23/11/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 23 November, presented by Keith Macdougall.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/11/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to Wednesday In Parliament,


our look at the best of the day in the Commons and the Lords.


The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, warns the British economy is set


to grow more slowly, while Government borrowing is rising


following Britain's decision to leave the European Union.


This Autumn Statement responds to the challenge of building on that


strength while also heeding the warnings in the OBR's figures


as we begin writing this new chapter in our country's history.


The Shadow Chancellor says it's an opportunity wasted.


Today's statement places on record the abject failure


This government's choice was to cut social care by ?4.6 billion


It was just minutes before the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond,


stood up to deliver his Autumn Statement


that news came through from the Old Bailey


that 53-year-old Thomas Mair had been found guilty


The Yorkshire Labour MP was shot and stabbed to death in a village


in her constituency of Batley and Spen on 16th June -


Thomas Mair had shouted "Britain First" in the attack.


But the Old Bailey judge said the true "patriot"


There was reaction to the guilty verdict in the Commons.


of a fierce advocate for social justice and a passionate campaigner.


Her killing was an attack on democracy itself.


Our thoughts are with her family this morning.


I hope that the whole life sentence for Jo's murderer at least gives


some comfort to her family at this incredibly difficult time,


and will also enable us to remember Jo for the way that she lived


rather than the way that she was murdered.


I associate myself with the remarks that she has just made


and I'm sure she's right, that the entirely sensible sentence


that has been handed down will be a source of some comfort


Well, half an hour before the Old Bailey


the Chancellor had departed from Number 11 Downing Street


and made the familiar, but short distance by shiny car


It was Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement,


it turned out to be the last Commons occasion to be so-named.


After days of speculation, interest was considerable


in what the Chancellor might be about to deliver.


But before announcing any new measures, Mr Hammond started


by saying he was proud to be reporting on an economy


which the International Monetary Fund had predicted


would be the fastest growing in the world this year.


An economy which, through the hard work of the British people,


has bounced back from the depths of Labour's recession.


And an economy which has confounded commentators at home and abroad


with its strength and resilience since the British people decided


exactly five months ago today to leave the European Union and


Mr Speaker, that decision will change the course


It has thrown into sharp relief the fundamental strengths


of the British economy that will ensure our future success.


from the Office for Budget Responsibility.


Today's OBR forecast is for growth to be 2.1% in 2016,


In 2017, the OBR forecast growth to slow to 1.4%,


which they attribute to low investment and weak consumer demand,


given respectively by greater uncertainty and by high inflation,


resulting from sterling appreciation.


That is slower, of course, than we would wish.


Mr Speaker, it is customary in the run-up to the Autumn


Statement to hear representations from the Shadow Chancellor


of the day, usually for untenable levels of spending and borrowing.


We used to think on this side of the House that Ed Balls' demands


were an extreme example but I have to say the current Shadow Chancellor


has outperformed him in the fiscal incontinence


What we don't know, of course, is whether he can also dance.


Good. Good.


The Chancellor said UK productivity had to be improved.


I can announce that we are forming a new national productivity


investment fund of ?23 billion, to be spent on innovation


and infrastructure over the next five years.


So we will focus government infrastructure investment


With a new ?2.3 billion housing infrastructure fund to deliver


infrastructure for up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand.


And to provide affordable housing that supports a wide range of need,


we will invest a further ?1.4 billion to deliver 40,000


So today I can announce the national Living Wage


will increase from ?7.20 to ?7.50 in April next year.


That is a pay rise worth over ?500 a year


I can also confirm today that, having consulted further,


my right honourable friend the communities secretary will lower


the transitional relief cap from 45% next year to 43%,


That is complicated, but it is good news.


Mr Speaker, our future transport, business and lifestyle needs


will require world-class digital structure to underpin them.


It says here, because I wrote it here.


This is my first Autumn Statement as Chancellor.


After careful consideration and detailed discussion


with the Prime Minister, I have decided that it will also


Mr Speaker, I am abolishing the Autumn Statement.


No other major economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice


So the Spring Budget in a few months will be the final Spring Budget.


Starting in autumn 2017, Britain will have an Autumn Budget,


announcing tax changes well in advance of the


From 2018, there will be a Spring Statement, responding to...


We are a great nation, bold in our vision, confident


in our strengths and determined in our ambition to


build a country that works for everyone.


I commend this statement to the House.


Unlike the Budget, the Autumn Statement


is replied to not by the Oppositon Leader,


John McDonnell had caused some entertainment in the chamber


a year ago when he brought to the despatch box


a copy of Chairman Mao's "little red book"


Mr McDonnell said the time since Labour left power in 2010


Mr Speaker, today's statement places on record the abject failure


And offers no hope for the future.


The so-called long-term economic plan has failed.


And as the Treasury's own leaked paper revealed,


the Government knew it had failed before the referendum


The greatest economic challenge of a generation,


and we face it unprepared and ill-equipped.


