13/03/2018 House of Commons


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13/03/2018

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including a debate on motions covering changes to free school meals and free childcare for two-year-olds.


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something which is hugely beneficial

to them and save them a lot of time

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and a lot of angst in their dealings

with HMRC.

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Sends 2010 the minimum wage has gone

from £5 93 to £7 83 per hour, an

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increase of 32%. At the same time,

the take-home pay of someone working

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on the minimum wage has gone up by

37% thanks to the increase in the

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income tax threshold. Does the

Chancellor join me in welcoming the

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fact the Government has directed

assistance at those on the lowest

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earnings, and can the Chancellor

assure the House that that excellent

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approach will continue to be at the

heart of the Government's strategy?

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Mr Speaker, we are focused on the

needs of those on the lowest pay who

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are in the workforce, and making

work pay and particularly making low

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paid work pay is a priority. I would

repeat what I said during the

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statement, that partly as a result

of the introduction of the national

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living wage and it subsequent

increased to £7 83 per hour, we now

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have income inequality in this

country lower than at any point

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under the last Labour government.

Income inequality falling in this

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country when it is rising in all

other G7 countries.

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This statement was an opportunity

for the Government to ease the

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burden on care providers by offering

a solution to the sleeping crisis.

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Sleeping shifts are an integral part

of public services which government

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has a statutory obligation to

provide. Has the Government ruled

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out fully paying the six years of

back pay entitled to low paid care

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workers directly?

I'm just not sure of the end of her

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question there. If she is asking

whether the Government has ruled

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out... The Government has not ruled

out anything. We are still looking

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at this issue. Of course these

workers must have the page to which

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they are entitled and which they

should have been paid, and what we

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are doing, and the Cabinet Office is

leading on this -- must have the pay

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to which they are entitled. We are

looking at how to deal with this in

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a way that does not have negative

impacts on the provision of care.

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Youth unemployment has fallen 55% in

south-east Queensland under the

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Conservatives, fantastic news. Does

my honourable friend agree with me

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that the last thing young people in

Teesside need is reckless borrowing

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to reverse that?

My honourable

friend is absolutely right. Parts of

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the country which have suffered for

for too long from low levels of

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employment and investment have seen

over the last few years investment

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coming in, much of that foreign

investment. Employment increasing,

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wages rising. And they absolutely do

not need to take risks with the kind

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of policies the right honourable

gentleman opposite is proposing

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which would plunge us back into a

place we have been before and have

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no wish to revisit.

Mr Speaker, people in the same job

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should be entitled to the same day's

pay, and the Chancellor continues to

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pretend to ignore this is for people

under 25 -- ignore the fact it is

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not for people under 25.

Apprentices, they will end a fool

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£13 less. Why does he believe in

state-sponsored age discrimination?

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You

the honourable lady will know, I

think, that we also announced, due

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to come in in April again, record

increases in the use of rates of

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minimum wage. But, look, we have had

several exchanges during the course

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of this session. About the

importance of maintaining low levels

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of youth unemployment, and the

devastating effects of youth

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unemployment. What the Government

does, and I am sorry if the

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honourable lady does not like this,

but what the Government does is take

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the advice of the low pay commission

about the impact of different levels

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of pay rates on employment

prospects. And we balance the need

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to give people a fair wage with the

need to ensure that we maintain high

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levels of youth employment in the

interests of those people

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themselves, and in the interests of

our economy.

I welcome the

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projections that real wages will

increase in the coming year. That

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can only continue longer term if we

improve our productivity. In that

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context can I welcome what the

Chancellor said about the human

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capital long-term endeavour? And the

improvements we have seen in

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productivity over the last six

months.

My honourable friend is

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right to draw attention to two

quarters of very good productivity

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data. Mr Speaker, I don't want to

change policy or a pervert on the

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basis of two quarters of data

because it can be revised -- I do

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not want to change policy or pivot

on the basis of two quarters. But I

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think we might be at the basis of a

town on productivity performance in

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this economy.

Liverpool has many

success stories, but 30% of children

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are in poverty, and public services

are under pressure as Liverpool

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council loses 60% of its funding,

and the whole economy is threatened

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by Brexit. What will the Chancellor

do differently to address these

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injustices?

Obviously the best way

out of poverty is to get people into

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work, and the proportion of work is

at its lowest -- the proportion of

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workless households is at its lowest

level. She will know two thirds of

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children less are in absolute

poverty than when we began. Our

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strategy is to drive economic growth

across our country, across the

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regions of our country, working with

the elected mayors and the devolved

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authorities to ensure the investment

needed goes in, in all corners of

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the British economy to deliver the

growth that is the only way to get

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people sustainably out of poverty

and into well-paid work.

Can I

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congratulate the Chancellor on his

progress to date? But now I ask him

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to look at investing in a long-term

innovative strategy and plan for the

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transport infrastructure, including

road, rail, infrastructure and

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siege, in the south-west, to drive

productivity, north and south of the

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peninsula, and to include a

commitment to such a strategy in the

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Autumn Statement, to build a great

south-west to rival the northern

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powerhouse. We thank him for his

support. It is welcome but not

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enough.

She will have to think of a

snappy name for it, and if she can

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please let me know. Of course we are

investing already in the south-west

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and she will know that the crucial

programme vital for transport artery

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feeding the south-west, the A303,

and our investment in that. But I

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will say that I know many of the

bids for the housing infrastructure

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fund have come from authorities in

the south-west, and we are acutely

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conscious of the fact that as we ask

them to build more homes we have to

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provide them with the resource to be

able to build the supporting

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infrastructure, and that is the

purpose of the Housing

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Infrastructure Funds and I hope she

will have some good news when my

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right honourable friend the housing

minister makes announcements

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intercourse.

The number of apprenticeship starts

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plummeted after the botched

introduction of the apprenticeship

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levy last year. I welcome the

additional amount the Chancellor has

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announced for apprenticeships in

school businesses, but does he

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recognise to get anywhere near the 3

million target by 2020 will require

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much more radical action? Would he

return to this at the time of the

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Budget?

I am grateful to the right

honourable gentleman. Our target and

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commitment is to deliver those by

2020. The introduction of the

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apprenticeship levy change the game

and we were always anticipating it

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would have an impact on the profile

of starts. The announcement today of

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the additional £80 million is

specifically targeted at small

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non-levy paying businesses to help

them take on apprentices. The other

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thing that will happen in a couple

of weeks' time at the beginning of

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April is large businesses who do pay

the levy will be allowed to transfer

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10% of their levy paid to small

businesses in their supply chain to

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support their engagement of and

training of apprentices. But of

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course we will keep this programme

under very close review. It is a

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commitment we have to deliver, and

if we need to intervene in a

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different way we will.

Page 193 of

the report states, the future is

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uncertain and the likelihood of

unexpected political developments

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leave the significant risk to public

finance forecast. Can I ask the

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Chancellor if he sees any of those

political downside risk sitting

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directly in front of them?

LAUGHTER

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Yes, Mr Speaker, and I have made the

point already to one of the right

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honourable members opposite, that

conversation with businesses...

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Maybe I should just sit down, Mr

Speaker, whilst the right honourable

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gentleman conducts his conversation?

I made the point earlier that

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businesses in conversation identify

two risks they are concerned about.

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The risk of bad Brexit deal, which

will have an impact on the economy,

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and the risk of the right honourable

gentleman opposite ever getting his

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hands on any of the levers of power

in our economy, and of the two there

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is no doubt that business, expressed

in the voice of Paul Dresser this

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morning, business regards the risk

of the Right honourable gentleman

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being by far the bigger.

The

Chancellor claims spending on

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disabled people has gone up, but we

know that cuts to social security

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will hit disabled people the

hardest. The Chancellor also spoke

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about apologies. Would he like to

apologise to the millions of

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disabled people that he blamed for

low productivity?

Of course I did no

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such thing. Well, no, I didn't. Mr

Speaker, we spend over £50 billion a

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year on benefits to support disabled

people and people with health

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conditions, a record high. It is

£7.5 billion higher, in real terms,

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since 2010. There is a share of GDP.

Our public spending on disability

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and incapacity is the second highest

in the G7. 2.5% of our GDP, 6% of

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all Government spending.

My right

honourable friend has struck the

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right note between the need for

financial discipline and justifiable

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need for investment in public

service. With this in mind with the

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autumn budget, will they ensure

additional funding is provided for

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schools to ensure the successful

fermentation of the National Funding

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Formula which we welcomed in

Stockport.

My right honourable

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friend the member for Putney, as a

former Education Secretary,

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announced that the funding formula

would be introduced in such a way

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that we would protect the per capita

spend per pupil, and we would

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guarantee every school, every

school, would receive a cash terms

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increase, and that guaranteed stands

today.

My right honourable friend

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the Shadow Chancellor talked about

the increasing number of children

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being taken into care. In Liverpool

there has been an 11% increase in

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the last 12 months alone. Northwest

local authorities wrote to the

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Chancellor last month calling for

additional funds to address the

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growing crisis in children's social

care. Can I ask him to address this

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growing crisis, and do so as a

matter of urgency?

As I said

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earlier, spending on support for the

most vulnerable children has

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increased by £500 million since

2010, and I think a distinction can

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be drawn Lucas Mata. The right

honourable gentleman -- can be drawn

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here. There is distinction to be

drawn and I think he has made the

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point, between services provided to

the most vulnerable children,

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children in care, children in the

adoption and fostering process, and

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children at risk, and the wider

children's services budget. But

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repeat again, we provide £225

billion of spending power to local

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authorities over the five-year

period. It is for local authorities

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to decide how they allocate that

spending.

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There can be no truer test of a

government's commitment to fairness

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than its commitment to the next

generation. There are 7000 young

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people who started apprentices in

Redditch who would agree. Can he

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tell us more about the funds put

aside to help more small businesses

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to access apprenticeships, and would

he agree that the best place for his

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construction skills village is in

Redditch, a new town in the heart of

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the country?

I am glad to tell the

honourable lady that there will be

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20 construction skills villages. So

we look forward to the bid from

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Redditch, and I am sure it will be

considered. But I mentioned earlier

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that my right honourable friend the

Education Secretary is putting an

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extra £80 million specifically to

support small businesses who are

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non-levy payers with the costs of

engaging an apprentice. At the same

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time, from April, many small

businesses will benefit from the

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flexibility that allows large

business levy payers to transfer 10%

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of their levy fund to small

businesses in their supply chain to

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support them. The indication I have

from talking to the CBI and other

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organisations is that businesses are

very keen to do this and many of

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them will make such transfers.

Are

the OBR right in calculating the UK

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will be making payments to the EU

until 2064 as part of the divorce

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settlement, and that this will not

include any new commitments that the

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British government may make in the

remaining parts of the negotiation?

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Would it not be better just to stay

in?

The honourable gentleman is

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referring to the three parts of the

payment profile. There are payments

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during the two years of the

implementation period, there are

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payments as the EU dispenses the

so-called day over the following few

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years and then there is a very long

tail of what will be very small

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payments which relate to pensions.

By their very nature, they will

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stretch over a long period, but they

are very small amounts of money.

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Carlisle Lake District airport is

about to open. We have garden

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village in the south of the city and

there are prospects of a borderlands

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growth deal. With the Chancellor

agree that the only way to grow the

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economy and balance the books is

through such investments, and would

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he also agree that it is important

for the government to support such

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local initiatives, as they will help

rebalance the economy and sort our

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finances?

Yes. It is local

governments and local people and

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businesses that understand best how

to grow the economy is of their

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regions. I welcome the initiative is

he has mentioned. I am aware of the

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garden village initiative and I look

forward to being able to visit in

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the spring.

Isn't it true that young

people in our communities are paying

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the biggest price for this

government's choices and our

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failures? Local government is facing

a funding gap of 5.8 billion by 20

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20. My counsel, Hounslow, has had a

40% cut in income since 2010, with

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more to come. 400,000 more children

are in poverty than five years ago.

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In some wards in my constituency,

that is now hitting 40%. He asked to

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be judged on his record. Is this a

record that he is proud of?

Yes, I

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am, because the figures the

honourable lady gives are not quite

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right. There are 200,000 fewer

children in absolute poverty than

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there were in 2010. Absolute poverty

is the relevant measure. The crucial

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point that the honourable lady has

skirted around is that after the

0:17:220:17:25

financial crash during the last

Labour government, we could have

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gone down a route which many of our

continental neighbours went down

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which would have seen hundreds of

thousands if not millions of young

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people cast onto scrapheap of

unemployment and left their

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potentially for decades. We did not

go down that route. And we have seen

0:17:420:17:47

youth unemployment in this country

relatively low and falling. That is

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a huge benefit to the next

generation, which will benefit from

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their engagement in the workforce

and as they go forward, to

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benefiting from rising living

standards.

I welcome my right

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honourable friend's statement and

the balanced approach to the economy

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he detailed. I particularly welcome

the attention on digital skills.

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These are the main issues businesses

are raising with me. I am hoping

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Yorkshire will be one of the local

allocations. Will he continue to

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focus upon fibre and digital as

critical to boosting our national

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productivity?

Yes. If we don't have

these enabling network technologies,

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a good fibre-optic network and good

digital technologies, we will not be

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able to exploit the technologies of

the fourth Industrial Revolution.

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The OBR says that real earnings

growth in the next five years is

0:18:460:18:51

expected to remain subdued,

averaging 0.7% a year growth and

0:18:510:18:55

real household disposable income per

person is expected to average only

0:18:550:19:00

0.4% per year. So why won't the

Chancellor properly fund his

0:19:000:19:03

government departments to ensure

that the public sector pay freeze is

0:19:030:19:07

properly lifted, as has been done in

Scotland?

The public sector pay

0:19:070:19:12

freeze has been lifted. We have

removed at the 1% cap, so it is up

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to departmental secretaries of state

to make appropriate recommendations,

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provide appropriate evidence to pay

review bodies. But we do expect

0:19:220:19:29

them, where they are recommending

settlements above the level that

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they are already funded for, to use

workforce management measures and

0:19:330:19:39

efficiency improvement ushers

negotiated with the workforce to

0:19:390:19:43

ensure that over time, those things

are funded through higher efficiency

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and higher productivity.

The

Chancellor is right to focus on how

0:19:490:19:54

the tax system might be used to

encourage improvements in the

0:19:540:19:58

environment. The packaging industry

recognises the need to reduce waste

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and will respond positively to his

call. I ask that he includes firstly

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that it is people who cause litter,

and he spoke about the need for

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behaviour change, and we recognise

the important role the packaging as

0:20:130:20:16

in reducing food waste by keeping

food fresh for longer.

Yes, of

0:20:160:20:21

course. The point of having a call

for evidence is to make sure that

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the decisions we make are based on

full knowledge. He makes an

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important point that it would be

massively shooting ourselves in the

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foot to make a change in relation to

packaging which then increased food

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waste and the energy cost of food

that was wasted.

Why is the

0:20:410:20:46

Chancellor refusing to share the

light at the end of his tunnel with

0:20:460:20:50

grieving parents who are struggling

to pay for their children's

0:20:500:20:54

funerals? Their lives are forever

blighted in darkness. A children's

0:20:540:20:58

funeral fund is the dignified,

compassionate and sympathetic thing

0:20:580:21:02

to do.

Am grateful to the honourable

lady. She is a tireless campaigner

0:21:020:21:08

on this issue and both I and my

right honourable friend the Prime

0:21:080:21:12

Minister have heard her pleas on

behalf of parents in this terrible

0:21:120:21:16

situation. But I am sure she does

recognise that this is not a

0:21:160:21:22

physical event. There have been no

physical announcements today, but I

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am certain she will want to make a

representation to me ahead of the

0:21:260:21:30

Budget in the autumn.

I thank the

Chancellor for his very spring-like

0:21:300:21:36

statement. It is good to hear that

there is light at the end of the

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tunnel. But could I ask what plans

he has two support our vital £90

0:21:400:21:47

billion creative industries sector,

which is growing in my constituency

0:21:470:21:50

of Clacton?

Creative industries are

an increasingly important part of

0:21:500:21:56

the UK economy and one in which we

have a significant comparative

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advantage. The best way the

government can support the creative

0:22:010:22:05

industries, apart from the obvious

one of training and Skilling, is

0:22:050:22:10

through supporting the roll-out of

digital technologies on which so

0:22:100:22:13

many of the creative industries

these days depend.

The Chancellor

0:22:130:22:22

will know of the families working on

the national minimum wage. Does he

0:22:220:22:27

agree with the Rowntree foundation,

who have demonstrated that in a

0:22:270:22:31

two-parent family, one working with

two children, because of tax credit

0:22:310:22:35

cuts, will be £450 a year worse off?

That is not fair, is it?

The

0:22:350:22:42

national living wage has given a pay

rise of more than £2000 a year to

0:22:420:22:50

anyone in full-time work since it

was introduced in 2015. It is not

0:22:500:22:56

just the national living wage, it is

the increase in the personal

0:22:560:23:01

allowance which means people are now

able to keep more of what they take

0:23:010:23:05

home. And because it is an

allowance, it disproportionately

0:23:050:23:09

benefits those on the lowest

earnings.

Fourth Industrial

0:23:090:23:16

Revolution technologies are

transforming productivity across the

0:23:160:23:19

country: not particularly amongst

the SME sector. As my right

0:23:190:23:23

honourable friend considers future

spending priorities, can I urge him

0:23:230:23:25

to accelerate support for our

entrepreneurs who create the wealth

0:23:250:23:29

of the future?

Yes, my honourable

friend is a tireless advocate of the

0:23:290:23:34

technology that will fuel the fourth

Industrial Revolution. The important

0:23:340:23:37

thing is that while we are talking

about it, this is actually happening

0:23:370:23:42

across the country. These

technologies are actually being used

0:23:420:23:44

by large, medium and small

businesses. There are not just

0:23:440:23:48

something in the laboratory or the

university classroom, they are

0:23:480:23:53

happening in the business parks

across Britain and they will

0:23:530:23:55

transform the way we live and work.

I'm sure the Chancellor will agree

0:23:550:24:01

that it is not talking down the

economy to report in this placed the

0:24:010:24:05

real experiences of the people we

represent, the majority of whom are

0:24:050:24:09

not going to see real average wage

incomes exceeding the pre-crash

0:24:090:24:13

levels until 2022. Does he not agree

that all of the measures announced

0:24:130:24:18

today and the rhetoric will not

bigger difference to the people who

0:24:180:24:21

need it the most until their average

incomes increase above the pre-crash

0:24:210:24:25

levels? When will that happen?

Raising real incomes is the

0:24:250:24:33

principal target we focus on. The

country suffered a recession after

0:24:330:24:40

the financial crisis which wiped out

6% of our national income. We are

0:24:400:24:47

rebuilding our economy from that

crisis, hindered unhampered by the

0:24:470:24:50

fact that the previous government

was ill-prepared for the crisis when

0:24:500:24:54

it came. We are determined to make

sure that our economy and our public

0:24:540:25:01

finances are in good shape to deal

with the economic cycle in the

0:25:010:25:05

future, because we do not believe we

have abolished that economic cycle

0:25:050:25:09

and we do have to prepare for future

downturns, because that is the

0:25:090:25:14

nature of economic life.

I welcome

the progress that has been made in

0:25:140:25:22

reducing the debt and deficit, but

with the Chancellor confirm that we

0:25:220:25:26

are still spending £50 billion in

debt interest, more than the Armed

0:25:260:25:30

Forces and the police force

combined? If we don't get control of

0:25:300:25:32

this, there will be less money for

the things we value like the housing

0:25:320:25:37

infrastructure fund, Oxfordshire's

excellent submission of which is so

0:25:370:25:41

important to my constituents.

My

honourable friend is right. This is

0:25:410:25:45

current spending, £50 billion that

we could be spending on hospitals,

0:25:450:25:50

schools or indeed on investment in

infrastructure. The honourable

0:25:500:25:54

gentleman opposite's answer to this

is to increase the amount of

0:25:540:26:01

borrowing we have, to increase the

amount of money we are pouring down

0:26:010:26:04

the drain every year on debt

interest, reducing the amount of

0:26:040:26:09

money available for public services.

That cannot be the right way to go.

0:26:090:26:17

In spite of the claims for what will

happen to real wages on April full

0:26:170:26:21

state, the fact is that real wages

are now lower than they were in 2010

0:26:210:26:27

and debt has grown over twice as

fast under this government than it

0:26:270:26:31

did on the previous Labour

government in spite of the global

0:26:310:26:33

economic crash in 2008. So will the

Chancellor agree that his strategy

0:26:330:26:39

is failing people like my

constituents, who are suffering from

0:26:390:26:43

£6 billion of cuts to social care

and can no longer get care packages,

0:26:430:26:49

so they can die at home surrounded

by their loved ones, but instead are

0:26:490:26:53

stuck in hospital?

I don't agree

with the honourable lady. Her

0:26:530:26:59

numbers are wrong, as I am sure she

knows. The soaring deficit in

0:26:590:27:06

2009-10 created a legacy that of

course was going to lead to

0:27:060:27:10

increasing debt. Our challenge has

been to get the deficit down so that

0:27:100:27:14

debt can now start to fall. And as

debt starts to fall, we are able to

0:27:140:27:20

fund our public services, to invest

in Britain's future, to provide

0:27:200:27:25

relief for hard-pressed families and

small businesses do using their tax

0:27:250:27:28

burden, and that is what we intend

to continue to do.

A number of

0:27:280:27:34

honourable members have mentioned

the next generation. Is it not the

0:27:340:27:37

case that only this government's

approach can deliver true

0:27:370:27:41

intergenerational fairness, because

the alternative is ever increased

0:27:410:27:45

borrowing, which will be put on the

shoulders of young people?

My

0:27:450:27:50

honourable friend is right. This is

a point that needs to be made more

0:27:500:27:53

often. When the right honourable

gentleman opposite talks about

0:27:530:27:56

borrowing an extra £100 billion, 350

billion, whatever it is thinking

0:27:560:28:01

about this week, when he talks about

nationalising industry for £190

0:28:010:28:07

billion or whatever it is, he is

talking about burdening the next

0:28:070:28:13

generation with yet more debt that

will blight their future and limit

0:28:130:28:18

their chances. It isn't fair. We

must make sure he never gets the

0:28:180:28:21

chance to do it.

There are some

small businesses in Bury still

0:28:210:28:29

picking up the pieces from the

Carillion collapse. Small business

0:28:290:28:32

confidence in the north-west is at

its lowest in four years, with UK

0:28:320:28:36

skills shortages blamed for some 3

billion in lost earnings. Mr

0:28:360:28:40

Speaker, he chose to come to the

House today to give us this spring

0:28:400:28:44

statement and he had nothing to say.

We had a fake news forecast with

0:28:440:28:48

nothing for the real job creators.

Will he give some certainty for the

0:28:480:28:52

small businesses, providing the jobs

in towns like mine, and stop this

0:28:520:28:58

outsourcing to post up vehicles like

Carillion that appeared to be too

0:28:580:29:01

big to fail before they do fail?

0:29:010:29:08

The reason I have come to the House

to make a statement is because the

0:29:080:29:14

OBR has published its second report

of the fiscal year. It is mandated

0:29:140:29:18

by Parliament to produce two reports

a year and I think the House would

0:29:180:29:21

have regarded it as a gross disco to

date if I had published a report

0:29:210:29:26

without coming to the House to

answer questions -- a gross

0:29:260:29:29

discourtesy. I am glad he mentioned

skill shortages, because he will

0:29:290:29:34

recognise that whilst they are a

serious problem this is in a sense

0:29:340:29:38

better problem to have than skilled

people looking for employment. The

0:29:380:29:42

work is there, the jobs are there,

the economic growth is there. Now we

0:29:420:29:47

have to respond by delivering the

skills that people need. On

0:29:470:29:51

outsourcing, we will to pursue the

best value for money for every pound

0:29:510:29:59

of taxpayer money we spend. Where

that involves collaborating with the

0:29:590:30:02

private sector, that is what we will

do, and the way we have handed the

0:30:020:30:07

situation with Carillion has meant

the public purse has not had to bail

0:30:070:30:14

out private company will services

have continued to be provided.

I

0:30:140:30:18

would like to join the SNP finance

secretary in Hollywood by

0:30:180:30:24

acknowledging the block grant coming

which is a real terms increase over

0:30:240:30:27

the next few years. Considering the

law increase in Scotland GDP growth

0:30:270:30:34

that is forecast, will my right

honourable friend commit driving

0:30:340:30:37

economic growth through all our

constituencies such as the

0:30:370:30:40

Clackmannanshire city deal.

Yes, Mr

Speaker, it is just a pity the SNP

0:30:400:30:47

spokesperson here did not feel

inclined to acknowledge the same

0:30:470:30:49

thing. But, yes, she is right. We

are a government for the whole of

0:30:490:30:54

the UK, and it is not the Scottish

people's fault that they have a

0:30:540:30:59

Government adopting policies that

are depressing economic growth in

0:30:590:31:02

Scotland and will depress it further

in the months and years ahead. We

0:31:020:31:06

will go on delivering policies

designed to improve the economy

0:31:060:31:10

across the whole of the United

Kingdom, including the growth deals

0:31:100:31:13

in Scotland.

Last week it was

revealed the Ministry of Housing

0:31:130:31:20

returned £1.1 billion to the

Treasury in news Housing money of

0:31:200:31:23

the last two years. It should have

been spent on re-cladding unsafe

0:31:230:31:27

tower blocks after the Grenfell

Tower. Will the Chancellor uses

0:31:270:31:31

autumn budget to fund the work

required to keep our tower blocks

0:31:310:31:34

safe and the residents inside them

safe as well?

Mr Speaker, I have

0:31:340:31:38

made the point and my right

honourable friend has made the

0:31:380:31:42

point, the Housing Minister, that

local authorities, social landlords,

0:31:420:31:46

who have blocks needing the

cladding, they should carry out that

0:31:460:31:50

work. Any work required for urgent

safety reasons should be done. Any

0:31:500:31:57

authority or housing association

unable to fund that work, that has a

0:31:570:32:03

genuine inability to fund it, should

get in touch with the Department for

0:32:030:32:10

Housing Communities And Local

Government who will work with them

0:32:100:32:12

to find an appropriate solution.

Safety critical work must be carried

0:32:120:32:16

out. That is a legal obligation of

the landlord and we will work with

0:32:160:32:19

them to make sure it is.

I'd like to welcome my right

0:32:190:32:26

honourable friend's continued

commitment to increasing the housing

0:32:260:32:32

supply. And to mention that error

was construction village as well.

0:32:320:32:35

But does he agree with me it is

measures such as the cut in stamp

0:32:350:32:42

duty for first-time buyers that will

help many of my constituents -- to

0:32:420:32:46

mention the Erewash construction.

That it will help them get on the

0:32:460:32:51

housing ladder?

The housing investment package we

0:32:510:32:55

have put together is important

because it has ensured financial

0:32:550:33:00

support will not be the constraining

factor in building more homes in

0:33:000:33:04

this country. We have other

constraints, skills constraints,

0:33:040:33:07

land supply constraints, materials

supply constraints, but finance will

0:33:070:33:12

be available.

The measure I announced in the

0:33:120:33:18

autumn budget, removing stamp duty

for a million first-time buyers, it

0:33:180:33:21

will allow a million mostly young

people once again to be able to

0:33:210:33:26

aspire to the dream of home

ownership.

Mr Speaker, the

0:33:260:33:33

Chancellor claims he will ensure

cash is available for those that

0:33:330:33:37

need it, and he further claims his

is the party of small business. If

0:33:370:33:40

he stands by this, will he come too

near, Granton and Aviemore to

0:33:400:33:45

explain the business reply with over

70% of shares in the Royal Bank of

0:33:450:33:51

Scotland, at his command he is

failing to block the closure of

0:33:510:33:53

their branches which should make it

more difficult to do business in

0:33:530:34:01

Scotland...

It is absolutely always

a pleasure to visit Nairn but I

0:34:010:34:06

don't have a plan to do so right

now. As he has told his right

0:34:060:34:10

honourable friends on several

occasions, as he has told his

0:34:100:34:18

friends, we do not interfere with

the Royal Bank of Scotland. The

0:34:180:34:21

consultation we published today is

about passion lists and digital

0:34:210:34:25

payment systems but it specifically

acknowledges, and I said this in my

0:34:250:34:29

statement, we also have to ensure

cash is available to people who need

0:34:290:34:33

it. If you look at the consultation

when it is published, he will see we

0:34:330:34:37

are determined to address that

issue, and I hope you will engage in

0:34:370:34:41

that consultation.

The Chancellor is absolutely right

0:34:410:34:47

to look at the impact of the VAT

threshold on business. It is a

0:34:470:34:52

disincentive to growth and an

incentive to avoid tax to cash

0:34:520:34:56

deals. But does he agree it is not

just the financial implications in

0:34:560:35:03

registry of VAT but also the

administrative impact of that? Is it

0:35:030:35:07

an appropriate time to look at the

entire system of the VAT regime?

I

0:35:070:35:11

think that would be rather

dramatically widening the scope of

0:35:110:35:15

the intended consultation. I would

remind the House that when I

0:35:150:35:21

referred to this issue at the autumn

budget I did say that I was not

0:35:210:35:24

minded to more VAT threshold because

the VAT threshold at its current

0:35:240:35:34

level does keep a lot of small

businesses out of the burden of VAT

0:35:340:35:40

but we want to ensure this cliff

edge effect which does have a

0:35:400:35:43

damaging impact on businesses trying

to grow is addressed -- I did say

0:35:430:35:47

that I was not inclined to lower the

VAT threshold.

There is a reason why

0:35:470:35:54

we need to invest in our public

services. In York schools have gone

0:35:540:35:58

from the seventh worst funded to the

very worst funded authority. Our

0:35:580:36:05

NHS, and no social housing has been

built. Should not the Chancellor

0:36:050:36:09

invest in our children in the -- are

children, in the set, and provide

0:36:090:36:16

homes for the homeless?

I'm afraid

it is characteristic of the party

0:36:160:36:19

opposite they are only able to see

the world through the lens of

0:36:190:36:23

inputs. The reality is this. Since

2010 we have increased the number of

0:36:230:36:27

schools that are good or

outstanding, so 90% of schools are

0:36:270:36:31

now good or outstanding. 1.9 million

more children are being taught in

0:36:310:36:35

good or outstanding schools. That is

the metric that matters to parents,

0:36:350:36:41

and the children themselves, in

terms of their life chances. It is

0:36:410:36:45

not always just about the money. It

is about the outcomes.

I welcome the

0:36:450:36:52

measures introduced by the and to

help the oil and gas industry

0:36:520:36:58

including a 2 billion package of

support including the transferable

0:36:580:37:01

tax, a much-needed shot in the arm.

With oil and gas industry set to

0:37:010:37:05

contribute over a billion impact to

the Treasury this financial year,

0:37:050:37:09

can my right honourable friend tell

me what further steps the Government

0:37:090:37:12

can take to support this vital

industry?

We are committed to the

0:37:120:37:17

oil and gas industry and as my

honourable friend knows, we are

0:37:170:37:21

committed to measures that will

ensure that every drop of

0:37:210:37:25

economically recoverable oil and gas

in the UK Continental Shelf is

0:37:250:37:29

recovered, that is very much in the

interests of the Scottish economy,

0:37:290:37:33

the UK economy and Her Majesty's

Treasury, and I am delighted that

0:37:330:37:37

the increase in the oil price,

together with the uptake in activity

0:37:370:37:42

as a result of it and as a result of

the measures we have announced,

0:37:420:37:46

means the contribution of the oil

sector to the UK Treasury will again

0:37:460:37:50

become positive in the year to come.

The party opposite has capped the

0:37:500:38:00

Welsh government Government by

around £1 billion a year since 2010.

0:38:000:38:03

The knock-on impact of that on

public services in Wales and on

0:38:030:38:07

Welsh local government to deliver

key services has been huge. Will the

0:38:070:38:11

Chancellor today apologised for the

failed Tory austerity that has

0:38:110:38:15

caused so much damage to public

services across the UK as well as in

0:38:150:38:21

Wales, and given his outline of a

rosy picture, will he set out what

0:38:210:38:24

plans he has to adequately fund

public services that many people

0:38:240:38:28

rely on?

Well, Mr Speaker on if I

don't have the figures right hand,

0:38:280:38:33

but if my memory serves me

correctly, at the budget last year I

0:38:330:38:36

was able to confirm Wales would

receive over £1 billion of

0:38:360:38:39

additional funding including as a

result of changes to the formula

0:38:390:38:43

that were agreed, so not down, but

up, and additional billion pounds

0:38:430:38:47

plus. The failure of services in

Wales, which we catalogue regularly

0:38:470:38:53

across this dispatch box, mainly in

the Welsh health service, are a

0:38:530:38:57

result of decisions made by the

Welsh government. Priorities set by

0:38:570:39:03

the Welsh government, not decisions

made by the UK Government.

Economies

0:39:030:39:09

move in cycles. Does my right

honourable friend agree that there

0:39:090:39:12

is a moral case to ensure our public

finances are in a state to help the

0:39:120:39:20

poorest in our society, some of whom

live in my constituency in

0:39:200:39:23

Cheltenham? Does he also agree with

me that is an approach the party

0:39:230:39:27

opposite manifestly failed to take?

He is right, they did, precisely

0:39:270:39:32

because we have seen the devastating

impact of being unprepared for what

0:39:320:39:36

was a very serious economic downturn

from a financial crash, it is

0:39:360:39:43

precisely because of that we are

determined to ensure the UK economy

0:39:430:39:46

is robust lip repaired for the next

normal cyclical downturn when it

0:39:460:39:51

occurs. These are normal things,

they happen in everyday economic

0:39:510:39:54

life, and we must be able to right

through them without damage to our

0:39:540:40:00

economy and without the poorest in

our society paying the price,

0:40:000:40:02

because it is the poorest that

always pay when Labour's model

0:40:020:40:09

fails.

Following the global

financial crash the American

0:40:090:40:13

recovery and reinvestment act of

2009 integers by Obama sought

0:40:130:40:18

investment pumped into the US

economy leading to the most

0:40:180:40:22

sustained period of growth. -- by

Obama. Which was the right

0:40:220:40:31

ideological choice?

The United

States is in a different position

0:40:310:40:37

from the United Kingdom. Sadly, we

no longer operates the world's

0:40:370:40:42

reserve currency. We are no longer

able to borrow in the conditions the

0:40:420:40:48

United States is able to borrow.

Decisions for the United States

0:40:480:40:52

economy are for the United States

administration. The Government has

0:40:520:40:55

made the right decisions for the UK

economy, and the benefit of those

0:40:550:41:01

decisions, the outcomes that we are

now beginning to see, demonstrate

0:41:010:41:04

the case for them.

Order,

presentation of Bill, John Mann.

0:41:040:41:18

Housing and planning, local

decision-making bill.

Friday the

0:41:180:41:23

16th of March, second reading. Thank

you. Order. We come now to the Ten

0:41:230:41:28

Minute Rule Motion. Mrs Theresa

Villiers...

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I

0:41:280:41:33

beg to move we've be given to

integers are built to prevent the

0:41:330:41:37

Holocaust return of cultural objects

act, 2009, from expiring on the 11th

0:41:370:41:43

of November 20 19. Mr Speaker, it

was on the 10th of November, 1938,

0:41:430:41:49

when the horrors of the gnats or

persecution began in earnest with

0:41:490:41:53

the shameful episode known as

Kristallnacht -- when the horrors of

0:41:530:42:01

the Nazi persecution. The key focus

of the violent attacks that took

0:42:010:42:07

place was also property, the homes,

buildings and businesses owned by

0:42:070:42:12

Jewish people. Throughout the 1930s

and 40s, property of all kinds was

0:42:120:42:17

systematically stolen from millions

of people, as part of Hitler's

0:42:170:42:23

horrific genocidal campaign against

Jewish elite mag Europe's Jewish

0:42:230:42:30

community, including many precious

works of art -- Europe's Jewish

0:42:300:42:38

community. Around 1000 objects were

pillaged during the Nazi that remain

0:42:380:42:43

still hidden to this day. The

horrific crimes of the Nazis can

0:42:430:42:49

never be remedied, but there is

action we can take to return works

0:42:490:42:53

of art to the people from whom they

were stolen. Mr Speaker, at the end

0:42:530:42:58

of the last century there was

growing international awareness of

0:42:580:43:03

the risk that looted art might have

inadvertently been acquired by

0:43:030:43:08

museums and galleries. This led to

the 1998 Washington Conference on

0:43:080:43:15

Holocaust era assets. At that

conference and number of countries

0:43:150:43:19

including the United Kingdom pledged

they would work to identify

0:43:190:43:22

treasures stolen by the Nazis, and

seek to return them to their

0:43:220:43:26

rightful owners. Compared with other

European countries it seems very

0:43:260:43:30

little looted art found its way to

the UK. But that should not be used

0:43:300:43:35

as an excuse for in action. In 2000,

the previous Labour government

0:43:350:43:41

established a panel to consider

claims from anyone who had lost

0:43:410:43:48

possession of a cultural object in

circumstances relating to the Nazi

0:43:480:43:54

era. A key problem arose in 2002

when the areas of Doctor Feldman

0:43:540:44:02

sought the return of drawings in the

British Museum on the grounds they

0:44:020:44:06

had been stolen by the Gestapo from

his collection in March 1939, in

0:44:060:44:12

what was then Czechoslovakia.

0:44:120:44:17

The British Museum

what was then Czechoslovakia.

0:44:170:44:18

The British Museum wants

what was then Czechoslovakia.

0:44:180:44:18

The British Museum wants to

what was then Czechoslovakia.

0:44:180:44:19

The British Museum wants to return

what was then Czechoslovakia.

0:44:190:44:19

The British Museum wants to return

these objects, but the High Court

0:44:190:44:20

ruled that it could not lawfully do

so. No matter what the moral case

0:44:200:44:25

for giving the property back to the

heirs of its owner, the museum was

0:44:250:44:30

underrated binding statutory

obligation not to give away items in

0:44:300:44:35

its collection. A number of other

national institutions were also

0:44:350:44:38

subject to the same restriction.

This and other similar cases were

0:44:380:44:44

raised in Parliament in 2009 by

Andrew Dismore, who was the MP for

0:44:440:44:49

Hendon at the time. He brought

forward a private member's bill to

0:44:490:44:55

remove the statutory restrictions on

national institutions such as the

0:44:550:44:57

British Museum, which prevented them

from returning works of art

0:44:570:45:03

confiscated by the Nazis. With

cross-party support, the Holocaust

0:45:030:45:10

return of cultural objects Bill

received royal assent on the 12th of

0:45:100:45:15

November 2009. It provides that 17

national institutions named in the

0:45:150:45:21

legislation have the power to return

works of art to their rightful

0:45:210:45:26

owners in cases where this is

recommended by the advisory panel

0:45:260:45:29

and approved by the Culture

Secretary. But section four,

0:45:290:45:37

subsection seven of that act

contains a 10-year sunset clause.

0:45:370:45:41

The effect of that is that the 2009

act will cease to have effect after

0:45:410:45:47

the 11th of November next year.

After that date, the situation is

0:45:470:45:52

named in the legislation will no

longer be able to return works of

0:45:520:45:57

art to Holocaust survivors or to the

families of those who perished in

0:45:570:46:02

the genocide. The bill I am seeking

leave today to bring in would keep

0:46:020:46:08

the legislation on the statute book

by repealing section four seven and

0:46:080:46:14

thus removing the sunset clause. In

my view, Parliament was right in

0:46:140:46:22

2009 to give our national museums

the power to restore property lost

0:46:220:46:26

in these terrible circumstances to

their rightful owners. The

0:46:260:46:34

legislation was subject to exacting

scrutiny and was significantly

0:46:340:46:36

amended and clarified during its

passage through Parliament. It has

0:46:360:46:42

worked well during its eight years

on the statute book, resolving cases

0:46:420:46:46

in a fair and balanced way. For

example, take the 12th century

0:46:460:46:55

manuscript. The advisory panel

concluded that the manuscript had

0:46:550:46:58

been looted during the chaos which

followed the Allied bombing of that

0:46:580:47:07

area in 1943. With the approval of

the Secretary of State, the missal

0:47:070:47:09

was returned to its owners in Italy.

In 2015, a John Constable painting

0:47:090:47:14

from the Tate Gallery was restored

to its owner after the panel

0:47:140:47:17

concluded that it had been stolen

when the German army invaded

0:47:170:47:20

Budapest in 1944. The 2009 act is a

carefully targeted measure which

0:47:200:47:28

applies to a defined and limited

period and certain circumstances, so

0:47:280:47:33

it does not open the door for a more

contentious claim relating to

0:47:330:47:36

objects brought to the UK in past

centuries and under different

0:47:360:47:40

circumstances. The act has not had a

disruptive impact on our national

0:47:400:47:48

museums. When the proposal to keep

the measure on the statute book was

0:47:480:47:52

announced in 2017, it was warmly

welcomed by the museum community.

0:47:520:47:57

Today, the director of the national

gallery, Dr Gabrielle is an Audi,

0:47:570:48:03

issued the following statement,

saying "The museum community is

0:48:030:48:08

committed to fair redress in the

case of works taken wrongfully

0:48:080:48:12

during the Holocaust and World War

II. It is fully supportive of the

0:48:120:48:16

proposal to amend the act by

removing the so-called sunset

0:48:160:48:20

clause. The task of identifying and

returning objects with an incomplete

0:48:200:48:27

history during the relevant period

is by no means yet at an end. As

0:48:270:48:33

recently as last September, the

government hosted an international

0:48:330:48:36

conference in London to consider how

efforts to identify and give back

0:48:360:48:41

works of art lost during the

Holocaust could be accelerated. The

0:48:410:48:45

UK has been at the forefront of

global efforts to resolve these

0:48:450:48:49

cases in a fair way, and the 2009

act has played an important part in

0:48:490:48:54

that. The legislation had the

backing of the last Labour

0:48:540:48:59

government, and the Bill I am

putting forward today has the

0:48:590:49:02

support of the current Conservative

government. I thank the DC MS for

0:49:020:49:07

its work on this, including engaging

with the Scottish Government with a

0:49:070:49:10

view to securing their support,

reflecting the fact that there are

0:49:100:49:15

Scotland institutions included in

the list in the legislation. There

0:49:150:49:20

may still be potential claimants who

are unaware of the location of

0:49:200:49:25

artworks owned by their relatives

who died in the Holocaust. So the

0:49:250:49:30

moral case for this legislation

remains as strong today as it was

0:49:300:49:33

eight years ago. Indeed, the case is

arguably stronger than it was in

0:49:330:49:41

2009. We have fewer and fewer

Holocaust survivors still with us,

0:49:410:49:45

and I would like to take this

opportunity to pay tribute to all

0:49:450:49:48

those survivors who live in my

Chipping Barnet constituency. I have

0:49:480:49:53

had the great honour to meet many of

them during my years as their local

0:49:530:49:57

MP. I thank them for all they do to

ensure that the current generation

0:49:570:50:01

hears their testimony first-hand as

part of the efforts we must make as

0:50:010:50:06

a society to ensure that the horrors

of the Holocaust are never

0:50:060:50:09

forgotten. Surely it would be

heartless and wrong to deprive those

0:50:090:50:16

last supporters of their right to

recover treasured works of art.

0:50:160:50:21

Nothing can make up for the trauma

and suffering of those who

0:50:210:50:25

experienced the Holocaust

first-hand, or who lost loved ones

0:50:250:50:29

in that horror. But at least we can

give them back the pressures works

0:50:290:50:33

of art which were stolen from them.

That is what my proposal is designed

0:50:330:50:39

to achieve, and I commend this bill

to the House.

The question is that

0:50:390:50:47

the right honourable member have

leave to bring in the bill. As many

0:50:470:50:50

as are of the opinion, say "aye". To

the contrary, "no". The ayes have

0:50:500:50:57

it, the ayes have it. Who will

prepare and bring in the Bill?

Bob

0:50:570:51:08

Blackman, Stephen Crabb, Ian Austin,

Mr Edward Vaizey, John Mann, Andrew

0:51:080:51:17

Percy, Charles Elphick, Iain Duncan

Smith, and myself.

Theresa Villiers.

0:51:170:51:33

Holocaust return of cultural objects

amendment bill. Second reading what

0:52:010:52:04

they?

Friday the 27th of April.

Thank you. We now come to the four

0:52:040:52:16

motions on Universal Credit,

children and young persons and

0:52:160:52:22

social security, which will be

debated together. I must inform the

0:52:220:52:27

House that the speaker has certified

the two motions on children and

0:52:270:52:32

young persons as relating

exclusively to England and within

0:52:320:52:38

devolved legislative competence. The

motions relating to those

0:52:380:52:46

instruments are therefore subject to

double majority voting, whole House

0:52:460:52:52

and those representing

constituencies in England. I should

0:52:520:52:58

inform colleagues that this is a

three-hour debate. It is very well

0:52:580:53:04

subscribed. There are over 40

backbenchers wanting to speak. So I

0:53:040:53:12

hope the bird frontbenchers and

backbenchers will bear that in mind.

0:53:120:53:17

I call Angela Rayner to move the

first of the four motions.

Thank

0:53:170:53:22

you, Madame Deputy Speaker. Can I

ask all members of the House to bear

0:53:220:53:25

that in mind with their

interventions as well and I would

0:53:250:53:28

try and be as brief as I can. I beg

to move the four motions in the name

0:53:280:53:33

of the Leader of the Opposition,

myself and my honourable friends. As

0:53:330:53:37

my honourable friend the Shadow

Chancellor said, this Tory

0:53:370:53:40

government has created a crisis on a

scale that we have not seen before.

0:53:400:53:47

Today, they did nothing to tackle

it. In these regulations, they seek

0:53:470:53:52

to make it even worse. If the House

does not vote for our motions today,

0:53:520:54:00

over a million families will lose

out. Firstly, they will lose their

0:54:000:54:10

free school meals.

Does the

honourable lady gree with Channel

0:54:100:54:15

4's fact check, that says it is not

the case that the government is

0:54:150:54:21

taking free school meals from a

million children? These are children

0:54:210:54:25

who are not currently receiving free

school meals and in fact, the

0:54:250:54:28

government proposals would see

50,000 extra children receive free

0:54:280:54:31

school meals? Perhaps the honourable

lady could stop giving inaccurate

0:54:310:54:37

information to the House.

Well, the

honourable member should know that

0:54:370:54:42

his government have put in

transitional arrangements and we

0:54:420:54:45

would say that actually, under the

transitional arrangements this

0:54:450:54:49

government has introduced, those

million children would be entitled

0:54:490:54:51

and it is as a result of these

regulations that they are pulling

0:54:510:54:57

the rug from underneath those

families that are hard-working. In

0:54:570:55:07

my own boroughs of older man

Tayside, a total of 8700 children

0:55:070:55:13

growing up in poverty are set to

miss out. In the Secretary of

0:55:130:55:18

State's own area, the total is 6500.

So much for that light at the end of

0:55:180:55:25

the tunnel the Chancellor mentioned

over the weekend.

Is my honourable

0:55:250:55:33

friend aware that the government has

done an assessment on the impact on

0:55:330:55:37

childhood obesity prior to taking

this statutory assessment?

The

0:55:370:55:42

honourable member makes an important

point, because childhood obesity is

0:55:420:55:46

an important issue at the moment.

The Children's Society found that

0:55:460:55:52

there will be a million children

growing up in poverty who will lose

0:55:520:55:55

out from free school meals. They

would have been entitled to that and

0:55:550:56:03

incredibly, the government has the

audacity to claim that they are

0:56:030:56:07

being generous. They want to pretend

that there will be no families who

0:56:070:56:14

lose because the small numbers who

benefit under Universal Credit will

0:56:140:56:18

not lose out now.

Isn't it right

that money should be placed where it

0:56:180:56:28

is most needed? And when Universal

Credit is fully rolled out, 50,000

0:56:280:56:38

more children will be getting free

school meals, so it is not right to

0:56:380:56:42

mislead about this issue.

I am sure

the honourable member doesn't

0:56:420:56:48

believe that I am trying to mislead

the House, but let me be clear. Many

0:56:480:56:56

people including MPs wrongly believe

that all children in poverty already

0:56:560:57:03

get free school meals. That is not

currently the case, but under the

0:57:030:57:09

transitional protections under

Universal Credit, there would be

0:57:090:57:13

those million children who would be

entitled to that benefit. It is

0:57:130:57:18

through this secondary legislation

that there are pulling the rug from

0:57:180:57:21

underneath those families.

Would my

honourable friend not agree with me

0:57:210:57:27

that this will make the working poor

more poor and hurt families deeply?

0:57:270:57:35

The honourable member made an

excellent point, I am sure. I didn't

0:57:350:57:39

quite get it!

Would my honourable

friend not agree with me that this

0:57:390:57:43

will make the working poor even more

poor in this day and age?

0:57:430:57:51

Absolutely. The honourable member

did make an important point. Those

0:57:510:57:56

that currently get free school meals

that were not part of the Universal

0:57:560:58:00

Credit where households which were

on out of work benefits. It is

0:58:000:58:05

actually the ones that are in work

that will be the most detrimental if

0:58:050:58:09

this was to go through. The current

system would help over a million

0:58:090:58:19

more children than under the plans

we would vote on today. The former

0:58:190:58:25

Secretary of State for Work and

Pensions once wrote that Universal

0:58:250:58:30

Credit will ensure that work always

pays and it seemed to pay, yet under

0:58:300:58:37

these plans, Universal Credit will

mean that work does not pay for

0:58:370:58:41

hundreds of thousands of families.

Those who are just above the

0:58:410:58:46

threshold would be better off

earning less.

Could I just say that

0:58:460:58:55

one of the biggest fundamental

errors that the honourable lady and

0:58:550:58:57

her party making is in the

understanding of what transitional

0:58:570:59:00

protection is about. I helped design

this, so let me inform her.

0:59:000:59:13

Perhaps they might like to listen

and they might learn something.

0:59:130:59:18

Transitional protection was designed

to protect those moving from tax

0:59:180:59:24

credits into Universal Credit so

they did not, if it happens to be

0:59:240:59:30

the case, lose any money in the

transition. It was not about

0:59:300:59:33

increasing to the degree she is

talking about the number of those

0:59:330:59:37

who receive free school meals. Under

Universal Credit more will receive

0:59:370:59:41

free school meals than would have

been under their plan.

Well, Madam

0:59:410:59:51

Deputy Speaker, I think he

acknowledges the fact that under the

0:59:510:59:54

transitional protection is there are

many more in work families that

0:59:540:59:57

would have received free school

meals that under these proposals,

0:59:571:00:02

this secondary legislation they are

bringing forward, that we are hoping

1:00:021:00:06

members opposite will help those

hard-working families by ensuring

1:00:061:00:10

those passport benefits to apply to

them, and that we help those just

1:00:101:00:14

about managing out, which is what

the Prime Minister claims she was

1:00:141:00:17

going to do in the first place. I

will give way.

27% of children who

1:00:171:00:24

live in Lincoln live in poverty.

With the honourable lady agree with

1:00:241:00:27

me that this cliff edge threshold

might mean some of those children

1:00:271:00:30

might not get a hot meal one day?

I

absolutely agree. Members opposite

1:00:301:00:38

keep saying it is scaremongering. It

is absolute fact that under the

1:00:381:00:42

transitional agreements that

currently applied, Lake in my

1:00:421:00:45

constituency, one of the first to

roll out Universal Credit, free

1:00:451:00:49

school meals do apply to those

applicants who receive Universal

1:00:491:00:54

Credit, and that this regulation

will remove that right for those

1:00:541:00:59

individuals, and it is scandalous. I

will give way.

I thank my honourable

1:00:591:01:04

friend for giving way. She is making

an excellent opening statement. I

1:01:041:01:09

think... Does she agree with me that

the honourable gentleman opposite

1:01:091:01:15

has almost helped make her point for

her? Because he made clear this is

1:01:151:01:19

about making sure people currently

in receipt of benefits and free

1:01:191:01:23

school meals would not be worse off

when they transition, so in that

1:01:231:01:29

case they are going to be worse off

under these... He is making that

1:01:291:01:35

case for power. All the hot and part

opposite -- that case for her. We

1:01:351:01:41

would have thought we would remember

this is about children and families

1:01:411:01:47

living in poverty in work and we

should be doing our utmost to help

1:01:471:01:51

them, not having a semantic argument

-- all the huff and puff opposite.

I

1:01:511:01:57

absolutely agree, and don't just

take our word for it. Look at what

1:01:571:02:03

the Children's Society has said

about those 1 million children who

1:02:031:02:06

will not receive it if those

regulations come into force.

I am

1:02:061:02:11

very grateful to my honourable

friend and she is indeed making a

1:02:111:02:14

very persuasive case. In the

Bradford district, over 10,000

1:02:141:02:21

children living in poverty will miss

out on free school meals. Northern

1:02:211:02:24

Ireland will be exempt from the

same. Is it not the case that they

1:02:241:02:31

are putting political benefit over

child poverty?

Well, my honourable

1:02:311:02:36

friend makes an excellent point

which I will come onto later in my

1:02:361:02:39

contribution. As I said, those just

above... You have had your chance,

1:02:391:02:45

thank you. Those that are just above

the threshold would be better off

1:02:451:02:49

earning less. Honourable members

have been told there are over 40

1:02:491:02:54

people waiting to get into this

debate. I am trying to give way the

1:02:541:02:58

best I can. The honourable member

has already intervened once and I

1:02:581:03:01

think that is more than enough.

One

too many!

Those just above the

1:03:011:03:08

threshold would be better off

earning less under these proposals.

1:03:081:03:12

The Government is pulling the rug

from under their feet, because once

1:03:121:03:16

the error above £7,400 they will be

around £400 a year worse off for

1:03:161:03:22

each child they have in school --

once they are earning above £7,400.

1:03:221:03:27

When did the Government abandon the

principle that work should pay?

1:03:271:03:32

Perhaps the Secretary of State can

tell us why she will be voting for

1:03:321:03:37

policy, as my honourable friend has

just said, twice as generous in

1:03:371:03:41

Northern Ireland as it will be for

own constituents's

I thank my

1:03:411:03:48

honourable friend for giving way.

Would she agree with me that the

1:03:481:03:51

party opposite when it talks about

making work pay, they completely

1:03:511:03:55

demolish that with the Universal

Credit by George Osborne removing...

1:03:551:04:00

And now work doesn't pay?

I think

the member makes a really important

1:04:001:04:08

point. Universal Credit has had

add-ons and add-ons ever since the

1:04:081:04:14

Government proposed it which has

made it very complex and in some

1:04:141:04:17

cases, as I have just out later,

work doesn't pay for those in

1:04:171:04:22

receipt if these proposals are put

forward. Madam Deputy Speaker, I

1:04:221:04:27

would like to make just a little bit

more progress. I would like to

1:04:271:04:31

address the issue of free childcare.

Once again the Government has a

1:04:311:04:34

policy in transition, one they are

seeking to restrict. In fact there

1:04:341:04:38

are around 200 two-year-olds

currently eligible for 15 hours of

1:04:381:04:49

free childcare -- 200,000. But there

are over 400,000 in families

1:04:491:04:55

receiving free credit. Ministers

have refused to say how many

1:04:551:04:58

children will be eligible under

their policy. Can they finally do so

1:04:581:05:03

now? There are hundreds of thousands

of children who may lose out under

1:05:031:05:06

their plans. Once again, some of the

most vulnerable children are the

1:05:061:05:13

first in line for Government cuts. I

will happily give way.

In this House

1:05:131:05:19

we all believed in an honest and

balanced debate. Can we just hear

1:05:191:05:23

from the honourable lady that it is

clear that 50,000 more children will

1:05:231:05:27

be entitled to free school meals

under Universal Credit than

1:05:271:05:33

previously, and 700,000 more

children will be entitled to the --

1:05:331:05:38

7000 children will be entitled to

their two-year-old offer.

That

1:05:381:05:43

figures from their own consultation

document but there is no

1:05:431:05:46

accompanying methodology, so I am

not quite as convinced, and it makes

1:05:461:05:49

up less than 5% of those in poverty.

Actually, what we are talking about

1:05:491:05:54

and what the regulations are would

mean that those that would currently

1:05:541:05:57

be eligible under that support that

was laid out for Universal Credit,

1:05:571:06:05

they would have that rug pulled from

under them. You can keep making

1:06:051:06:09

faces but those are the facts. Once

again, Madam Deputy Speaker, this

1:06:091:06:17

create a cliff edge for families in

receipt of their childcare. One that

1:06:171:06:21

was pleased the income of working

families who are already struggling

1:06:211:06:26

to get by. Under Universal Credit,

they have to pay their childcare

1:06:261:06:32

costs upfront, and then claim that

money back. With childcare costs

1:06:321:06:36

rising faster than wages meeting

these upfront costs will make it

1:06:361:06:43

impossible for many working families

to make ends meet. Yet another

1:06:431:06:46

barrier put in their way. Only

months ago several members of the

1:06:461:06:55

benches opposite asked the

Chancellor to look again at the

1:06:551:06:59

rate, because it meant work would

not pay for low income families.

1:06:591:07:03

Today's vote, Madame Deputy Speaker,

is on exactly this issue. When the

1:07:031:07:08

Government has already made those

families bear the brunt of their

1:07:081:07:12

cuts, to add yet another burden is

just wrong. To go?

Very good. --

1:07:121:07:25

them. I thank the honourable lady

for giving way, she has been

1:07:251:07:29

extremely generous with the tempest

of the Labour Party manifesto

1:07:291:07:32

committed to extend free school

meals to all primary school pupils.

1:07:321:07:36

This is an additional extension to a

lot more children in secondary

1:07:361:07:41

school. Would she please tell us how

much that would cost and how her

1:07:411:07:44

party would fund it where they

empower?

-- were they in power. The

1:07:441:07:52

member knows the school plan report

published in July 2013 actually

1:07:521:07:57

recommended the Government look at

infant and Junior schools for free

1:07:571:08:01

school meals. The Labour Party

manifesto was clearly just extending

1:08:011:08:05

that. It was unfortunate this

Government chose not to do that, and

1:08:051:08:09

they cut that and just give it to

the infants. If members opposite

1:08:091:08:12

would like to see our manifesto and

the costing I am sure I can provide

1:08:121:08:16

it, because there were a lot more

costings in our manifesto than there

1:08:161:08:20

were in the members' opposite.

Madame Deputy Speaker...

Order, can

1:08:201:08:29

I just say I think this is an

extremely important debate? It is a

1:08:291:08:34

very serious debate. The honourable

lady has taken a lot of

1:08:341:08:37

interventions. But when she has

taken interventions there is no

1:08:371:08:40

point in just shouting at her. It is

important to listen to the answer

1:08:401:08:44

and that will go the same when the

minister is speaking.

Thank you,

1:08:441:08:49

Madame Deputy Speaker. I will now

address the other issue on

1:08:491:08:53

childcare. The Government are

phasing out voters as they

1:08:531:08:56

transition to a policy of tax free

childcare. -- they are phasing out

1:08:561:09:02

vouchers. This policy is not

working. Tax free childcare has been

1:09:021:09:06

so shambolic that they fell 90%

short of their take-up target, and

1:09:061:09:11

spending was less than 5% of their

projection. Instead, nearly £1

1:09:111:09:18

billion earmarked for childcare was

returned to the Treasury. Yet they

1:09:181:09:22

are still pushing ahead with a plan

to phase out childcare vouchers, a

1:09:221:09:27

plan that will leave families

hundreds of pounds worse off. This

1:09:271:09:33

will direct the transfer Government

support to those who are better off.

1:09:331:09:37

I will give way.

I am very grateful

to the honourable lady. She may have

1:09:371:09:41

received the same and I did from the

Government showing 10,000 of their

1:09:411:09:46

own officials still use childcare

vouchers. And the same number signed

1:09:461:09:50

up to the scheme. Does she agree

that if ministers won't protect

1:09:501:09:53

their own officials they should at

least stand up for our Armed Forces?

1:09:531:10:00

I absolutely agree. Armed Forces do

a magnificent job for us and it is

1:10:001:10:04

an absolute scandal they will also

be worse off as a result of these

1:10:041:10:07

measures. Members across the House

will know hundreds of their

1:10:071:10:13

constituents have written letters

and signed petitions expressing

1:10:131:10:16

concerns about these policy changes,

yet the Government are continuing to

1:10:161:10:20

push ahead with them and have tried

to do so by the stroke of a

1:10:201:10:24

ministerial pen. The only

legislation that has come to this

1:10:241:10:29

House is that before us today, which

completes the phase-out of those who

1:10:291:10:33

change employers from after April.

We have called a boat on the

1:10:331:10:38

regulations, but we want to make

clear that if the House passes our

1:10:381:10:44

motion today -- we have called a

vote. Then we are sending a clear

1:10:441:10:48

message to the Government that it is

time to think again and keep

1:10:481:10:53

childcare vouchers open. Finally,

Madame Deputy Speaker, on Universal

1:10:531:10:57

Credit, these regulations apply new

1:10:571:11:01

sanctions to those currently

protected, and cut the time period

1:11:011:11:04

claimants have to provide evidence.

It will be those who suffer, those

1:11:041:11:13

with mental health needs. Charities

have charged the Government to

1:11:131:11:18

reconsider, saying it will make the

system harder to regulate at a time

1:11:181:11:22

when people are unwell and most in

need of support. Why is she ignoring

1:11:221:11:28

those voices and making the system

even harder for the very people who

1:11:281:11:33

they claim they want to support? I

want to move briefly on the

1:11:331:11:40

provisions relating to self employed

people, the absolute bedrock of our

1:11:401:11:46

economy. The Chancellor spoke of

start-ups and new businesses in his

1:11:461:11:51

speech earlier today but this makes

it harder for self-employed people.

1:11:511:11:56

The TUC warns a short start-up

period in the minimum income for

1:11:561:12:00

could close businesses with the

potential to become sustainable and

1:12:001:12:04

profitable. These rules could

discourage people from

1:12:041:12:08

self-employment entirely. Again, why

is the minister making things so

1:12:081:12:14

much harder for people her

Government claims to support? We

1:12:141:12:18

know that the self-employed are more

likely to be on lower earnings

1:12:181:12:22

compared to employees, yet the

Office for Budget Responsibility, in

1:12:221:12:27

its recent welfare report, confirms

the low paid self-employed face a

1:12:271:12:33

much tougher benefits system under

Universal Credit. On average, Madam

1:12:331:12:37

Deputy Speaker, those should expect

to lose around £3000. The savings

1:12:371:12:42

seem to be coming from the pockets

of the low paid self-employed. Why

1:12:421:12:47

is the Minister pursuing a policy

that will make so many self-employed

1:12:471:12:54

people so much worse off? These

regulations make the Universal

1:12:541:13:00

Credit system even more complicated

with the introduction of surplus

1:13:001:13:05

earnings rule. With Universal Credit

based on previous month income, a

1:13:051:13:12

self employed claimant could get

substantially less than an employed

1:13:121:13:18

claimant with a similar income. Work

and Pensions Secretary 's have said

1:13:181:13:24

it will be simpler and make work

pay, but once again they are

1:13:241:13:27

proposing the opposite. Madam Deputy

Speaker, all of these statutory

1:13:271:13:33

instruments share a common theme.

They are about support we offer the

1:13:331:13:38

families and their children,

particularly those already

1:13:381:13:41

struggling to get by. I remember

when the Prime Minister said the

1:13:411:13:45

mission of her Government was this,

but I am thinking it stood for Just

1:13:451:13:59

About May's

1:13:591:14:02

but I am thinking it stood for Just

About May's, survival. But there

1:14:021:14:07

will be JAMS today and tomorrow,

because instead of helping them get

1:14:071:14:11

on and get by, this Government is

making life even harder. Today is a

1:14:111:14:16

chance to say, enough is enough.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I commend the

1:14:161:14:20

motions to this House.

1:14:201:14:25

The question is as on the order

paper. Secretary of State Esther

1:14:261:14:30

McVey.

Thank you, Madame Deputy

Speaker. As she is on the front

1:14:301:14:37

bench today, I congratulate the

honourable lady for Wirral West on

1:14:371:14:40

her promotion. I'm sure she would

have liked to have got it in happier

1:14:401:14:45

circumstances, but nonetheless, I

welcome her to her role and I hope

1:14:451:14:49

she too doesn't fall victim to the

bullying culture of the leader's

1:14:491:14:51

office that her friend and

honourable lady the member for

1:14:511:14:57

Oldham East and Saddleworth has.

Well, well, well, what a strange and

1:14:571:15:03

topsy-turvy world we find ourselves

in. Measures so strongly fought for

1:15:031:15:07

and won by claimants, MPs,

stakeholders and charities only

1:15:071:15:13

months ago now being opposed by the

opposition. These are changes that

1:15:131:15:19

were proposed by the most vocal

defenders of benefits now being

1:15:191:15:24

obstructed. In the chamber today, we

shouldn't be giving the public

1:15:241:15:31

misinformation, but unfortunately,

that is what has been happening.

1:15:311:15:36

Last month, stories emerged from

members opposite, particularly the

1:15:361:15:39

member for Ashton-under-Lyne and

repeated today that our plans for

1:15:391:15:45

entitlement to free school meals

would deprive over 1 million

1:15:451:15:49

children. It took a Channel 4 News

fact check to point out that no

1:15:491:15:55

child currently receiving meals

would lose out their entitlement,

1:15:551:15:58

and that in fact, 50,000 more

children would benefit under our

1:15:581:16:06

proposals when compared to the

previous system. While I understand

1:16:061:16:11

that that is the nature of the

1:16:111:16:15

opposition, to oppose,

scaremongering and misinformation

1:16:151:16:16

from that side of the House have

surely reached a new low as today,

1:16:161:16:22

they seek to an old regulations

consisting largely of changes

1:16:221:16:26

introduced purely to support benefit

claimants, changes that the members

1:16:261:16:31

opposite have called for, and all

this after a recent intervention by

1:16:311:16:39

the UK Statistics Authority make it

clear that claims made by the

1:16:391:16:42

members opposite about Universal

Credit causing poverty, debt and

1:16:421:16:48

eviction were not supported by

evidence. Of course, the scale and

1:16:481:16:58

nature of the change represented by

Universal Credit means scrutiny is

1:16:581:17:03

inevitable and it is important, and

I welcome that. But unsubstantiated

1:17:031:17:10

and exaggerated claims about

widespread problems caused by

1:17:101:17:12

Universal Credit amount to nothing

less than scaremongering. They cause

1:17:121:17:16

claimants alarm and in the worst

cases, stop them getting the money

1:17:161:17:21

they are entitled to. And yet where

we find ourselves today, once again

1:17:211:17:26

debating Universal Credit, with the

same false alarms from the Shadow

1:17:261:17:32

Cabinet, only this time, we are

debating the very regulations that

1:17:321:17:35

have designed to address the

legitimate concerns of the members

1:17:351:17:39

opposite and our stakeholders.

The

Secretary of State said that claims

1:17:391:17:50

should not be made when they are

unsubstantiated. I have been asking

1:17:501:17:54

questions regarding the 50,000

increase figure that is in the

1:17:541:17:58

consultation response. I have

received no facts whatsoever about

1:17:581:18:01

how that has been arrived at. Will

that be published, please?

The

1:18:011:18:10

numbers have been calculated by

civil servants who have been

1:18:101:18:18

modelling the numbers. Those are the

facts from independent people, facts

1:18:181:18:23

that can be relied upon, rather than

people who are making it up, as we

1:18:231:18:29

have heard today, as they go along.

Will my honourable friend dispel

1:18:291:18:35

some of the myths being put out by

members of the party opposite in

1:18:351:18:39

scaremongering that is going on and

reassure my constituents where we

1:18:391:18:42

have full roll-out of Universal

Credit that those already in receipt

1:18:421:18:46

of free school meals will not lose

that eligibility?

My honourable

1:18:461:18:52

friend is correct. Thank you for

adding that comment, which is right.

1:18:521:18:59

That is the protection that is

afforded as well as going forward,

1:18:591:19:04

more people will be benefiting from

it. While not just debating these

1:19:041:19:15

points today, but we are saving the

extra support that we brought in

1:19:151:19:22

from the opposition, who would be

happy to destroy the extra support

1:19:221:19:27

that we brought in for benefit

claimants. Perhaps I should remind

1:19:271:19:32

the House that some of the changes

in these regulations are what

1:19:321:19:37

benefits they will bring to

claimants. After all, the policy

1:19:371:19:41

underpinning these regulations have

been widely debated and supported

1:19:411:19:44

inside and out of the chamber. The

regulations abolishing waiting days,

1:19:441:19:49

which will help many claimants on

average by £160 and at the same time

1:19:491:19:53

reduce the time to take to receive

the first monthly payment. These

1:19:531:19:58

regulations bring into effect the

housing benefit transitional

1:19:581:20:02

payment, which amounts to two weeks

of housing benefit at the start of

1:20:021:20:05

the claim. This is worth an average

£233 towards helping claimants they

1:20:051:20:10

on top of their housing costs as

they move into Universal Credit and

1:20:101:20:14

these regulations also increased the

work allowances in further support

1:20:141:20:22

for those who are striving to enter

work.

The Secretary of State is

1:20:221:20:30

attempting to provide a stout

defence of the impact of Universal

1:20:301:20:33

Credit. Why is it, then, that her

colleagues in Stirling Council

1:20:331:20:38

proposed three years of litigation

against the impact of Universal

1:20:381:20:41

Credit, worth over half £1 million,

only last month?

Actually, if you

1:20:411:20:48

look at what this government brought

in at the Budget, it was £1.5

1:20:481:20:51

billion of support for the country.

And where are supporting people as

1:20:511:20:58

best we can. Additionally, these

regulations fund temporary

1:20:581:21:05

accommodation through housing

benefit, which has been widely

1:21:051:21:10

called for and unanimously welcomed

by local authority. These

1:21:101:21:13

regulations follow on my host of

other changes we have already

1:21:131:21:17

implemented. These include making

our telephone lines Freephone

1:21:171:21:22

numbers, extending the maximum

repayment for advances from six

1:21:221:21:25

months to a year, increasing the

maximum advance that claimants can

1:21:251:21:32

receive to up to 100%, changing the

guidance to ensure that when private

1:21:321:21:36

sector housing claimants come onto

Universal Credit, we know whether

1:21:361:21:39

their rent was previously paid

directly to the landlord and we can

1:21:391:21:43

ensure that continues.

Mina even

than the master in Oliver Twist's

1:21:431:21:54

workhouse, the Secretary of State

seeks not just to stop the second

1:21:541:21:58

helpings, but any meal at all. Come

to Norfolk. If these changes go

1:21:581:22:04

through, 12,500 children will be

denied a hot midday meal. How does

1:22:041:22:07

that square the circle with making

work pay?

Fortunately, I was taught

1:22:071:22:21

this as a child. When you have

totally lost the argument, you make

1:22:211:22:24

up the facts, and this is what we

are hearing from the opposition.

1:22:241:22:31

When you have just brought in all of

the requests that the opposition

1:22:311:22:36

wanted, the list that I have just

reiterated supporting more people

1:22:361:22:41

into work, the opposition are just

scaremongering, making things up as

1:22:411:22:47

they go along. So I hope it is clear

to the whole House what real and

1:22:471:22:53

tangible benefit these regulations

will bring for claimants and that is

1:22:531:22:59

promised, we are making the changes

necessary to continue to deliver

1:22:591:23:03

Universal Credit safely and securely

with all the necessary support the

1:23:031:23:07

claimants need. But I want to be

clearer about another thing, because

1:23:071:23:12

I know members have stood up for it

during the Universal Credit debates,

1:23:121:23:18

and that is to recount stories of

cases where their constituents have

1:23:181:23:25

reported difficulties with Universal

Credit. Where they have, we have

1:23:251:23:29

immediately sought to address those

concerns to get it right. It is

1:23:291:23:33

vital to all of us that we get this

right so that we can deliver the

1:23:331:23:43

most modern, forward-thinking,

flexible benefit in the world. That

1:23:431:23:50

is what this government is seeking

to deliver. This benefit will be at

1:23:501:23:55

the cutting edge of support

throughout the world.

On problems

1:23:551:24:08

with Universal Credit, the Secretary

of State will recognise that

1:24:081:24:10

families earning a bit less than

7400 a year, the last thing they

1:24:101:24:15

will want is a pay rise, because if

they get it, they will immediately

1:24:151:24:19

lose their free school meals and be

much worse off. That is a serious

1:24:191:24:24

problem for working families, which

used to be a big priority for her

1:24:241:24:28

department. Will she recognised

that?

The honourable member raises a

1:24:281:24:35

5-point, whereas the other points we

have heard have been fabrication --

1:24:351:24:39

it is a fair point. In this

instance, when we talk about earning

1:24:391:24:45

7400, actually, with Universal

Credit, we talk about people who

1:24:451:24:48

will be bringing home somewhere

between 18,000 to 20 4000. And you

1:24:481:24:53

are quite right. If I could finish

this pertinent point, as this is now

1:24:531:25:06

a personalised benefit where people

will be having their own work code,

1:25:061:25:10

we would not seek to put somebody in

a less advantageous situation. So

1:25:101:25:18

when you look at the money that is

coming in and the extra support from

1:25:181:25:21

school meals, you would not seek to

do that to an individual. So it

1:25:211:25:27

would be with a work coach working

with an individual to help them to

1:25:271:25:32

progress in work so that they are in

a better situation.

On the question

1:25:321:25:40

of work incentives, can the

Secretary of State confirm that

1:25:401:25:42

there have been two studies, one in

December 2015 and another in

1:25:421:25:49

September 2017, both of which showed

that people on Universal Credit were

1:25:491:25:53

more likely to get back into work

and those people on the predecessor

1:25:531:25:57

benefit? So this is helping people

get back into work.

My honourable

1:25:571:26:03

friend is quite correct. There are

also further studies that show that

1:26:031:26:10

people on Universal Credit are much

more likely to look for work than

1:26:101:26:17

people on job-seeker's allowance.

86% look for work and that is

1:26:171:26:24

because underneath the legacy

benefits, there were things like the

1:26:241:26:29

16 hour rule, which trapped people

on benefits, which will not happen

1:26:291:26:32

under Universal Credit because every

hour that you work, it pays to work.

1:26:321:26:40

My honourable friend is making a

fantastic task of doing this right.

1:26:401:26:47

Alongside the absurdities she has

already pointed out over the

1:26:471:26:50

opposition's position where they

will now vote against the changes

1:26:501:26:53

that will benefit those who need

them most, they are now voting for a

1:26:531:26:59

policy that will deliver free school

meals to somebody earning £40,000 a

1:26:591:27:03

year. Doesn't she think, therefore

the few, not the many?

My right

1:27:031:27:14

honourable friend makes a good

point. Maybe it is honest mistakes

1:27:141:27:20

from the opposite benches, I'm not

sure. But under Universal Credit,

1:27:201:27:25

people can be in work and not in

work. Maybe they have not understood

1:27:251:27:31

the complexities of the system, that

we are helping people in work. As my

1:27:311:27:37

right honourable friend says, should

you be less allowing everybody on

1:27:371:27:40

Universal Credit to have free school

meals, parents could be on £40,000 a

1:27:401:27:44

year. And we support people on free

school meals who are either not in

1:27:441:27:53

work or in a low amount of work.

Order. Can we listen to the

1:27:531:27:59

Secretary of State? If she takes

interventions, that is fine. We

1:27:591:28:06

should be a bit calmer.

Thank you. I

would give way to my honourable

1:28:061:28:14

friend.

Jobcentres in my

constituency tell me with some

1:28:141:28:20

passion that Universal Credit is

helping them get more people into

1:28:201:28:23

work. But the government has also

listened to concerns about Universal

1:28:231:28:31

Credit and is making improvements.

Is it not bizarre that the party

1:28:311:28:33

opposite is trying to block those

improvements when the government is

1:28:331:28:37

doing the right thing?

My right

honourable friend is not only spot

1:28:371:28:47

on, but the incredulity with which

she says what the opposition are

1:28:471:28:53

stopping only points out how

ridiculous the position is of the

1:28:531:28:56

opposition. We have not only helped

an extra 3.1 million more people

1:28:561:29:03

into work, these regulations that we

are seeking to bring in help the

1:29:031:29:05

most vulnerable and are bringing in

an extra £1.5 billion worth of

1:29:051:29:10

support.

1:29:101:29:20

Looking at the education regulations

and free school meals, the

1:29:201:29:26

government has recently published

its response is to consultations of

1:29:261:29:30

the earnings pressure to receive

this under Universal Credit. The

1:29:301:29:35

scope of these consultations

includes entitlement to free school

1:29:351:29:36

meals, the early years pupil premium

and free early education provision

1:29:361:29:41

for two-year-olds. The intentions of

these regulations is to replace the

1:29:411:29:44

transitional criteria introduced in

2013. These transitional measures

1:29:441:29:51

made all families on Universal

Credit eligible for these

1:29:511:29:55

entitlements, a move that was

necessary so that no household

1:29:551:29:57

should lose out in the early stages

of the Universal Credit roll-out.

1:29:571:30:03

Having considered all responses to

the consultation, the Department for

1:30:031:30:08

Education laid regulations on the

7th of February to replace the

1:30:081:30:11

temporary criteria with the new

earnings threshold. And this is what

1:30:111:30:16

much of the debate has so far

centred upon. Hopefully, we have

1:30:161:30:25

drawn clarity. Hopefully, the

opposition benches will understand

1:30:251:30:34

why we are being helpful to their

constituents by allowing these

1:30:341:30:37

regulations to come through.

In

preparing this change to benefits

1:30:371:30:42

that shows how un-trusted the

government is on benefits, if you

1:30:421:30:49

are trying to sell something, you

can't. But my question is this. If

1:30:491:30:56

the system is so fantastic, why do

80% of people who come and see MPs

1:30:561:31:03

get their benefits? Why shouldn't

the system just work? Why does it

1:31:031:31:06

take 80% of appeals?

Order. These

have to be short interventions. I

1:31:061:31:15

want to make sure all members get

in.

Thank you. It would be helpful

1:31:151:31:27

if we didn't just make up statistics

and facts as we go along, as we have

1:31:271:31:31

just heard, and listen to the

support we are providing to

1:31:311:31:42

claimants. As I said, it is a

topsy-turvy world. This noise, this

1:31:421:31:50

ding-dong was when they were calling

for these changes. Now we are

1:31:501:31:56

introducing these changes, IR back

to a ding-dong and not wanting them.

1:31:561:32:00

But never mind. Turning now to the

regulations concerning national

1:32:001:32:07

insurance contributions and

childcare. These regulations align

1:32:071:32:11

the tax and national insurance

treatments of employer supported

1:32:111:32:14

childcare where parents opt into the

new tax-free card scheme. They

1:32:141:32:19

remove the national insurance

disregard to new entrants into the

1:32:191:32:22

scheme once the relevant day has

been set. They are vital to ensure

1:32:221:32:25

that the tax system operates fairly

and the government can target its

1:32:251:32:31

childcare support effectively. For

many parents, being able to afford

1:32:311:32:35

good quality childcare is essential

for them to work and support their

1:32:351:32:38

families. That is why we are

replacing the childcare vouchers

1:32:381:32:41

with tax-free childcare, which is a

fairer system. Tax-free childcare is

1:32:411:32:48

now open to all eligible parents.

They can get up to 2000 per child

1:32:481:32:52

per year to help towards their

childcare costs. More families will

1:32:521:32:56

be able to access support through

tax-free childcare, because only

1:32:561:33:00

about half of employed working

parents can access vouchers.

1:33:001:33:08

Self-employed parents were excluded

from vouchers. Now 1.5 million

1:33:081:33:12

families are eligible for tax-free

childcare compared to around 600,000

1:33:121:33:16

families currently benefiting from

the vouchers.

Can the honourable

1:33:161:33:26

lady clarify something she said in

relation to people getting paid

1:33:261:33:29

increases which then perversely lead

to them being worse off? The

1:33:291:33:35

Secretary of State said she would

instruct personal trainers, it

1:33:351:33:39

appears, to put that right

financially. I can hear a shudder

1:33:391:33:41

going around benefits offices up and

down the country at the idea that

1:33:411:33:45

the Secretary of State has said any

constituent of ours that faces being

1:33:451:33:49

worse off as a consequence of a pay

rise, the Secretary of State's

1:33:491:33:55

personal trainers will compensate

those individuals?

Thank you for

1:33:551:34:03

that intervention, because it allows

me to explain how Universal Credit

1:34:031:34:06

works, which is on a tailor-made

basis so that the claimant will

1:34:061:34:11

always be in contact with their work

coaches, working out what is better,

1:34:111:34:16

how progression would be better and

why they would be taking a

1:34:161:34:21

reasonable job because it makes them

better off. This is not something I

1:34:211:34:25

am unilaterally saying. I would like

to say to the opposite bench, please

1:34:251:34:31

go to your local job centre. Please

meet with your work coaches, who can

1:34:311:34:39

then explained how the system works.

The government introduced the

1:34:391:34:47

announcement of tax-free childcare

in 2013 as a successor to childcare

1:34:471:34:50

vouchers. The passing of the

childcare act in 2014, which

1:34:501:34:56

legislated for tax-free childcare,

had cross-party support. Tax-free

1:34:561:35:01

childcare is now fully rolled out

and the date for the closure of the

1:35:011:35:04

voucher scheme to new entrants is

April this year. It was set out in

1:35:041:35:09

the 2016 giving two years notice.

Those parents receiving childcare

1:35:091:35:14

vouchers can now continue to use

them, while their current employer

1:35:141:35:19

continues to offer the scheme.

Isn't

the bottom line here that under the

1:35:191:35:26

previous tax credit system, people

got 75% towards their childcare

1:35:261:35:31

costs, but under Universal Credit,

they get 80% towards childcare costs

1:35:311:35:37

and they can work all the hours that

they want?

Universal Credit is far

1:35:371:35:43

more generous, as my honourable

friend points out. Up to 85% of

1:35:431:35:49

childcare costs will be given to

people who need them. Under the

1:35:491:35:56

childcare voucher scheme, the

estimated cost of forgoing the

1:35:561:36:03

national insurance contributions is

£220 million per year. This is paid

1:36:031:36:08

to employers and voucher providers

to administer the schemes. It is not

1:36:081:36:11

surprising that voucher providers

are lobbying to keep the scheme

1:36:111:36:14

open. However, we are focused on

delivering a better childcare offer

1:36:141:36:20

for working families. Tax-free

childcare is more simple to

1:36:201:36:26

administer for childcare providers,

who will not have to deal with

1:36:261:36:30

multiple child voucher providers.

These regulations will bring the

1:36:301:36:40

national insurance contributions

relief in line with the income tax

1:36:401:36:43

treatment. They are an essential

step in reforming government

1:36:431:36:46

childcare support to provide a fair

and well targeted system. Closing

1:36:461:36:50

the childcare voucher scheme to new

entrants will ensure that more

1:36:501:36:54

government support goes to parents

and helps working families to reduce

1:36:541:36:57

their childcare costs.

With the

consultation that the government is

1:36:571:37:05

carrying out into abuse of women,

does the minister recognised the

1:37:051:37:09

threat to women of the single

payment of financial control and

1:37:091:37:13

abuse, and with the minister be

willing to consider making

1:37:131:37:18

individual payments of the child tax

credits to the mother et the norm?

1:37:181:37:23

Charities have shown that women who

are being abused will not apply for

1:37:231:37:28

exception because they feel they

will come under physical abuse.

The

1:37:281:37:34

honourable lady makes a good point.

That is why it is possible to split

1:37:341:37:39

payments according to need. I would

also say that Scotland, as a

1:37:391:37:47

devolved administration, has the

right to alter these roles, should

1:37:471:37:52

they wish to, and provide extra

support. But you can now split

1:37:521:37:58

payments and we have listened to

those concerns. We are also

1:37:581:38:03

listening to colleagues in Northern

Ireland who have raced specific

1:38:031:38:06

circumstances relating to certain

public sector service employers and

1:38:061:38:10

relating to engagement with those

colleagues to look at those issues

1:38:101:38:13

as tax-free childcare continues to

roll out to replace employer

1:38:131:38:17

supported childcare. We have seen

the success of 30 hours of free

1:38:171:38:21

childcare for three and

four-year-olds in England, so we are

1:38:211:38:24

committed to working with the

Northern Ireland parties to

1:38:241:38:28

administer childcare support of this

kind in Northern Ireland in absence

1:38:281:38:31

of an executive. For the reasons I

have set out, and mulling these

1:38:311:38:35

regulations would deprive families

and their children of important and

1:38:351:38:40

positive support that this

government is determined to offer.

1:38:401:38:48

And knowing these regulations would

therefore have a range of very

1:38:481:38:52

negative effects -- cancelling

these.

I am grateful for the

1:38:521:39:03

opportunity to speak on these

motions. The other two motions

1:39:031:39:13

relate to England or England and

Wales only, but regarding this one

1:39:131:39:18

on Universal Credit, it covers most

of what was announced during the

1:39:181:39:23

Chancellor's autumn budget, after

months of negative headlines, their

1:39:231:39:27

big sell to their concerned

backbenchers, which was not really

1:39:271:39:31

very much. For instance, they reduce

the waiting time for Universal

1:39:311:39:35

Credit to be paid from six weeks to

five, welcome, but a very wee step.

1:39:351:39:40

There were also more controversial

measures, such as changes to the

1:39:401:39:45

rules on surplus earnings and

removing this blooming

1:39:451:39:55

specifications on illness for those

phone fit for work. Reducing the

1:39:551:39:59

number of dates people have to

register regarding a change in their

1:39:591:40:02

circumstance, from one month to 14

days. Mr Deputy Speaker, the

1:40:021:40:07

Government's tweaks to the welfare

system over the last years like a

1:40:071:40:12

drip, drip of cuts or slowly the

value and support -- value of

1:40:121:40:19

support provided. For people on low

incomes, to cope not only with the

1:40:191:40:22

fact that the benefits are frozen,

meeting the costs of living, but

1:40:221:40:27

also the Government continue to add

layers of punitive bureaucracy

1:40:271:40:29

designed to trip them up. An

individual financial sanction, it is

1:40:291:40:37

of tiny value overall, but it is

proportionally an enormous chunk of

1:40:371:40:43

that person's income. Yet this

Government seem content to make

1:40:431:40:47

these changes off-the-cuff in the

same way they treat the Universal

1:40:471:40:51

Credit, the same way they tried to

tweak PIP to stop and go with severe

1:40:511:40:57

mental health problems receiving a

higher rate. It is appalling. I

1:40:571:41:01

received an official warning that

Universal Credit is to be rolled out

1:41:011:41:05

in my constituency. I have been

working closely with my local

1:41:051:41:09

citizens advice bureau to make sure

they are joined up in responding to

1:41:091:41:13

the issues as they unfold, as they

have in many other members'

1:41:131:41:19

constituencies across this house. I

am worried for local employees and

1:41:191:41:24

their employers as to how Universal

Credit will impact on them, as the

1:41:241:41:27

picture elsewhere has been

disastrous. The continued roll-out

1:41:271:41:31

of Universal Credit is having a

devastating impact on credit, on

1:41:311:41:36

claimants, with debt and rent

arrears through the riffs. I will

1:41:361:41:39

give way.

He is speaking about the

roll-out. We had the roll-out just a

1:41:391:41:44

few month ago. Can I assure him that

roll-out is going, not in my words

1:41:441:41:49

but in those of the manager of the

job centre who has worked their for

1:41:491:41:53

30 years, an independent person

working day in, day out to help

1:41:531:41:57

people, it is much better than any

previous system? Maybe he would like

1:41:571:42:00

to visit and speak to her in

Redditch?

I have no reason to doubt

1:42:001:42:07

what the honourable member has to

say, except for the experiences that

1:42:071:42:11

happened to be considered by

honourable member across this side

1:42:111:42:14

of the house, which is rather

different. I pointed the honourable

1:42:141:42:18

member and her colleagues to my

honourable friend from Inverness,

1:42:181:42:24

Nairn, Strathearn and bedrock who

has been working tirelessly on this,

1:42:241:42:27

not only while a member of this

house but also while he was a leader

1:42:271:42:32

of Highland Council when Universal

Credit was first tested in Highlands

1:42:321:42:35

and he has been knocking against a

brick wall in terms of the DWP to

1:42:351:42:41

listen to the concerns he has phoned

in his area that have not been

1:42:411:42:43

listened to and are not shared with

experiences the honourable member

1:42:431:42:48

says she has in Redditch -- that he

has found in his area.

Apart from

1:42:481:42:56

the honourable lady from Redditch

saying how wonderful job centres are

1:42:561:42:59

and the work they do, but I don't

know if she has had the same

1:42:591:43:03

experience as me in my city of

Glasgow were six job centres have

1:43:031:43:06

been and the others have been

butchered. So how can we find out

1:43:061:43:11

what is going on the job centres

when her Government is busy closing

1:43:111:43:14

them.

I agree with my friend and I

hope even at this late stage, even

1:43:141:43:24

after the doors have closed that the

Government may listen and finally

1:43:241:43:28

provide a reprieve. It is right we

also acknowledge the knock-on effect

1:43:281:43:31

being felt by landlords who in turn

are having their incomes squeezed

1:43:311:43:35

due to tenants falling into arrears.

This is due to success of cuts to

1:43:351:43:41

Universal Credit. The SNP has

continually called for the roll-out

1:43:411:43:44

of Universal Credit to be paused and

properly fixed, and that is not just

1:43:441:43:48

about reducing the wait time I week

for those receiving the Universal

1:43:481:43:52

Credit. It is about restoring the

original principles of Universal

1:43:521:43:56

Credit. Cut back so far to its

roots, they have been battered. The

1:43:561:44:02

UK Government's wilful ignorance

over this shameful. Evidence of the

1:44:021:44:06

social destruction caused in its

current form is clear from report

1:44:061:44:09

after report from expert charities,

social destruction which is not

1:44:091:44:15

masked by the repeated ad nauseam

wine from the Government that

1:44:151:44:18

Universal Credit is getting people

into work. That is not much good for

1:44:181:44:21

people -- ad nauseam mine. Not much

good if it is a shift from out of

1:44:211:44:29

work poverty into in work property.

We also know 67% of children, 67% of

1:44:291:44:37

children, currently living in

poverty do so in a family where at

1:44:371:44:39

least one person works.

1:44:391:44:44

Would he agree that most housing

providers have deep concerns about

1:44:441:44:49

Universal Credit in general and the

direct payments to tenants who do

1:44:491:44:52

have problems with paying, having

that relationship?

We will have to

1:44:521:44:59

start with a five-minute limit, I

don't want to start with four but we

1:44:591:45:03

are in danger of going that way.

I

agree, which is why we are looking

1:45:031:45:07

to bring about some of these

flexibilities where we can in

1:45:071:45:10

Scotland, where we have powers to do

so.

1:45:101:45:13

The Government must open their eyes

to the crisis they have created for

1:45:131:45:17

workers, people who are sick, who

are disabled, landlords and tenants,

1:45:171:45:23

employers, and urgently Holt and fix

Universal Credit before any more of

1:45:231:45:28

our constituents have to suffer. In

Scotland, it is using some of the

1:45:281:45:34

minimal new powers to give Scotland

more choice over the Universal

1:45:341:45:40

Credit payments. Of course, we would

want to do more. If the whole of

1:45:401:45:48

Universal Credit had been devolved

to allow us to do so...

Does my

1:45:481:45:52

honourable friend agree with me that

the Minister's suggestion women can

1:45:521:45:55

apply for the exceptional

alternative payment scheme isn't

1:45:551:45:59

enough? The evidence shows that this

needs to be the norm?

I fully agree

1:45:591:46:06

with my honourable friend. Again, I

hope the Government is looking at

1:46:061:46:10

her private members bill, which is

due to be read again on Friday. I

1:46:101:46:13

hope the Government will look at

that again and do what is right and

1:46:131:46:17

is needed for all areas of these

isles to bring about these changes

1:46:171:46:23

required.

Turning now to EDM 1004, the changes

1:46:231:46:29

to national insurance contributions,

which comes into force on the 6th of

1:46:291:46:33

April. Much of the comment on this

area is not just about the

1:46:331:46:36

regulations themselves but about the

quality underpinning one of these

1:46:361:46:40

changes, the UK Government was my

decision to introduce a new scheme

1:46:401:46:43

to support parents' childcare costs.

To insert a clause. Parents will be

1:46:431:46:54

able to simultaneously received

support from the current scheme and

1:46:541:46:58

the new tax-free childcare scheme

for parents who wish to remain in

1:46:581:47:00

the old voucher scheme can do so.

There is no obligation to switch to

1:47:001:47:08

the new scheme, however, existing

voucher schemes will be closed to

1:47:081:47:13

new applicants from next month. The

delivery of affordable childcare is

1:47:131:47:18

crucial for the development of

children, as well as providing for

1:47:181:47:22

families. Fundamental to this is

parents on low incomes need to be

1:47:221:47:25

protected from the impact of high

childcare costs. That is one of the

1:47:251:47:30

major barriers to us resolving the

gender pay gap and the unemployment

1:47:301:47:35

gap. Childcare continues to be

expensive and inflexible. We are

1:47:351:47:40

deeply concerned about the UK

Government's plans to close the old

1:47:401:47:44

voucher scheme to new applicants

from April. The SNP wishes to

1:47:441:47:51

support policies which helps parents

and these they have the flexibility

1:47:511:47:53

they need to give their children the

best start in life. The UK

1:47:531:47:58

Government must support working

parents and keep this game going,

1:47:581:48:01

alongside the tax-free childcare

scheme, so parents can choose what

1:48:011:48:04

is most suitable for their needs and

offers the most support for their

1:48:041:48:09

family. We must look at more detail

at the impact the introduction of

1:48:091:48:13

tax-free childcare will have across

all different family types. One of

1:48:131:48:17

the key problems here if this is an

extremely complex area. The

1:48:171:48:20

interaction of the two schemes with

the benefit system is in additional

1:48:201:48:25

layer of complicated bureaucracy for

parents. For example, low income tax

1:48:251:48:30

reform group highlighted this year

that Universal Credit and tax credit

1:48:301:48:33

claimants must seek advice before

applying for tax-free childcare.

1:48:331:48:37

They commented, if existed tax

credit claimant makes a claim, if

1:48:371:48:42

they do not claim any help with

childcare costs, they claim will be

1:48:421:48:48

terminated. If they live in an area

where Universal Credit has rolled

1:48:481:48:52

out, they may find they are not able

to claim tax credits again and this

1:48:521:48:56

is very confusing. This is a very

significant issue with the new

1:48:561:48:59

scheme. How is the Government making

people aware of this? We note the

1:48:591:49:05

DWP are bad with these campaigns, as

we have previously seen before. We

1:49:051:49:11

also know that the UK Government's

benefit changes are creating

1:49:111:49:15

confusion for people. Figures from

the digital service shows claimants

1:49:151:49:20

seem to be encountering significant

problems with the Government's

1:49:201:49:25

system of Universal Credit, with 48

out of 91 needing help that the Job

1:49:251:49:28

Centre to set up an account. In

Scotland, the SNP government has

1:49:281:49:32

committed to almost doubling the

early funding, funding for early

1:49:321:49:39

childcare in a bid to transform life

chances for children in Scotland. It

1:49:391:49:47

is unmatched in the rest of the UK.

In Scotland, 34-year-old and

1:49:471:49:51

eligible to-year-olds benefit. The

full rest entitlement is set to cost

1:49:511:49:59

families £350 per child per month.

Before I conclude, I would like to

1:49:591:50:03

touch briefly on the other two

motions on the free school lunches,

1:50:031:50:08

every child in Scotland at the local

council can get free school lunches,

1:50:081:50:16

regardless of financial

circumstances. Some children can

1:50:161:50:20

also get free meals. This is an

additional year that is provided in

1:50:201:50:25

England. It requires arbitrary

threshold is. We continue to call on

1:50:251:50:33

the UK Government to devolved powers

and funding so we can take control

1:50:331:50:38

of Universal Credit in its entirety

in Scotland and deliver in the best

1:50:381:50:42

way possible for the people of

Scotland.

1:50:421:50:44

Finally, on the free childcare, we

will fully expanded -- expanding

1:50:441:50:59

hours from 75 hours to 600 hours. In

conclusion, in all these areas, what

1:50:591:51:04

is clear is when issues are

devolved, we see better policy and

1:51:041:51:07

better outcomes for the people of

Scotland.

A five-minute limit, Mr

1:51:071:51:12

Marcus Jones.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I welcome the

1:51:121:51:16

Universal Credit regulations that

are before the House today. I don't

1:51:161:51:22

think we should forget that

Universal Credit is an important

1:51:221:51:26

reform. It's getting more people

back into work. It's helping people

1:51:261:51:32

stay in work, and people are getting

the support and help from DWP staff

1:51:321:51:37

that they were not getting in the

past. I think a mark of this policy

1:51:371:51:43

is shown by the enthusiasm of the

staff that Job Centres when you go

1:51:431:51:49

and visit them. I had the privilege

of visiting, I visited them since

1:51:491:51:54

but had the privilege in 2014th of

visiting my Job Centre and taking my

1:51:541:51:59

right honourable friend the

Chingford and Woodford Green. We

1:51:591:52:05

went into my Job Centre and they

have a large training room there and

1:52:051:52:09

they were doing a regional training

conference for up and coming

1:52:091:52:14

leaders, and I walked into this room

full of civil servants with my right

1:52:141:52:21

honourable friend, and immediately

the whole room applauded my right

1:52:211:52:24

honourable friend, which shows me

they are a group of people that

1:52:241:52:30

don't owe any government anything in

terms of their support or loyalty,

1:52:301:52:34

but it shows me that those people

think that the reforms that my right

1:52:341:52:38

honourable friend was making, the

Government is now making, are worth

1:52:381:52:41

doing. And actually, visiting those

people and speaking to them since

1:52:411:52:45

clearly indicates to me that the

people that are working on Job

1:52:451:52:51

Centres now think they are making a

real and positive difference. Now, I

1:52:511:52:56

won't say the roll of Universal

Credit hasn't been without its

1:52:561:52:59

challenges. We all know it has. That

is why the Government has put

1:52:591:53:03

forward this package today, a

package worth £1.5 billion to

1:53:031:53:08

people. But I think we should also

acknowledge that by voting down that

1:53:081:53:13

package today people would

potentially put those people that

1:53:131:53:20

need the help at that time in a

situation where they can't get their

1:53:201:53:23

advance within five days, where they

can have the extra six months to pay

1:53:231:53:29

any advance, where they would be in

a position where they would have to

1:53:291:53:32

go back to seven days of waiting

time before their claim could be

1:53:321:53:35

processed. And the issues that my

right honourable friend mentioned,

1:53:351:53:42

particularly around housing benefit,

where people would be in a worse

1:53:421:53:46

position in that regard. So I think

the House needs to think very

1:53:461:53:49

carefully before voting down these

regulations that are actually

1:53:491:53:55

positive, and things that actually

members on the opposite side of the

1:53:551:53:58

chamber wanted just a few months

ago.

1:53:581:54:01

Just quickly, Mr Speaker, I will

mention school meals, free school

1:54:011:54:05

meals. I think it is important to

point out that what we are

1:54:051:54:09

discussing today doesn't change the

entitlement to year one and two

1:54:091:54:12

children, all of which get free

school meals. I think we also need

1:54:121:54:16

to be careful with this figure of 1

million children are going to lose

1:54:161:54:19

out, because as soon as I heard

that, at the same afternoon at a

1:54:191:54:25

vote in the House I went and

accosted the education minister to

1:54:251:54:29

ask him if this was true. And quite

clearly he pointed out that it

1:54:291:54:33

wasn't true. I think that we do need

to look at the fact. And when we

1:54:331:54:38

compare... I will give way.

I am

grateful to my friend for giving

1:54:381:54:44

way. My honourable friend will

recognise the proposal from the

1:54:441:54:47

opposition in terms of school meals

was to pay for school meals in their

1:54:471:54:52

manifesto by charging VAT on private

schools, something which is illegal

1:54:521:54:56

under EU law. So does my right

honourable friend find it confusing

1:54:561:54:59

that they would put to stay in the

single market in the customs union

1:54:591:55:04

and still be at odds with their

policy?

1:55:041:55:07

I think what my honourable friend is

telling the House today and

1:55:071:55:12

demonstrating is the complete

confusion and disarray that the

1:55:121:55:16

opposition are in, not just around

this policy, but also things like

1:55:161:55:20

the policy around our future out of

the European Union. I think it does

1:55:201:55:26

go to the heart of this situation

that this is all about political

1:55:261:55:31

dogma, rather than practical ideas

and practical help for people.

1:55:311:55:37

I will give away.

I've thank the honourable member for

1:55:371:55:42

giving way. With the honourable

member agree or disagree that the

1:55:421:55:50

Children's Society figures of 16,500

children denied free school meals in

1:55:501:55:57

the county of Cheshire which I

represent and the Secretary of State

1:55:571:56:01

represents, is that political dogma?

What I would say to the honourable

1:56:011:56:09

gentleman is that actually, the new

system is quite clearly more

1:56:091:56:13

generous than the old system. I will

come and to external evidence which

1:56:131:56:19

explains that in a moment.

But just to bring it back to the

1:56:191:56:25

heart of what I was saying about

free school meals, the fact of the

1:56:251:56:29

matter is that under the old system

of JS eight, as soon as somebody did

1:56:291:56:34

16 hours or if there was two 24

hours, they lost their entitlement

1:56:341:56:40

for their children to have free

school meals. I think that is the

1:56:401:56:44

crux of this debate. We have to

compare and contrast that with what

1:56:441:56:48

we're moving to, which is a

situation where all of the people

1:56:481:56:56

that go into the system, that have

been in the system at this point,

1:56:561:57:01

they have all been eligible, and

that is because of the transitional

1:57:011:57:05

arrangements and it has been made

quite clear by members on this side

1:57:051:57:08

of the House while those

transitional arrangements were put

1:57:081:57:11

in place. But it is clear that the

new system, when we have a situation

1:57:111:57:19

when everybody's on Universal Credit

and we are following the regulations

1:57:191:57:22

put forward today that are put into

place, by 2022, an additional 50,000

1:57:221:57:28

children will be eligible for free

school meals that have hitherto not

1:57:281:57:33

been eligible.

Now, I hear all the noise from the

1:57:331:57:37

benches opposite, but they shouldn't

just take my word for it. They

1:57:371:57:43

shouldn't take the word for it of

members on this side, they should go

1:57:431:57:48

on to the Channel 4 website and look

at the Channel 4 fact check website.

1:57:481:57:54

And having looked at that, and I

will just, and I would just quote

1:57:541:57:59

what the Channel 4 fact check

website says. It says that this is

1:57:591:58:04

not a case of the Government taking

free school meals from a million

1:58:041:58:08

children who are currently receiving

them, it's about future hypothetical

1:58:081:58:15

scenarios. Both of them are more

generous than the old

1:58:151:58:17

The party opposite frequently looked

for us to improve the situation in

1:58:261:58:29

the lives of the most vulnerable

which is what we are doing and what

1:58:291:58:32

these regulations are doing today.

Unfortunately the party opposite

1:58:321:58:36

seem not to let the facts and the

truth get in the way of a good

1:58:361:58:40

story. It is too much political

dogma, and they are putting that

1:58:401:58:44

before people. This side of the

House are putting people first. This

1:58:441:58:48

system will be better than the

system was hitherto, and that is why

1:58:481:58:51

I will be supporting the Government.

The measures we are debating today

1:58:511:58:58

expose what's been happening to our

country since 2010. In the name of

1:58:581:59:03

deficit reduction and fiscal

responsibility the Tories have

1:59:031:59:06

allowed the most vulnerable and

poorest to become more vulnerable

1:59:061:59:15

and poorer. They were perceived by

too many people as the nasty party

1:59:151:59:19

and the Prime Minister is presiding

over a Government with a cavalier

1:59:191:59:24

disregard for social justice. It is

true in the aftermath of the global

1:59:241:59:28

financial crisis any UK Government

would have had to make tough

1:59:281:59:31

choices, and striking the right

balance between spending cuts, tax

1:59:311:59:34

increases and investment in growth.

However, the reality is too often

1:59:341:59:38

they have made the wrong choices,

choices motivated by an independent

1:59:381:59:44

ideological project to whether the

state irrespective of its effect on

1:59:441:59:49

the poorest in our society,

communities, and on growth.

Can he

1:59:491:59:54

just remind us all a note was there

from a member of his Government that

1:59:542:00:01

said quite properly there was no

money left? This Government has

2:00:012:00:10

absolutely protected those very

people that matter to all of us, and

2:00:102:00:13

this is tribal nonsense.

I have a

lot of respect for the honourable

2:00:132:00:18

lady, but to claim that the

financial crisis is anything other

2:00:182:00:22

than as a consequence of a crash

which started on Wall Street is the

2:00:222:00:26

biggest distortion of history in

this country... I will give way once

2:00:262:00:34

more.

Well, the honourable gentleman

is rewriting history. The fact that

2:00:342:00:39

is if the Labour Government had

fixed the roof when the sun was

2:00:392:00:42

shining, when that crisis came along

it could have weathered the storm.

2:00:422:00:45

And that is what this responsible

government has been doing since

2:00:452:00:49

2010.

The honourable lady's party

didn't, Mr Deputy Speaker, they

2:00:492:00:58

wanted us to regulate the banks and

the financial services sector less

2:00:582:01:03

than the regulatory system we had in

place. They committed to matching

2:01:032:01:07

our spending and borrowing and they

didn't want us to rescue the banks.

2:01:072:01:11

Imagine if that prescription had

been followed at the time we were

2:01:112:01:14

dealing with that financial crisis.

The Government's choices are

2:01:142:01:20

motivated by an ideological project

to whether the state, irrespective

2:01:202:01:24

of its impact. There are

disproportionate cuts have choked

2:01:242:01:27

off growth and destroyed too much of

our social fabric. The tax changes

2:01:272:01:32

have failed dismally to tackle tax

avoidance or in tough times ensures

2:01:322:01:35

those with the most carry the

greatest burden. Their failure to

2:01:352:01:40

invest in infrastructure, skills and

jobs has led to economic growth

2:01:402:01:45

which is anaemic compared to similar

economies. The Government's on

2:01:452:01:49

assessments predict this economic

failure will be made even worse by

2:01:492:01:52

the uncertainty and instability that

is the inevitable consequence of

2:01:522:01:57

Brexit -- the Government's

assessments. Maybe she will agree on

2:01:572:02:02

this point. History will recall this

had nothing to do

with the National

2:02:022:02:06

will. It was David Cameron's fix for

managing the Tory party through a

2:02:062:02:11

general election. I am not giving

way again. Far from being the party

2:02:112:02:17

of economic competence, they are the

party of economic chaos. To be

2:02:172:02:21

clear, the policies we are opposing

today are neither necessary nor

2:02:212:02:27

acceptable in a civilised society.

They are political choices made by

2:02:272:02:30

this Tory Government. Members of the

party opposite have spoken during

2:02:302:02:36

the course of this debate, they are

in denial. Too many of our fellow

2:02:362:02:40

citizens may as well be living in a

different country than the one that

2:02:402:02:43

they describe. There reality, Mr

Deputy Speaker, is food banks,

2:02:432:02:48

perpetual debt and poor quality of

life, and a lack of hope for

2:02:482:02:53

themselves and their children. Some

of course are dependent on benefits,

2:02:532:02:56

but increasing numbers of people in

work, on permanent low pay and

2:02:562:03:01

insecure law contracts. This should

offend any member of this House who

2:03:012:03:14

believes in social justice, but also

cares about the future of mainstream

2:03:202:03:23

politics. Increasingly, we see here

and abroad people who feel left

2:03:232:03:25

behind by mainstream politics turned

the antiestablishment nationalism

2:03:252:03:27

which spreads hate and division.

That is another reason these

2:03:272:03:29

policies are so irresponsible. I

will give way.

A few month ago he

2:03:292:03:31

had a go at Brexit and his own

constituency voted to leave the

2:03:312:03:34

European Union. How did he think

that will help with stopping people

2:03:342:03:40

tending to extremes and is in

franchising them?

He misses the

2:03:402:03:43

point. Of course I believe the

result of the referendum must be

2:03:432:03:47

respected. I questioned the motive

for the referendum in the first

2:03:472:03:50

place. It is David Cameron's folly

and that is how it will be

2:03:502:03:53

remembered in history, and it was

done for the interests of the

2:03:532:03:58

Conservative Party, not the

interests of our country.

2:03:582:04:01

I will give way one last time.

I

have respect, some, too, but it is

2:04:012:04:08

beginning to wane, but I will not

followed with the honourable

2:04:082:04:11

gentleman. But I will make this

point. It is not good enough just to

2:04:112:04:15

blame it all on David Cameron

because he, like me, what through

2:04:152:04:19

the lobbies, as did the majority of

people in this House, to support a

2:04:192:04:24

referendum. We are now dealing with

the consequences, but we are all

2:04:242:04:28

complicit in agreeing that the

British people would vote and

2:04:282:04:32

determine whether we stayed or be

left. -- or whether we left. Young

2:04:322:04:40

and simply saying to the honourable

lady and history will bear this out,

2:04:402:04:43

that it was purely to keep the

Conservative Party together, to get

2:04:432:04:47

through a general election, nothing

to do with the

national interest,

2:04:472:04:49

and that arrogance of him and the

then Chancellor that they would

2:04:492:04:58

inevitably win. In terms of

Universal Credit and free school

2:04:582:05:02

meals, the issue of today, the

Government could hardly have made

2:05:022:05:05

more of a mess of Universal Credit.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the National

2:05:052:05:09

Audit Office stated that this has

suffered from weak management, and

2:05:092:05:16

poor Government. Is that the

responsibility of the current

2:05:162:05:19

Secretary of State or the previous

one? Perhaps the Secretary of State

2:05:192:05:22

would like to respond. It says "Weak

management, ineffective control and

2:05:222:05:28

poor governance." Secretary of

State? OK, cuts the Universal Credit

2:05:282:05:35

legislated in the last ten years

have left a majority of families

2:05:352:05:39

worse off under Universal Credit

than the system it place and that

2:05:392:05:42

further reduction will add to their

financial pain. It has the potential

2:05:422:05:46

for a negative effect on work

incentives and risks creating

2:05:462:05:50

poverty traps for families on

Universal Credit. Going completely

2:05:502:05:54

against the Government's goal that

Universal Credit should always

2:05:542:05:57

reward work. Mr Deputy Speaker, in

the 1980s Tory policies created a

2:05:572:06:02

deeply divided society. They have

learned nothing from history, and

2:06:022:06:07

are once again fuelling the cycle of

intergenerational deprivation,

2:06:072:06:11

deprivation which hurts those most

affected, but in the end, Mr Deputy

2:06:112:06:17

Speaker, damages us all. I hope the

House today will force the

2:06:172:06:21

Government to rethink these

regressive measures.

By talking

2:06:212:06:26

about the matters before us, I don't

do this lightly and I don't approach

2:06:262:06:31

the matters in these instruments

lightly. I will tell you why I

2:06:312:06:35

don't. I was brought up by a single

parent who was widowed a month

2:06:352:06:39

before I was born, who worked shifts

in a factory and who got by buy a

2:06:392:06:43

result of her widow's pension,

child's benefit and the money she

2:06:432:06:48

made, and by managing that money

carefully, so I know the impact only

2:06:482:06:51

too well that changes to this can

have. But I also know that people in

2:06:512:06:57

those situations are acutely

concerned about the changes coming

2:06:572:07:01

down the line and about alarmist

things being said currently. And so

2:07:012:07:08

I appeal to the Opposition front

bench in particular. Think of those

2:07:082:07:13

people when you are making alarmist

statements and alarmist comments. By

2:07:132:07:17

all means have legitimate and fair

and open debate, do that, but don't

2:07:172:07:24

trot out numbers that are simply not

true. Don't let people believe that

2:07:242:07:29

something is going to be taken from

them, something as precious as free

2:07:292:07:33

school meals, when that is not the

case. And I say to our front bench,

2:07:332:07:39

where these changes anything closely

resembling what the Labour front

2:07:392:07:41

bench was proposing these are not

changes I can support, but they are

2:07:412:07:47

nothing like what the Labour front

bench is proposing. Mr Deputy

2:07:472:07:51

Speaker, if I can put on record my

thanks to the Secretary of State for

2:07:512:07:56

Education for correspondence I

received outlining the Government

2:07:562:07:59

position on free school meals. If I

may actually refer to some of

2:07:592:08:02

that... The proposed changes in the

eligibility criteria have been

2:08:022:08:07

designed to ensure support is

targeted weight is needed most. This

2:08:072:08:11

means those of the lowest incomes

remain the focus of free meals. "No

2:08:112:08:18

Child will lose their meals during

the roll-out of Universal Credit as

2:08:182:08:21

a result of these changes. Our plans

mean an extra 50,000 children will

2:08:212:08:28

be eligible for a nutritious meal at

school by 2022. Labour's claims that

2:08:282:08:36

are changes would leave over a

million children without this is

2:08:362:08:40

deliberately misleading." I once

again refer to the people out there

2:08:402:08:43

in the real world to think something

is going to be taken from them and

2:08:432:08:47

their child, and that causes concern

and alarm. And I do question whether

2:08:472:08:52

there is a deliberate attempt to

weaponised the vulnerable in a way

2:08:522:09:00

that people feel about the NHS being

weaponised, in order to break votes.

2:09:002:09:08

I honestly urge people, don't do

that, because you will cause fear

2:09:082:09:11

and anxiety where it is not

required, because there is enough

2:09:112:09:15

fear and anxiety in those households

as it is. Mr Deputy Speaker, since

2:09:152:09:21

2010 we have extended the

availability for free school meals

2:09:212:09:24

to disadvantaged students in further

education, and introduced universal

2:09:242:09:29

infant free school meals. When

Universal Credit was introduced, the

2:09:292:09:35

Government were clear that they

would set a new criteria for free

2:09:352:09:39

school meals to ensure no one was

adversely affected during its

2:09:392:09:42

roll-out. The Government temporarily

made Universal Credit qualifying

2:09:422:09:48

benefit for free school meals,

regardless of income, as it was made

2:09:482:09:51

clear at the time this was always a

temporary measure. If you receive a

2:09:512:09:58

free school meal now, you will

continue to do so until the end of

2:09:582:10:00

the roll-out of Universal Credit,

planned for 2022. If at the end of

2:10:002:10:08

either primary or secondary school,

whichever point you are at, so for

2:10:082:10:12

example a child on Year Five on free

school meals now whose parents are

2:10:122:10:17

on Universal Credit but have an

income of £40,000, they will

2:10:172:10:20

continue to get free school meals

until the end of secondary school.

2:10:202:10:23

So I know there are many colleagues

wanting to take part, but I

2:10:232:10:27

particularly would like to thank the

front bench for a robust defence of

2:10:272:10:32

what is an important policy. Let us

nail the myths, the untruths. If the

2:10:322:10:41

opposite party continues to peddle

things that are on untrue it is

2:10:412:10:45

beholden on is to state what is true

and not to frighten the vulnerable,

2:10:452:10:49

many of whom we are all proud to

represent.

Thank you very much, Mr

2:10:492:10:55

Deputy Speaker. I have been raising

these issues in this chamber for a

2:10:552:10:58

number of years, and why is that?

Firstly, because everybody that we

2:10:582:11:04

are talking about today whether you

are above or below these arbitrary

2:11:042:11:07

threshold is being set by the

Government are by their very nature

2:11:072:11:12

of low-income families who are

struggling everyday to get by. The

2:11:122:11:17

second reason why we have been

raising these issues for a number of

2:11:172:11:20

years is because the whole point of

Universal Credit was about taking

2:11:202:11:23

away cliff edges in the system, so

that once you reach a certain point

2:11:232:11:29

you don't then suddenly lose a lot

of benefits that make quite a

2:11:292:11:34

significant difference to a just

about managing family, and so my

2:11:342:11:38

objection is that these arbitrary

threshold are actually taking away

2:11:382:11:42

the very principles of that

position. Let's just think about

2:11:422:11:46

this. I spoke to a number of parents

in my constituency, parents in Moss

2:11:462:11:51

side recently, about their

predicament, and they told me

2:11:512:11:55

absolutely acutely what it meant to

them, because some of them had lost

2:11:552:11:59

free school meals, what it meant to

them. Some had to, some had three,

2:11:592:12:05

some four children, so that is about

£10 or £11 per week per child they

2:12:052:12:09

were losing from their preschool

mile stash Mr Speaker, three or four

2:12:092:12:13

children. They were also losing bus

passes, the entitlement to free

2:12:132:12:17

school uniform and school trips as

well -- losing from their school

2:12:172:12:27

budget. Most of them were then

sending the children into school

2:12:272:12:31

with White jam sandwiches for their

entire day. This is not something I

2:12:312:12:36

want to see happening in my

constituency. They need of these

2:12:362:12:42

cities has not changed. They are

still on the bread line. They might

2:12:422:12:45

be just above it, but they are still

absolutely operating on the

2:12:452:12:48

breadline. The impact of the two

-year-old offer, losing that for

2:12:482:12:55

these families, it could be about

£54 a week suddenly gone because of

2:12:552:13:01

this cliff edge, and I think for

those with children aged two this is

2:13:012:13:06

particularly pernicious, because we

are talking about young mums who are

2:13:062:13:10

probably re-entering the labour

market for the first time, and we

2:13:102:13:13

are dis- incentivising them from

working. So the real problem with

2:13:132:13:20

the Government's policy here is it

is breaking that principle of the

2:13:202:13:24

Universal Credit. It is putting in

the system disincentives to work

2:13:242:13:30

more or take on higher paid work.

For by their definition low-income

2:13:302:13:37

just about managing families. But

the wider point I wanted to make in

2:13:372:13:42

the short time I have available here

is the impact of these policies on

2:13:422:13:48

social mobility and of supporting

these families to get on in life.

2:13:482:13:54

Because the same mothers I spoke to

in Moss Side also had the school

2:13:542:13:59

headteacher they are, and she was

telling me about the real impact of

2:13:592:14:02

the loss of free school meals on her

school budget. This was a single

2:14:022:14:05

form entry primary school in Moss

Side where the needs of the

2:14:052:14:10

community are the same today, the

same as they have ever been, and the

2:14:102:14:13

numbers of children she has on Year

Six on free school meals, about 25

2:14:132:14:18

out of 30, and coming in from

nursery, about four or five, because

2:14:182:14:22

of changes already coming in. So

this has huge impact on school

2:14:222:14:28

budgets as well because of the loss

of the premium and that is something

2:14:282:14:31

we have to remember. But

particularly I want to speak about

2:14:312:14:33

the developmental gap at the age of

five and the impact of this

2:14:332:14:39

particularly stringent new threshold

on receiving the two-year-old offer.

2:14:392:14:43

We know through evaluating, and I

fully supported the Government

2:14:432:14:46

bringing in the two-year-old offer

for disadvantaged families, and we

2:14:462:14:49

know from the evaluation where that

is given in a quality setting it can

2:14:492:14:54

transform the life chances of those

Tilden, so surely we should be in

2:14:542:14:57

here today how we can extend that

provision for more disadvantaged

2:14:572:15:04

families, not reducing it -- life

chances of those children. As an

2:15:042:15:07

analysis I produced last year shows,

many of the tax free childcare

2:15:072:15:12

offers, that they and four-year-old

offer is coming in, they

2:15:122:15:16

disproportionately benefit better

off families, so that money going

2:15:162:15:19

into tax-free, the three and

four-year-old offer, 75% of that

2:15:192:15:23

money will go to the top 50% of

earners in this country. Lower

2:15:232:15:28

income families, those on Universal

Credit, will not reap any benefits,

2:15:282:15:32

very little benefit, from these

other offers. We're going to see

2:15:322:15:37

social mobility getting entrenched,

not going backwards.

2:15:372:15:43

The Prime Minister said to build a

great meritocracy in Britain we need

2:15:432:15:46

to broaden our perspective and do

more for the hidden disadvantaged.

2:15:462:15:50

These measures are narrowing these

measures are not broadening them.

2:15:502:15:55

Four minutes.

Thank you. We are

debating a number of very important

2:15:552:16:02

statutory instruments today and in

light of time constraints I will

2:16:022:16:07

confine my comments to free school

meals. The benefits of a free school

2:16:072:16:10

milk for those who need them have

been set out today and in the past

2:16:102:16:14

and whilst it is absolutely right we

debate the eligibility criteria,

2:16:142:16:20

although it is disappointing there

are no Liberal Democrats in the

2:16:202:16:24

chamber today, it is also right that

we do so focused on the fact and not

2:16:242:16:30

on inaccurate claims that these

proposals are taking away free

2:16:302:16:36

school meals from children.

Inaccurate claims, as the Secretary

2:16:362:16:39

of State has made clear.

Under the new regulations, it is

2:16:392:16:44

estimated, as has been set out

clearly, by 2022, around 50,000 more

2:16:442:16:52

children, more, not fewer, will

benefit from a free school meals

2:16:522:16:56

compared to previous benefit system.

The approach in these regulations

2:16:562:17:01

not only extend support to more

children, but also ensures, as my

2:17:012:17:05

honourable friend has made clear,

that we target that support at those

2:17:052:17:09

who most need it and where it will

have the greatest impact on changing

2:17:092:17:14

lives. As he also set out, the

Government has always been clear

2:17:142:17:20

that when Universal Credit was

rolled out, there would be a new

2:17:202:17:23

criteria, but that no child

currently on free school meals would

2:17:232:17:28

lose out and that, until 2022, and

those in need at primary and

2:17:282:17:36

secondary school would continue to

benefit whilst in school.

2:17:362:17:40

Mr Deputy Speaker, I am conscious

there is much being made of claims

2:17:402:17:43

about 1 million children will have

free school meals taken from them.

2:17:432:17:47

It is simply not accurate to say

this. I am not usually one to cite

2:17:472:17:52

Channel 4 News, but on this

occasion, like my honourable friend

2:17:522:17:56

the member for Croydon South, I

would reiterate their fact check

2:17:562:18:04

verdict, which reads... "This is not

a case of the Government taking free

2:18:042:18:07

school meals from a million children

who are currently receiving them. It

2:18:072:18:14

is about comparing two future,

hypothetical scenarios, both of them

2:18:142:18:18

are more generous than the old

benefits system."

2:18:182:18:26

Mr Deputy Speaker, I am conscious of

time... Quite rightly an issue like

2:18:262:18:34

this, of real importance to many,

many people, excites strong passions

2:18:342:18:38

and strong arguments. But it is

important we stick to the facts. An

2:18:382:18:46

opposition unable to argue these

against actual government policy is

2:18:462:18:52

instead taking issue with

hypothetical government policy and

2:18:522:18:55

scenarios. I am, as I am sure is

true for colleagues on both sides of

2:18:552:19:02

the House, regardless where they

stand on these two future

2:19:022:19:06

hypothetical scenarios, I am

committed to ensuring that young

2:19:062:19:10

people can get a free nutritional

meal at school. These measures mean

2:19:102:19:16

that more people will be able to do

this than at present, which is why I

2:19:162:19:22

will be voting with the Government

to extend the eligibility of free

2:19:222:19:25

school meals.

Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. These

2:19:252:19:31

motions will affect millions of

families up and down the country so

2:19:312:19:34

it is only right we are able to

discuss them today. The Government

2:19:342:19:39

consulted from November- January on

introducing an earnings threshold,

2:19:392:19:43

restricting free school meals to

families with net earnings under

2:19:432:19:47

7400 per annum. This consultation

received 8981 responses. However,

2:19:472:19:55

the Government excluded 8421 of

those from its analysis, meaning

2:19:552:19:59

that less than 4% of respondents

agreed with the Government. Surely

2:19:592:20:04

this goes against every rule of

public consultation. Talk about

2:20:042:20:09

statistics being used against people

and against vulnerable people, in

2:20:092:20:12

this case. In 2010, the former

Secretary of State for Work and

2:20:122:20:17

Pensions promised in the white paper

on Universal Credit that it would

2:20:172:20:20

"Ensure that work always pays and is

seen to pay. Universal Credit will

2:20:202:20:28

mean people will consistently and

transparently be better off for each

2:20:282:20:30

hour they work and each pound they

own".

I am grateful to her for

2:20:302:20:34

giving way and I'm glad she has

picked up that point. She had the

2:20:342:20:39

Secretary of State earlier on saying

that Job Centres will advise people

2:20:392:20:42

not to take extra work, not to get a

pay rise because they will end up

2:20:422:20:46

worse off. Isn't that contrary to

the whole principle of Universal

2:20:462:20:49

Credit she just read out?

It is, absolutely. The Government

2:20:492:20:54

today, as we know, are reneging on

this commitment that the Secretary

2:20:542:20:59

of State, former Secretary of State

made. Free school meals are worth

2:20:592:21:02

far more than the £400 per year, per

child to a family. This may not seem

2:21:022:21:08

like a lock to some honourable

members in this place, but to those

2:21:082:21:12

families it is an absolute lifeline.

By introducing a 7400 threshold for

2:21:122:21:19

eligibility, the Government.

Recreating a cliff edge that will be

2:21:192:21:23

detrimental to families, especially

children. To give just one example,

2:21:232:21:26

someone with three children in their

family who owns just below the 7400

2:21:262:21:31

threshold is set to lose out on

£1200 worth of free school meals. If

2:21:312:21:38

they work the just an extra few

hours or just seek that pay rise.

2:21:382:21:43

What we are proposing will simply

remove the huge cliff edge and the

2:21:432:21:48

work disincentives for family, who

most need support and would take

2:21:482:21:51

away that barrier to working extra

hours or seeking promotion. This is

2:21:512:21:55

in fact the new 16 hours that you

all said was a disincentive. Our

2:21:552:22:00

proposals would therefore make work

pay.

2:22:002:22:04

Thank you for giving way. On that

point, in Hartlepool where Universal

2:22:042:22:08

Credit has not been rolled out its

in, over 1000 children are being

2:22:082:22:16

denied free school meals on that

point.

2:22:162:22:20

Would she agree? Yes, as we've heard

we can all cite the number that

2:22:202:22:23

exist in every one of our

constituencies, and even those of

2:22:232:22:27

members opposite. You need to think

about what you are doing to some of

2:22:272:22:30

the poorest children in your own

constituencies. In this example I've

2:22:302:22:35

just quoted, this family's annual

wages would need to increase from

2:22:352:22:40

7400 to almost 11,000 to make up for

what they would have lost, just

2:22:402:22:47

because of rising a little bit above

the cliff edge. A problem that did

2:22:472:22:51

not occur under the old tax credit

system, because it provided an

2:22:512:22:56

offsetting income boost, at the

point at which free school meals was

2:22:562:23:00

withdrawn. And Universal Credit,

however, there is no such equivalent

2:23:002:23:05

mitigation. The Children's Society,

who have been much maligned today,

2:23:052:23:10

Mr Deputy Speaker, been cited as

giving duff statistics, you should

2:23:102:23:14

be ashamed of yourselves. The

Children's Society estimate under

2:23:142:23:17

these changes, the cliff edge will

mean a million children in poverty

2:23:172:23:20

will miss out on a free school meal

once Universal Credit is fully

2:23:202:23:26

rolled out. Something that is

crucial for their development

2:23:262:23:30

physically and mentally. The

Government have said that there's

2:23:302:23:34

50,000 more children who would

benefit by the end of this roll out

2:23:342:23:38

in 2022, when the transitional

protections are at capacity. But I,

2:23:382:23:41

along with many others, struggled to

understand how this can be the case.

2:23:412:23:46

This includes, it seems, all the

Parliamentary questions that went

2:23:462:23:50

unanswered that my honourable friend

and others have tabled. They can't

2:23:502:23:53

just pluck figures out of the air,

as they claimed so many others have

2:23:532:23:58

done. At least we can back up our

claims with evidence, evidence from

2:23:582:24:02

the Children's Society, Gingerbread,

see Abidi, who agreed this SIA takes

2:24:022:24:11

free school meals from a million

fewer children who would get them.

2:24:112:24:14

It would, if this statutory

instrument would go through, they

2:24:142:24:20

would receive free school meals.

They can shake their heads all they

2:24:202:24:23

like. During my recent Westminster

old debate are offered the minister

2:24:232:24:26

a solution which would see all

children in Universal Credit

2:24:262:24:30

households continue to receive free

school meals, and it is at a cost of

2:24:302:24:36

somebody asked before, it would cost

half £1 billion. That is not a huge

2:24:362:24:40

cost, not to feed over a million

children, a million of the poorest

2:24:402:24:46

children. This would... I will in a

moment... 1.1 million children from

2:24:462:24:55

low income families receiving free

school meals if this statutory

2:24:552:24:58

instrument didn't go through. I will

give waist I appreciate it.

Does she

2:24:582:25:04

think it is right if we were to

maintain free school meals for

2:25:042:25:08

everyone on Universal Credit, those

coming through on the legacy tax

2:25:082:25:12

credit types could be earning up to

£50,000 a year as an income? Is it

2:25:122:25:15

right we should be prioritising on

those as opposed to opening

2:25:152:25:20

eligibility and getting to more

children in poverty?

I am running

2:25:202:25:25

out of time... No, no. If you let me

finish before a usable my time. I

2:25:252:25:30

can't go into full details but what

I understand from the Children's

2:25:302:25:33

Society is there is a very small

number of people up to 40,000, and

2:25:332:25:37

those people are in large families

with severely disabled children. A

2:25:372:25:42

large amount of money is because of

the amount of money they get for

2:25:422:25:46

their severely disabled children. It

is really disingenuous to use that

2:25:462:25:49

as an example, making now all these

families are getting £40,000. The

2:25:492:25:54

minister yesterday claimed this

proposal would result in around half

2:25:542:25:57

of all pupils becoming eligible,

placing the number he said would be

2:25:572:26:02

3.3 million children. Even the much

cited Channel 4 fact document states

2:26:022:26:08

are proposal would expect a 1.1

million children, making a total of

2:26:082:26:12

1.8 million. Whilst talking about

facts, get your facts right, where

2:26:122:26:18

does that extra 1.5 million children

come from?

2:26:182:26:21

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. The

opposition know I have been the

2:26:212:26:24

first to stand up and challenge this

government on Universal Credit and I

2:26:242:26:28

have on the Government have arisen.

Autumn 2016, we received reduced

2:26:282:26:35

from 65 to 63%, which put about £300

into the pockets of families. Number

2:26:352:26:39

two, at the end of last year we

worked with government and we

2:26:392:26:42

secured £1.5 billion worth of

improvements. Given the competitive

2:26:422:26:47

nature of those, two weeks extra

housing benefit those transferring

2:26:472:26:51

and Universal Credit and housing

benefits, twice as long to pay back,

2:26:512:26:55

direct payments to landlords, a

slowdown roll-out which is, is a

2:26:552:26:58

consequence of those changes, these

are all things the opposition asked

2:26:582:27:02

for so I am staggered that today

they are asking us to vote against

2:27:022:27:05

them. For the last two years I've

worked not only with my colleagues

2:27:052:27:11

but proudly cross-party to approve

these achievements. Today for me is

2:27:112:27:15

a big wake-up call. This motion is

not about improving Universal

2:27:152:27:20

Credit, is simply playing politics

and I, for the first time, have seen

2:27:202:27:23

that. Government have taken the time

to understand how best to transfer a

2:27:232:27:29

lump sum benefit like free school

meals into a tapered system like

2:27:292:27:34

Universal Credit and an earnings

threshold is perfectly acceptable to

2:27:342:27:37

all reasonable people. Tidy way,

taxpayers. The only possible

2:27:372:27:41

improvement I could encourage

ministers to look at is perhaps

2:27:412:27:44

automatic entitlement if there is a

disability in family. But let us get

2:27:442:27:48

the facts straight. All reception,

year one and year two children will

2:27:482:27:53

continue to receive free school

meals. This only applies the year

2:27:532:27:56

three and beyond. All those

currently receiving free school

2:27:562:27:59

meals will continue to do so either

till the end of their school or

2:27:592:28:04

2022, whichever is further away.

That means Labour are created. Lines

2:28:042:28:07

when they say any child will lose.

Under these proposals, government

2:28:072:28:12

will focus better on children who

are at, in or at risk of poverty.

2:28:122:28:18

Around 50000 by 20 22.

I thank my

honourable friend for giving way. We

2:28:182:28:24

on this site knows no children will

lose their existing entitlement to

2:28:242:28:28

free school meals or two free

childcare as a result of these

2:28:282:28:31

policies. Meanwhile, my Job Centre

says that fear of Universal Credit

2:28:312:28:37

is the biggest challenge that they

face in the roll-out. Would my

2:28:372:28:40

honourable friend perhaps comment on

where that fear comes from?

2:28:402:28:45

He makes a valuable point. That

fear, particular with social media,

2:28:452:28:49

it takes twice as long for the truth

to get round... There is some

2:28:492:28:54

phrase, that is happening on social

media. I get constituents coming to

2:28:542:29:00

me, worried Universal Credit, it's

not even in my constituency yet but

2:29:002:29:05

I put their mind at rest when I

explain it to them. Current tax

2:29:052:29:09

credit recipients at the moment

automatically get free school meals,

2:29:092:29:13

which could mean a family and

£50,000 a year receive them. That

2:29:132:29:16

just can't be right.

2:29:162:29:18

People on legacy tax credit systems,

just all benefit system transferring

2:29:242:29:28

over, they can have regular incomes

up to that level. This new system

2:29:282:29:32

expands the criteria so we get two

more children who need our support.

2:29:322:29:37

That's more, not less. Whilst I

understand a key part of the

2:29:372:29:42

charity, of any charity's role, is

lobbying, I am disappointed that the

2:29:422:29:47

Children's Society. Their suggestion

that a million children will lose

2:29:472:29:50

free school meals is just not true,

and Labour have jumped on this

2:29:502:29:55

bandwagon, and it has taught me a

lesson. There are colleagues on all

2:29:552:29:59

sides of this House, they're simply

included, who I trust and respect

2:29:592:30:01

and will continue to work with to

improve the lives of the most

2:30:012:30:09

vulnerable in society. But if people

think the Labour Party is the answer

2:30:092:30:12

to tackling poverty, they are being

misled. Because today, and it is a

2:30:122:30:15

big wake-up call to me, today they

have clearly shown they are

2:30:152:30:20

prioritising headlines over

improving the lives of struggling

2:30:202:30:22

families. Mr Deputy Speaker, if you

want at headlines one, as the Labour

2:30:222:30:28

Party. If you want a competent job

done, ask the Tory party. -- if you

2:30:282:30:34

want a headline spun.

I just want to

focus on one single point in my

2:30:342:30:41

contribution this afternoon. That is

this. The proposals for eligibility

2:30:412:30:45

for free school meals in the SI are

catastrophic for incentives and the

2:30:452:30:54

welfare system. The Right Honourable

member for Chingford, who is not in

2:30:542:30:58

his place now, used to tell us this

was the central point about welfare

2:30:582:31:03

reform, to improve work incentives,

but what these proposals do, and the

2:31:032:31:08

Secretary of State for Education

used to be in charge of Universal

2:31:082:31:12

Credit, these proposals rob

Universal Credit of its most

2:31:122:31:15

attractive feature. I will say to

the Education Secretary this. This

2:31:152:31:20

is not a criticism so much of him,

but it is a criticism of his

2:31:202:31:25

predecessors, that ministers in his

department have had seven years to

2:31:252:31:27

solve this admittedly difficult

technical problem about how to

2:31:272:31:33

define eligibility for free school

meals against the backdrop of

2:31:332:31:37

Universal Credit, but instead of

solving the problem they have simply

2:31:372:31:43

adopted a very lazy solution. And in

doing that, they are creating a very

2:31:432:31:48

big problem for work incentives in

the welfare system that one-day

2:31:482:31:52

future ministers are going to have

to resolve. It is disappointing that

2:31:522:31:57

under his leadership, and he

understands Universal Credit as well

2:31:572:32:00

as anybody, that they have gone down

this very lazy line. My honourable

2:32:002:32:06

friend has just quoted from the

Universal Credit White Paper which

2:32:062:32:09

set out the philosophy that

underpins the new benefit. I quote

2:32:092:32:13

another bit from chapter two, the

philosophy was "Increased effort

2:32:132:32:19

will always result in increased

reward." That is what Universal

2:32:192:32:23

Credit is supposed to be about. But

under these proposals that will not

2:32:232:32:28

be the case, as we've heard, Mr

Secretary of State recognised, if

2:32:282:32:35

you're just below the threshold,

which he told us, the job centre

2:32:352:32:39

will advise you not to put in any

more effort, not to get a pay rise,

2:32:392:32:43

not to put in more hours, because

the job centre will recognise if you

2:32:432:32:47

are to do that you would end up

worse off. I will give way.

Does he

2:32:472:32:52

agree with me that this then

reintroduces the 16 hour threshold

2:32:522:32:59

that was much maligned, in a

different guise, that they said it

2:32:592:33:03

was all to do away with? Gallery-mac

my honourable friend is absolutely

2:33:032:33:06

right. Of course the whole idea

about Universal Credit was it was

2:33:062:33:09

supposed to get rid of cliff edges

and benefit traps,

but instead what

2:33:092:33:13

it is doing is introducing a benefit

trap far bigger -- yes, I agree with

2:33:132:33:20

Mike honourable friend. It is far

bigger than anything in the old

2:33:202:33:23

system. It is completely scuppering

the purpose of Universal Credit. If

2:33:232:33:30

it is true, as the Secretary of

State told us, that job centre

2:33:302:33:37

coaches will tell people not to take

extra work, not to go for a pay

2:33:372:33:39

rise, not to take on more hours,

then how are people supposed to

2:33:392:33:43

progress? Surely all of us would

recognise the point about this

2:33:432:33:48

system is to encourage progression.

Not bureaucrats telling people, oh,

2:33:482:33:52

no, don't progress, because you

you'll end up worse off. It is

2:33:522:34:00

genuinely a catastrophic hauling of

the whole purpose of Universal

2:34:002:34:02

Credit, and it is not as though only

a few people will be affected. The

2:34:022:34:07

prospectus was Universal Credit was

going to solve all these cliff edges

2:34:072:34:11

and benefit traps. Instead, it is

creating one which is much bigger,

2:34:112:34:15

and it has been calculated and I am

indebted to the Children's Society

2:34:152:34:22

for this calculation, that older

people will be cotton the trap of

2:34:222:34:26

these proposals go ahead. I

explained to the Secretary of State

2:34:262:34:30

exactly why that is and he can read

it in the briefing Children's

2:34:302:34:35

Society have provided. These

families contain between them over

2:34:352:34:40

700,000 children. What those are our

125,000 families earning below the

2:34:402:34:46

threshold to risk being worse off if

they take on extra work or get a pay

2:34:462:34:52

rise, as the Secretary of State for

Work and Pensions recognised, but on

2:34:522:34:57

top of those 125,000 there are also

150,000 families earning above the

2:34:572:35:02

threshold but would actually be

better off if they reduced their

2:35:022:35:06

earnings below the threshold so then

they would qualify for free school

2:35:062:35:12

meals. What sort of system is that?

Everybody will recognise that we do

2:35:122:35:17

not want a welfare system that puts

people in that position. That is the

2:35:172:35:23

system we will end up with if this

SI Worcester. The Children's Society

2:35:232:35:32

for example calculates there are

families containing children aged

2:35:322:35:38

eight to 15 -- if this SI goes

through. They calculate that number

2:35:382:35:43

of families will be better if they

cut their earnings, a catastrophic

2:35:432:35:49

arrangement.

Thank you, pleasure to

be called in this particular debate

2:35:492:35:53

and a particular pleasure to follow

the Right Honourable member from

2:35:532:35:55

South Cambridgeshire. I thought that

speech was really powerful and I

2:35:552:35:58

think it also showed how badly the

opposition front bench have

2:35:582:36:02

misjudged this debate. For weeks

outside this house might have sought

2:36:022:36:05

to pretend we are taking free school

meals off a million children, and it

2:36:052:36:10

has come to this House and it has

bombed because it is not true. The

2:36:102:36:18

reality, Mr Deputy Speaker, is that

not a single child currently

2:36:182:36:21

eligible for free school meals will

lose it, and that in fact 50,000

2:36:212:36:26

more children under Universal Credit

will be eligible for free school

2:36:262:36:30

meals. This shows the limits of an

approach, Mr Deputy Speaker, which

2:36:302:36:33

is all about the viral video,

getting something that goes round on

2:36:332:36:38

social media quickly, too quick for

the fact checkers to catch up, but

2:36:382:36:41

when it comes in here and we learn

the facts, it absolutely bombs. Mr

2:36:412:36:47

Deputy Speaker, ultimately if you

are serious about being in

2:36:472:36:50

government you have to make choices

and in this government we have made

2:36:502:36:53

choices. The opposition say they

would like to simply give free

2:36:532:36:56

school meals out universally as part

of a wider strategy where we can

2:36:562:37:00

just spend more barrier on

everything, no one will have to pay

2:37:002:37:03

any more tax, and it is of course

all nonsense, the kind of dangerous

2:37:032:37:06

nonsense that led to the Government

borrowing a quarter of all the money

2:37:062:37:11

we were spending in 2010, disastrous

situation in which by the way we

2:37:112:37:14

also had half a million men and

women saw on the dole and the worst

2:37:142:37:18

economic meltdown for a generation.

-- thrown on the dole. If we choose

2:37:182:37:24

to make a prioritisation that

enables us to do things for working

2:37:242:37:28

families with children, it allows us

for example to the new tax-free

2:37:282:37:31

childcare extended, for 600,000

people up to 1.59 people. It allows

2:37:312:37:40

things at the 30 hours free

childcare offer, the important --

2:37:402:37:48

1.5 million people. It allows us of

the more generous childcare element

2:37:482:37:52

of Universal Credit going up from 75

to 80%. Another important thing that

2:37:522:37:57

prioritisation let's us do is to

have imported interventions like the

2:37:572:38:01

pupil premium under the 2.5 billion

for the most disadvantaged children

2:38:012:38:06

and the new funding formula for

schools backed up by another £1.3

2:38:062:38:09

billion. For it in my constituency

and I met some other day at one of

2:38:092:38:14

my schools at beach in college, it

means in Your Seven, 70% of those

2:38:142:38:21

eligible get to go to Cambridge,

have their life and opportunities

2:38:212:38:25

absolutely transpired because we are

prepared to make difficult decisions

2:38:252:38:27

to invest in. The's future and give

them a better chance in life. Mr

2:38:272:38:33

Deputy Speaker, it is incredibly

important that we don't simply drift

2:38:332:38:36

back to the mistakes of the past. If

I think about help for children less

2:38:362:38:41

advantaged computer when I was at

school, we have done Britain to my

2:38:412:38:45

brilliant things like taking away

the stigma for free school meals.

2:38:452:38:48

You don't go in any more with the

money, and you can't see anyone who

2:38:482:38:52

is getting them and who is not, and

I think that is a big improvement.

2:38:522:38:55

The other reasons we have seen big

improvement for working families

2:38:552:38:58

with children are because even as we

have brought down the worst

2:38:582:39:02

Government budget deficit in this

country's entire peacetime history,

2:39:022:39:05

we have prioritised and we have done

that in ways that help the most

2:39:052:39:10

vulnerable and that help improve

life chances for those who don't

2:39:102:39:12

have them.

I will be focusing my

remarks today on childcare and free

2:39:122:39:21

school meals particularly. Let me

place on the record that the Liberal

2:39:212:39:26

Democrats are proud of the role we

played in coalition to secure a

2:39:262:39:31

generous tax-free offer on childcare

policy and it will help many

2:39:312:39:36

families, but in its implementation,

whilst it is true it will extend to

2:39:362:39:41

more families, it is also true that

many many others will be left out.

2:39:412:39:46

And that was never the intention.

Many parents, particularly those

2:39:462:39:51

with older children, Laura childcare

costs, or a lower incomes, they will

2:39:512:39:54

find themselves worse off under

tax-free childcare that they would

2:39:542:39:59

have done under childcare vouchers

-- lower childcare costs. It is

2:39:592:40:05

particularly because unsurprisingly

the information for these have not

2:40:052:40:10

spread as far and wide as the

could've done. To all those parents

2:40:102:40:12

and I am sure there are many

listening to the debate today, I

2:40:122:40:15

would urge them to do their research

before April so that they can make

2:40:152:40:19

the decision for what's best for

their family. All we are suggesting

2:40:192:40:24

is to keep tax-free childcare and

childcare vouchers open concurrently

2:40:242:40:29

so we can provide maximum

flexibility for those families.

2:40:292:40:33

Surely the Government would agree

that that is a good thing. Moving on

2:40:332:40:37

to free school meals. I hope the

whole House will join me in paying

2:40:372:40:43

tribute to the Liberal Democrat

former ministers for battling to

2:40:432:40:48

secure universal free school meals

for all children in key stage one. I

2:40:482:40:53

visited West Oxford primary school

soon after I was elected and had the

2:40:532:40:56

pleasure of meeting the catering

manager there. She told me that

2:40:562:41:01

despite being sceptical of the

policy initially, she does it thinks

2:41:012:41:05

it is brilliant and she took great

pride in telling me of a boy from a

2:41:052:41:08

deprived background, didn't eat much

veg at home because it was quite

2:41:082:41:14

expensive, and slowly, slowly, she

got him to love broccoli. I am a

2:41:142:41:18

primary school governor and the

teachers in the school there are

2:41:182:41:22

absolutely clear, and this is backed

by the evidence. Universal free

2:41:222:41:25

school meals is beneficial for

learning and attainment and it helps

2:41:252:41:30

all children, so might I suggest

that, seeing as the Government

2:41:302:41:33

doesn't like to nick Liberal

Democrat policies, same-sex

2:41:332:41:40

marriage, pupil premium, lifting the

income tax threshold, as we heard

2:41:402:41:44

today. I'm not precious. You can

have another one. Extend free school

2:41:442:41:48

meals to all children in primary

schools. If not fat, then at least

2:41:482:41:53

extended to all children on

Universal Credit. -- if not that.

2:41:532:42:02

Under tax credit it creates an

absurd situation where a

2:42:022:42:04

single-parent household on the

national living which will have to

2:42:042:42:07

work eight more hours to make it

work. This is surely not what the

2:42:072:42:11

Government intended. Links to that

of course is the number of children

2:42:112:42:17

on free school meals will of course

impact the pupil premium. Now I

2:42:172:42:20

posit this is the reason why the

Government will not roll out free

2:42:202:42:26

school meals to all children on

Universal Credit, because, yes, it

2:42:262:42:30

would be prohibitively expensive and

would stop the targeting of the

2:42:302:42:33

pupil premium. So may I suggest,

just a suggestion to the Secretary

2:42:332:42:38

of State, that the sort that out,

just decouple them? They are in

2:42:382:42:44

there own right worthy policies,

they are policies that are working,

2:42:442:42:47

and there is no reason to throw the

baby out with the bath water. May I

2:42:472:42:51

urge Government to think again,

think again on free school meals,

2:42:512:42:56

and think again on closing the

childcare voucher scheme?

2:42:562:43:05

She talked about the years that our

two parties were in coalition. I

2:43:052:43:11

think we all recognise and welcome

the fact we have those universal

2:43:112:43:14

free school meals for infant aged

schoolchildren. It is something we

2:43:142:43:20

would welcome. I wasn't planning to

speak in this debate this afternoon

2:43:202:43:25

and I am someone always happy to

debate with anyone but I was moved

2:43:252:43:28

to speak, not just because I

received quite a bit of

2:43:282:43:31

correspondence from concerned

constituents about this but because

2:43:312:43:34

I genuinely believe that it is

incumbent on all members of this

2:43:342:43:38

House to always argue and make your

points, but in doing so, to make

2:43:382:43:43

sure they are grounded in fact and

that we don't play fast and loose

2:43:432:43:48

with the arguments, because what we

say here has very real consequences

2:43:482:43:54

for people in our constituencies.

I've got very worried parents in

2:43:542:43:57

contact with me today. Rather like

when the shadow front bench claimed

2:43:572:44:03

that 40,000 children will wake up in

poverty on Christmas Day because the

2:44:032:44:09

Tories refuse to pause and fix

Universal Credit and the chairman of

2:44:092:44:13

the UK Statistics Authority says

that was not fully supported by the

2:44:132:44:16

statistics and the sources it relied

upon, I'm afraid it appears to me

2:44:162:44:20

that they are at it again. So I want

to use my remarks this afternoon to

2:44:202:44:25

speak directly to those concerned

parents in Corby who have been in

2:44:252:44:30

touch with me about this issue.

First, I think we would all agree

2:44:302:44:36

that free school meals and the

provision of those free school meals

2:44:362:44:39

should be targeted at the most

disadvantaged children. I would like

2:44:392:44:44

to think there was universal

agreement on that point. To say that

2:44:442:44:48

meals are being taken away from

those disadvantaged children simply

2:44:482:44:53

is just plain wrong. It isn't just

me saying it, and they can chant or

2:44:532:44:58

they like, but it isn't just me

saying it, because the independent

2:44:582:45:02

Channel 4 fact check exposed all of

this for exactly what it is. I would

2:45:022:45:08

compare commend anyone out there to

look at it, because they are hardly,

2:45:082:45:12

Channel 4 News I don't think would

be considered a friend of the

2:45:122:45:17

Conservative Party, but they make

this point nonetheless. Because no

2:45:172:45:21

child will lose their free school

meals during the roll-out of

2:45:212:45:24

Universal Credit as a result of

these changes. In actual fact, an

2:45:242:45:29

extra 50,000 children by 2022 will

probably be accessing free school

2:45:292:45:34

meals. I would welcome that. I would

expect the benches opposite to

2:45:342:45:39

welcome that. I can't possibly see

what there is to argue in relation

2:45:392:45:44

to that. Again, I would make the

point that since 2010, we've

2:45:442:45:49

extended the availability of access

to free school meals to

2:45:492:45:53

disadvantaged students in both

further education and introduced

2:45:532:45:57

universal infant free school meals.

But we shouldn't just look at this

2:45:572:46:02

issue in isolation, there are other

things going on imported those

2:46:022:46:06

families. Not only do we have record

numbers of people in employment, we

2:46:062:46:10

have also taken 4 million of the

lowest paid out of income tax

2:46:102:46:14

altogether. We have cut income tax

to 31 million people in this

2:46:142:46:19

country, and we've focused on the

principle that being in work should

2:46:192:46:23

always pay. I think that any

fair-minded person in this country

2:46:232:46:27

would agree that that is the right

approach, but of course, there

2:46:272:46:31

should always be a safety net for

those who find themselves in need.

2:46:312:46:34

That is exactly what this policy, in

a holistic sense, allowed. I'm proud

2:46:342:46:39

of our record, and I have to say I'm

slightly perplexed by where we find

2:46:392:46:44

ourselves today. Rather like an

police funding and local government

2:46:442:46:48

funding, rather like on protecting

our industries from dumping on our

2:46:482:46:52

market, the Labour Party tonight are

going to vote against extending free

2:46:522:46:56

school meals for another 50,000

children. I find that extraordinary.

2:46:562:47:02

Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. It's a

pleasure to follow my honourable

2:47:022:47:05

member for Corby. This government

knows stopping free school meals for

2:47:052:47:11

the poorest of the shameful policy.

The benches opposite sought to bring

2:47:112:47:16

the measures for using statutory

instrument in in the hope any

2:47:162:47:22

challenge would be ineffective. It

is clear that this government does

2:47:222:47:25

not want to explain the indefensible

change cost of 3700 children in

2:47:252:47:32

Bedford are said to miss out on

sport if meals are withdrawn from

2:47:322:47:41

families on Universal Credit. The

poverty trap is very easy to get

2:47:412:47:47

into, but it is very difficult to

get out of. This government need to

2:47:472:47:53

understand this. For these families,

every penny counts, and for many

2:47:532:47:58

working families, these simply

aren't enough pennies to get through

2:47:582:48:04

the month. Last summer, 47% of

children who received support from

2:48:042:48:07

food banks were between 5-11 years

old. 4412, I'm sorry, many members

2:48:072:48:16

want to speak, 4412 more emergency

food supplies are given to children

2:48:162:48:28

during the summer holidays than in

previous months. We know that

2:48:282:48:32

children on free school meals

already underperform in schools. Why

2:48:322:48:37

would any government choose to make

life more difficult and more

2:48:372:48:41

challenging for those children? Why

would a government that planned to

2:48:412:48:47

want to tackle inequality...

Could

you give way?

2:48:472:48:53

A number of members want to speak,

you have spoken already.

2:48:532:48:59

Why would any government choose to

make life more difficult and

2:48:592:49:02

challenging for these children? Why

would a government that plans to

2:49:022:49:04

want to tackle inequality, to help

disadvantaged and tackle child

2:49:042:49:14

obesity, with a policy that does the

exact opposite? The new earnings

2:49:142:49:20

limit is a huge step backwards,

according to the Children's Society

2:49:202:49:24

1 million children in poverty who

could benefit now, won't. It also

2:49:242:49:28

undermines one of the main reasons

given for introducing the Universal

2:49:282:49:35

Credit in the first place, to ensure

that work always pays. The new rules

2:49:352:49:39

will create a situation where

working families will be punished

2:49:392:49:44

for taking an extra job or accepting

a pay rise because they would have

2:49:442:49:50

their free school meals taken away.

These are worth around £400 per year

2:49:502:49:56

per child, a huge sum if you are on

a low income. A recent report from

2:49:562:50:01

the food finance Foundation

highlights the deprivation gap,

2:50:012:50:08

which has increased by more than 50%

in the UK.

2:50:082:50:14

Children in the poorest area if

England are twice as likely to be

2:50:142:50:20

obese. The Government could have

tackled this problem by increasing

2:50:202:50:22

the uptake of free school meals and

ensuring all children from

2:50:222:50:27

low-income households receive a

nutritious meal at lunchtime.

2:50:272:50:32

Instead, they are taking those meals

away. The Government should have

2:50:322:50:36

learned from their attempts to take

away free school meals in the

2:50:362:50:39

manifesto they put to the country

last year, that they have no mandate

2:50:392:50:47

and it makes no sense to do so.

You can't teach a hungry child, and

2:50:472:50:56

if this government was serious about

life changes and social mobility,

2:50:562:50:59

they would not be taking food out of

mouth soft babies. -- mouths of

2:50:592:51:06

babies.

We live in strange political times,

2:51:062:51:11

both in this country and across the

Atlantic, where we frequently hear

2:51:112:51:17

reports about fake news. I think it

is therefore in those times

2:51:172:51:21

particularly incumbent and members

of this House, of all parties, to be

2:51:212:51:27

very, very careful about the way

they use and present facts, because

2:51:272:51:34

without honest and accurate facts,

democratic discourse is impossible,

2:51:342:51:40

and we undermine our entire system

of democracy when elected members of

2:51:402:51:46

this Parliament play fast and loose

with facts.

2:51:462:51:49

We have heard members in this debate

saying that free school meals are

2:51:492:51:54

going to be reduced. That is the

phrase the last speaker used. We

2:51:542:52:01

heard another member opposite saying

free school meals would be, and I

2:52:012:52:06

quote, "Taken away". It is quite

clear, quite clear, those statements

2:52:062:52:12

are not accurate. Several colleagues

have referred to the Channel 4 fact

2:52:122:52:16

check discourse on this matter and

the Channel 4 fact Jack is quite

2:52:162:52:20

clear, that no children currently in

receipt of free school meals will

2:52:202:52:23

have them taken away and in fact

more children will receive free

2:52:232:52:27

school meals as a result of these

proposals. It is simply untrue, it

2:52:272:52:33

is simply untrue to say a million

children will have their free school

2:52:332:52:36

meals taken away or reduced. And the

opposition front bench and the

2:52:362:52:44

opposition Shadow Minister has been

making comments implying the country

2:52:442:52:49

is doing a democracy a disservice.

Now perhaps she is trying to

2:52:492:52:54

insinuate that there is a government

policy that would have given extra

2:52:542:52:58

school meals, but for some kind of

U-turn. Well, the Channel 4 fact

2:52:582:53:05

check is quite clear about that as

well. The Government have been quite

2:53:052:53:07

clear about that. There was an

interim, transitional measure. The

2:53:072:53:12

honourable member for West Sussex

made that clear when the scheme was

2:53:122:53:17

set up in April, 2013, and the

junior Education Minister when

2:53:172:53:22

imposed last July, the member for

Scarborough and Whitby made the same

2:53:222:53:26

point as well. So it is wholly

inaccurate to suggest there was ever

2:53:262:53:30

a hypothetical government policy

under which these children would

2:53:302:53:35

ever have received extra school

meals. The honourable lady opposite,

2:53:352:53:42

the Shadow Education Secretary has

done this house and herself a great

2:53:422:53:46

disservice. There are many points,

there are many points... Indeed, she

2:53:462:53:51

has the right to speak, but she

ought to take care to be accurate

2:53:512:53:56

when she speaks, because her words,

because her words matter. Her words

2:53:562:54:01

matter and she should waive them

carefully.

A point of order?

Is

2:54:012:54:07

there any recourse to meet

challenging the fact and honourable

2:54:072:54:11

member is suggesting I have misled

this house in this debate?

Can I say

2:54:112:54:14

first of all, nobody will mislead

this House because we are all

2:54:142:54:19

honourable members. I'm sure when we

come to the wind-ups, everything

2:54:192:54:23

will be put in its correct order.

Chris, have you finished?

2:54:232:54:29

No, I haven't. Thank you, Mr Deputy

Speaker. The honourable lady and her

2:54:292:54:33

party have suggested that everybody

in receipt of Universal Credit

2:54:332:54:36

should receive free school meals.

That has never been the policy of

2:54:362:54:39

the Government but it is apparently

the policy of the party opposite.

2:54:392:54:43

That would entail about 50% of

schoolchildren receiving free school

2:54:432:54:48

meals. In response to direct

question the honourable member from

2:54:482:54:54

rocks to, the Shadow minister was

asked how much that would cost and

2:54:542:54:57

how she would pay for it. This

policy goes beyond the policy in the

2:54:572:55:01

Labour manifesto. The honourable

lady declined to answer the

2:55:012:55:05

question. If she is advocating this

policy by to go far beyond current

2:55:052:55:12

of policy, she should explain how

much it cost and how she would pay

2:55:122:55:15

for it, because promising things for

free without explaining how you pay

2:55:152:55:18

for them is a deeply irresponsible

thing to do. Mr Deputy Speaker, I

2:55:182:55:22

can see Time is short. I will be

supporting the Government in this

2:55:222:55:26

evening's divisions.

Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. I think

2:55:262:55:30

it is time to be frank. Universal

Credit is currently a failure. It is

2:55:302:55:36

not working how it was meant to,

it's not supporting the people who

2:55:362:55:41

need it, its roll-out happened too

fast, which meant that has not been

2:55:412:55:46

time to fix the many issues which

have been brought to this house's

2:55:462:55:52

attention. 20% of children in my

constituency live in poverty. In

2:55:522:55:59

some areas, this increases to 40%.

For some of these children whose

2:55:592:56:04

parents are on Universal Credit, the

hot, nutritionally balanced meal

2:56:042:56:08

they have for lunch at school will

be their main meal of the day. In no

2:56:082:56:14

way is this a good situation to

face, but at least these children

2:56:142:56:18

are being fed. Well, not at the

Government frontbenchers have

2:56:182:56:22

anything to do with it. Remove free

school meals from those families who

2:56:222:56:27

are claiming Universal Credit, who

need it the most, is deplorable.

2:56:272:56:32

What kind of society do we want to

live in? And what government in

2:56:322:56:37

their right mind will take a hot

meal of a child in need? I am going

2:56:372:56:44

to make progress. Let me take you

back to the 2016 Conservative Party

2:56:442:56:52

conference, where the Prime Minister

said this... "I want to set our

2:56:522:56:59

party and our country on the path

towards the new centre ground of

2:56:592:57:04

British politics, built on the

values of fairness and opportunity,

2:57:042:57:08

where everyone plays by the same

rules and where every single person,

2:57:082:57:13

regardless of their background, or

that of their parents, is given the

2:57:132:57:16

chance to be all they want to be.

And as I do so, I want to be clear

2:57:162:57:21

about something else, that a vision

is nothing without the determination

2:57:212:57:25

to see it through. No vision ever

built a business by it self. No

2:57:252:57:29

vision ever close the family fed a

hungry child. No vision ever change

2:57:292:57:35

the country on its own. You need to

put the hours on and the effort,

2:57:352:57:39

too. So then, why is the Government

not following the Prime Minister's

2:57:392:57:45

vision?

Is it another sign of how she is in

2:57:452:57:47

that position but not in power? If

she still believes in her own words,

2:57:472:57:51

she must stand up and stop this

attack on the poorest in our

2:57:512:57:55

society. My Local Authority has seen

a 20% increase in pupils claiming

2:57:552:58:03

free school meals over the last four

years, which goes to show how hard

2:58:032:58:08

the Government's austerity programme

is hitting families.

2:58:082:58:10

There been a huge has spike in food

bank use, shall we are a country on

2:58:172:58:22

a cliff edge. I welcome the banks

such as the... What kind of country

2:58:222:58:30

do we want to live in? Do we want to

live in a country where a child

2:58:302:58:34

clings to the teacher's hand as the

school's holidays approach, not

2:58:342:58:38

wanting to leave for school because

there they will be under the next

2:58:382:58:42

weeks... Do we want a country where

disadvantaged children go hungry? I

2:58:422:58:55

have witnessed these things, Mr

Deputy Speaker, and I can tell you

2:58:552:58:57

it is certainly not the kind of

country I want to live in. 6400

2:58:572:59:06

children will lose their free school

meals because of this government's

2:59:062:59:10

action. I will bring my remarks to a

close now with a final thought from

2:59:102:59:19

a buzz Aldrin. If we can conquer

space, we can conquer child hunger.

2:59:192:59:27

I welcome the honourable member...

It is disgraceful that the members

2:59:272:59:37

opposite but only the only thing

for... Universal Credit is working

2:59:372:59:48

to get working people into work. 62%

of people on Universal Credit get

2:59:482:59:54

onto work compared to 59% who are on

Job Seekers Allowance. And don't

2:59:542:59:58

tell me that I don't know what it is

like to grow up in a working-class

2:59:583:00:01

family! I grew up in a working-class

family in South London who were told

3:00:013:00:11

all we would achieve is a lifetime

of benefits. Universal Credit will

3:00:113:00:16

help them achieve. The second reason

I am particularly angry with the

3:00:163:00:23

members opposite is with the

spreading fear. I think they

3:00:233:00:26

underestimate the fear they are

causing in this country. My family

3:00:263:00:29

were growing up and we were poor. My

dad worked as a labourer. He did not

3:00:293:00:34

often know when his next job was

coming and it's his job finish

3:00:343:00:38

early, he did not depict them the

subtract -- did not get paid, the

3:00:383:00:46

subcontractor did not debate. To

tell a million families in this

3:00:463:00:48

country that they will lose free

school meals when that is absolutely

3:00:483:00:53

wrong is scandalous and members

opposite should be ashamed. Let me

3:00:533:00:57

reiterate the fax. All children in

reception in your one and hereto

3:00:573:01:03

will continue to get free school

meals thanks to this government.

3:01:033:01:07

Note existing recipients of

Universal Credit will lose re-school

3:01:073:01:11

meals thanks to this government. But

50,000 extra children will be free

3:01:113:01:16

school meals who currently don't and

that is down this government. The

3:01:163:01:24

means testing will not affect those

earning just over £7,000. It is

3:01:243:01:31

around 9- £24,000. I do not think

members opposite understand the

3:01:313:01:34

impact they have when they spread

these fears. Fear is out of

3:01:343:01:39

political point scoring and using

working-class families in this

3:01:393:01:41

country as political football.

Members be absolutely ashamed of

3:01:413:01:47

themselves. I will be supporting

this government and I will be

3:01:473:01:53

supporting 50,000 moral families to

get preschool mills. And if members

3:01:533:01:55

opposite vote against those

working-class families, they need to

3:01:553:01:59

look at themselves because that is

the same thing they did a few months

3:01:593:02:02

ago when they voted against 60,000

young people in this country

3:02:023:02:05

benefiting from the abolition of

statutes for the first time buyers.

3:02:053:02:11

Members opposite talk about

supporting working-class families in

3:02:113:02:14

this country. Its members on this

site to the conservative government

3:02:143:02:20

that are actually.

I'm going to

limit my remarks to the Universal

3:02:203:02:27

Credit portion of this debate. In

accepting the failure so far, the

3:02:273:02:35

Government... The changes due to

happen in April to not go far

3:02:353:02:42

enough. I'm just a couple of the

issues, I would like to go through.

3:02:423:02:50

I could speak for a lot longer for

many of the issues affecting my

3:02:503:02:56

constituents. My constituency was I

pilot of the act of two dozen 14 and

3:02:563:03:01

went from life service to

full-service. Local agencies, the

3:03:013:03:05

Highland Council and I have been

voicing these issues since the pilot

3:03:053:03:07

and the measures proposed do not

scratch the surface of what is

3:03:073:03:12

required. The Secretary of State

earlier said that this benefit would

3:03:123:03:15

be at the cutting edge. I would say

to those yet to experience full that

3:03:153:03:19

yes, you will see some more,

particularly when it comes to the

3:03:193:03:24

housing areas. Highland Council are

paying the price and this will

3:03:243:03:31

impact all of our communities, not

just those people that are on

3:03:313:03:37

Universal Credit. The additional

administration costs alone are

3:03:373:03:41

running at hundreds of thousands of

pounds, but rent arrears continue.

3:03:413:03:49

Some figures... I will give way,

yes.

Does he welcome that the change

3:03:493:04:01

allows the payment is allowed to pay

to the landlord?

I welcome any

3:04:013:04:07

change and I would point out that is

a request made of the Government

3:04:073:04:10

over many years. Finally was a

concession, as I pointed out. There

3:04:103:04:14

is much more that needs to be done.

Rent arrears continue. They were are

3:04:143:04:25

ready at one million in 2016. They

are a to .2 million in March 2017

3:04:253:04:29

command just six months later it was

to 7p -- they are asked to point to

3:04:293:04:38

... For those on Universal Credit,

it is £840. We already know that 30%

3:04:403:04:49

of landlords, private landlords,

have already evicted a tenant

3:04:493:04:54

because of Universal Credit arrears.

According to DWP's on figures, many

3:04:543:05:08

face the threat of eviction due to

Universal Credit. People with

3:05:083:05:19

terminal illness are forced to work

with work coaches. I give credit to

3:05:193:05:23

my local job centre who have been

putting in local workarounds, but

3:05:233:05:26

the UK Government must listen and

remove these conditions to allow

3:05:263:05:35

some dignity to the terminally ill

and their families as they faced the

3:05:353:05:38

end of life. And I would ask the

Minister to meet with me to discuss

3:05:383:05:42

how that could be brought forward.

We do not believe that people who

3:05:423:05:48

have claimed using DS 1500 should

have to meet and have a conversation

3:05:483:05:55

with a work coach. This is highly

inappropriate. The Government has

3:05:553:05:59

already found to have acted

unlawfully to 1.6 million people at

3:05:593:06:04

an estimated cost to the taxpayer of

three points £7 billion. It should

3:06:043:06:09

not risk the same kind of slapped

down over its treatment of the

3:06:093:06:14

terminally ill. As the roll-out

continues, Madam Deputy Speaker,

3:06:143:06:17

many more honourable members and

right honourable members in this

3:06:173:06:22

House will feel the sharp effects on

people and their communities.

3:06:223:06:27

Ministers should go further in

acknowledging the systemic failures

3:06:273:06:31

before it causes more costs to

people's lives and drains local

3:06:313:06:40

governments of vital resources.

In

important debate and it's a pleasure

3:06:403:06:46

to follow so many powerful speeches

on this side of the House. And yet

3:06:463:06:51

again we heard from the front bench

opposite during the debate that

3:06:513:06:54

children in poverty will lose out in

relation to free school meals.

3:06:543:07:01

Firstly, Madam Deputy Speaker, that

is factually inaccurate. But

3:07:013:07:04

secondly, figures related to poverty

are so often bandied around in this

3:07:043:07:10

debate so I think it's time we had a

grown-up conversation both about

3:07:103:07:13

poverty in general and child poverty

in particular. So often the party

3:07:133:07:20

opposite uses relative poverty as a

measure, and of course, when there

3:07:203:07:24

is a recession, a fall in average

earnings, suddenly children are

3:07:243:07:31

lifted out of poverty. The poverty

statistics improve. For example, we

3:07:313:07:38

saw this specifically in 2008

following Labour's recession. There

3:07:383:07:44

was a sharp reduction in the number

of children and work lists families

3:07:443:07:48

in relative poverty. Living

standards had not improved. Their

3:07:483:07:53

income had not increased, but by the

measure that they used, suddenly

3:07:533:07:58

children were lifted out of poverty.

And conversely, when real wages

3:07:583:08:05

rise, poverty rates increase.

Despite the fact that people's

3:08:053:08:10

incomes have not fallen. I'd Deputy

Speaker, it's time we had a grown-up

3:08:103:08:15

conversation about this. Relying on

that measure fails to tackle the

3:08:153:08:20

root causes of poverty. And results

potentially in skewed policies being

3:08:203:08:26

pursued by government. Work remains

the best route out of poverty, which

3:08:263:08:33

is why I firmly support Universal

Credit and these measures.

3:08:333:08:39

Specifically, these measures are

part of a 1.5 billion package of

3:08:393:08:43

measures brought in by this

government and prickly, I'm

3:08:433:08:46

surprised that members opposite are

not going to be supporting them this

3:08:463:08:50

evening and frankly, I'm surprised.

That brings me to free school meals.

3:08:503:08:55

Children currently in receipt of a

free school meals would not lose

3:08:553:08:57

out. In fact, 50,000 more children

will benefit from free school meals

3:08:573:09:08

than under legacy benefit system.

Free school meals should be targeted

3:09:083:09:10

to stop it should be targeted at the

most honourable. -- free school

3:09:103:09:17

meals should be targeted. It should

be targeted. ... Nor is it right and

3:09:173:09:29

proper that we should be aiming free

school meals at 50% of children yet

3:09:293:09:33

that is what what would happen

unless these measures are passed

3:09:333:09:37

this evening. It should be the most

disadvantaged that should be

3:09:373:09:41

targeted with free school meals. And

that these measures tonight, Madam

3:09:413:09:47

Deputy Speaker, and sure that help

is targeted at those who need it

3:09:473:09:51

most, which is something that should

attract support from both sides of

3:09:513:09:55

this House.

Order, I have to produce

the time limit to three minutes

3:09:553:10:02

because so many people want to

speak.

Thank you so much, Madam

3:10:023:10:07

Deputy Speaker. I had to furiously

the texting my team during this

3:10:073:10:16

debate, just to assure me that what

I am about to say is right because

3:10:163:10:20

the vast majority of people in my

constituency who currently receive

3:10:203:10:23

tax credits are not on Universal

Credit will not be migrated onto

3:10:233:10:27

Universal Credit for some while and

when I be protected by traditional

3:10:273:10:31

arrangements. This is about the

future denial of... This is about

3:10:313:10:39

future denial of free school meals

and that is a valid conversation to

3:10:393:10:43

have. I'm not interested in

embellishing in this debate because

3:10:433:10:50

the truth is good enough. People who

are in work and in poverty or

3:10:503:10:54

looking for work and in poverty,

food is a huge expenditure. It's a

3:10:543:10:58

never-ending struggle to make sure

there is enough to eat, their

3:10:583:11:03

children are getting us to keep them

healthy and well. We all know the

3:11:033:11:06

argument. When people are hungry,

they cannot concentrate in school

3:11:063:11:10

and for many families and young

people, that one meal is all they

3:11:103:11:14

will get. Time after time after

time, it is repeated, or the

3:11:143:11:22

population... 50,000 extra, extra

children getting more free meal

3:11:223:11:28

schools. I'm sorry I am not able to

leave on a bin, on a... Under the

3:11:283:11:34

current system, that will be changed

to £7,400 unless the greatest,...

3:11:343:11:52

Who will this help? What is the

figure based on? Which people, which

3:11:523:11:57

advises, which experts, which showed

organisations have the Government

3:11:573:12:00

met that slashing the threshold for

children in low income households?

3:12:003:12:14

Not one headteacher knew about these

changes, select consultation has

3:12:143:12:17

been made with schools? And because

time is so, so short, I'm certainly

3:12:173:12:22

not going to give way to somebody

that was not in the debate for the

3:12:223:12:27

start of the debate. And nearly 2000

children in my constituency quite

3:12:273:12:31

rightly...

Just for the record,

Madam Deputy Speaker, I was in this

3:12:313:12:40

place when this debate started.

Thank you very much.

That was not my

3:12:403:12:47

experience. The idea...

Order! I

cannot hear the honourable lady.

3:12:473:13:10

So many interruptions. Yes, I will

give way. I

3:13:103:13:16

I

3:13:193:13:20

wanted to finish the point.

Subsidized. Do after the 1st of

3:13:243:13:34

April will be protected, is it

because they no longer need that

3:13:343:13:37

protection? Or need those meals?

This change will make sure that

3:13:373:13:42

there are more children in poverty,

more people, I just wonder, you

3:13:423:13:48

might be on to justify it, how the

government might be able to justify

3:13:483:13:55

it in this chamber. How would you be

up to justify to a child these

3:13:553:13:59

changes? Take all of these

precautions, with all of the changes

3:13:593:14:04

that are already happening in this

country to the so-called security

3:14:043:14:09

system. The only conclusion that I

can draw is that there are no, there

3:14:093:14:15

is no security. Our

3:14:153:14:19

we do not need to embellish, the

truth is good enough.

A great deal

3:14:203:14:31

of poverty and the constituency. I

will be blood. I am tired of the

3:14:313:14:39

opposition plan gives this issue. By

2022, 50,000 more children will have

3:14:393:14:49

free school meals and do not happen

today. Not one child school anywhere

3:14:493:14:54

in our country, is going to lose the

free school meals that currently

3:14:543:14:58

receive. I will admit, even by the

standards of labour parties, it's

3:14:583:15:05

only a month ago that the statistics

authority wrote in response to a

3:15:053:15:11

letter from the to rebuke, for her

use of statistics in this field. All

3:15:113:15:18

of the claims made in that... Not be

supported by statistics and sources

3:15:183:15:27

that they've purported to rely on.

The Universal Credit will leave a

3:15:273:15:33

million children without free school

meals and schools, this is wrong I'm

3:15:333:15:37

a not get his flimsy attachment to

reality, it creates needless anxiety

3:15:373:15:43

and the communities that we serve.

Introduced in the first place. And I

3:15:433:15:48

think the hostile approach that they

have chosen is regrettable, and a

3:15:483:15:53

damaging. It is not about what is

right for the job or the working

3:15:533:15:56

poor in our society, it's about

what's in the electoral interest of

3:15:563:16:00

the Labour Party. The reality is,

the professionals of the spoken to

3:16:003:16:08

and they have told me repeatedly,

that the system is working and that

3:16:083:16:11

they believe that is doing the right

thing by the people whom they serve.

3:16:113:16:16

What they want to accuse her of

being a liar, or misleading in some

3:16:163:16:22

way, I think job centres have every

right to be angry. At the way in

3:16:223:16:27

which they are firmly castigated.

Ministers have demonstrated time

3:16:273:16:36

after time that they will take

whatever action is necessary to make

3:16:363:16:41

sure that Universal Credit delivers

the outcomes that we all want to

3:16:413:16:44

see. And I think that if labour is

serious about helping people and

3:16:443:16:49

work, if they're serious about

supporting the most vulnerable in

3:16:493:16:51

our society, then they should give

up the cheap posturing that we have

3:16:513:16:55

seen today. I think they have over

embellished this, that they have

3:16:553:17:01

waited out a bit too thick. And in

the end this is serious debate that

3:17:013:17:04

needs to be had.

Do think there

something that needs to be said and

3:17:043:17:12

the members of the opposite side in

vivo retaliations that they push

3:17:123:17:15

this too far. My adorable friend

gave way, a powerful speech. The

3:17:153:17:25

bench opposite

given that this is

meant to be an open goal, right? A

3:17:253:17:31

clip of the TV news? And the

Facebook page and Twitter, the

3:17:313:17:39

stories are ripping food at the

hands of kids. What that is not

3:17:393:17:43

happening. That is not happening.

None of us came into politics to

3:17:433:17:47

make anyone's lives worse and I am

sick and tired of being told that we

3:17:473:17:51

are the bad guys. That somehow we

believe in running a balanced

3:17:513:17:56

economy and focused on actually

helping those in need instead of

3:17:563:17:58

using those notes to believe

political goals.

Thank you very much

3:17:583:18:07

Madam Deputy Speaker. As the

chairman of the policy group, I want

3:18:073:18:11

to speak to members across the house

to lay out the facts of this

3:18:113:18:16

instrument. I'm very sorry that it

hasn't been before the committee. To

3:18:163:18:23

look at the facts of the case. And

unfortunately, the facts that are in

3:18:233:18:27

the governments case are wrong. They

claim that as this is about parents

3:18:273:18:33

of school-aged children who on

roundabouts... They claim that other

3:18:333:18:40

benefits will be between 18000 and

£84,000 a year. But according to

3:18:403:18:46

their own benefits calculator on the

government website and a single

3:18:463:18:51

parent one school-aged child will be

on £14,020, they will be on the

3:18:513:18:56

poverty line and not be eligible for

free school meals. That single

3:18:563:19:02

parent under tax credits, would have

been £1600 a year better off. She

3:19:023:19:09

will lose that amount of money and

she and her child will not built of

3:19:093:19:19

-- not be a Dick Lane free school

meals. And still at the pay a week

3:19:193:19:25

for a school meals. Yes, she does

not get a free school meal at the

3:19:253:19:28

moment, but you should it because

she is on tax credits and a former

3:19:283:19:36

-- far more generous system. This

cuts from working single parents.

3:19:363:19:42

These are the single parents were at

the moment, one in three of their

3:19:423:19:46

children are in poverty.

Gingerbread, Jojo society, ISS, all

3:19:463:19:55

say that Universal Credit will

increase the number of children in

3:19:553:19:58

poverty over the next four years by

a million children. These million

3:19:583:20:04

children will only be

3:20:043:20:05

not be of the claim free school

meals, not that hot nutritious meal,

3:20:093:20:17

to concentrate the other day. Help

them realise the level of nutrition

3:20:173:20:21

that they need, make them eligible

for school trips as well through the

3:20:213:20:26

people premium. Now, my honourable

friend, on school food, came to the

3:20:263:20:33

minister with a proposal about

dealing with people premium, to

3:20:333:20:38

enable people to still be up to

receive this free school meals.

3:20:383:20:42

Children in poverty, yes they might

not be in poverty now and not

3:20:423:20:45

receiving it now, but they said the

cuts, there'll not be able for free

3:20:453:20:56

school meal either. And they should

be. Because not to do that, not to

3:20:563:21:01

make that change and to look

properly active, to go figures that

3:21:013:21:04

are wrong or benefits to try and

mislead house with figures in a

3:21:043:21:11

consultation document that are

blatantly wrong for the amount of

3:21:113:21:15

income that people are on, that is

doing a disservice to million

3:21:153:21:21

children, to the list to who will be

on the cliff edge, who see a

3:21:213:21:27

disincentive to work across this

house. We all want to see an

3:21:273:21:31

incentive to work, any parent with

children earning between £7,400 at

3:21:313:21:37

around £11,000 a year will not be

better off. I give way to my

3:21:373:21:41

honourable friend.

I think my

honourable friend for getting way,

3:21:413:21:46

she mentioned the people premium and

the coupling and due to the economy

3:21:463:21:51

act, this is not possible. And

schools are already having Dick Lane

3:21:513:21:56

people premium for the free school

meals offer, it has taught me to be

3:21:563:22:03

able to decouple the two.

I think my

honourable friend for that, because

3:22:033:22:10

we have a debate in Westminster

Hall, a few weeks ago, the members

3:22:103:22:16

on the opposite side said that, it

was because of the cost of the

3:22:163:22:20

people premium that they did not

want the free school meals extended.

3:22:203:22:24

And what we could do was simply to

put the people premium at the level

3:22:243:22:29

proposed by the government. Now, but

also make sure that all those

3:22:293:22:33

children who will be in poverty will

be entitled to the free school meal

3:22:333:22:36

that they need to give them a better

chance in school to get a better

3:22:363:22:43

life chance, and to make sure they

gyrated around a Child hunger

3:22:433:22:46

instead of increasing it. Thank you.

We are here to improve lives, we

3:22:463:22:57

know the best way out of poverty is

work. We know that it is the key to

3:22:573:23:03

human happiness. And we all want to

give kids the best possible start in

3:23:033:23:07

life, including meals for the

poorest and high quality preschool

3:23:073:23:12

childcare, which we know improves

the outcomes for the most

3:23:123:23:15

disadvantaged children in our

country. We know that Universal

3:23:153:23:20

Credit is helping to improve lives.

It has been off in my constituency

3:23:203:23:25

for sometime now, we now have a full

roll-out. For the job centres, a

3:23:253:23:34

great passion, it is really helping

them help people. It is helping

3:23:343:23:39

people getting to work, increase

their hours of work, do better work.

3:23:393:23:44

Overwhelmingly a good thing. In my

local citizens advice Bureau, I

3:23:443:23:50

spoke met them, because of all these

rumours that Universal Credit was

3:23:503:23:55

causing trouble. And there were two

calls a day about Universal Credit

3:23:553:24:01

but I said what with those calls.

And one of those was how can I get

3:24:013:24:05

it? And the other one was MIA

eligible? So people were calling the

3:24:053:24:10

advice Bureau because they wanted to

be on Universal Credit because they

3:24:103:24:16

had heard good things about it.

You're getting misleading

3:24:163:24:19

information in this chamber by

Universal Credit, but what we know

3:24:193:24:22

it's doing is that it's helping

people get in work and stand working

3:24:223:24:25

get better jobs. Also, and this is

very much the topic of the debate

3:24:253:24:30

today. The government has been

listening to concerns raised by

3:24:303:24:34

Universal Credit and attacking those

concerns. If you have better access

3:24:343:24:39

to advanced payments, let to wait

for payment. This is a government

3:24:393:24:43

doing exactly the right thing to

make Universal Credit work even

3:24:433:24:46

better. So members on the party

opposite should be supporting that,

3:24:463:24:50

not trying to block it. And I worry

that they are stuck somehow and the

3:24:503:24:55

1970s, maybe then, it is OK to give

up on people and condemn them to a

3:24:553:24:59

left or benefits, but we know now

that that is not the right thing to

3:24:593:25:03

do.

3:25:033:25:13

And they should be supporting in

helping the constituents get it to

3:25:333:25:35

work and stay in work. Briefly, I

free school meals, proceedings such

3:25:353:25:37

a shocking abuse of figures, this

government policies more children

3:25:373:25:40

will get free school meals, 50,000

more will get free school meals and

3:25:403:25:42

no child will be losing their right

to free school meals. So let's not

3:25:423:25:45

have any scaremongering about

children losing free school meals.

3:25:453:25:47

That's also have a bit more clarity

on how they might

3:25:473:25:49

.

Quite disappointed by the ways

that house quite disappointed why

3:25:563:26:00

the wastebasket, by debating and...

Pudsey tightened and time again that

3:26:003:26:07

thought makes its that thought makes

its voice clear instruction and nine

3:26:073:26:14

votes the the roll-out of the

benches opposite of the benches

3:26:143:26:24

opposite, whenever the make that, to

make that clear to, today we're

3:26:243:26:32

debating I want to focus on

universal I want to focus on

3:26:323:26:38

vouchers and appoint myself and many

of our but I want to focus on

3:26:383:26:41

childcare vouchers and appoint

myself and many of our members. It

3:26:413:26:46

very much I just want to I just want

to have a short contrast, giving a

3:26:463:26:56

child the best start in giving each

other the best start signal of

3:26:563:27:01

quality. Free school meals for

children you know that is a strong

3:27:013:27:05

signal of quality. Free school meals

for children, Dublin childcare, as

3:27:053:27:08

my son is starting at the same at

the same time it to that children

3:27:083:27:17

should be oh to type of to does

briefly mentions of I wanted to

3:27:173:27:22

briefly mention something that in, I

very much want to commend the

3:27:223:27:27

government in and the budget they

announced that free school and the

3:27:273:27:30

budget they announced that free

school meals will be, and if

3:27:303:27:33

somebody is experienced first-hand

has children go to school, whatever

3:27:333:27:37

the children go to warm precious

meal, they try and tackle as just

3:27:373:27:45

want to briefly focus on I just want

to briefly focus on Universal

3:27:453:27:52

Long before it was fashionable to

talk about the Universal Credit,

3:27:583:28:02

he's been pursuing this. I get to

say through the course of the

3:28:023:28:07

debate, I could have been some

pretty unedifying protocols on both

3:28:073:28:14

sides of the people. I think we need

to be mindful of that committed

3:28:143:28:18

these are real people. I've been

quite clear that I have no interest

3:28:183:28:24

in being on Newsnight or question

time, but for me, I see the job of

3:28:243:28:36

being a member of Parliament of

being in your to people, listening

3:28:363:28:40

to life experiences, and I

appreciate that at various times,

3:28:403:28:50

the opposition can be saying it is

scaremongering, they can be expected

3:28:503:28:56

to say that the ...

Thank you, Madam

Deputy Speaker. I have a qualified

3:28:563:29:11

welcome to this important debate. I

welcome what the Chancellor and a

3:29:113:29:21

succession of Secretaries of State

have done in this area. It ensures

3:29:213:29:29

that people can get into work and

when they are in work, they can take

3:29:293:29:32

on more work and hopefully, ideally

to get themselves out of being

3:29:323:29:36

dependent on welfare payments. This

is what we want to happen in this

3:29:363:29:39

system has been reformed over the

years to be better and better. I

3:29:393:29:45

would just like to highlight the

contribution of my honourable friend

3:29:453:29:48

for South Cambridgeshire. I think

she gapper brilliant leader forms

3:29:483:29:54

that have been delivered in recent

years and also, the point you made

3:29:543:29:58

about this debate should have been

about for improving the system,

3:29:583:30:03

improving Universal Credit but has

turned into headline grabbing agenda

3:30:033:30:06

by the Labour Party them and that is

not what each should be used for. I

3:30:063:30:13

have visited both job centres that

serve my constituency and the

3:30:133:30:16

enthusiasm for the members of staff

working in both job centres have for

3:30:163:30:21

Universal Credit is incredible. I

was blown away with the support of

3:30:213:30:26

both those job centres because they

can help people now. Rather than

3:30:263:30:29

being defaced of this great,

standoffish organisation, they can

3:30:293:30:34

actually engage with people and help

in the way they have never done

3:30:343:30:39

before -- rather than being the face

of. Yes, where improvements need to

3:30:393:30:44

be made to make those improvements.

On free school meals, we ought to

3:30:443:30:50

have a view, a vision that those

most in need receive free school

3:30:503:30:53

meals but not those who are a

considerable or a significantly

3:30:533:30:59

higher amounts of money. Those

children must each receive and it's

3:30:593:31:04

really disappointing to see from the

Labour Party voting today to prevent

3:31:043:31:11

50,000 children, the poorest

children in our country, from

3:31:113:31:13

receiving free school meals went

Universal Credit is rolled out and

3:31:133:31:18

also voting to ensure that parents,

families with an income of over

3:31:183:31:22

£40,000 continue to receive free

school meals. I think the Labour

3:31:223:31:26

Party have the wrong values. But

it's not just the Labour Party, in

3:31:263:31:31

my constituency, the Liberal

Democrats have been rolling out

3:31:313:31:36

propaganda saying if you earn more

than £7,400, you will never receive

3:31:363:31:44

free school meals. That is not the

cut off. That is only a fraction of

3:31:443:31:48

of the income. And because of time

constraints, I'm not going to say I

3:31:483:31:52

support the Government and their

actions. -- I'm now going to say.

I

3:31:523:32:00

was hoping that the opposition

spokesman when not rise. -- would

3:32:003:32:05

now rise.

Thank you, Madam Deputy

Speaker. I have to say, I like to

3:32:053:32:13

thank everybody who spoke at the

debate to date but frankly, the only

3:32:133:32:16

meals the Tory party are interested

in is and when they're rich donors

3:32:163:32:19

pay them to have them. That's all

you're interested in! And the truth,

3:32:193:32:30

we've been told today, asked today

due to the trip. Will I just told

3:32:303:32:36

the truth, and the truth hurts as

far as they're concerned. It has

3:32:363:32:46

upset them, Madam Deputy Speaker.

They are deeply upset about that.

3:32:463:32:52

This would and shock of factors,

restrict the number of children

3:32:523:32:58

receiving free school meals and

limit access to Universal Credit.

3:32:583:33:03

No, I won't! This government has

indicated once more its relentless

3:33:033:33:13

desire to some of the poorest into

shape. The Chancellor came to the

3:33:133:33:19

House today to pass himself on the

back but with no sense of irony

3:33:193:33:25

whatsoever, the revelations remind

us that austerity is far from over.

3:33:253:33:32

Priming some of the poorest children

in the country from accessing free

3:33:323:33:41

school is on its own would be

considered shameful -- preventing

3:33:413:33:45

some of the. We have a cruel

cocktail of... And that's another

3:33:453:33:54

thing, they have cocktails at what

would the air meals. Fact check. The

3:33:543:33:58

children Society estimates the

change is the measures the

3:33:583:34:03

Government is seeking to introduce

will seat 1 million children unable

3:34:033:34:08

to benefit from school meals because

of them pulling the rug on the

3:34:083:34:13

current transitional arrangements

and to add insult to injury, by

3:34:133:34:16

setting an income threshold for

children of those on Universal

3:34:163:34:19

Credit to qualify free school meals,

the Government is creating a

3:34:193:34:23

cliffhanger which would leave around

350,000 families worse off. Order!

3:34:233:34:32

Order!

3:34:323:34:34

Order!

3:34:373:34:41

There are clearly heightened

tempers. We must have some decorum.

3:34:413:34:45

Thank you. These families who will

move just above the threshold will

3:34:453:34:55

be forced to shoulder the cost of

school meals from their household

3:34:553:35:03

widget at the cost of hundreds of

pounds per child. I will give way.

3:35:033:35:06

The on

3:35:063:35:07

honourable gentleman estimates to

answer one simple question. They put

3:35:133:35:18

about that thousands of children

will lose the free meals. Will he

3:35:183:35:25

step up to the box and apologise to

the House for misleading the public?

3:35:253:35:33

I would tell you what I will say to

my can I say this? If the

3:35:333:35:40

honourable members want to listen...

In order to make it... Distinctly

3:35:443:35:57

political rather than the economic

interest. Why does the Government

3:35:573:36:05

feel the need to cut the number of

children who are eligible for free

3:36:053:36:09

school meals? Why are the

Conservatives Keeney to limit the

3:36:093:36:13

numbers of eligible parents are

eligible for childcare vouchers? And

3:36:133:36:16

why do Ministers... Disabled people

on universal script are worse off

3:36:163:36:26

and at further risk of sanctions?

The mantra of the Chancellor as with

3:36:263:36:32

his predecessor as the net of fiscal

prudence, a concept hair jacked by

3:36:323:36:37

the ideologue for ideological

purposes. He says on welfare

3:36:373:36:49

spending on the musty

belt-tightening... We have seen

3:36:493:36:50

almost a fifth of women's refugees

closed and budgets cut. And yet, and

3:36:503:37:01

yet, the Chancellor can somehow

conjure up money to give large

3:37:013:37:05

multinational corporations and the

wealthiest £70 billion worth of tax

3:37:053:37:08

cuts to the end of... No

belt-tightening there. If we look at

3:37:083:37:15

the decision to cut the top rate of

income tax from 50p to 45% on loan,

3:37:153:37:21

fact has shown that those earning

over £1 million a year will save on

3:37:213:37:28

average £554,000.

Order! Members

must not chat at the honourable

3:37:283:37:33

gentleman!

From 2013-2018. No

belt-tightening there either, Madam

3:37:333:37:44

Deputy Speaker. Over the past five

years, this tax cut has cost the

3:37:443:37:48

British taxpayer a billion. That is

a 4p which instead could have fully

3:37:483:37:55

funded Universal Credit, extended

free school meals or extended

3:37:553:38:01

tax-free childcare for all. Fact

check. That is a fact. Madam Deputy

3:38:013:38:10

Speaker, childcare remains the

biggest cuts for households. For

3:38:103:38:14

some families, it is crippling their

finances. The scheme is not only

3:38:143:38:20

popular but will subscribe, with

parents using vouchers... Most

3:38:203:38:30

employers who provide vouchers

currently do so through salary

3:38:303:38:33

sacrifice schemes exempting

recipients from income tax and

3:38:333:38:37

national insurance on doctors up to

a maximum of £55 a week. The scheme

3:38:373:38:44

does have its flaws. For example, it

does not cover self-employed people

3:38:443:38:47

and requires employees to be

registered. However, overall, most

3:38:473:38:50

and employers who use the scheme

believe the system works and an

3:38:503:38:56

overwhelming majority want it to

stay. Here is another catch it for

3:38:563:38:59

you. It is therefore... Surprising,

but it's not surprising in a

3:38:593:39:05

sentiment that the Government plans

to pass regulations tonight that

3:39:053:39:10

would would close a scheme to new

out -- new applicants, following the

3:39:103:39:19

shambolic introduction of the

childcare scheme. The Government's

3:39:193:39:22

much awaited scheme awaits a full

five years since it was another five

3:39:223:39:29

years since it is it was

announced... To go the -- to call

3:39:293:39:37

the roll-out disasters would be an

understatement. The website crashed

3:39:373:39:40

into force, -- forcing the

Government to pay... Under the

3:39:403:39:51

current voucher scheme, the amount

of childcare funding they get is

3:39:513:39:56

tied to their earnings. Under the

new system from its base on

3:39:563:39:59

expenditure and this means that the

childcare system will benefit those

3:39:593:40:04

who can't afford to spend the most.

With the Government headline's

3:40:043:40:12

figure reserved for those parents

who have an extra £10,000 lying

3:40:123:40:15

around. It's well-known the tax-free

childcare scheme is the project of

3:40:153:40:22

the two secretaries of the Treasury,

and she's consistently called for

3:40:223:40:27

better value for money when it comes

to public spending and that the

3:40:273:40:31

Government should avoid spending

money that he does not have.

3:40:313:40:34

However, under the new scheme,

parents sending their children to

3:40:343:40:39

independent schools will also be

able to claim a £2000 tax-free

3:40:393:40:43

amount. How can the to secretary

justify this? Surely the money spent

3:40:433:40:50

giving a tax break to those who can

afford to send their children to

3:40:503:40:54

some of the most expensive

fee-paying schools in the country

3:40:543:40:57

could attend be -- instead be used

to ensuring millions of children do

3:40:573:41:04

not lose out on access to a free

school meals? Madam Deputy Speaker,

3:41:043:41:09

there is no reason why the

Government should not listen to the

3:41:093:41:11

cause of the opposition, parents and

employers across the country who

3:41:113:41:17

want to keep the doctor scheme open

and to extend it to the

3:41:173:41:20

self-employed. I would like now to

turn to the... The local authority

3:41:203:41:28

duty to secure early provisions. And

then Universal Credit for

3:41:283:41:37

miscellaneous amendments, savings

and transition revisions from

3:41:373:41:42

revelations 2018. As with her, the

first of these... New eligibility

3:41:423:41:49

criteria applying for free childcare

for a two-year-old threw Universal

3:41:493:41:54

Credit. It introduces an earnings

threshold...

Allowed him to finish!

3:41:543:42:05

The facts do file them, don't they?

The facts do rile them! They don't

3:42:053:42:11

like... That ask for facts all

afternoon. They get a few facts and

3:42:113:42:15

they just don't like them. I will be

coming to a close very briefly. Very

3:42:153:42:21

briefly. It's as simple as this,

Madam Deputy Speaker. Fortunately,

3:42:213:42:28

at least the public now have a clear

choice between two parties, a

3:42:283:42:33

government of the past. Or a Labour

Party which will govern for the

3:42:333:42:42

many, not the few. Finally,,

finally, is there any vulnerable

3:42:423:42:49

person or group that the self

obsessed, clapped out, washed out

3:42:493:42:55

out of time government is not

prepared to attack?

3:42:553:43:07

Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker. You

know, there are days sometimes we

3:43:073:43:11

have to come to this house and

defend difficult decisions that have

3:43:113:43:15

to be made. But this is not one of

those dates. We are talking today

3:43:153:43:23

about increasing spending,

increasing widening eligibility,

3:43:233:43:26

thank you Madam Deputy Speaker. You

know, there are days sometimes we

3:43:263:43:28

have to come to this house and

defend difficult decisions that have

3:43:283:43:31

to be made. But this is not one of

those dates. We are talking today

3:43:313:43:34

about increasing spending,

3:43:343:43:34

type rep repetition not turn it into

a does not turn it into a that

3:43:403:43:48

debate, and I will respond to as

many of them as I can. There are

3:43:483:43:51

fully 24 backbench speakers listed

in that debate, and I will respond

3:43:513:43:54

to as many of them as I can. There

are five main elements our support

3:43:543:43:57

in early years our support in early

years, a bigger offer, first, 18

3:43:573:44:06

hours a Jew-year-olds, there was no

such entitlement under Labour.

3:44:063:44:11

Regulations education for

disadvantaged Jew-year-olds, there

3:44:113:44:13

was no such entitlement under

labour. , introducing an equivalent

3:44:133:44:22

earnings that by 2023, Route seven

household

3:44:223:44:28

the 15 hours is 15 hours than ever

under more years than ever under

3:44:323:44:40

labour, and also, available under

label. Guess such A higher

3:44:403:44:53

percentage than ever available under

tax credits, and finally, support

3:44:533:45:03

for more than 5 million more

families and I will give way to the

3:45:033:45:06

honourable lady.

With the Secretary

of State agree with me that given

3:45:063:45:09

the concerns raised across this

House in relation to the closure of

3:45:093:45:15

the childcare venture scheme, they

should be a delay on the closure of

3:45:153:45:17

that scheme to allow for the

concerns to be addressed?

Madam

3:45:173:45:22

Deputy Speaker, I have heard the

concerns that have been raised about

3:45:223:45:26

this and the timing, and I can

confirm we will be able to keep the

3:45:263:45:30

Doctor scheme open for a further six

months to new entrants following

3:45:303:45:36

representations that she has made. I

would also mention the tax-free

3:45:363:45:43

childcare will mean that more people

become eligible regardless of who

3:45:433:45:46

their employer is and including for

the first time the self-employed.

3:45:463:45:51

The right honourable lady raised

concerns about families having to

3:45:513:46:01

pay childcare costs upfront. I want

to reassure her that the flexible

3:46:013:46:08

support fund is available. Turning

now to free school meals, if she

3:46:083:46:11

will forgive me, I will turn back to

her if there is time. Since 2010, we

3:46:113:46:18

have extended availability of free

school meals going much further than

3:46:183:46:20

Labour. The Conservative led

coalition extended free school meals

3:46:203:46:25

to more students and introduced

universal infant free school meals.

3:46:253:46:33

Had breakfast club programme over

the next three years using the soft

3:46:333:46:36

drinks industry money. When

Universal Credit was introduced, we

3:46:363:46:39

made clear our intention to set the

criteria for free school meals as my

3:46:393:46:46

honourable friend spent

stated...

When we introduced the temporary

3:46:463:46:59

measure enabling all University

credit families -- Universal Credit

3:46:593:47:03

families to receive meals. We are

now, as we have always planned,

3:47:033:47:15

introducing new eligibility criteria

to ensure those entitlements

3:47:153:47:18

continue to benefit those who need

them the most. Under our new

3:47:183:47:21

regulations, we estimate that by

2022, around 50,000 more children

3:47:213:47:25

will benefit from its free school

meal compared to the previous

3:47:253:47:28

system. And the honourable Lady who

asked this question in her speech,

3:47:283:47:35

the shaking her head, we responded

to the Social Security advisory

3:47:353:47:41

committee on this exact point and

they put it of course and to the

3:47:413:47:46

public domain. No child receiving

free meals or enjoy the roll-out of

3:47:463:47:55

Universal Credit will lose their

entitlement during the roll-out of

3:47:553:47:58

that.

Supersedes the threshold.

3:47:583:48:25

Earned income and does not include

additional income a typical family

3:48:283:48:33

around a threshold depending on the

stances let me total between 18 and

3:48:333:48:39

£24,000. The lady from Manchester

was, the threshold, it is not

3:48:393:48:46

arbitrary. The benefits are set at a

level to hold the eligibility study

3:48:463:48:54

how much except in the case of free

school meals, to make it somewhat

3:48:543:48:58

more generous than the previous

system. The threshold is comparable

3:48:583:49:04

in Scotland where there is a

threshold of £7,220, but it is

3:49:043:49:11

simply not true to say that we are

introducing a coverage. There's

3:49:113:49:15

always been one. You either get a

large or not, a plate of food does

3:49:153:49:20

not lend itself well to being taken.

And my friend rightly said, you can

3:49:203:49:28

convert the benefited the cash, and

that is true of course you could.

3:49:283:49:32

And you could have a taper, but the

whole point of free school meals is

3:49:323:49:36

a you could guarantee a healthy

lunch, received by that individual

3:49:363:49:41

child. In extending eligibility to

all children in Universal Credit,

3:49:413:49:46

will result in happier becoming

eligible for the costly estimate,

3:49:463:49:53

the meal, deprivation funding, would

be 50

3:49:533:50:01

I want to read reiterate, as my

honourable friend from Millsboro

3:50:063:50:14

South, said I'm running short of

time so I will return to the

3:50:143:50:23

regulations, outlined the changes in

these regulations and they've

3:50:233:50:27

included the removal of waiting

days, under £60 extra in peoples

3:50:273:50:32

pockets, getting them into the

monthly routine centre. The weeks of

3:50:323:50:36

housing benefits to smooth the

transition to Universal Credit, this

3:50:363:50:41

one-off nonrecoverable pavement is

worth on average Georgia £33 million

3:50:413:50:46

to 2.3 million payments over the

roll-out period, and the 1.5 million

3:50:463:50:52

package the Chancellor announced at

the budget, my honourable friend

3:50:523:50:57

said he was surprised to hear

members opposite, or going to be

3:50:573:51:01

voting against these measures.

Constituents be more surprised too.

3:51:013:51:12

Now, if you'll forgive me as we are

very short of time, Madam Deputy

3:51:123:51:19

Speaker is my honourable friend

reminded us in our own unique style.

3:51:193:51:26

This government is committed to

removing injustices, and widening

3:51:263:51:32

opportunities, and because of a

strong economic management of our

3:51:323:51:38

friend, we are able to continue our

board and programme of social reform

3:51:383:51:42

extremely quickly.

Confirmed clearly

for the six-month delay in relation

3:51:423:51:53

to, would be used to address

problems?

3:51:533:51:58

And allow, Madam Deputy Speaker, our

approach is working. Advancements in

3:52:013:52:09

a

3:52:093:52:10

Education. Household budgets, and

Universal Credit helping people and

3:52:143:52:19

work faster. In this generation, we

have employment record levels,

3:52:193:52:25

income inequality is down, but the

next generation, we have major

3:52:253:52:29

improvements in the early year

foundation stages, 1.9 million more

3:52:293:52:34

children will go to outstanding

schools and 10% narrowing and the

3:52:343:52:38

rich and the poor. Today's

registration will continue to

3:52:383:52:42

important work, I'm proud of the

enhanced support, the offering of

3:52:423:52:45

families in these programmes and I

commended this to the house.

The

3:52:453:52:55

motion on Universal Credit, on the

order paper, those of the opinion

3:52:553:53:06

aye division! Clear the lobby!

3:53:063:53:12

Order! Universal Credit on the

papers those of the opinion ayes, on

3:55:203:55:28

the contrary noes.

3:55:283:55:35

Lock the doors!

4:01:134:01:21

Order!

4:07:314:07:33

Order!

4:07:334:07:42

De-iced to the right to under 88,

the noes to the left, 350.

-- the

4:07:424:07:52

ayes to the right, 288.

The ayes to

the right, 288, the noes to the

4:07:524:08:04

left, 315. He knows

4:08:044:08:05

-- the noes habit. Unlock. I call

Angela Rayner to move the second

4:08:094:08:18

motion. The question is the motion

on children and young persons as on

4:08:184:08:25

the order paper. As many as are of

the opinion, say "aye". To the

4:08:254:08:28

contrary, "no". Division. Clear the

lobby!

4:08:284:08:38

Order! The question is the motion on

children and young persons as on the

4:10:034:10:08

order paper. As many as are of the

opinion, say "aye". To the contrary,

4:10:084:10:11

"no". Tally for the ayes, tally for

the noes... Mind the House that this

4:10:114:10:30

motion is subject to double majority

voting. Whole House and those

4:10:304:10:35

representing constituencies in

England.

4:10:354:10:46

Unlock the doors!

4:16:394:16:49

Order! Order! As many as

4:23:134:23:22

D noes to the left 312. Of those

honourable members

in England the

4:23:284:23:36

ayes to the right to watch a 14 to

the left, 282.

4:23:364:23:43

Feedback or want to be right Georgia

54, the noes to the

4:23:514:24:00

constituencies only in England the

ayes to the right Georgia 14, the

4:24:034:24:12

noes to the left 282. The noes

habit! The noes habit!

4:24:124:24:17

The noes how do it!

4:24:224:24:23

As on the order papers, raising that

opinion it's a ayes! On the contrary

4:24:324:24:38

noes! Clear the body!

4:24:384:24:49

Order! The question is the motion on

146 as on the order papers. Those on

4:25:384:25:48

the opinion to say ayes. For the

noes. And I reminded the house that

4:25:484:26:02

this motion is subject to double

majority voting. Those representing

4:26:024:26:09

constituencies and England.

4:26:094:26:11

Order! Order!

The ayes to the right,

253. The noes to the left, 315. For

4:37:504:38:06

those honourable members

representing constituencies in

4:38:064:38:09

England, the ayes to the right, to

15, the noes to the left, 283.

4:38:094:38:23

The ayes to the right, 253. The noes

to the left, 315. And those

4:38:244:38:31

honourable members representing

constituencies in England, the ayes

4:38:314:38:33

to the right, to 15, the noes to the

left and 283. So the noes have it to

4:38:334:38:42

the noes have it. Unlock. Order.

Move to the fourth motion formerly.

4:38:424:38:52

Thank you. Emotion on Social

Security as on the order paper. As

4:38:524:38:58

many as are of the opinion, say

"aye". To the contrary, "no".

4:38:584:39:02

Division, clear the lobby!

4:39:024:39:08

Order. The question is this as on

the order paper. As many as are of

4:41:154:41:19

the opinion, say "aye". To the

contrary, "no". Tallies for the

4:41:194:41:26

ayes... Tallies for the noes...

4:41:264:41:34

Order! Order! The ayes to the

right... The noes to be left 314.

4:51:224:51:42

The ayes to the right to under 85,

the noes 314. The noes have it. The

4:51:424:51:53

noes had it.

It is clear that the

Secretary of State, they will not

4:51:534:52:05

push ahead with their plans to phase

out childcare for the next six

4:52:054:52:11

months. For measures, Mr Speaker,

can I ask your opinion on any

4:52:114:52:18

suggestion for the government that

there will be in a oral statement

4:52:184:52:23

explaining, this period and the end

of that period.

Her attempt to

4:52:234:52:33

solicit my opinion will not be

successful. I am not aware of any

4:52:334:52:38

intention of the statement being

made. But the honourable Lady has

4:52:384:52:43

aired her concern and it is on the

record for all to see.

The intention

4:52:434:52:49

to drop the inquiry, despite new

revelations that so many times

4:52:494:52:56

whistle-blower John Ford, including

the obtainment of stolen data on

4:52:564:53:03

private information on Doctor David

Kelly. He testified the decision

4:53:034:53:07

that the fact that this stopped in

2010, underlies the point that the

4:53:074:53:13

world has changed, practises such as

these, are in a very different

4:53:134:53:19

position of when the alleged

offences took place. I just received

4:53:194:53:22

new allegations that contradict that

information. It says, I know

4:53:224:53:30

individuals were still engaged in

these activities, the Secretary of

4:53:304:53:35

State has no evidential basis on

which to make his assertions. To

4:53:354:53:43

justify what evidence he's got to

say that.

I have not received such

4:53:434:53:51

indication. His concern will have

been heard on the treasury bench. If

4:53:514:53:58

there are no further, we come to the

adjournment. The question is does

4:53:584:54:07

this House do now adjourn? There

members leaving the chamber, not

4:54:074:54:13

desiring to hear the adjournment

debate, I trust that they would do

4:54:134:54:18

so quickly and quietly so that the

house can attend to the right

4:54:184:54:26

honourable gentleman. Does this

House do now adjourn?

Thank you very

4:54:264:54:33

much indeed, Mr Speaker. How proud I

am of my constituents, for so many

4:54:334:54:40

years who have been fighting the

constant changes to health care, and

4:54:404:54:48

in particular, I would like to think

the hospital action group and their

4:54:484:54:54

fantastic, and they have been

fighting this campaign for many many

4:54:544:55:01

years. I would also like to go on

record for the fantastic job that

4:55:014:55:06

the BBC radio station is done. In

particular, the excellent

4:55:064:55:13

journalism, without his work, I do

not think this debate would of taken

4:55:134:55:17

place at all. For the National

Health Service to carry on, the

4:55:174:55:24

world-class service it is today, the

public are constituents, and the

4:55:244:55:28

death faith, not only in the

fantastic nurses and those on the

4:55:284:55:34

front line, but in the management of

how our hospitals are run and how

4:55:344:55:39

the hell provision is actually

working in our constituencies. I'm

4:55:394:55:43

sorry to say, Mr Speaker, but that

trust and feeling of commitment that

4:55:434:55:47

we need from our health service and

management is not as broken, it's

4:55:474:55:52

completely failed. Mr Speaker, I

want to go on the history, of the

4:55:524:56:00

urgent care centre, minister my

constituency has gone on for many

4:56:004:56:07

years. In the decision was made, by

the previous Labour administration,

4:56:074:56:12

to close the A&E, and the service of

the hospital. And move it all into a

4:56:124:56:21

Victorian hospital, but we will not

go on that tonight, we will return

4:56:214:56:26

to later. We were given an urgent

care centre, 24 seven, seven days a

4:56:264:56:34

week, surrounding the day and the

night, I surprise I was when Miss

4:56:344:56:47

Fisher, the chief executive of the

trust funded, just before Christmas,

4:56:474:56:52

to say that sadly, temporarily, the

urgent care centre would have to

4:56:524:56:59

close on safety reasons at night. I

was really shocked by this, not

4:56:594:57:04

because the AMD in Watford, throws

unbelievably. Those would use other

4:57:044:57:14

facilities, I said, this is why the

busy times. This is going to be over

4:57:144:57:19

Christmas. I'm worried, it will be,

it's only a temporary thing, just

4:57:194:57:25

after Christmas. They don't put a

Russell without saying temporary

4:57:254:57:30

overnight closure of the urgent care

centre. That press release is still

4:57:304:57:37

on their website today, I printed it

off before I can to the chamber this

4:57:374:57:42

evening. As I go through my

comments, I realise just how false

4:57:424:57:46

that statement was. I realise Mr

Speaker, I contacted, my

4:57:464:57:52

constituents contacted

4:57:524:57:55

The question is does this House is

now adjourned.

I got even longer to

4:58:014:58:06

pontificate. Justin Gilley acquired

an interview... He did a quite long

4:58:064:58:18

interview where they indicated "This

is a short-term measure which we are

4:58:184:58:26

using in the interests of patients

safety big and the next few weeks,

4:58:264:58:30

over the festive period, we are not

able to secure GPs." Most people

4:58:304:58:37

would understand that. Not if they

were working in the room next

4:58:374:58:41

door... If she lived in the area,

which should be concerned as

4:58:414:58:54

door... If she lived in the area,

which should be concerned as? ... If

4:58:544:58:55

there is any permanent change, to

include people fully in that

4:58:554:59:00

decision and by the way, let me

quote... Legally obliged to consult

4:59:004:59:12

on a change of that nature. Mr

Speaker come that press release was

4:59:124:59:15

in December 2016, not just before

Christmas this year, 2016. We had no

4:59:154:59:23

night provision at all in Hemel

since then. Everybody has to go to

4:59:234:59:34

urgent treatment in Watford A&E.

Work call the number, but when they

4:59:344:59:42

get triage, you inevitably go to

A&E.

I think the honourable

4:59:424:59:52

gentleman forgiving way. He is

outlining the issue with the Hemel

4:59:525:00:02

Hempstead urgent care issue but with

the honourable member agreed that

5:00:025:00:04

although there is pressure, closing

or scaling back on urgent care only

5:00:045:00:08

adds the pressure which can be

handled in the A&E? And the must be

5:00:085:00:15

more investment in these mid-level

centres lest the A&E crumble.

I

5:00:155:00:22

quite clearly agree with my

honourable friend. On the half of

5:00:225:00:28

all the parts of the country, I

think, under certain sorts of

5:00:285:00:31

pressures. But this was about, not

about money. Normally our

5:00:315:00:35

constituents come to us, this is

about money. This, frankly, in their

5:00:355:00:42

own words was absolutely nothing to

do with money. This was a

5:00:425:00:46

contractual problem they had with

GPs. So we asked and asked and asked

5:00:465:00:52

what was going to have and that we

were told, completely out of the

5:00:525:01:03

blue, no consultation... Repeatedly

I was told this is the Government

5:01:035:01:06

saying you should do this. And I

said, does the Government say to you

5:01:065:01:11

they should be open 20 47? No but we

have to move to urgent centres. In

5:01:115:01:20

the last few weeks, Mr Speaker, it

is changed from an urgent care

5:01:205:01:24

centre to an urgent centre... It

means there's nurse practitioners...

5:01:245:01:36

I was a military paramedic so I am

slightly biased on the sort of

5:01:365:01:42

things. Mr Speaker, was there a

consultation for that position? No,

5:01:425:01:49

there was not. Even though it's a

legal requirement to do so. We are

5:01:495:01:55

now in a consultation, and

interestingly enough the Mr Speaker,

5:01:555:02:01

I've heard from several

constituents, in the actual

5:02:015:02:08

meetings, when the plants are being

put in different options are being

5:02:085:02:11

put to my constituents, they

actually have a member of the

5:02:115:02:19

commission staff at the table trying

to convince the public what sort of

5:02:195:02:23

option they should go for. Now

shortly if we can consult the

5:02:235:02:28

public, we should trust them and

have the confidence to listen to

5:02:285:02:33

them. What is really fascinating in

my view is that we are actually

5:02:335:02:41

consulting people from nowhere near

my constituency. From the other side

5:02:415:02:46

of Watford. They would never come to

my facility in a million years

5:02:465:02:52

unless they just happen to be in the

area, but apparently under this

5:02:525:02:56

consultation, they had the same

rights as my constituents that are

5:02:565:02:58

losing the facility. And they will

be taken into consideration because

5:02:585:03:05

they happen to be part of this

trust's actual area and my

5:03:055:03:12

constituents just scratch their head

and say, this is illogical. This

5:03:125:03:16

facility, even though it's partly

NHS and anybody can come from is

5:03:165:03:20

obviously being used by the largest

town in Hertfordshire and the other

5:03:205:03:27

villages, and of course the people

from St Albans. I've got no problem

5:03:275:03:33

with St Albans being involved in is

because clearly they are part of the

5:03:335:03:36

process as well. The trust issue, Mr

Speaker, is something that has been

5:03:365:03:40

really, really damaged, severely

damaged. When you have a highly

5:03:405:03:51

chief executive of an NHS going on a

radius nation in telling the public,

5:03:515:03:57

going public in saying this is

temporary, please don't worry, it

5:03:575:04:01

will be OK, and by the way if I did

actually close it for any and

5:04:015:04:07

changed the service and, that would

be illegal because I had not

5:04:075:04:10

consulted, frankly, when they didn't

consult and it's never... That

5:04:105:04:17

breaks the barrier of trust. What I

have raised in this House before, Mr

5:04:175:04:26

Speaker, is the accountability

issue. I think it's absolutely right

5:04:265:04:28

that my good friend, the Minister on

the front bench, doesn't make

5:04:285:04:31

decisions himself as to what A&E is

open in which you cc -- you cc and

5:04:315:04:42

what beds are open... That's clearly

a decision for the area. We seem to

5:04:425:04:48

have moved from one extreme to

completely to the other stream.

5:04:485:04:53

Because I'm told if we want to

challenge the consultation, one of

5:04:535:04:58

the only ways we can do it is to

actually judicial review this

5:04:585:05:06

decision based on the consultation.

We tried that when the A&E was

5:05:065:05:10

closed and we got judicial review

and we went to the courts and the

5:05:105:05:14

judge was very generous and said,

you have a moral case, you probably

5:05:145:05:20

have a clinical case but you don't

have a case and law. If the

5:05:205:05:30

consultation was a sham, or did not

take place at all, where are we

5:05:305:05:34

going, Mr Speaker? Who are these

people accountable to? I no iMac or

5:05:345:05:46

the local councils do not have the

power to say that an individual or a

5:05:465:05:50

trust has brought the NHS into

attribute, but I actually think this

5:05:505:05:55

is what has happened here. There was

nobody twisting the chief

5:05:555:06:00

executive's arm to go on the radio

into which he said. We all listened

5:06:005:06:04

to it. I got a transcript and I sat

and said, Jessica, we are OK. I'm

5:06:045:06:10

not happy at all about it being

closed over the Christmas period but

5:06:105:06:13

at least we know they're going to

recruit GPs and the lives we know

5:06:135:06:18

we're going to get there. And the

exact opposite has happened. We are

5:06:185:06:22

not to be the GPs back and now, only

one of the options is for it to be

5:06:225:06:26

open 24 hours. An end of the

Minister's is will say -- and I know

5:06:265:06:33

the Minister positiveness will

say... If you have an access issue

5:06:335:06:43

to a Mac to...

5:06:435:06:45

Or actually, the GP coming out, then

perhaps he would understand what was

5:06:505:07:00

going on. But I know exactly how it

works, Mr Speaker. I was a Minister

5:07:005:07:07

for a while an end of the advice

that comes down to the actual trust

5:07:075:07:10

and from the commissioning group.

But I can honestly say that if

5:07:105:07:18

there's one issue in my constituency

that absolutely unites every

5:07:185:07:22

persuasion in my patch, it is the

acute health provision in my

5:07:225:07:28

constituency. We pushed a coffin on

a hospital trolley all the way from

5:07:285:07:37

Hemel Hempstead hospital to Watford

indicating that lives will be lost.

5:07:375:07:40

We had a debate after debate after

debate with the Ambulance Service,

5:07:405:07:45

saying, don't worry, we can get the

ambulance there on time. It probably

5:07:455:07:49

could at the middle of the night if

the indolence is available -- if the

5:07:495:07:58

ambulance is available. But people

don't want to go to the A&E. What

5:07:585:08:07

they want is somewhere they can have

the confidence to go to and know

5:08:075:08:12

that that is there and know it is

safe for their kids and their future

5:08:125:08:16

and they are going forward. But we

have now as we do have no idea what

5:08:165:08:23

the conclusion of this retrospective

consultation is going to be. There

5:08:235:08:26

is no faith that even if they do

agree that that's what we're going

5:08:265:08:30

to get. And as I've said before and

I have set it to my constituents, I

5:08:305:08:37

would actually rather have a highly

qualified paramedic and nurse

5:08:375:08:39

practitioner in my frequent centre

rather than an ordinary... Careful

5:08:395:08:52

of my words, GP, simply because they

have so much experience and that is

5:08:525:08:56

where the modernisation has been

sobering. But to turn around, sick

5:08:565:08:59

people I consultation meetings,

trying to convince them that if it

5:08:595:09:06

was not open 24 hours after

determining it was nothing to do

5:09:065:09:10

with money, frankly, is disgusting.

I have the Minister really

5:09:105:09:13

understands how passionate we are

about this. 17 minutes DiMarco Mr

5:09:135:09:23

... I want Watford to succeed I

think the site is completely the

5:09:275:09:35

crisp where it is and we need any

Hospital for the growing population

5:09:355:09:38

that is happening in our part of the

world. I actually want somewhere for

5:09:385:09:44

people to live. So many families are

struggling at the moment. But to do

5:09:445:09:55

that, when need the facilities.

Should something happen, some place

5:09:555:10:00

needs to be open. At the end of the

day, Mr Speaker, we have tried for

5:10:005:10:07

weeks and weeks and weeks... I think

the Minister is lucky because I was

5:10:075:10:12

asking for a 60 minute debate in

West Mr Hall as well. Perhaps we

5:10:125:10:16

will be there. Thank you very much

-- Westminster Hall.

Thank you, Mr

5:10:165:10:25

Speaker. I will do my best to

address the issues might right

5:10:255:10:27

honourable friend raises in order to

preempt further debate to which he

5:10:275:10:34

alludes. May I begin, Mr Speaker, by

congratulating my honourable friend

5:10:345:10:38

by securing this debate. I commend

him for his continuing in his

5:10:385:10:45

fashion a campaign on behalf of his

constituents and also the SP ... I

5:10:455:10:54

also wish to start by reiterating

the principle for all service change

5:10:545:11:01

in the NHS and that is that it

should be based on clear evidence

5:11:015:11:05

and to deliver better outcomes for

patients and that is the framework

5:11:055:11:10

that is applied. I understand that

my honourable friend is concerned

5:11:105:11:12

about the changes proposed in his

constituency, and he will appreciate

5:11:125:11:17

monopolies as a former Minister,

that while there is an ongoing

5:11:175:11:23

consultation, why cannot prejudice

the outcome of that consultation...

5:11:235:11:33

I am sure he will also agree with me

that any decision that is made

5:11:335:11:37

should be driven by what is best

clinically for the constituency. And

5:11:375:11:43

what is best for the health service

in the area. And what is of the most

5:11:435:11:47

benefit for the greatest number of

people within that area, and I shall

5:11:475:11:52

briefly set out some of the

background as I understand it to the

5:11:525:11:55

issues that are now informing that

consultation. As my honourable

5:11:555:12:00

friend preferred them in December 20

16th of the urgent care centre was

5:12:005:12:03

closed overnight on the temporary

basis to the concerns about patient

5:12:035:12:08

safety. As a result of problems

stuffing the GP overnight shifts.

5:12:085:12:14

DCC G advises the urgent need to

address patient safety issues did I

5:12:145:12:18

allow time for consultation about

this temporary change at that time.

5:12:185:12:21

-- did not allow. Although ... I

understand from this ECG that the

5:12:215:12:35

volume of overnight patients at the

centre was relatively low, and the

5:12:355:12:44

impact to the hospital,

notwithstanding its other

5:12:445:12:46

challenges, has been in the order of

one or two patients per night,

5:12:465:12:51

usually with relatively minor

injuries. As my honourable friend

5:12:515:12:55

will be aware, emergency cases have

been sent to Watford since its

5:12:555:12:58

closure in 2009. Your first -- he

refers to the protest of the coffin

5:12:585:13:07

under the previous protest when

Hemel A&E was close. He will also

5:13:075:13:11

proceed in terms of the provision in

the early hours of the morning,

5:13:115:13:18

journey times at that point will

obviously be shorter at the time

5:13:185:13:21

when the urgent care centre are

open.

5:13:215:13:28

Going back a fraction. Understand

the principle of advice, what is the

5:13:285:13:36

point of consulting the public, we

have to consult them, because that

5:13:365:13:41

is what the law says. If the law

wrong? And the decision is a ready

5:13:415:13:47

made, what is the point?

It's too

informed the discussion, in the same

5:13:475:13:52

way as alluded to if it were taken

by ministers. I think it is part of

5:13:525:14:02

renegade transparent process.

5:14:025:14:03

-- running a transparent process.

Following a broader review, for the

5:14:085:14:15

20th of March. The consultation is

seeking views on three options,

5:14:155:14:22

increasing the temporary hours by

two hours. On a 24-hour basis. The

5:14:225:14:29

consultation runs until the 28th of

March, a wish to share their views

5:14:295:14:35

as part of our process. But I do

understand the criticism made by my

5:14:355:14:42

honourable friend constituents, that

it has been dragging on for too long

5:14:425:14:45

and that it needs to be made as soon

as possible. The consultation

5:14:455:14:50

process will inform the cc GE's

decision, as it will for the medical

5:14:505:15:00

centre. I further understand that

the cc G have an independent

5:15:005:15:04

research company to review and

analyse all that is received, and

5:15:045:15:11

will compound the feedback of your

report. In the board meeting, in

5:15:115:15:15

public on the 26th of April, when a

decision on both issues will be

5:15:155:15:20

made. Turning, Mr Speaker now, to

the treatment status. On, it changed

5:15:205:15:30

to a centre due to,... This is a

change of many, not of service. It

5:15:305:15:40

did not carry out any further

consultation on the establishment,

5:15:405:15:44

as they did not do that represented

a significant change in the service.

5:15:445:15:49

I understand that those services

have been withdrawn from them, there

5:15:495:15:53

have been a number of enhancements,

including the introduction of a

5:15:535:15:58

number of bookable appointments, the

addition of near patient testing,

5:15:585:16:03

reducing waiting times to reduce the

need for patients to attend general

5:16:035:16:08

hospitals are some tests. And the

medical staff will be able to access

5:16:085:16:13

special records of they give

consents. And they expect to expand

5:16:135:16:19

to include other professions,

promises, emergency care practise,

5:16:195:16:28

care locally. Improvements in the

treatment of disease, means that the

5:16:285:16:36

single point of access, will meets

their needs. This is both good for

5:16:365:16:43

the individual patient, and the

capacity is able to concentrate on

5:16:435:16:48

those more complex needs.

What the

mistrust asked as to is that there's

5:16:485:16:57

been a complete change in the way

that physiotherapy is provided.

5:16:575:17:00

Which was provided... There was no

consultation on that. Which I

5:17:005:17:08

understand is also a requirement,

because it is a complete change of

5:17:085:17:12

service of where people go. The

point of trying to make is when they

5:17:125:17:15

don't consult, what do we do? Do we

just sit back and say OK? This guy

5:17:155:17:21

to be some kind of measure for

consultation continually gets

5:17:215:17:24

ignored or doesn't happen at all?

The distinction is being drawn is

5:17:245:17:32

between services that have been

removed in which my honourable

5:17:325:17:36

friend is quite right, it is a legal

requirement for consultation. And

5:17:365:17:39

the process. I which patient safety

was taken. Being brought to the

5:17:395:17:52

area, the services that are bringing

a benefit to the local community,

5:17:525:17:56

and once that a would have thought

would have been welcomed, just as in

5:17:565:17:59

the from April. Many patients with

diabetes and it would no longer

5:17:595:18:03

detected travel to Watford to be

seen by a consultant. Because the

5:18:035:18:07

consultants will be coming to them

by working in the community. Again,

5:18:075:18:12

it is for patients, and for the

system as a whole. But is part of

5:18:125:18:16

the way the system involves and,

some services can come closer to the

5:18:165:18:23

community. Rationalized and Watford

Annie, I understand that my

5:18:235:18:31

wonderful friends frustration is

that the local, is out of touch with

5:18:315:18:36

popular opinion. And the way he

champions the community represents

5:18:365:18:43

that being out of touch with popular

opinion is not something that I

5:18:435:18:47

think applies to my honourable

friend. He speaks always in a

5:18:475:18:51

well-informed way in terms of the

needs of his constituents, and I

5:18:515:18:54

would expect that to be represented

in the consultation responses. But

5:18:545:18:59

the

5:18:595:19:00

the cc G, being on board with local

authorities and their partners can

5:19:055:19:10

challenge, and fulfil their

functions. In scrutiny by local

5:19:105:19:15

authorities, as well as supervision

by England, and when they believe

5:19:155:19:21

that they're failing to discharge

their functions they can intervene

5:19:215:19:24

or replace accountable offices. It

is also worth reiterating, that they

5:19:245:19:34

should meet before tests first

service change, they should have the

5:19:345:19:38

support from commissioners, clinical

evidence, consider patient choice.

5:19:385:19:46

It is right that these matters are

addressed at a local level, where

5:19:465:19:50

the local health care needs, bows

avoid recognised by my honourable

5:19:505:19:56

friend in terms of ministers not

these clinical decisions. For these

5:19:565:20:02

reasons, I'm sure that my honourable

friend will appreciate that I am not

5:20:025:20:06

able to offer an opinion to the

house on the merits of these

5:20:065:20:09

proposals, but of course recognise

that change is to help services, and

5:20:095:20:15

inspire debate as they should. And

we have seen that this evening. In

5:20:155:20:21

other ways, no standard approach to

what they should offer, and this

5:20:215:20:25

offer can vary between two,

depending on what needs to be

5:20:255:20:31

required locally. Sprains and

strains, yes of course

the urgent

5:20:315:20:43

care centre is gone. We no longer

have a urgent care centre. We have

5:20:435:20:46

an urgent treatment centre. The

point I was trying to make, if I can

5:20:465:20:54

well two points, is not just about

the commissioning group. It is not

5:20:545:21:00

about the cc G, the decision into

the 16 was made by Wes Hall

5:21:005:21:11

hospital, and they cannot escape the

blame here. Because they made the

5:21:115:21:18

decision and, lastly, it's the lack

of knowledge of understanding the

5:21:185:21:24

community. Because we've had a chart

of people coming to that service,

5:21:245:21:29

where they come they go and never

understand the empathy of the

5:21:295:21:33

constituency.

In defence of the

urgent treatment centre, there is a

5:21:335:21:40

distinction, the urgent treatment

centre is about standardising the

5:21:405:21:45

range of options, the system so

patients allow for clarity in which,

5:21:455:21:50

that was actually a point that my

honourable friend made in terms of

5:21:505:21:53

how we direct, and constituents into

services that might point to reduce

5:21:535:22:04

demand of Watford. In signifying

what they do, what it offers and how

5:22:045:22:09

to Mr by constituents, UTC, better

than 12 hours a day, staffed by a

5:22:095:22:20

range of commissions. With

diagnostics. They'll have a way to

5:22:205:22:27

offer urgent appointments, Ambulance

Services, in general practise.

5:22:275:22:34

There'll also retained. The

inquiries will be old to, out of my

5:22:345:22:42

general practise, and routine

appointments at the same facility

5:22:425:22:47

where geographically appropriate.

You PCs are also part of a locally

5:22:475:22:53

integrated emergency cast service,

working in conjunction with the

5:22:535:22:55

Ambulance Service. Hospital, any

services, and other providers. These

5:22:555:23:02

are important issues and decisions

that should not be taken lightly.

5:23:025:23:07

The location of services is a

difficult issue, and my right

5:23:075:23:11

honourable friend is to be commended

for the campaign in the points they

5:23:115:23:16

sport on behalf of his constituents.

It is not often that you get more

5:23:165:23:23

time here. I was wondering of the Mr

could answer a simple question. What

5:23:235:23:30

recourse is there from the self, as

EMP, or my constituents, I'm using

5:23:305:23:39

the word misled, my senior

management team about what is going

5:23:395:23:47

to happen to their urgent care and

then that turns out to be completely

5:23:475:23:53

untrue? What recourse is this a step

to build some trust back again in my

5:23:535:23:57

constituency?

As my honourable

friend knows, to comment on a

5:23:575:24:05

specific allegation like that from

here, I cannot comment on this that

5:24:055:24:12

is under process as we speak, but I

think the point basket by the debate

5:24:125:24:17

this evening is that the decision

taken at Tuesday December 2016 was

5:24:175:24:22

one of patient safety grounds due to

a difficulty at the time. But the

5:24:225:24:28

consultation is now under way. And

it is not from my right honourable

5:24:285:24:33

friend constituents to make their

case as part of that consultation.

5:24:335:24:37

Even affected by the changes, if we

need to be involved in the decision

5:24:375:24:41

that is what consultation will seek.

Services, people currently receive

5:24:415:24:48

will be made without public

consultation. And I therefore urge

5:24:485:24:53

my honourable friend to make his

voice heard as part of the

5:24:535:24:57

consultation in the usual way.

Does

this house now adjourned? Those of

5:24:575:25:03

the opinions a ayes. I think the

ayes has it. Order. Order.

5:25:035:25:15

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including a debate on motions covering changes to free school meals, free childcare for two-year-olds and Universal Credit.