House of Commons
11th 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
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.
1061 FIRST UTILITY LOWERING CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 10:2:14
That this House congratulates First Utility for lowering the amount it charges when customers do not pay their energy bills by direct debit to just £2 per month; notes that prior to the backbench business debate on 4 February 2014 on energy companies charging their customers excessive fees for not paying by direct debit, First Utility charged £96 per year; believes that this change will help poorer customers and sets a good example to other energy companies; and urges them to follow this example.
1062 PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND DATA ON OBESITY 10:2:14
That this House is alarmed by data published by Public Health England on 4 February 2014 which reveals that 64 per cent of adults in England and Wales are either obese or overweight; notes that the worst affected area was Copeland, Cumbria with 75.9 per cent of the population above a healthy weight and that even the slimmest authority, Kensington and Chelsea, is 46 per cent overweight; further notes the findings of an earlier study by charity UK Active which suggested that sedentary lifestyles are responsible for 17 per cent of all premature deaths in the UK; recognises that the Government's over-reliance on the Responsibility Deal is limiting its approach to tackling the obesity epidemic; and calls on the Government to set up a cross-departmental working group to maximise the response to obesity before it overwhelms the NHS.
1063 ACCESS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES 10:2:14
That this House welcomes the investment that has been made into increasing access to psychological therapies, but notes with concern that one in 10 people are still waiting over a year for access to psychological therapies and three out of five people are not offered a choice in the therapy they are offered; believes that further investment in psychological therapies will deliver significant health and economic benefits, and lead to fewer people requiring more costly crisis care services at a later stage; urges the NHS in England to offer a full range of evidence-based psychological therapies to everyone who needs them within 28 days of requesting a referral, or sooner if they are in crisis; calls on the Government and NHS England urgently to introduce maximum waiting time standards; and further urges clinical commissioning groups to commission for choice, providing a wide range of therapies to meet the needs of their communities.
1064 COSSHAM HOSPITAL MINOR INJURIES UNIT 10:2:14
That this House welcomes the first anniversary of the reopening of Cossham Hospital; further welcomes the £19 million refurbishment that includes a renal dialysis unit, x-ray and scanning department, physiotherapy and outpatient appointments and Bristol's first free-standing midwife-led birth centre that has already delivered hundreds of babies; yet regrets that the minor injuries unit that was promised in the Bristol Health Services Plan and in the 2009 business plan has yet to be installed; and urges the NHS to complete the minor injuries unit at Cossham Hospital as soon as possible and honour its commitment to the local community.
1065 BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY 10:2:14
That this House notes with concern the extremely repressive measures Birmingham University has taken in recent years against students engaging in peaceful political protest, culminating in the latest suspension of five students, without any right of appeal and, bearing in mind the impact that suspension will have on the education of those final year students, calls upon the Vice Chancellor of Birmingham University to intervene to lift these suspensions and to review the university authorities' attitude to the freedom of speech of students.
1066 ROYAL OPERA HOUSE RECOGNITION OF THE INDEPENDENT WORKERS UNION OF GREAT BRITAIN 10:2:14
That this House congratulates the porters and cleaners at the Royal Opera House who have achieved the London Living Wage; salutes the courage of these workers in waging a successful campaign in the face of adversity; notes with concern that the Royal Opera House's contractor MITIE has not recognised the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) of which almost all the cleaners and porters are members; and calls for the chosen union of the workers to be recognised and that the workforce to be treated with respect and dignity.
1067 FAST FOOD RIGHTS CAMPAIGN 10:2:14
That this House notes that the fast food industry in the UK sees revenue of over £5 billion every year; further notes that the sector is dominated by multinational corporations delivering vast profits for their shareholders; is appalled that many employees in the industry are not paid a living wage and are employed on zero-hours contracts; believes that workers should be able to join a trade union without fear of recrimination from employers; welcomes the initiative of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union which, together with other campaign groups, has launched a Fast Food Rights campaign for workers in the industry; further notes that the campaign will be calling for a day of action on 15 February 2014 at branches of McDonald's UK, Burger King and Costa Coffee on London's Oxford Street; and calls for the management of the companies concerned to enter into meaningful discussions with the union over pay, conditions and trade union representation in their outlets.
