20/03/2018 House of Lords


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20/03/2018

Live coverage of proceedings in the House of Lords, including the report stage of the Nuclear Safeguards Bill.


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recorded coverage of all the

up-to-date's business after the

0:00:000:00:00

daily later tonight. -- the daily

politics.

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My lords.

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My lords, 244, malcontents 194. So

the contents have it.

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My lords the question is, amendment

six has been agreed to, to those

0:11:490:11:56

that say content. Contrary not

content. The contents have it.

My

0:11:560:12:08

lords, Peachtree D, if I could just

reminded members says in the second

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article, to perform its tasks, the

community shall ensure wide

0:12:170:12:26

commercial outlets and assets to

facilities of a Common Market and

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specialised materials and equipment

by the free movement of capital for

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investment. And the employment a

specialist within the community.

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Now, I have not taken a hold of the

article, in this amendment, just the

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really important post Brexit part,

which is the free movement of

0:12:520:12:58

nuclear specialists. I'm not going

to make a long speech, because to

0:12:580:13:04

me, this is self evident. The

government hasn't

0:13:040:13:07

the government has said strategy,

missing in previous debates, the

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most important in the short term is

steady functioning safeguarding

0:13:180:13:25

authority, whether it is the gear

read them, as

0:13:250:13:28

, we need those bodies and nobody in

particular to function, we have a

0:13:330:13:41

shortage of people who are qualified

in this area, we have a shortage of

0:13:410:13:45

specialists in the industry more

generally. Although this amendment,

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because of this bill, primarily

around safeguarding. Therefore it

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must be in the interest of the

objective of this bill, and in the

0:13:540:13:59

interest of the country at large, to

ensure that we maintain, the

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mobility of those specialists in the

nuclear industry and the nuclear

0:14:080:14:11

sector that we benefit from that.

Post our Brexit and our membership.

0:14:110:14:23

That's why believe this amendment

absolutely appropriate to this bill

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and is of great importance to not

just the sector, but to our national

0:14:260:14:33

security as well. And, I very much

hope that the minister will be able

0:14:330:14:42

to give greater reassurance, perhaps

a higher up on the Richter scale of

0:14:420:14:49

assurances, then we've been able to

have so far. But this area will be

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looked after by the government that

we won't be browbeaten by the Home

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Office and terms of minimal

circulation of specialists and this

0:15:010:15:08

country can benefit from those with

the experience and the skills that

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will make us be able to perform in

the sector, not just in

0:15:150:15:18

safeguarding, but in the nuclear

sector, I beg to move.

Insert the

0:15:180:15:28

new words, and printed on the

Marshall's list.

I valued my name to

0:15:280:15:33

this amendment, I remain concerned

about the industries access to the

0:15:330:15:41

workforce it needs once the UK

leads. The free flow is essential of

0:15:410:15:50

speciality staff, I suggest dry up,

unless the government is reasonably

0:15:500:15:55

energetic. Any kind of guarantees

that it gets to them. And this is

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not just the safeguarding workforce

issue, it involves all sector. And

0:16:020:16:10

very well brought out and the

nuclear industry Association's

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briefing. I'm not going to go into

the details on that, but it's very

0:16:160:16:22

clear that maintaining existing

reactors and even more

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significantly, the course of the

building new reactors, that we need

0:16:260:16:33

a very skilled workforce coming into

this country to help those areas as

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well as safeguarding these areas.

And I think it is a bit

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disappointing, because we did not

manage to get on the bill in the

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regular reports that the government

will be giving to Parliament on

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progressive safeguarding area,

something with a specific reference

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to, essential specialist workforce.

But at the Minister will take the

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suggestion in the spirit in which it

is offered, that he might encourage

0:17:030:17:07

his officials when they are

producing these reports, to say

0:17:070:17:11

something about progress,

particularly in getting the

0:17:110:17:16

specialist staff that it needs to

make progress. Perez in conclusion,

0:17:160:17:21

I would just like to raise an issue,

which government ministers are

0:17:210:17:26

usually keen that you don't say out

loud. It's called immigration rules.

0:17:260:17:33

And governments, successive

governments, have been surprisingly

0:17:330:17:40

flexible when they're really up

against it in terms of getting

0:17:400:17:45

specialist staff in particular,

sectors of industries. And no more

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so than in the NHS, where

immigration rules have been

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modified, bend, utilised, to bring

specialist people in when this

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country has a shortage of them. I

wonder what assurances and the terms

0:18:040:18:09

of this debate, what assurances the

Minister could give us that they

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will not lose sight of the

possibility of modifying the

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immigration rules, where this may be

necessary to help specialist

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safeguarding staff when necessary?

But also to be a bit more flexible

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when it comes to the areas where

there may be problems on maintaining

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reactors, or problems, for example

in terms of getting the specialist

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skills that are

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For at least 20 years, this

country... This was of course a

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failure of successive governments to

address the issues about what our

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attitude was towards. -- towards

policy. It's quite certain that we

0:19:050:19:15

will depend on specialist skills

from overseas. Whether it's really

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necessary to put this amendment of

the face of the Bill, I rather

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doubt. I am confident that my

honourable friend the Minister will

0:19:220:19:27

agree that we will need specialist

skills, we must be given assurance

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by the industry that there will be

welcome and the Minister in

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responding to this short debate,

Lord by -- led by the...

they had a

0:19:360:19:55

research programme on connecting

fusion and fission and the very

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long-range problems that we have in

the nuclear industry is dealing with

0:20:010:20:11

nuclear waste. One of the ways for

that in the future, thus that your

0:20:110:20:16

random -- that's the programme. This

is the kind of extremely important

0:20:160:20:30

issue and the people who will be

able to work on that will have a

0:20:300:20:33

very broad range of specialties, not

just a narrow existing fission

0:20:330:20:40

experts at the moment.

I commend the

noble lord for bringing this

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amendment back and report. It

contains an important issue that the

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UK must address the skills needed in

the UK. The problem with labour

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supply with the necessary skills

beyond those present and available

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in the UK will be to be addressed by

the Vashti to be addressed by

0:20:590:21:03

several of the that -- will need to

be addressed by... PDF is certainly

0:21:030:21:13

correct to identify the ports of the

specialist needed to deliver Hinkley

0:21:130:21:19

point C on time. With restrictions

to the move to the free -- with

0:21:190:21:32

restrictions to freedom of movement,

there is no route that would

0:21:320:21:35

identify that many categories of

workers to enter the UK under the

0:21:350:21:37

point system to fill... Is crucial

that the minister's department

0:21:370:21:46

aligns the importance of the issue

with the Home Office to come up with

0:21:460:21:49

a solution. It would be needed for

the best interests of the UK's civil

0:21:490:21:52

nuclear industry.

I am grateful for

the contributions of noble Lords and

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I acceptable continue to be in port

and that we continue to attract, as

0:22:090:22:13

the noble lord Hunt of the brightest

and the best to ensure that we

0:22:130:22:22

maintain our excellence in the

nuclear field. This amendment is

0:22:220:22:29

somewhat more limited in scope than

just that. As regards, our future

0:22:290:22:39

immigration system, that will be set

up shortly and I think it will be

0:22:390:22:44

right... Is my right honourable

friend made clear in his statement

0:22:440:22:49

on the 11th of January, working to

ensure that businesses and problem

0:22:490:22:55

and have the opportunity to

contribute interviews before any

0:22:550:23:00

decisions are made about the future

system that the Home Office will be

0:23:000:23:03

developing.

Could the Minister

confirm that the issues as rehearsed

0:23:030:23:10

in this debate have been presented

to the Home Office and the people

0:23:100:23:16

drawing up these immigration laws by

the department...

As I remember, the

0:23:160:23:24

last time we debated this, just by

chance, I might be missed murmuring

0:23:240:23:32

-- misremembering, but I can confirm

that the Home Office are fully aware

0:23:320:23:36

of the concerns with the expressed

in debates of this source and -- of

0:23:360:23:41

the start and we will ensure that

they are. This is important to us,

0:23:410:23:45

that we continue, as I put it,

access the best talent. We have

0:23:450:23:54

already doubled the number of

already available visas in the tier

0:23:540:23:58

one exceptional talent review. We

will be looking at changing

0:23:580:24:03

immigration rules to enable world

leading scientists and researchers

0:24:030:24:10

under tier one route to apply for

settlement after three years, make

0:24:100:24:14

it quicker for highly skilled

students to work in the United

0:24:140:24:19

Kingdom. We are relaxing the labour

market test where appropriate.

0:24:190:24:26

Turning to the tracks of the

amendment, and... To safeguarding

0:24:260:24:39

the staff, with the amendment

attempts to do is ensure that

0:24:390:24:42

freedom of employment of those

specialists, it's clearly a matter

0:24:420:24:51

of particular interest in matter of

-- in light of the Government's...

0:24:510:24:58

Among other important work means

securing the right quality and the

0:24:580:25:01

right quantity of appropriate

safeguards, and staff for the office

0:25:010:25:07

of nuclear regulation. Given the

importance of attracting the right

0:25:070:25:13

staff to work in this field, the

Government is committed to ensuring

0:25:130:25:21

that they have the right personnel.

I can give an assurance, I just saw

0:25:210:25:26

a bit of information, the most

recent Krugman round just for two

0:25:260:25:32

further posts in this field, there

were a applicants flesh 112

0:25:320:25:42

applicants -- 112 applicants. We

will ensure that they will have the

0:25:420:25:47

right staff and the position to

regulate the UK's new civil nuclear

0:25:470:25:50

safeguards regime. From those

figures, it seems there is no

0:25:500:25:56

shortage, certainly in the world of

recruiting and training the

0:25:560:26:03

appropriate inspectors and building

additional institutional capacity.

0:26:030:26:08

The noble lord will be surprised

that we will go into this, if I give

0:26:080:26:18

him assurance that the amendment

itself is possibly defective and

0:26:180:26:24

therefore not suitable for us to be

putting in, but I hope people accept

0:26:240:26:32

that there is no need for this, that

the Government of...

I think noble

0:26:320:26:46

lord the Minister for his reply will

stop its good to have some figures,

0:26:460:26:50

can we have more of them in these

interactions around groups? Can I

0:26:500:27:00

also remind the Minister them noble

lord he mentions very regularly the

0:27:000:27:05

highly skilled and talented, that I

agree may be the case in terms of

0:27:050:27:13

nuclear safeguarding. But in a lot

of areas of Brexit, and perhaps in

0:27:130:27:19

some areas of the nuclear industry,

that is -- the need is far more

0:27:190:27:24

broad than that. But I take his

point in terms this particular bill.

0:27:240:27:30

I recognise that inevitably this

will be fought out in terms of the

0:27:300:27:33

immigration bill Debbie will

eventually have. My delight is we

0:27:330:27:36

will have another opportunity to

debate this in another bill and

0:27:360:27:44

pursue sanity and perhaps change in

this area. I except the noble lord's

0:27:440:27:54

challenge, as it were, as well as

assurances to take up these issues

0:27:540:27:59

in the future immigration bill,

which we still wait for. With

0:27:590:28:01

interest. I beg to withdraw the

amendment in the meantime.

Amendment

0:28:010:28:14

9... On the supplementary left,

amendment 9- A.

During the committee

0:28:140:28:26

debate, I raise an issue which I

don't think have been raised, which

0:28:260:28:30

is that information systems that

required to perform its tasks

0:28:300:28:39

efficiently to be acceptable as a

safeguarding agency in the

0:28:390:28:46

international system. And I

subsequently asked a written

0:28:460:28:53

question to the Government on this

and I want to thank very genuinely

0:28:530:29:00

the Minister for what was an

interesting reply and a very good

0:29:000:29:03

reply to that. As part of that, I

almost feel I have to apologise to

0:29:030:29:12

the House for the list of names on

this amendment. Mr informs me they

0:29:120:29:30

were needed in order that we can

fulfil our international -- the

0:29:300:29:36

Minister. I asked what cost it would

be to those systems, in order, not

0:29:360:29:42

so much to understand the cost but

undersigned the size -- to

0:29:420:29:49

understand the size of the test that

need to be completed within the next

0:29:490:29:52

12 months. Maybe I can just perhaps

quote that written reply to my

0:29:520:30:00

question from the Minister. The OMR

has estimated that it will cost £10

0:30:000:30:06

million to establish a UK SSA CE and

SIM RS, which are the two systems

0:30:060:30:12

included as a part of this overall

estimate. An additional opportunity

0:30:120:30:17

in relation to the latter is being

advertised on the Government digital

0:30:170:30:23

marketplace and responses to that

city will provide more certainty...

0:30:230:30:30

I think my lords the thing that

concerns me about that is that I

0:30:300:30:34

don't know whether we already had

the other system, I don't think we

0:30:340:30:37

do. But at the moment where only

tendering for only one of them. This

0:30:370:30:42

is clearly significant, with the

cost of £10 million combined, but we

0:30:420:30:47

are only now getting around to

advertising these. I know from my

0:30:470:30:54

corporate career and my role in this

House in scrutinising what

0:30:540:31:00

government is up to and government

systems. But IT systems are not the

0:31:000:31:04

greatest thing to predict when they

are ready. Let alone when they are

0:31:040:31:09

functioning. We had a debate last

week about the smart metres bill and

0:31:090:31:16

all of the IT that is needed for

that, and it's 12 years later when

0:31:160:31:19

it comes to those particular

systems. My real question here,

0:31:190:31:23

which I'm trying to get to, is a

very serious one. Clearly, for the

0:31:230:31:31

minister's reply, we cannot be --

the OMR can function without this

0:31:310:31:38

system. Were only just advertising

one of them, the size of them is at

0:31:380:31:42

least probably £10 million. And I

just feel very nervous indeed that

0:31:420:31:47

these systems will be ready when we

need them to be ready on the 29th of

0:31:470:31:54

March next year. That seems to me to

be quite and ask, and therefore what

0:31:540:31:59

I am looking for in this amendment

is some substantial reassurance from

0:31:590:32:07

the Minister that this is under

control. And secondly, that it will

0:32:070:32:12

be part of the Government's

reporting mechanism between now and

0:32:120:32:16

our leaving date so we could

understand this progress in an area

0:32:160:32:25

where, if I put it likely, the

Government doesn't have the greatest

0:32:250:32:28

reputation. I beg to move.

0:32:280:32:39

Partial list.

0:32:390:32:41

In support of this amendment, I

don't expect it to be, I don't

0:32:440:32:52

expect us to go for hat trick on

this particular amendment. I speak

0:32:520:32:58

as someone who had the misfortune of

inheriting the NHS IT system as a

0:32:580:33:03

responsibility. And what I would

say, and have also had some

0:33:030:33:08

experience and that office on IT

systems, but what I would say to the

0:33:080:33:15

house is things never work out the

way you think they will. And B are

0:33:150:33:20

usually delayed, and they usually

malfunction a bit at the point when

0:33:200:33:26

Dave first been introduced. So my

question to the minister is, has he

0:33:260:33:34

got a plan B? If this system does

not come online up to time. But at

0:33:340:33:40

the end of the day, we still have

responsibilities, and if it has not

0:33:400:33:49

gotten the IT system how will it go

about discharging its

0:33:490:33:51

responsibilities?

