House of Commons
6th February 2014
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
996 WITHHOLDING OF PUBLIC RECORDS 27:1:14
That this House demands that more than a million files retained by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the Hanslope Park communications centre be released to the National Archives; points out that these papers date back 150 years and take in, among other crucial historical events, British involvement in the slave trade, the Crimean War, the Kenya Mau Mau emergency and the Cold War; believes that these papers are crucial to any impartial examination of UK foreign and colonial policy; and urges the Government to agree with the requests of prominent UK scholars to declassify these records and make them available to historians and archivists.
1002 130th ANNIVERSARY OF CCHF ALL ABOUT THE KIDS 27:1:14
That this House congratulates CCHF All About Kids, formerly the Children's Country Holiday Fund, on its 130th anniversary and commends the work of all its volunteers, supporters and donors who provide disadvantaged children with residential activity and respite breaks; notes that the charity has helped over two million children since it was founded; welcomes the contribution it makes to improving the quality of children's lives and in helping them to recognise their potential; and recognises and supports the role of the charity in helping to transform the lives of vulnerable young children by helping them to become more confident, positive and self-sufficient.
1003 10th ANNIVERSARY OF MORECAMBE BAY COCKLE PICKER TRAGEDY 27:1:14
That this House commemorates the 10th anniversary of the death of 23 Chinese cockle pickers at Morecambe Bay; recognises that their death was a dominant factor in the creation of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority; but is disappointed that the opportunity to extend the remit of the Authority into other sectors has to date been rejected.
As an Amendment to Jim Sheridan's proposed Motion (10th Anniversary Of Morecambe Bay Cockle Picker Tragedy):
Line4, at end add '; notes that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently working with the GLA to ensure that the GLA bears down on abuse to protect vulnerable workers while working effectively in a business-friendly manner to reduce the burden of red tape for bona fide businesses; further notes that in 2012 a byelaw came into force in Morecambe Bay which states that no person shall gather cockles or mussels without possession of a full gathering permit; and further notes that the Government is currently working with the North West Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority in drafting a hybrid order under the Shellfish Act 1968 which will regulate access to specific portions of Morecambe Bay.'. 27:1:14(a1)
1004 DOLPHIN HUNTING IN JAPAN 27:1:14
That this House condemns the recent slaughter of over 40 wild dolphins in Taiji, on Japan's Pacific coast; notes with concern the capture of a further 52 dolphins for sale to aquariums and other customers including a rare albino dolphin calf, separated from its mother and now kept in captivity in Taiji Whale Museum; further notes with alarm the Japanese government's continued support for the practice by issuing quotas for the killing of over 20,000 dolphins, whales and porpoises in its coastal waters every year, despite the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling; deplores the inhumane slaughtering method of severing the dolphin's spinal cord with a metal spike; is further concerned that the practice of dolphin hunting may be driving some populations to extinction; is alarmed by the high levels of mercury and other toxins found in dolphin, whale and propoise food products, with reports suggesting dolphin meat is up to 5,000 times more toxic than levels allowed by the World Health Organisation; welcomes the statements made by the US Ambassador to Japan and the British Ambassador to Japan, Timothy Hitchens, opposing all forms of dolphin and porpoise drives; calls on the Taiji Whale Museum to release the albino dolphin calf from captivity; and calls on the Government to continue to raise the issue with the Japanese government at the highest level.
1005 SAINSBURY'S ENERGY CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 27:1:14
That this House condemns Sainsbury's Energy for charging consumers an average of £73 per annum for not paying their gas and electricity bills by direct debit; notes that 45 per cent of households do not pay their electricity bills by direct debit; further notes that one million British adults do not have a bank account, so paying by direct debit is impossible; recognises that this hits the poorest and most vulnerable people in society the hardest; and calls for the Government and the Regulator to review this issue.
1006 SCOTTISH HYDRO CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 27:1:14
That this House condemns Scottish Hydro for charging consumers up to £80 per annum for not paying their gas and electricity bills by direct debit; notes that 45 per cent of households do not pay their electricity bills by direct debit; further notes that one million British adults do not have a bank account so paying by direct debit is impossible; recognises that this hits the poorest and most vulnerable people in society the hardest; and calls for the Government and the Regulator to review this issue.
