House of Commons
24th October 2013
Notices of Motions for which no days have been fixed
('Early Day Motions')
The figure following this symbol is the number of Members who have added their names in support of the Motion, including the Member in charge of the Motion.
After an Early Day Motion (EDM) has been printed for the first time, it is only reprinted when names are added or amendments tabled; only the first six names and any names added since the last printing are included. After the week in which a Motion is first printed and the following week, added names and amendments appear only in a separate paper, Mature EDMs, distributed the next Thursday. In the meantime, they are available for inspection by Members in the Table Office and the Library or on the EDM database at edmi.parliament.uk
557 SUPPORTING IRISH IMMIGRANTS 14:10:13
That this House acknowledges that many of the Irish emigrants who came to the UK in the 1950s are now elderly and that some are facing isolation and poverty; believes that some Irish emigrants who came here are still among the most marginalised groups in society; thanks the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain (ICB) for supporting many vulnerable and isolated Irish emigrants in the UK, irrespective of beliefs and attitude to the Christian church; and further acknowledges the wide range of welfare services provided by ICB and other organisations including the Southwark Irish Pensioners Project which works with Irish older people, and other organisations which have worked with members of the Irish Traveller community and Irish prisoners for up to five decades.
558 HEARING SCREENING PROGRAMME FOR PEOPLE AGED 65 14:10:13
That this House recognises the debilitating effects that age-onset hearing loss can have on a person's life by significantly reducing their ability to communicate effectively with friends, family and work colleagues, leading to loneliness and isolation; further recognises that hearing loss can exacerbate a number of other conditions including dementia; acknowledges that age-onset hearing loss affects over 10 million people in the UK and this number is on the increase; notes that a hearing screening programme for people aged 65 would ensure individuals adapt better to hearing aids earlier in their life, thus providing a greater success rate which would ensure better management of their hearing loss; and supports calls for the National Screening Committee to instigate such a Hearing Screening Programme.
559 STANDARDISED PACKAGING OF TOBACCO 14:10:13
That this House welcomes the research by the British Heart Foundation into the impact of standardised packaging of cigarettes in Australia; notes that of the 2,500 young people interviewed, more Australian than UK teenagers were discouraged from taking up smoking because of the packaging; further notes that 77 per cent of UK and 66 per cent of Australian teenagers support the introduction of standardised packaging; further notes that 59 per cent of Australian teenagers say that standardised packaging deters them from smoking; acknowledges the findings of a study by the Cancer Council of Victoria which showed that, when young people view packs stripped of colours and logos, they believe the cigarettes are lower quality, will taste worse and are less appealing; recognises that Australia's standardised cigarette packaging policy has proved a success in discouraging people taking up the habit; and therefore calls on the Government to press ahead with its plans to introduce standardised packaging of tobacco products in order to deter young people from taking up smoking, encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and saving the NHS billions of pounds in the long run.
560 INTERNATIONAL CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN BANGLADESH 14:10:13
That this House notes that questions have been raised about the procedures being used for the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh; further notes that this tribunal has been used to impose the death penalty on opposition politicians such as Abdul Kader Mullah; calls on the Government to urge Bangladesh to cease the use of the death penalty; and further calls for an international review of the procedures being used for this tribunal.
561 TRANSFERS FROM EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE TO JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE 14:10:13
That this House notes that Government policy is that people whose employment and support allowance (ESA) is ceasing are to be able to claim jobseeker's allowance or income support; further notes that in many cases people are not being told to make a further claim; further notes that these people end up without financial support; and calls on the Government to warn people that they need to make a claim if ESA ceases.
565 SYRIAN REFUGEES 14:10:13
That this House recognises the scale of the current refugee crisis caused by the ongoing conflict in Syria; welcomes the UK's contribution to the humanitarian aid effort so far; is concerned that despite this support countries bordering Syria are struggling to cope with the numbers of refugees and believes that this threatens the stability of the region; further recognises the UK's proud tradition of protecting refugees and providing sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and war; further recognises that the UK has long sheltered a Syrian diaspora, many of whom have family links to those currently fleeing Syria; regrets that the UK is not one of the 17 countries participating in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resettlement programme; notes that Germany has agreed to transfer 5,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Germany; and calls on the Government to work with the UNHCR and the international community to institute an emergency humanitarian evacuation programme and to establish a resettlement programme in the UK.
