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Lords questions government on universal credit and the economy on 13 May

12 May 2020

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The House of Lords started business on Wednesday 13 May with daily oral questions held in virtual proceedings.

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 13 May:

  • Baroness Lister of Burtersett asked the government about the impact of the benefit cap on the incomes of Universal Credit claimants following the increase in the Universal Credit standard allowance announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 20 March.

    Topics discussed include: reviewing, suspending or removing the benefit cap; impact on single parents and those with caring responsibilities; impact assesments on families with more than two children; replacing advance payments with grants; and reviewing Universal Credit.

  • Baroness Cox asked the government about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the humanitarian situation in Syria; and what steps they are taking to initiate the lifting of sanctions.

    Topics discussed include: the continuation of sanctions and barriers to aid; representations made for the release of women imprisoned by the Syrian government; the impact of sanctions on Syrian citizens; aid corridors; the cutting of water supplied controlled by Turkey; and the Assad regime.

  • Lord Caine asked the government what support it is making available for sports affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Topics discussed include: plans to allow the rugby season to begin behind closed doors; supporting football clubs outside the Premier League; tracking and tracing; and how athletes will be informed when it is safe to start training.


  • Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked the government about the forecast for the economy included in the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Report and Interim Financial Stability Report.

    Topics discussed include: social distancing and the recovery of the economy; planning for the fiscal deficit in the future; supporting British business; decision making on planning applications; testing, tracking and tracing; support for the unemployed; a green recovery; Bank of England forecasts based on the furlough scheme extension.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris