Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People
EDM #2411, Tabled 21 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House welcomes the publication of the White Paper on Online Harms; recognises that the early years represent a window of opportunity during which children can be prepared for a healthy life course; notes British Heart Foundation findings that among children aged two to four only 9 per cent of boys and 10 per cent of girls are achieving their physical activity recommendations in England; recognises that play has a fundamental role in early childhood education and that there is no national play strategy from early years upwards; further recognises that nutrition in the early years lays the foundation of healthy eating and that areas with the highest level of income deprivation have a child obesity prevalence almost double that of areas with the lowest level; notes that the national obesity strategy should be accompanied by a sustained, flexible and fully funded programme of support for parents and carers of young children; contends that such problems are not capable of resolution via a single bullet approach; and calls upon the Prime Minister to appoint a Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People to drive policy and promote a system of inter-departmental working.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2019: Body Image
EDM #2407, Tabled 21 May 201 (2017-19 Session)
That this House notes that 13-19 May was Mental Health Awareness Week as organised by the Mental Health Foundation and that this year’s theme was body image; notes that poor body image is experienced by people of any gender at all stages of life and that this can contribute to poor mental health; further notes that exposure to unrealistic body images through social media and advertising is strongly associated with the development of body image and mental health problems; and calls on the Government to strengthen regulation in these areas.
Shortage of Public Lavatories
EDM #2404, Tabled 21 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House expresses concern that public lavatory budgets have been cut by more than £26 million in the last five years; notes that this has seen public toilet numbers fall by 13 per cent nationally, with countryside areas disproportionately affected; recognises that this is particularly difficult for individuals who struggle with continence issues, inhibiting them from leaving the home and leading normal lives for fear of being unable to access a toilet, particularly mums who struggle with bladder control after child birth, people who have undergone surgery for prostate or bladder cancer, people with spinal injuries and people with an overactive bladder, a disease that affects more people than asthma or diabetes and leaves many people housebound; further notes that World Continence Week, 17-23 June 2019, is an excellent time to reaffirm the basic human need to access clean toilets; and supports The Urology Foundation’s call for greater access to public toilets and a reassessment of the current public lavatory budgets as supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Continence Care.
Debating Private Members Bills
EDM #2403, Tabled 20 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House notes that the political negotiations over the last months regarding the UK’s proposed departure from the EU have resulted in parliamentary time not being utilised to its full potential; further notes that Private Members Bills receive very little parliamentary time given that they often draw attention to important issues and causes; calls on the Government to work with Backbenchers to make the most of parliamentary time by bringing forward Private Members Bills, including the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill [HL] 2017-19, to be debated in the Chamber during the week after oral questions.
EDM #2402, Tabled 20 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House welcomes the Government’s recognition that we are in a national climate emergency; notes the publication this month of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services based on a review of approximately 15,000 scientific and Government sources and complied by 145 expert authors from 50 countries; recognises the report’s warning that the behaviour of human beings may force as many as one million species into extinction in the next few years; further recognises the report’s conclusion that human activity is the main driver of nature’s decline; expresses deep concern at the Governments delay of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill 2018 in the face of our rapidly shrinking biodiversity; calls on the Government to move forward with the passage of this essential Bill as a matter of urgency; and urges the Government to guarantee that the Office of Environmental Protection is given sufficient independence, power and resource to hold the Government to account and regulate the effective implementation of the Bill.
Authorised Fraud Compensation
EDM #2401, Tabled 20 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House welcomes the publication of the Authorised Push Payment (APP) Scams Voluntary Code due to come into effect on 28 May 2019 to protect customers from APP fraud; notes that during the first half of 2018 consumers lost £92.9 million due to APP scams; further notes that this has caused significant loss and financial instability for individuals and families; commends the banks that have signed up to the code including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group – which includes Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Lloyds Bank – Nationwide, RBS – which includes NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland – and Santander; further commends TSB for going further for their customers by promising to refund those who have been victims of APP fraud; urges all other banks to follow their example; further challenges all banks to backdate the compensation to historic cases of APP fraud; calls on the Government to make the Authorised Push Payment Scams code mandatory for all banks; and further calls on the Government to demand banks provide compensation for customers who have fallen victim to APP fraud in the past and pledge to compensate those who will in the future.
