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>> Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) (Lab): If she will list her official engagements
for Wednesday 10 January.
>> The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May): I hope that it is not too late to wish all
Members and staff in the House a very happy new year.
This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties
in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.
>> Mike Amesbury: I, too, wish members of staff a happy new
year.
At least 1.4 million households across the UK have been victims of unfair practices in
the leasehold market, including my constituent Emily Martin. In advance of any intended legislation,
what commitment will the Prime Minister make to ensure that Emily and thousands of people
tied into this PPI-like scandal are compensated by developers now?
>> The Prime Minister: We are concerned when we hear of unfair practices
taking place. I am sure that the Housing Minister will be happy to hear of this particular case
as an example. We are looking to see what action the Government can take to ensure that
people are secure in their homes and are not subject to practices that they should not
be subject to.
>> James Cleverly (Braintree) (Con): In December, when the Brexit Secretary met
Michel Barnier, they hugged. In that spirit, would my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister
passionately embrace—not me, Mr Speaker; don't worry—the agenda that she set out
last year to build a Britain fit for the future, to encourage home ownership, improve education,
health and life chances, and leave this country in a better place than we found it?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend talks about passionate embraces;
I do not think that he has ever had the kiss that he once asked for. He is absolutely right:
we are determined to deliver a Britain that is fit for the future. That means that we
need to get Brexit right and do a lot more. He references house building; yes, we are
committed to building the homes that this country needs. That is why we have made £15
billion of new financial support available over the next five years, and why we scrapped
stamp duty for 80% of first-time buyers. We are also improving school standards—there
are 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools today—and we are protecting our
natural environment. We are building a Britain that can look to the future with optimism
and hope.
>> Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab): Mr Speaker, may I wish you, all the House
and all our staff a very happy new year? Everybody is agreed? Yes? Thank you. I know it seems
a long time ago, but just before Christmas, I asked the Prime Minister about the 12,000
people left waiting more than half an hour in the back of ambulances at A&E departments.
She told the House that the NHS was better prepared for winter “than ever before.”
What words of comfort does she have for the 17,000 patients who waited in the back of
ambulances in the last week of December? Is it that nothing is perfect, by any chance?
>> The Prime Minister: I fully accept that the NHS is under pressure
over winter. It is regularly under pressure at winter time. I have been very clear: I
apologised to those people who have had their operations delayed and to those people who
have had their admission to hospital delayed, but it is indeed the case that the NHS was
better prepared this winter than ever before. [Interruption.] Yes. It might be helpful if
I let the House know some of the things that were done to ensure that preparedness. More
people than ever before are having flu vaccines, and 2,700 more acute beds have been made available
since November. For the first time ever, urgent GP appointments have been available across
the Christmas period across this country, and more doctors are specialising in treating
the elderly in accident and emergency.
The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the last exchange we had in this House. In our last
exchange, he said mental health budgets have been cut; that is not right. Simon Stevens
from the national health service has made it clear that mental health spending has gone
up both in real terms and as a proportion of the overall spending. So will the right
hon. Gentleman now apologise for what he previously said?
>> Jeremy Corbyn: The Prime Minister knows full well that child
and adolescent mental health services budgets have been raided and many people who need
help are not getting that help. We saw on “ITV News” the other night that nurses
are spending their entire shift treating people in car parks because of backed-up ambulances.
We know the Prime Minister recognises there is a crisis in our NHS because she wanted
to sack the Health Secretary last week but was too weak to do it, and if the NHS is so
well resourced and so well prepared, why was the decision taken last week to cancel the
operations of 55,000 patients during the month of January?
>> The Prime Minister: I say to the right hon. Gentleman— Members
on the Labour Front Bench say “Apologise”; if they had listened to the answer I gave
to their right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, they will have heard me make it
clear that I have already apologised to those whose operations have been delayed, and we
will make sure they are reinstated as soon as possible. We are putting record funding
into the NHS and record funding into mental health, but the right hon. Gentleman keeps
on about the preparations for the NHS and I was very pleased last week to be able to
go and say in person a thank you to staff at Frimley health trust from both Frimley
Park and Wexham Park hospitals for the work they have been doing to deliver for patients
across this period of particular pressure across the winter. Our NHS staff—not just
doctors and nurses, but support staff such as radiographers, administrative staff, porters,
everybody working in our national health service—do a fantastic job day in and day out, and they
particularly do that when we have these winter pressures. In terms of being prepared, this
is what NHS Providers said only last week:
“Preparations for winter in the NHS have been more extensive and meticulous than ever
before.”
>> Jeremy Corbyn: We all thank all NHS staff for what they do,
but the reality is that the 55,000 cancelled operations means those 55,000 people join
the 4 million already waiting for operations within the NHS.
Perhaps the Prime Minister could listen to the experience of Vicki. Her 82-year-old mother
spent 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor, on top of the three hours between her first
calling 999 and arriving at hospital. Vicki says:
“A volunteer first responder from Warwickshire heart service whose day job is in the Army
kept mum safe until paramedics arrived.”
Her mother had suffered a heart attack just a week before. This is not an isolated case.
Does the Prime Minister really believe the NHS is better prepared than ever for the crisis
it is now going through?
>> The Prime Minister: Nobody wants to hear of people having to experience
what Vicki and her mother experienced. Of course we need to ensure that we learn from
these incidents, and that is exactly what we do in the national health service. I am
very happy to ensure that that particular case is looked at, if the right hon. Gentleman
would like to provide me with the details. But week in and week out in the run-up to
Christmas, and now today, he has been giving the impression of a national health service
that is failing everybody who uses it. The reality in our NHS is that we are seeing 2.9
million more people going to accident and emergency, and over 2 million more operations
taking place each year. Our national health service is something that we should be proud
of. It is a first-class national health service that has been identified as the No. 1 health
system in the world. That means that it is a better health system than those of Australia,
the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany and the United States
of America.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: We on this side of the House are all very
proud of the principle of the national health service—healthcare as a human right—but
the reality is that, in the past year, 565,000 people have spent time on trolleys when they
should have been being treated. The number of elderly people being rushed into A&E from
care homes has risen by 62% since the Tories took power, and Care Quality Commission figures
suggest that nearly a quarter of care homes need improvement. This is not only robbing
older people of their dignity, but putting pressure on A&Es and ambulance services. So
why, instead of dealing with the social care crisis, has the Prime Minister rewarded the
Health Secretary with a promotion and a new job title?
>> The Prime Minister: There are many voices across the House, including
from the right hon. Gentleman's party, who have been encouraging me to ensure that we
have better integration between health and social care. I am pleased that we have recognised
this by making the Department of Health now the Department of Health and Social Care.
That has been recognised by Age UK, which has said that this is a
“welcome and long overdue recognition of the interdependence of health and social care”.
I saw for myself last week at Frimley Park the good work that is being done by some hospitals
up and down the country, working with GPs, care homes and the voluntary sector, to ensure
that elderly people can stay at home safely and do not need to go into hospital, with
all the consequences of them coming into hospital beds. That is the way forward, and we want
to ensure that we see the integration of health and social care at grassroots level. From
the way in which the right hon. Gentleman talks, you would think that the Labour party
had all the solutions for the national health service.
>> Mr Speaker: Order.
>> The Prime Minister: If the Labour party has all the answers, why
is funding being cut and why are targets not being met in Wales, where Labour is responsible?
>> Jeremy Corbyn: The Prime Minister leads a Government who
are responsible for the funding of national Governments, such as the one in Wales, and
she knows full well what has been cut from Wales. She is also directly responsible for
the NHS in England, and giving the Health Secretary a new job title will not hide the
fact that £6 billion has been cut from social care under the Tories. Part of the problem
with our NHS is that its funds are increasingly being siphoned off into private companies,
including in the Health Secretary's area of Surrey.
>> Mr Speaker: Order. Mr Shelbrooke, calm yourself, man!
You are supposed to be auditioning to become an elder statesman, but on present evidence,
there will be many more auditions to come. Calm yourself; it will be good for your health.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: Even more money is being siphoned out of our
NHS budgets into private health companies. In the Health Secretary's area of Surrey,
a clinical commissioning group was even forced to pay money to Virgin Care because that company
did not win a contract. Will the Prime Minister assure patients that, in 2018, less NHS money
intended for patient care will be feathering the nests of shareholders in private health
companies?