567 FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE 14:10:13
That this House recognises that firefighters dedicate their professional lives to keeping their communities safe; notes that cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) put the public at great risk; further notes that the Government's expectation of firefighters continuing to perform their duties until 60 years of age further compromises public safety; supports the stance of the Fire Brigades Union in defence of the FRS and their pensions; and calls on the Government to ensure that there are no further cuts to the FRS and to protect the pensions of its workforce.
569 BANGLADESH INTERNATIONAL CRIMES TRIBUNAL AND CASE OF ABDUL KADER MULLAH 15:10:13
That this House is very concerned about the failure of the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), which despite its name is a domestic court, to uphold international fair trial standards; is particularly alarmed about the denial of due process rights in the case of Abdul Kader Mullah, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party convicted of war crimes, who has recently been sentenced to death with no possibility of the sentence being reviewed, in contravention of Bangladesh's international human rights obligations; notes also the criticisms raised in connection with the trial of the Bangladesh National Party MP, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, who was recently convicted on charges including murder and genocide and sentenced to death, subject to an appeal; notes that, while holding perpetrators to account for the atrocities committed in the 1971 war of independence is important, the denial of due process in these trials threatens to undermine the very legitimacy of the ICT and result in further political instability and violence; and calls on the Government to raise these concerns as a matter of urgency with the government of Bangladesh and to urge it to end the possibility of the death penalty being handed down in these trials and allow legal experts from the international community to support the work of the ICT.
573 BRITISH POLIO FELLOWSHIP 15:10:13
That this House records with appreciation the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the British Polio Fellowship; notes that the work of this charity, established in 1939, has helped to provide practical support for those affected by polio and more recently Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and as a result has made a concentrated effort to promote the fact that polio cannot be entirely consigned to the history books; recognises that a greater understanding of PPS amongst healthcare professionals is essential in order to tackle this problem more effectively; wishes the organisation every success in its efforts to inform healthcare professionals in order to improve the quality of life for an estimated 120,000 people living in the UK today with PPS; and calls on the Department of Health to bring forward a strategy to address the needs of those suffering from PPS and to publicise those needs within the medical profession.
576 INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE 15:10:13
That this House considers that the revelations exposed in The Guardian that British security services have examined the internet activities of British citizens without the consent of Parliament demonstrate that the Intelligence and Security Committee is not fit for purpose; believes that the Committee should be chaired by an hon. Member who has not served in a Department with responsibility for intelligence and security services for the purpose of avoiding any potential allegations of conflict of interest; and calls for any independent review reporting to Parliament on the appropriate structure and arrangements to ensure effective Parliamentary democratic scrutiny of the intelligence and security services.
As an Amendment to John McDonnell's proposed Motion (Intelligence And Security Committee):
Line1, leave out from 'House' to 'should' in line 4 and insert 'considers that the Intelligence and Security Committee'. 24:10:13(a1)
577 DIVERSITY IN THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION COMMISSION 15:10:13
That this House encourages diversity and representation of UK society and current football players in the Football Association Commission; notes that there are no ethnic minority members of the Football Association Commission; acknowledges that 25 per cent of professional football players are from an ethnic minority background; welcomes the steps that have been taken to encourage diversity in English football such as the Kick it Out racism campaign; and calls on the Football Association to ensure the Football Association Commission is diverse and representative of the UK.
579 TYPE 2 DIABETES DIET AND EXERCISE STUDY 15:10:13
That this House welcomes the news that British universities will partake in a wider study into the effect of different diet and amounts of exercise on diabetes; notes that this is the first study to compare types of diet and exercise and intends to find the right lifestyle to prevent Type 2 diabetes; recognises the importance of diet, exercise and lifestyle in the prevention and combating of Type 2 diabetes; hopes that the results of the study, due in three years, will produce a firm set of guidelines for sufferers and others; and urges the Government to help GPs and healthcare practitioners to offer regular diabetes tests and guidance for those at risk.
