Lords oral questions on 23 April

22 April 2020

Members of the House of Lords questioned government in oral questions in a virtual session on Thursday 23 April.

A transcript of this session is available via Lords Hansard, and a short summary is below.

Oral questions on Thursday 23 April:

  • The Earl of Clancarty asked the government what steps it is taking to ensure that their support for the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic is sufficient.

    Topics discussed included caps on eligibility; support for those paid through dividends; speeding up access to support; the use of personal services companies by freelance workers; small business support; implementation of the Taylor review of modern working practices; and how many people are not currently eligible for existing self-employment schemes and what additional support packages may be offered to them.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.

 

  • Lord Black of Brentwood questioned the government on what assessment it has made of the impact of COVID-19 on the United Kingdom music sector, and the creative economy.

    Topics discussed included cashflow challenges for creative organisations; calls for a joined up approach to support the creative industries; support for organisations affected by a longterm ban on large scale gatherings; the plight of smaller venues; incentives to support live performance production after restrictions have been lifted; and support for streaming of live performances.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.

 

  • Lord Young of Cookham asked the government what plans it has to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.

    Topics discussed included the criminalisation of rough sleepers; the ongoing usefulness of sections of the Act in encouraging rough sleepers to seek help; the eradication of rough sleeping coupled with a repeal of the act; bringing England and Wales in line with Scotland, where parts of the act were repealed in 1982; what commitment the government has made to ensure the 5,000 homeless who were housed in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, will not return to the streets; using other laws to encourage rough sleepers to find help; and the possible retention, repeal, replacement or amendment of the act.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.

 

  • Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked the government how many United Kingdom manufacturers are in place to ensure that an adequate supply of personal protective equipment is made available to the National Health Service and carers, to all regions of the United Kingdom; and what direct contact they have had with such manufacturers based in the North of England.

    Topics discussed included encouraging PPE production in the UK; the daily and weekly requirement for PPE within the NHS; provision of PPE in care homes; government response to voluntary PPE production from British manufacturers; laundering PPE garments for reuse; the delayed shipment of PPE from international manufacturers; devolving more power to individual regions to development local procurement teams for PPE manufacturing; and using UVC to sterilise personal protective equipment and extend its lifespan.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.

 

  • A Private Notice Question (urgent question) has also been granted to Baroness Smith of Basildon. Baroness Smith of Basildon asked the government what arrangements are in place for cross departmental working across government for the distribution, supply and manufacture of PPE.

    Topics discussed included procurement policy; the handling of UK organisations' offers to provide PPE; charging of VAT on PPE procured by care homes; UK threat and resilience arrangements; delays to imports of PPE; and cross-government working and decision-making.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.

Statement Repeat

Business in Thursday 23 April's fully virtual proceedings in the House of Lords concluded with a statement repeat titled Covid-19 Update.
Listen to an audio recording of this statement and follow up questions.
Read the transcript in Hansard from three hours after the proceeding.

 

Further information

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