1007 POWER NI CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 27:1:14
That this House condemns Power NI for charging consumers up to £40 per annum for not paying their gas and electricity bills by direct debit; notes that 45 per cent of households do not pay their electricity bills by direct debit; further notes that one million British adults do not have a bank account so paying by direct debit is impossible; recognises that this hits the poorest and most vulnerable people in society the hardest; and calls for the Government and the Regulator to review this issue.
1008 ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1984-85 MINERS' STRIKE 28:1:14
That this House notes that March 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the start of the 1984-85 miners' strike; further notes that strike's devastating impact on coalfield communities throughout the UK, including those in the Lothians; commends the many thousands of people across the UK who showed solidarity with the striking miners in their local communities; regrets that nearly 30 years after the strike ended, there are still men who were wrongly arrested or convicted during the dispute, who have never received justice; and welcomes plans to commemorate the strike's anniversary in East Lothian and in other communities across the UK.
1009 MOHAMMAD ASGHAR 28:1:14
That this House reiterates its opposition to the use of the death penalty under any circumstances; notes with concern the death sentence handed down to UK citizen Mohammad Asghar in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy; further notes that Mr Asghar has previously been diagnosed and treated for significant mental ill health; believes that the use of the death penalty on individuals suffering from mental ill health is contrary to the principle of natural justice; urges Pakistan to abide by the moratorium they have on the death penalty; and calls on the Pakistani authorities to review Mr Asghar's case as a matter of urgency.
1010 PETE SEEGER 28:1:14
That this House notes with sadness the passing of American singer, folk-song collector and songwriter Pete Seeger aged 94, whose songs were designed to inspire social change and promote a greener and cleaner environment via performances and appearances at civil rights marches, labour, union and anti-war rallies, college auditoriums, folk festivals, and in front of the US House Un-American Activities Committee, and subsequently in prison, as well as on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and more; further notes his infamous adaption of the negro spiritual song, We Shall Overcome, as a civil rights anthem and his Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, that became an anti-war standard; further notes his co-operation with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan among many others in voicing his views, particularly about American and international political direction; and further notes that his blacklisting and later indictment for contempt of Congress during McCarthyism cost him dearly in his musical life but will have been in accordance with his priorities which included a virulent anti-commercialism streak and a passion for peace.
1011 NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY 28:1:14
That this House welcomes the Bite the Ballot campaign National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), supported by Asda Stores, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Centrepoint Parliament, Citizenship Foundation, London Youth, the National Union of Students, Rock the Vote, SB.TV, Teach First, The Student Room, vInspired and others that aims to encourage 250,000 new electors to join the electoral register on 5 February 2014; acknowledges and welcomes the Government's commitment to get more people - especially younger people - and under-represented groups to join the electoral register in advance of the transition to individual electoral registration; notes that nearly half of 18 to 24 year olds are not on the register and that in some regions only a third of 16 to 17 year olds are registered; believes that to deliver its commitment the Government must now encourage support and promote NVRD - an annual day of action that involves youth clubs, community groups, educational establishments, businesses and individual campaigners across the UK registering people to vote; recognises that this initiative is supported by the APPG on Voter Registration with unanimous cross-party support from members of both Houses, the Electoral Commission and the Association of Electoral Administrators; further believes that NVRD will illustrate what can be achieved when the social enterprise, voluntary, charity and business sectors work in partnership to inspire young people to take part in the democratic process; and urges the Government to recognise the importance of NVRD in creating an engaged and inspired electorate in advance of forthcoming elections and referenda.
1013 SPARK ENERGY CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 29:1:14
That this House condemns Spark Energy for charging consumers up to £390 per annum for not paying their gas and electricity bills by direct debit; notes that 45 per cent of households do not pay their electricity bills by direct debit; further notes that one million British adults do not have a bank account, so paying by direct debit is impossible; recognises that this hits the poorest and most vulnerable people in society the hardest; and calls for the Government and the Regulator to review this issue.
1014 SSE CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 29:1:14
That this House condemns SSE for charging consumers up to £80 per annum for not paying their gas and electricity bills by direct debit; notes that 45 per cent of households do not pay their electricity bills by direct debit; further notes that one million British adults do not have a bank account, so paying by direct debit is impossible; recognises that this hits the poorest and most vulnerable people in society the hardest; and calls for the Government and the Regulator to review this issue.
1015 SOUTHERN ELECTRIC CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 29:1:14
That this House condemns Southern Electric for charging consumers up to £80 per annum for not paying their gas and electricity bills by direct debit; notes that 45 per cent of households do not pay their electricity bills by direct debit; further notes that one million British adults do not have a bank account, so paying by direct debit is impossible; recognises that this hits the poorest and most vulnerable people in society the hardest; and calls for the Government and the Regulator to review this issue.
1016 RBS BONUSES 29:1:14
That this House condemns the proposal by RBS to pay bonuses to some staff double their annual salaries without even agreeing it with its largest shareholder, the UK Government; believes that bonuses are given to people for doing the wrong things well, things that harm the economy; points out that the bank is on schedule to lose £8 billion in 2014, and in total has now incurred more than £40 billion of losses since the £46 billion bail-out in 2008; notes that the Government owns 81 per cent of RBS and holds a controlling stake in Lloyds, while adopting a hands-off position which allows the same destructive policies which created the financial crisis to be reprised; reminds the Government that it can tell RBS what to do and in particular to lend to small businesses; and concludes that the banking industry is pursuing goals which are detrimental to the long-term economic interests of the country which enrich only a tiny minority while sapping human and financial resources from the rest of the economy.
1017 DOG BREEDING AND PUPPY FARMING 29:1:14
That this House notes the recent storyline in the television programme, EastEnders, regarding dog breeding and welcomes the publicity given to this issue of great concern to animal welfare charities and compassionate owners; further notes that irresponsible dog breeding and industrial-scale puppy farming regularly takes place often in horrendous conditions with no consideration for the welfare or happiness of the dogs involved; commends the work of organisations such as the Dog Rescue Federation, Pup Aid and CARIAD for highlighting these issues; further notes that around 127,000 stray and abandoned dogs were picked up by local authorities in 2012 alone and 11,000 were put to sleep for no other reason than that they were unwanted; further notes that often unregistered dog breeders make no effort to vaccinate the puppies from the lethal parvovirus resulting in many puppies dying within weeks of being sold; and therefore calls on the BBC to ensure that the impact of puppy farming is fully explored as this storyline unfolds in the coming weeks.
1019 BANK OF ENGLAND AND DEVOLVED ADMINISTRATIONS (No. 2) 29:1:14
That this House notes that the Bank of England is responsible for monetary policy in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; further notes that there are currently differing degrees of fiscal independence already in each of the nations of the sterling currency zone; believes that monetary policy should operate in the interests of all component nations of the UK; calls for greater accountability arrangements with the devolved legislatures and governments; further notes that the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank is responsible for independently determining monetary policy; further notes that the Committee is made up of nine members - the Governor of the Central Bank, the two Deputy Governors, the Bank's Chief Economist, the Executive Director for Markets and four external members appointed directly by the Chancellor; believes in the spirit of a partnership of equals within the currency zone that the devolved parliaments in future should each appoint an external member following the end of term of the current members; and further believes the Bank of England should be renamed the Sterling Central Bank to reflect political reality.
1022 BASQUE PRISONERS 29:1:14
That this House welcomes the commitment of Basque nationalists to resolving their disputes with the Spanish state by peaceful means; notes that the Basque Political Prisoners' Collective, in its statement of 28 December 2013, undertook to take full responsibility for previous actions and accept the legal channels available to facilitate their transfer to prisons close to their families; draws attention to the crucial role resolving prisoner issues played in the Northern Ireland peace process; and encourages all parties concerned to use all legal means available to resolve this issue.
