House of Commons
25th February 2015
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
774 TACKLING ANTI-SEMITISM 9:2:15
That this House notes the publication of a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism; welcomes the cross-party nature of the report and the positive engagement of a wide range of stakeholders in the process; further welcomes the inquiry panel's action plan to address the concerns of the Jewish community, such as enhancing police and other relevant guidance, encouraging responsible public debate and language, enhancing inter-communal co-operation and raising awareness through education; and further calls on the Government, police forces, the Crown Prosecution Service and social media platforms to work on tightening their existing frameworks on combating anti-Semitism in line with the report and to respond fully to the recommendations of the inquiry.
775 TRANSPENNINE EXPRESS FRANCHISE DIRECT SERVICES BETWEEN EDINBURGH AND LIVERPOOL 9:2:15
That this House notes the Government's intention to publish the Invitations to Tender for the new TransPennine Express franchise in the first quarter of 2015; calls for changes to be included in the specifications for the TransPennine Express franchise to increase capacity on services between Scotland and North West England; further notes that all journeys between Edinburgh or Glasgow and Liverpool currently require changing trains, and in some cases stations; and calls for the new franchise specifications to include direct services between these major population, economic and cultural centres.
776 ANDARGACHEW TSIGE 9:2:15
That this House congratulates Mr Andargachew Tsige on his 60th birthday; regrets that this is being spent in prison in Ethiopia; is aware that Mr Tsige, who is a British citizen, was tried in absentia, sentenced to death and later illegally removed from Yemen to Ethiopia, where he is now being held incommunicado at an undisclosed location; acknowledges that only two British consular visits have been permitted; is shocked that the Ethiopian government has refused requests by British parliamentarians, including his constituency MP, the hon. Member for Islington North, to visit him; and calls on the Government to put all possible pressure on the Ethiopian government to secure his immediate release.
777 PARKING ON PRIVATE LAND APPEALS AND PARKING DISCOUNTS 9:2:15
That this House notes that appeals can be made in respect of parking on private land to an independent body; further notes, however, that certain parking organisations will not give discounts for early payment to people who appeal to the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA); and believes that this is unjust and that the clock that calculates whether or not a payment has been made early should start ticking when POPLA concludes that a parking charge is due.
778 BARNET UNISON CARE WORKERS PAY DISPUTE 9:2:15
That this House notes with grave concern the continuation of the long-running industrial dispute between Barnet Council and Your Choice Barnet (YCB), a local authority trading company 100 per cent owned by the London Borough of Barnet, which provides services for adults with disabilities; further notes that this dispute relates to a 9.5 per cent pay cut imposed on low paid care workers on 1 April 2014; further notes that the pay cut imposed on the YCB care workers comes just a year after YCB workers saw over 30 per cent of their colleagues made redundant due to a restructure and all shift allowances were removed; believes there is excessive use of agency and casual staff meaning the regular staff carry an extra workload in familiarising casual staff with the work to be done; and calls on the London Borough of Barnet to enter into serious negotiations with YCB, Barnet UNISON and the local trade union, to resolve this dispute constructively and allow YCB to focus once again on its provision of high-quality services for adults with disabilities.
779 CHIMNEY COLLAPSE AT VEDANTA RESOURCES BALCO OPERATIONS IN CHHATTISGARH STATE, INDIA 9:2:15
That this House expresses its grave concern that the London-listed mining company, Vedanta Resources, has yet to account for the circumstances in which at least 40 workers died when an under-construction chimney suddenly collapsed at its Balco operations in Chhattisgarh state, India in September 2009; deplores the fact that Vedanta took steps to suppress publication of the official Indian judicial report into the event, which ascribed primary responsibility for the disaster to Vedanta; and notes that an English version of this report was released in August 2014 and a copy presented to the board of Vedanta at its annual general meeting, but that no response has yet been given by the company to the many serious allegations contained within it.