580 FIXED ODDS BETTING TERMINALS 15:10:13
That this House notes with disappointment that the Government has missed an opportunity to proceed with a reduction in stakes or prizes on fixed odds betting terminals in response to its consultation on proposals for changes to maximum stake and prize limits for category B, C and D gaming machines; expresses its concern that, unlike fruit machines in pubs, bingo halls and amusement arcades, where stakes are limited to £2, gamblers can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on fixed odds betting terminals; further notes that such terminals have been pejoratively described as the crack-cocaine of gambling addiction and that they proliferate in the poorest areas, taking money away from those who can least afford it; believes that the Government's package of reforms will support the bookmakers whilst further encouraging problem gambling; and calls on the Government to reduce the maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals from £100 to £2 in line with all other category B machines.
581 PERSONAL ALLOWANCE OF £12,500 PER YEAR 15:10:13
That this House notes recent speculation that the Government may be considering raising the threshold at which people begin paying income tax to £12,500 per annum; acknowledges that this would be a significant step in incentivising the unemployed, and low-paid and part-time employees; recognises that EDM 960 of Session 2012-13 in January 2013, tabled by the hon. Member for East Londonderry, called for a similar introduction; and looks forward to the speedy introduction of a measure which would help the low paid as well as combat the black economy in areas of high unemployment.
583 SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF 16:10:13
That this House notes the vital role a quarter of a million school support staff play in classrooms across the country; supports the important job that teaching assistants do in helping pupils realise their potential, especially for those pupils with specific educational needs, and in ensuring that no child is left behind; acknowledges the valuable assistance school support staff provide to teachers; and calls on the Government to provide the appropriate level of resources to fully support teaching assistants in schools throughout the country.
584 BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP 16:10:13
That this House calls on the Government to set up a public registry of real beneficial owners of all UK companies and trusts, to support the establishment of public registries at an EU level and to use its influence to ensure that British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies adopt public registries of beneficial ownership; notes that the Government made key commitments to improving transparency and information on company ownership at the G8, with the Prime Minister making it clear he publicly supports public registries; further notes, however, that many of the G8 commitments have yet to be realised; observes that illicit financial flows driven by tax avoidance and evasion see US$850 billion a year leave developing countries, depriving those countries of vital capital and revenues; observes further that tax avoidance and evasion, and corruption, from and in developing countries is often facilitated by shell companies registered in both the UK and offshore financial centres, such as those in the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies; and believes that public registries of the real, beneficial owners of companies and trusts would allow governments and civil society in developing countries to identify those profiting from tax evasion, corruption and sharp commercial practices, hold them to account and also deter such practices from ever happening.
586 SOCIETY OF BIOLOGY'S BIOLOGY WEEK 2013 16:10:13
That this House celebrates the launch of the Society of Biology's second nationwide Biology Week from 12 to 18 October 2013; notes that among its key objectives is a commitment to encourage an interest in science among young people; congratulates the Society for its initiative and for the range of innovative events and activities that have been organised; further congratulates the Society for its wider role in promoting events in Parliament on behalf of the science and engineering community to assist hon. and Right hon. Members in their understanding of science; applauds the efforts that are being made throughout the UK, especially by teachers in primary and secondary schools, to revitalise the science curriculum and to convey the excitement of science to pupils and students; notes the wide range of activities organised by the Society in local communities all over the country which are designed to illustrate and focus on the vital role of biology and the biological sciences; further notes that on 16 October 2013 the Parliamentary launch of Biology Week is co-sponsored by the hon. Members for Ellesmere Port and Neston, South Basildon and East Thurrock, and Cambridge; and notes the unrivalled contribution that the study of biology and the biological sciences have made and continue to make to our understanding of nature, to the quality of life, and to the knowledge economy of the 21st century.
588 INDEPENDENT PRESCRIBING FOR PHYSIOTHERAPISTS 16:10:13
That this House welcomes the announcement that the necessary legislative changes have been made to allow advance practice physiotherapists in England to become the first group in the world able to independently prescribe medicines without a doctor authorising their decision; notes that on completion of appropriate training physiotherapists will have similar prescribing responsibilities to those of other non-medical professionals, like nurses and pharmacists; recognises the major improvements in care this development will deliver, with patients being offered quicker and more direct access to the medicines and treatments they need; and urges hon.Members representing constituencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to work with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the devolved administrations to facilitate the similar legislative changes required in those countries to ensure all people in the UK have equitable access to the improvements in care this will deliver.