1023 PUBCO PROFIT MADE FROM SELLING-ON BEER 29:1:14
That this House notes that Punch Taverns, a standalone pubco which does not brew beer made, according to its own figures, an extraordinary £2.271 billion profit between 2002 and 2012 on selling beer to their own tied licensees; believes that this is a wholly unacceptable amount of profit for a company which merely acts as a broker; further notes that the standalone pubcos make considerably more profit from selling on beer than the companies who brew it, with brewery profit estimated by the British Beer and Pub Association as being as low as one penny per pint; further notes that unlike supermarkets and Wetherspoon's, the large leased pubcos not only do not pass on the benefit of this buying power to consumers, but instead charge their own tied licensees hugely marked up prices for beer often around 70 per cent more than the price direct from brewers or wholesalers and fine them if they buy elsewhere; further notes that the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers' annual benchmarking shows that average tied rents are actually higher than free of tie rents; further believes that this shows that the large pubcos continue to take too much from pub profits often leaving little or nothing for their tenants; further believes that this is yet more damning evidence of the reality of the pubco tied model which is both unjustifiable and unsustainable; and calls on the Government to implement the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee market rent-only option for companies with more than 500 pubs.
1024 WATER COMPANIES AND TAX 29:1:14
That this House condemns Britain's big six water companies for avoiding paying their fair share of tax; notes that despite amassing £1.75 billion in combined profits, only £45 million was paid in tax last year by two out of the six companies with the other four paying no corporation tax at all; further notes that these same companies are increasing their profits on the back of inflation-busting increases to customers' bills; and therefore calls on the water companies to pay their fair share of tax by putting an end to dubious tax avoidance measures; and, failing this, calls on the Government to introduce a windfall tax on all the water companies to recover the tax revenue that has been lost since privatisation.
1025 YOUNG DRIVER SAFETY 29:1:14
That this House notes with grave concern that almost a quarter of the road crashes resulting in death or serious injury in 2012 involved a driver under 24 years and that young, newly-qualified drivers are disproportionately involved in crashes, particularly catastrophic crashes involving multiple passengers, which has pushed up insurance premiums for young drivers; further notes the research by TRL, commissioned by the Government, which found that a graduated approach to young driver licensing could prevent 230 deaths and save £224 million a year; further notes the statements by the Secretary of State for Transport and other Ministers that this Government would publish a Green Paper on the safety of young drivers during 2013; deplores the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport on 18 December 2013, Official Report, column 629W, on driving: young people, in which he states that the Government is still wrestling with the issues; and calls on the Government to publish proposals for consultation without further delay.
1026 BANKERS' BONUSES IN STATE-OWNED BANKS 29:1:14
That this House congratulates the Government on reducing bankers' bonuses from £11.6 billion in 2008 to £1.6 billion in 2013; welcomes the measures introduced by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills giving a role to shareholders in determining executive remuneration; calls on the Government, where it has any stake in a bank, to exercise its rights as a shareholder to restrict bonuses and to ensure, where it has a majority stake in a bank, that bonuses are restricted; supports, in all banks partially or wholly-owned by the state, a cap on bonuses and an overall cap on executive remuneration to prevent salaries being increased to compensate for lower bonuses; opposes any bonus payments or increases in salaries for executives in banks wholly or partially-owned by the state relating to a period where a bank made a loss; and calls for the implementation of the recommendations of the Walker Review as swiftly as possible.
1027 MARGARET ANN BULKLEY (AKA JAMES BARRY) AND WOMEN IN SCIENCE 29:1:14
That this House recognises and commends the contribution to science made by Margaret Ann Bulkley (aka James Barry); notes that in 1809, upon arrival in Scotland from Ireland, she adopted the name James Barry and chose to live as a man in order to be accepted as a student at the University of Edinburgh Medical School to pursue a career as a surgeon at a time when most male doctors were opposed to having women doctors; further notes that this was over 60 years before the Medical Act 1876 achieved Royal Assent, granting registration to physicians regardless of gender, thus making her the first British woman to become a qualified doctor; acknowledges that while serving as a British Army surgeon in India and Cape Town, South Africa, she reorganised medical care with a strong emphasis on public health, campaigning against unsanitary medical practices and over-crowding in hospitals; further notes that the hospital in which she worked had the highest recovery rate of any hospital during the Crimean War; further recognises that in 1826 she performed the first caesarean section in Africa by a British surgeon in which both the mother and child survived; and calls on the Government to do more to ensure that young people, particularly young women, are encouraged to pursue careers in science.
1028 NATIONAL LIBRARIES DAY 30:1:14
That this House recognises that public library services are an essential part of communities across the country; welcomes the role they play in providing access to learning for millions of people and how they serve as a hub for local people; notes the importance of the professional expertise and skills of library staff in delivering a quality service; further recognises that libraries best benefit our society when they are well-funded and supported through strong national leadership; and joins in celebrating the importance of the work of public libraries across the UK as part of National Libraries Day on Saturday 8 February 2014.
1029 HAASS TALKS ON NORTHERN IRELAND 30:1:14
That this House notes the proposals tabled at the final plenary of the multi-party talks involving the political parties in Northern Ireland, chaired by Dr Richard Haass and Professor Meghan O'Sullivan; notes that these proposals form a basis for progress; further notes the mobilisation in Belfast, called by the Northern Ireland Congress of Trade Unions along with others on 31 January 2014, to encourage progress and end the current political paralysis; further notes that this reflects a widespread support for the progress made and desire to move forward, in Ireland north and south, and in Britain and Ireland; further notes that the British and Irish governments remain co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement; and calls on the Government to publicly and jointly with the Irish government, encourage all parties to move speedily towards implementation of the proposals.
1031 CURRENT SITUATION IN BANGLADESH 3:2:14
That this House notes that the 10th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh were held on 5 January 2014 and that over half of constituencies went uncontested; is deeply concerned about the levels of violence and instability surrounding the election; urges the UK Government to explore every available option to encourage dialogue between the opposing parties; calls for international bodies to apply pressure on opposing parties to resolve this situation at the earliest opportunity; condemns the violence, political harassment and arbitrary confinement; further notes with concern the effect the upheaval is having on the garment industry, which accounts for 80 per cent of Bangladesh's exports; and further urges leaders of all parties to find a way forward to make sure the people of Bangladesh can participate in a peaceful, inclusive, free and fair election which meets international standards.
1033 ENGLAND WOMEN'S CRICKET TEAM ASHES VICTORY 3:2:14
That this House congratulates the England women's cricket team for retaining the Ashes after defeating Australia 10-8 in the multi-format series; pays tribute to captain Charlotte Edwards and her team for their strong performance; recognises the players as great role models for girls and young women playing sport; and wishes the team the best of luck in the forthcoming World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh.
1034 SYRIA - YARMOUK AND HOMS 3:2:14
That this House expresses deep concern over the continued suffering of civilians in towns and suburbs in Syria such as Yarmouk and the Old City of Homs which are beseiged by Syrian government armed forces; notes that there have been documented deaths due to starvation; asks the Government to continue to bring their plight to the attention of the UN and the Syrian government; and calls on the Government to do all it can to bring pressure to bear on the Syrian government and opposition forces to respect international humanitarian law and guarantee access for humanitarian aid to civilians in areas such as Yarmouk and the Old City of Homs.
1037 FAMAGUSTA PETITION 3:2:14
That this House is aware that recently a petition signed by more than 50,000 people, supported by both the Famagusta Association of Great Britain and the Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy was delivered to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street; notes that it also contained the results of an opinion poll, undertaken by the Turkish Cypriot Initiative Group which showed that an overwhelming majority of citizens believed that the town should be returned to its inhabitants; and believes that this should occur immediately and that the opening of its port would result in its comprehensive economic development to the benefit of Greek, Turkish and other communities and would positively promote socio-cultural co-operation which would then serve as a catalyst in reaching an amicable solution to the Cyprus problem.
1038 SYRIA 3:2:14
That this House notes the present conflict worsening considerably in Syria with the increasing numbers of people fleeing the country in search of safety now reaching epidemic proportions, 52 per cent of whom are children; believes that as this crisis intensifies Britain should do all in its power to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable that have been affected; recognises that the UK has already committed £600 million to the UN's humanitarian appeal to assist; is disappointed that so far no refugees have yet been allowed admission to the UK under the terms of the UNHCR Refugee Programme; and calls on the Government as a matter of priority to provide urgent entry, safety and protection for the most beleagured of these suffering citizens.