780 KIDS COUNT CHARITY 10:2:15
That this House applauds the work undertaken by the Kids Count Charity and associated bodies in raising awareness about issues affecting young people's lives; recognises that the charity gives children and young people a voice to determine and influence their own future; welcomes the publication Youth Crime: Bringing the voice of the street to the House, which is a unique piece of youth-led and community research drawing attention to the serious issue of knife crime among young people; commends the fact that this research draws on grass-roots initiatives and evidence collated over a two-year period; and calls on the Government to consider carefully the matters raised therein.
782 BETTING, GAMING AND LOTTERIES (S. I., 2015, No. 121) 10:2:15
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I., 2015, No. 121), dated 2 February 2015, a copy of which was laid before this House on 4 February, be annulled.
784 USE OF DRONES AND INSURANCE 10:2:15
That this House notes the growth in the use of drones and increase in permits granted by 80 per cent in 2014; is concerned that the use of drones in national airspace will cause an accident potentially with serious harm to one or more people or damage to property; believes that anyone operating a drone should assure that they have adequate insurance to cover harm to third parties and be careful about infringing other people's privacy; invites the Government to consider whether no-fly zones in high-risk areas should be increased and enforced by geo-fencing technology as advised by the British Association of Airline Pilots; calls on the Government to review the existing light-touch-regulation of small drones under 20kg and consider increasing the responsibilities of the Civil Aviation Authority to maintain a register of drones in operation which must include details of (i) the legal entities operating each drone, (ii) individual identifiers for each drone, (iii) confirmation that third party insurance has been obtained and (iv) confirming that they are not being used to infringe other people's privacy; and further calls on the Government to promote informed and open debate outside the Cross Department Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems Working Group on this issue forthwith.
788 AIR PASSENGER DUTY 10:2:15
That this House acknowledges that UK levels of air passenger duty (APD) continue to be the highest in the world, and represent a growing barrier to trade, investment and tourism; notes the recommendation from the Smith Commission that responsibility for APD should be devolved to Scotland; further notes that the Scottish Government has consistently stated its ambition to reduce APD by 50 per cent in the short-term, to be followed by eventual abolition; and believes that were APD to be cut in Scotland then all parts of the UK, as soon as possible, should receive the exact same reduction, so that no areas of the country are disadvantaged in any way.
789 LEICESTER FOOD PARK LAUNCH 11:2:15
That this House applauds the launch of Leicester's £5.8 million Food Park, which was officially opened on 3 February 2015; commends Leicester City Council for completing the complex, which provides nine specialist manufacturing units; notes the centre will provide a boost to the local economy and create dozens of jobs; and congratulates the tenants of the food park: Alassala, Shelton Imports, Royal Tea, RJC Trading, UKay Khoa Manufacturing and Jibby.
790 HOUTHI CONSOLIDATION OF POWER IN YEMEN 11:2:15
That this House is deeply concerned by recent developments in Yemen, where the Houthi faction has announced that it will dissolve Parliament and establish an interim government; notes that the Houthi rebel group stormed the Presidential Palace and toppled the Yemeni government on 21 January 2015; is alarmed by the protests and clashes between rival factions across the country; urges all parties to return to talks; and calls on the Government to do all it can to prevent an escalation of violence and civil war, in this important and beautiful country.
791 SUE RYDER DYING DOESN'T WORK 9 TO 5 CAMPAIGN 11:2:15
That this House expresses support for Sue Ryder's campaign, Dying doesn't work 9 to 5, and believes that all dying people, their carers and families should have access to dedicated 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, palliative advice and support and co-ordination; expresses concern that only eight per cent of clinical commissioning groups responding to the charity's freedom of information request ensure that there is comprehensive, which includes dedicated and immediately available, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, expert emotional support, practical advice and co-ordination in the form of a dedicated palliative helpline and co-ordination service for both dying people and their carers; recognises that in order for people to be supported to die in a place of their choice, including their home, there must be comprehensive 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, expert support available; further recognises that carers of people at the end of life must have their needs for dedicated 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, support recognised; and urges that the Government ensures that there is improvement in end of life and palliative care in the UK and to ensure that more terminally ill people and their families can have a good end of life experience.