>> The Prime Minister: First, this Government have given more money
to the Welsh Government. It is a decision of Labour in Wales to deprioritise funding
for the national health service in Wales. On the issue of the private sector and its
role in the health service, under which Government was it that private access and the use of
the private sector in the health service increased? No, it wasn't.
>> Mr Speaker: Order. I say to the shadow Secretary of State
for Health, the hon. Member for Leicester South (Jonathan Ashworth), that he, too, is
supposed to be auditioning for something. He is normally a very amiable fellow, but
he is gesticulating in a very eccentric fashion. He must calm himself. It is not necessary
and not good for his image.
>> The Prime Minister: First of all, we have put more money into
Wales, but the Labour Government in Wales have decided to deprioritise funding for the
national health service. Secondly, the increase that was seen in private sector companies
working in the health service did not happen under a Conservative Government; that was
under a Labour Government of whom the Leader of the Opposition was a member.
>> Jeremy Corbyn: My hon. Friend the shadow Health Secretary
is auditioning to be Health Secretary, and he shows real passion for our NHS.
Under this Government, Virgin Care got £200 million-worth of contracts in the past year
alone—50% up on the year before. The Prime Minister needs to understand that it is her
policies that are pushing our NHS into crisis. Tax cuts for the super-rich and big business
are paid for— Yes, Mr Speaker, they are paid for by longer waiting lists, ambulance
delays, staff shortages and cuts to social care. Creeping privatisation is dragging our
NHS down. During the Health Secretary's occupation of the Prime Minister's office
to keep his job, he said that he would not abandon the ship. Is that not an admission
that, under his captaincy, the ship is indeed sinking?
>> The Prime Minister: This Government are putting more money into
the national health service. We see more doctors and nurses in our NHS, more operations taking
place in our NHS, and more people being treated in accident and emergency in our NHS, but
we can only do that if we have a strong economy. What would we see from the Labour party? We
have turned the economy around from the recession that the Labour party left us with. What do
we know about the Labour party's economic policies? Well, we were told all about them
in a description from the shadow Secretary of State for Education, the hon. Member for
Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner), who I see is not in her place on the Front Bench today—
>> Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) (Lab): She is in hospital.
>> The Prime Minister: I do apologise. I did not realise that the
shadow Education Secretary was undergoing medical treatment, so I apologise unreservedly
for that comment. However, I have to say that she described the economic policies of the
Labour party in unparliamentary terms, which included the word “bust”, saying that
the Labour party's economic policy was “high-risk”. That means high risk for taxpayers, high risk
for jobs and high risk for our NHS. That is a risk that we will never let Labour take.
>> David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale) (Con):
Moving on to a positive note about the NHS, my NHS trust, Morecambe Bay, has turned around
from being one of the worst in the country—it was safe to say that five years ago—to one
of the best. That happened due to injections of huge amounts of cash, but the staff were
amazing and turned the hospital around. Jackie Daniel, the chief—
>> Mr Speaker: Order. I gently invite the hon. Gentleman
to be sensitive to time. We want not a long spiel, but a short question with a question
mark at the end of it.
>> David Morris: Jackie Daniel has received a damehood for
turning around the Morecambe Bay trust along with the staff, which is very positive. Does
my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister look forward to working with Jackie Daniel's
successor to carry on turning the trust around, and will she wish Jackie well?
>> The Prime Minister: I am happy to join my hon. Friend in paying
tribute to the work of staff at the Morecambe Bay trust. I particularly wish Dame Jackie
well, and I recognise and pay tribute to her work in turning that trust around. This is
just another example of the huge gratitude we owe to our NHS staff, who work so tirelessly
on our behalf.
>> Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) (SNP):
Mr Speaker, I wish you, all staff and all Members a guid new year.
The Government's European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is quite simply
“not fit for purpose and must be changed.”
Those are not my words; they are the words of the hon. Member for East Renfrewshire (Paul
Masterton). Does the Prime Minister agree with her colleague that we must amend clause
11, which is nothing more than a power grab from Scotland?
