely, going on rising

:44:27.:44:30.

forever. Is the comfortable with this position? That is clearly not

:44:31.:44:34.

the case and if you look carefully at Labour's fiscal credibility rule

:44:35.:44:39.

he would have seen and adopted it, he would have seen that actually

:44:40.:44:43.

what we will be doing is reducing debt for the lifetime of a

:44:44.:44:47.

Parliament and that is as a result of ensuring that we have proper

:44:48.:44:50.

investment tackling the productivity gap, bringing people back to work,

:44:51.:44:54.

ensuring they have the skills and produce high wages and in that way

:44:55.:44:57.

they can fund it to a tax-raising that is thinner than the existing

:44:58.:45:04.

one. It simply will not be possible to deliver the scale of support and

:45:05.:45:08.

investment needed to rebuild our economy inside the restrictions of

:45:09.:45:12.

the rules he is proposing. We will get half measures and rhetorical

:45:13.:45:16.

commitments. What we will not get is a serious commitment to deliver the

:45:17.:45:19.

economic as remission we need. To do so would acquire government ticking

:45:20.:45:25.

on a few too many vested interests. It would mean a serious attempt to

:45:26.:45:29.

clamp down on tax avoidance, it would mean reversing the hand-outs

:45:30.:45:33.

to the giant corporations and the super-rich, it would mean ending in

:45:34.:45:37.

reality not only in rhetoric and colossal in balance in investment

:45:38.:45:40.

between a few favourite places in the south-east and the rest of the

:45:41.:45:45.

country. In changing the rules the government is admitting its prior

:45:46.:45:49.

failure and then failing to seriously address its cousins.

:45:50.:45:54.

Investment is too low, productivity is too low, wages are too low.

:45:55.:46:00.

Labourers or fiscal readability rule follows the recommendations of world

:46:01.:46:06.

fiscal organisations and trade unions to keep day-to-day spending

:46:07.:46:08.

entirely separate from the government plans to invest. This

:46:09.:46:11.

government's fiscal rule is titled government investment, at the same

:46:12.:46:16.

time as being obsessively loose on government control. The primary

:46:17.:46:21.

reason for introducing the rule is to show the government's one fiscal

:46:22.:46:25.

plans are consistent and planned well in advance. It allows business

:46:26.:46:29.

and investors themselves to plan and act as a reassurance to markets that

:46:30.:46:32.

the government will not attempt to spend excessively. The rule should

:46:33.:46:38.

be basis of the stricter deportment of borrowing limits. We accept that,

:46:39.:46:44.

but it should also contain the flexibility of governments to

:46:45.:46:47.

contain -- to respond when unexpected shocks Walker. Getting

:46:48.:46:50.

the balance between these point is difficult so following the best

:46:51.:46:53.

economic advice Labour's fiscal credibility rule raises the power to

:46:54.:46:58.

determine whether we are outside normal times in the hands of the

:46:59.:47:03.

monetary policy committee -- committee and they can determine if

:47:04.:47:09.

it is necessary for fiscal policy to adjust in response to another

:47:10.:47:12.

anticipated shock. The freedom to determine the fiscal stance is a

:47:13.:47:15.

significant power for a government and one has to be used responsibly.

:47:16.:47:20.

Labour do not believe that it is desirable to return to the days when

:47:21.:47:23.

governments would produce their own economic forecasts and then decide

:47:24.:47:28.

on their own terms where the business cycle was and how much

:47:29.:47:31.

extra fiscal leeway they were allowed. It meant that the Treasury

:47:32.:47:36.

had excessive power to determine fiscal policy and that in turn meant

:47:37.:47:40.

governments would have the power to favour short-term quick fixes at the

:47:41.:47:44.

expense of longer-term action to rebuild the economy. A credible

:47:45.:47:49.

fiscal rule should not allow that to happen. And it should be bolted into

:47:50.:47:55.

place and compel a government to act for the longer-term good. Labour's

:47:56.:48:00.

fiscal rule does this, that hands power to recognise economic shocks

:48:01.:48:04.

to the monetary policy committee, get the new charter for budget

:48:05.:48:08.

responsibility is to have the power to recognise economic shocks

:48:09.:48:10.

straight back to the Treasury. It returns us to the bad old days when

:48:11.:48:14.

short-term Treasury thinking would be allowed to dominate economic

:48:15.:48:18.

policy-making. It could mean that once again Conservative chancellors

:48:19.:48:22.

could be tempted to ease off or tighten up on the spending not

:48:23.:48:25.

because of the economy but because an election is due. In other words

:48:26.:48:30.

it defeats the purpose of having a rule of fiscal rule in the first

:48:31.:48:35.

place. Instead of breaking with the short-term thinking of the past it

:48:36.:48:39.

bolted more firmly into place. How can the rule be taken seriously when

:48:40.:48:43.

it is so obviously open to being undermined? The revised charter

:48:44.:48:51.

brings us close to the worst of both worlds, in suggesting titled

:48:52.:48:53.

government investment in building a post Brexit economy should demand

:48:54.:48:56.

government intervention and yet it is excessively loose and the

:48:57.:48:59.

government itself, and in too much power to the Treasury. The

:49:00.:49:04.

Chancellor and the government are squandering an opportunity here,

:49:05.:49:07.

they could have ditched the field existing fiscal rule and put in

:49:08.:49:11.

place a new fiscal mandate that would give us the space needed to be

:49:12.:49:15.

built and transform the economy as we prepare for Brexit. Instead, they

:49:16.:49:21.

have handed more powers back to the Treasury while the Chancellor has

:49:22.:49:24.

insisted on maintaining austerity spending cuts. No part of this

:49:25.:49:29.

government's fiscal rule can be supported and Mr Speaker we will be

:49:30.:49:32.

voting against the charter as a whole. Thank you Mr Speaker, I am

:49:33.:49:45.

somewhat in order to pack in your place. The Chancellor was very

:49:46.:49:54.

measured in his defence of the new charter and his presentation was

:49:55.:49:56.

without the usual gimmicks and flamboyance of his predecessor and

:49:57.:50:04.

it was no worse for that. But Mr Speaker I have read my Sherlock

:50:05.:50:09.

Holmes and it is the dog that didn't bark in the night that you have to

:50:10.:50:17.

look out for. This is only 15 months Mr Speaker, only 15 months since we

:50:18.:50:21.

last debated the new set of Treasury rules. I am in favour of such rules,

:50:22.:50:26.

rules are there to create stability and sustainability in the national

:50:27.:50:30.

finances, they are there to give confidence to lenders and indeed

:50:31.:50:34.

they are there to restrain politicians from using the public

:50:35.:50:40.

purse for party advantage. That said, it should be obvious to anyone

:50:41.:50:45.

that if this Conservative government is bent on rewriting the fiscal rule

:50:46.:50:49.

book only 15 months after the last time it did it then intermodulation

:50:50.:50:56.

and seriousness is open to question and the Chancellor did not address

:50:57.:51:01.

that. And it is a serious point Mr Speaker that if you keep changing

:51:02.:51:05.

the rules even though you stand up and make the measured defence of the

:51:06.:51:08.

new set of rules then you have to explain why you keep changing them

:51:09.:51:12.

if you want people to have confidence in the next set of rules.

:51:13.:51:18.

The Chancellor field to do that. Let me explain, we suffered an exogenous

:51:19.:51:25.

shock which according to the OBE are implied an extra ?84 billion of

:51:26.:51:29.

additional borrowing over the forecast horizon. I would say when

:51:30.:51:32.

the facts change we should change our plans. Mr Speaker, that is not

:51:33.:51:40.

what rules are for. The rules should not change when the situation

:51:41.:51:43.

changes, the policy should change what the rules are the two protect

:51:44.:51:49.

and to assist -- to protect sustainability and to protect the

:51:50.:51:52.

ability of the markets to feel they have confidence in the government.

:51:53.:51:57.

The point is the Chancellor, is of course there was an exogenous shock,

:51:58.:52:03.

Brexit has produced that exogenous shock and the full force of that

:52:04.:52:06.

shock has yet to arrive in the British economy and the total is

:52:07.:52:10.

preparing the ground for when the week if the economy but the point is

:52:11.:52:15.

that the policy issue, why would the rules change? The rules are there

:52:16.:52:19.

for sustainability. If the rules change every ten circumstances

:52:20.:52:22.

change I put it to you what is the point of having the rules? Surely

:52:23.:52:27.

the honourable death woman must recognise that the proof of the

:52:28.:52:32.

pudding is whether or not there has been a sense of confidence drifting

:52:33.:52:37.

away from banks and carpets in relation to that. They have a

:52:38.:52:41.

recommendation that this has been a major event, and the impact of

:52:42.:52:47.

Brexit is still some way ahead. Nevertheless that impact means it is

:52:48.:52:53.

quite legitimate not to be bound by rules that 50 months ago are in a

:52:54.:52:57.

different world to the one that we are going to have the experience in

:52:58.:53:00.

the months and years to come. Mr Speaker, I thank the members for

:53:01.:53:05.

putting clearly the point I'm trying to make. The rules are a hostage to

:53:06.:53:10.

fortune. That is what the members of that side of the house are saying.

:53:11.:53:14.

The rules will change when circumstances change, when you need

:53:15.:53:17.

to change the rules to get the results you want therefore what is

:53:18.:53:19.

the point of having the rules at all? You're confirming the point you

:53:20.:53:24.

put forward, that forward by the Shadow Chancellor, and the rules are

:53:25.:53:28.

flexible politically. Therefore they are not rules. And you can prove

:53:29.:53:34.

this, if you look at this government's borrowing record. Since

:53:35.:53:44.

2010 when this government was elected between 2010 and 2015 the

:53:45.:53:55.

national debt rose by 50%. The latest OBR forecast suggests that

:53:56.:54:01.

between 2010 and the end of this parliament the national debt will

:54:02.:54:05.

have doubled, it will be almost doubled. That is not something you

:54:06.:54:12.

can go on winning an the former Labour government. That said of the

:54:13.:54:19.

house has doubled the national debt in its tenure in office. The

:54:20.:54:22.

Chancellor has gone away with that, the previous Chancellor, because

:54:23.:54:25.

they keep coming to this house would rules to pretend that they are

:54:26.:54:28.

fiscally responsible yet the doubled the national debt. Inheriting a

:54:29.:54:35.

deficit the size that we did in 2010 there would have been our way of

:54:36.:54:39.

avoiding doubling the national debt, that would have involved an even

:54:40.:54:43.

harsher period of consolidation of the public finances as I wandered

:54:44.:54:48.

and party and opposition voted against every single measure to

:54:49.:54:52.

consolidate but let me make this point, the previous fiscal rules

:54:53.:54:59.

called a surplus in 2020, 2021, the honourable gentleman seems to be

:55:00.:55:02.

advocating a policy response which says we will squeeze the economy

:55:03.:55:06.

harder in order to meet the old rules in the new circumstances. Is

:55:07.:55:12.

that what he would like? I'm glad the Chancellor has admitted that

:55:13.:55:15.

they have, by the end of this Parliament they will have doubled

:55:16.:55:18.

the national debt. So much Mr Speaker for the fiscal rules. I have

:55:19.:55:25.

happy to admit to the Chancellor, I was actually in favour of doubling

:55:26.:55:28.

the national debt. That does not give me a problem. I think that is

:55:29.:55:33.

what saved the economy. But I cannot abide Mr Speaker is the rank

:55:34.:55:38.

hypocrisy of a government that keeps coming up with laughter rule after

:55:39.:55:43.

rule to pretend that it's fiscally prudent... Order. We need to be

:55:44.:55:47.

clear that the honourable gentleman is not accusing any minister in the

:55:48.:55:53.

government, any individual of hypocrisy, for that would be

:55:54.:55:59.

completely disorderly. It is not a debating matter nor something on

:56:00.:56:01.

which I am looking for the honourable gentleman 's

:56:02.:56:04.

interpretation. I'm generally same to him that if that is what you

:56:05.:56:07.

saying then he must withdraw it. If he's making a charge at the

:56:08.:56:10.

collective then he can just about get away with it under the

:56:11.:56:15.

procedures. I'm suitably chided Mr Speaker. I make no aspersion on the

:56:16.:56:20.

character of any individual in government. As a collective though,

:56:21.:56:28.

I make the point in the Chancellor has admitted this, that they have

:56:29.:56:31.

changed the rules to suit themselves, that is the basic point

:56:32.:56:37.

I'm trying to get across. This new set of rules, what possible faith

:56:38.:56:41.

and be that the bomb be changed another 50 months? John McDonald? I

:56:42.:56:48.

don't want to interfere but they could draw the honourable member's

:56:49.:56:51.

attention that intruders and named very Chancellor, the person who is

:56:52.:56:55.

the Chancellor was condemning any concept of rules at all whatsoever

:56:56.:57:00.

and that in that school that he eventually in the method and

:57:01.:57:03.

opposition that came to court there was a welfare cap that has been

:57:04.:57:09.

completely disregarded, the reduction in the deficit was not to

:57:10.:57:12.

be a reduction it is meant to be an elimination and a reduction of debt

:57:13.:57:17.

so rules seem to have gone out the window very early. Particular point.

:57:18.:57:23.

I do agree with the honourable Doberman. Like the moon or -- let me

:57:24.:57:27.

move on Mr Speaker. In very grit detail. He did press

:57:28.:57:41.

the point he's made here today -- very great detail. The new fiscal

:57:42.:57:46.

rules plus the Autumn Statement were designed to give the Government

:57:47.:57:52.

enough fiscal headroom to meet any unforeseeable circumstances should

:57:53.:57:56.

the economy and economic growth slow as a result of Brexit decision. I

:57:57.:58:02.

respect that. Here's my point. Why give yourself headroom for a future

:58:03.:58:08.

event, a future dangerous event? Why not take action now in order to

:58:09.:58:13.

forestall that event? What this fiscal charter in essence suggests,

:58:14.:58:18.

is that, it gives the Chancellor the room in two, three, four years'

:58:19.:58:23.

time, if the economy begins to slow, to use a fiscal surplus in order to

:58:24.:58:28.

be able to invest in the economy and crank up growth. Why not do that

:58:29.:58:36.

now? The dangerous impression that the fiscal charter gives is somehow

:58:37.:58:43.

it will prevent the ill effects of Brexit. The Chancellor can intervene

:58:44.:58:49.

if something goes wrong. My point is why not use that fiscal headroom

:58:50.:58:55.

now? The problem is, of course, the underlying strength of the economy

:58:56.:59:00.

is nowhere nearly as strong as the Chancellor's trying to make out in

:59:01.:59:04.

his presentation. Yes, there is growth. But if you look at the

:59:05.:59:10.

underpinnings of the growth for the last year, it is largely come from

:59:11.:59:16.

an expansion of consumer spending underpinned by a consumer borrowing,

:59:17.:59:23.

unsecured consumer borrowing. At the same time, post the Brexit vote, the

:59:24.:59:28.

pound has fallen substantially in international markets. That's

:59:29.:59:34.

stoking up inflation. I cannot imagine a more dangerous situation

:59:35.:59:39.

for growth to be dependent on unsecured consumer borrowing when

:59:40.:59:43.

inflation's starting to rise, the bling... I'm grateful for the

:59:44.:59:51.

honourable gentleman for giving way. Doesn't' regard it as contradictory

:59:52.:59:56.

he may be advocating Government expenditure while at the same time

:59:57.:00:00.

warning about the risk of inflation? Not if you talk into account the

:00:01.:00:05.

fact what is likely to happen is if inflation starts to rise and the

:00:06.:00:10.

Bank of England, the honourable member will know this, the Bank of

:00:11.:00:18.

England decides to let inflation flow through the economy and

:00:19.:00:23.

inflation rises to the top of its current forecast range of 3%, it

:00:24.:00:28.

thinks it will then start to decline again. There are other people, the

:00:29.:00:34.

Federation of Small Businesses, for instance, thinks inflation will go

:00:35.:00:38.

above the core forecast from Bank of England of the we could be looking

:00:39.:00:41.

at inflation in two years' time of 5%. That will have a crippling

:00:42.:00:47.

effect... The Chancellor shakes his head. All I'm quoting is the

:00:48.:00:57.

Federation of Small Businesses, not an unresponsible organisation, that

:00:58.:01:00.

thinks the core forecast which takes us up to about 3% of CPI from Bank

:01:01.:01:11.

of England will be exceeded. I think that is a strong possibility. If we

:01:12.:01:18.

head up to 5% inflation, the Bank of England said it will not raise

:01:19.:01:23.

interest rates to compensate that, consumer spending will start to

:01:24.:01:27.

fall. My argument in reply to the question asked by the honourable

:01:28.:01:32.

member, if consumer spending tanks, we are in a hard Brexit situation,

:01:33.:01:38.

foreign investment is is falling and firms are reluctant to conduct

:01:39.:01:42.

business investment, the only agency left to plug the gap is the

:01:43.:01:47.