Following up on my

noble friend, the reason for this

0:33:510:34:04

amendment, and section two, the long

name programme and systems there,

0:34:040:34:11

but the minister tell the Lordship

whether these are built on existing

0:34:110:34:15

systems? Or are they going to be

built from scratch? And may be that

0:34:150:34:19

the minister asked her right these

answers later, but if they are built

0:34:190:34:23

from scratch, or are they existing

systems that are being adapted? And

0:34:230:34:29

the nature of the IT companies

delivering these, is there a

0:34:290:34:32

competition indeed in delivering

systems such as this? Was frankly

0:34:320:34:38

there is a hysteria with a very

small pool to choose from and not

0:34:380:34:43

much choice, and that leads to price

escalation.

Irish Bank

0:34:430:34:52

the nuclear safeguard, I also, noble

Lord for replying so swiftly. The

0:34:560:35:05

importance of understanding the

costs and management systems was

0:35:050:35:10

debated, that the government

clarified the implications of the

0:35:100:35:15

mechanisms, that will need to set up

our matters to being included in the

0:35:150:35:28

process, it will be costed reported,

and certified to be robust.

I am

0:35:280:35:39

grateful to the noble Lord for

moving his amendment, and I think he

0:35:390:35:44

and the house really want two

things, substantiated reassurances,

0:35:440:35:57

and they want details of further

reporting. I think the noble Lord

0:35:570:36:02

will except, that, because I think

some extent does extent does deal

0:36:020:36:11

with this matter and we propose, put

such reporting on the face of the

0:36:110:36:16

bill. And progress of information

technology systems required for the

0:36:160:36:24

safety, will Ballwin without duty.

0:36:240:36:28

Fall in with that duty. If I can

give something of an update button

0:36:310:36:38

what is happening, the noble Lord

put it later on, I will have to

0:36:380:36:43

write with further detail. The

statements were they take place and

0:36:430:36:50

how they are providing with

sufficient information. If not, they

0:36:500:36:55

can come back. The overall system of

safeguards is seen as the control of

0:36:550:37:05

nuclear materials, referring to that

in my original written answer. Also

0:37:050:37:14

known as, a sack. It was the social

security advisory committee. But we

0:37:140:37:22

won't go there thousand

0:37:220:37:23

-- that was a different territory.

As the safeguards information and

0:37:270:37:32

reporting system, I don't know how

you pronounce that so we would just

0:37:320:37:38

stick with... Enabling and

processing the information to ensure

0:37:380:37:46

that timely submission to the agency

of the reports require any future

0:37:460:37:54

safeguards agreements, the SIM are

as well also have information, on

0:37:540:38:06

the agreements. Estimated it is

going to cost £10 million am a that

0:38:060:38:12

is the figure I gave some weeks ago,

as included as part of this overall

0:38:120:38:24

estimate. And the qualification

question that they were recently

0:38:240:38:29

advertised on the government

marketplace six have been invited to

0:38:290:38:38

respond to the invitation. By the

6th of April. Responses to that will

0:38:380:38:43

provide more certainty on estimates

and costs, for contract in early

0:38:430:38:48

May. I of course take note of what

the noble Lord warned about an IT

0:38:480:38:58

systems, from his experience of the

health service and the Home Office I

0:38:580:39:01

think we are all aware of the

problems that new IT systems can

0:39:010:39:07

have. I do not think what we're

proposing here is light on the scale

0:39:070:39:13

of what the National Health Service

needs. But even so, I accepted that

0:39:130:39:17

can be problems and that we and

department had a duty to examine

0:39:170:39:26

this as carefully as we can. And I

give an assurance that we will do

0:39:260:39:29

that as part, as far as possible. I

think that put very simply what I

0:39:290:39:38

want to say is, that's where we are

at the moment. We will keep noble

0:39:380:39:43

Lords updated, we've moved and

accepted my amendment six, I don't

0:39:430:39:52

think there's any need to further

complicate the bills proceedings by

0:39:520:39:57

adding this amendment, which

duplicates but we are ready have

0:39:570:40:01

now.

I think the noble Lord, and I

welcome his undertaking as a

0:40:010:40:15

understand it, of the IT systems

being included in the regular report

0:40:150:40:18

and a welcome that very much. But I

think it would be useful if the

0:40:180:40:25

noble Lord, the minister could come

back to the noble Lord to answer his

0:40:250:40:30

question as to starting from zero or

whether we are effectively modifying

0:40:300:40:37

existing systems? They'll be very

useful. Unless I have misunderstood?

0:40:370:40:44

On that basis then I'd take leave.

Amendment withdrawn. Amended ten the

0:40:440:40:59

question is, say content, to the

contrary not content. The contents

0:40:590:41:03

have it. Not move. Amendment 12. Is

amendment 12 being agreed to. Those

0:41:030:41:17

say content, contrary not content.

The contents have it.

I beg to move

0:41:170:41:25

that the House now adjourned for

five minutes. Five minutes.

Does the

0:41:250:41:33

house at Jorn for white minutes?

Those say content? Contrary not

0:41:330:41:40

content. The contents have it.

0:41:400:41:47

Before taking his seat. Make an oath

of allegiance to the crown. For the

0:42:390:42:45

MP it doesn't matter, until the oath

is taken, you can't take your seat,

0:42:450:42:52

draw a salary, or make a speech or

boat. And you could have your seat

0:42:520:42:57

declared vacant, if you try. The

sacred text and says the words of

0:42:570:43:06

the old.

That I will be faithful and

bear true allegiance to Majesty,

0:43:060:43:16

Queen Elizabeth. So help me God.

The

Scottish manner, by raising their

0:43:160:43:26

hand and not holding the holy book.

I swear by Almighty God that I will

0:43:260:43:32

be faithful. And bear true

allegiance to Majesty Queen

0:43:320:43:38

Elizabeth. So help me God.

It was

extended to atheists in 1888, after

0:43:380:43:46

Charles, founder of the national

secularist society was thrown out

0:43:460:43:51

for atheism. Those who are less keen

on the monarchy had been known to

0:43:510:43:58

hedge their bets, famously kept his

fingers firmly crossed. And please

0:43:580:44:06

don't take the oath at all some of

them, a United Ireland so if elected

0:44:060:44:12

members don't swear allegiance to

the British Monarch and don't take

0:44:120:44:15

their seats in the House of Commons.

Members of the Welsh Parliament also

0:44:150:44:21

taken note.

I swear that I will be

faithful, and bear true allegiance

0:44:210:44:29

to Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and

successors according to law.

Members

0:44:290:44:34

take their seats in Northern Ireland

by signing the role of membership.

0:44:340:44:39

Members of the Lords to cant sit

vote, or receive an allowance until

0:44:390:44:43

they are sworn in. Back in the

comments, the oath and affirmation

0:44:430:44:48

must be taken in English, but can be

repeated in Welsh...

0:44:480:44:59

At the start of every new parliament

or following the death of a monarch,

0:45:050:45:10

all MPs have to swear in and there

is a strict order to proceedings.

0:45:100:45:16

The father of the house!

Be bringing

the father of the house, and in the

0:45:160:45:22

Shadow Cabinet, and the ministers,

and finally the remaining MPs. If

0:45:220:45:28

you ambition to be the father of the

house, it is important to get to the

0:45:280:45:31

front of the queue and take the oath

to determine your place in the

0:45:310:45:38

pecking order when it comes to that

job in the years to come. There is a

0:45:380:45:42

range of holy books to swear on,

including the old and New Testament

0:45:420:45:46

and the Koran. I swear by Almighty

God and be faithful to Her Majesty

0:45:460:46:00

Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and

successors me God. MPs take the

0:46:000:46:04

both, and then are introduced to the

common speaker, before going behind

0:46:090:46:17

the chair. Being a fully fledged

member of Parliament.

0:46:170:46:22

I make no apologies for moving this

motion and I make it plain from the

0:47:050:47:09

start that I say this in personal

terms. Back of the 1960s, time that

0:47:090:47:16

brings happiness for many noble

Lords, I was a teenager living with

0:47:160:47:23

my... Shortly before the 1966 World

Cup, he collapsed and died of a

0:47:230:47:30

heart attack. I was just short of 13

and my mothers world collapsed

0:47:300:47:35

around her. She worked as she always

had, she was a farm on a blush a

0:47:350:47:42

farm worker. -- a farm worker. My

lords, it was hard work, some does

0:47:420:47:55

about ours. The pay was regulated by

the agricultural wages Board. Her

0:47:550:47:59

weekly take-home pay was 157

shillings, 6p. The today of £7 85.

0:47:590:48:16

I would have written closer

thresholds set by the Government for

0:48:180:48:21

cutting off access fleshed it would

have ridden close to the

0:48:210:48:36

threshold... I tried to help pave my

way, but in 19 sexy sex, she was

0:48:360:48:40

what we now call part of the working

poor. Until I did some research to

0:48:400:48:45

date, I hadn't realised just how

poor she was. There weren't many

0:48:450:48:52

silver linings for my mum becoming a

widow. She struggled to cope both

0:48:520:48:58

financially and emotionally.

Eventually, the local council

0:48:580:49:02

transferred the tendency to her. The

loss of household income led to a

0:49:020:49:06

housing balance an intern that

triggered entitlement free school

0:49:060:49:08

meals. When my mum eventually got

ahead, she saw me qualify for FIS,

0:49:080:49:27

which I didn't. I do imagine this

that? Free school meals were for my

0:49:270:49:31

mother a godsend. They were not an

add-on, they were an essential. She

0:49:310:49:35

didn't have to spend time packing a

lunch, and I got a hot meal five

0:49:350:49:39

days a week without her having to

worry. If you are working poor, that

0:49:390:49:45

matters and it saved her money.

That's what's -- that's what makes

0:49:450:49:52

these regulations aboard. -- of

torrent -- abhorent.

0:49:520:50:03

This isn't because the scheme is

more generous, is simply as the

0:50:080:50:13

Children's Commissioner bumbled last

week, because of an increase in the

0:50:130:50:16

school-age population by 2022. As

the percentage -- as a percentage,

0:50:160:50:27

fewer will be entitled. Studies show

that the educational benefits of

0:50:270:50:31

good eating habits are profound. The

work on this suggests a real benefit

0:50:310:50:36

in terms of educational attainment

of a midday meal for low income

0:50:360:50:41

households. It was precisely because

of this link that school meals were

0:50:410:50:45

first introduced back in 1906 and

waved Labour has done so much to

0:50:450:50:50

encourage breakfast clubs to ensure

kids get fed before the school day

0:50:500:50:53

begins. -- and why Labour. These

changes are being made as part of

0:50:530:51:01

the continuing austerity package.

Perhaps the Minister can enlighten

0:51:010:51:04

us this evening to a level of

continuous savings produced in the

0:51:040:51:09

Treasury. But we do know the value

of free school meals to individual

0:51:090:51:14

households. £437 per child for a

year over £1300 a year for the three

0:51:140:51:22

child family, we're all that take

those sums away and it represents a

0:51:220:51:28

significant cut to family income. We

are supposed to be assured by the

0:51:280:51:34

transitional arrangements. Note

family is supposed to lose out if

0:51:340:51:37

they currently receive free school

meals except when they moved to the

0:51:370:51:41

next phase of schooling. So one

transfer from the bash on transfer,

0:51:410:51:49

Angie -- on transfer, you lose out.

I ask how would feel if you are in a

0:51:490:51:59

family where the youngest Lucas

secondary schooling and loses free

0:51:590:52:01

school meals as a result of moving

faces but has a brother or sister

0:52:010:52:05

still in receipt of free school

meals? This is a device to fall --

0:52:050:52:12

divisive policy where some of the

bout what are the total numbers of

0:52:120:52:17

people who will benefit now and who

benefited the end of the roll-out?

0:52:170:52:21

Can we get a better fuller picture

of the impact. The Children's

0:52:210:52:26

Commissioner suggests that we won't

know until 2027 due to the that the

0:52:260:52:35

dot I read the consultation document

and at paragraph or point for

0:52:350:52:40

comments is 90% of people currently

getting free school meals will

0:52:400:52:43

continue to get them, but the 10%

that will amass 210,000. A not

0:52:430:52:49

insignificant number. Where is their

transitional protection? -- 110,000.

0:52:490:52:58

At its heart, Universal Credit is

very simple, and will ensure that

0:52:580:53:03

work always pays, it will mean the

people be consistently and

0:53:030:53:12

transparently better off for each

hour they work, and of quote. The

0:53:120:53:17

Children's Society says the

introduction of the earnings limit

0:53:170:53:21

for free school meals creates a

cliff edge that fundamentally

0:53:210:53:25

undermines that objective and that

families will become worse off over

0:53:250:53:31

all dying creasing their earnings.

The Children's Society estimates

0:53:310:53:36

that some 200,000 families with half

a million children are at risk of

0:53:360:53:40

falling into a new poverty trap

where they seek to increase earnings

0:53:400:53:45

or are forced to buy their work

coach and they will then lose the

0:53:450:53:49

benefit of free school meals. They

also estimate that a further 150,000

0:53:490:53:53

families with 400,000 children will

find themselves in a position where

0:53:530:53:56

they could be better off by reducing

their earnings. The best thing that

0:53:560:54:01

can be said for the Government's

consultation is that it is

0:54:010:54:04

confusing. In it, the Government

tells us that the pupils will be...

0:54:040:54:14

They apply this numbered schools,

why not people in poverty? Another

0:54:140:54:20

DWP report on households below

average income base and a 4-2016

0:54:200:54:26

suggests that there are up to 4

million children in poverty. And

0:54:260:54:32

only 1.1 million currently

benefiting from free school meals.

0:54:320:54:37

Even on the best estimate, this

will... The Children's Society...

0:54:370:54:48

The commissioner says, under any

scenario, possibly millions of the

0:54:480:54:52

in poverty will not receive free

school meals. So the Children's

0:54:520:54:58

Commissioner suggests that the

Government should do four things.

0:54:580:55:01

Release the analysis behind what

looks like a spurious claim that can

0:55:010:55:04

increase eligibility, provide an

estimate of the future number of

0:55:040:55:12

pupils who... They should provide

impact assessments beyond 2022 to

0:55:120:55:22

capture the full impact long-term,

and finally, publish an estimate of

0:55:220:55:28

the number of children previously

ineligible for free school meals who

0:55:280:55:32

will now become eligible because

of... My motion suggests that the

0:55:320:55:44

Government should delay the changes

for six months while they get their

0:55:440:55:47

house in order, complete a full

poverty impact assessment and bring

0:55:470:55:51

it before both houses so we get a

complete picture. Then we should

0:55:510:55:56

consider these regulations again.

Otherwise it would penalise many of

0:55:560:55:59

the working poor, people like my

widowed mother who lived and worked

0:55:590:56:04

in hard times and who asked for

little but needed a benign statement

0:56:040:56:08

not the penalise her but to make

life more tolerable so she could

0:56:080:56:11

just about manage. Poverty doesn't

make headlines, it should. These

0:56:110:56:18

regulations do nothing to solve

problems of modern poverty, but they

0:56:180:56:22

surely make things worse. I beg to

move.

Firstly, I think the -- I was

0:56:220:56:34

moved by his opening comments about

his own circumstances and his own

0:56:340:56:39

widowed mother. Too many people, in

particular those whose children have

0:56:390:56:46

less cool, it may not seem important

to debate one tiny piece of

0:56:460:56:49

secondary legislation that traced

the regulations around who will be

0:56:490:56:52

entitled to a free school dinner.

This measure is a bout the bus about

0:56:520:57:00

children. Those who need us most.

