House of Lords summer roundup
25 July 2022
Catch up on a busy start to the 2022-23 session of Parliament as the House of Lords pauses for the summer recess.
2022-23 so far
The current session of Parliament began on Tuesday 10 May 2022, when the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge presided over the State Opening of Parliament as Counsellors of State on behalf of the Queen.
To date, members of the House of Lords have raised concerns, pressed government for action and questioned decisions in debates, daily oral questions and urgent questions including:
Cost of Living
- rising energy bills in questions on energy supply, support for people struggling to keep warm in winter, number of households in fuel poverty and the increased cost of living
- support for vulnerable people in questions on low income families with children, a child poverty strategy, the impact on pensioners and the social security system
- food insecurity with statements on the Government Food Strategy and food price inflation, and questions on the causes of food insecurity in England and the expected peak of inflation
- a debate on the impact of the increasing cost of living on the level of economic resilience in the social capital of the UK.
- financial inclusion in the UK as Lord Holmes of Richmond pressed for government action
- members also quizzed the government on levelling up plans and the needs of the Roma community, metrics used to inform the government's annual Levelling Up report and working with trade unions on levelling up
- the Liaison Committee published its follow up report: Tackling financial exclusion: a country that works for everyone?
- the House of Lords debated economic resilience in the social capital of the UK and considered the supply and quality of social housing during the second reading of the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.
- The House began consideration of the Schools Bill with second reading on 23 May. Subsequently, members raised concerns with various provisions in the bill, including ones on the regulation and intervention in the work of academies by the government. The government agreed to remove these clauses, as well as provide defibrillators to all state-funded schools in England, following another change proposed by the Lords.
- Members also pressed the government on improving financial education for 11-16 year olds, citizenship education, teaching of history, and the use of biometrics in schools and children’s civil liberties in oral questions.
- members raised the impact of blockades of Ukrainian ports by Russia, their likely impact on food security and the risk of famine in developing countries
- the House of Lords pressed the government on discussions with other Nato states, the impact of the conflict on UK relations with Nato and European allies, and the supply of weapons to Ukraine
- Lords members also quizzed government on its action to support Ukraine and neighbouring countries with foreign aid, and supporting the needs of mothers and dependent children arriving in the UK.
Health and social care
- the House pressed the government with questions on the connection between advertising, bodying image and mental health, deaths caused by ambulance delays and plans to fortify bread with folic acid
- debates on the NHS took place including dental services and costs related to managing Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections
- members raised concerns about the overall health of the nation and health care access for those with neurological conditions
- members also urged for improvements to children and adult social care and the Lords Public Services Committee released its report into the future of the workforce.
- members pressed the government on water company responsibilities to tackle sewage being discharged into rivers and environmental pollution by water companies, taking action over falling recycling rates in England, and supporting access to electric vehicles
- members also debated private members’ bills on making clean air a human right and imposing a duty on the government to meet climate and nature targets
- in committees, the Lords Economic Affairs Committee released its report into energy security and a net zero plan, while the Lords Industry and Regulators Committee launched a new inquiry into the work of Ofwat
- the current energy crisis and future resilience, UK contribution to reaching net zero and home insulation were also on the agenda as the House of Lords considered the Energy Bill during its second reading debate.
Return to business
The House of Lords returns to business on Monday 5 September, with daily questions to government and detailed check of the Energy Bill on the agenda.
Watch and read debate s
All business in the House of Lords chamber and Grand Committee is streamed live online for free and transcripts in Hansard are available from around three hours after each item of business. Catch up on Parliament TV or read Lords Hansard transcripts.
Explore background information
Find out more about the issues under discussion in authoritative and impartial briefings from the House of Lords Library.
Learn more about how the House of Lords checks and challenges government.
Hear from members and staff of the House of Lords about their work and in the UK Parliament's second chamber. Recent episodes consider private members' bills, women in Parliament and the government's use of secondary legislation. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris