Georgina Pattinson presents highlights of Wednesday 28 October in Parliament.
Browse content similar to 28/10/2015. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to the bank. The menus from Westminster, the Labour leader calls
on the pro Minister to spell out his plans for changes to tax credits.
People are very worried about what is going to happen to them next
April. And the Lords asked questions about the government review into the
Lords. This is a gross overreaction. At PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly
asked David Cameron whether anyone would be worse off next April
because of cuts to tax credits. The Labour leader used all of his six
questions at the weekly contest to ask about the row over the reform
which was stalled this week by the House of Lords. Following the events
in the other place on Monday evening and the belated acceptance from the
Prime Minister of the result there, can we guarantee to the wider
country and the House that nobody will be worse off next year as a
result of cuts to working tax credits? What I can guarantee is
that we will remain committed to the vision of a high pay, low tax, low
welfare economy. It sets the pattern for the rest of the leaders
exchanges. Will he confirm that tax credit cuts will not make anyone
worse off in April next year. What we want is for people to be better
off because we are cutting their taxes and increasing their pay. But
he is going to have to be patient because although these changes
passed the House of Commons five times, with ever enlarging
majorities, we will set out our new proposals in the Autumn Statement
and he will be able to study them. This is the time when we ask
questions of the Prime Minister on the half of the people of this
country. Thank you. Mr Speaker, if I may continue... People are very
worried about what is going to happen to them next April. So what
exactly does the Prime Minister mean? He is considering it, there is
an Autumn Statement coming up, but we thought he was committed to not
cutting tax credits. In our election manifesto, we set out that we were
going to find ?12 billion of in welfare. We are talking about tax
credits for people in work. The Prime Minister knows that. He
understands that. He has lost the support of many people in this
country that are actually quite sympathetic to his political
project. Some of the newspapers that support come out against him. He did
commit to ?12 billion of cuts but repeatedly refuses to say whether
tax credits will be part of this. He said that they were not. Can he give
us the answer we are trying to get today? And so the question! The
answer will be set out in the Autumn Statement when we set out our
proposals but I have to say to him, it has come to quite a strange set
of events when you have the House of Commons voting for something five
times, when there is absolutely no rebellion among conservative members
of Parliament or indeed among Conservative peers and the Labour
Party is left defending and depending on unelected peers in the
House of Lords. In British politics, we have a new alliance, the
unelected and the unelectable. Once the Labour leader had asked his six
questions, the session moved onto other subjects. Last week, I asked
the Prime Minister about the tragic circumstances of Michael
Sutherland, a disabled man who took us on life after an assessment by
the Department of Work and Pensions. We know that 60 investigations have
taken place into suicides following the cancellation of benefits but the
findings have not been published. The Prime Minister said to me last
week that he would look very carefully at the specific question
about the publication. We'll be Prime Minister confirm when those
findings will be published? -- will the Prime Minister confirmed. There
are good reasons why we cannot publish the specific report because
it has personal and medical data in it which would not be appropriate
for publication. If I have got that wrong, I will write that to him but
I have a clear memory of looking into it and that being the case. We
know that the Prime Minister's broken promises over tax credits but
will the final nail in the coffin of compassionate conservatism be cast,
if he takes food out of the mouths of poor children at school. Will he
agree to not do this, so that he does not go down in history as a
dinner snatcher. It was a government I lead that introduced this policy.
13 years of a Labour government and did they ever do that? Did you
remember the infant free school meals bill from the Labour Party? I
am proud of what we have done and we will be keeping it. Yesterday I
visited the refugee camps in Lesbos and I met families that were
inspirational and desperate. Alongside British charity workers, I
am frankly ashamed that we will not offer a home to a single one of
those refugee families. Can I ask the Prime Minister, will he agree
with Save the Children's plea that we should take 3000 vulnerable,
unaccompanied children in Europe, some as young as six. David Cameron
told MPs that the UK was taking 20,000 refugees from the Middle
East. Specifically on this question, I have looked at it carefully and
there are other NGOs and experts who points to the very real danger of
separating children from the rather families and that is white, to date,
we have not taken that decision. It has been revealed that job advisers
are, for the first time, to be posted at food banks. The banks
provide free food to people in need who are given vouchers by Jobcentre
staff. Social workers or doctors. The use of the banks has risen
sharply in recent years. The trust all trust, a main provider of food
banks said that the number using the banks last year was over 1 million.
The subject was raised at a committee session for the Work and
Pensions Secretary. The trust all trust says that the number of people
using Scottish food banks has increased by 398%. Do you think
there is any correlation between the reforms that have been implemented?
I am unhappy to answer this right now because there are points I want
to make. Is the chairman OK with that? All right. We have always
taken the view that, and I support the banks and what they do, I think
it is excellent, but what we have always said is that wherever there
are cases, they are notified as issues where people might perceive a
problem in the parliament, and we problem in the parliament, and we
will pick those up. At the moment, something the committee will not be
aware of but which I am trialling, I was visited by a particular food
bank before the summer break to talk about some of the issues about
delivering food and some of the problems with individuals that turn
up and say they are having a problem with payments. I am trying at the
moment a job adviser situating themselves in the food bank during
the time that it is open and we are getting strong feedback about that,
where they will be able to check if someone is coming in and need the
payment, they can immediately check. And if this works and other food
banks are able to encompass this, we would like to roll out across the
UK. The banking question is the welcome Centre in Manchester, and
they are basically the too surprised -- provide support to people who
come in. What is happening now is that people are not coming in with
questions about benefits, but they are coming in and being interested
in where they could find work, where there are vacancies. So we have
teamed up with various clubs and they are spending more time pointing
people to vacancies than they are fixing them with some food. We are
publishing results later but no-one is yet aware of it. When you roll
this out, you might find are differences. Yes. Either way, I hope
if it works, then we will certainly want to roll it out to all the food
banks. Onto the work capability assessments or WCA which are some
benefits claimants face. There was criticism of the work capability
process in the report of the death of Michael Sullivan. That was not an
isolated case. It was 2300 people who have died, having been found fit
for work after an assessment. Does that tell you that we need to be
looking again at the accuracy of the work capability assessments? By and
large, we see that those people in a similar condition but not involved
with WCA, the mortality rates are very similar to those who go through
WCA. The point I'm making is that this is not an easy area and it will
never be. Are we able to get a sense of those figures and how they might
differ compared to tests in previous years? In what sense? In terms of
the understanding of the number of people dying after having been found
fit for work. We have never collated the figures specifically. It is
always impossible to do that because we would have to make all sorts of
judgments. We have introduced a series of changes that improve our
ability to assess the mental capacity and incapacity early on and
that is currently under review so that was not originally there. So
that will go no further? It will. This is a constant process of
reappraisal. You're watching Wednesday
in Parliament with me, Now, the reverberations
of the government defeat in the Lord's on Monday over plans to
cut tax credits are still echoing. Labour used an urgent question to
find out more about the proposed review of the House
of Lords, which will be headed by The relationship between the Commons
and the Lords is extremely important and when conventions that govern
that relationship are put in doubt, it is right that we review that.
It's clear that the government intends to give the House of Lords
a kicking but it should remember, I think, as it fashions this pretend
constitutional crisis, that the vast majority of people in this country
applauded the Lords on Monday because this was not in the
government's manifesto. Does the leaders see no irony
at all in getting a member of the House of Lords to review
the financial privilege of the House of Commons and, for that matter,
a hereditary peer at that? And is this
the right person to be doing it? After all, in 1999,
Lord Strathclyde himself said of the convention that the Lords did not
strike down statutory instruments. That same day, he and the Lords
voted down two Labour government So now, he thinks it's
an utter disgrace to do so. Is there one rule for Tory
regulations and another one Is he now a convert or, frankly,
just a hypocrite? The Shadow Leader should
withdraw that term. I withdraw that term unreservedly,
Mr Speaker. I'm sure the British public are just
amazed and bewildered at this handbags at dawn spat between
the Tories and the unelected Lords in this great battle of the nobles.