Government. What I'm pointing out is the Chancellor, rather than wait for

:01:48.:01:53.

that to happen, by which point the fiscal policy to kick in will take

:01:54.:01:56.

two or three years beyond that, he should be doing it now. That is the

:01:57.:02:03.

basic point I'm trying to make. I'm listening 209 honourable gentleman

:02:04.:02:06.

with great interest. I like his debating style. Reminds me of an old

:02:07.:02:14.

professioner I had at university! I have to say, has he not just

:02:15.:02:20.

contradicted himself. Early ear he said there's no need for changing

:02:21.:02:26.

the rules, then he gives us a nightmare scenario for the future

:02:27.:02:29.

because of Brexit and says we do need change. He has to make up his

:02:30.:02:38.

mind. I did not say that the rules should be changed. I don't like the

:02:39.:02:44.

original rules and once being brought forward. I believe there

:02:45.:02:48.

should be fiscal rules, a fiscal mandate to restrain Government. My

:02:49.:02:55.

primary point is if we keep changing the rules, that mandate does not

:02:56.:03:00.

exist. My set of rules, I don't have the time tonight to go substantially

:03:01.:03:05.

into them and I won't press the patience of the speaker, there

:03:06.:03:08.

should be a restraint on current expenditure. I'm more liberal when

:03:09.:03:14.

it comes to capital expenditure. Provided it is linked to trained

:03:15.:03:25.

growth can be counter cyclical. The present rules, the fact they are

:03:26.:03:29.

being changed is the issue. Why the present charter' not worth the paper

:03:30.:03:34.

it's written on as it will have to be changed in a few months' time

:03:35.:03:50.

anyway. My - if you go back to the year 1956, Harold Macmillan gave his

:03:51.:03:53.

one and only Budget speech as Chancellor. If you go back to 1956,

:03:54.:04:02.

what was the ratio of the national debt to GDP? 150%. 150%. Almost

:04:03.:04:12.

double what it is today. Macmillan got up, I read his speech the other

:04:13.:04:23.

day, he quoted Macaulay, one of his he is says, quite sophisticated

:04:24.:04:27.

Chancellors we had in those days. What he did was he quotes Macaulay

:04:28.:04:35.

going through practically every administration since the 1600s.

:04:36.:04:38.

Somebody got up and complained about the level of national debt.

:04:39.:04:46.

Macmillan's point, an expansionary budget, 150% of GDP, debt to GDP

:04:47.:04:52.

rash ya, Macmillan made the point, the point is when we look back, we

:04:53.:04:57.

see the benefits of that borrowing and investment. But when we look

:04:58.:05:02.

forward all we see is the dangers. Macmillan said the trouble is

:05:03.:05:05.

therefore that stops you being bold. I would like this Chancellor to be

:05:06.:05:09.

bolder. I would like him to spend more money. To spend the money

:05:10.:05:15.

before the Brexit recession hits rather than wait until it happens

:05:16.:05:18.

and say I've armoury, weapons to deal with it. Let's deal with the

:05:19.:05:22.

problem before it happens. That's my point.

:05:23.:05:28.

Thank you Mr Speaker. The credibility of the Government's

:05:29.:05:35.

fiscal planned as outlined in the charter's been called into Question

:05:36.:05:41.

Time and time again. Labour oppose the Government's amended charter in

:05:42.:05:46.

2015 as it epitomised the Government's austerity agenda and

:05:47.:05:50.

refusal to intervene and invest in our nation's future. Today, the

:05:51.:05:57.

current clanser attempts to seek approval to break the fist cal

:05:58.:06:02.

target and Amen the charter. Is this good news? Has the Chancellor

:06:03.:06:10.

accepted advice from the IMF, that the austerity is not a credible

:06:11.:06:14.

economic model and Government's role is to support investment? Well, no,

:06:15.:06:20.

sadly he hasn't. The amendments to the rules considered today still

:06:21.:06:24.

commit to the Government's austerity agenda which has forced misery on

:06:25.:06:28.

the most vulnerable people in Britain. It also fails to allow the

:06:29.:06:33.

necessary investment for future growth and pros perity. The Shadow

:06:34.:06:40.

Chancellor joltlined earlier it is encouraging -- outlined earlier the

:06:41.:06:43.

surplus target for 2020 has been ditched. Now the Government seeks

:06:44.:06:47.

O'To balance the books at some point in the next Parliament. Crucially,

:06:48.:06:53.

capital and current spend can are still lumped together and subject to

:06:54.:06:57.

the framework. The Government's ability to large scale investment is

:06:58.:07:01.

significantly constrained. This is quite the opposite of Labour's

:07:02.:07:06.

fiscal position outlined today. ?250 billion of direct Government

:07:07.:07:12.

investment with a further ?250 plea mobilised with private sector

:07:13.:07:16.

support through a national investment bank and regional

:07:17.:07:20.

development banks. The Government's own infrastructure pipe lines lists

:07:21.:07:25.

?500 billion of projects. This is the scale of investment deemed

:07:26.:07:29.

necessary by organisations such as the CBI to simply put us on a level

:07:30.:07:33.

footing with other industrial countries around the word. We know

:07:34.:07:37.

the rules contained within the charter simply don't work

:07:38.:07:40.

effectively and so does the Government. But rather than put in

:07:41.:07:45.

place a new fiscal rule that would provides the structure needed to

:07:46.:07:49.

rebuild and transform our economy as we prepare for Brexit, the

:07:50.:07:53.

Chancellor's chosen to cut off the oxygen needed to create a fertile

:07:54.:07:59.

environment for business. It's time he realised we must forge a new

:08:00.:08:06.

economy destiny to ensure Britain has a prestigious place at the

:08:07.:08:10.

world's table not turn us into a tax haven. We need to rebuild

:08:11.:08:14.

communities left behind for far too long. If anything should have woken

:08:15.:08:20.

the Government up, Brexit should. Was those communities which have

:08:21.:08:24.

been strafshed of investment for decades who were angry. They are

:08:25.:08:29.

right to be angry. They endured nearly seven wasted years where

:08:30.:08:33.

investment had been allocated on an almost lottery basis. App economy

:08:34.:08:39.

where the Government promised ?5,000 of investment per head in London but

:08:40.:08:44.

just ?413 per head in the north-east. An economy where local

:08:45.:08:49.

authorities have lost ?18 billion of Government funding in real terms

:08:50.:08:54.

between 2010 and 2015 with the poorest baring the brunt of this. An

:08:55.:09:01.

economy about the Government slashes the budgets of vital services such

:09:02.:09:05.

as social care and asks local areas to find the money yourselves through

:09:06.:09:10.

council tax increases. But, it's all part of a bigger plan, we're told.

:09:11.:09:15.

Let's assess whether this strategy has worked. We were told if we

:09:16.:09:19.

pulled together and dealt with the sting of austerity for a while

:09:20.:09:23.

things would improve. Is the deficit at zero? We slashed national debt?

:09:24.:09:30.

Well, no. As we heard today, the Government to date has added over

:09:31.:09:37.

?700 billion to the national debt. We have an economy driven by con

:09:38.:09:43.

summer spending. The Bank of England voiced concerns over the

:09:44.:09:46.

sustainability of this model going forward. This is fuelled by

:09:47.:09:50.

extremely worrying levels of household debt, incurred by people

:09:51.:09:55.

who simply can't make ends meet. Then we've what the bank calls a

:09:56.:10:00.

lost decade on earnings. Wages have stagnated to the extent most

:10:01.:10:03.

non-retired families have less money now than they did before the

:10:04.:10:07.

financial crash according to the Office for National Statistics.

:10:08.:10:12.

We've heard productivity growth has stagnated. German workers produce

:10:13.:10:16.

the same in four days as UK workers do in five. I'm pleased the

:10:17.:10:20.

Chancellor brought up this point in his own contribution today. They had

:10:21.:10:24.

a Government that invested in industry. Sadly, we do not. This is

:10:25.:10:30.

not the soundtrack of a Government who is justling to make us one of

:10:31.:10:35.

the world's leading economies post-Brexit. They've carved us out a

:10:36.:10:40.

future based on low investment, productivity and low wages and

:10:41.:10:44.

skeleton public services. I'm a northern MP as you can tell by Mayak

:10:45.:10:51.

sent. I still recall the Conservative Government of the 1980

:10:52.:10:54.

stripping away industry from northern towns and cities. Our

:10:55.:10:58.

community #1u6red impressurable damage. The Government provided back

:10:59.:11:02.

then our northern towns and cities would simply be allowed to enter

:11:03.:11:07.

into a state of managed decline. What we see today in the amended

:11:08.:11:11.

charter is no better than that managed decline. For these reasons

:11:12.:11:17.

we will not be approving the amended charter

:11:18.:11:22.

