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Lords quiz government in daily questions on 29 April

28 April 2020

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The House of Lords questioned government on the Covid-19 pandemic in daily oral questions held in a virtual proceeding on Wednesday 29 April.

Questions on Wednesday 29 April:

  • Lord Foulkes of Cumnock asked the government what plans it has to review the arrangements for the operation of passenger train services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: the number of services available and passenger capacity limits; social distancing and the use of facemasks on trains; services in Scotland; the implications of Covid-19 on rail franchises; the Williams Rail Review; streamlining ticketing and refund processes; restarting services following travel restrictions; and reduced capacity on Transport for London services.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.


  • Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked the government what action it is taking to address fake news about COVID-19 on social media.

    Topics discussed include: the work of the government's counter disinformation response unit; the risks posed to children and young people by fake news online; online harms laws; the impact of public figures spreading misinformation; international co-ordination to combat fake news; and the role of social media companies in combating fake news on Covid-19.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.


  • Lord Berkeley asked the government what plans it has to make it a condition for any company in receipt of state support as a result of COVID-19 to agree to not participate in any artificial tax avoidance arrangements.

    Topics discussed include: rate relief eligibility criteria; regulation to prevent tax avoiding companies from accessing support; attaching additional conditions to support; windfall taxes in response to Covid-19; and the eligibility for companies making use of tax havens.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.


  • Lord Cormack asked the government, what plans it has to compensate garden centres; and when they will allow those centres to reopen for the sale of plants.

    Topics discussed include: variance in regulations for supermarkets and garden centres; the impact on biosecurity of relying on plants grown overseas due to Covid-19; the decision-making process for removing restrictions on opening; and removing restrictions on other rural businesses.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.


  • A private notice question (urgent question) has also been granted to Baroness Burt of Solihull. Baroness Burt of Solihull asked the government what practical measures it is taking to tackle domestic abuse as part of the strategy against Covid-19.

    Topics discussed include: cross-government approaches; protecting children, including awareness, advice and support; capacity in refuges; the numbers of alcohol-related instances of violence during Covid-19; preparations made by police and government in advance of restrictions on movement; and awareness and support for financial abuse of older people.
    Read the full transcript in Hansard.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris