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Hello and welcome to Monday In Parliament -
our look at the day at Westminster.
MOs from across the Commons call for action to streamline
the Health Service and Social Care in England.
The local government agree they need help. The health service agrees they
need help. But the health service and local government blame each
other. Warnings that a skills shortage
in the housing industry is leading The pressure that the trades have
had up to it means we have substandard building going on.
And, in the Lords, the Government gives assurances
workers' rights won't be damaged by Brexit.
But first, the Government's been warned by MPs on all sides
of the House of the need for better communication between the Health
Conservative backbenchers were among those who told ministers
about hospital beds being taken up and constituents finding themselves
caught between health and social care providers,
Local Government Association have been
through increasing the social care precept will not be nearly enough
to address the ?2.6 billion gap facing adult social care by 2020.
Instead of exacerbating the existing postcode lottery, will the
Secretary of State not commit to additional ring-fenced
resources into social care, to tackle this crisis?
Mr Speaker, in the last spending review,
government allocated an additional ?3.5 billion a year till 2020.
to adult social care and just a few weeks ago,
I announced additional help of ?900 million over
Now, local councils do have to play a role in this.
I note that in Sunderland the average council tax bill is down
And in Sunderland, if local councillors want to
For many of my constituents, the fundamental problem in all
too many cases is that we still we still separate health care funding
Can I, therefore, urge the Secretary of State to speed up the integration
of health and social care provision, so that we can deal
with patients' needs in the round and put those first,
Between 2010 and 2020, around ?40 million will
have been taken out the adult social care budget in Hull.
And you could see the effect of that just this weekend, when you
can see what is happening in our local NHS hospitals.
Will the minister think again and make sure
that the problems the local authorities are facing are
addressed by central government ring-fenced money?
Mr Speaker, I am sure the honourable lady would welcome
the announcement that was made a few weeks ago, which is trying to
recognise those pressures she identifies.
That is additional funding. That is on top of the ?3.5 billion.
?900 million over the next two years.
But what she rightly highlights is that this
is a situation we need to keep looking at to see what more can
Most members will have had in their constituency surgeries,
The local government agree they need help.
The health service agrees they need help.
But the health service and local government blame each other
Would it not be a good idea, on a cross-party basis,
to look at a new model for social care?
Mr Speaker, my honourable friend is right, firstly,
I have seen many situations like that in my own
He also highlights the need for all of us to
talk more about this issue and see what we can do working together.
Having spent a day with carers just before Christmas, seeing what
amazing work they do, they feel frustrated because they are
Will the minister look at what can be done for increasing funding
to social care in addition to what we already done.
And make sure that is subject to a cast-iron ring fence, to ensure
the money goes where it is needed most.
Mr Speaker, I can assure my honourable friend that we will
continue to look at the resources applied to adult social care, both
from local councils and from central government, to make sure they
Also, we will continue to push the case for reform, to also
make sure all councils realise there is more more that can be done
The House of Commons library figures show that, in
the period from November 2013 to November 2016,
instances of bed blocking where social care was solely
In the 12 months to November 2016, bed
Does the minister recognise that the precept
package brought forward by the government in December is
insufficient to solve the crisis in our social care system and is
putting further pressure on our already-stretched NHS?
Mr Speaker, for the Minister recognises is that
the additional funding announced in December will make a
There is ?240 million additional coming in from the
There is an additional ?600 million - it is new money.
An additional ?600 million coming in from the precept changes.
When it comes to using that money, we all want to see a reduction
She will be aware of big differences between local
councils in delayed transfers of care and I think some councils can
The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid.
The author of a report into the construction industry
says a shortage of skills is leading to sub-standard building.
Mark Farmer was one of the witnesses giving evidence
to MPs on the Communities and Local Government committee
He said the industry was going to have to do more with less -
What we have in construction is an ageing workforce.
One of the most advanced, in terms of age, of all the
What that suggests, based on census data
and looking at the level of new entry into the industry, that we are
going to lose 20-25% of our workforce over the next decade.
With Brexit overlaid on that, whether it is a
hard or soft Brexit - there are variations on the theme -
but it is undoubtedly going to add more pressure to that.
I could easily see a situation where we are moving towards a
situation where about one-third of our workforce is lost over
Mark Farmer said it was partly skills and training,
It is massively important that we get it into
schools earlier and to influence thinking.
To change their perception perception of the
My view is that you have to do the innovation piece first
and profile what skills we need in the future.
I think for us to have a more productive modern industry, it is a
mixture of traditional site-based working -
Artisan, Biblical skills, whatever you want to call it -
alongside approaches which may be factory-based, maybe hybrid.
Then, you stand more chance of attracting youngsters.
The youngsters are wanting something more around
the 21st century, not something from the Dark Ages and,
unfortunately, part of our industry still has that stigma
attached to them, rightly or wrongly.
We need to move the dial towards creating a different offer.