>> The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman knows full well that
we have said we will look to improve clause 11. Indeed, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor
of the Duchy of Lancaster made it very clear when he was answering questions earlier that
we continue to look to amend clause 11. However, as I discussed with the First Minister before
Christmas, we are looking to work with the devolved Administrations to ensure that we
put the right frameworks in place so that, when we come to bring forward any amendment,
it is done in the best possible way in the interests of all concerned. I thought that
had been accepted by the Scottish National party, but we will be looking to bring forward
amendments in the Lords.
>> Ian Blackford: That is simply not good enough. The Secretary
of State for Scotland promised a “powers bonanza” for Scotland and that, crucially,
amendments would be tabled ahead of next week's debate. Yesterday it was revealed that no
amendments will be tabled. The Tories always promise Scotland everything and deliver nothing.
The Prime Minister has one last chance. Will she assure the House that amendments will
be tabled ahead of next week, as promised?
>> The Prime Minister: The SNP says it wants to work with us on the
future frameworks; we are doing exactly that. It says it wants clause 11 amended; we are
doing exactly that. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is intensifying
his discussions with the Scottish Government and, indeed, with the Executive in Wales as
part of that. We will be bringing forward amendments. The right hon. Member for Ross,
Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford) says this is a Government who never deliver for Scotland.
An extra £2 billion as a result of the Budget—that is delivering for Scotland.
>> Stephen Kerr (Stirling) (Con): Speaking of delivering for Scotland, the Stirling
and Clackmannanshire city region deal is a massive investment in Scotland's economy
and a huge vote of confidence in Scotland by a Conservative and Unionist Government.
With projects such as the UK Institute of Aquaculture and the national tartan centre,
which will have UK-wide impact and global reach, will the Prime Minister now confirm
that the UK Government are ready to sign off the heads of agreement with the Scottish Government
and the local councils so that we can get to work?
>> The Prime Minister: I am very happy to give that commitment to
my hon. Friend. This is another example of how this is a Government who are delivering
for Scotland. I know the importance of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire deal, which
will be transformative. He has championed this cause since he was elected, and he is
doing a great job for his constituents. We are all working to get an agreement as soon
as possible.
>> Emma Hardy (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle) (Lab):
I have been contacted by 11 constituents who are frightened, many of them suicidal, because
they have been told either by Hull clinical commissioning group or by East Riding of Yorkshire
clinical commissioning group that their desperately needed pain infusion treatment will be stopped.
This is the cruel reality of the NHS having to ration treatment due to funding cuts. Will
the Prime Minister personally intervene to ensure that the Hull and East Riding CCGs
review their decisions and guarantee my constituents the additional funding that will allow this
treatment to be delivered?
>> The Prime Minister: We are putting extra money into the national
health service. We are not cutting funding for the national health service. CCGs will
be taking individual decisions about how they apportion their funding, but to stand up here
and suggest that we are cutting funding for the national health service is plain wrong.
>> Lucy Allan (Telford) (Con): Telford is a rapidly growing new town where
thousands of new houses are built every year. People come to Telford to buy their home on
a new-build estate and live their dream, but for far too many the reality is unfinished
communal areas, unadopted roads, non-compliance with section 106, developers failing to take
responsibility and the local council passing the buck. Colleagues on both sides of the
House see similar problems in their constituencies. Will the Prime Minister agree to strengthen
the rights of home owners on new-build estates so that people can come to Telford, or to
any other new-build area, and buy a new-build home confident that they can live their dream?
>> The Prime Minister: I am happy to say to my hon. Friend that of
course we recognise the concern she has raised; this is a similar issue to the one raised
by the hon. Member for Weaver Vale (Mike Amesbury). I understand that it is Telford's 50th anniversary,
so I congratulate it on that. We are committed to legislating in relation to the unfair practice
my hon. Friend has identified, because it is only fair that freeholders should have
the same rights as leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of the service charges
they are being submitted to.
>> Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP):
On a scale between one and 10, how does the Prime Minister think her Brexit is going,
with 10 meaning everything is going perfectly, we know what we want to achieve and we know
how to get it; and one being chaotic cluelessness? I know what I would give the Prime Minister,
but what would she give herself?
>> The Prime Minister: I think—
>> Mr Speaker: Order. Let me just say to the hon. Member
for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart), whom I have known for a long time, that when
he comes to reflect on his conduct, he will know that he can do better than that.
