Lords Oral Questions to government on 2 June
1 June 2020
The House of Lords returned from recess on Tuesday 2 June, starting business with daily oral questions on Universal Credit, Covid-19, TV Licences and the EU.
You can watch the full session on Parliament TV. A transcript will also be available via Lords Hansard around three hours after proceedings, and a short summary of what was discussed is available below.
Questions on Tuesday 2 June:
Baroness Sherlock asked the government about removing the five week wait for Universal Credit payments.
Topics discussed include: calls for removing the five week wait; changing repayable advances to grants or increasing repayment timeframes; work to deal with increases in claims; local authority hardship funds; support for housing costs; suspending council tax enforcement; and comparisons to previous systems.
Baroness Randerson asked the government about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the provision of public transport.
Topics discussed include: working with local authorities on provision of public transport; provision of public transport in national parks as lockdown restrictions are eased; road building and maintenance programmes; requiring transport users to wear masks; common standards among airlines to resume flights; financial support for public transport operators; and ending free transport for under 18s in London.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock asked the government about the provision of free TV Licences for people aged over 75.
Topics discussed include: television as a vital source of information on Covid-19 for older people; free TV licences being a universal benefit; the government's plans to assist the over 75s and combat loneliness; setting up a BBC funding commission; extending the TV licence concession until the end of the year; and the government bearing the cost of free TV licensing.
Lord Dubs asked the government about its contingency plans in the event of a deal not being agreed with the EU by the end of the transition period.
Topics discussed include: damage to the economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit; significant impact on the North West and Midlands as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and a no-deal Brexit; government plans for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU; the combined economic cost of Brexit and Covid-19 across the UK; farming and animal welfare standards; the UK's security and foreign policy relationship with the EU; the potential costs of remaining in the EU beyond 31 December; and the resources available to implement the Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol.
The Lord Speaker has also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
Lord Alton of Liverpool asked the government about its assessment of the proposal by the National People's Congress of China for a national security law in Hong Kong, and what impact it will have on the “one country, two systems” framework and the civil liberties of those living in Hong Kong.
Topics discussed include: support for those arrested in Hong Kong; international collaboration to persuade China to rethink the proposed law; extending citizenship to all Hong Kong residents; clarification of the rights of British national (overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong; conflicts between the proposed law and the Basic Law of Hong Kong; and the UK's strategy for a future relationships with China.
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