Social inequalities and small businesses in Lords questions for government
23 October 2020
At the start of business each day in the House of Lords, members question government activities and decisions in Lords Questions.
This week, from Monday 26 to Thursday 29 October, members quiz the government on social and economic inequalities, support for creative industries, high street retailers, Zimbabwe and domestic abuse.
The Lord Bishop of London (Bishop) asked the government about addressing social and economic inequalities in the economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members discussed topics including support for school-aged children from poor families and free school meals during school holidays.
Lord Colgrain (Conservative Excepted Hereditary) questioned the government on support for cultural and creative industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Members discussed topics including arts funding across the UK and reopening some sports and cultural venues before Christmas.
Lord Carrington (Crossbench) raised concern with the government about the impact of the COVID-19 catch-up premium on disadvantaged pupils. Members discussed topics including digital access for remote learning and encouraging new graduates to get involved in Saturday schools and holiday activities.
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Labour) quizzed the government about increases in uptake of Pension Credit in each of the past 12 months. Members discussed methods to raise awareness of pension credit and the stigma surround means testing.
Lord Oates (Liberal Democrat) questioned the government on its policy in respect of Zimbabwe. Members discussed topics including progress of the DfId (Department for International Development, now the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) programme ‘Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation’ and international support for Zimbabwean family farms.
Lord Rose of Monewden (Conservative) pressed the government about additional financial support for high street retailers affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Members discussed topics including costs and taxes for high street retailers compared to online and the increasing use of charity shops.
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate (Conservative) asked the government about protecting victims of domestic abuse. Members discussed topics including the rise of abuse cases during the coronavirus pandemic and the role of local authorities in victim support.
Lord Scriven (Liberal Democrat) asked the government about improving the speed of test results for COVID-19. Members discussed using wastewater analysis to identify the presence of COVID-19 and the long-term strategy for dealing with the virus.
Lord Woolley of Woodford (Crossbench) asked the government a ‘private notice question’ on free school meals for eligible children in England. Members discussed opening schools during the holidays and government plans to address long-term issues of child poverty.
Baroness Benjamin (Liberal Democrat) questioned the government about the amounts and beneficiaries of money given out from the Clean Growth Fund. Members discussed subjects including sustainable supply chains for energy, food and water, and giving young people the skills to develop careers in clean energy.
Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Conservative) quizzed the government about protection of those threatened with abuse. Members discussed subjects including the potential harm in the rise of deepfake images.
Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative) pressed the government about its publication of proposals for the reform of social care. Members discussed developing an ad-hoc Lords Select Committee to investigate the reform and supporting the growth of innovative healthcare technology.
Lord Addington (Liberal Democrat) asked the government about ensuring charitably funded hospices have enough funding to continue to operate. Members discussed subjects including the increasing demand for hospices and the provision for children’s hospices.
Lord Cotter (Liberal Democrat) pressed the government on supporting small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Members discussed reviewing current business rates, provisions for businesses that face low demand during winter due to COVID-19 restrictions and those excluded from the self-employment income support scheme.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Liberal Democrat) questioned the government about transparency in sources of funding for charities based in the UK. Members discussed topics including the Charity Commission and ensuring UK charities are not used to promote hate or extremism.
Baroness Browning (Conservative) asked government about civil servants engaged in public procurement to declare any conflict of interest in an accessible public register. Members discussed a range of topics including the investigation by the Good Law Project.
Baroness Browning (Conservative) asked the government how it will ensure civil servants engaged in public procurement to declare any conflict of interest in an accessible public register. Members discussed topics including smart road pricing and delays to Crossrail due to COVID-19.
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Labour) asked the government a ‘private notice question’ on the deaths in the English Channel. Members discussed topics including the refugee resettlement programme and maritime border controls.
Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Crossbench) also asked the government a ‘private notice question’ on Covid-19 : Intensive care Triaging Guidelines. Members discussed topics including lessons learned from areas across the country currently in lockdown and plans for the Nightingale hospitals during a second wave of COVID-19.