>> The Prime Minister: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I say to the hon. Gentleman
that anybody who saw the success we had in negotiating phase one of Brexit, and getting
that sufficient progress, will say that this Government know what they are doing, and that
they are getting on with the job and doing well.
>> Dame Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con):
Environmentalists across the UK were delighted with the announcement of co-operation with
the Woodland Trust to develop the new northern forest, but will the Prime Minister assure
us that plans to create new landscapes will not obscure the need to protect existing areas
of outstanding natural beauty? Will she confirm her commitment to protecting the Chilterns
AONB as we pursue the Government's economic and housing development plans?
>> The Prime Minister: First, I congratulate my right hon. Friend
on becoming a Dame in the recent new year's honours—it is very, very well deserved.
I assure her that we are committed to maintaining the strongest protections for AONBs and other
designated landscapes. As regards the Chilterns AONB, I have to say to her that I enjoy walking
in the Chilterns. I recognise the value of that particular environment, and we are committed
to protecting AONBs.
>> Thelma Walker (Colne Valley) (Lab): I was a teacher and a headteacher for 34 years,
so I know that I speak on behalf of thousands of teachers and support staff when I ask the
Prime Minister this: in the light of the recent announcement of a fall in teacher training
application numbers by a third, will the Government listen to professionals and fully and fairly
fund our schools and colleges; end the toxic culture of targets and tests; deliver a broad
and balanced curriculum; and, most of all, return the joy of teaching and learning to
our classrooms?
>> The Prime Minister: We are putting record sums into our schools.
More than that, we are ensuring that we are seeing increasing standards in our schools.
That is why today there are 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than
there were in 2010, and I hope the hon. Lady would welcome that.
>> Kevin Foster (Torbay) (Con): The Prime Minister will be aware that there
is great potential in the south-west to increase prosperity and productivity. Will she therefore
confirm how her Government will be backing the south-west, in particular on the need
to invest in our vital road, rail and digital infrastructure?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is absolutely right about that,
and he is a great champion for the needs of the south-west. We do want to increase prosperity
and productivity in the south-west—and indeed right across the country—and we are taking
some particular steps. Across the country we are committing significant sums in relation
to infrastructure investment and the road investment strategy. We are committed to creating
an expressway to the south-west, which will be part of an important development. We are
investing more than £400 million into the rail network in the area. I am pleased to
say that more than 600,000 homes and businesses in the south-west now have access to superfast
broadband as a result of our superfast broadband programme. There is more we can do for the
south-west, and I look forward to working with my hon. Friend in doing that.
>> Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree) (Lab/Co-op): The Secretary of State for Health said that
the Government wanted the UK to be the best in the world for cancer diagnosis, treatment
and care. Today, according to a memo from the head of chemotherapy at Churchill Hospital
in Oxford, terminally ill cancer patients will have their chemotherapy cut because of
a massive shortfall in specialist nurses. Will the Prime Minister apologise to cancer
patients and their families for this appalling situation?
>> The Prime Minister: That trust has made it clear that there are
absolutely no plans to delay the start of chemotherapy treatment, or to reduce the number
of cycles of treatment given to cancer patients. Simon Stevens has said that over the past
three years the NHS has had the highest cancer survival rates ever. The latest survival figures
show that over 7,000 more people are estimated to be surviving cancer after successful NHS
treatment, compared with three years prior. There are 3,200 more diagnostic and therapeutic
radiographers than in May 2010. We will continue to look at this issue and we are continuing
to put in the funding that is enabling us to improve treatment for cancer patients.
>> Dr Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire) (Con):
With record funding, our NHS is doing more than ever, but when the UK is in the bottom
third of countries for heart-attack deaths, when we have significantly worse survival
rates for stroke than France and Germany, and when our closest matches for cancer survival
are Chile and Poland, is it not time to act on calls from all parts of the House, backed
this week by the Centre for Policy Studies, to establish a royal commission on health
and social care in this, the 70th anniversary year of our most cherished national institution?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right that we need to continue
to look at the national health service and ensure that we continue to improve its performance
in a variety of areas. The independent Commonwealth Fund has been clear that the national health
service is the best healthcare system in the world, and that it is better than systems
such as those in Germany, France and the other countries I listed earlier, but of course
we need to look at what more we can do. That is why we are putting more funding in and
looking at the better integration of health and social care on the ground. It is about
making sure that we are making a change and doing that integration now, because that is
when it is going to make a difference to people.