1068 RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC SERVICE - WAR EFFORTS 10:2:14
That this House recollects a memorial to the Bevin Boys being recently unveiled at the National Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, in recognition of their role in serving their country during the Second World War by working in Britain's mining industry alongside other colliers who were also denied the right to be members of the armed forces because of their classification as being in a reserved occupation; recalls that during the period 1939 until 1945 many of these men were subsequently injured and some killed producing coal supplies for the war effort; believes these citizens, along with others who worked in restricted occupations during this period, including on the railways, coastguards, munitions production and shipbuilding, should be similarly recognised for their important contribution made during the nation's plight; and calls on the Government to instigate a Royal Commission to examine ways in which this could be achieved.
1069 USE OF DOGS IN PHARMACEUTICAL TESTING 10:2:14
That this House is aware that 90,000 dogs are used each year in research across the EU and US in evaluating pharmaceutical safety and efficiency, despite there being little research compiled to assess the usefulness of them being used in advancing the development of drugs for humans; notes the findings of recent indepth analysis by both the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments which clearly shows how unreliable their use is in such testing; and believes in the light of this the use of dogs in these scientific practices should cease immediately in the UK and instead a constructive dialogue be developed between stakeholders and the Government to find a more humane and acceptable way forward on these matters.
1070 WHICH? CLEAN UP CREDIT CAMPAIGN AND EXCESSIVE DEFAULT FEES CHARGED BY PAYDAY LENDERS 10:2:14
That this House notes the recent research published by the Competition Commission that found more than a third of payday loan customers repay their debt late and incur default fees; further notes previous research estimating that a million UK households a month are using payday loans; welcomes the Which? Clean Up Credit campaign on excessive default fees charged by payday lenders; supports the campaign's call for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to clamp down on excessive charges and irresponsible lending, and to make sure borrowers are being treated fairly whatever form of credit they are using; and calls on the FCA to take urgent action in response to this growing problem.
1071 SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 11:2:14
That this House celebrates the close and deep connections between the north of England and Scotland; notes the shared values of community, decency and fairness; believes that people throughout Northern Ireland, Wales and England will be heartbroken if Scotland were to choose to leave the United Kingdom and that this sense of deep sadness would be felt especially strongly across the north of England; and commits itself to fully respecting the will of the Scottish people in the coming referendum, but wishes to record its strong desire that Scotland remains a central and vital part of the United Kingdom.
1072 ENDING SEVERANCE PAY FOR MINISTERS 11:2:14
That this House notes that when a Minister ceases to hold office they receive a severance payment normally equivalent to three months' salary; further notes that this payment is made for whatever reason the Minister ceases to hold office unless they are over 65 or take up another ministerial position within a three week period of leaving office; condemns the fact that ministers who resign in disgrace are still entitled to this payment; criticises the practice as outdated and inappropriate; and calls on the Government to end severance payments for ministers.
1073 DOWN'S SYNDROME AWARENESS WEEK (17-23 MARCH) AND WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY (21 MARCH) 11:2:14
That this House supports the campaign Better Health Care for People with Down's syndrome mounted by the UK charity Down's Syndrome Association (DSA) to ensure that people with Down's syndrome receive regular and effective health surveillance; acknowledges that Down's syndrome is the most frequently recognised cause of learning disability; notes that people with Down's syndrome have specific health needs; welcomes the launch of the DSA Health Book during Down's Syndrome Awareness Week (17 to 23 March); celebrates World Down Syndrome Day which takes place on 21 March and focuses on Health and Wellbeing—Access and Equality for All; and welcomes the Parliamentary Reception to be held on 18 March in the Churchill Dining Room when there will be an opportunity to hear about the DSA Health Book, and to meet parent members including Patron Damon Hill OBE.