1039 FIREFIGHTERS' PENSION SCHEME 3:2:14
That this House is aware that the Government is currently consulting on a third year of pension contribution increases for firefighters despite the fact that their scheme is already amongst the highest for contributions paid in the public and private sectors; and believes this to be unfair on the UK's firefighters and a slap in the face for men and women who every day risk their lives in this profession.
1042 RECOGNITION OF SCIENTIST DOROTHY HODGKIN 4:2:14
That this House recognises the work of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), a pioneer scientist in the field of X-ray crystallography who, before the high-tech age, identified the three dimensional positioning of atoms in the molecules of various materials, including penicillin, vitamin B12, steroids and insulin; notes that this cracked the code, which then enabled scientists to make materials synthetically thus saving countless lives worldwide; celebrates that Dorothy Hodgkin was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to biochemistry at a time when women in science were few and far between; further notes that she remains the only British woman to have won a science Nobel Prize, was the second woman to receive the Order of Merit in 1965, the first woman to receive the Copley Medal and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize; further notes that Dorothy Hodgkin was one of five Women of Achievement selected for a set of British stamps issued in August 1996; further notes that she tutored former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the University of Oxford; acknowledges that 2014 is the year of crystallography; further celebrates her passion for campaigning for peace and East-West understanding; believes that her achievements should be remembered by including her in the Key Stage 1 education syllabus; and calls on all hon. and right hon. Members to recognise and celebrate her outstanding contribution to science.
1043 CONVICTIONS RELATING TO MORECAMBE BAY COCKLE PICKERS' DISASTER 4:2:14
That this House notes that Lin Liang Ren, Lin Mu Yong and Zhao Xiao Qing were all convicted for their involvement in the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers' disaster; further notes that the 10th anniversary of the disaster is in February 2014; considers that the people of Morecambe deserve to know how many years each served in prison in the UK; and further considers that the people of Morecambe deserve to know when they were deported and whether they are currently incarcerated in their native China.
1044 CHANGES TO FLOODLINE CHARGES 4:2:14
That this House notes that the Prime Minister has forced the Environment Agency to launch an 0345 floodline number; further notes that this was in response to complaints that the old 0845 number cost up to 41 pence a minute to call; believes that this service should be as affordable as possible to users; and therefore welcomes the changes made.
1045 CHILDHOOD BRAIN TUMOURS 5:2:14
That this House congratulates Enfield Council, Sutton Council, Hampshire County Council and Reading Borough Council for working with The Brain Tumour Charity to raise awareness of the symptoms of childhood brain tumours through its HeadSmart campaign; notes that 500 children are diagnosed with brain tumours each year and that 125 will die as a result of delayed diagnosis; further notes that many more will survive with debilitating disabilities like blindness; and calls on the Government to support the HeadSmart campaign by recommending that all local authorities in England use their distribution networks to disseminate the HeadSmart awareness cards to schools and healthcare professionals.
1046 INEOS AND TRADES UNIONS 5:2:14
That this House expresses serious concern at the anti-trade union behaviour of INEOS at its petrochemical plant in Grangemouth where it has dismissed Mark Lyon, the UK Vice-President of Unite The Union for carrying out his responsibilities as the elected convener of Unite The Union at the Grangemouth complex; notes that INEOS refuses to accept the Unite shops stewards elected by the workforce to represent them and is acting against the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 1998, particularly ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise 1948, and ILO Convention 98 on The Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, 1949; further notes that INEOS is acting in contravention of the rights set out by the UK Government on the gov.uk website sections on Trade union membership: your employment rights and the role of your trade union rep; is concerned that INEOS is in line to receive £9 million in grants from the Scottish Government and has applied for loan guarantee fund support from the UK Government of £150 million; calls on the Government to make it clear to INEOS that actions in breach of ILO conventions and in contradiction of UK law on the rights of employees to be represented by a trade union and to take part in trade union activities is not acceptable in the UK in the 21st century; and further calls for the reinstatement of Mark Lyon and a negotiated settlement of points of difference between INEOS and trades unionists in its employment.
