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offset by other tax cuts.
The hon. Member for Eastleigh has made it clear in his recent speeches what those other tax cuts would be and where they would occur: 2p off income tax and 2 million low earners out of tax altogether. To give that commitment there has to be an element of certainty. To achieve that certainty the green taxes have to keep rolling into the Exchequer. To keep the revenues rolling in people have to keep doing the polluting activity that generates the tax income. The perverse message put out by the Liberal Democrats is that their policy undermines itself: go green and force taxes up. Green taxes should be used to change public behaviour, not to provide alternative sources of core Government revenue.
It is a fact that climate change is an international problem. It is a fact that 98 per cent. of emissions arise in the international community outside the UK. It seems pretty clear to all but a party of political dinosaurs that if we are to avoid the same fate as the dinosaurs we must focus on solutions that can be agreed by the international community, and not just on action in the domestic policy arena. That is why, alongside the UNFCCC and the Gleneagles dialogue, the Government have concluded in the past year bilateral partnerships with China on clean coal and with Brazil, Mozambique and South Africa on biofuels. We have agreed clean energy investment with India and co-operation with Norway on carbon capture and storage.
Domestic policy initiatives give us the moral basis to provide strong international leadership but they address only a fraction of the 2 per cent. of global emissions produced by the UK. We are the generation of politicians to whom has fallen the greatest political and moral challenge since the abolition of slavery 200 years ago. I welcome that opportunity and acknowledge the deep responsibility it places on us all.
Our responsibility is to work together, setting aside narrow party faction to ensure that the UK realises its domestic targets by 2020 and 2050. More than that, we have a responsibility to engage the world community, to make it seize the problem and to encourage, cajole, caution, facilitate and inspire all the nations that share our true and only homethis planetto rise to the challenge together.
That this House welcomes publication of the draft Climate Change Bill, which will make the UK the first country in the world to establish a long term legal framework for managing the transition to a low carbon economy, setting ambitious binding targets to cut carbon emissions by 26 to 32 per cent. from the 1990 level by 2020 and at least 60 per cent. by 2050, which can be revised in light of significant developments in international policy and climate science, and establishing an independent Committee on Climate Change to advise on setting statutory five year carbon budgets and to report to Parliament annually on progress; further welcomes the Governments comprehensive approach to reducing emissions from all sectors of the economy and the proposals in the energy review to cut carbon emissions by up to a further 25 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020; recognises that home energy use for heating, lighting and appliances accounts for more than a quarter of domestic UK carbon emissions; applauds the Governments proposals to improve building standards so that from 2016 all new housing developments must be zero carbon; recognises the Governments commitment to improving the energy efficiency of existing homes and tackling fuel poverty through Warm Front and the Energy Efficiency Commitment; welcomes the Budget 2007 report statement that by the end of the next decade all householders will have been offered help to introduce energy efficiency measures; and looks forward to further development of policies in this area.
That this House is concerned that despite mental illness affecting one in six adults in the UK the proportion of NHS spending allocated to mental health has decreased in the last 10 years, despite the growing burden on the disability benefit system and criminal justice system of dealing with mental illness; recognises that historic under-funding of mental health services has been exacerbated by the Governments top-slicing of budgets in order to bring the NHS out of deficit; notes the damaging impact that this has had on providing access to mental health services, with particular regard to the unacceptably poor state of many acute mental health wards in providing appropriate settings for the treatment of children and young people, addressing the race inequalities in the mental health system and improving patient safety through, for example, the eradication of mixed sex wards; further notes the warning in last years Health Select Committee Report on NHS deficits that cuts in mental health services are simply unacceptable; calls on the Government to deliver on its promise to ensure that trusts whose budgets were top-sliced in the last financial year will get their money back this year and to take active steps to ensure that within each health economy mental health trusts receive their fair allocation of funding; and further urges the Government to accelerate its implementation of Lord Layards report, which says that expanding therapy services could be paid for by the savings this would create for expenditure on benefits.
