Trade Union Rights of Access to Workplaces
EDM #2243, Tabled 27 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House believes that the right to join a trade union is a basic democratic right, and that trade unions play an invaluable role in defending the pay, terms and conditions of their members; regrets that presently in the UK there is no legal right of access to workplaces for unions to recruit new members, and that a number of employers actively seek to bar trade union activists from the premises; notes that this situation contrasts starkly with the law in New Zealand, where legislation prevents employers from unreasonably withholding access to the premises as long as sufficient notice is given by the trade union; and therefore calls on the Government to bring forward legislation to give trade unions similar rights of access to work places in the UK.
2019 Loan Charge Implementation
EDM #2241, Tabled 27 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House condemns the UK Government and HMRC’s implementation of the 2019 Loan Charge; notes the 2019 Loan Charge was introduced by the Treasury to tackle disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes through which loans were paid instead of regular forms of remuneration; is dismayed by reports that HMRC’s handling of the measure is reportedly leaving individuals facing bankruptcy or homelessness as a result; regrets that tax professionals advised clients to use the mechanism; instructs the UK Government to pursue these organisations; further instructs the UK Government to take steps to tackle tax avoidance and evasion more generally which it has so far proven unwilling to do; notes the importance of people paying their fair share for the public services citizens use, but also the expectation that taxes are collected in a reasonable and responsible manner; demands that HMRC now works with those with an outstanding balance to ensure a reasonable repayment plan can be put in place; further demands the UK Government as a matter of urgency puts in place measures to ensure those affected do not lose their homes or businesses; and instructs UK Ministers to meet with any Parliamentary group wishing to get assurances on the loan charge or MPs making representations on behalf of constituents.
Review of Pubs Code
EDM #2238, Tabled 26 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House notes the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy told the House on 8 January 2019 that the Government would be announcing the statutory review into the success and operation of the Pubs code and Pubs code adjudicator by 31 March 2019; recognises that this review is a key opportunity to ensure that the Government delivers on the objectives that prompted the Pubs code; calls on the Government to ensure that the review is open and transparent and not only provides an opportunity for those who are committed to our pubs industry to contribute, but also makes public the evidence that is heard; and call on the Government to publish a draft terms of reference and draft timetable for the review by 31 March.
Brain Tumour Research Wear a Hat Day
EDM #2236, Tabled 26 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House supports Wear a Hat Day on Friday 29 March 2019; notes that this is the UK’s biggest brain tumour research fundraising event; congratulates Brain Tumour Research and their supporters on their efforts to fundraise and raise awareness of brain tumours; recognises that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and that Wear a Hat Day helps to support brain tumour patients, who on average are £7,943 worse off per year, compared with other cancer patients; and urges the Government to help improve research and awareness of brain tumours.
Cuts to BBC News Programmes
EDM #2234, Tabled 26 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House believes that at this critical time for the nation over Brexit negotiations, the availability for well-resourced, independent news and analysis is of paramount importance; is therefore deeply concerned that the BBC plans to merge two of radio’s most important radio current affairs programmes, the World Service’s NewsHour and Radio 4’s The World Tonight; fears that such a merger would have a detrimental effect on the news coverage on both programmes and undermine the distinctive voice of the World Service; believes that savings could be better achieved by cutting executive salaries and management posts; and calls on BBC management to hold meaningful talks with the National Union of Journalists to develop a plan which preserves the quality and integrity of both these important programmes.
Inclusive Peace and Protections of Defenders in Colombia
EDM #2232, Tabled 26 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House encourages further steps to be taken to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Peace Accord between the Colombian Government and the FARC signed in November 2016, including its gender-based agreements and prioritisation of victims’ rights; recognises the vital role of civil society organisations and human rights defenders in the effective implementation of that Accord; is very concerned that 172 human rights defenders were killed in Colombia in 2018 according to the Colombian Ombudsman; notes also with concern the death threats against Zenú Indigenous leader Irrael Aguilar Solano and Human Rights Defender Danilo Rueda from the Comision Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz; regrets that the breakdown of peace talks with the ELN guerrilla has increased violence against, and suffering in Indigenous, Afro-Colombian and peasant rural communities and humanitarian zones, including in medio-Atrato Chocó, Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó, which are caught between neo-paramilitary groups and ELN guerrilla, and subject to threats and intimidation; urge both the Colombian State and the ELN to work towards a peaceful and negotiated solution to the armed conflict; and calls on the Government to ensure that the recommendations in the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders’ 2019 report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders are incorporated into, and monitored by, the UN Security Council’s Verification Mission to Colombia.
Tackling Racism in Football
EDM #2230, Tabled 26 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this house condemns the racist abuse directed at players in the England football team in their Euro 2020 qualification match in Montenegro on 25 March 2019; supports UEFA’s quick and decisive action in opening disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro; and agrees with footballer Raheem Sterling that any racist chanting should be collectively punished with stadium bans.
Exploitation of Cocoa Farmers
EDM #2229, Tabled 26 March 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House supports the Fairtrade Foundation petition which calls on an end to the exploitation of cocoa farmers; understands that some cocoa farmers are currently earning less that 75p a day, which is less than half of what they need for a good standard of living; further understands that world cocoa prices recently fell by more than a third which has resulted in cocoa farmers being hit the hardest; notes with concern that unfair prices are forcing cocoa farmers into serious poverty as they struggle to afford essential goods and services such as access to safe water and medical treatment; and calls on the Government to target UK aid so that a living income can be introduced for cocoa farmers to ensure that they earn a fair wage for the hard work that they undertake.