Is the case that the weight but UK is if you don't like what one part
of the legislative dance, you just simply emasculate it? Is this the
democracy we are looking at? The emergence of the donors is a
ridiculous idea. Time really has come for proper reform of the House
of Lords. When we talk about proper reform, that means the reformed
chamber that is fully elected. Talking to colleagues around this
building, the issue of the House of Lords reform has returned to centre
stage. But we have faced big challenges in this country. We have
really important legislation to get through and I want to deal first
with challenges and health, education, the economy and the
environment. But these issues will be discussed more widely in this
House. And so, down the corridor to
the House of Lords, where peers had Less than six months into a new
Parliament, the government is trying to change the rules to ensure it
won't lose a vote again. Some in government have very short memories.
But if you look back at the number and content of the defeats, it's
clear how very little justification there is for this move. This is a
gross overreaction. The events of Monday are what justifies the
review. It is a prevalent view and is about how elected governments can
secure their business when an established convention has been put
in doubt. During the five years of the Cameron premiership, there have
been 20 government defeats on average per year. In the five years
from 2002 until 2007, onto the Blair-Brown governments, there were
an average of 59 defeats a year. The prime ministers of the time did not
work themselves up into a lather about government defeats. So if the
Prime Minister is anxious to find evidence of government being
defeated on a regular basis, I am at the end of the phone to give him
that information. Lady Stowell said the government was
not talking about defeats in general Now, the chairman of the
Football Association has said he isn't surprised by comments from
the suspended head of football's world governing body, Fifa,
that a deal was made in advance to Sepp Blatter, who is under
investigation for a payment he made to the Uefa President,
Michel Platini, told the Russian news agency that Fifa's executive
made the decision in 2010. Greg Dyke told the culture committee
the claim would be looked into. I would like to read again. But it
did look like it was all fixed anyway.
Greg Dyke told the MPs that Fifa had been a corrupted organisation
for 40 years and he said the FA had now suspended its backing for
the Uefa President as its candidate to be the next head of Fifa.
We have been impressed by Michel Platini in his time
We were of the view that he had done a good job.
We also have a good working relationship with Uefa
and we thought supporting the Uefa candidate would lead to a better
We have said, on many occasions, that the reform
of Fifa is more important to us than who is the new President.
You will be supporting the reform candidate,
Well, the board of the FA will discuss who we should support.
We don't have to make a decision at this stage.
We didn't nominate anybody and we will make a decision closer
to the vote when, in some ways, we see who is left standing, really.
To ask them for your money back would be unreasonable.
I mean, my view of Fifa is it's a corrupted organisation and has
Therefore, not a lot of it surprises us, I don't think.
It's been suggested that the FA maybe start
a new process informing a new governing body, whether it's for the
Can you just clarify, for this committee, what discussions
have you had, maybe in private or public, about setting up the new
We haven't had any discussions, to my knowledge.
We obviously have chatted to one or two people.
It's like an everyday story of football folk.
Every week, something new comes out that you've never heard
I mean, who would have thought that the Germans would suddenly
find themselves in the problem that they found themselves in?
So these conversations, have you had conversations with
Well, I think you've had chats without saying,
And if you wanted my honest opinion, my honest opinion will be yeah,
if you could form something totally new and start again,
that would be a good idea, but that's not where we are.
Now, do we still need bobbies on the beat?
Labour's Leader in the Lords, Lady Smith, asked the government whether
cuts to police numbers would have an impact on national security.
It comes after warnings from police chiefs that forces might
Crime today is very different to crime 40 or 50 years ago.
We have serious threats from terrorism and also, as we have
Now, I am sure he appreciates that security in counterterrorism is
I think the noble lady is right when she talks about crime changing.
Crime is changing therefore policing must change in response to it.
I rise more in sadness than in anger.
I have asked the noble lord, the Minister, on a number
of occasions in this House, what is the national strategy for policing?
And the Minister, courteous as he is, has always
Unfortunately, this week, we now know that crime,
as we all suspected, has not reduced, it's just moved.
So what is now the strategy for policing?
What is now the strategy for the policing that supports
If you are faced with a 40% cut but you've still got
the same amount of crime to deal with, what is the strategy?
In terms of what we believe, we share the view of Her Majesty's
Inspectorate of Constabulary who actually found that there were
significant further savings still to be made through reorganising the way
in which services are actually delivered
by getting more cooperation between the blue line services
There are ways of actually protecting the front
line whilst making significant savings in the administration.
My Lords, last night on BBC Newsnight, the
head of the National Police Chiefs Council predicted that, because
of the cuts that the government were about to make, it would be
The Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said that
he was anticipating losing 8000 police officer posts in London,
Can the Minister please explain, how can the police maintain
relationships with communities from whom counterintelligence comes
It seems to me that what Sarah Thornton was saying was that
the nature of policing is changing and that you could no longer
perhaps guarantee in the same way as in the past the level
I do think that there is a big philosophical question facing
It is the question of, do you want to be able to see, in low-crime
areas, the ability to see a police officer walking down the end
of the street and to be able to get that comfort, or do you want to see
8%, year on year, and 30%, down to its lowest level since 1981.
We believe that the target of policing is to cut crime
Steelworkers have been lobbying MPs following the announcement
of thousands of job cuts in recent weeks by Tata Steel and SSI.
Meanwhile, the Business Secretary has been lobbying EU officials
for Europe-wide action to tackle the crisis in the steel industry.
At PMQs, David Cameron said that steel and
other energy-intensive industries would get refunds for energy policy
costs once the European Union had made a decision on state aid.
Alongside the tragedy of each individual job loss
and the ramifications for the supply chains and the local economies,
there is now a real worry that UK steel-making capacity is being
sacrificed on the altar of laissez faire economics
by a government which simply will not act to preserve
We cannot influence the price of steel, we cannot fix foreign
The rules governing state aid to the steel sector are very strict
and the UK steel industry signed up to those rules, those state aid
That is, the rules help secure a level playing field
Within these strictures, Madam Deputy Speaker,
we have done and we are doing all we can to help the steel industry
The government believes it can introduce compensation.
The Prime Minister said that at the dispatch box today.
If we believe it's within state rules, let's just get on and do it,
We will worry about that consequence afterwards.
Stephen Crabb replied that ministers were pushing for a quick decision.
And finally, Labour MPs have called for a statue
of the former party leader and Prime Minister Harold Wilson to be erected
Next year marks the centenary of his birth.
In a short debate, MPs said too often, his many achievements had
Building new towns like Milton Keynes, building more housing
than I think anyone has ever built in this country before.
That's something that I think we should remember Harold for but if
you want to actually look at some of the other things he did that people
should remember - the transformation of the way this culture of this
country changed in terms of our attitude to homosexuality and
changing the laws on homosexuality, changing our attitude to divorce
and the rights of women in property out of respect for Mary, his widow.
He called for a proper monument in Parliament.
I think it's quite wrong that in the members' lobby,
there is just a small head and shoulders of Harold Wilson.
It is about time we honoured him with a full statue.
His government has brought in great social changes, of course,
The Open University truly changed society.
So shouldn't Harold Wilson be a figure that we really do honour
and also, perhaps, his renegotiating approach to the
European Union might be familiar to a modern-day Prime Minister, too?
Now is the time for major revaluation of not so much Harold's
reputation, his own personal achievements are fairly well known,
It really was a very fine administration and I think that what
my honourable friend is leading up to is the need for a revaluation,
The Minister could not promise a statue that paid tribute to
Harold Wilson as Labour leader won four of the five general
All current parliamentarians will appreciate what a genuine,
truly magnificent achievement that was for any party leader.
He was a social reformer, which has already been referred to,
And he think we will largely be remembered for abolishing capital
That's it from Wednesday in Parliament.
I'll be here tomorrow so, until then, from me,