>> Grahame Morris (Easington) (Lab): The Prime Minister said that she had reshuffled
her Ministers so that they look more like the country they seek to represent. I am not
sure about that, but in that spirit, will she acknowledge the massive problems in the
private rented sector with absentee private landlords? Will she commit to come to visit
Easington to gain her own appreciation of the scale of the problems that face many working-class
communities? In the spirit of good will, will she support and give free passage to the Bill
on homes fit for habitation that my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster North (Ms Buck)
is promoting?
>> The Prime Minister: I have many fond memories of the time I spent
in the north-east when I was a candidate up there. We do need to ensure that we have a
good private rented sector in this country, but the one set of policies that would damage
the private rented sector are the policies put forward by the Leader of the Opposition.
>> Bill Grant (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) (Con): I was delighted last week to hear the Secretary
of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirm the Government's commitment to supporting
farmers after we leave the European Union. Will my right hon. Friend assure me that the
unique needs of Scottish farmers and, indeed, crofters will be taken into account in the
design of any new system?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right that as we leave the
European Union, we will of course be able to put in place our own policy of support
for farmers. We want that policy to recognise the particular needs of farmers in all parts
of the United Kingdom, and that will of course include the particular needs of farmers in
Scotland.
>> Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney) (Lab):
My constituency office and local citizens advice bureau are receiving ever-increasing
complaints about personal independence payment claims. Assessments are being refused and
65% of decisions are currently overturned on appeal at tribunal. The growing number
of appeals means that the tribunal process is taking longer—anything from four to seven
months. Does the Prime Minister agree that the PIP assessment process is fundamentally
flawed? What action can she take to avoid the unnecessary expense of going to court
and, more importantly, the undue stress and hardship being caused to my constituents and
others throughout the country?
>> The Prime Minister: I understand the hon. Gentleman's point
about ensuring, as we want to, that these assessments are being conducted as well as
they can be, and that people are getting the awards that they should be getting and that
they are entitled to. Since we introduced the personal independence payment, we have
carried out around 2.9 million assessments, 8% of which have been appealed, but only 4%
of those decisions are changed following an appeal. In the majority of cases, that is
because new evidence is presented at the appeal, which was not presented when the original
case was put forward. The Department for Work and Pensions continues to look at ensuring
that, when these assessments are made, they are done properly and that people get the
right results.
>> Maria Caulfield (Lewes) (Con): My constituent, Justin Bartholomew, was just
25 when he committed suicide late last year. His family is convinced that his intake of
high-energy drinks—more than 15 cans a day—increased his anxiety and contributed to his death.
Given the increased safety concern around the high-energy drink market and the actions
of people such as Jamie Oliver and Waitrose, will the Prime Minister consider introducing
a national ban on the sale of these energy drinks for the under-16s?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend has raised a tragic case, and
I know that the thoughts and the sympathies of the whole House will be with the family
and friends of Justin Bartholomew. We have introduced the soft drinks industry levy.
We recognise that there are issues around drinks that are high in sugar and we know
that energy drinks high in sugar can be damaging to children's health. We are supporting
schools and parents to make healthier choices and to be able to identify those through clearer
labelling and campaigns. Of course this is an issue that the Department of Health and
Social Care will continue to look at, and it will continue to look at the scientific
evidence in relation to these drinks.
>> Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South) (SNP):
I have a constituent who escaped an abusive relationship and has been passed from pillar
to post between the old Child Support Agency and the new child maintenance service. After
four and a half years of that, she has now been told by the CMS that she has to start
the whole process all over again. On top of that, it is insisting that she passes on her
personal and her bank details directly to her ex-partner to receive payment. Will the
Prime Minister agree to help resolve this problem and to look at the system that has
allowed this abuse to continue?
>> The Prime Minister: The hon. Lady raises what is obviously a distressing
case; I recognise that. Arrangements are in place that ensure, as I understand it, that
an individual does not have to pass on their bank details directly. The fact that her constituent
has been asked to do so is something that should be looked into. I am sure that if she
passes those details to the appropriate Department, it will look into the matter.
>> Colin Clark (Gordon) (Con): Does the Prime Minister welcome the findings
of the Social Research survey that the majority of Scots believe that the rules on trade and
immigration should be the same in Scotland as in the rest of the UK? It looks like they
agree that we are better together.
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend has raised a very important
point. People across the UK want to see controlled immigration—that is people in Scotland as
well as people in the rest of the United Kingdom. As we leave the European Union, we will be
able to introduce our own immigration rules and to control that immigration to Britain
from Europe. The only point of differentiation is that, of course, we do have a Scotland-only
shortage occupation list to recognise the particular labour market needs in Scotland.
For the most part, that actually matches the UK-wide shortage occupation list, which shows
that this is an issue for the whole of the UK, and that we need the same policy approach.
>> Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough) (Lab): In a March 2005 interview, the Prime Minister
said:
“Not getting things done; and seeing people's lives hurt by government bureaucracy”
makes her depressed. In light of that comment, can the Prime Minister tell me whether she
considers it reasonable and acceptable for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to
withhold the licence of my constituent, Mr Coleman, for more than 18 months despite evidence
showing that he was fit and able to drive, as she has not responded to my letter of 5
December?
>> The Prime Minister: I will ensure that the hon. Lady receives
a response to her letter. She has raised a particular case in this House. I will need
to look at the details of that case and I will respond to her letter.
>> Mr Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) (Con):
Last week, Cleveland Potash announced 230 job losses at Boulby mine in my constituency,
which is devastating for Loftus and the wider east Cleveland community, where the mine is
by far and away the largest employer. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, the hon. Member
for Redcar (Anna Turley) and I all agree that it would be incredibly helpful if some of
the funds remaining from the 2015 SSI rescue package could be repurposed to support people
leaving Boulby. Will the Prime Minister agree to look into that with the Business Secretary,
and will she make a commitment that Government agencies will do everything they can to support
people affected by this dreadful news?
>> The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is right to raise this case.
It is obviously a worrying time for the workers who are affected by the announcement by Cleveland
Potash. We will help people to find other work, and support those affected through the
rapid response service of the Department for Work and Pensions. We will co-ordinate with
the Tees Valley combined authority to ensure that we work together to make the best possible
support available and ensure that it is aligned. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial
Strategy will look at the situation and the specific issue that my hon. Friend has raised.
>> Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden) (Lab):
Ava has been a foster-carer for years. When her privately rented home failed the inspection
for an electrical certificate, which she needed to continue fostering, her landlord evicted
her because he did not want to do the repairs. Now Ava and the kids are living in temporary
council accommodation in a converted warehouse in the middle of a working industrial estate
in Mitcham. The council that placed her there is going to withdraw her right to foster because
her accommodation is not good enough. Can the Prime Minister tell Ava, kids in care
who need foster-carers and the overworked British taxpayer how that makes sense?
>> The Prime Minister: As the hon. Lady has set it out, that does
not appear to make sense: as a result of what has happened, we will lose someone who has
been a foster-carer. I would like to pay tribute to the work that her constituent has done
in foster-caring. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who care for people
as foster-parents. As the hon. Lady has raised this in the House, I am sure that the local
council will want to look at it again.
>> Mr Speaker: Finally, Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax.
>> Richard Drax (South Dorset) (Con): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. While most
of us were celebrating on new year's eve, the crews of the Poole-based tug, Kingston,
and the Swanage and Weymouth lifeboats were battling mountainous seas and 70 mph winds
off the coast of Dorset to prevent a cargo ship from being blown on to the rocks. Thanks
to the skill of the tug's crew the tow was fixed and a disaster prevented. Will my right
hon. Friend join me in praising the professionalism, courage and determination of all those involved,
not least the volunteers of the RNLI?
>> The Prime Minister: I am very happy to do that, and to praise
all those involved in averting a disaster—both the tug crew and the RNLI. Indeed, I would
like to go further. RNLI volunteers do a fantastic job around our coastline day in, day out,
and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
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Prime Minister's Questions: 10 January 2018

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KennyK 2018 年 1 月 15 日 に公開
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