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Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope: That is a helpful intervention and if that is what they are trying to tell people it is nonsense. The 11 Bills in this Queen’s Speech could easily have been 12. The 11 are workaday measures and are all sensible and useful. To be honest, as a former business manager, in the fifth year of a five-year Parliament I would leave a little leeway at the end on the grounds that you might get more than you bargained for. I put that marker down. I notice that there are Oral Questions and I will add my name to those who continue to argue for that addition to other measures that will be laid before the House.

I have two minutes left and want to make two points. I am not an expert on migration or immigration. All my parliamentary experience was in the fastness of the Scottish Borders. There are colleagues in this place who know much more about immigration and migration than I. However, over the last three months, I have become really concerned about the mood of the country in this particular field. I have always believed that it was the conventional wisdom that everybody realised that Britain had to be an open not closed society. Actually, former Prime Minister Blair made a very good speech about that in relation to the European Union on 2 June at the London Business School. The noble Lord, Lord Bilimoria, made a powerful speech concentrating on the academic and student side of things, but we should not just end there. There are all sorts of deeper problems in communities that have more than their fair share of immigration. But I will now spend some of my time in this Parliament trying to understand that problem better because we all have to come up with better answers. We must all be more positive about Britain being a more outward-going country. If I had more time, I would develop that thought because I feel it quite deeply.

The other thing that concerns me a lot is the uncertainty of the mood of the electorate which really feels left behind. An increasing minority of our communities are feeling more and more left behind. It is the lower 15% to 20% end of the income distribution that feels it hardest. My plea to both my Front-Bench colleagues—both are sensible men who have influence in this Government—is that of course deficit reduction and the removal of the national debt have to be priorities, but we have to be careful that there are not indirect and unintended consequences from the diminution of public services that in turn exacerbate the tension in some of our communities which bear large numbers of immigrants. That would be a false economy. My plea to them both is that, in all these important areas of public policy—home affairs, law and justice, health and education—very careful thought is given to the distribution and allocation of resources, some of which will need to go to deficit reduction but some of which should be used to deal with some of the downstream consequences in education in the communities that are affected most.

8.17 pm

Baroness Howe of Idlicote (CB): My Lords, perhaps slightly quirkily, I begin by congratulating Michael Gove—not, I may say, on the subject of today’s Statement, but because he has pledged to change Britain’s appallingly

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low level of reading attainment, as shown in international school league tables, by ensuring that in future, from their first day at school, every child must be taught to attain the basic standard required. Above all, that will mean that children with special needs must have the specialist support necessary for them to reach the required level. So, well done Michael Gove. Just in case he is not in the job at the appropriate time, I should be very grateful if the Minister, when he replies, can confirm that the Government will indeed honour that pledge.

I intend to continue to focus on online child safety, which perhaps will not surprise your Lordships. To date, I have introduced three online safety Bills, and tomorrow we have the First Reading of the latest, new and improved version. I will continue to raise the issue until the problems are properly addressed.

Of course, I congratulate the Government on the progress that they have made since I introduced my first Bill. In his first NSPCC speech last July, the Prime Minister announced that, from January, the four big ISPs would be introducing filtering options and that if customers seek to avoid the filtering questions during the setup, the filters would be turned on by default.

There are, however, some significant problems. First, there is the remaining 5% to 10% of the market not covered by the filtering announcement made by the Prime Minister in that speech last year. One thing is sure: some of the remaining providers will embrace such an approach only if required to do so by law. Andrews & Arnold is one of the larger of the smaller ISPs. Its website proudly proclaims “uncensored internet for all” and markets itself on the basis of its dedicated opposition to filtering.

Secondly, there is considerable public concern that filtering standards are determined by multiple companies and there is no commonality of approach or sense of public accountability. Again, that can be addressed only if we embrace a statutory approach and invest a publicly accountable statutory body such as Ofcom with the responsibility of determining common standards. Then there is the fact that although self-regulation may have some success while we have a Prime Minister who has made this a personal priority, where will we be in 10 or 20 years when we have a different Prime Minister with different priorities? There would be far greater certainty if this was dealt with through law.

What disturbs me most about the current arrangements, however, is the inconsistency that they generate and what that says about how we value children. The Prime Minister has said that few things are more important than keeping children safe online. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that, in the offline world, the law does protect children. It is an offence both to sell an 18 certificate DVD to a child and to allow a child into a cinema showing an 18 certificate film. We cannot claim that child safety is sufficiently important to require legislation in an offline context but not in an online one. If the Prime Minister is really serious about addressing this problem, he surely cannot allow self-regulation to be anything other than a very short-term solution.

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I have two questions for the Minister. First, what action has been taken in the remaining 5% to 10% of the ISP market that has not embraced the ISP code introducing the default-on approach to filtering announced in the Prime Minister’s speech last July? Secondly, what action have the Government taken specifically in relation to those smaller ISPs that have sought to develop a marketing strategy clearly defining themselves against the Prime Minister’s announcement?

Another important development with respect to child safety online with direct bearing on the Government’s legislative intentions for the coming Session relates to the call made in March by ATVOD requesting that the Government tighten up the law defining its remit in relation to video-on-demand adult content. It made two specific requests. First, it asked that the laws defining its remit should be amended to put it beyond doubt that it is its responsibility to police adult websites to ensure that those providing R18 material online must do so only on websites with robust age verification. Secondly, it asked that the law be tightened to make it absolutely clear that material deemed to be too controversial even for an R18 rating should not be shown online at all.

I understand that the Government have responded positively to those suggestions, although no legislation has yet been produced. Happily, however, my Bill once again assists in addressing both points.

8.24 pm

Lord Colwyn (Con): My Lords, for the past 20 years I have been able to use the debate on the gracious Speech as a vehicle for my comments on the state of the NHS and dentistry. I hope that noble Lords will forgive me for extending that personal tradition this evening.

Progress towards the introduction of a new, more preventive, contractual basis for dentistry has been welcomed. Work continues on contractual reform, which forms a key component of the vision for the direction of NHS services. In April, my noble friend Lord Howe attended the BDA annual conference and announced the Government’s intention to move to a more advanced stage of reform, with selected practices—prototype pilots—testing whole variants of a possible new system, preceded by an engagement exercise. This exercise, aimed primarily at the dental community, is an opportunity to widen understanding of dental reforms within the profession and for it to contribute to the shape of the prototype pilots planned to start during 2015-16 and manage expectations about the pace and scale of change to be expected. He stressed the need to “get it right”. At first, different elements will be adopted by a select number of practices, with a view to rolling them out later on. He also stressed the importance of improving access and quality, and the need to take this into account. Capitation will be a central part of remuneration together with some payment for quality, related to activity in order to deliver a balanced system.

The pledges made to dentists and dental patients by successive Governments must now be confirmed and the final stages of contract reform completed. The work of the task group launched in 2012 to look at

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care for vulnerable and hard-to-reach patients must also be implemented. Care in settings such as residential homes and through reaching out to those who might not otherwise avail themselves of dental care is vital if we are serious about reducing the oral health inequalities that persist in this country. A focus on preventive treatment may not only yield long-term savings but improve the quality of life across the country. NHS England has a legal duty to commission dental services to meet local needs. More than 29.9 million people were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24-month period ending on 31 December 2013.

Searching questions have also been posed this year by the dentistry call for action. This consultation, which closed on 16 May, was intended to stimulate debate about how we could achieve the necessary transformational change if debate about the NHS is to go forward fit for the future. Vital in delivering that future will be the dental students of today, a group facing difficult challenges in recent years. The department must take the necessary steps to ensure that 2015 does not see a repeat of what has become the annual shortage of dental foundation training places for new graduates. This problem, which year after year denies new dentists the chance to pursue careers in the NHS, must be a priority.

Levels of pay for dental foundation trainees must be sorted out. It has been deeply worrying this year to see a proposed 8% reduction in the salaries, a proposal first ventured as one of a number of efficiency savings being sought by NHS England at the start of April 2014. The BDA moved quickly to condemn the proposal, warning that it would be seen as an attack on the most vulnerable members of the profession. Despite that warning, the Department of Health has signalled its intention to press on with the cut. The dental profession will be stressing in the strongest possible terms that the proposal is absolutely unacceptable. Cutting the salary for those beginning DFT in September 2014 is particularly unfair to those who have already accepted their place, expecting a higher salary than they now stand to receive. Dentists themselves face a postcode lottery on their earnings. An independent review body’s call for an across-the-board 1% rise for salaried and hospital dentists was rejected. Recent years have seen support for salaried primary care dentistry ebb away, with staff posts not being filled and facilities left to decline.

The workforce of consultants in dental public health requires strong positive action. In Answer to a Question that I put down on a possible extension of the current 12-month fixed-term contracts, answered as HL7006, my noble friend Lord Howe announced that Public Health England has commenced,

“a review of the number of dental public health consultants required to meet its statutory and non–statutory functions”.—[

Official Report

, 13/5/14; col.

WA 476


Public health issues are crucial in the fight for improved oral health. Water fluoridation—a measure recognised among the dental community for its ability to improve oral health and narrow inequalities—is one whose full potential remains untapped, with many communities in England that might benefit from its introduction still going without it. It is important that we also reaffirm our commitment to the fight against oral cancers. There is growing recognition among the dental

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community of the value of extending vaccination against HPV to boys, and I encourage the Government to listen to that advice.

My time is up but the BDA agrees with the principle of business regulation. There must surely be a stronger role for the GDC in the regulation of bodies corporate. Since 2010, much progress has been made in the field of oral health and dentistry; that momentum cannot be allowed to falter. A new contract, a focus on prevention rather than cure and appropriate regulation could be essential in delivering a cost-effective and patient-focused dentistry, with stronger health outcomes for the British people.

8.29 pm

Baroness Meacher (CB): My Lords, I shall say a little about the modern slavery Bill and the Serious Crime Bill and refer briefly to the Government’s drug policy reviews.

I welcome the modern slavery Bill and applaud the commitment and hard work of my noble and learned friend Lady Butler-Sloss and Frank Field in the other place in convincing the Government to introduce the Bill, and indeed I congratulate the Government on recognising the importance of the issues raised. I understood when we debated the need for independent legal guardians for all trafficked children, in the context of the Immigration Act, that the Government would be reviewing the need for guardians in the context of this Bill. I understand that the Government are running trials, but can the Minister explain whether these trials will provide guardians only for children identified as having been trafficked? If so, that will only scratch the surface of the problem, as I am sure he recognises.

The Minister will know that trafficked children are generally not recognised as such until they have been through the criminal justice system—indeed, often not until they become adults. In the mean time, many become embroiled in immigration and criminal proceedings due to the actions of others. If guardians are available only to the minority of trafficked children who are recognised as trafficked from the start, the provision will exclude the great majority. The inclusive provision of guardians for all unaccompanied children assessed as needing them would include those children who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including those who are not immediately recognised as having been trafficked when they arrive in the country.

Of course, children fleeing war and persecution, as well as those who are victims of trafficking, cannot cope alone with the complex legal and social systems that they face on arrival. They probably do not have the language, and do not have anyone about—it is a very frightening situation for all of them. All these children are likely to suffer mental health problems and should be regarded as vulnerable. The UNCRC has made clear the responsibility of signatory states to provide guardians for unaccompanied and separated children, not specifically trafficked ones. I hope that the Minister can assure the House that the modern slavery Bill will provide for independent legal guardians with statutory powers to be allocated to all separated migrant children.

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The Children’s Society has provided a most helpful briefing raising a further point. Can the Minister give us an assurance that the Bill will create a specific offence of child trafficking and exploitation, spelling out the most common forms of these crimes? I believe that these are just not familiar to a lot of the professionals who will be involved in these cases.

Turning to the Serious Crime Bill, I applaud the Government’s decision to clarify the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 to make explicit that emotional cruelty which is likely to cause psychological harm to a child is an offence. This recognition of emotional cruelty is long overdue and very important. In the past, a physical assault on a child has rightly been recognised and action taken, but the sad reality is that long-term emotional neglect or cruelty, often in fact by mothers, can be even more damaging to a child’s mental health. The UK has been one of the only countries in the world failing to recognise emotional neglect as a crime.