1047 RAILWAY PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF IRELAND 5:2:14
That this House salutes the work and achievements of the volunteers of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) in its golden anniversary year; acknowledges the valuable work carried out by the Society across the whole island of Ireland in preserving and restoring to working order its fleet of steam locomotives and carriages which, with the co-operation of Northern Ireland railways and Irish Rail, enables RPSI to run its annual programme of special steam trains both in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic; notes that over 50 years the RPSI has enabled nearly 450,000 families and individuals to experience the age of mainline steam; and wishes the Society continued success in the future, not least in its endeavours to meet the requirements of the modern railway and to develop its Northern Ireland base in Whitehead Co Antrim into a fully-equipped engineering base and heritage working museum.
1048 CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY 5:2:14
That this House notes the excellent ongoing work carried out by groups such as Christians Against Poverty, helping individuals and families who have found themselves in deep financial and emotional difficulties, offering help, hope and guidance for thousands, some of whom have contemplated suicide; and commends the work of so many volunteer counsellors in offering financial, emotional and spiritual assistance to many whose debt had become unmanageable.
1049 CHRISTIANS IN VIETNAM 5:2:14
That this House expresses concern at the decision to increase restrictions on Christian leaders in Vietnam that will prevent the practising of Christianity including holding services, training ministers and repairing places of worship; and notes that Decree 92 makes it virtually impossible for unregistered religious groups to obtain legal status.
1050 UGANDAN ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL 5:2:14
That this House calls on President Yoweri Museveni to return the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill to parliament with the amendments proposed by Sexual Minorities Uganda's recent report, that is to amend sexual offences laws to make them gender neutral, to ensure a system of mandated reporting of all forms of suspected child abuse should be implemented, to address risk factors associated with all forms of child exploitation and abuse and to prevent discriminatory access to health laws; and further calls on the Government, if the Bill passes unamended, to consider which sanctions would be appropriate to impose on the Ugandan government, including travel bans on the promoters of this legislation and redirecting development assistance from Ugandan government-associated schemes to civil society organisations which support values consistent with the constitution of Uganda, the Commonwealth Charter and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights which enshrines the right to freedom from discrimination.
1051 UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH AND UNSCRUPULOUS EMPLOYERS 5:2:14
That this House notes that at times unscrupulous employers who fail to pay wages or pay people cash-in-hand will have jobs advertised on the Government website Universal Jobmatch; recognises that if employers are subject to valid complaints, their advertisements will be withdrawn; further recognises, however, that this does not prevent the same employer advertising again; further notes that jobcentres have refused to be concerned about payments made cash-in-hand; believes that jobcentres should be concerned to ensure that proper tax payments are made by employers; and further believes that an employer that has been demonstrated to be unscrupulous should be prevented from adding new advertisements to Universal Jobmatch until any outstanding issues of concern are resolved.
1052 TV BROADCASTING FAIRNESS IN THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM 5:2:14
That this House encourages the BBC and other television broadcasters named in the interim report by Dr John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland, titled, Fairness in the First Year?, about political balance in broadcasting to at least cover the report on television so that viewers may be informed about views and concerns on the broadcasting balance and impartiality in the run up to the Scottish Independence referendum on 18 September 2014; notes that Dr Robertson's team at the University of the West of Scotland in the year until September 2013 studied the early evening news programmes of BBC Scotland and STV; further notes that their principal findings were that stories with an anti-independence view outnumbered pro-independence by three to two, that the BBC's Reporting Scotland showed 272 news stories favourable to the No campaign, but just 171 favourable to Yes, that STV's early evening programme had 255 stories boosting the No side and 172 for Yes; further notes that Dr Robertson's academic team also found that 28 BBC news items ended with an unchallenged anti-independence claim, compared to eight for the pro-independence side, figures for STV were less marked but still significant at 34 to 17, both giving the final word more often to the No side of the independence campaign; further notes that the BBC is paid for by viewers and is governed by a Royal Charter that demands the highest standards of impartiality and that commercial STV also has a legal duty to be balanced; and believes that at the very least such findings deserve an airing by UK broadcasting organisations.
1054 BUSINESS RATES REFORM 5:2:14
That this House is aware of the disquiet and anger amongst businessmen and women concerning annual inflation-linked increases in business rates, regardless of the ability to pay, or wider economic circumstances, especially those which inhibit growth and investment; and believes that whilst acknowledging the two per cent cap and limited relief options offered in the Autumn Statement, in the present period of austerity the Chancellor should immediately announce a two-year freeze in such payments and commit to a thorough review of this current fundamentally flawed system with the view to replacing it with a mechanism that is fair and one which enables companies to generate jobs, create wealth and growth within communities.