International Day Against Statelessness
EDM #2400, Tabled 20 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House welcomes the launch of a new campaign for the International Observatory of Human Rights on statelessness and citizenship deprivation; believes that their call for the UNHCR to enact an International Day Against Statelessness is vital in raising awareness for the issue that affects approximately 10 million people globally; understands that those who find themselves stateless often experience a protection gap leading to violations of their rights; recognises that stateless persons often suffer from health issues, lack of education, restricted movement and social alienation; and encourages anyone who is concerned about the issue of statelessness to support the International Observatory of Human Rights in calling for an International Day Against Statelessness.
Personal Independence Payment and Mental Health Services
EDM #2398, Tabled 16 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House recognises the strain placed on community mental health services as demand for care outstrips capacity; is concerned that due to the complexity of the application system for personal independence payment (PIP) many people with mental health conditions depend on the support of mental health workers to complete their application forms, gather evidence, attend assessments and contest any appeals; calls on the Government to simplify PIP so that mentally ill people can access the support that they need and to alleviate the demands on mental health workers so that they can spend more of their time delivering essential care and support to a greater number of people.
EDM #2395, Tabled 15 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House recognises that over 300,000 people borrow money from illegal money lenders or loan sharks, often without realising it is illegal and that the lenders are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); notes that the FCA found that 45 per cent of borrowers from illegal lenders had been verbally abused or physically threatened; further notes that 36 per cent of consumer credit enquiry calls to the FCA’s Consumer Credit Centre involve status and regulation, including checking on a firm’s authorisation status; warmly welcomes Loan Smart, a new charity formed to help highlight the dangers of illegal money lending, including through a new free website where people can check easily whether a lender is fully authorised by the FCA and which signposts other useful websites including PayPlan, Citizen’s Advice, Money Advice Service and Stop Loan Sharks; and commends Loan Smart’s series of local initiatives run volunteers to help spread the message about the dangers of loan sharks.
IR35 Off-Payroll Tax Extension to Private Sector
EDM #2379, Tabled 13 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House notes with concern HM Treasury’s plans to extend the off-payroll (IR35) changes to the private sector; believes that this could damage the UK’s flexible workforce, reducing avenues for work and harm the economy; further notes that the extension could force thousands of contractors into false-employment, potentially costing them an estimated 30 per cent of income; notes the extension of the rules could drive up businesses project costs, significantly depriving UK industry of essential access to key skills; reflects on the impact the rollout of these rules had on the public sector and highlights that the private sector may be even more susceptible to damage; further notes concerns that the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) routinely does not provide clear answers and raises concerns that there could be a blanket application of the rules due to the poor performance of this tool; supports the aims of the Stop the Off-Payroll Tax campaign and calls upon the Government to offer assurances and commit resources so that companies in the private sector have support if the IR35 rules are extended; and calls on the Government to scrap the roll-out of Off-Payroll to the private sector if assurances cannot be given and look again at reviewing the tax system to better support contingent workers.
National Epilepsy Week (SUDEP Action)
EDM #2366, Tabled 07 May 2019 (2017-19 Session)
That this House notes 20-26 May 2019 is National Epilepsy Week; recognises the work of SUDEP Action and other charities on improving outcomes for people with epilepsy and their families; notes with concern that there are at least 21 epilepsy deaths weekly in the UK, many of which are potentially avoidable; expresses concern that many of these deaths occur among those who are vulnerable and struggle to access the services and support they need; acknowledges significant gaps and variation across clinical and policy settings regarding the complexity of epilepsy risks and the importance of effective management; recognises the Prevent21 Summit’s recommendation that more can be done to support the spread of good practice across the UK and better signpost bereaved families to SUDEP Action; congratulates SUDEP Action and their partners on their 2019 win of the prestigious BMJ Education Team of the Year Award; supports the provision of a simple free innovative solution in epilepsy risk management through a standardised SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist and EpSMon app, available for all clinicians and people living with epilepsy; further acknowledges the impact this work has had on personalised care, risk communication and shared decision-making by supporting clinical decision making and empowering patient self management; strongly encourages the creation of an empathetic and holistic approach to patient care and safety which would improve outcomes for many people and tackle avoidable deaths; and therefore again calls on Governments across the UK to work with SUDEP Action towards achieving this goal.