Children who live in poverty,

0:57:000:57:05

children who are not well fed. Even

in my the wealthiest countries on

0:57:050:57:11

Earth. For many children, 190 meals

that they get in school, lesson four

0:57:110:57:22

a week on average, are the only

proper meals they get. A holiday

0:57:220:57:26

from school is also a holiday from

hot dinners. I can well remember

0:57:260:57:32

Christopher, who I taught many years

ago, who was always pleased to see

0:57:320:57:37

the end of the holiday so he could

come back for school dinners once

0:57:370:57:40

more. I'm sure we'll hear from the

Government about how the

0:57:400:57:43

statisticians with their electronic

slide rules have worked out who

0:57:430:57:48

should and who should qualify for

free school dinners. In order to

0:57:480:57:51

meet the demands of a small army of

government accountants employed to

0:57:510:57:57

deliver austerity. The reality is

that each will pay the cost of our

0:57:570:58:06

meanness. Children in our poorest

communities, whose brothers and

0:58:060:58:13

sisters who benefited from those

lunches, will not have that benefit.

0:58:130:58:17

Why? Because they will not be aged

for by April 2000 22. The let age

0:58:170:58:24

four by April 2022. The Prime

Minister will be remembered for

0:58:240:58:33

taking a set of Europe, but if these

regulations get on the statue book,

0:58:330:58:38

she should also be remembered from

taking away from a children there

0:58:380:58:41

only Hotmail of the day. Marriott

when it is believed to have said let

0:58:410:58:45

them eat cake when she was told the

poor had no right to eat. Bobbled

0:58:450:58:51

the Prime Minister said to the

children who have no free school

0:58:510:58:54

meals? The Liberal Democrats fought

hard in coalition to deliver

0:58:540:58:58

universal in front free meals,

ensuring that children are able to

0:58:580:59:05

make the most of their education.

These regulations once Universal

0:59:050:59:10

Credit is rolled up with intro that

1 million children will not be

0:59:100:59:13

getting that free meal. Last week,

on March the 14th, 2018, the quality

0:59:130:59:21

and human rights commission

published its final report at what

0:59:210:59:25

the impact of changes on the text

buffer system on families will be in

0:59:250:59:34

2021 - 22. It found that children

will be hit the hardest, as an usher

0:59:340:59:39

11 5 million children will be in

poverty. -- an extra 11.5 million

0:59:390:59:48

children. Hostels with three or more

children will see a particularly

0:59:480:59:54

large losses of... The chair of the

quality and human rights commission,

0:59:541:00:00

responsible for making

recommendations to government, said,

1:00:001:00:08

quote, it's disappointing to

discover that the reforms

1:00:081:00:12

re-examined negatively affect the

most disadvantaged in our society.

1:00:121:00:15

It's even more shocking that

children, our future generation,

1:00:151:00:20

will be the hardest hit and so many

will be condemned to start a life in

1:00:201:00:24

poverty. We can't let this continue

if we want a fairer Britain.

1:00:241:00:30

Appalling though this picture is,

I'm certain it does not take into

1:00:301:00:34

account the additional impact on

many poor families. When I taught

1:00:341:00:43

infant children, if they misbehave,

I would say, I was sat in my heart.

1:00:431:00:52

While I'm set in my heart and I

regret the fact that there is a lack

1:00:521:00:58

of humanity in the changes of the

regulations. Our children are our

1:00:581:01:05

future and we must cherish and

nurture them. On top of the negative

1:01:051:01:09

impact on children of tax and book

forward forms, this change adds

1:01:091:01:13

insult and hunger to injury.

I was

moved, I haven't got a flinty heart,

1:01:131:01:22

I was moved by what the noble lord

said about his own circumstances and

1:01:221:01:28

his hard-working mother and how

people in working poverty suffer. I

1:01:281:01:32

don't think there's anyone in this

House who isn't concerned about

1:01:321:01:35

poverty in the proper dealings with

poverty. It has to be based on fact.

1:01:351:01:42

Not on sentiment. What strikes me

about the noble lord said in his

1:01:421:01:50

speech is that there does seem to be

a huge gap not just in a legend or

1:01:501:01:54

asserted numbers but in credibility

between the alleged 1 million child

1:01:541:01:59

losers to the noble Lord prefers --

noble lord prefers...

1:01:591:02:18

7-figure difference from iTunes

noble friend.

1:02:181:02:21

From my noble friend. If I'd gotten

the chance, but there is a bridge a

1:02:241:02:31

ball cap, a 7-figure gap, then they

reflect on the division, he clipped

1:02:311:02:41

away, charting up the votes,

counting up on their devices, as a

1:02:411:02:47

back-up. A new statistical fact

checker. No hiding place for the

1:02:471:02:55

eventual numbers of those content.

And now their independent

1:02:551:03:00

authorities that say that there

massive losses of free school meals,

1:03:001:03:07

wrong. And I like experts by the

way, unlike some of my colleagues,

1:03:071:03:14

these authorities and experts, say

that the statistics Authority make

1:03:141:03:20

it clear that Universal Credit

cause, right through to the Channel

1:03:201:03:29

for fact check, pointing out that no

child currently receiving free

1:03:291:03:33

school meals will lose their

entitlement, rather they'll benefit

1:03:331:03:37

from these changes. So, while I

understand the strength of feeling,

1:03:371:03:43

it does seem to me that we've seen

the new-found freedom, transmogrify

1:03:431:03:50

into being sensitive bean counter,

or perhaps I could say pure counter

1:03:501:03:55

of those voting content or not

content, and to what some might

1:03:551:03:59

think would be a statistical tear

away, all based on a good cause. And

1:03:591:04:04

I do not doubt that is for a good

cause, but I prefer the hard facts

1:04:041:04:08

as opposed to somebody who prefers

exaggeration to rely on. I certainly

1:04:081:04:16

wish to see that all children in all

households who are in need get help.

1:04:161:04:24

But of course of all children at all

households on Universal Credit,

1:04:241:04:29

would he get free school meals, were

talking about a cost of billions my

1:04:291:04:33

Lord. And I am not making that up.

By comparison, I commend the

1:04:331:04:43

government for what they're doing,

all children will, which is not

1:04:431:04:47

mentioned in the debate, continue to

get free school meals. No child will

1:04:471:04:55

lose out, and I think with respect,

these are facts, rather than

1:04:551:04:59

assertions.

Recognising that on all

sides of the house, these just

1:04:591:05:09

managing family, working two thirds,

working hard to make ends meet, to

1:05:091:05:16

make the best for their children. It

is really encouraging to hear the

1:05:161:05:20

Prime Minister talk so strongly

about Brexit post, about reaching

1:05:201:05:25

out to those families in need. So I

do hope the Minister will take this

1:05:251:05:29

golden opportunity and let the noble

Lords basket, to offer moral support

1:05:291:05:36

to children in poverty, families in

poverty today, yes there may be

1:05:361:05:41

difficulties, but he will look at

how we can ensure that all children

1:05:411:05:44

in poverty get a free school meals.

Another is also speaking this

1:05:441:05:49

morning, with a mother corridor

property for several years, she had

1:05:491:05:53

been the

1:05:531:05:53

a victim of domestic violence, she

had spent six to seven months and

1:05:571:06:02

breakfast accommodation, sitting in

the wrong room with her teenage

1:06:021:06:07

daughter, her and it was a

challenging time for her, and she

1:06:071:06:13

did support, her friends are either

giving or moral support. This

1:06:131:06:18

morning, she had been successful on

her visa application, she's a

1:06:181:06:22

financial better state. She found a

good man to have a new relationship

1:06:221:06:26

with, but we need to give support to

families as they are struggling

1:06:261:06:31

through difficult times. It just

appetizers appetizer so many

1:06:311:06:33

families.

1:06:331:06:33

It is difficult times for so many

families. We have increasing numbers

1:06:381:06:46

of children, growing up in bed and

breakfast and hospital

1:06:461:06:50

accommodations, and even more secure

accommodations lack ... And the

1:06:501:06:59

accolades of being the global best

teacher in the world. And she talked

1:06:591:07:03

of her experiences where she was

concerned about the housing, so many

1:07:031:07:10

children overcrowded, having to work

in the bathroom to concentrate. So

1:07:101:07:13

these families are coping with the

stress, they have lost their early

1:07:131:07:20

intervention, their services, local

services that and cut. This is

1:07:201:07:24

opportunity for the government, yes

a difficult one perhaps, burn

1:07:241:07:28

opportunity to offer support for

those, often mothers brings up their

1:07:281:07:33

children on their own. Beginning of

the day to have confidence that

1:07:331:07:38

their child will have a good healthy

help

1:07:381:07:39

hot meal, so he can reach out to

these families and often do not

1:07:431:07:48

help. And the Minister can

1:07:481:07:49

give us that assurance today.

I

speak with some sorrow, I am hoping

1:07:541:08:02

that the proposals made by the

government involving I'm sure the

1:08:021:08:06

treasury, the education department,

our privacy results of those

1:08:061:08:15

interlocking interest and at

inadvertently left which surely

1:08:151:08:20

can't be intended. The consequences

of this policy, run counter to

1:08:201:08:25

everything the government has said

about the principles of Universal

1:08:251:08:29

Credit stop which I, and many

others, has supported. If the

1:08:291:08:34

consequences are unintended, and I

should be delighted to hear the

1:08:341:08:38

ministers say so, I'll be relieved

and pleased. I've looked at these

1:08:381:08:43

regulations, but I have concluded

that they are dry. Through the

1:08:431:08:53

defining principle Universal Credit,

which I wholeheartedly endorse, the

1:08:531:08:57

work should pay. They create an

arbitrary cliff edge and low income

1:08:571:09:05

threshold through which many risk

falling. For working families, just

1:09:051:09:12

below the current threshold, they

would very clearly, this would very

1:09:121:09:16

clearly not make extra work pay.

They would be better off not seeking

1:09:161:09:22

more paperwork, leaving the children

on free school meals, unless the

1:09:221:09:27

family can increase by some

considerable margin. There's just a

1:09:271:09:31

bump in the threshold that they will

be worse off in these regulations

1:09:311:09:38

facing school meal charges. They

will be better off if they could

1:09:381:09:41

work why working less. That, my

Lords, is at best an anomaly I am

1:09:411:09:49

tempted to describe it as an

absurdity. But I do not want to see

1:09:491:09:54

this as pointing towards a flaw or

contradiction in policy design,

1:09:541:10:01

rather to the real pressing

increasingly difficult circumstances

1:10:011:10:05

that over the years, families would

face more often than not, people

1:10:051:10:12

were already in work, and already

earn very little, people whose

1:10:121:10:16

weekly budgets have already little

or no slack. Members of your

1:10:161:10:26

lordships House may recall some of

you, that I shared for members of

1:10:261:10:32

both houses, recently, a briefing.

And a number of your lordships may

1:10:321:10:37

remember, speaking to us, her oldest

child currently receives free school

1:10:371:10:42

meals. She and her husband do not

want to live on benefits on credits

1:10:421:10:51

or allowances. They want to get on

and get up. Her husband had been

1:10:511:10:59

made redundant after 18 months

volunteering at a local school, he

1:10:591:11:03

now works as a teaching assistant

and he earns £8,000. Claire had

1:11:031:11:11

worked for 15 years, as an NHS

dental nurse, but her clinic closed.

1:11:111:11:16

I direct the

1:11:161:11:18

directly quote Claire, we never

thought we would be in this

1:11:231:11:26

situation. We feel terribly ashamed

to have to rely on health care. So

1:11:261:11:33

she is retraining as a solicitor.

When she's done, sir husband will

1:11:331:11:39

complete his own retraining as a

teacher. Both will incur significant

1:11:391:11:45

debts, hers will be £56,000. Claire

has told us that they have many

1:11:451:11:52

working years ahead of them and

looks forward, and they will look

1:11:521:11:55

forward to a future in which taxes

are spent helping the vulnerable in

1:11:551:12:00

society. She feels blessed to live

in a society that has a safety net

1:12:001:12:08

and place for them and others.

Basing short-term difficulties. My

1:12:081:12:15

lords, these regulations won't help

Claire and those like her overcome

1:12:151:12:21

the short-term challenges, they'll

add to them. Hinder her, from

1:12:211:12:26

creating a long-term future for

herself and her family. Because

1:12:261:12:30

Claire has no slack. She told us her

family of four and I quote again,

1:12:301:12:36

survives on £10 a day for food and

pet troll with no luxuries. Claire

1:12:361:12:44

does not understand how the figure

of £7,400 has been arrived at. Nor

1:12:441:12:50

does she understand how introducing

an earnings threshold as low as that

1:12:501:12:58

could possibly benefit people in her

situation. My lords, I don't

1:12:581:13:05

understand either. She knows her

eight-year-old daughter will for now

1:13:051:13:08

continue to receive free school

meals, but what of that child, and

1:13:081:13:17

then her son who start school in

September? Of the children of their

1:13:171:13:21

ages. As she observes initially, it

seems nobody will lose out, but in

1:13:211:13:27

the long-term and more people and

more specifically my lords, more and

1:13:271:13:35

more children,. My lords, we are

creating potentially anxiety, even

1:13:351:13:44

despair but we should be offering

hope and support. So

1:13:441:13:50

the job of this house is often to

ask the government to think again,

1:13:541:13:58

to think again about what may be the

unintended consequences of policy.

1:13:581:14:05

The outcomes of this one are severe.

It asked the government to think

1:14:051:14:09

again this evening, and I do say so

from the bottom of my heart.

Is very

1:14:091:14:21

moving in his opening speech,

explain the Universal Credit when

1:14:211:14:27

your Secretary of State, saying

Universal Credit would always make

1:14:271:14:29

work pay. And people would be better

off for every hour they work. I want

1:14:291:14:34

to focus specifically on that

question of work incentives. The

1:14:341:14:40

nitrate in that, so I offer it to

the house or their consideration. It

1:14:401:14:44

was not a throwaway comment, it was

any forward to the white paper,

1:14:441:14:48

which explained by the government

was planning to abolish working age

1:14:481:14:52

benefits and replace them with

Universal Credit. That process is

1:14:521:14:56

now ongoing. It has had its

challenges, as we all know. Problems

1:14:561:15:01

the system, proms and computers,

design and implementation

1:15:011:15:05

challenges, and severe delays. And

it's been subject to repeated budget

1:15:051:15:09

cuts, with results that will was

originally designed as a benefit to

1:15:091:15:14

be a net saving to the treasury. But

my lords, the whole point of this

1:15:141:15:18

enormous... To include some 7

million people, was that it would

1:15:181:15:23

always make work pay. I was the

point, even small amounts of work

1:15:231:15:29

and every action our we pay. That

was the aim of the system in a

1:15:291:15:32

nutshell. Yet, this reintroduces the

mother of all cliff edges into

1:15:321:15:37

universal credit. By that point,

they gain access to working tax

1:15:371:15:46

credit which is worth more. Under

this system it would mean that if a

1:15:461:15:50

parent were offered a pay raise, or

the chance of an extra hours week,

1:15:501:15:57

working. I would take the earnings

over a cash limit and he died at the

1:15:571:16:04

turn that down, or take it knowing

that children would all lose free

1:16:041:16:07

school meals. Modelled the impact on

a single parent and 2022 at the

1:16:071:16:17

expected minimum wage, raising two

children in a rented house. She

1:16:171:16:21

wants to risen to 12 hours week to

16 hours a week, the same thing

1:16:211:16:26

Universal Credit is meant to help.

What would have been as her earnings

1:16:261:16:29

would go up by £1893 a year. But you

actually end up on just under £74 a

1:16:291:16:37

year worse off by the time she's

lost Universal Credit and free

1:16:371:16:40

school meals. She would be better

off by cutting their hours and it

1:16:401:16:47

taking a pay cut. This undoes all

the progress done by tax credit and

1:16:471:16:52

Universal Credit and getting away

from precisely those problems in the

1:16:521:16:55

old-fashioned benefit system. And

also there's a problem here,

1:16:551:17:01

finally, Universal Credit has an in

work conditionality system, that

1:17:011:17:05

means that people who have got a job

can still be forced to take more

1:17:051:17:09

hours, or to take a better paying

job. Sven next giveaway that what

1:17:091:17:12

happens a single parent can be put

in a position where they will be

1:17:121:17:16

forced to take more hours,

particularly paying job, but in

1:17:161:17:19

doing so, would lose free school

meals and be worse off! And when

1:17:191:17:24

this was debated in another place,

that question was put to the

1:17:241:17:30

Secretary of State. She said, I'm

1:17:301:17:32

will not seek to put someone in a

less advantageous position. If they

1:17:361:17:40

would demand is coming in and the

support that's coming from school

1:17:401:17:43

meals, they can will not seek to do

that an individual. And we'll be

1:17:431:17:48

working with individuals doubt the

progress of work. So they are in a

1:17:481:17:51

better situation. So can the

Minister confirm today that this

1:17:511:17:55

means no claim will be sectioned for

refusing to increase their earnings

1:17:551:18:02

if they'll make them worse off? And

they cannot, can he write to me to

1:18:021:18:07

confirm? I have that is true, but

even if it is, how then and the

1:18:071:18:12

Secretary of State word, how can

parents progress in work if they

1:18:121:18:16

afford to

1:18:181:18:19

cannot afford to take a pay rise? To

my lords, we are putting back in

1:18:221:18:30

this enormous cliff edge right into

the middle of the system. Can the

1:18:301:18:33

Minister tell the house how that is

meant to help achieve the

1:18:331:18:38

governments objective of making sure

warp always pays a view can progress

1:18:381:18:42

out of poverty to work? I do want to

try and challenge the government to

1:18:421:18:48

get the house some facts about where

exactly this figure has come from.

1:18:481:18:53

The same 50,000 more children would

get free school meals. Is also a

1:18:531:18:56

point made that the churches

commission had pointed out, that in

1:18:561:19:01

fact simply on children numbers

alone, there'll be another half

1:19:011:19:04

million kids by two dozen 22,

expecting to be getting free school

1:19:041:19:08

meals. The 2022, the date by which

these children will get free school

1:19:081:19:13

meals, isn't some random date, it's

actually the date that Universal

1:19:131:19:17

Credit will be rubbed out busstop

has been chosen because it's a high

1:19:171:19:23

water mark where as long as those

people who qualify under the new

1:19:231:19:26

system, there is a maximum number of

people getting transitional

1:19:261:19:30

protection from inside Universal

Credit? My lords, therefore that

1:19:301:19:34

number includes people will go want

to lose free school meals with their

1:19:341:19:39

children circumstances change, but

when they move from primary to

1:19:391:19:41

secondary school. And for all those

children, the deputy Universal

1:19:411:19:45

Credit is rolled out, if their

parents are on the same,

1:19:451:19:49

transitional, they will not get free

school meals. So my lords, I say to

1:19:491:19:53

the noble Lord, look very carefully

at the briefing of the government.

1:19:531:19:58

It it skewers as much as it reveals.

This ought to be made clear, a

1:19:581:20:02

proper impact assessment which

compares, compare the number of

1:20:021:20:07

people would get free school meals,

and steady-state of the new system,

1:20:071:20:14

and steady-state before reform.

Without transitional protection.

1:20:141:20:17

They have not done that, and the

charges commission has caught up the

1:20:171:20:21

issue and asked the government to

reveal all the analysis behind the

1:20:211:20:24

50,000. And us to provide us with

estimates, who would lose out in

1:20:241:20:28

different categories on Universal

Credit and the current system before

1:20:281:20:32

and after 2022.

1:20:321:20:38

Unless Ministers agreed to do that,

I'm afraid to say we must treat the

1:20:381:20:48

figures was some concern.

My basic

concern is this. This puzzle as the

1:20:481:20:56

Bishop of Portsmouth said, drives...

Though -- this proposal. For what?

1:20:561:21:10

Just bring back in the biggest cliff

edge we've seen in the system in

1:21:101:21:13

decades? Surely this can't be right.

Of the Government think again?

The

1:21:131:21:20

Lesher will the Government think

again? I echo the concerns of the

1:21:201:21:25

noble lord about the Government's

proposals to introduce an earnings

1:21:251:21:28

threshold for eligibility for free

school meals and milk. This is very

1:21:281:21:33

unfair because it takes no account

into the amount of children the

1:21:331:21:39

parents have to feed. As we've

heard, it would cause a poverty trap

1:21:391:21:47

per minute. This, -- poverty trap

for many. Let me say first of all

1:21:471:21:57

why I believe free school meals are

so important. There's plenty of

1:21:571:22:03

research that shows that the

nutrition levels of school meals are

1:22:031:22:07

vastly better than either the

average packed lunch, only 1.6% of

1:22:071:22:14

rich reach the same nutritional

standard, and certainly better than

1:22:141:22:18

a cheap pack of chips and a fizzy

drink from the shop on the corner.

1:22:181:22:25

The provision of a nursing meal at

lunch time, often times is the only

1:22:251:22:33

decent meal they would get all day.

Many teachers tell you that they

1:22:331:22:41

have children and their class who

come to school without any practise.

1:22:411:22:44

One local authority has taken this a

much on board that is decided to

1:22:441:22:48

offer free meals to poor children

every day of the year. This is

1:22:481:22:54

because teachers notice, evidence of

malnutrition and some children when

1:22:541:22:57

they come back to school after the

holidays. A nursing balanced meal

1:22:571:23:03

containing fruits and vegetables is

not just for the health of the

1:23:031:23:06

child, providing the vitamins needed

for healthy growth and helping to

1:23:061:23:11

prevent obesity, but it's also

important for the child's behaviour

1:23:111:23:15

and academic attainment. The pilot

studies on the effective provision

1:23:151:23:19

of freeze school meals for Key stage

one children when they were

1:23:191:23:25

introduced by the coalition

government showed a distinct

1:23:251:23:27

improvement in behaviour,

entertainment advanced by as much as

1:23:271:23:32

two months. This is particularly so

with children from this vantage

1:23:321:23:36

background. Clearly free school

meals are where the major tools in

1:23:361:23:40

our armoury for closing the

attainment gap between the and poor.

1:23:401:23:46

The main objective of our education

system must be to help all children

1:23:461:23:49

attained their maximum potential.

Good nutrition is one of the

1:23:491:23:54

foundations of this. A hungry child

is not a learning child. Anything

1:23:541:24:00

that has the potential of reducing

the number of poor children who

1:24:001:24:02

received these meals is something

which should be rejected. We should

1:24:021:24:06

be providing free meals for more

children, not fewer. A free meals

1:24:061:24:13

regime increases uptake, decreases

stigma and reduces the number of

1:24:131:24:17

children bringing sandwiches and

biscuits are going to the chip shop.

1:24:171:24:21

This improves the attainment of all

children. The Government has told us

1:24:211:24:27

that 50,000 more children will

receive free meals under the new

1:24:271:24:30

regulations than under the old ones.

They promised that no child already

1:24:301:24:35

on them bulldoze them -- will lose

them. The problem is that children

1:24:351:24:46

grow up. Children who were formerly

eligible for free meals will no

1:24:461:24:50

longer get them. There does have to

have been -- dirt does not have to

1:24:501:24:54

have been a change in a parents

earnings for this to happen. Every

1:24:541:25:01

mum and dad knows it takes twice as

much money to feed to my children as

1:25:011:25:05

one, and three times as much to feed

three. That's £10 a week for lunches

1:25:051:25:10

every week, or 20, or 30. Which

could easily be enough to make it

1:25:101:25:17

not worth taking a few extra hours

worked. Where then is the

1:25:171:25:21

fundamental work incentive that is

supposed underpinned Universal

1:25:211:25:24

Credit? Where is the mantra making

work pay? Is quite clearly -- what

1:25:241:25:39

the Government needs to look at is

the disposable income of the family

1:25:391:25:43

once the 62% withdrawal of Universal

Credit for every extra pound earned

1:25:431:25:48

has been taken into account. School

meals have been paid for. If they do

1:25:481:25:53

that, there may come up with a

fairer system because my lords,

1:25:531:25:56

school lunches are not a luxury.

They are at an essential of life for

1:25:561:26:01

those families that find hard to

feed their children. We're not even

1:26:011:26:06

only talking about meals. Are many

other benefits went to free school

1:26:061:26:12

meals, and they help to make people

able to bring up their children

1:26:121:26:16

bearable. They currently include the

early years pupil premium, and I

1:26:161:26:21

would think that ministered to

decouple that at the very least

1:26:211:26:24

because again, it's in the interest

of closing the attainment gap.

1:26:241:26:29

Universal Credit was supposed to

avoid the cliff edge and make it

1:26:291:26:32

worthwhile going to work. But by

introducing a lower earnings

1:26:321:26:37

threshold, the Government would be

creating a cliff edge at a very low

1:26:371:26:40

earnings level where it will hurt

most. It would undermine the whole

1:26:401:26:45

point of Universal Credit. It's

putting at risk to help and academic

1:26:451:26:51

attainment of the poorest children,

will the Minister please think

1:26:511:26:53

again?

The noble lord make his case

with characteristic vigour and force

1:26:531:27:04

and with deep feeling recalling life

in the part of Essex in the 1960s

1:27:041:27:09

with which I was very familiar

myself. The motion states that up to

1:27:091:27:15

a million poor children could be

deprived of free school meals as a

1:27:151:27:20

result of government policies. As my

noble friend Lord Patten has shown,

1:27:201:27:25

it depends -- independent experts

have purchased to treat this

1:27:251:27:31

prediction with considerable

caution. I think we should be wary

1:27:311:27:36

about rushing to the conclusion that

a crisis is in the making. It's

1:27:361:27:42

excepted on all sides that

introduction of Universal Credit

1:27:421:27:46

throughout our country is so vital

in helping more people into jobs

1:27:461:27:51

will affect the number of children

eligible for free school meals while

1:27:511:27:56

ensuring that poor families whose

needs must be safeguarded remain at

1:27:561:28:02

the centre of policy. Answer of

arrangements were announced last

1:28:021:28:05

summer to secure free -- in terror

arrangements -- interim

1:28:051:28:17

arrangements. There is nothing new

or unexpected about this. It has

1:28:171:28:26

been a feature of the plans for this

major contract of reform of our

1:28:261:28:30

welfare system since 2013. What are

the implications? The Department for

1:28:301:28:37

Education estimates as we have heard

that in the years ahead, some 50,000

1:28:371:28:44

more children will be entitled to a

free school meal than under the

1:28:441:28:49

arrangements, which Universal Credit

is replacing. That is a doctor that

1:28:491:28:56

I think perhaps the Government

should consider some form of

1:28:561:29:00

monetary arrangement. I wonder if

arrangements could be made to

1:29:001:29:06

publish figures on the number of

children receiving free school meals

1:29:061:29:11

at regular intervals between now and

2022. So that the effects of this

1:29:111:29:18

hugely significant change in policy

can be assessed. We do need to be

1:29:181:29:24

sure that the poorest families in

our country are continuing to

1:29:241:29:27

receive the help they need.

My

lords, I'd would just like to pick

1:29:271:29:39

up to make statements. One of which

I agree with and one of which I do

1:29:391:29:43

not agree with. I think the first

one, possibly the most substantial

1:29:431:29:50

one, is the claim that 1 million

would lose out and that the new

1:29:501:29:55

threshold of 37,400 changes the line

. This figure was chosen to try and

1:29:551:30:10

find the right level to go on making

that provision. I would disagree

1:30:101:30:15

with him there. But where I agree

with him, and the points made by

1:30:151:30:23

Lady Sherlock, the right Reverend

Bishop of Portsmouth, is around the

1:30:231:30:32

distance devising --

disincentivising... It's almost more

1:30:321:30:47

of a waterfall effect on the cliff

edge. It's there, and SAC came out

1:30:471:30:58

with a report looking at what we

could do with passport at benefits

1:30:581:31:04

generally. In order to incorporate

them with -- with the Universal

1:31:041:31:11

Credit. We could eliminate not

just... We could put them within the

1:31:111:31:19

taper in a way that didn't have a

cash flow impact. You can see that

1:31:191:31:28

there is a suggested structure and

indeed, the DWP response to that

1:31:281:31:32

report endorsed it. We are the

country with the most passport

1:31:321:31:44

benefits of any country. Date have

proliferated. If we do have all of

1:31:441:31:49

these benefits, -- they have

proliferated. We need to look at a

1:31:491:31:56

machine to add into Universal Credit

so that we can put them on the paper

1:31:561:31:59

so that we don't have a disincentive

effect. The reality is other

1:31:591:32:04

departments don't particularly care

about disincentivising work. The DWP

1:32:041:32:13

does, this House does, departments

worry about feeding children and so

1:32:131:32:16

on. I do think it's important to

keep up the pressure in the years to

1:32:161:32:22

come that we don't allow these cliff

edges or these waterfalls to be

1:32:221:32:29

reincorporated into the system and

to do that, we will have to design a

1:32:291:32:34

way of putting the passport

benefits...

I wanted to pay tribute

1:32:341:32:45

to my noble friend for a very

powerful introduction. The

1:32:451:32:52

Government has the that... Vesely,

and Oral Questions, then mumbled

1:32:521:33:03

baroness Lady Boskin said that there

was found that there was a research

1:33:031:33:10

evidence to show that the provision

of passport benefits act as an

1:33:101:33:14

incentive. It's a right door

stopper, I could tell you. There the

1:33:141:33:26

other that there is slightly

different. What is interesting is

1:33:261:33:30

the response to... It said in its

introduction, the coalition

1:33:301:33:39

government endorses the view that

the design of passport benefits

1:33:391:33:44

under Universal Credit cavity

impact... -- it's important to

1:33:441:33:59

highlight that the response has

gathered in the review rather than

1:33:591:34:07

the impact on the Universal Credit.

This is an important distinction as

1:34:071:34:13

currently, some benefits are

withdrawn, what recipients often

1:34:131:34:23

increase... As my noble friend

pointed out, but this was ignored by

1:34:231:34:35

the Secretary of State, Les Reed

told the House of Commons... -- he

1:34:351:34:43

told the House of Commons... And

declare an interest as honourary

1:34:431:34:55

president, which is already being

referred to. I also would refer back

1:34:551:34:59

to that report to a dress a point

made by Lord Becks and, we have

1:34:591:35:09

known that the -- what is happening

now is an entire room -- interim

1:35:091:35:18

arrangement. It is not surprising

that some wars have forgotten about

1:35:181:35:22

that because it was a long time ago.

The Government also said then that

1:35:221:35:27

they would consult on the new

criteria that year to put in place

1:35:271:35:33

the new system and October 20 13.

We've had to wait six years, what

1:35:331:35:38

took them so long? I suspect because

they couldn't find a way around the

1:35:381:35:43

cliff edge problem. Because SA see

drew attention to the fact that if

1:35:431:35:51

you go down that road, it creates a

cliff edge problem. We didn't have

1:35:511:35:58

an answer to it because I don't

think there is an answer. If you're

1:35:581:36:01

not a prayer to pay to give

Universal Credit...

1:36:011:36:11

Live coverage of proceedings in the House of Lords, including the report stage of the Nuclear Safeguards Bill, and a regret motion on regulations relating to free school lunches and milk.