1074 NO PRIVATISATION OF PENSION DELIVERY 11:2:14
That this House totally opposes any outsourcing to private companies of the delivery of the state pension; notes that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) presently administers £100 billion in public monies; is concerned that a review by the DWP indicates that it is considering privatising the delivery of state pensions in an attempt to slash costs; points out that the service currently employs 7,000 staff and that over 93 per cent of pensioners are satisfied with the current model; believes that the only way savings can be achieved by the Department or any private company is by cutting staff, pay and conditions, or by reducing the quality of the service; and urges the Government to reject any privatisation proposals for the delivery of the state pension.
1075 BANKERS' BONUSES 11:2:14
That this House is appalled that by the end of 2014 bankers' bonuses are likely to have reached £80 billion since the financial crisis 2008; points out that this is more than £1,000 for every man, woman and child in the country and more than three times the £20 billion in revenue HM Revenue and Customs collected from the banks in corporation tax, the bank levy and the bonus tax combined in the same period; notes that the bailed-out and state-controlled banks intend to make massive bonuses apparently with impunity and without any restraint from the Government; and concludes that not only is the state-supported financial sector a national scandal but the City's age of affluence continues regardless while the overwhelming majority of the country suffers unprecedented austerity.
1076 FLOOD REMEDIES 11:2:14
That this House believes that local authorities that give permission to develop in a flood plain should be made legally responsible; points out that in countries like Norway and France planners and politicians held liable may go to prison; notes that some five million people and 2.3 million homes are on flood plains in England and Wales; further notes that each year around one in every 10 new homes in England are built on flood plains, justified by planners by saying urban drainage systems work when they palpably do not; further believes that those whose lives and well-being are put at risk for profit should be able to sue those responsible; and demands that the Government ensures that in future no houses or businesses are allowed to be built on land which is designated as in a flood plain.
1077 CYPRUS PEACE TALKS 11:2:14
That this House welcomes the agreement, on 11 February 2014 in Nicosia, of the joint communiqué by the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, Nicos Anastasiades and Dervish Eroglu, creating the framework for negotiations to achieve an early, just and lasting settlement; believes that the process needs to be opened up to civil society and congratulates the many Cypriots already involved in intercommunal contact helping prepare Cyprus for change whether as individuals or through involvement in the Nicosia Master Plan, the Famagusta Ecocity Project, the Bicommunal Famagusta Initiative, Kondea village, the Cyprus Friendship Programme, the Malta Business Group collaborating with chambers of commerce (and Industry), trade unions, faith groups, the football associations, the Cyprus Friendship Programme, the Cultural Heritage and the Missing Persons Committees, the Home 4 Cooperation and the Cyprus Community Media Centre; and calls on all three guarantor powers, the European Union and the United Nations, and the US, who have played a positive role in promoting this agreement, to ensure further support to Cypriots to enable the process, reach a settlement and ensure a united Cyprus which will benefit all Cypriots.
1078 CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR - THE SWAN WITH TWO NECKS, PENDLETON 11:2:14
That this House congratulates the Swan with Two Necks pub in the village of Pendleton in the Ribble Valley on being named CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2014; notes that in the competition pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly, quality of beer; further notes that to be named as CAMRA's Pub of the Year is a tremendous accolade and reflects the dedication of the owners and the staff as well as the high quality of the pub itself; recognises that the owners of the Swan with Two Necks, Steve and Christine Dilworth, work incredibly hard to ensure that the pub is the heartbeat of the village and local community; and wishes the Swan with Two Necks every success for 2014 and beyond.
1079 SELLAFIELD MANAGEMENT 11:2:14
That this House notes with alarm the Public Accounts Committee conclusions that cash estimates for nuclear waste at Sellafield exceed £70 billion, time-scales have slipped and reprocessing targets have been missed; believes that these enormous costs need to be strictly controlled so payments are not made to constitute a reward for failure; recalls that when the contract was awarded, Ministers were questioned on the probity of such huge sums being awarded without parliamentary scrutiny; further recalls EDM 2321 observing the agreement would privatise the profits of the contract leaving the potentially multi-billion pound liabilities with taxpayers; and now invites current Ministers to explain why Nuclear Management Partners have made such a pig's ear of the task of managing Sellafield safely and within budget.