590 DEMOCRATIC SCRUTINY OF SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMMES 17:10:13
That this House believes that surveillance programmes operated by the intelligence agencies must be subject to approval by Parliament; notes that these agencies are currently able to examine the internet activities of British citizens and to share information with their US counterparts without the consent of Parliament; is deeply concerned that the new head of MI5 Andrew Parker has dismissed calls for greater scrutiny; and demands that the Government enact legislation governing such monitoring agencies as GCHQ so that the law is master of technology and not the reverse.
592 MISLEADING WEBSITES AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES 17:10:13
That this House notes that a number of websites have been established with the express purpose of conning people trying to pay for government and local government services online; further notes that such websites include payments for the London Congestion Charge, to DVLA and to the Land Registry; further notes such websites try to evade the law by offering spurious services and declaring they are not the official site in small print; further notes such websites are obtaining credit, debit card and bank details which may not be protected from abuse; believes there can be no justification for these sites which are deliberately designed to catch out the unwary; calls on government and local government to warn the public not to use unofficial sites for payment for government and local government services and to contact Google to ask that these sites are not placed first when googling for payment for these services; further calls on the Government to legislate urgently to outlaw these sites; and further calls on the Government and the police to investigate all of these sites for potential breaches of existing law.
594 HEPATITIS C 17:10:13
That this House is concerned that the number of people dying from liver disease caused by hepatitis C has quadrupled in 15 years; recalls that four years ago the Government promised a strategy to help prevent needless deaths and save millions of pounds in emergency hospital admissions; notes that in 2010-11, £22 million was spent on emergency admissions for hepatitis C complications; understands that there are an estimated 160,000 people living with the virus in England and half do not know it; and supports the Hepatitis C Trust which is calling on the Government to end the postcode lottery in treatment by unveiling a national strategy to combat this preventable and curable virus.
595 NEW SIEGE OF GAZA 17:10:13
That this House is deeply concerned about the humanitarian effects on the people of Gaza because of the second siege on the Strip by the Egyptian military government; notes that the new regime in Cairo has closed the Rafah crossing, the only entrance and exit from Gaza to Egypt, for long periods, resulting in a 76 per cent drop in the numbers leaving since July; points out that six years after the Israeli government imposed a stranglehold on Gaza a second chokehold has been enacted by the Egyptian military; further points out that after the removal of the elected Egyptian president in July, around 800 tunnels which bring much-needed foodstuffs and supplies into Gaza have been destroyed along the border; further notes that this has resulted in rampant inflation, power cuts of up to eight hours a day, the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in one of the poorest and most crowded places on earth, and the inability of patients to access medical treatment and students to take up university places; and calls on the Government immediately to urge its Egyptian and Israeli counterparts to end these sieges which amount to communal punishment on the citizens of Gaza.
596 WORLD PSORIASIS DAY 17:10:13
That this House notes that World Psoriasis Day takes place on 29 October 2013 in order to raise worldwide public awareness of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and give a voice to people who suffer from these long-term, chronic auto-immune conditions; further notes that these conditions place a heavy burden on patients, families and wider society; welcomes the recognition of the World Health Organisation Executive Board, where a resolution on psoriasis and World Psoriasis Day was proposed and discussed during the 133rd meeting, leading to its unanimous adoption; further welcomes the Psoriasis Association's national campaigns, including the upcoming Psoriasis Awareness Week, from 1 to 7 November 2013; and calls on the Government to ensure better services and outcomes for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis by ensuring nationwide implementation of the newly published National Institute for Care Excellence Psoriasis Quality Standard.
598 WORLD POLIO DAY 21:10:13
That this House notes that World Polio Day is on 24 October 2013; further notes that within five years polio, like smallpox, can be eradicated across the world; recognises that in the last 25 years cases are down 99 per cent with 2.5 billion vulnerable children reached through vaccination programmes which offer a blueprint for cost-effective, targeted and outcomes-driven international public health intervention; further notes that just three countries, from an original 125, now have endemic polio – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan; understands that vaccination programmes must focus on these countries to eradicate the disease and prevent its return elsewhere; further recognises the contribution of more than 50,000 British Rotarians towards a polio-free world through their volunteering and £20 million fundraising contribution; realises that the funding gap for this final effort to eradicate polio is a tangible £620 million; appreciates that the Government has contributed a world-leading £600 million towards eradicating polio to date; and calls on the Government to help finish the job of creating a polio-free world by continuing to commit funding, maintaining the UK's commitment to the World Health Organisation, Rotary International, CDC and Unicef's Global Polio Eradication Initiative and associated Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-18 and ensuring the UK's continued global leadership role through seeking support from international bodies, governments, non-governmental organisations, corporations and the wider general public to help eradicate this disease once and for all.