However, recourse to the law for emotional or physical abuse should of course be the last resort. The Children’s Society rightly points to the need for preventive measures, including support in developing parenting skills and better interventions with parents with drug or alcohol problems. As the Minister knows, this is an issue close to my heart. If a parent is found to have a drug addiction or other mental health problem, treatment must be the right answer, not a resort to the law. While I welcome the new proposals, I am very concerned that people who are addicts are then subject to criminal action not only for the addiction but also for this other aspect of their lives.

It is important to welcome the Government’s review of international drug policy developments and the review of policy in relation to new psychoactive substances. Neither of these two pieces of work is complete, so I understand that there is nothing on those issues in the Queen’s Speech. However, I am sure that the Government are undertaking the reviews for a purpose, and I hope that the Minister can give the House some hope that before the election they will introduce sensible evidence-based reforms that would provide a safer world for our children.

8.34 pm

Lord Sheikh (Con):My Lords, Her Majesty’s most gracious Speech contains some very welcome measures that will protect the most vulnerable in our country and advance the cause of a fairer society. One such measure that I particularly welcome, and the subject on which I will speak today, is the inclusion of the modern slavery Bill.

Modern slavery is an appalling crime that has no place in today’s society. The modern slavery Bill, the first of its kind in Europe, represents a historic opportunity to get new legislation on the statute book and reflects the Government’s determination to lead the global fight against this evil. Human trafficking is an issue that is of great concern to me. I have raised it on a number of occasions in your Lordships’ House. I was born and brought up in Africa, which was ravaged by slavery. I have always appreciated the work of General Gordon and David Livingstone. About four weeks

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ago, I went to Zanzibar and visited the site where the slaves were kept and sold. Some 200 years since the abolition of slavery, it is depressing that there is a continuing need to confront this evil.

Human trafficking destroys lives and its effects damage communities. It is an international organised crime, with the exploitation of human beings for profit at its heart. Vulnerable women, men and, most tragically, children are trafficked for sexual exploitation, labour exploitation or to be used in criminal activity. This is something that no civilised country should tolerate. Victims often travel to the UK willingly in the belief that they are destined for a better life.

Despite concerted efforts in this country and across the world, the appalling reality is that human trafficking is one of the fastest growing international criminal activities. The International Labour Organisation estimates the number of slaves worldwide to be 21 million, with the slave trade generating £150 billion of illegal profits annually. I am pleased that the Government have shown that they will not tolerate slavery and human trafficking within, or into, the UK, and are taking the lead on combating these awful crimes. Human trafficking is a truly international crime, with potential victims identified from all over the world. We must work more closely with our international partners to stop this terrible crime.

The modern slavery Bill will be a significant step in Britain’s approach to combating this evil. The main provisions of the Bill relate to the committal of offences, the introduction of slavery and trafficking prevention orders, the creation of an anti-slavery commissioner, the protection of victims and stricter law enforcement powers at sea. It brings together, rationalises and simplifies existing laws that are dotted around in other Acts, bringing clarity and focus to Britain’s approach. I am pleased that there is cross-party consensus on this issue. We must continue to work together on this so that the Bill is the strongest it can possibly be. I look forward to the modern slavery Bill’s passage through your Lordships’ House and hope that this will be an effective step on the road towards ending this most heinous of crimes at home and abroad.

Finally, I welcome the United Kingdom’s intention to lead efforts to prevent sexual violence in conflict worldwide, which was included in Her Majesty’s most gracious Speech. I have spoken in your Lordships’ House several times on this matter, and I am very glad that a global summit, which will be co-chaired by the Foreign Secretary, is being held in London this week on the subject. I do not have the time to talk about the subject in any detail, but I would like to say it has been reported that rape has been used as a weapon by certain Muslims, and in this regard I would remind them that Islam strictly forbids this evil practice. Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, instructed Muslims not to lay hands on women, children and elderly people in any form of warfare.

8.39 pm

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Lab): My Lords, I will concentrate my comments this evening on the Government’s proposals for education, an issue referred to in the gracious Speech in terms I can best summarise as “more of the same”.

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This approach shows a deeply worrying level of complacency, given the problems which are causing discontent among parents, teachers and educationalists. The Trojan horse scandal in Birmingham, which we were debating this afternoon, has highlighted the failures of government policies, but it is not the only one. Only last month, a damning Public Accounts Committee report accused the Department for Education of spending £240 million on free schools in areas which do not need them, and of then being unable to give a consistent explanation of how it approved or rejected free school applications. Take the case of Steiner Academy Five Valleys free school in Stroud, which is seeking to open in an area which already has a surplus of places and is therefore threatening the existence of some excellent village schools in the area. This is not unusual.

All this is taking place against a backdrop of a crisis in school places which has led to a doubling in the number of infant class sizes of more than 30 pupils since 2010, amid persistent reports that parents are struggling to find places in local schools. Meanwhile, sadly, the Government have no effective system for school improvement. Michael Gove’s strategy is to let schools sink or swim and, to be frank, many of them are sinking. According to Ofsted, nearly 1.5 million children are being taught in schools that require improvement, and nearly 250,000 pupils are languishing in inadequate schools. Goole High School, recently converted to an academy, is a good case in point. Having been judged inadequate in all categories, its recent plan to get out of special measures was judged “not fit for purpose” by Ofsted. Meanwhile, the children at the school continue to suffer. Of course, Michael Gove famously and repeatedly denigrated the very people he needed on side to turn the situation round, describing teachers as “the enemies of promise”, and introducing reforms at a pace that has frequently caused administrative chaos in the classroom. I would therefore describe the Queen’s Speech as a missed opportunity to drive up standards in all schools and to deliver excellence for all young people.

In contrast to the abrasive, singular ideology with which Michael Gove has approached reform, our party is developing a different approach. Our education agenda is centred on a “what works” policy that draws on the best of best practice, takes account of evidence, works with the practitioners and prepares the country for the future, not the past. This is why we are committed to introducing local directors of school standards to ensure oversight and accountability at community level. This will allow us to address underperformance up front and decisively, rather than waiting for whistleblowers or Ofsted reports to ring alarm bells in the department.

Secondly, we will build on the concept of school autonomy first developed by David Blunkett in 1997, extending the freedoms of academies and free schools to all schools. Importantly, however, we will differentiate between autonomy and isolation. The lesson from the highly successful London Challenge programme, introduced by the previous Government, is that the schools which are most effective are those which collaborate and work in partnership. This will be a clear expectation.

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Thirdly, we will address the skills gap, a frequent concern of business leaders, by creating genuine parity between vocational and academic education. This will be built on a national baccalaureate framework for all pupils aged 14 to 19. In addition to A-level or high-quality vocational qualifications, all learners would study maths and English to 18, undertake an extended study or collaborative project and develop their character and resilience through individual programmes of work or community service.

Finally, and crucially, we will reverse the Government’s hostility to the teaching profession by recognising that the most effective way of improving children’s attainment is by raising standards of teaching to deliver a world-class teacher in every classroom. We will begin by ending the wrong-headed policy of encouraging unqualified teachers. Instead, qualified teacher status will be the bare minimum. In addition, we would expect all teachers to undertake regular professional development.

Unlike this Government, our approach would be a collaborative one, which learns from the best and delivers the best for every child. This coming legislative programme was an opportunity for the Government to learn from their mistakes and put their education programme back on course. Sadly, they have chosen not to take up this opportunity, so we on these Benches stand ready to take up that challenge.

8.45 pm

Baroness Hamwee (LD): My Lords, I thought that after about 50 speakers, a change of pace might be welcome. I had planned to read to your Lordships the poem “Deportation”, by Carol Ann Duffy. The time constraints mean that I can only give noble Lords a taster:

“Love is a look

in the eyes in any language, but not here,not this year. They have not been welcoming.I used to think the world was where we livedin space, one country shining in big dark.I saw a photograph when I was small.Now I am



We do not have an immigration Bill; we will have rules—we seem to get new Immigration Rules almost every week. I will continue to raise the problems of restrictions on family migration, although not as effectively as the Poet Laureate. I note the irony of those restrictions, and how families are split up when according to the Queen’s Speech we are to have tax benefits for married couples—support for marriage.

Without a Bill, there is still a lot to be said about immigration. From the negatives, last week a report from the Chief Inspector of Prisons said that deportees are treated as commodities by security staff; and from the positives, recent reports on immigrants’ contribution to the economy have come from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the OECD, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

By way of legislation we have the modern slavery Bill, to which many noble Lords referred, which is one of those Bills which we will all welcome and strive to make even better. The focus, as other noble Lords have said, has tended to be on the trafficking of children

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and young women for sexual exploitation. I agree with the points made by other noble Lords that it is important to extend our focus to all victims: domestic workers, boys and young men, vulnerable people, and people who have left the services. I very much welcome the comments made by the pre-legislative scrutiny committee on supply chains.

Of course, legislation is not everything, as other noble Lords have said. We need to increase support for victims as witnesses and to help them rebuild their lives. I very much liked the phrase of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford that we need affirmation to live well. There is the functioning of the national referral mechanism, the work of witness protection, the work and resources necessary for social services and for the criminal justice system—in that case, how it operates—and not criminalising victims. I know that the Government are very well aware of those and other issues. The challenge is to achieve changes in practice. The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Derby asked whether we can afford all this, or at least said that that would be the question. Is not the question: can we afford not to focus on this?

This week the Government are hosting the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict—an admirable initiative. Some of the issues to which I have referred are the international ones found in different contexts, including the appropriate response by authorities and services, identifying victims as victims and treating them appropriately. As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Carlisle said, I have decided to refer only to the Bishops’ Benches in my speech.

We recently debated problems police forces have in recognising victims of domestic violence—there is a read-across there. The Howard League recently reported on children within the criminal justice system. It told us that a child was arrested every four minutes in the past year in England and Wales and recommended a reduction in arrests for trivial matters. That is a matter of appropriate responses.

It is ten to nine now and we will be back in less than a week to debate the Serious Crime Bill. I will not say more now than that I welcome, as others have done, the statutory recognition of psychological injury to children, putting it on the same footing as physical injury. It is extraordinary that it needs to be spelt out but clearly it does, as was done—again I mention domestic violence—some months ago.

It seems it is also necessary in terms of legislative lacunae to add to our laws on female genital mutilation. I cannot help noting that this is just a few days after the deportation of Afusat Saliu and her daughters whom she was seeking to protect from FGM in Nigeria.

I had planned to ask the Minister about the extremism task force which started last year after the Woolwich murder to such fanfare and then went very quiet. However, there seems to have been something of a coda or possibly even a new movement in that. It is extraordinarily important to be open-minded and imaginative in addressing the issues around extremism and radicalisation. I guess that many NGOs have less baggage than government institutions in the eyes of the individuals at risk. The NGOs need to be supported.

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I wonder whether the time has come to consider extending the role of the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation whose experience might well be used more proactively. Above all we need to talk—Northern Ireland showed us that at home. There must be so many different personalities among the boys and young men at different stages of their development—such a range of reasons for their conduct. Legislation, in itself, will not persuade them to buy into the rule of law. We must be prepared to take risks. It was brave of the American Government to exchange prisoners they were holding for the US soldier whom they retrieved last week.

My Lords, I have one more stanza:

“They are polite, recite official jargon endlessly.

Form F. Room 12. Box 6. I have felt less smallbelow mountains disappearing into cloudthan entering the Building of Exile. Hearse taxiscrawl the drizzling streets towards the terminal.I am no one special”.

8.52 pm

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (CB): My Lords, like others I wish to focus on the protection of children and our duty to the most vulnerable in our society. The legislation on all child abuse, including female genital mutilation and slavery, must be as strong as possible if it is to be truly effective in improving the lot of children in our society. As the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, so strongly pointed out, shamefully we have turned a blind eye to the most vulnerable far too often. We must respect and legally enforce the rights of children and stamp out cruelty because all too often cruelty breeds cruelty. I hope the Government will support the online safety Bill brought forward by my noble friend Lady Howe of Idlicote.

Others have addressed health issues. I agree with noble Lords who have called for the awaited Bill to modernise the regulation of health and social care professions to better protect the patients and improve care delivery. Will the Government, following this debate, bring it forward for scrutiny? It is a Bill that this House would look at very thoroughly.

Let me turn to legislation that remains uncompleted. This year the clear will of both Houses was to introduce standardised packaging of cigarettes and tobacco products. As Sir Cyril Chantler’s independent review of the evidence supported this, where are the draft regulations for consultation, for notification to the European Union and then to be laid before Parliament for debate? As the noble Lords, Lord Ribeiro, and Lord Faulkner of Worcester have highlighted, if the Government drag their feet, time will play into the hands of the tobacco tycoons.

In November last year the Government amended the Energy Bill to include audible carbon monoxide alarms in a review of the private rented sector. Each year, carbon monoxide kills about 40 people in England and Wales. At least five of those who died last year were young campers and holidaymakers. Regulations are needed now to prevent yet more totally avoidable young people’s deaths over the summer.

Finally, I am glad that England is following Wales’s lead on tackling the environmental damage from plastic

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bags. Legislation in Wales has decreased the number of plastic bags in retail by more than 76%, but I am concerned that, without tackling all types of bags in all settings, England may see a mushrooming of paper-based bags and so-called exemptions rather than rejoice in reusable bags as we do at home in Wales.

Wales looks forward to hosting the NATO summit in September. In the mean time, I am sure that this House will carefully scrutinise all legislation affecting Wales.

8.55 pm

Lord Turnberg (Lab): My Lords, there was nothing in the Queen’s Speech about the NHS. Past experience suggests that may be a very good thing, but no one can be unaware of the serious financial problems facing health and social care over the next few years. Yet we also have this striking paradox that, according to the Office for National Statistics, we are the fourth wealthiest country in the world and we have more billionaires per square inch than anywhere else. So talk that we cannot afford an acceptable level of healthcare begins to sound just a little hollow. I know that it is unfashionable and distasteful to the Government—and, I fear, to my own party—to say that these services need more money. Furthermore, I have little doubt that we can afford it, as I will describe in a moment.

The year 2015 is frequently talked of as a “crunch” or “financial cliff” year, and after that the years ahead are talked of in even more gloomy terms of crisis and bankruptcy. It is not just me talking but a flurry of reports and predictions that have been produced in the last year or so that describe a fraught future for these services, and they are all accompanied by clarion calls for action of some sort. Yet there is this terrible sense that the Government are not listening and are simply ploughing on with their plans to make unrealistic savings, come what may.

After the Nicholson challenge of the last four years, in which savings in the NHS of £20 billion per annum have been made, mostly by short-term measures that are not sustainable, the long-term plan is to see even more draconian savings—£30 billion a year of them by 2021. Needless to say, no one in the service, where 40% of trusts are said to be already in deficit, believes that this is remotely achievable on current trends. Something has to give; there must be even greater efficiencies or more money. My thesis today is that we need both.

There is a surprising degree of agreement in the message that all the recent reports convey: a rising demand for health and social care by an ageing population with a frightening increase in the number of people with multiple long-term illnesses, including the burgeoning numbers with dementia. The reports point to the need to shift much more care from hospitals and into the community and to the desperate shortage of funds for social care as the severity of cuts to local authorities is being felt.

Of course, the service needs to change, not only in response to the economic pressures but in particular to the changing needs of society. There is little doubt that we should be providing better care in the community, more preventive measures, monitoring of vulnerable

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people, improving the desperately poor provision of health visitors and access to GPs at weekends and more rehabilitation facilities. These measures should reduce the pressure on acute hospitals, at least in theory. Focusing specialised services in fewer hospitals makes sense too, and providing more integrated hospital services may save money.

Such changes are absolutely vital, but the important point is that they cannot be made with the current level of funding. Where will the patients go when hospitals close and facilities in the community are not yet available? It requires new community services to deliver instantaneous improvements that equally instantaneously reduce the need for hospital admissions. As the King’s Fund makes clear in its report, the so-called Better Care Fund comes nowhere near filling the gap.

There are those who say pouring more money in is not the answer; it just goes into a black hole, they say. They are correct only if the service does not change at the same time, but it cannot change radically without more funds—hence the Catch-22 situation. Furthermore, the black hole idea ignores the evidence that the service improved dramatically when a Labour Government brought up the proportion of GDP for health to match that in the rest of the EU. It also ignores the proposals in the Wanless report of some years before, which concluded that funding for the NHS would have to rise to about 9.4% of GDP by 2021 to keep up with increasing demands.

Yet now the proportion of GDP for health has fallen from around 8% in 2010 to about 7%. Furthermore, the proposed further £30 billion a year savings will bring the proportion of GDP spent on the NHS down to 6% by 2021. Given our economic strength, which is fourth strongest in the world, how can we justify a plan to cut not just the amount we spend on health but its share of our national wealth from more than 7% to 6%? That is far lower than in any OECD country. There can be no justification for that and 6% is way off providing the 9.4% that Wanless recommended.

There have been several recent proposals on ways in which it may be possible to provide at least the transitional funds that would allow us to build up community services and then reduce hospital services. However, to my mind the only one that might fly is to have some sort of hypothecated tax, perhaps on the basis of a sales tax. But whatever mechanism is decided upon, it is a decision that must be made soon. We must level with the population now in advance of the election and not prevaricate.

It is unfortunate—and, I believe, disingenuous—that the current Health Secretary and the shadow Minister should run scared of saying anything about money. I fear that well before the next election they will come to regret that and will both have to recognise that it is not only transitional money that will be needed. I know that I will not be popular with my own Front Bench in saying that, but I do not think I am alone in wanting this or any future Government to come clean on what is needed for healthcare funding.

