House of Commons
27th February 2014
Notices of Motions for which no days have been fixed
('Early Day Motions')
The figure following this symbol is the number of Members who have added their names in support of the Motion, including the Member in charge of the Motion.
After an Early Day Motion (EDM) has been printed for the first time, it is only reprinted when names are added or amendments tabled; only the first six names and any names added since the last printing are included. After the week in which a Motion is first printed and the following week, added names and amendments appear only in a separate paper, Mature EDMs, distributed the next Thursday. In the meantime, they are available for inspection by Members in the Table Office and the Library or on the EDM database at edmi.parliament.uk
1061 FIRST UTILITY LOWERING CHARGES FOR NOT PAYING BY DIRECT DEBIT 10:2:14
That this House congratulates First Utility for lowering the amount it charges when customers do not pay their energy bills by direct debit to just £2 per month; notes that prior to the backbench business debate on 4 February 2014 on energy companies charging their customers excessive fees for not paying by direct debit, First Utility charged £96 per year; believes that this change will help poorer customers and sets a good example to other energy companies; and urges them to follow this example.
1062 PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND DATA ON OBESITY 10:2:14
That this House is alarmed by data published by Public Health England on 4 February 2014 which reveals that 64 per cent of adults in England and Wales are either obese or overweight; notes that the worst affected area was Copeland, Cumbria with 75.9 per cent of the population above a healthy weight and that even the slimmest authority, Kensington and Chelsea, is 46 per cent overweight; further notes the findings of an earlier study by charity UK Active which suggested that sedentary lifestyles are responsible for 17 per cent of all premature deaths in the UK; recognises that the Government's over-reliance on the Responsibility Deal is limiting its approach to tackling the obesity epidemic; and calls on the Government to set up a cross-departmental working group to maximise the response to obesity before it overwhelms the NHS.
1066 ROYAL OPERA HOUSE RECOGNITION OF THE INDEPENDENT WORKERS UNION OF GREAT BRITAIN 10:2:14
That this House congratulates the porters and cleaners at the Royal Opera House who have achieved the London Living Wage; salutes the courage of these workers in waging a successful campaign in the face of adversity; notes with concern that the Royal Opera House's contractor MITIE has not recognised the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) of which almost all the cleaners and porters are members; and calls for the chosen union of the workers to be recognised and that the workforce to be treated with respect and dignity.
1067 FAST FOOD RIGHTS CAMPAIGN 10:2:14
That this House notes that the fast food industry in the UK sees revenue of over £5 billion every year; further notes that the sector is dominated by multinational corporations delivering vast profits for their shareholders; is appalled that many employees in the industry are not paid a living wage and are employed on zero-hours contracts; believes that workers should be able to join a trade union without fear of recrimination from employers; welcomes the initiative of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union which, together with other campaign groups, has launched a Fast Food Rights campaign for workers in the industry; further notes that the campaign will be calling for a day of action on 15 February 2014 at branches of McDonald's UK, Burger King and Costa Coffee on London's Oxford Street; and calls for the management of the companies concerned to enter into meaningful discussions with the union over pay, conditions and trade union representation in their outlets.
1068 RECOGNITION OF PUBLIC SERVICE - WAR EFFORTS 10:2:14
That this House recollects a memorial to the Bevin Boys being recently unveiled at the National Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, in recognition of their role in serving their country during the Second World War by working in Britain's mining industry alongside other colliers who were also denied the right to be members of the armed forces because of their classification as being in a reserved occupation; recalls that during the period 1939 until 1945 many of these men were subsequently injured and some killed producing coal supplies for the war effort; believes these citizens, along with others who worked in restricted occupations during this period, including on the railways, coastguards, munitions production and shipbuilding, should be similarly recognised for their important contribution made during the nation's plight; and calls on the Government to instigate a Royal Commission to examine ways in which this could be achieved.
1069 USE OF DOGS IN PHARMACEUTICAL TESTING 10:2:14
That this House is aware that 90,000 dogs are used each year in research across the EU and US in evaluating pharmaceutical safety and efficiency, despite there being little research compiled to assess the usefulness of them being used in advancing the development of drugs for humans; notes the findings of recent indepth analysis by both the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments which clearly shows how unreliable their use is in such testing; and believes in the light of this the use of dogs in these scientific practices should cease immediately in the UK and instead a constructive dialogue be developed between stakeholders and the Government to find a more humane and acceptable way forward on these matters.