Thank you. What the British people want is a stable and successful

:11:23.:11:31.

economy, one that means jobs opportunities and a high quality of

:11:32.:11:34.

life and that is what this government Mr Speaker is delivering.

:11:35.:11:38.

That is what we will continue to deliver because unlike the parties

:11:39.:11:43.

opposite we are not ignoring economic realities, we are facing up

:11:44.:11:48.

to them. We are not paying to our responsibilities we are shouldering

:11:49.:11:51.

them and we are not pretending every problem can be solved by spending

:11:52.:11:53.

more and borrowing more or taxing more. We are restoring the public

:11:54.:11:58.

finances to health and investing sensibly and in a well targeted way

:11:59.:12:02.

in the future success of this country. That is how we have turned

:12:03.:12:08.

our economy around, not only are we forecast to have achieved faster

:12:09.:12:14.

growth than any other G-7 economy last year with near record

:12:15.:12:17.

employment and unemployment at its lowest rate in over a decade but at

:12:18.:12:21.

the same time we have made great progress with getting to grips with

:12:22.:12:25.

the public purse, cutting our deficit from its post-war high of

:12:26.:12:32.

10.1% in 2010 to 4% last year. And borrowing one in every ?10 we spend

:12:33.:12:36.

not the one in every four that we saw under the last Labour

:12:37.:12:41.

government. And as my right honourable friend the Chancellor has

:12:42.:12:44.

pointed out the recent fiscal sustainability reports from the OBR

:12:45.:12:49.

reminds us of the necessity of action that we must continue to take

:12:50.:12:53.

in addressing our deficit. The fiscal rules that we are looking at

:12:54.:12:59.

today strike the rate balance for the challenges and opportunities we

:13:00.:13:05.

face. An incredible plan to turn our public finances to balance, enough

:13:06.:13:10.

headroom to guard against economic shocks and scope to invest in

:13:11.:13:16.

improving productivity. The structural deficit must be below 2%

:13:17.:13:20.

of GDP by the end of this Parliament, which sets the right

:13:21.:13:24.

course to ensure the deficit is eliminated altogether next

:13:25.:13:29.

Parliament. Debt will be falling by the end of this Parliament, the new

:13:30.:13:34.

medium term welfare cap is an important component to the plan, a

:13:35.:13:38.

medium-term cap rather than an annual one allows us to make sure

:13:39.:13:43.

that we can control welfare spending, without needing to make

:13:44.:13:46.

short-term changes to react to fluctuations in the forecast for

:13:47.:13:53.

spending. To reiterate, the government will deliver the overall

:13:54.:13:57.

total of welfare savings already identified but has no plans to

:13:58.:14:00.

introduce further welfare savings in this Parliament beyond those already

:14:01.:14:06.

announced. And with welfare accounting for around one quarter of

:14:07.:14:10.

all our spending, a right course of action is not to refuse to consider

:14:11.:14:15.

a kind of control, it is to make sure our expenditure is stable and

:14:16.:14:18.

sustainable and we have already announced all of the measures we

:14:19.:14:21.

will take in this Parliament for savings in this area. This then Mr

:14:22.:14:27.

Speaker is a credible fiscal plan. First because it means tackling the

:14:28.:14:31.

deficit and bringing the public finances into balance, the

:14:32.:14:34.

importance of which continues to be completely overlooked by the party

:14:35.:14:39.

opposite, second, because it sets feasible targets in fact the old BR

:14:40.:14:42.

forecasts that we will meet our aims for this Parliament two years early.

:14:43.:14:48.

Third, because it also gives us the space to react to any short-term

:14:49.:14:54.

fluctuations in our economy, in dispute of adjustment. And also

:14:55.:14:59.

because it gives us the scope to address the long-term structural

:15:00.:15:04.

changes and invest in our future success and I refer specifically to

:15:05.:15:10.

the additional ?23 billion we will be investing in our national

:15:11.:15:15.

productivity, one willing to fund improvements for businesses and

:15:16.:15:18.

families alike in our infrastructure, research and

:15:19.:15:25.

development and housing. So the charter enshrines a commitment to

:15:26.:15:29.

fiscal restraint, it reflects our refusal to allow public spending to

:15:30.:15:37.

ever skyrocket as the party opposite allowed, and determination not to

:15:38.:15:39.

put ourselves again in such a vulnerable position as Labour did in

:15:40.:15:44.

running up the largest structural deficit of any G-7 country ahead of

:15:45.:15:51.

the great recession and a rejection of the requisite economics of the

:15:52.:15:57.

party opposite continue to favour one of blank cheques, unfunded

:15:58.:16:00.

spending commitments and magic money trees. Isn't it time that Labour

:16:01.:16:08.

finally start learning from the mistakes and caring about the

:16:09.:16:11.

economic security that the people of this country deserve? They clearly

:16:12.:16:17.

don't have a credible fiscal plan of their own. They clearly don't have

:16:18.:16:21.

much interest in the matter not after all not a single -- not a

:16:22.:16:27.

single Labour backbencher attended this debate until the 67th minute of

:16:28.:16:31.

it. Let me invite them to join with us today in voting for a plan that

:16:32.:16:36.

is not only in the interests of working people today but the

:16:37.:16:40.

interests of the children and their grandchildren to fall, Mr Speaker I

:16:41.:16:44.

commend this charter to the house. The question is in motion on the

:16:45.:16:50.

charter for budget responsibility as the order papers, as many in favour

:16:51.:16:57.

say aye. To the contrary, no. Division. Clear the lobby.

:16:58.:18:39.

The question is the motion of the charter of budget responsibility is

:18:40.:18:45.

as the order paper. As many in favour aye. On the contrary, no.

:18:46.:18:51.

Tellers for the eyes, tellers for the nose.

:18:52.:25:03.

THE SPEAKER: Order! Order! The eyes to the right, 292 -- ayes. The nos

:25:04.:31:08.

to the left, 193. THE SPEAKER: The ayes to the right 2

:31:09.:31:24.

2. The nos to the left, 193. So the ayes have it. The ayes have it.

:31:25.:31:33.

Unlock. Order. We now come to motion number 4 relating to the appointment

:31:34.:31:38.

of the parliamentary commissioner for administration and health

:31:39.:31:43.

service commissioner for England. To move the motion, I call the

:31:44.:31:49.

minister, Chris Skidmore. Thank you, I beg to move a humble address be

:31:50.:31:56.

presented to Her Majesty praying Her Majesty will appoint Rob Behr ins to

:31:57.:32:00.

the office of parliamentary commissioner of administration and

:32:01.:32:03.

health service commissioner for England. I rush to record the

:32:04.:32:09.

Government's gratitude to dame Mellor who's taken on the role with

:32:10.:32:13.

compassion and commitment. I agree to her staying in post until a

:32:14.:32:20.

success err is in post. I'm grateful to the member of Harwich and Essex

:32:21.:32:29.

and their role in the selection. I'm pleased in the process has

:32:30.:32:31.

identified and outstandings candidate. The recommendation

:32:32.:32:36.

contained in the report which was published last Friday forms the

:32:37.:32:40.

basis of the Government's motion and I commend this to the House.

:32:41.:32:46.

THE SPEAKER: The question is as on the order paper.

:32:47.:32:54.

Can I welcome the minister's comments and endorse the sentiments

:32:55.:33:03.

and we both served as a member of the Health Select Committee. We know

:33:04.:33:12.

of dame melor's hard work. The other panel EUs are all extremely

:33:13.:33:17.

formidable and the scrutiny of the health and public administration of

:33:18.:33:20.

Public Affairs Committee at their pre-appointment hearing. Mr Berrins

:33:21.:33:25.

is an extremely qualified candidate for the role of parliamentary and

:33:26.:33:30.

health ombudsman with all the expectations that role by the public

:33:31.:33:34.

which he has shown as the independent adjudicator and Chief

:33:35.:33:39.

Executive of the office of independent adjudicator and higher

:33:40.:33:42.

education. More importantly, his work on the transformation to

:33:43.:33:46.

democratic rule in South Africa for which he was personally commended by

:33:47.:33:52.

the late president Nelson Mandela and also now Lord Robin Butler of

:33:53.:34:01.

the other place. As transform tiff work deliver agree view which led to

:34:02.:34:06.

52 changes in disciplinary and complaints procedures, including a

:34:07.:34:10.

new process determination by agreement and setting up the widely

:34:11.:34:14.

respective civil service fast stream. Her Majesty's opposition

:34:15.:34:22.

welcome and endorse the appointment of Mr Rob BerrinCBE and wishes him

:34:23.:34:33.

well in his new role. Mr Speaker, the public administration

:34:34.:34:37.

constitution affairs committee was originally established as the public

:34:38.:34:41.

administration select committee in order to receive the reports of PHSO

:34:42.:34:46.

and to scrutinise its performness. This was in the 1960s long before

:34:47.:34:54.

the establishment of most of today's department Alchemies. Our remit is

:34:55.:34:59.

much wider these days but we regard our work with PHSO as one of our

:35:00.:35:06.

most important functions. It exemplifies and underpins our

:35:07.:35:11.

purpose as a committee. We exist to receive complaints about

:35:12.:35:13.

maladministration in the public service and in the NHS. This word

:35:14.:35:21.

maladministration may be an acrid term but is not very appeal. Our

:35:22.:35:27.

role and remit is clear. Our purpose is implied rather than spelt out.

:35:28.:35:33.

Our purpose is to sustain and enhance public confidence in the

:35:34.:35:36.

effectiveness of Government and working with PHSO that is what we've

:35:37.:35:42.

sought to do. In respect of PHSO therefore, we now not only receive

:35:43.:35:48.

PHSO's reports on behalf of Parliament, we actively scrutinise

:35:49.:35:52.

each of them and the public service the report itself is addressing to

:35:53.:35:57.

make sure PHSO's recommendations are properly heard and followed through

:35:58.:36:02.

by which ever department they're addressed to. We have become the

:36:03.:36:08.

accountability mechanism that makes PHSO's reports and work effective.

:36:09.:36:17.

So, we have scrutinised in the past few months PHSO's reports such as

:36:18.:36:22.

driven to despair how drivers have been let down by the Driver and

:36:23.:36:27.

Vehicle Licensing Agency, the report learning from mistakes, an vex

:36:28.:36:31.

report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman about how the NHS failed

:36:32.:36:36.

to properly investigate the death of a child. Our report is being

:36:37.:36:40.

published on 31st January on that. More recently w he published our

:36:41.:36:45.

report on their report on unsafe discharges from hospital. Having

:36:46.:36:52.

been myself involved in the recruitment process so that I did

:36:53.:36:56.

not take part myself in the pre-appointment hearing, I would

:36:57.:37:00.

like to welcome Rob Behr rinse as the new parliamentary and health

:37:01.:37:06.

service ohm you us man. From his time as adjudicator for higher

:37:07.:37:12.

education in England and Wales and as a senior adviser he has gained

:37:13.:37:17.

considerable ex-poorens of complaint handling and a de#25i8ed

:37:18.:37:20.

understanding of the role of an ohm buds man. I'm sure this will enable

:37:21.:37:26.

him to make a success of his new role. I should just point out both

:37:27.:37:34.

the public administration and constitutional affairs economy and

:37:35.:37:39.

Health Select Committee were unanimous in approving his

:37:40.:37:43.

appointment. I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute

:37:44.:37:50.

to dame Julie Mellor for the work she has done to take forward the

:37:51.:37:57.

work of PHSO. She's built on the work of her predecessor. PHSO is

:37:58.:38:04.

much more engaged with Parliament. I would like to thank her for staying

:38:05.:38:10.

at the healp while her replacement has been appointed. PSHO has faced

:38:11.:38:16.

many challenges, not least a cut of over 24% in spending between now and

:38:17.:38:22.

2020. It has been a target of critical public scrutiny, maybe it's

:38:23.:38:28.

justified, some certainly is, but it is made a very challenging role. It

:38:29.:38:34.

is in the middle of a five-year reform plan and faces further reform

:38:35.:38:39.

in the future if the public serviceman ombudsman bill is to come

:38:40.:38:45.

into effect. PHSO must improve the quality and speed of its

:38:46.:38:49.

investigations. Implement technological change. Adapt to the

:38:50.:38:54.

way people in our society expect complaints processes to work. Better

:38:55.:38:59.

engage its staff in order to do so. All this while reducing costs and

:39:00.:39:04.

overheads. The scale of these challenges is significant. I'm

:39:05.:39:11.

confident that Rob Berrins possesses the strong leadership skills and

:39:12.:39:15.

judgment as well as experience as an ohm buds man which will enable these

:39:16.:39:20.

challenges to be met. We look forward to working with him as PHSO

:39:21.:39:27.

continues its work. Pleasure for me to support everything said so far

:39:28.:39:33.

both about dame Julie Melloa and about Bob Berrins. Great pleasure

:39:34.:39:39.

working with Julie over the years during her term of office. She is a

:39:40.:39:44.

charming, intelligent person. Has had quite a hard time because of the

:39:45.:39:51.

pressures of getting the ombudsman's work right. That work will have to

:39:52.:39:58.

continue. Looking forward to a reception in your rooms very

:39:59.:40:02.

shortly, Mr Speaker, as well for dame Julie. As for Bob Berrins, much

:40:03.:40:09.

has been said about his experience. He has a wealth of valuable and

:40:10.:40:15.

varied experience. His role in South Africa, it was quite stunning,

:40:16.:40:23.

really. I took part in the confirmation hearing as a member of

:40:24.:40:30.

the public select committee. He was impressed with his performance.

:40:31.:40:34.

Measured, highly intelligent, precise and thoughtful. Every

:40:35.:40:38.

question he answered in that manner. I think he will do an excellent job

:40:39.:40:45.

carrying on the role of the ombudsman. I just wanted to say it

:40:46.:40:49.

is important we have a backbencher from this side of the House as well

:40:50.:40:55.

as the frontbenches and the chair of the select committee who has spoken

:40:56.:41:01.

so eloquently about what we have done on behalf of the present and

:41:02.:41:06.

future ombudsman. Thank you for allowing me to speak, Mr Speaker. I

:41:07.:41:11.

endorse everything said. Mr Speaker, I very much welcome Mr Berrins to

:41:12.:41:17.

his important new appointment, the PHSO is a vital backstop for

:41:18.:41:22.

complaints about the National Health Service. Its function is clearly

:41:23.:41:29.

vital to our constituents. I'm sure Mr Berrins is seized of the

:41:30.:41:33.

importance of his new duties. An he can totally, it seems to me the

:41:34.:41:38.

service has become more responsive since 2012. A great deal of credit

:41:39.:41:45.

is due to dame Julie Mellor for improving the service as it seems to

:41:46.:41:51.

me. I think it's only right to record that the patients'

:41:52.:41:53.

association doesn't necessarily share that opinion. And has rightly

:41:54.:42:01.

highlighted shortcomings as it sees them. In particular, a perceived

:42:02.:42:08.

lack of responsiveness of the ombudsman service. A perception that

:42:09.:42:14.

perhaps the PHSO is on the side of organisations rather than

:42:15.:42:19.

individuals. I have no way, really, of telling whether that's realistic.

:42:20.:42:24.

But it's important for Dame Julie's successor to understand those

:42:25.:42:29.

criticisms. I hope you seek to work closely with organisations like the

:42:30.:42:32.

patients' association in the years ahead. It is also reasonable to

:42:33.:42:40.

point out failings such as the Morecambe Bay catastrophe, which the

:42:41.:42:44.

ombudsman didn't handle terribly well in my view and the view of many

:42:45.:42:48.

of those who take an interest in these matters.

:42:49.:43:01.

I hope that he will repeat the process as predators are undertaken

:43:02.:43:07.

2012 to ensure that the office he holds is maximising its

:43:08.:43:10.

effectiveness, I think that is a worthwhile thing to undertake and

:43:11.:43:14.

that people consider it carefully. I hope also that ministers may perhaps

:43:15.:43:19.

consider the suggestion made by Sir Bruce Keogh that petitioners might

:43:20.:43:27.

complain to the Care Quality Commission as an intermediary stage

:43:28.:43:29.

and thus perhaps relieve some of the burden that falls on the PHS all

:43:30.:43:34.

that has been responsible over the years for some of the backlog in

:43:35.:43:41.

cases that the office has recognised to be a major block in the work that

:43:42.:43:45.

it does and the responsiveness that it is able to offer people that

:43:46.:43:51.

complain to it. In conclusion Mr Speaker, Mr Deputy Speaker, I would

:43:52.:43:55.

like to commend Dame Julie for her work over the past four years and to

:43:56.:43:59.

congratulate her particularly for doing more as she has found her

:44:00.:44:10.

resources have been curbed. Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. We would like

:44:11.:44:14.

to commend the recruitment process that has led to the appointment, I

:44:15.:44:21.

always think that the best way to measure how effective any process is

:44:22.:44:26.

is by looking at the outcome in any reasonable person looking at the

:44:27.:44:31.

track record would recognise that a tribute has to be paid to all of

:44:32.:44:34.

those who were involved in this process. When we look at his track

:44:35.:44:40.

record, his international work that has already been mentioned in South

:44:41.:44:45.