Today, we have seen the very people the Prime Minister promised


The Chancellor has failed to break with the economic


The country remains unprepared and ill-equipped to meet


the challenges of Brexit and secure Britain's future as a


After all the sacrifices, after all the sacrifices people have


made over the last six years, I fear today's statement has laid


the foundations for more wasted years.


And then came the response from the SNP benches.


The Chancellor did give us plenty of information today,


but with no more than kind of a glib reference to being match


fit at the beginning and a bit of deflection,


very little actually on the elephant in the room, which is Brexit.


It is not as if the Treasury don't know what the consequences will be.


Their own assessment tells us that tax yield could be down 66 billion


a year after 15 years, GDP down perhaps 9.5%,


a figure confirmed by the LSE as a result of reduced trade,


That amounts to some ?6,500 per year per household.


And plenty of questions from backbench MPs


May I congratulate the Chancellor on reverting to the extremely


sensible practice of only having one Budget a year, which Gordon Brown


abandoned in order to try to buy votes twice a year


The OBR tells us on page 19, Mr Speaker, that ?58 billion


of the worsening in the public finances is due to


Isn't this a salutary warning to us about the decisions we take


Isn't it a very strong argument for us remaining as close


as possible to our largest trading area, the single market,


and inside, not outside the customs union?


The Chancellor's Autumn Statement suggests yet more public borrowing,


with total public debt due to increase to ?1.6 trillion


in the New Year and 1.9 trillion by 2020,


Rather than a reflection of Brexit, is the accumulation of these


unsustainable levels of public debt not due to the failures of his


predecessor to match his words with deeds and get a grip


Disappointingly, this Chancellor has joined his predecessor in failing


to mention the words "climate change" even just once


That is in the year that is the hottest on record,


set to be the hottest on record, and when part of the country


The elevation of the condition of working people has always been


a priority of the Conservative party and, in that vein, I particularly


welcome the fiscal changes in the Autumn Statement,


particularly fuel duty, tax allowances and the national


Living Wage, which I campaigned for for many years.


There is actually not one single mention in the 72 page


Autumn Statement document of the words NHS, social care,


The Chancellor cannot ignore the fact that our health and social


care services are in crisis, facing massive, massive deficits.


The North of England is crying out for a plan for investment


in rail, and people will be left asking today, where is it?


But it is also crying out for investment in social care


and, quite frankly, Mr Speaker, it is unbelievable


that the Chancellor could find no mention for it today.


An awful lot of R money, funding, is going to fund my constituency.


The scientific businesses I have in South Cambridgeshire have been


worried since Brexit, so thank you for that.


East/West rail links and road links will help us


But, overall, for the money in universal credit,


It's not everything we wanted, but I very much welcome the money


The last word in the Commons on the Autumn Statement.


You're watching our round-up of the day at Westminster.


The last word in the Commons on the Autumn Statement.


You're watching our round-up of the day at Westminster.


Could Sir Philip Green's yachts be sold to fill the black hole


Normally, the centre-stage act in Parliament on Wednesdays


This time, it had to take second billing.


So, before the Autumn Statement got underway, the Labour leader decided


to make social care for elderly and vulnerable people the key


Jeremy Corbyn accused Theresa May of failing to fund adequately both


the National Health Service and also social care budgets in England.


The Prime Minister told him that Labour government's had failed


to come up with a suitable plan to deal with the rapidly


expanding demands placed on care services.


Part of the reason for the strain on our National Health Service


is that more than 1 million people are not receiving


As a result of this, there's been an increase


in emergency admissions for older patients.


Margaret wrote to me this week, saying...


She described how her 89-year-old mother suffered two falls,


leading to a hospital admissions, due to the lack of nursing care.


What action will the Prime Minister take


to stop the neglect of older people, which ends up forcing them


when they should be cared for at home, or in a care home?


Well, we've introduced the Better Care Fund


Let's just look at what Labour did


They... They said they'd...


They said they deal with social care in the '97 manifesto.


Introduced a royal commission in 1999.


Said they'd sort it in the CSR of 2007.


Mr Speaker, as the Prime Minister well knows, health spending


trebled under the last Labour government.


And the levels of satisfaction with the National Health Service


This government's choice was to cut social care by ?4.6 billion


At the same time as they found the space,


shall we say, to cut billions in corporate taxation bills.


The whole house, I'm sure, would have been appalled


by the revelations in the BBC Panorama programme this week,


showing older people systematically mistreated.


The Care Quality Commission's assessment that care homes


run by the Morley Group require improvement.


And they have issued a warning notices.


The Commission goes on to say that the owner has allowed services


to deteriorate further and has, and I quote...


"Utterly neglected the duty of care to the residents of these homes".


What action is her government going to take to protect


What we do about it is ensure that we have the CQC,


which is able to step in, which takes action, which has powers


to make sure that nobody, nobody in the chain


of responsibility is immune from legal accountability.


But we know that there's more that can be done.


That's why the CQC is looking into ways in which it can


improve its processes, increase sufficiency.


The Scottish National Party focused on disability benefits.


It's widely trailed that the Prime Minister


will make changes impacting on benefit recipients in work.


Will the Prime Minister confirm that she has no intention


of helping people with disabilities and medical conditions?


Why should people who are unable to earn a living be punished


for their disability or illness by losing ?30 a week?


Does she have any intention of changing that?


The overall funding and spending on disability benefits will be


higher every year to 2020 than it was in 2010.


But it is also important to recognise that,


when we give support for people with disabilities,


it isn't simply about the benefits system and how much


For those workers who are able to get into work and on that part


of the ESA we provide packages which are outside of the benefits.


Because we recognise that people want the dignity


That's what we are helping people with disabilities,


Earlier this week, Boris Johnson was accused of being "provocative"


and "arrogant" after apparently telling politicians in Turkey


he supports their country's bid to join the EU.


The leading German Member of the European Parliament,


Manfred Weber, called the Foreign Secretary's comments


"unbelievable", given his warnings about Turkish migrants


during the referendum campaign in Britain.


The German MEP said, "I cannot respect him anymore".


on the words of the German politician.


The Brexit Secretary and the Foreign Secretary


are described by a senior German politician as...


"having no idea what Brexit really means".


The Times reports today that EU ambassadors think


the Foreign Secretary's more colourful outbursts


are damaging our relationship with member states.


When is the Prime Minister going to get a grip on her ministers?


And when she going to demonstrate the country,


that she has a coherent, workable plan for Brexit?


I've been very clear in this house on many occasions about the plan


Crucially, we will be leaving the European Union.


And we will be triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year.


And that's when the formal negotiations will start.


As millions of public sector workers face another year of suppressed pay,


after another week of shambolic Brexit negotiations,


and with a National Health Service facing the winter crisis,


and crying out for cash, does the Prime Minister worry


that her government is only just about managing?


What the Right Honourable gentleman wants to do is to stop us


from leaving the European Union by denying the people the decision


and the deliverability of the vote that they took rightly on 23rd June.


He wants to deny people what they want.


Earlier this year, the Lib Dem MP and former Minister Norman Lamb


put forward a proposal to ban the use


when dealing with incidents in mental health units.


On that occasion, the Commons voted down the proposal.


But there's been a long-standing campaign from human rights activists


sometimes called electro-shock weapons -


on patients in psychiatric hospitals.


When a Lib Dem peer raised the issue at Lords Question Time,


this was the reply of a Home Office Minister.


My Lords, there is ongoing work to ensure that any operational


police decisions on the use of force in a mental health setting


This includes development of a new protocol on police


attendance, national collection from 2017 to 2018


of police data on any force used.


And a request to local areas to scrutinise the use of any Taser


I thank the minister for that response.


But she will know that a recent Independent Police Complaints


Commission report has stated that people suffering from mental illness


are four times more likely to die after police use of force


Will the government look at the possibility that better


training for police officers in how to deal with people suffering


from mental health illness might alleviate the need for them


Because they might understand better how to deal with the situation?


It cannot be the position that the police officers


are called in to mental health units, actually into the units,


unless there has been a major failure of care


This is blaming the people who are clearing up the mess,


rather than dealing with the problem itself.


I think that we agree on one level, because if somebody has got a mental


health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis, it is a health


issue. However, if somebody experiences of behaviour that is


both a danger to themselves or to others, including staff within these


mental health settings, then there may be no other option. These


situations are rare, but there may be no other option then for police


restraint to be used. Seven months ago came news that


British Home Stores had collapsed, with debts of more


than ?1.25 billion. In October, MPs took the


unusual step to vote for a removal of the knighthood


given to the shop's former owner, Since then, there's been


speculation that Sir Philip might have something else


taken away, namely his yachts. Sir Philip's been pictured more


than once apparently enjoying life on board in various


Mediterranean locations. But could the yachts be used


to fill the large deficit A question for the


Work and Pensions Committee. First of all, I would like to assure


that the NHS pension scheme members that we are pursuing the best


possible outcome that we can secure for them. -- BHS. On the 2nd of


November, we issued a warning notice, giving indication of our


intention to attempt to use our powers against various targets. The


committee will understand that I am reluctant to discuss the precise


terms of settlement offers and so on. What I can say is that typically


in these situations, it is not... If it was as simple as a check being


written, then we'd all be happy that that would be a good outcome if it


was a right to some. It could be though? Absolutely right. But if the


offer takes a more complex form in some way, then we have to not just


be satisfied that the monetary amounts are correct. But also to


ensure a good outcome for the members that there is not any


residual risk. My last question, partly because the public have been


lobbying me over it. This ostentatious display of his boats.


That might be for the courts to decide? That is correct.


And that's where we tie up our boat for now.


But do join me for our next daily round-up from Westminster.


Until then, from me, Keith Macdougall, goodbye.


Download Subtitles