Another Opposition day and another debate on healthwe have been getting rather used to them in recent months. I was particularly keen to use this opportunity to raise concerns about mental health services. It is something of a paradox that, although mental health problems touch one in three families, mental health still does not get nearly enough attention in this place or in the broader public debate. One in six of us will be diagnosed as having depression or a chronic anxiety disorder at some time in our lives, and yet in many respects mental health remains a Cinderella service. Mental health problems bring misery and deprivation. In many families, someone who suffers from mental health problems can end up being excluded from the job market, meaning that the whole family suffers in poverty, particularly if that person is the breadwinner. I hope that the debate will be constructive and that the Government will respond positively to the concerns that I and no doubt many others will raise. The subject is far too important for cheap political point scoring.
The timing of the debate is interesting. The Mental Health Bill is going through Committee and it is fair to say that there are fundamental disagreements. I do not in any sense seek to undermine the Governments genuine position on the Bill, but none the less there are genuine disagreements between the Government and both Opposition parties and the Mental Health Alliancea pretty remarkable alliance, which represents many people who work in the mental health field. I do not want to spend time today talking about the issues that are central to the Mental Health Bill. Suffice it to say that in our view the best approach to safeguarding the interests of people with mental health problems and to protecting the public is to ensure that those who need help can access the services that they need.
It is worth noting that one in three people who are sectioned report that they were previously turned away when they sought help from mental health services. Recently, I heard from an eminent psychiatrist that the people at the extreme endthose who are most likely to demonstrate violenceare those who are not accessing services at all. It is thus important that we use the debate to focus on access to services. I remain disappointed that the Government seem to focus on compulsion when there is a real risk that that approach will divert resources into acute services and away from the services that provide the critical early intervention that can do so much good. That would be damaging for patients and would put the public at greater risk.
Simon Hughes (North Southwark and Bermondsey) (LD): My hon. Friend might be aware that the 24-hour emergency clinic at the Maudsley hospital, which is the main psychiatric hospital in the country, will be closed next week. Since the last general election, no Health Minister has visited the clinic. People have specifically said that there is a risk that that closure will make the difference to them between being in control of their own life and losing their life through taking their own life. Does my hon. Friend agree that peoples access to the services that they need is the practical aspect of todays debate? While the Government might often say warm words, they do not take the right decisions.
Norman Lamb: I will be saying more about the fact that deficits throughout the country are leading to the loss of key services. Sadly, the example that my hon. Friend cites is one of too many from around the country.
historic under-funding...has been exacerbated by...top-slicing
Norman Lamb: There is no inconsistency at all. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman agrees that there has been historical underfunding of mental health services over decades. This has been a Cinderella service for a long time. However, I am trying to be open and straightforward by saying that I acknowledge the extra investment that was put in place until deficits and top-slicing in many parts of the health economy caused real problems over the past year or two. There is no inconsistency in my argument.
The Lib Dems argued the case for extra investment. When the Government proposed an increase in national insurance to fund investment in the health service, we supported them. No argument of inconsistency or opportunism can be made against us. We have argued our case consistently.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Ivan Lewis): The motion implies that the Liberal Democrats would make additional resources available for mental health services, rather than support the existing resource base that the Government have created. Where would those resources come from?
Robert Key (Salisbury) (Con): Let me attempt to find some cross-party common ground in this debate, which started promisingly. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that Parliament should be examining carefully the way in which this country treats people with dementia? Alzheimers sufferers often find themselves without resources and in acute hospitals in which there are no personnel who are trained to cope with Alzheimers patients. We are putting too great a burden on hard-pressed families and not giving patients with dementia the opportunity to live the dignified life that they deserve.
Norman Lamb: I absolutely agree with the hon. Gentleman. Many of my elderly constituents have to look after loved ones suffering from dementia, even though they are often frail. They are often isolated, and we do not have the support infrastructure in place to help them to cope with the real pressures that they face.
There are several reasons why we should not be complacent about the situation. First, while we supported the real-terms increase in investment, the proportion of total NHS spending going to mental health services has decreased at a time when need is clearly increasing. Secondly, despite the extra investment, services throughout the country remain inconsistent and are often inadequate. Thirdly, the deficits of the past two years have had a damaging impact on core mental health services.
Mr. Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall) (LD): My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Reform and change have been planned and put into effect, but the deficits have had a negative impact on the change process. In the hospital in Bodmin, which is in my constituency, in-patient wards were amalgamated on the basis that more support would be available for people in the community. There is now a worry that the change in the financial set-up will mean that the resources in the community will not materialise, so a ward will be lost without the alternative benefit being put in place.
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