Africa or in Europe, when you look at the range of areas he has worked

:44:46.:44:50.

in from higher education through to the law, and if we would not only at

:44:51.:44:54.

the way in which he has discharged his roles, but also in so many, the

:44:55.:44:59.

way in which he has conducted studies and produced reports that

:45:00.:45:04.

have been meaningful and influential, I think we can all wish

:45:05.:45:07.

him well for the future with great confidence. The question is as on

:45:08.:45:16.

the order paper, as many of that opinion say aye. To the contrary,

:45:17.:45:21.

no. The ayes have it, the ayes have it. We now come to motion seven.

:45:22.:45:25.

Standing orders planning national policy statements. Thank you for

:45:26.:45:32.

that. The question is on the order paper as many of that opinion say

:45:33.:45:37.

aye, to the contrary, no. The ayes have it. I beg to move this house do

:45:38.:45:43.

now adjourn. The question is does this house now adjourn? It is a

:45:44.:45:48.

pleasure getting on at 6:33pm I remember a number of years ago

:45:49.:45:53.

getting the adjournment and expecting to come on at seven

:45:54.:45:57.

o'clock and I seem to recall I got on at quarter past 11. Those were

:45:58.:46:05.

the days when we had those European documents for any errors saw I very

:46:06.:46:08.

pleased that we don't... Hopefully not tonight anyway. Can I begin by

:46:09.:46:17.

declaring an interest as co-chair of the group one stem cells, I'm very

:46:18.:46:19.

pleased to see Michael Jyrki Honourable member for Southgate in

:46:20.:46:25.

the chamber today and I'm sure he will have some comments later. Can I

:46:26.:46:31.

also put on record that my son received a life-saving stem cell

:46:32.:46:36.

transplant a number of years ago? A stem cell transplant offers a last

:46:37.:46:41.

chance of life to people with a blood cancer or a blood disorder. It

:46:42.:46:46.

works because stem cells have an incredible ability to replace

:46:47.:46:50.

damaged blood cells and it is a remarkable treatment and I think it

:46:51.:46:54.

has great potential wing forward in our health care process. There are

:46:55.:46:59.

different types of stem cell transplants, having some of your

:47:00.:47:06.

order from a donor or related or otherwise and tonight and want to

:47:07.:47:08.

talk about stem cell transplants from donors. Around two dozen people

:47:09.:47:16.

in the UK will meet one every year. Two thirds of these people will not

:47:17.:47:19.

find a matching donor in the families so they require an

:47:20.:47:23.

unrelated donor and I want is arguably paying tribute to Anthony

:47:24.:47:27.

Nolan to provide patients with matching donors from the stem cell

:47:28.:47:31.

donor register. As well as sourcing those transplants, supporting them

:47:32.:47:36.

and their families, I think it is very important, and their families,

:47:37.:47:40.

through the transplants journey and advocating for their behalf. Last

:47:41.:47:45.

year and Nolan to help find a match for over 1200 people with a blood

:47:46.:47:49.

cancer or a blood disorder. I know the house will join me in thanking

:47:50.:47:53.

the selfless stem cell donors who have made this possible at all of

:47:54.:47:58.

those who have joined the stem cell donor register who made only in the

:47:59.:48:03.

future and there are more than 600,000 of those. But sadly it is

:48:04.:48:09.

true that one in eight people will not receive a life-saving

:48:10.:48:14.

transplant, because they're either is not a donor available or a donor

:48:15.:48:23.

cannot be found quickly enough. The odds dramatically from -- for

:48:24.:48:26.

patience from a black Asian ethnic minority background, Anthony Nolan

:48:27.:48:32.

are therefore working very hard to build on and diversify the stem cell

:48:33.:48:36.

donor register to ensure they are able to provide the best match. A

:48:37.:48:40.

lot of work has gone on, it is much better than it was of usable but it

:48:41.:48:44.

is still shopping that if you are from that background the chance of

:48:45.:48:48.

finding a donor is so much less than if you are white. I hope that the

:48:49.:48:53.

minister, I'm sure the Minister will show her support for that. Despite

:48:54.:48:58.

the fact that stem cell transplants are well-established treatment, the

:48:59.:49:02.

huge financial pressures on the NHS causing real problems for patients.

:49:03.:49:08.

I think the most serious of these is those who are in need of a second

:49:09.:49:12.

stem cell transplant. Because sometimes after having a first

:49:13.:49:16.

transplant a patient was my blood cancer blood disorder will come back

:49:17.:49:21.

or relapse. This is devastating news in itself and for about 20 patients

:49:22.:49:28.

every year there will be a recommendation from the doctor or

:49:29.:49:35.

clinician of a second cell transplant is the best and often

:49:36.:49:38.

only chance of life. I think it is worth emphasising that this is not

:49:39.:49:45.

some unknown experimental treatment that people are just taking a punt

:49:46.:49:49.

on, I mean we know that one in three patients receiving a second stem

:49:50.:49:55.

cell transplant will reach the milestone of a five-year survival.

:49:56.:50:00.

We know that for children the results are even better, seven in

:50:01.:50:07.

ten. We know that the medical profession recommend the treatment.

:50:08.:50:11.

We also know that it is routinely and this is the key, routinely

:50:12.:50:16.

available in other parts of the UK as well as countries right across

:50:17.:50:21.

Europe and America. We know that it used to be available in England

:50:22.:50:25.

before 2013 and that there are many people who are alive today leading

:50:26.:50:31.

active lives with their families because they have received a second

:50:32.:50:35.

stem cell transplant. Of course I will give way. I thank him for

:50:36.:50:42.

raising this important issue, I have looked after patients during my time

:50:43.:50:45.

as a nurse who have had the stem cell transplant and talking to

:50:46.:50:49.

haematology colleagues they agree with the honourable Jed Allan's

:50:50.:50:53.

statement that between 20-40% of patients have a second stem cell

:50:54.:50:57.

cars can be cured and this is indeed a treatment offered in many parts of

:50:58.:51:00.

you in the US and it is shameful that it is not being offered in the

:51:01.:51:06.

UK. I would totally agree with her, and I will go on to say that it is

:51:07.:51:09.

obviously a very small number of people but for them it is the only

:51:10.:51:16.

chance if they have a B lacks. Despite all this in December 2016

:51:17.:51:20.

NHS England confirmed that they would not routinely fund stem cell

:51:21.:51:28.

transplants. And they really decided that that person's life was not

:51:29.:51:36.

worth the money. One of these people is Sasha Jones, a 34-year-old mother

:51:37.:51:42.

of two from Greenwich. In March 2015 she was given the devastating news

:51:43.:51:48.

that she had AML. It is a type of blood cancer. Over the next few

:51:49.:51:51.

months she had rounds of chemotherapy at first stem cell

:51:52.:51:57.

transplant. It was not without difficulties but by the beginning of

:51:58.:52:00.

October 2015 she was well enough to go home to her husband and their two

:52:01.:52:04.

young children who are aged just 13 and eight at the time. However, in

:52:05.:52:11.

August 2016 she was told that the blood cancer has come back and buy

:52:12.:52:17.

this in NHS England had decided it was not going to routinely give

:52:18.:52:24.

second transplants for patients in her situation despite it being

:52:25.:52:29.

recommended by the doctors. They tried to get a second transplant by

:52:30.:52:33.

going through the individual funding request route which is something I

:52:34.:52:37.

will go on to talk about later, which allowed NHS England to fund

:52:38.:52:40.

treatment for patients on an individual basis if they are deemed

:52:41.:52:47.

to be an exceptional case. But Mr deputies speaker what is an

:52:48.:52:51.

exceptional case? How will you decide that? And importantly how

:52:52.:52:54.

long does it take to be considered that you are or are not an

:52:55.:52:59.

exceptional case. This has to be done at a time when the family and

:53:00.:53:05.

the patient have to deal with devastating news that what they

:53:06.:53:10.

thought was potentially a cure has come back, and they have to cope

:53:11.:53:14.

with all of that and yet they have to go through this process. For

:53:15.:53:23.

