13/03/2017 House of Commons

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Live coverage of Monday's proceedings in the House of Commons, including the continuation of the debate on the Spring Budget 2017.

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Ensuring excellence in education as a teacher. We have already seen in


the terms and conditions of teachers in England under a Tory government.


Can they agreed that conditions such as maternity and sick pay will be


guaranteed? At least Scotland has a possibility of a new and brighter


future. This year's budget coincided with International Women's Day, with


this year's been being women in the changing world of work but after


nearly 100 years since women were granted the right to vote in the UK


there is still much to do in order to achieve gender equality here and


around the world. The last Labour government achieved so much for


women. We introduced the minimum wage, created tax credits, increased


maternity and paternity leave and pay, pension credits, expanding


childcare and Equality Act, all of which have made a massive difference


to women in this country. We know that gender equality means


delivering long-term, tangible change for women, including securing


women's economic freedom, supplying secure work and promoting women's


access to innovative technologies. This budget could have taken greater


steps to achieve these aims. Instead the Cory government in its seventh


year has failed to -- the Tory government in its seventh year has


failed. From cuts to tax credits to the crisis in social care, it is


women who have been consistently hit hardest by the policies of the


Tories. Because yet again this government have made no assessment


to show how their policies impact upon women in the UK. As of the 2017


spring budget, ?80 billion, over three quarters of all savings, have


come from women, with a disproportionate impact on women


from black and ethnic minorities and even the ?5 million for returning to


work mums works out at a pretty useless ?10 per month, what will


that buy? That is why I support the shadow secretary of state for women


and equality's recent announcement to bring forward the equality Bill


which will eliminate obstacles that present women from reaching their


economic potential and part of this will be providing more secure work


full stop those working without guaranteed hours are shut up I --


has shot up. I ask how is a working mother supposed to plan childcare


when they don't know the hours they will be working. Never mind the that


under this government only one third of local authorities believe there


will be enough childcare for families who are eligible. Women


still make up the majority of part-time and non-permanent


full-time and zero hours contracts. Of the 900,000 workers, nearly 1


million on zero hours contracts, 55% of those, are women. In almost any


labour market in the world social care work is performed by an integer


will and largely female workforce. In the UK care sector companies


providing social care for cash-strapped councils in a bid to


remain viable are offering more zero hours contracts and ever, which


means even less protection for these workers. Equality must take a higher


priority than is currently being afforded under this government and


one way to do this would be to provide a clear commitment from the


government to play a much more active role in promoting women's


access to innovative technologies, to help women to become successful


entrepreneurs and leaders in innovation by courage and women to


enter and thrive in the tech industry and at all levels to create


conditions this terrible change and encouraging women to enter typically


male dominated sectors. -- to create conditions that promote change.


Government used to talk about this but though they have gone


suspiciously quiet. We should also do much more than they innovate UK


initiative which seeks to invest 2000 as group 200000 pounds to help


women be leaders in innovation. One initiative offers the 12 men and the


women support of which only a few will receive a package of ?50,000.


That is not a ringing endorsement of That is not a ringing endorsement of


women from this government. This was supposed to be a new start with a


new Chancellor and yet we have ended up with the same shambles and same


post Budget followers. Yet again Scotland did not feature. It is


mentioned twice. Once to increase productivity and once on Bernard


consequential. The way this Budget process works, at no time as a UK


Government ever asked the Goddess government what they need is going


forward. All that happens is there is panic health, education


allegations in the budget and we are meant to be eternally grateful. That


is not a good Budget setting. As my honourable friend said, the tax


system is updated. Why should risk be tasked at 79%. White and not we


tax real goods and increased taxes on the wealthy there. If the concern


is alcohol harm why doesn't the Government look at minimum unit


pricing instead of crippling the Scottish whiskey industry? The


Chancellor may mention clamping down on tax avoidance but there is only


two additional new income streams in the budget and they are projected to


bring in ?200 million over five years with the paltry amount


compared to budget. Meanwhile tax credit and collection is projected


to bring in half ?1 billion in just over four years so we have to ask


ourselves is the Government clamping down on tax avoidance or is it


clamping down on hard-working families that go into tax credit


debt due to failures in the tax credit system goes back it is


another Concentrix waiting to happen. Also the Chancellor told us


he was to leave some gas in the tank yet he has that does with all the


tax giveaways and the slowing down under. ?22.5 billion in giveaways to


corporation tax. Inheritance tax relief 2.8 billion. By the time I


said tax, 3.7 billion. ?30 billion in tax giveaways in just a few lines


and at the very same Chancellor sees fit to take ?2 billion of National


Insurance contributions of the simple point. It is the


self-employed that are struggling, don't get holidays and many are


forced to go self-employed because of the Tory austerity measures.