599 COMMUNITY PUBS 21:10:13
That this House supports community pubs; notes that 80 per cent of pubs are small businesses; further notes that business rates form a significant part of a pub's fixed costs; and calls on the Government to support the British Beer and Pub Association and CAMRA's Better Rates for Pubs campaign to extend small business rate relief for pubs beyond April 2014, promote take-up of rural rate relief for pubs and review the revaluation process for pub business rates to ensure that the valuation accurately reflects the pub's actual turnover.
600 DETENTION OF KIERON BRYAN IN RUSSIA 21:10:13
That this House notes with concern the detention by the Russian authorities of journalist Kieron Bryan who was under contract to record a film for Greenpeace when he was arrested on 19 September 2013, and is now detained in Murmansk; believes that he is neither a criminal nor a threat to the Russian state and that he should be released immediately; is dismayed that he is facing charges of piracy which carry a sentence of up to 15 years' imprisonment; and is grateful for the support given to him by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Ministers of that Department and consular staff.
601 NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE STAFF TERMS AND CONDITIONS 21:10:13
That this House recognises the hard work and professionalism of the staff of the National Audit Office (NAO) in providing assurance on the use of public money and helping Parliament to hold those who spend it to account; asserts an interest in the welfare of NAO staff and notes with concern the attempts by NAO management to reduce the terms and conditions of existing staff, including reducing contractual sick pay and leave entitlements; is aware that with no Government departments seeking to reduce the contractual conditions of existing staff, NAO staff are facing a bigger cut to terms and conditions than all existing civil servants; is concerned that the lack of a clear financial case for these changes, especially at a time when NAO staff have a lower sickness absence rate than both the public and private sector averages, will have the potential to undermine workers' rights in other organisations should NAO management succeed in seeing through their plans; and calls on the Government and the NAO Chairman, Comptroller and Auditor General to withdraw these changes and enter into urgent talks with employees and their representatives.
603 TEXTILE WORKERS IN BANGLADESH 22:10:13
That this House notes that Bangladesh is currently the world's second-biggest producer of textiles and garments, and that it's mostly-female workforce of four million people are the lowest paid in the world and face appalling working conditions on a daily basis for less than £28 a month; deeply regrets the tragic disasters at garment factories across Bangladesh in recent months, which have claimed well over 1200 lives, left tens of thousands too injured to work and pushed millions more into poverty; commends Global Citizen's See Through Fashion campaign, which is working with the British fashion industry to encourage retailers to sign up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which will ensure better safety and working conditions for the people who make a majority of Britain's clothes; further commends industry leaders like Primark, Arcadia, River Island and Matalan for signing up to the Accord to ensure that their supply chains are transparent and do not expose their consumers to the moral toxicity of wearing clothes manufactured admidst such fatally-flawed business practices; condemns the deplorable delay of the remaining British retailers like Edinburgh Woollen Mill who also own Peacocks and Sports Direct, who continue to refuse to sign the Accord and who find themselves in an ever-shrinking minority of British retailers on the wrong side of both the financial and moral arguments; and urges them to sign up to the Accord at the earliest opportunity.
604 CYBER-BULLYING 22:10:13
That this House congratulates Cybersmile, the cyber-bulling charity, for being shortlisted for the UK's Best New Charity Award at the 2013 Charity Times Awards; draws attention to the growing problem of cyber-bullying in the UK; highlights research from Cybersmile which indicates that 44 per cent of teachers believe there have been more than 10 incidents of cyber-bullying in their school in the past 12 months and that around three quarters of teachers have personal experience of cyber-bullying and only a third of schools have a specific cyber-bullying policy; notes with concern that cyber-bullying is a crime that can affect victims anytime anywhere, including in the home; and calls on the Government and devolved administrations to ensure that cyber-bullying is included as part of the curriculum in all schools so that children can be made properly aware of the issue and know who to turn to for advice and support in the event that they experience cyber-bullying.
605 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2013 22:10:13
That this House welcomes to the UK the national teams of Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Ireland, Italy, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and USA for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup; hopes for victories for England, Scotland and Wales over whichever opposition they play over the course of the tournament; congratulates all those involved in RLWC2013 on the build-up to what will be the biggest and best rugby league international event to date; is grateful to all the volunteers in Team 13 for their involvement; notes the record number of crowds achieved even before the tournament kicks-off; is looking forward to a fantastic spectacle of international sport; and further hopes it will be another major multi-national sporting event for which Britain can be proud.
606 GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR TOURISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND 22:10:13
That this House believes that the Government must do more to support the tourism industry and hospitality sector; acknowledges the vital role this sector plays in the economy in Northern Ireland and supports the drive to encourage more visitors to see the wonderful attractions Northern Ireland has on offer; recognises that the Irish government has retained a sector-targeted lower rate of VAT for the tourism industry of nine per cent and has scrapped airport passenger duty which will provide a further stimulus for the industry; further acknowledges that the lower rate of VAT for tourism in Ireland has created 9,000 jobs and that tourist numbers have increased by 142,000 in the last year; and calls on the Government to enact similar measures to boost growth in the tourism sector in Northern Ireland and make it more economically competitive.
607 DETENTION OF GREENPEACE ACTIVISTS IN RUSSIA 22:10:13
That this House is concerned that 28 Greenpeace activists, a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer, from 18 countries in total, have been detained in Russia since 19 September 2013, following a peaceful protest at the Prirazlomnaya oil drilling platform operated by Gazprom in Arctic waters; notes that there are six British nationals among those detained: Iain Rogers, Frank Hewetson, Kieron Bryan, Alexandra Harris, Anthony Perrett and Philip Ball; considers the piracy charges they face to be completely unfounded; observes that President Vladimir Putin and his adviser Mikhail Fedotov have made similar comments regarding the absence of any justification for accusations of piracy and that 11 Nobel Peace Prize laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu have written to the Russian President calling for the excessive charges to be dropped; welcomes steps taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide consular assistance and make representations to Russian officials; urges the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to ensure these efforts continue as a matter of priority; further notes the overwhelming support from global civil society, which has seen over 1.5 million people appeal for the release of the Arctic 30; and calls on the Government to continue to make urgent representations to the Russian government to secure the release of all detainees without delay.
608 ELECTRICAL FIRE SAFETY WEEK 2013 22:10:13
That this House notes that, according to the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), misuse of electrical appliances is now the number one cause of dwelling fires in Great Britain; welcomes safety messages from the ESC, Fire Kills campaign and fire and rescue services nationwide in the context of Electrical Fire Safety Week 2013; and urges householders to undertake basic visual safety checks in order to stop preventable fire accidents from occurring in their own home.
610 ENERGY PRICES AND THE PROFITS OF UTILITIES 23:10:13
That this House notes the suggestion of Sir John Major for a windfall tax of excess profits of energy utilities; and calls for detailed proposals for such an approach to be developed by the Government with a view towards protecting the more vulnerable members of society.
611 PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS OF THE POLICE AND OTHER PUBLIC SERVANTS AND THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE 23:10:13
That this House notes that at times the police and public servants are prosecuted for perjury and other offences in private prosecutions; believes that having the facility for a private prosecution is an important safeguard when the prosecutors refuse to prosecute; further notes that in a number of cases the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has taken over such prosecutions merely to prevent the prosecution from progressing; further believes that this raises concerns as to whether this is a misuse of its power to intervene, when the option to have a case struck out for lack of evidence exists to prevent false prosecutions; and calls for the CPS to list all of the prosecutions that it has taken over in the last decade along with details of the employer of the person being prosecuted, what they have done and the reasons for that decision.
612 HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS ENQUIRY CENTRES 23:10:13
That this House is concerned by Government plans to close all HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) 281 enquiry centres throughout the UK; notes that only 87 customers in the pilot area in the North East of England managed to secure a face-to-face appointment during the first two months of the pilot, compared to 2,182 over the same period in 2012; further notes that as a result of the closures more pressure will be put onto HMRC contact centres, which already struggle to meet existing caller demand; recognises that the decision to end the contracts of 4,500 staff employed as fixed term appointments by March 2014 will further compound the misery of members of the public and the business community who want to comply with the tax system, potentially increasing disengagement with HMRC and leading to more tax avioidance and evasion; and calls on the Government to reconsider its proposals to close the HMRC enquiry centre network and to ensure that adequate levels of properly trained, permanent staff are put in place to meet public service demand.
613 EXTENSION OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 23:10:13
That this House praises the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the transparency and openness it has brought to the public sector and the public right of access of information held by central and local government and its agencies; notes that public services delivered by private companies are currently beyond the scope of the 2000 Act; further notes that, as growing amounts of public services are privatised, ever decreasing amounts of public spend are subject to freedom of information; and supports calls to extend the legislation so that public services contracted out to the private and third sector are covered by freedom of information legislation.
614 UNIVERSITY OF LONDON UNION 23:10:13
That this House notes the University of London's intention to derecognise the University of London Union from August 2014, abolishing its democratic function and replacing it with a management-run services centre; further notes that neither the University's review group nor any of its governing bodies contain a single student; believes that the University of London Union has recently played an iconic role in the student movement and that the presence of a cross-London representative body is essential given the specific and acute problems that students in London face; further believes that the plans to abolish the University of London Union would damage the experience of student life for many students, would set a dangerous precedent and are contrary to the principles of democratic community which bind higher education; supports students in defending the University of London Union as a student-run entity for all students in London; reminds the University of London that the right to independent representation and freedom to organise democratically at every level of an institution are basic rights and are enshrined in the spirit of the Education Act 1994, and that it has no right to shut down its student union; and urges the University of London to reconsider its plans.
616 ARMED FORCES COVENANT 23:10:13
That this House notes that service personnel are disadvantaged as a direct result of the absence of an armed forces covenant in Northern Ireland; and calls on the Government to ensure that any such disadvantages are addressed and identified needs are met.
617 HUMAN TRAFFICKING (No. 2) 23:10:13
That this House recognises the growing phenomenon of human trafficking within the UK's local communities; and supports the efforts of each individual group as they raise awareness within schools, churches and communities in an attempt to end this heinous crime.
618 REFUGEES 23:10:13
That this House expresses condolences to the families of those refugees who lost their lives trying to enter Europe in sub-standard carriers; notes the rescue of 350 people by the Italian authorities; and calls on European governments to take measures to prevent further tragedies and to offer resources to police the waters between Africa and Europe.
619 BBC REMUNERATION LEVELS 23:10:13
That this House notes a range of comments from highly placed people at the BBC, including Alan Yentob and Sir David Attenborough, regarding the extent of remuneration being paid to senior staff and presenters, Sir David having described this as a huge embarrassment; acknowledges the limited degree to which the BBC as a public service broadcaster has moved in the face of continuing criticism of its refusal to declare a more precise banding of earnings levels; and calls on the BBC to indicate a precise timeframe for its move towards more openness as a broadcaster paid for out of the public purse via the licence fee.
620 SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE DURING RECONSIDERATION OF EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE REFUSALS 23:10:13
That this House notes that at present people who apply for employment and support allowance (ESA) and are declared fit for work can ask for this decision to be reconsidered prior to lodging a formal appeal; further notes that at present people can continue to receive ESA at the assessment rate during this period; welcomes the introduction of reconsideration in all cases as of 28 October 2013; expresses concern that people will no longer be able to claim ESA during this period; further expresses concern that their only alternative will be to apply for jobseeker's allowance (JSA), for which being fit for work is a condition of receipt; further notes that since October 2008 four in 10 appeals have been successful; fears that in future people who are awarded ESA on appeal will be ineligible for both ESA or JSA during reconsideration; believes that the Government has a duty to support those who cannot support themselves through no fault of their own; and calls on Ministers to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that ESA claimants can continue to receive the benefit at the assessment rate during this period.
622 FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION'S 150TH ANNIVERSARY 23:10:13
That this House congratulates the Football Association (FA) on the occasion of its 150th anniversary on 26 October 2013; notes that the FA is the oldest governing body in football; commends the FA's not-for-profit commitment to supporting football since 1863; further commends the £100 million invested by the FA annually into football including facilities for grassroots football, coaching programmes for boys and girls, and development programmes for people with disabilities; welcomes the FA's valuable contribution to and support of the national game; and looks forward to hearing the progress of the newly-appointed FA Commission into English Football.