Sasha that request was turned down. She has effectively been left with

:53:24.:53:27.

no alternative for treatment. She now has two choices. Find the money

:53:28.:53:34.

to pay for a second transplant herself, or accept that she may only

:53:35.:53:39.

have months to live. Accept that her two young children can grow up

:53:40.:53:45.

without the mother. It is fair to say that Sasha and her friends and

:53:46.:53:49.

family are desperate, the petition they started for the reversal of NHS

:53:50.:53:54.

England's decision not to fund second cell transplants now has more

:53:55.:53:59.

than 165,000 signatures. There is a fund that has been set-up to try and

:54:00.:54:04.

the money for Sasha, to pay for her second transplant, and this

:54:05.:54:07.

currently stands at ?90,000 but it is still not enough and it is still

:54:08.:54:11.

short of the sum of money that is needed. Can you imagine the enormous

:54:12.:54:15.

pressure that is an Sasha and her family at this time? In the Sasha 's

:54:16.:54:20.

own words she said she has been condemned to death. In having been

:54:21.:54:26.

denied access to second stem so transplant it has been decided that

:54:27.:54:29.

I am not worthy of a second chance at life. My children do not need a

:54:30.:54:34.

mother, my husband Wilbur, a widower. It is a scandal that

:54:35.:54:39.

someone might Sasha will find herself in the situation. Denying

:54:40.:54:43.

the life-saving treatment that other patients have had in the past

:54:44.:54:50.

because the treatment is neither now apparently affordable or

:54:51.:54:57.

justifiable. I will give way. I thank the Honourable gentleman and

:54:58.:55:00.

apologies for not being here and starting. The Honourable gentleman

:55:01.:55:07.

has outlined very clearly why there is NHS support from a second

:55:08.:55:10.

transplant. The C of E with the Anthony Nolan Trust and analysis

:55:11.:55:15.

that shows is the cost of caring for someone who is using a transponder

:55:16.:55:19.

somewhere upwards of ?130,000 would be transplant would only cost

:55:20.:55:22.

hundred and ?20,000 at potentially save a life and devastation to a

:55:23.:55:27.

family. There is a financial as well as moral incentive here. Does he

:55:28.:55:31.

agree with that? I do and I think it is how we look at the cost of

:55:32.:55:36.

treatment. I fully accept that the cost of the transplant is a lot of

:55:37.:55:41.

money in the initial upfront cost, if it works in the actual cost

:55:42.:55:48.

longer term is not great. Whereas we seem willing and able to fund drug

:55:49.:55:52.

for people that may well not cure them and may not extend their lives

:55:53.:55:56.

very much, but because if we add them myelopathy may well cost more

:55:57.:56:00.

than that some but we feel able to do that -- able to do that in the

:56:01.:56:06.

situation. We are seeing we will not find that and I do not think that is

:56:07.:56:11.

right. I don't think Sasha is a unique case and there will be many

:56:12.:56:14.

more like her in the future if we do not change where we are on this.

:56:15.:56:20.

Will the Minister please respond directly to this case and other

:56:21.:56:25.

people that find themselves in this situation? And there will be other

:56:26.:56:28.

people in the years and months to come and I think the voices need to

:56:29.:56:36.

be heard. I will give way. I thank my honourable friend forgiving way.

:56:37.:56:41.

To declare an interest, my husband had a stem cell transplant

:56:42.:56:48.

successful in 2014. For patients with blood cancer, would he agree

:56:49.:56:53.

that the fear of relapse is something which causes a huge amount

:56:54.:56:57.

of anxiety and patients speak of a common feeling of dread when they go

:56:58.:57:00.

to college routine blood results and I commiserate with that. Following

:57:01.:57:03.

the NHS England decision that thousands of patients who received

:57:04.:57:07.

the first stem cell transplant will now have that added fear that if the

:57:08.:57:12.

worst happens and they do relapse in the HS will not provide them with

:57:13.:57:14.

the treatment which would save their lives. I hope my honourable friend

:57:15.:57:20.

will add knowledge and also the Minister that this decision affects

:57:21.:57:23.

not only the 20 desperately ill patients per year a needy second

:57:24.:57:28.

transplants to survive but also the many thousands who live in fear of

:57:29.:57:29.

relapse everyday. I agree with her and would say from

:57:30.:57:39.

personal experience, yes, that is always a fear. Every time you go for

:57:40.:57:45.

a check up, blood, there is in the back of your mind, let's hope

:57:46.:57:49.

everything is OK. It is a very rocky road. I'm sure the whole House will

:57:50.:57:57.

wish Sasha well as she carried on her journey. I would like to pay

:57:58.:58:03.

tribute to the member for Erith and Thames Meade who has been working

:58:04.:58:09.

tirelessly to support Sasha and her family in this incredibly difficult

:58:10.:58:16.

time for them. The Department of Health must accept responsibility in

:58:17.:58:19.

this case and others. Over the past weeks we've been told about the

:58:20.:58:25.

enormous pressure the NHS is under, the winter crisis, hospitals on

:58:26.:58:30.

black alert across the country. Weigh waiting times missed cancer

:58:31.:58:36.

patients having operations can said. Treatments like second cell

:58:37.:58:41.

transplants are being rationed. I accept the NHS is under-funded.

:58:42.:58:45.

Perhaps it always will be under-funded. It can always spend

:58:46.:58:50.

more money. I accept that. I think we are getting to a crisis

:58:51.:58:54.

situation. I think we really need to start and be honest and address

:58:55.:59:02.

# Use issues such as social care. Until we address these and be

:59:03.:59:06.

honest, we'll not sort out of funding situation for the NHS. I

:59:07.:59:10.

don't want to make political points here. I just really want to say we

:59:11.:59:16.

do need to stand up for patients like Sasha whose lives, it really is

:59:17.:59:24.

their lives, are at risk. When NHS England originally announced their

:59:25.:59:29.

decision not to fund second stem cell transplants in July 2016 it

:59:30.:59:34.

caused outrage amongst patients and their families. Over 6,500 people

:59:35.:59:39.

wrote to their MPs and 18,000 people signed a letter to the Secretary of

:59:40.:59:42.

State for Health in a bid to get that decision changed. In addition,

:59:43.:59:47.

30 leading clinicians wrote to the editor of the Times saying that the

:59:48.:59:54.

NHS is ignoring the advice of the clinical community therefore

:59:55.:59:57.

effectively handing most of these patients a death sentence. They were

:59:58.:00:04.

all ignored. As we know, NHS England confirmed that decision in December

:00:05.:00:09.

2016. On a positive note, the good news is that there is a chance for

:00:10.:00:15.

them to get and make things right. NHS England will look again at the

:00:16.:00:23.

policies it funds in the spring. I'd therefore urge the minister and her

:00:24.:00:28.

department to intervene to ensure every patient who needs a second

:00:29.:00:32.

transplant can get access to one. As I said at the beginning, we are not

:00:33.:00:37.

talking huge numbers here. But for those small number of people that

:00:38.:00:41.

are affected, it is their only chance. I don't wish to pre-'em the

:00:42.:00:47.

minister's remarks, but I suspect she may highlight that this is a

:00:48.:00:55.

decision taken by NHS England and not the Government but the

:00:56.:00:59.

Department of Health ultimately has the responsibility for the treatment

:01:00.:01:06.

the patient receives. In the case of second stem cell transplant access

:01:07.:01:10.

to that treatment has been denied. I want to make three very important

:01:11.:01:15.

points. Firstly, as I've already explained, second cell transplants

:01:16.:01:20.

are supported by the evidence. It is standard practice in many countries

:01:21.:01:25.

which the NHS England seems to have completely ignored. They've also

:01:26.:01:30.

ignored the potential to offset a lot of the cost of the second cell

:01:31.:01:35.

transplant, as my honourable friend here has pointed out, when you look

:01:36.:01:39.

at the cost of alternative treatments. In their own impact

:01:40.:01:48.

assessment, they accept, acknowledge for patients who have alternative

:01:49.:01:53.

treatments, the mortality in these cases was extremely high. While the

:01:54.:01:59.

costs of alternative treatments are difficult to quantify and vary

:02:00.:02:06.

between patients there is considerable scope to offset some of

:02:07.:02:10.

those costs if you look it cost over the entire patient's life. A patient

:02:11.:02:15.

who has a successful transplant is far more likely to return or join

:02:16.:02:20.

the workforce and and actually pay back some of those costst that they

:02:21.:02:27.

have or their transplant ease cost. We don't seem to factor that in

:02:28.:02:33.

either. NHS England has not been remotely transparent in their

:02:34.:02:38.

decision making. All they have said is second stem cell transplants are

:02:39.:02:42.

not currently affordable and not routinely commissioned at this time.

:02:43.:02:48.

But this tells us really nothing how NHS England arrived at this

:02:49.:02:53.

decision. Neither the minutes of the clinical priorities advisory group

:02:54.:02:57.

nor the minutes of specialised services commissioning committee are

:02:58.:03:01.

publicly available. The Government agreed with the public expects

:03:02.:03:07.

committee which said when NHS England's decision making in

:03:08.:03:11.

relation to specialist services needs to be more transparent. Can

:03:12.:03:16.

the minutes of these two groups be published on the NHS England's

:03:17.:03:22.

website in future? Thirdly, the way NHS England's decision is commune

:03:23.:03:26.

Kated to patients has quite frankly been shocking. It consists of a

:03:27.:03:31.

single bull let point added to the bottom of a press release under

:03:32.:03:36.

further information. Does the minister agree this is unacceptable

:03:37.:03:41.

and far more needs to be done to ensure these decisions that could

:03:42.:03:45.

cost a patient their lives are shared in a sensitive and caring

:03:46.:03:49.

manner and not just added as some sort of footnote. I asked the

:03:50.:03:58.

minister the most important question, does she accept her

:03:59.:04:02.

department must do more to hold NHS England to account? Will she agree

:04:03.:04:08.

to take steps to ensure every patient has the access to a second

:04:09.:04:12.

stem cell transplant if they need it? In her remarks, I also suspect

:04:13.:04:19.

the minister may say that despite NHS England's decision not to

:04:20.:04:24.

routinely commission second stem cell transplants, patients will be

:04:25.:04:29.

able to access this potentially life saving treatment they need through

:04:30.:04:32.

the individual funding request route. However, patients and their

:04:33.:04:38.

doctors know in reality the chances of success through this route are

:04:39.:04:43.

very slim indeed. In November 2016, the all Parliamentary group on stem

:04:44.:04:48.

cell transplantation had the pleasure to meet Emma Payne. Emma

:04:49.:04:53.

was diagnosed with a blood disorder called severe A plastic anaemia in

:04:54.:05:00.

2005. After her first transplant, Emma relapsed and, like Sasha,

:05:01.:05:03.

doctors recommended a second stem cell transplant. They tried to get

:05:04.:05:07.

this via the individual funding request route and to do this, she

:05:08.:05:11.

had to prove she was an exceptional case. Emma was left waiting in the

:05:12.:05:18.

dark for four months and her doctors had to fight her corner. During this

:05:19.:05:23.

time, she was very unwell with infections and her consultant

:05:24.:05:27.

decided to gamble and start the chemotherapy in preparation for the

:05:28.:05:31.

second stem cell transplant early fearing she would die if they didn't

:05:32.:05:36.

start at that time. Although Emma eventually found out from her doctor

:05:37.:05:41.

the very good news that she was successful in this case, she did not

:05:42.:05:48.

receive her second stem cell transplant until January 2016, some

:05:49.:05:55.

six months after she relapsed. Emma said, I always assumed that if there

:05:56.:06:00.

was one treatment that could save my life, I would be offered it without

:06:01.:06:05.

question. And the biggest barrier to having my second stem cell

:06:06.:06:10.

transplant would be to find another donor not having to fight the NHS to

:06:11.:06:17.

get it funded, I thought. I am a 28-year-old woman and a panel of

:06:18.:06:21.

people will decide whether I get to live or die. Will the minister agree

:06:22.:06:28.

the individual funding request route is never really going to be

:06:29.:06:33.

successful for all patients who need a second stem cell transplant? And

:06:34.:06:40.

even for those that are successful, it's an incredibly tourious route to

:06:41.:06:43.

go through. Can I close by urging the minister, the whole House, to

:06:44.:06:47.

remember the patients caught up in all of this. Not just those who are

:06:48.:06:54.

waiting for a second stem cell transplant today, but the countless

:06:55.:06:58.

individuals who will be left without the chance of a second stem cell

:06:59.:07:05.

transplant in the future. Left without the last hope of a cure. I

:07:06.:07:09.

hope the minister, I'm sure she will not wash her hands of the problem

:07:10.:07:15.

and instead fully accept her department has to really play the

:07:16.:07:20.

key role in this to ensure that action is taken to ensure every

:07:21.:07:25.

patient that needs a second stem cell transplant can access it? The

:07:26.:07:29.

lives of people like Sasha and Emma depend on it. Thank you. A pleasure

:07:30.:07:42.

to take part in this debate. Honourable members on both side who

:07:43.:07:47.

share a deep concern about the great life savings value we've spoken

:07:48.:07:51.

about for a number of years in relation to stem cells and stem cell

:07:52.:07:56.

transplantation. Ten years ago I had little or no knowledge about the

:07:57.:08:00.

life saving treatment available through stem cell transplantation.

:08:01.:08:06.

Now after a Private Members Bill and years of co-chairing the AGCB and

:08:07.:08:12.

meeting individuals and families themselves affected by blood cancers

:08:13.:08:18.

and disorders and knowing that stem cell transplantation saves lives, it

:08:19.:08:24.

is important that we make the case for, particularly in relation to

:08:25.:08:28.

those facing an awful prospect of not seeing a second transplant being

:08:29.:08:33.

able to save their lives. But we are saying this. But the Government

:08:34.:08:38.

knows this. The Government knows the great value of stem cell

:08:39.:08:42.

transplantation not least because it's put the money where all or

:08:43.:08:46.

mouths have been over a number of years. Firstly in the source of this

:08:47.:08:52.

transplantation in relation to core blood stem cells. Since 2010, some

:08:53.:09:00.

?20 million of taxpayers' money has been invested quite rightly in

:09:01.:09:05.

improving the provision of tell cells, including umbilical core

:09:06.:09:11.

blood. The last debate we had in relation to this issue was on 15th

:09:12.:09:21.

accept in 2015 when my honourable friend from Mid Norfolk responded to

:09:22.:09:27.

a debate from similar to one of the honourable members today, a debate

:09:28.:09:31.

about the national stem cell transplantation trials network.

:09:32.:09:36.

These were his words. Stem cell transplantation is a life saving

:09:37.:09:40.

treatment that plays a key role in the treatment of leukaemia and some

:09:41.:09:45.

other diseases. That is the basis of our plea to the minister and NHS

:09:46.:09:50.

England today. That what we all have come to know over the years and

:09:51.:09:56.

indeed, the very real life examples here and family members here today,

:09:57.:10:02.

that we recognise and have been urging and am very pleased to see

:10:03.:10:07.

the Government very much investing in core blood collections, in

:10:08.:10:12.

wanting to ensure and join with us the ambition of a national stem cell

:10:13.:10:18.

transplantation trial network. The minister then was talking about how

:10:19.:10:25.

there had been work we've recognised today of the Anthony Nolan and NHS

:10:26.:10:32.

Blood and Transplant, great partnership working, talking about

:10:33.:10:37.

how the Government's worked very hard in supporting, directly funding

:10:38.:10:44.

a unified registry. How there's the trials acceleration programme

:10:45.:10:48.

providing additional qualitiry rewe have been which helps provide the

:10:49.:10:54.

outcome -- reseven which helps provide the outcome. There's been

:10:55.:10:59.

four new blood and transplant units in 2015. There's been the

:11:00.:11:05.

recognition about the shortage in relation particularly to black,

:11:06.:11:09.

Asian and minority ethnic groups. How, because of the targeted

:11:10.:11:13.

recruitment, there's been an improvement in their life chances,

:11:14.:11:19.

so going up from 40% to 60% and how the residue now of core blood banks

:11:20.:11:26.

of what was some 12,000 back in 2015 has enabled there to be much greater

:11:27.:11:32.

opportunities of providing quicker and easier transplantation. That is

:11:33.:11:37.

what it is all about. That context is important when we're looking at

:11:38.:11:41.

this particular focus of this particular debate, which is about

:11:42.:11:46.

the prospects of those needing a second transplant. We are talking

:11:47.:11:50.

about a small number of those who have relapsed. Some 1-20 per year.

:11:51.:11:56.

It is their doctors' recommending this is the clinical...

:11:57.:11:58.

THE SPEAKER: Order! Order.

:11:59.:12:03.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including consideration of amendments made in the House of Lords to the Wales Bill and a motion on the Charter for Budget Responsibility.