1055 BANISHING THE UNDER-OCCUPANCY PENALTY IN SCOTLAND 5:2:14
That this House congratulates the Scottish Government on its decision to cover the full cost of the under-occupancy penalty in Scotland with support from opposition parties; notes the highly destructive, cruel and pernicious effect that the under-occupancy penalty has had on some of the most vulnerable members of society; calls on the Government to reverse this cut to housing benefit and combat spiralling housing costs through rent caps in areas of high rental costs and increased investment in social housing; and further calls on the Welsh Government to follow Scotland's example and stand up for those affected by the under-occupancy penalty by implementing a no evictions policy and covering the full cost of housing benefit cuts.
1056 CHECK-OFF OF UNION SUBSCRIPTIONS 5:2:14
That this House is concerned that Government departments have been asked by the Cabinet Office to review the established system known as check-off, by which public servants pay their union subscriptions directly via payroll; recognises that check-off was introduced as a helpful and inexpensive way for employers, trades unions and their members to work together to collect subscriptions; notes that the cost to the taxpayer of ending the system is likely to be greater than for continuing it; questions the rationale for treating check-off differently to other payroll deductions such as charitable giving via Give As You Earn; further notes the disproportionate impact of ending the system upon low paid workers who could be subject to bank charges if subscriptions are not taken directly from salaries; further recognises that while the Cabinet Office has written to departments describing check-off as not desirable, it cannot instruct departments in this matter; and urges the Government to halt the review of check-off and leave departments to engage in constructive discussions with the trades unions affected.
1057 SOCIAL SECURITY (S. I., 2014, No. 212) 6:2:14
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., 2014, No. 212), dated 4 February 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 5 February, be annulled.
1058 YOUNG HERO AWARDS 6:2:14
That this House commends those young people who have been nominated for The Mail on Sunday Guy Evans Young Hero of the Year Award; and recognises their courage and achievements and the standard of care and compassion that they have shown which inspires us all.
1059 GUARDIAN CAMPAIGN TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION 6:2:14
That this House notes that an estimated 660,000 women in the UK have suffered from female genital mutilation (FGM); further notes that an additional 20,000 British girls are thought to be at risk of being cut every year despite previous Government promises to stop FGM; commends the work of 17 year old student Fahma Mohamed, alongside The Guardian newspaper, to put a stop to this inhumane and unnecessary practice; further notes that Fahma's change.org petition calling on the Department for Education (DfE) to teach about FGM in schools has already collected over 22,310 signatories; welcomes the announcement on 6 February 2014 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development and the Minister of State for the Home Office of a package of measures designed to combat this harmful practice nationally and internationally; calls on the Government, and in particular the DfE to do everything in its power to support the work of Fahma and countless others who are fighting to end the culture of secrecy and fear around the practice; and further calls for swift action on the issue before the 'cutting season' begins once more during the 2014 school summer holidays.
1060 GOVERNMENT REVIEW OF THE PROVISION OF CHECK-OFF FACILITIES 6:2:14
That this House notes with concern news that the Government is currently undertaking a review of the provision of check-off facilities throughout government; further notes that this is an arrangement whereby trade union subscriptions are automatically deducted from salaries; understands that the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the largest trade union representing civil and public servants, which is active at HM Revenue and Customs Cumbernauld and other locations across Scotland, last year won a High Court case against the Department for Communities and Local Government when it sought to remove that contractual right; recognises the vital role played by trade unions in ensuring that the rights of workers are protected; believes that any move to remove this arrangement will represent an attack on trade unions and the rights of civil servants to organise themselves and may damage industrial relations; welcomes the position of the Scottish Government not to withdraw from existing arrangements to collect trade union subscriptions directly from salaries; further understands that the current check-off arrangements operating in the Scottish Government have been in place for many years and that they continue to work well; and commends the PCS and other public sector unions for their efforts to ensure that their members' interests are represented.