792 APPEALS REFORM IN THE COMMUNICATIONS SECTOR 11:2:15
That this House notes that Ofcom is currently subject to a full merits appeals regime in the Competition Appeal Tribunal which goes significantly beyond the requirements of EU law; is concerned that the current regime results in almost every major decision being challenged in costly and often lengthy proceedings; acknowledges that the current system works in favour of incumbents and against newer entrants, challengers, downstream businesses and consumers, by allowing incumbent operators to use litigation to frustrate the promotion of effective competition; recognises that this results in the creation of a second regulator which re-examines decisions in great detail; further notes the inconsistencies in Ofcom's appeals regime as the Postal Services Act specified that appeals against Ofcom decisions should be made by judicial review and acknowledges that modern judicial review is the standard by which most decisions by public and regulatory bodies in the UK are judged; agrees that as a regulator Ofcom should be held to a high level of scrutiny and challenge as it reinforces market confidence in the regulator's decision-making and ensures that standards are kept high; believes, however, that the current regime goes beyond what is required and can prevent Ofcom from being effective as a regulator; further believes that an effective appeals system in this area must be built around the concepts of materiality and fairness; and calls on the Government to reform the appeals system in the communications sector to ensure long-term effective competition in communications markets.
793 DISPUTE INVOLVING CONTRACT CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE (LONDON) LTD 11:2:15
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the employment practices of the cleaning contractor employed by Sotheby's London branch, Contract Cleaning and Maintenance (London) Ltd (CCML), towards the cleaners and porters who are members of the trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) who have issued a notice of a formal trade dispute; is appalled at CCML's poor employment practices, which include the unwarranted suspension of a porter following a grievance he made about poor treatment, the refusal to stop using certain chemicals which leave cleaners with breathing difficulties, chest pains and rashes, the unwarranted deduction of wages and working hours, overworking and shouting at porters and cleaners, reprimanding a porter for using the toilet outside his official break time, threatening a cleaner with suspension for not being clean shaven, a refusal to discipline aggressive managers, a refusal to pay contractual sick pay instead of statutory sick pay, so as to relieve the cleaners and porters of the choice between working sick, or not working, and therefore falling behind on their rent or risk facing eviction, and a refusal of CCML to backdate the current London Living Wage to 1 November 2014; supports the demands of CCML employees for dignity and respect at work and for the London Living Wage to be backdated; calls on CCML to work to resolve this dispute; and urges Sotheby's to bring pressure to bear on CCML in resolving the dispute as a matter of urgency.
795 MCKENZIE FRIENDS 11:2:15
That this House notes that following the cuts in legal aid provision there has been an increase in people representing themselves in court with the assistance of a McKenzie Friend; understands that a McKenzie Friend is usually a non-lawyer and is often a friend or colleague of the litigant in person, who accompanies them to a court hearing for the purpose of assisting them in matters such as taking notes, organising documents and quietly making suggestions; recognises that McKenzie Friends can be a helpful presence for those experiencing court proceedings for the first time; believes, however, that they are a poor substitute for proper legal advice and representation from a qualified lawyer; is concerned that vulnerable families and individuals could be taken advantage of by unqualified people who charge for their services or who may have a political agenda; is alarmed that professionals report anecdotal evidence of a recent incident of a paid McKenzie Friend, who acted for a number of vulnerable women, who was subsequently found to have a substantial criminal record; and calls on the Government to create a suitable framework for the oversight and regulation of McKenzie Friends.
796 TRANSFER OF NATIONAL GALLERY STAFF TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR 11:2:15
That this House condemns the decision by the National Gallery to transfer 400 of its 600 staff to the private sector; notes that these staff are responsible for the security of the paintings and the public and provide information about the collection to the Gallery's millions of visitors each year; is concerned that the National Gallery is the only major museum or gallery that does not pay the London Living wage; further notes that over 40,000 people have signed a petition that demands that the National Gallery remains a public service and the privatisation should be halted; calls on the Government to intervene in the case of Candy Udwin, who has been suspended for allegedly breaching commercial confidentiality for drafting a question for the Public Commercial Services Union to ask about the cost of a private company, CIS, which has been brought in temporarily to take over the services of a third of the staff while negotiating at ACAS; further calls on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to review the running of the Gallery; and further calls on the Government to ensure that funding is in place so valuable skills, knowledge, experience and dedication of the current staff of the National Gallery are not lost.
797 PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA 12:2:15
That this House expresses concern over the continued unrest in Northern Nigeria which has left 2,000 people dead since 3 January 2015 and has displaced 30,000 people, with over 1,000 churches destroyed since 2009; and calls for better protection to be given to Christians in Northern Nigeria, particularly in light of Boko Haram's statement that it will continue its attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria.
798 PASSENGER SERVICES, SAFETY AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ON THE FIRST GREAT WESTERN LINE 12:2:15
That this House notes that despite record planned Government investment in rail, the South and West franchise holder, First Great Western (FGW), appears to be taking a backward approach to passenger services, safety and employee relations as new rolling stock will not include buffet cars, future staffing levels on trains will be reduced and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) rail union has been told that it will no longer represent managerial grades along that route; believes that this will reduce passenger safety and service as well as good industrial relations; and calls on FGW to undertake urgent discussions with the TSSA, other unions and stakeholders, to ensure that the introduction of any new trains will not mean a worsening of conditions for both passengers and staff.
799 INFORMATION PROVIDED TO SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE 12:2:15
That this House notes that if a perpetrator of domestic abuse or sexual violence is sentenced to less than 12 months the survivor of the abuse will not be routinely informed when the offender is released; and calls on the Government to take urgent steps to ensure that all survivors of domestic abuse or sexual violence are routinely informed, if they so wish, when their attackers are released from prison.
800 STATELESSNESS AND TERRORISM LAWS IN BAHRAIN 12:2:15
That this House is appalled at the decision by Bahrain to revoke the nationality of over 100 human rights defenders, doctors, journalists, bloggers and ex-parliamentarians since 2012 and most recently in January 2015 when it revoked the citizenship of 72 individuals; is concerned that this decision has made many individuals stateless; believes that amendments in Bahrain's anti-terror and nationality laws are being used to arbitrarily target activists and members of the opposition; notes the lack of respect these reprisals show for a democratic system; further notes the 2015 Annual Human Rights Watch Report detailing severe human rights abuses by Bahrain throughout 2014; further notes Amnesty International's reports and statements detailing frequent human rights abuses since the uprising of 2011; calls on Bahrain to end immediately its human rights abuses and repeal repressive laws; and urges the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to list Bahrain as a country of concern in its upcoming human rights report.
801 PREMIER LEAGUE TELEVISION RIGHTS 12:2:15
That this House notes that broadcasters are paying more than £5 billion for the rights to televise Premier League games and that this amounts to more than £10 million a match, with further international sales still to come; points out that, while this demonstrates the strength of the league and its worldwide interest, it is important that the majority of this money does not end up in the pockets of highly-paid players and agents, as has happened in the past; further notes that the majority of the cash disbursed to the Championship is in so-called parachute payments to relegated clubs and that in the past just four per cent has gone to grassroots development; and calls on the Premier League to cut ticket prices for spectators, the lifeblood of the game, and to make substantial investment in the lower leagues and in nourishing and developing the game at grassroots.
802 RIGHT TO STRIKE 12:2:15
That this House notes that 18 February 2015 is Global Day of Action for the Right to Strike; further notes that the Canadian Supreme Court on 30 January 2015 handed down a judgment proclaiming that the right to strike was a fundamental right inherent in the fact that freedom of association is guaranteed by the Canadian charter of Rights; observes that in stark contrast the right to strike is not enshrined in UK law; is deeply concerned by the recent report of the European Committee of Social Rights that the UK is not in conformity with the Articles of the European Social Charter 1961 which it has ratified; is appalled at the extent of non-conformity with the Charter in relation to the right to organise, the right to bargain collectively, the right to just conditions of work and the right to a fair remuneration, amongst others; is further concerned that the UK, which was the first country to ratify the International Labour Organisation Convention 87, remains in breach in relation to the absence of the right to strike; condemns Conservative Party proposals to place yet further legal restrictions on industrial action as another move away from internationally-agreed standards; congratulates the Trades Union Congress and the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom on their work to defend and promote trade union rights; and calls on the Government to immediately fulfil its international obligations regarding trade union rights including those under the European Social Charter and ILO Convention 87.
804 MIGRANTS' DEATHS AT SEA 12:2:15
That this House expresses alarm at yet another tragic loss of life at sea when 300 migrants were feared drowned in the Mediterranean trying to escape through Libya; notes the wholly inappropriate tendency of many to blame the people-traffickers; acknowledges that thousands have died in the Mediterranean fleeing war, poverty and oppression from all over the middle east and north Africa; further acknowledges that current search and rescue operations are underfunded and wholly inadequate; requests that the Prime Minister raise this issue in all relevant forums including the imminent European Council; and further acknowledges the need for reinstating and fully funding such vessels as the Mare Nostrum, and the call on the EU by organisations such as the UNHCR, Save the Children and Amnesty International to expand Triton's operations closer to the Libyan coast in order that they might do the right and honourable thing and save people from peril on the sea.
805 TWENTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE ATTACK ON KHOJALY 23:2:15
That this House notes that 26 February 2015 is the twenty-third anniversary of the attack on the town of Khojaly, where 613 men, women and children were killed by invading Armenian forces; extends its sympathies to the Azerbaijani people; and hopes that the Government can actively encourage a peaceful resolution of the conflict based on the four UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884.
806 WORKING CONDITIONS OF CARE WORKERS 23:2:15
That this House notes that care workers play an important role in looking after the elderly, sick and vulnerable; further notes that care workers should be treated with dignity and respect and should have the right to decent terms and conditions; believes that all care workers should be paid the Living Wage of £7.85 as a minimum for all hours worked; further believes that there should be enough care staff present at any one time to provide a premium quality service which meets the emotional and physical needs of residents with compassion and dignity; further believes that carers should be given sufficient, meaningful and constructive face-to-face training, which is provided and completed in normal working hours acknowledging the professional skillset required of them; and calls on the Government to take steps to implement these measures.
807 EDINBURGH AIRPORT 23:2:15
That this House congratulates Edinburgh Airport on a second record-breaking year in a row; recognises that in 2014, 10,175 million passengers travelled through the airport and there was an 89.6 per cent rise in long-haul traffic; notes that in January 2015, 628,285 passengers passed through the airport which is an increase of 7 per cent on the same month last year and the number of domestic passengers was 344,840 which is up by 7.2 per cent on the same month last year; welcomes the impact this increase in passengers will have on the city as a whole; and celebrates the hard work of the staff of Edinburgh Airport to constantly improve standards and the overall customer experience.
808 MEASURE TO MINIMISE TAX EVASION 23:2:15
That this House calls on HM Revenue and Customs to amend the standard income tax form to include a question box on whether the person completing it has control of a foreign bank account so that if the box were ticked, the location of the account would have to be disclosed and the amount held; believes such a declaration under the penalty of perjury would obviate the complex and one-sided negotiations with the tax authorities over the purpose of the account and any settlement; notes that comparatively few people are prepared to commit perjury; further notes that such a question is already included in US tax forms; and further calls on the Government to ensure that this change is made forthwith, which can only help to minimise tax evasion.
809 1980s HEALTH GUIDELINES ON SATURATED FATS 23:2:15
That this House notes that recent evidence published in the journal, Open Heart, has determined that dietary guidelines given 30 years ago to avoid fatty foods were based on shaky evidence; believes that this has led to a focus on foods high in fat content; is concerned that this focus has overshadowed the impact of food high in sugar and carbohydrates, which have contributed heavily to the obesity crisis; and further notes that high-fat products and other risky food content should only be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
810 BRITISH LUNG FOUNDATION REPORT 23:2:15
That this House is aware that rates of the chronic lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which causes increased scarring of people's lungs, have increased by more than sixfold over the past 40 years, today accounting for the deaths of around 5,000 people a year in the UK; notes that the disease often kills with devastating speed, with more than half of sufferers losing their lives within three years after diagnosis; recognises the outstanding efforts of the British Lung Foundation (BLF) which works tirelessly to raise awareness of this appalling disease and the needs of its sufferers and their carers who often do not receive the support they need and deserve; and calls on the Government to act on the findings and recommendations of the BLF new patient experience report on this serious illness and develop ways to improve public awareness, medical research and patient treatment, support and care.
811 PHONE PHREAKING 23:2:15
That this House notes the increasing escalation of criminal activity resulting from the hacking of business telephone systems to initiate outbound calls to premium numbers; further notes that according to the Criminal Fraud Control Association, the UK is a global hot spot for such fraudulent activity, known as phone phreaking, together with Cuba, Lichtenstein and India; further notes that such activity costs businesses based in the UK an estimated £1 billion per annum; further notes that a single attack on a small business can lead to telephone charges of thousands of pounds, endangering the viability of businesses; believes that it is unacceptable that the cost from clear fraudulent activity is borne by businesses targeted by criminals; and calls on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Ofcom to initiate measures to protect unsuspecting and law abiding businesses from being targeted by organised criminals via phone phreaking.
812 CLOSURE OF DYFED POWYS HELICOPTER BASE AT PEMBREY 23:2:15
That this House notes that Dyfed Powys is the second largest geographical police force area in the UK; recognises the importance of helicopter capacity for the effective policing of an area which amounts to over half of the Welsh landmass covering over 4,000 square miles; further notes that search operations by helicopter are far more efficient than on foot with the cost per square mile by helicopter at £160 within a 12 minute period, whilst the same operation undertaken on the ground would take 12 officers 454 hours at a cost of over £4,000; further notes that the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner had a written agreement with the National Police Air Service (NPAS) in November 2014 that the Pembrey base would be retained; expresses concern at the decision by NPAS to close 10 of the current 25 helicopter bases across the UK, including Pembrey; and calls on the Government to intervene to overturn this decision.
814 CHRISTIANS IN EGYPT 24:2:15
That this House recognises that the new Egyptian constitution advocates religious freedom and equality for all of Egypt's citizens; further recognises the Egyptian government's pledge to reduce persecution and congratulates it on this commitment; commends President el-Sisi on the actions he has taken thus far; and urges the Egyptian government, through the UK Ambassador and Foreign Secretary, to ensure that interpretation of the constitution will enforce the rights of Christians and offer protection to Christians throughout Egypt.
815 DISABLED STUDENTS' ALLOWANCE 24:2:15
That this House notes the importance of support for students with disabilities to enable them to access education; is concerned with the proposed changes to the disabled students' allowance (DSA) announced on 7 April 2014 and updated in regulations laid on 16 October 2014; believes that the Non-Medical Help (NMH) aspect of DSA is an important means of support for students with disabilities to achieve and prosper in higher education; further notes the results of a survey by a specialist support provider which found that 42.4 per cent of survey respondents said they would be more likely to drop out if cuts to the DSA fall whilst they are at university; is alarmed that many potential students stand to be affected by the proposed changes to the DSA; further notes with concern the funding and support disparities that would result from the proposed changes; and calls on the Government to review the current proposals to ensure that any student, regardless of disability, has fair and sustainable access to support whilst studying.
816 BOTLEY BY-PASS 25:2:15
That this House notes that the people of Botley in Eastleigh have been campaigning for a by-pass for many years; further notes that the historic centre of Botley village is an Air Quality Management Area; and calls on the Government to work with Hampshire County Council and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership to realise the ambition of the people of Botley and the surrounding areas and build the Botley by-pass which is so badly needed.
817 ROYAL BRITISH LEGION INSULT TO INJURY CAMPAIGN 25:2:15
That this House notes the invaluable contribution made by servicemen and servicewomen, past and present, to the security of the UK and the risks they take with their health and lives in defence of freedom; further notes that this unique sacrifice is not fully recognised within the social care system, with veterans who were injured before 6 April 2005 typically finding that all but the first £10 per week of their military compensation is taken to cover the costs of their care; further notes that this is not the case for veterans who were injured after 6 April 2005, or for civilians who have been injured in the workplace, both of whom can retain their compensation awards in full when accessing council support; recognises that the current situation amounts to a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant principle of no disadvantage due to Service; and calls on the Government and devolved administrations to harmonise the treatment of injured veterans' compensation payments in social care charging guidance, making additional financial resources available to help local authorities implement this policy change.