1070 WHICH? CLEAN UP CREDIT CAMPAIGN AND EXCESSIVE DEFAULT FEES CHARGED BY PAYDAY LENDERS 10:2:14
That this House notes the recent research published by the Competition Commission that found more than a third of payday loan customers repay their debt late and incur default fees; further notes previous research estimating that a million UK households a month are using payday loans; welcomes the Which? Clean Up Credit campaign on excessive default fees charged by payday lenders; supports the campaign's call for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to clamp down on excessive charges and irresponsible lending, and to make sure borrowers are being treated fairly whatever form of credit they are using; and calls on the FCA to take urgent action in response to this growing problem.
1073 DOWN'S SYNDROME AWARENESS WEEK (17-23 MARCH) AND WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY (21 MARCH) 11:2:14
That this House supports the campaign Better Health Care for People with Down's syndrome mounted by the UK charity Down's Syndrome Association (DSA) to ensure that people with Down's syndrome receive regular and effective health surveillance; acknowledges that Down's syndrome is the most frequently recognised cause of learning disability; notes that people with Down's syndrome have specific health needs; welcomes the launch of the DSA Health Book during Down's Syndrome Awareness Week (17 to 23 March); celebrates World Down Syndrome Day which takes place on 21 March and focuses on Health and Wellbeing—Access and Equality for All; and welcomes the Parliamentary Reception to be held on 18 March in the Churchill Dining Room when there will be an opportunity to hear about the DSA Health Book, and to meet parent members including Patron Damon Hill OBE.
1075 BANKERS' BONUSES 11:2:14
That this House is appalled that by the end of 2014 bankers' bonuses are likely to have reached £80 billion since the financial crisis 2008; points out that this is more than £1,000 for every man, woman and child in the country and more than three times the £20 billion in revenue HM Revenue and Customs collected from the banks in corporation tax, the bank levy and the bonus tax combined in the same period; notes that the bailed-out and state-controlled banks intend to make massive bonuses apparently with impunity and without any restraint from the Government; and concludes that not only is the state-supported financial sector a national scandal but the City's age of affluence continues regardless while the overwhelming majority of the country suffers unprecedented austerity.
1077 CYPRUS PEACE TALKS 11:2:14
That this House welcomes the agreement, on 11 February 2014 in Nicosia, of the joint communiqué by the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, Nicos Anastasiades and Dervish Eroglu, creating the framework for negotiations to achieve an early, just and lasting settlement; believes that the process needs to be opened up to civil society and congratulates the many Cypriots already involved in intercommunal contact helping prepare Cyprus for change whether as individuals or through involvement in the Nicosia Master Plan, the Famagusta Ecocity Project, the Bicommunal Famagusta Initiative, Kondea village, the Cyprus Friendship Programme, the Malta Business Group collaborating with chambers of commerce (and Industry), trade unions, faith groups, the football associations, the Cyprus Friendship Programme, the Cultural Heritage and the Missing Persons Committees, the Home 4 Cooperation and the Cyprus Community Media Centre; and calls on all three guarantor powers, the European Union and the United Nations, and the US, who have played a positive role in promoting this agreement, to ensure further support to Cypriots to enable the process, reach a settlement and ensure a united Cyprus which will benefit all Cypriots.
1078 CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR - THE SWAN WITH TWO NECKS, PENDLETON 11:2:14
That this House congratulates the Swan with Two Necks pub in the village of Pendleton in the Ribble Valley on being named CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2014; notes that in the competition pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly, quality of beer; further notes that to be named as CAMRA's Pub of the Year is a tremendous accolade and reflects the dedication of the owners and the staff as well as the high quality of the pub itself; recognises that the owners of the Swan with Two Necks, Steve and Christine Dilworth, work incredibly hard to ensure that the pub is the heartbeat of the village and local community; and wishes the Swan with Two Necks every success for 2014 and beyond.