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9.02 pm

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, it is a great pleasure for me to wind up for the Opposition. I start by congratulating our two maiden speakers: the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford and the noble Lord, Lord Glendonbrook. The right reverend Prelate reminded us of how it used to be with selective education, when a small percentage of students went to grammar schools and the rest were consigned to secondary modern schools to do CSEs and often had few prospects in life before them. The right reverend Prelate is a shining example of that system but I hope that we never go back to those days. It is good to welcome the noble Lord, Lord Glendonbrook, who has been a generous supporter of Gilbert and Sullivan over the years. He is the very model of a modern major aviator.

This has been an excellent debate which has clearly exposed the paucity of the Government’s last legislative programme. We have spent more time discussing what is not in the legislative programme than what is in it. We face so many challenges in this country with the disenchantment with politics and politicians felt by so many people, as the noble Lord, Lord Phillips, said, and the sense that too many people in the UK feel let down by the lack of housing and the lack of prospects for children. Above all, I suggest, they doubt whether their work and effort are reflected in their sharing fairly in the wealth of this country. The Queen’s Speech was silent on that. It made no response to the recent speech of the Governor of the Bank of England, who said that inequality was now one of the biggest challenges facing our country. As my noble friend Lady Lawrence said, there was no response to the issue of the huge number of people—more than a million—who are forced to work on zero-hours contracts, with the huge insecurity that that brings. There was also silence on the National Health Service which is crumbling under the weight of one of the most ill conceived measures in the history of Parliament—namely, the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

There are, of course, things in the Queen’s Speech that we welcome, such as the slavery Bill, which many noble Lords have welcomed—although I hope that the Minister will be able to respond to the noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, who asked about to whom guardians will be made available.

On the Serious Crime Bill, we of course support measures to tackle child abuse and emotional neglect; but I hope that the Minister will respond to my noble friend Lord Patel and others on the need to protect in legislation mentally vulnerable adults. I hope, too, he will respond to the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, who was forthright and to the point; the lack of purposeful activity for offenders in prisons is alarming and undoubtedly is storing up great trouble for the future.

On legal aid, my noble friend Lord Bach spoke vividly about the importance of early access to advice, whereby many problems in the past have been sorted out. The Government have to be held to account for destroying a vital part of our justice system. My noble friend Lord Beecham pointed out the problems in the courts; so many people now have to cope for themselves

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because they cannot get access to a lawyer that it is having a real impact on the administration of justice. My noble friend Lord Clinton-Davis was right about the dismantling of legal aid, and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Scott of Foscote, spoke about the potential diminution of people’s respect for the law. He put a straight question to the Government on the future of legal aid, and I hope that he receives an answer.

On education, my noble friend Lady Lawrence spoke eloquently about apprenticeships schemes, which need to lead to long-term employment. I agree with my noble friend Lady Jones about the current fragmentation of our schools and the need for local accountability. Now is not the time to debate the Statement made by Mr Gove this afternoon but the flawed response shows that the coalition’s policy increases the risk of infiltration and radicalisation. Ever greater fragmentation at local level, more schools with unqualified teachers, no local oversight and the centralisation of power in an unwieldy Department for Education can only exacerbate the risk of further problems.

On higher education, my noble friend Lady Bakewell and the noble Lord, Lord Bilimoria, who I am delighted is shortly to become chancellor of Birmingham University, clearly illustrated the disaster of the Home Office’s completely obdurate approach to students coming to this country. We all know it is about the target. Ministers claim that it was because of problems with certain dubious institutions, but that problem had been dealt with years ago. This policy is having a direct impact on some of our best universities and is causing horrendous problems in terms of the reputation of this country. We are surely entitled to ask the Government to think again on this matter.

I now want to turn to health. Remarkably, in the fifth Session there is no Bill to modernise the regulation of health professions. The current process, as has been readily identified by the noble Lord, Lord Kirkwood, is slow and out of date, with bureaucratic processes. We have had the work of the Law Commission and the Francis inquiry. Why on earth are the Government not bringing a Bill? If they cannot, why are they not bringing one forward for pre-legislative scrutiny, as was briefed out by the department some months ago? What I find remarkable is that in the absence of a Bill officials do not have time to produce Section 60 orders for the different professions—except for one measure, which, apparently, is to arrange for the regulation of a few hundred public health doctors within the HCPC. This is a measure that nobody wants and will have no impact on public protection, yet this is where the department’s energies are going to be in the next few months.

The Queen’s Speech was silent on public health measures, and I join my noble friend Lord Faulkner in asking the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, whether he is confident that the Government will bring forward regulations as soon as possible on standardised packaging of cigarettes and tobacco. The Government were dramatically defeated in this House on this measure. The will of Parliament is quite clear. The job of the Government is to make sure that those regulations come before Parliament before the election.

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The Government are also silent on other public health measures. My noble friend Lord Rooker identified the failure of the responsibility deal, when it comes to sugar, of companies who take action only on the less popular brands. We see the same problem in relation to salt and alcohol. We are entitled to expect a more proactive policy.

There is silence on the NHS. When the 2012 Health and Social Care Bill went through Parliament, we warned that it would be expensive and disruptive, and that it would fragment services and attack the NHS’s core values. How right we were. In his opening speech, the noble Lord, Lord Faulks, described it as a profound change—profound disaster, more like. This month, waiting times are at a six-year high. Almost 3 million people are now on waiting lists—up by half a million since 2010. The cancer target of patients starting treatment within 62 days is being missed. GP services have become less accessible and it is becoming harder to get a GP appointment. Mental health services have been cut, despite Parliament enacting parity of esteem between mental health services and other services. Walk-in centres are being closed, the latest being in Worcester. Minor injuries units are being drastically cut back, the latest being the one in Cannock. Dentistry is also being neglected. The failure of the NHS and social care to work together to provide integrated services is readily apparent. Access to primary care becomes more difficult. No wonder accident and emergency departments become more stretched. Hospital beds are then at a premium and the discharge of patients becomes more difficult because adult social care has been decimated.

The Government’s response has been woefully inadequate. They finally produced their Better Care Fund, which does not start until next year, and the fund is in trouble. There is little confidence either locally or, apparently, in the Treasury that the money to be transferred from the NHS—because it is not new money—will be spent on community services, which would reduce pressure on the NHS. Ministers do nothing, just as they do nothing about the shocking failure to implement the recommendations following the Winterbourne View scandal. Ministers guaranteed that those recommendations would be implemented in full by the end of the month.

When the Prime Minister was leader of the Opposition, he promised no more top-down restructuring of the NHS. Some promise, my Lords. Instead, we have £3 billion wasted on this highly damaging change, fragmentation of services, longer waiting times, less accessibility and plunging morale. No wonder the risk register has yet to be published; no wonder the Queen’s Speech is silent on the NHS. It is surely a symbol—is it not?—of a Government who have run out of ideas and run out of steam, putting party before people and so patently failing to meet the challenges of this country.

9.12 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): I suggest that that is a good point for me to come in to somewhat disprove the final comments of the noble Lord, Lord Hunt. However, before I do so, I should like to say to

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all noble Lords who have spoken that it is a challenge—in fact, almost impossible—to sum up a debate such as this, but it is also a privilege to have been able to listen to such a wide-ranging debate. We have talked about home affairs, law and justice, health and education. All those are important, as today’s debate has shown.

If noble Lords agree, I shall do my usual thing of writing a commentary on the debate and will circulate it to all noble Lords who have spoken. Obviously, in doing that, I shall need the help of my noble friend Lord Faulks. I shall also certainly need the help of my noble friends Lord Howe and Lord Nash, who will provide me with the technical expertise that I shall do my best to demonstrate in my brief comments. However, I am obviously way outside my comfort zone in certain of these areas.

Before I go on to comment, I should like to congratulate our two maiden speakers. It is not often that we have two excellent speeches such as we have heard today. My noble friend and the right reverend Prelate are from extremely different backgrounds and have different callings in life, but both demonstrated a determination to be good at what they felt they were called to do and, furthermore, they did so with a great sense of humour. I am delighted to welcome the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford to this House, and I am sure that we will hear from him; he has a lot to tell us. My noble friend Lord Glendonbrook, as I must learn to call Michael Bishop whom I have known for an awfully long time—before I came here and before he did—said that he is a great supporter of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. In many ways he has shown how one can be successful in business and successful in achieving other things in life that are important to so many other people.

I shall now turn to the matters in hand. The modern slavery Bill is warmly welcomed by noble Lords. I pay tribute to the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Butler-Sloss, and her committee. She is not in her place now but she was earlier today. The pre-legislative scrutiny committee has enormously helped the Government to present their Bill. We have been able to hear from two members of that committee today—the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Derby and my noble friend Lord McColl. I am grateful for the support that the Bill has received. I have little doubt that there will be critiques. I expect that; it is what this House is good at. I thank all those who have welcomed the Bill. It was one of the things that my noble friend Lord Glendonbrook mentioned in his speech. My noble friend Lord Sheikh mentioned how international this phenomenon is and how important our contribution can be to what is a worldwide scourge.

My noble friend Lady Hamwee is right to explain that slavery has a broad definition. It is not confined to the sexual abuse of young girls and women, so I hope that I will be able to answer at least some of the points that people made. It may interest noble Lords to know that the modern slavery Bill will be introduced in the House of Commons tomorrow—10 June. At the same time, we will be issuing a response to the pre-legislative scrutiny committee. The right reverend Prelate and my noble friend Lady Browning asked about overseas domestic workers. The Home Office is focusing

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on improving domestic protection for vulnerable domestic workers by ensuring that they are informed about their rights and that immigration and border staff are trained to recognise potential victims of abuse.

The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Derby asked why the Bill would not be legislating on transparency in supply chains. The Government are committed to tackling exploitation in private sector supply and will support businesses to tackle this issue. The Home Secretary will meet business leaders on Wednesday as part of the Government’s commitment to work with business to develop the most effective approach. If businesses take no action, they risk both their reputation and their profit. The noble Lord, Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick—I do not see him in his place at the moment—said that he felt that the Bill perhaps did not go far enough. The Bill will be a critical first step in stamping out this horrific crime, and it is something on which future generations will be able to build. I am pleased that, generally speaking, the Bill has been so welcomed.

The noble Baroness, Lady Meacher, asked about the whole question of child advocates. Indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, asked that I give a reply. Perhaps I may do so in this way: the Government are committed to improving the protection of incredibly vulnerable trafficked children. We have announced trials of new independent specialist advocates for child trafficking victims. The modern slavery Bill also legislates so that advocates have a statutory basis.

We are also concerned about the welfare of children where there is no evidence that they have been trafficked. All local agencies have statutory duties to safeguard their children and there is a major programme of reform to transform the system in this area. This is an evolving situation and clearly one of the reasons why the details in the Bill which will be produced tomorrow are of an enabling nature is because of the requirement to find out from these trials where we need to be to be effective in this area. However, let there be no doubt that we are determined to make progress on this issue.

The modern slavery Bill must improve support for victims and improve law enforcement, as my noble friend Lord McColl of Dulwich said. I thank him for the perseverance he has shown on this issue over seven years. It is because of individuals that the Government have been persuaded and have taken on this task. It is not an easy task but they have done so recognising that we now have an opportunity to make great progress in the area. We agree with the noble Lord about support.

On the Serious Crime Bill, to which a number of noble Lords referred, the Government welcome the support that the provisions have generally received. As noble Lords will know, the Bill was introduced on 5 June and our Second Reading will be a week today. My noble friend Lord Faulks was asked by the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, about the provisions of the Bill in Scotland and I can confirm that the Proceeds of Crime Act changes will apply to Scotland. Indeed, a large portion of the Bill is designed to deal with Scotland and, it is to be hoped, Northern Ireland. The noble Baroness, Lady Smith, will know that we are determined to see the Proceeds of Crime Act fully

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implemented in Northern Ireland but we are dependent on genuine co-operation between the Government of Northern Ireland and ourselves to make a success of it.

I was asked by the noble Baroness, Lady Howe, about ISP filtering. She is right that it is an important matter and that there is still more to be done. However, I hope she will welcome the fact that the possession of anything that can be described as a paedophile manual will be a serious crime under the Bill. That in itself is progress and a way forward.

There were a number of other points. The noble Lord, Lord Noon, asked about the penalty for an offence under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act and felt that it was insufficient. We welcome his support for this measure. As he said, the maximum penalty for the offence of training for terrorism is currently 10 years’ imprisonment. We think this is appropriate and we have no current plans to increase it. However, the extension in the Bill extraterritorially will make an enormous difference. I agree that this is a serious problem which requires action and I hope that we have the support of the House in bringing forward these changes.

The noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, asked whether we would get rid of the requirement to prove wilful neglect. The Government believe that the current offence of child cruelty in Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act is still effective and that the courts are able to interpret it effectively. We acknowledge that some of the language is outdated and that the law might be easier to understand if it was updated and clarified. This is why we are amending the 1933 Act to make it absolutely clear that children who are subjected to cruelty likely to cause psychological suffering or injury are protected by the law. I have noted the comments of my noble friend in this regard, and we can examine the detail of the changes when we reach the Committee stage. I am sure that we will have some good debates on the Bill.

A number of noble Lords mentioned policing. I recall a speech by the noble Earl, Lord Lytton, and the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon, also said that she is concerned about the way the Government are handling police corruption and police integrity. We have already introduced a comprehensive programme of reforms during this Parliament, including a beefed-up IPCC, which will have the capacity and capability to deal with all serious and sensitive cases involving the police. I do not agree with the noble Baroness that the IPCC should be abolished, but I do agree with her comment that the vast majority of officers work tirelessly to serve the public and work to the highest standards. Policing integrity is at the heart of the trust between the public and the police, and we must all work together to make sure that it is maintained.

The noble Lord, Lord Patel of Bradford, mentioned the position of 17 year-olds held in custody. He talked about the large number of people of that particular age. Recently we changed the law to ensure that they must have a suitable adult present and that their parent or guardian must as a matter of course be informed of their detention. We are currently reviewing primary legislation as it relates to 17 year-olds which

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treats them as adults. I hope that the noble Lord is pleased that we are on the case, one that he presented to us so ably in his speech.

My noble friend Lord Faulks is going to introduce the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill when it comes to this House. It will shortly finish its Commons stages. My noble friend Lord Goschen referred to the whole business of whip-lash claims. It is and will remain legitimate for lawyers to advertise their business in the areas where they practise, but we are primarily concerned about inducements to claim, not information about the claims process itself. However, we may return to this issue when we bring forward our proposals for consideration.

Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, I am much obliged. I do not know whether the noble Lord is going to deal with legal aid, but can he indicate in any event how much the Government propose to save through the amendments that they are introducing to legal aid?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I cannot do that because I do not have the figures to hand, but I know that a number of noble Lords have mentioned legal aid. I have no need to tell my noble friend Lord Faulks how important the issue is to this House because it has been the subject of lots of debates in the last Session of Parliament. I will make sure that we write with an update of where we are on legal aid—we will be most happy to do that. All noble Lords who have raised the issue can then be reassured on the point.

The noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, whose contributions are always good value, made an attack on the concept of the secure college and the lack of rules on the use of force to maintain good order and discipline. I have no doubt that we will have plenty of opportunities to debate this matter. The noble Lord will be aware that time spent in custody can represent a rare period of stability in a lot of young people’s lives. Some three-quarters of young people who leave custody reoffend within a year, so it is clearly an area where we need to be involved. The current system is not working well enough. Secure colleges will have education at their heart, with other services designed in support of educational attainment and tackling offending behaviour. Specifically on the question of force, as the Minister for Prisons has already stated, the Government intend to consult on secure college rules, including those in respect of force, and have committed to publish this consultation during the Bill’s passage. I hope that will give the noble Lord an opportunity to contribute to that discussion.

Many noble Lords talked about health. Indeed, it was helpful to have my noble friend Lord Howe here earlier in the proceedings. The noble Lords, Lord Patel, Lord Ribeiro and Lord Faulkner, talked about standardised packaging of tobacco. I can tell noble Lords that the Government will very shortly publish a final, short consultation, which will contribute to the final decision-making on this policy. The consultation could not be published during the period of the elections because of purdah. It is being finalised and will be published shortly.

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I have been told that I have been going for 18 minutes. I am going to try to wind up but I want to try to cover points where I can. The Government are taking early action to introduce a ban on selling alcohol below the price of duty plus VAT. It does not go as far as the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, would wish but it goes a long way towards it. When further empirical evidence becomes available, we will consider it very carefully.

Why is there no Bill on the regulation of healthcare professionals? The Government remain committed to legislating on this important issue when parliamentary time allows. We are working with the regulators to ensure that key provisions, such as faster fitness-to-practise tests for nurses and midwives, and English language checks for all healthcare professionals, are in place during this Parliament.

A number of noble Lords spoke about residents in care homes being abused. We are introducing a new fundamental standard for care homes. We are bringing in specialist inspection teams involving people who have experience of care services. They will take action and will have the power to bring prosecutions if necessary. Noble Lords asked about the lack of action on carers. I apologise if I have not addressed all the health matters that noble Lords have raised but the Care Act was passed by this House at the end of May, including significant changes for carers, and for the first time there will be a duty on local authorities to meet carers’ eligible needs for support and consider the impact of their caring responsibilities when undertaking an assessment.

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The noble Lord, Lord Rooker, made his usual stimulating speech. I cannot give him an answer on the points that he raised.

Lord Rooker: There isn’t one.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: That is reassuring but it says here, “We will write rather than respond now”. Perhaps that will give me time to write one.

I have a few things here on education. Listening to the noble Lord, Lord Harris of Peckham, talk about his role in education, particularly in south London, was remarkable. It shows what has been achieved through the academy principles. The Department for Education has been working closely in toughening up the curriculum to ensure that what pupils learn in school equips them for the future. There were a number of criticisms on the education front. I would like to think that apprenticeships can now be seen as a genuine alternative to university, equipping people for life and for the opportunity of getting jobs in a growing economy, which we now have the prospect of sustaining.

I hope that noble Lords will forgive me for not answering everything at this stage. I intend to do so when I write to your Lordships within the next few weeks.

Debate adjourned until tomorrow.

House adjourned at 9.35 pm.