Lords question government on victims of domestic abuse and short prison sentences on 29 June
26 June 2020
In the House of Lords on Monday 29 June, questions to the government were on support for victims of domestic abuse, short prison sentences, the impact of Covid-19 on the airline sector and the UK's relationship with China. There was also a Private Notice Question on local government loss of income due to Covid-19.
Questions on Monday 29 June:
- Baroness Gale asked the government what measures they are taking to support victims of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Topics discussed include: plans to deal with an anticipated surge in demand; government funding for refuges; updating legislation to recognise children who witness abuse as victims; the recent report by Birmingham University on domestic violence and child maltreatment during the Covid-19 pandemic; the number of refugees in the UK; additional support for children that are victims or witnesses to violence; and including parental violence in the definition of domestic violence.
- Lord German asked the government what plans they have to reduce the number of short prison sentences.
Topics discussed include: evidence that short sentences increase re-offending; the role of the probation service; the role of rehabilitation in prison sentences; suspending the use of short sentences; community sentencing; and sentencing tariffs.
- Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked the government about the impact of Covid-19 on the airline sector and what steps they are taking to support that sector.
Topics discussed include: an extension of the furlough scheme for aviation; the delay to the proposed air bridges; support for the aviation industry including greener fuels for aviation; the Restart, Recovery and Engagement unit; cancelling business rates for airports; reviewing the 14 day quarantine rule; regional air connectivity; working closely with the devolved administrations; and discussions with airlines on bespoke financial support.
- Baroness Falkner of Margravine asked the government what plans they have to reassess their relationship with the government of China.
Topics discussed include: the UK taking a clear and united stand with allies where interests diverge from China; the Ethnic Unity Law in Tibet; UK's right to freedom of navigation on the South China sea; how many Hong Kong citizens qualify for visas or full UK citizenship; which countries the UK is working with to counter China's threats to Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere in the South China sea; UK partnership with Australia and other countries in the region; China's new security law; the independent people's tribunal report into forced organ harvesting in China; and the long term prosperity of Hong Kong.
The Lord Speaker has also accepted the following urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Baroness Pinnock:
- Baroness Pinnock asked the government about its response to reports that five of the largest UK councils may have to issue a notice under section 114 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which are used when a council cannot achieve a balanced budget, as a result of loss of income due to Covid-19.
Topics discussed include: government support in place of lost income due to Covid-19; reviewing additional spending as a result of Covid-19; council tax; Luton; advice for local authority leaders; allowing councils to carry forward deficits; council pension funds; the need for an emergency budget; the impact on cultural venues; the risks from suddenly halting services for vulnerable people; and future recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.
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