Lords questions government on cancelled operations and more on 10 June

09 June 2020

The House of Lords started business on Wednesday 10 June with daily oral questions on foreign debt held by G20 countries, water sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa, cancelled medical operations due to Covid-19 and children in poverty over the summer holidays.

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 Wednesday 10 June:

  • The Lord Bishop of Worcester asked the government what steps it is taking to ensure G20 countries cancel any debt owed to them by the poorest countries.

    Topics discussed include: debt forgiveness instead of suspension in light of the Covid-19 pandemic; the UK's debt forgiveness and grant financing programmes; ensuring aid is used for combatting Covid-19; cancellation of debt as part of the Black Lives Matter movement; potentially extending the debt service suspension initiative as part of the G20; and directing support to enable economic recovery.

 

  • Lord Bruce of Bennachie asked the government what steps it is taking to increase its support for water and sanitation programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: the impact of Covid-19 and the climate emergency on water supplies; increasing support for sanitation programmes in areas significantly affected by Covid-19; collaboration with the CDC, the UK's development finance institution; extending the WASH programme; the GAVI vaccine alliance; funding for health and sanitation programmes in Uganda; and the use of the term Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

  • Baroness Kennedy of Cradley asked the government about the impact of cancelled medical operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: empty private medical facilities; reintroducing routine health checks for over 75s; improving access to care for rare disease patients; hospital waiting lists; covid-19 protected spaces for cancer services; the commencement of chemotherapy treatment; keeping non-surgical care separate from Covid-19 areas; and a second wave of Covid-19 potentially leading to further delays in life saving medical operations.

 

  • Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the government about its assessment of the impact on children in poverty of not providing free school meal vouchers during summer holidays.

    Topics discussed include: government responsibility for the welfare of vulnerable children and ensuring they have access to a healthy diet; supporting families with budgetary advice; continuing the entitlement of free school meals throughout the summer holiday; the increase in the cost of living for families; supermarket profits during the covid-19 pandemic; and keeping some schools open during the summer holidays.

 

The Lord Speaker has also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Lord Balfe:

  • Lord Balfe asked the government whether they will publish the scientific advice upon which the travel quarantine measures are based.

    Topics discussed include: publication of scientific advice from SAGE; guidance on checks on those in quarantine; public confidence in quarantine measures and compliance; assessments of impact on the economy caused by quarantine measures; testing-led alternatives to current plans; support for the UK tourism industry; bans on travel from countries with high infection rates; variations in policy across the devolved administrations of the UK; quarantine for those involved in international sport; and exemptions for frequent business travellers.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris

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