These are held as the new entrepreneurs that are going to take


the country of the procession and yet they are getting hammered by


National Insurance got abused. Meanwhile the other hard-working


people ?1 billion be recouped from salary sacrifice schemes. ?1 billion


from the realignment in high rate second-rate National Insurance got


abused. ?1.7 billion from changes to termination payments when more


people are going to have to take voluntary redundancy before the ?4


billion from insurance premiums. That is ?10 billion coming from


those who are just about managing, those struggling. Then ?6 billion to


come from two child policies for tax credits. Not mentioned in this


Budget was 2016 measures which already kicked in. ?30 billion of


cuts have come because of benefits freeze and the welfare club. We have


already heard there is nothing in it for women, because the proportion of


the ?8 billion compared to tax giveaways is easily affordable. It


is quite clear that it is an open the back of those struggling.


Nothing for the Oil Gas UK nothing in renewables, investment will fall


by 95% by 2020 and one in six jobs at risk. Nothing on the


harmonisation in transport, nothing on Brexit, nothing for the farmers


in Scotland. This is a port Budget and it does a Brexit shambles. The


Chancellor made a number of errors in his Budget. Somehow he managed in


one of the thinnest read books for years, Abe Budget of so little


detail, so little in terms of action, the practical unite his


backbenchers with the opposition and the press to call for a U-turn on


his central announcement on National Insurance got regions within hours.


I will be slightly kinder to the Chancellor Dundee for a Prime


Minister was. I know what he was trying to do full stop I can


understand it. There is a growing and worrying trend of copies


outsourcing employees as self-employed contractors to save on


employer NICs costs. Self-employed is a good choice for so many workers


in the UK. But when the workers do not have the choice and it is the


employer that is driving the change, it tends not to be in the best


interests of the work. But raising employee NICs to tackle the problem


is not the way to solve it so I suspect the Chancellor may well have


to go back to one of his intimate spreadsheets soon. But his biggest


errors are people up and down our errors of omission and I'd planned


to talk about three of them, they squeezed family budgets. Nothing


from the Chancellor on ESA rag, in November I brought a motion to his


member was supported by MPs from nine parties in this House. It is


not often that this happen. It called on the UK Government to


support the allowance until the work and health green paper could be


existed. People receive DSA WRAG because they had been cited as unfit


for work. It slows their power to implement. It has always been


considered right that given the increased cost of finding work due


to the disability and health problems and the fact they need the


support for longer than those on jobseeker's allowance do they should


receive a higher weekly payment. On the 1st of April but extra ?30 a


week will be cut away. During that debate in November the honourable


member for Enfield Southgate is a very important in the Minister, that


financial mitigation and new regulations to help those falling in


and out of work would both be in place before the cut came in. We are


less than three weeks from DSA WRAG being cut and we have heard nothing


from the Government. The motion and debate I brought in November was the


three consents, a last ditch to the Government act. Honourable members


of all sides of the House are fast losing patient. Time is running out


and the Government needs to act now. There was nothing on Waspy, on


budget day I joined a huge rally to the Chancellor to act on the


injustice of thousands of women born in the nations of these and who had


seen the state pension increase at a faster rate than promised with


little or no warning. Three of the three and a half thousand women


affected were there and it was a pleasure to speak to Eileen, John


and Margaret. It is not sustainable for the UK Government to keep trying


to ignore these women, who have suffered workplace injustice. They


should do the right thing by these women and give them a proper


transitional relief. All of the women affected by these errors of


omission were a victim of this Brexit Budget is the Chancellor set


aside ?26 billion as a down payment for exiting the EU. And yet


ironically there was barely a passing mention to the greatest


economic, social and constitutional challenge facing this or any other


government for decades. Inflation is expected to rise further squeezing


households who are facing Social Security cuts and painfully slow


wage growth. Cuts to support for sick and disabled people, cuts to


women pensions, hundreds of thousands more are in child poverty,


slow wage growth and poor productivity. But so much


spreadsheet filled as the Dickensian Chancellor. Thank you for the


opportunity to contribute to this bait on the budget but the magpies


in the world. I want to speak about the budget proposals for education


and the risks they present for our children, in the con sexed up Brexit


and changes they will face an uncertain future. -- context of


Brexit. We need the best possible outcome per all our children and


young people to provide them with the skills and confidence to


navigate our uncertain route -- world. I am proud of the skills in


my constituency and everything they deliver for local children. The


transformation of the quality of education in London was one of the


powerless achievements of the last Labour government. In my


constituency alone we sought new secondary schools and this record of


is continued after the new secondary school that opened last year as a


result of strong campaigns by parents and local councillors.


Everyday teachers in our local schools are delivering brilliant


imaginative lessons helping our children to be the best that they


can beat and achieving excellent results. And yet, Mr Speaker, the


resources that the schools in Dulwich and West Norwood need to


continue their excellent work are under threat. The Government has


broken its manifesto commitment to protect per-pupil funding for our


schools, the national office of National Audit Office confirms that


the Government overall school budget is protected in real terms but does


not provide for funding per pupil to increase in line with inflation. In


addition the Government has loaded additional significant costs on to


other schools which are not funded through National Insurance


contributions, the National Minimum Wage and the apprenticeships levied.


Each of these costs, important in their own right, but it is entirely


unfair of the Government to impose them without also them. Schools in


my constituency are already reducing staffing numbers to cope with these


additional costs. And on top of these burdens the Government is


proposing to cut the funding for a London schools in order to deliver a


fair funding formula for schools across the country. I support the


objective of their funding for our schools, but there is nothing fair


about taking vital funds away from some schools. Mr Speaker, this will


have a direct impact on the quality of education or schools are able to


provide and it will affect the competitiveness of the UK economy.


The budget does nothing to address this. Instead of committing to


increase the education budget by just 1% to ensure that all schools


can access their funding without any school losing out, it commits


funding to open new grammar schools, which by any measure a definition


can deliver only for a small number of children. Mr Speaker, as we


contemplate the future of the United Kingdom outside the European Union


in a rapidly changing global economy, it is not a time from


nostalgia to be the defining force in education policy. It is a time to


be learning from the success story of London schools, investing in our


education system to ensure that it is that of purpose to equip our


children with the knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in a


challenging and uncertain world. The Foreign Secretary would mean trivial


lies the challenge of global trade with boomerangs and Toblerone, I am


concerned that our schools can equip all our children with the values of


tolerance, diversity and internationalism and with the skills


and qualifications to provide careers in science and technology,


culture and the arts, green industries, Health and Social Care


Board, construction and many other fields, by cutting the funding for


our schools this government and the budget is failing them. Since the


Budget statement last week this government has been heckled by


headteachers, nobbled by National Insurance and slated by the


self-employed as it blatantly breaks manifesto promises. The Chancellor


appeared to have spent far too much time polishing his stand-up routine


and far too little on the finer details of what his party promised


in the 2015 manifesto. And the fact that the Prime Minister has now been


forced to announce that the increase in National Insurance contributions


for the self-employed will be pushed back to the autumn shows a


government in disarray and does nothing to give security and


certainty to working people. The Federation of Small Businesses are


scathing about the National Insurance rise and say it should be


seen for what it is, a ?1 billion tax hike on those who set themselves


up in business. The Chancellor claims that the economy grew more


than expected last year but this does not mean that everyone is


better off. Indeed the growth in the economy is on the back of a rise in


employment coupled with a shift towards lower paid jobs. With this


growth largely driven by rises in self-employment and part-time jobs.


And in fact, whilst in most other countries including France and


Germany of the economy and wages have grown, the UK is the only big


advanced economy in which wages contracted whilst the economy


expanded. And for the one in five public sector workers in the UK


whose average pay is now more than ?1000 lower in real terms than in


2010, the Chancellor's boast of growth in the economy is cold


comfort to those who are not just about managing but actually really


struggling to cope with a constant fall in living standards. And the


statement was remarkable more for what it didn't say rather than what


it did. Earlier mention of Brexit, nothing for Waspy woman and no


mention at all of the previous Chancellor's failure to deliver a


promised surplus by 2020. The right honourable member per patent now


seems to be devoting himself to creating his own personal surplus


having failed to deliver on his promises for the UK economy.


Subtitles will resume at 2300 on Monday in Parliament.


Live coverage of Monday's proceedings in the House of Commons, including the continuation of the debate on the Spring Budget 2017 and the adjournment debate on the impact of Brexit on poultry producers.