1080 POWER CUTS IN GAZA 12:2:14
That this House calls on the Government to recognise the severe situation faced by Palestinians in Gaza in accessing electricity; notes the call from UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk that the situation in Gaza is at a point near catastrophe due to fuel shortages resulting in daily power cuts for sustained periods of time which have undermined an already precarious infrastructure; further notes that the provision of all basic services including health, water, sanitation and education is being severely disrupted; recognises that specialised health services are being interrupted daily, including kidney dialysis, operating theatres, blood banks and incubators, threatening lives; and further calls on the Government to respond to the call made by Amnesty International to urge Israel to lift the Gaza blockade immediately and urge Eygpt to open the Rafah border crossing.
1081 HUMAN RIGHTS IN BAHRAIN (No. 2) 12:2:14
That this House notes the ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation in Bahrain as observed by multiple international human rights organisations, most recently Human Rights Watch in its 2014 World Report; is concerned by the continued culture of impunity and failure of the Bahraini government to hold individuals accountable for torture, extrajudicial killing and other abuses; believes that the Bahraini government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and that this, along with the continued imprisonment of 13 high-profile activists who are serving long-term sentences for making peaceful calls for reform, undermines the chances of a political solution; further notes the recommendations of the recent report by the Foreign Affairs Committee (Fifth Report of Session 2013-14, The UK's Relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, HC 88), in particular the recommendation in paragraph 214 of that report that Bahrain should be designated as a country of concern, if there is no significant progress by the start of 2014; further believes that this progress has not been made; and urges the Government to designate Bahrain as a country of concern and to make strong representations to the Bahraini government to end its human rights abuses, hold individual human rights offenders accountable and release all prisoners serving sentences that relate to their exercising their rights to free expression and association.
1082 PROFESSOR STUART HALL 3 FEBRUARY 1932 - 10 FEBRUARY 2014 12:2:14
That this House is deeply saddened by the death of Professor Stuart Hall at the age of 82, one of Britain's leading public intellectuals; appreciates his exceptional contribution to sociology and cultural theory over the course of more than six decades; recognises his pioneering role in the founding of British cultural studies in the 1960s; notes the erudition and insight that were a hallmark of his writing over the course of his lifetime including The Popular Arts and Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies; praises his pivotal role in shaping contemporary progressive debates around race, gender and sexuality; and calls on the Government to ensure that sufficient funding is available for future research in sociology and cultural theory.
1083 VIOLENCE ON MINORITIES AFTER 5 JANUARY ELECTIONS IN BANGLADESH 12:2:14
That this House condemns the calculated and indiscriminate attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the elections held on 5 January 2014 and is particularly disturbed by the repetition of such incidents that took place after the general election in 2001, the perpetrators of which were not brought to justice; notes with appreciation the response of the government of Bangladesh to the violence, particularly the visit of the Prime Minister of that country to affected areas and her assurance of compensation, rehabilitation and security for the victims; underscores the bid for all stakeholders to uphold the tradition of communal harmony that has been a hallmark of the people of Bangladesh; and calls on all political parties, both in government and opposition, to ensure that such attacks are not repeated in the future, and that the rights and dignity of the minority people are upheld.
1084 DRUGS 12:2:14
That this House condemns the sale of legal highs in shops; and asks the Government to co-ordinate a UK-wide strategy that involves all the regions of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England and to stop this vile trade in misery and heartache for the individuals and their families.
1085 INDEPENDENT PETROL RETAILERS 12:2:14
That this House notes that there are 5,000 independent petrol filling stations in the UK; recognises the valuable contribution that they make to the economy and the national infrastructure; further notes that independent filling stations are closing at a rate of four per week with the loss of 1,500 jobs per year; believes that this is a real loss for those in rural communities who rely on them, as well as Government due to lost revenue; and therefore urges the Government to implement a plan to ensure fair competition, fair taxation, and fair planning in this industry to secure a sustainable future for the UK's independent petrol filling stations.
1086 UK CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 12:2:14
That this House regrets that every day 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news that they have cancer; notes that although survival rates are now around 75 per cent, cancer remains the largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK; recognises that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer on children and families; urges the Government to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) to raise awareness of the challenges children with cancer face, how charities help them and why it is vital to raise funds to improve support provided; supports the change of month of UK CCAM, which aims to raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer and the need for more support for children and their families, to September; commends the work of Julie Yates and others who have campaigned to change the date of CCAM to September; acknowledges that this move brings the whole of the UK's CCAM activities into line with other countries; welcomes the work of charities such as CLIC Sargent, Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Group, Cancer Research UK, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and others who work with children with cancer which have announced that they will join together in September this year to take part in the month and raise awareness for more support; and further recognises plans to adopt the gold ribbon as the symbol for childhood cancer awareness throughout the UK.
1087 HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROJECT ZANZIBAR 12:2:14
That this House commends the work of Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) for the outstanding work it has done in helping to establish high quality, accessible and trusted hospitals and primary healthcare units in Zanzibar; applauds it on its sustainable approach, including the provision of resources and the leadership for local people to put local services on a long-term sustainable footing; congratulates it on the excellent work it has already done in repairing and refurbishing Kivunge hospital in particular, and expanding the services provided there; recognises the vitally important role which volunteer doctors play in helping to provide the leadership and training for local medical staff; believes that its example, in ensuring the vast majority of its funding goes directly to provide the resources and training needed on the ground, is to be applauded; and encourages other charities to follow its example of ensuring its focus remains firmly fixed on creating sustainable local services which will stand the test of time, even after HIPZ finishes its direct involvement there.
1088 NEWSQUEST NEWSPAPERS AND LOCAL JOURNALISM 12:2:14
That this House deeply regrets that Newsquest Media Group intends to transfer the design and sub-editing for the Northern Echo (Darlington), Telegraph and Argus (Bradford) and the Press (York) to Newport, Wales; notes that the US-based owner Gannett paid £922 million for Newsquest in 1999, taking on the company's debt, leading to cutbacks and lack of investment in the local newspaper titles; further notes that the current plans represent de-skilling of the workforce and entail serious risks in the reduction of quality due to the loss of local knowledge and the vital connection with the local community; resolves to support members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) taking action to defend local journalism; and calls on the Government to convene urgent discussions with the NUJ and publishers to discuss how to encourage investment, decent pay and conditions essential for a thriving local press and also to develop an effective strategy for protecting local jobs and quality journalism.
1089 COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION - SEVERE WEATHER DAMAGE 12:2:14
That this House is aware of the sterling work done by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; notes that the recent inclement weather has had a devastating effect on Britain's communities with many areas damaged by severe flooding and high winds; reminds Ministers that 2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War and 75 years since the beginning of the Second World War, which has already placed major burdens on this organisation and its task to look after the many graves in its care throughout both the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth; and requests that the Government responds urgently and positively to this body's needs which are likely to be immense considering the weather damage done.
1092 UNDER-OCCUPANCY PENALTY (No. 3) 13:2:14
That this House believes that the Government's so-called bedroom tax has been an unmitigated disaster; notes that according to the National Housing Federation two-thirds of households in England affected by it have fallen into rent arrears and one in seven families have received eviction risk letters; concurs with the Federation that the tax is heaping misery and hardship on already struggling families; points out that families struggling to pay rents are unable to find anywhere cheaper to live because of a shortage of smaller homes; concludes that this unfair tax on the most vulnerable should be abolished; and urges all hon. Members to support its repeal.
1093 MINISTRY OF DEFENCE IT CONSULTANT 13:2:14
That this House deplores the Ministry of Defence's decision to employ as its chief information source a freelance IT consultant at £2,000 a day; notes that once again the Government has used Capita to recruit Yvonne Ferguson; points out that if someone internally could not be recruited to do the job then the standard of ability and training within the Department is seriously remiss; recalls that while paying out around £500,000 a year for Yvonne Ferguson's services 50,000 military and civilian jobs have already been axed by the Ministry of Defence; and doubts whether taxpayers who are already suffering unprecedented austerity will be confident that this is money wisely spent.
1094 PRIVATE MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS FOR NUCLEAR COMPANIES: GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL FOR NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING AUTHORITY INDEMNIFICATION 13:2:14
That this House notes that on 6 February 2014 the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presented to Parliament a departmental minute concerning a contingent liability relating to an indemnity to be given by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in relation to the proposed Magnox Ltd and Research Sites Restoration Ltd Parent Body Organisation (PBO) competition (6 February 2014, Official Report, columns 33-4WS); recalls that a similar notification for Sellafield PBO indemnification was made in August 2008, with significantly negative implications for the public purse; further notes that the minute asserts that the prospective PBOs ‘are not prepared to accept liability’ for certain nuclear liability claims; further notes that despite international protocols being established to cover nuclear operational liabilities since 2004, the UK has not yet ratified them in the subsequent decade; further notes that the justification put forward by DECC to Parliament is that there is a ‘low probability’ of a claim against the public purse; but further notes with serious concern that the minute also reveals that ‘because of the nature of nuclear activities the maximum figure for the potential liability is impossible to accurately quantify'; believes that such a proposal unacceptably privatises the profits and socialises the liabilities; and calls on the Government fully to explain and justify the basis of the minute, and not to incur such an uncapped liability upon the public purse until it has received the explicit support of Parliament for doing so.
1095 MIGRANT WORKERS IN QATAR AND THE 2022 WORLD CUP 24:2:14
That this House notes that since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup the country has experienced a construction boom; further notes that in the last two years hundreds of Indian and Nepalese migrant workers have died working on construction projects in Qatar; moreover is extremely concerned that in the build-up to 2022 hundreds more migrant workers will die due to unsafe working conditions; and calls on the Government, the international community and FIFA to act to urge Qatar in the strongest possible terms to drastically improve working conditions, review the migrant worker sponsorship scheme and properly compensate the families of migrant workers who have been injured or killed.
1096 TEACHERS' EXCLUSION FROM SALARY SACRIFICE CAR SCHEMES 24:2:14
That this House welcomes the availability of salary sacrifice car schemes for public and private sector workers, providing a boost to the motoring industry and delivering a low cost, low polluting motoring option; notes the popularity of these schemes and their long-term fiscal neutrality to the Exchequer; further notes the current exemption of teachers from the scheme despite all other public and private sector professions being eligible and teachers having access to similar schemes such as Cycle to Work; acknowledges the demand from teachers for having access to salary sacrifice car schemes; and urges the Education Secretary to consider amending the Sschool Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document Agreement to extend access to the schemes for teachers.
1098 FIRE SPRINKLERS 24:2:14
That this House is concerned at the risk to firefighters' lives and safety caused by fires in industrial and commercial buildings; notes the recent findings of the Centre for Economics and Business Research which detail the high cost of fires in warehouses to business, to gross domestic product, to tax revenues, and to the environment; further notes that automatic fire sprinkler systems prevent large fires and so avert these costs which are needlessly borne by UK plc and the national finances; further notes the recent research by BRE Global showing fire sprinklers are cost beneficial in single-storey warehouse buildings larger than 2,000 square metres; further notes that the Building Regulations provide guidance for fire sprinklers to be installed in single-storey warehouse buildings of 14,000 square metres in Scotland, 20,000 square metres in England and Wales, and no limit in Northern Ireland, so the vast majority of warehouse buildings in the UK are not required to be protected from fire by fire sprinklers; further notes that the benefits of fire prevention with fire sprinklers are not widely known and that there are common misconceptions about their operation; and urges the Government to promote more actively the benefits of fire sprinklers in industrial and commercial buildings, to incentivise the business community to install fire sprinklers and to review the existing guidance contained in Approved Document B of the Building Regulations in light of the new evidence.
1099 CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS 24:2:14
That this House congratulates Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, on his elevation to the College of Cardinals and his strong support for social justice.
1100 UN ANTI-RACISM DAY 24:2:14
That this House notes the commemoration of UN Anti-Racism Day on 22 March 2014; welcomes the initiation by the TUC and Unite Against Fascism of the rally Stand up to racism and fascism in London on that day; hopes that many thousands will support the event; and further notes that the rally is intended to be a riposte to racism, a celebration of the contribution of migrants to this country and to send a clear signal of the British people's confidence in a future free of intolerance.
1101 COMPULSORY DISPLAY OF SCORES ON THE DOORS 24:2:14
That this House calls on the Government to introduce an obligation for food establishments to display food hygiene ratings under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme commonly referred to as Scores on the Doors; notes that all these ratings are available online; expresses concern that currently only the top rated establishments choose to display their ratings in their establishments; expresses further concern that the majority of customers do not check hygiene ratings online and are unaware of the hygiene ratings of many of the food establishments they use; further notes that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a voluntary scheme for local authorities; welcomes that the obligation for food establishments to display food hygiene ratings under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme would bring about improved hygiene standards; celebrates that this obligation would allow the public to make informed decisions about where to eat; and further welcomes that this obligation would rightly provide recognition for businesses that maintain high standards and highlight those which do not.