818 CHILD MAINTENANCE SERVICE CHARGES 25:2:15
That this House is deeply concerned by the introduction of charging for use of the new Child Maintenance Service and that a lack of resources means that £2.9 billion of the £3.9 billion arrears owed to single parent families is not being collected; deplores the fact that money once intended for the upbringing of children is now being taken solely for Government coffers and that receiving families will lose out by over £70 a year which could pay for anything from winter coats to school trips or to put food on the table; refutes the idea that charges act as an incentive for parents to make private arrangements; questions how charging passes the Government's flagship family test, which includes an assessment of what impact a policy has on families most at risk of deteriorating relationships and breakdown; is mindful that a statutory child maintenance system was set up 21 years ago to address the suffering caused by child poverty and the financial costs that were otherwise being met by the state; and urges the Government to end charging for use of the child maintenance system and ensure adequate resources to collect arrears.
819 ACCESS TO TREATMENTS FOR DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY, TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS AND MORQUIO DISEASE 25:2:15
That this House is aware that the pause in NHS England's decision-making process on prioritisation and specialised commissioning has created a block to accessing effective medicines for rare diseases where there are commissioning policies under development or assessment; notes that for conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tuberous sclerosis and Morquio disease, where a cohort of more than five patients exists, there is no alternative viable route to NHS funding; further notes that as a result patients with need of treatment are left at risk of significant harm, including organ failure and avoidable death; also notes that around 180 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tuberous sclerosis and Morquio disease are currently being denied access; believes it is unethical to place patients at risk as a result of process inefficiencies; and calls on the Government to bring into force, without delay, interim measures to provide children and adults with rare diseases access to vital and proven medicines that will prevent organ deterioration and premature death.
820 EPILEPSY VOLUNTEERS 25:2:15
That this House notes the excellent work being done across the UK by groups like Epilepsy Action supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy; recognises the outstanding efforts being made across the UK as a whole, but particularly in Northern Ireland, by volunteers who have helped raise the profile of the condition; and commends the efforts of all involved in addressing a condition which is often overlooked by society as a whole.
821 UK OFFSHORE OIL INDUSTRY 25:2:15
That this House notes the severity of the downturn in the UK's offshore oil industry resulting from the slump in oil prices; believes that short-term responses such as delay or cancellation of long-term projects, laying off workers, extending working hours, accelerating cost-cutting recruitment practices or changing terms and conditions without consultation will fail to mitigate the impacts on workers or the wider economy; further believes that reducing essential maintenance work would jeopardise infrastructure integrity and capacity, thousands of jobs, essential skills and future tax revenues from this vital sector; further believes that oil industry trade unions have a key role to play in government and industry initiatives, such as the Energy Jobs Taskforce, in ensuring that the views and interests of those working in the industry are taken fully into account; and calls on the Government at every level to work closely with employers, regulators, trade unions and elected representatives to support measures that preserve the sustainability of operations, jobs, skills and investment, as well as a robust safety regime in the North Sea.
822 CITIZENS ADVICE SCOTLAND'S FAIR ENOUGH? EMPLOYMENT CAMPAIGN 25:2:15
That this House welcomes Citizens Advice Scotland's Fair Enough? employment campaign which aims to help employees assert their rights and remind them of the laws which protect those rights; commends the detailed report accompanying the campaign which outlines the common unfair employment practices that Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) clients have faced including unfair dismissal, problems with entitlement to minimum wage levels, annual leave and sickness payments, contract problems including zero-hour contracts, parental rights and bullying; notes that CAB dealt with 46,540 new issues of unfair treatment at work in 2014, an increase of 5.5 per cent on the previous year; and urges all those who have an employment problem to seek advice from their local CAB or trade union.
823 ELECTION OF CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE 25:2:15
That this House is of the opinion that in the next Parliament the Chair and members of the Intelligence and Security Committee should be elected by hon. Members.