But in doing that, not only are we increasing the productivity
of being able to to do more with less -
it is an absolute certainty that that is what we are going
to have to do to stand more chance of
increasing new entrants into into the industry,
because it is more attractive to them, in terms of
They are not necessarily working on a cold and wet building site.
or carpenter, they could do it in a factory.
The committee wanted to know what impact Brexit may have. It will have
a big impact. Over the last few months, the value of the currency a
lot of foreign workforce are taking home is not as big. That is having
an impact. In London, 40 to 50% of the workforce is fallen. That is
about ten to 15% in other parts of the country. Attention how many
houses would have to be built. I do not think it is a matter of
political debate. It is a case of seeing, we need to do it. Is there
encouragement and stability to the industry for doing it. What has been
missing from the market is simply buying rented homes. You have had
between 15 and 25,000 purchased by associations. And shared ownership.
But since we have stopped building these forms, the market has not
worked. That is when it stops functioning. When we stop building.
In the last week two, quite unknown well-known house-builder had
problems with regard to property and this growing feeling that
traditional building in the house-building world is not
delivering the quality that is expected, in terms of the legacy of
defects. We are on the tip of the a spare the. The tradition and trades
are coming under very pressure -- a lot of pressure and we are building
a legacy issue downstream of defects and other issues which could be
serious. I do not want to over generalise. Most of the people are
very well trained and very complement -- competent, but that
has been diluted. The competence levels are not as high as the rear.
It needs to be of solutions, such as quality control.
Now, the case of Noel Conway, a terminally ill patient who wants
the right to end his life, was raised in the House of Lords.
who is chair of the pressure group Dignity in Dying,
asked if the Government might consider changing the law.
Lord Keen of Elie said this would be a conscience
vote for individual MPs, who had rejected a change
The short answer to the question is no. Like previous governments, we
have always made clear that this was a matter for Parliament, not
government. The other house consider the bill in 2015, but rejected it by
330-118. I thank the Minister for that reply. There has never been a
government supported Bill with relation to assisted dying. He will
be aware of Noel Conway who is taking this challenge to the High
Court. He thinks his individual human race have been breached when
the pain becomes unbearable. Does the Minister agree that 86% of
disabled people support Noel Conway and want a change in the law so that
when the town comes to face their own death, they can live there last
month 's safe in the knowledge that if they are suffering becomes
unbearable level of professional help to end it. Can we seek an
ethical bill on these lanes in the future. It remains the government
view that any change to the law is an issue for individual conscience
and a matter for Parliament rather than one of government policy. I am
aware of the case of Noel Conway. As it is no court, it would not be
appropriate for me to comment on that case.
But a former President and current patron
of the Royal College of Surgeons sounded a note of caution.
Should it ever be considered again, the medical profession has to be
excluded. They will not want to be associated with the taking of life.
They are there to save lives. Pilot is possible there are those who meet
volunteers to undertake the task, it is important and should not be
legislated because the majority of them would even be legislated to
undertake the south that was the case. I hear what he is seeing and
understand his reasoning behind his observations. I can only rephrase
that this government does not intend to legislate in respect of this
matter. Do not like this matter, give people the opportunity to make
this important decision about how they die.
Again, I can understand the noble lord's interest and concern in
respect of this matter. I will observe that Parliament has twice
addressed this issue in the recent past and has determined not to make
commitments to the suicide act. It is not supported by one single
organisation for people with progressive conditions. The very
people who would be the main beneficiaries of assisted buying.
Growing numbers of disabled people in their organisations are
campaigning against such a Bill because they feel it is desperately
unsafe. The CPS that that this in February
2010 and again in 2014. I understand the reluctance to change particular
legislation, may I ask whether the minister in consultation with his
colleagues and the CPS would consider whether reforms are
necessary with regard to CPS policy on assisted dying? My Lords, the
matter is CPS policy must be left to the CPS to determine independently
of Parliament. It is not for government to dictate what that
policy should be. It is regularly reviewed and I can say that, for
example, in the period from 2090 2016 -- 2009 two 2016. Many cases
were not proceeded with in the case of the prosecution.
You're watching Monday in Parliament.
The Government has been pressed by its own back benchers
to speed up efforts to reform health and social care.
The biggest threat to safety on the railways is terrorism,
according to the deputy chief constable
He told MPs on the Transport Committee the danger
was unpredictable, but there were others too.
The challenge from protecting the network that is wide and open, and
the risks being so I'm predictable, that is the greatest level of
concern. We have seen that recently in North Greenwich. It is a real
threat that we have to counter. In terms of more traditional crime,
protecting vulnerable people, I know it was a theme of the previous
committee, but focusing on effort and those people in crisis or at
risk on the network and then can be fun aboard the crime is where we are
putting our effort. Those types of offences that really cause people
the most physical harm and impact on the confidence to travel, so
predatory sex offending, levels of violence, particularly where that
affects railway workers. We have is seen across Europe recently
terrorist attacks involving domestic vehicles. We have seen trucks and
lorries. The biggest thing that concerns me is level crossings. We
have traced that carry up to 1000 people at peak times that are
hurtling at huge speeds with level crossings where we have flimsy
barriers. That is a major concern as far as I'm concerned. From your
perspective, what can be done to mitigate the risk but what training
is being provided to those in the control centre to try and spot some
of the signs that may be able to stop such an attack happening in
future? Absolutely. I wish it was an easy one to answer because it is
often described as Martini terrorism, because it can happen at
any place at any time. We cannot predict, as you will be familiar
with. Having an open network in the way we do and the way our running
lines cross a small country, it opens up those wonderful points. We
do a lot around level crossings. We have a large number of Network Rail
funded mobile safety vehicles that can allow us to target different
hotspots or risk locations so that we can put those preventative and
disruptive mitigations in, not just for terrorism but for trespassing
and people who are offending by not abiding by crossings. There is an
increase in sexual offences, is that people feeling more confidence or
more actual offences? How can we tell which it was? This is where we
were out of kilter with other police forces. We have recorded a greater
increase in sexual offending, and that you are right to suggest there
is a greater confidence in victims to tell us. We actively promoted our
interests and concerns. We had a number of significant initiatives in
the last two years. Worst of all, in London, there was project Guardian,
which is a collaboration. It encourages people who feel
accountable about behaviour on the Tube. That morphed into a national
campaign. If I give you a brief example, why is that important?
Quite another of the victims who converted us said, I experience this
in our journey, I don't want you to do anything further, but I want you
to know it happened. For a variety of reasons, they want to take that
approach. Using that data, we were able to analyse trends. We saw that
there was a spike in indecent assaults, touching, on a Tube line.
We were able to put undercover officers on that line and they saw
an offender who use the busy service and the nurturing of the train to
bump into people. Those victims did not know they had been victims, but
watching his behaviour and seeing him do that three or four times in a
row without getting off the service and allowed us to intervene and
arrest him. that Theresa May will signal
a so-called "hard Brexit", the European single
market and customs union. The prospect of leaving
the single market has prompted
concerns from trades unions that workers' rights
could be undermined. But the Business Minister,
Lord Prior, sought to lay
those worries to rest. We do not need to be part of an EU
single market to have strong protections for workers' rights. The
Government will not roll back EU rights in the work ways or the
workers' rights that are enjoyed, they will be brought across into UK
law. I think he has indeed touched on this, would he go one step
further and reassure the House and indeed the TUC that all the
directives contained and that are relevant be contained in the great
repeal Bill? The prime and Esther has said that under this government
we will see workers' rights not eroded and not just protected but
enhanced. The commitment of this government is clear. Obviously, for
subsequent parliaments, as we we gain sovereignty over these issues,
it will be up to individual parliaments to make those decisions.
It is a sad day when the TUC no longer has faith in the Labour
Party, the Liberal Party and this British Parliament to defend the
rights of British workers. Is it not the case that workers enjoy rights
far beyond the EU directives, especially with regard to maternity?
For workers' rights enshrined in EU law will be transferred into UK law.
But then it was added, where practical. Could the minister tell
us which workers' rights cannot be practically transferred into UK law?
I can't think of any rights that would fall into the lot practical
area. The prime and Esther went further than that. She is committed
and our whole industrial strategy is committed to bringing decent, well
paid skilled jobs to Britain. It's not often that a piece
of legislation is thought capable of helping to heal
"divisions in society". But that's what
the Labour MP Jon Cruddas thinks about the National
Citizen Service Bill. The National Citizen Service -
or NCS - was set up six years ago to give teenagers the chance
to do community work on residential
trips away from home. The Bill would give the service
a permanent legal standing. It really focuses on how we live
together. There is no more important issue addressing the country. How do
we create a nation at ease with itself and foster a notion of
service to others amongst our young people? Obviously, this is vital
given the divisions in our society, so clearly exposed around last year
around class, race geography and religion. These tensions might
continue to escalate. The suggest a brittle country. Resolving this and
healing division will indeed take time, but this Bill will help.
A Conservative, James Berry, said the citizen service
had many of the hallmarks of National Service,
recalling the words of his father who did his national service
in the 1950s with the Royal Marines and the Durham Light Infantry.
He always would tell me what a great social leveller their National
Service was, because in basic training you could be there in a
dorm with people from Eton, with stockbrokers, Alec Trish and is,
people from all different walks of life. Every conceivable background,
but any pre-existing airs and graces would be squashed by a diet of
exercise, hard work, learning new skills and having to live, eat,
sleep and work, do everything together as a team. I want won to
give young people an appetite for service, for opportunities and try
new things. Our vision is for NCS to be a common experience for all.
Scouts, cadets, people familiar with service in the same team, sharing
their expertise with people who have never done anything like this
before. NCS sees people with different background, faiths,
interests coming together at a formative age and learning the
impact they can have on the community around them.
With wide support across the parties,
the Bill was approved without a vote.
Alicia McCarthy is here for the rest of the week,