623 PRIVATISATION IN THE PRISON SERVICE 23:10:13
That this House calls for an urgent and independent review into the impact of privatisation in the Prison Service; is concerned that the latest Ministry of Justice report on prison annual performance ratings, published in July 2013, gave the G4S-run HM Prison Oakwood and Serco-run HM Prison Thameside the lowest ranking possible; is alarmed that the Chief Inspector of Prisons in his report on an unannounced inspection of that prison in June 2013, has confirmed that drug use at the 1,600-place privately-run HM Prison Oakwood, which opened in April 2012, is more than twice the rate of similar jails, while inmates find it difficult to get hold of clean prison clothing, basic toiletries and cleaning materials; would be deeply concerned at any suggestion that the newly-proposed super prison near Wrexham be a privately-run prison; and calls on the Secretary of State for Justice to commission an independent review to consider the overall impact of privatisation in the Prison Service, addressing the process, finance and impact on prisoners, staff, communities and the public.
624 BBC1 AND THE NATIONAL ANTHEM 23:10:13
That this House calls on the British Broadcasting Corporation to restore the British National Anthem on BBC1 at the end of each day's programming before the switch over to BBC News 24; regrets the decision to play God Save The Queen on BBC1 for the last time on 3 October 1997; and believes that this proud tradition should be reinstated.
625 AZERBAIJAN ELECTION 24:10:13
That this House is appalled at the evidence of many abuses in the recent general election in Azerbaijan, including an official announcement of the result before voting began; applauds the thorough scrutiny by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe that reported manipulation of voter lists, results and protocols, including cases of votes being reassigned to a different candidate, with 58 per cent of observed polling stations assessed as bad or very bad, with clear indications of ballot box stuffing in 37 polling stations and every conceivable violation of voter identification; notes that the US State Department found that the election fell short of international standards; is astonished that the Council of Europe (COE) monitoring group reported no irregularities; and believes that its incredible conclusion further dents the COE's reputation as a champion of human rights.
626 DIABETES COURSE KIDS IN CONTROL OF FOOD - KICk-OFF 24:10:13
That this House congratulates Dr Kath Price and nurse Julie Knowles from Sheffield Children's Hospital for their award at the annual Quality in Care Awards for the best improvement programme for children and young people; notes that this pair of medics set up an education course for school children with diabetes; welcomes the five-day scheme called Kids in Control of Food – KICk-OFF which was designed with help from teachers at King Edward VII school in Broomhill; recognises that the course teaches youngsters aged 11 to 16 with Type 1 diabetes how to match insulin doses to their particular lifestyles; further notes that there are about 29,000 children and young people with diabetes in the UK, an estimated 26,500 of whom have Type 1 diabetes, about 500 have Type 2 diabetes and a further 2,000 have not been diagnosed; and further welcomes the scheme’s work towards reducing children's risk of long-term health problems.
627 GREEN TAXES 24:10:13
That this House notes that, if left unchecked, the cost of green levies to energy bills will be £194 of a household's energy bill by 2020; further notes that Labour's proposed 2030 decarbonisation target would add a further £125 a year to a household's bill; further notes that this would make energy bills £319 a year higher by 2020; and believes that the Government should not save the planet by causing misery with high green taxes for hard-pressed families and the poorest pensioners.
628 LACK OF AUDIO DESCRIPTION FROM ONLINE STREAMING COMPANIES 24:10:13
That this House notes that the three largest online streaming companies, Netflix, LoveFilm and Sky, do not offer audio description as part of their services; further notes that audio description is essential to enable blind people to use these services and that, without it, these services are effectively denied to blind people; calls on these online streaming companies to introduce audio description as soon as possible; and further calls on the Government to use its influence to ensure that audio description is introduced by Netflix, LoveFilm and Sky.
629 BRADFORD CORONER SUSPENSION 24:10:13
That this House notes that the Bradford Coroner Dr Peter Straker was suspended in February 2013; is concerned that he is still suspended after eight months; further notes that the investigation by the Office of Judicial Complaints was meant to be concluded within 90 days; queries why this investigation has been allowed to drag on; points out the unsatisfactory situation where a temporary coroner continues to administer inquests in Bradford; and, while not seeking to influence the investigation, demands an urgent conclusion so that justice can be seen to be done and a permanent position re-established in the city.