1102 INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE ROHINGYA 24:2:14
That this House is deeply concerned by the statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma that the government of Burma is failing to satisfactorily investigate allegations of the mass murder of ethnic Rohingya men, women and children at Du Chee Yar Tan village in January 2014; notes that the government of Burma has failed to respond to every single request by the United Nations to carry out impartial and independent investigations into human rights abuses in Burma; further notes that the government of Burma has rejected and failed to investigate evidence compiled by Human Rights Watch of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya; condemns the rejection by the Burmese government of the UN General Assembly Resolution call to reform the discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law; believes that it is now abundantly clear that the government of Burma is not willing to take sufficient action to either investigate or end violence and discrimination against the Rohingya; and therefore calls on the Government to work to establish an independent international investigation into violations of international law against the Rohingya people in Burma.
1103 ST PATRICK'S DAY 24:2:14
That this House calls on the Government to provide for St Patrick's Day, 17 March, to become an annual public holiday in Northern Ireland; recognises that a shared celebration of St Patrick, as a common symbol for all the people of Northern Ireland regardless of faith, belief or background, would play an important role in reconciliation; and acknowledges the deep historical, cultural and religious significance of Ireland's patron saint, whose teaching and life forms a universal example espoused by all Christian traditions.
1104 ELECTRICAL PRODUCT RECALLS 24:2:14
That this House notes that, according to the Electrical Safety Council, the average level of success of electrical product recalls, at an estimated 10 to 20 per cent, is worryingly low and places the public at unnecessary risk from fire and electric shock; expresses concern over the quality of guidance currently provided on how and when to initiate a recall action; believes that information on the progress of electrical product recalls should be collated and made generally available to ensure the public is kept informed; and calls on the Government to investigate these and other associated measures at the nearest opportunity, in order better to protect consumers.
1105 FUTURE OF HM LAND REGISTRY 24:2:14
That this House recognises and appreciates the excellent services which HM Land Registry provides to the public, with customer satisfaction of 98 per cent; notes that HM Land Registry offers value for money, and as a trading fund regularly returns a surplus to HM Treasury; is concerned that the Government's consultation on the introduction of a Land Registry service delivery company does not give any credible reasons for why a change of status is needed; further notes that Ministers are withholding key and detailed information about their future plans for the body, including proposed changes to the size and shape of the organisation; believes that this 150-year-old institution should remain within the Civil Service to ensure that public trust in the Registry's impartiality and freedom to operate without the potential conflict of commercial interests remains; and calls on the Government to acknowledge the success of HM Land Registry in its current form and to stop its plans to privatise this successful and trusted public service.
1106 UGANDAN ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL (No.2) 24:2:14
That this House condemns the signing of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law; notes that the Act expands the range of same-sex activities that will be criminalised and introduces life imprisonment for acts of so-called aggravated homosexuality; further notes that the Act also makes it a crime not to report gay people; believes that such a law makes it impossible to be openly gay in Uganda; recognises that passing such a law is a retrograde step in the worldwide fight for gay equality; and calls on the Government to denounce President Yoweri Museveni and the Ugandan government in the strongest possible terms.
1107 TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH OF BILL HICKS 24:2:14
That this House notes with deep sadness the twentieth anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks, on 26 February 2014; and salutes a man who used comedy as a weapon to assault the pomposity, arrogance and crass materialism of his age and whose every recorded and written word is a reminder of how brightly his genius burned, how dark is the world without that scorching light and how much his uncompromising honesty will be forever missed.
1108 THE PRIME MINISTER AND FOOD BANKS 25:2:14
That this House concurs with the conclusion of 27 Anglican bishops that the Prime Minister is responsible for a national crisis which has seen 500,000 people visit food banks since Easter 2013; notes with shame the bishops' concern that in the world's seventh richest country people are still going hungry; further notes with grave concern that in the last year 5,500 people have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition; and concludes that the welfare system is failing to provide a robust last line of defence against hunger and that the Government's cuts and policy has made hundreds of thousands of poor people more vulnerable and dependent on charity.
1109 DEMANDS BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS 25:2:14
That this House believes that requirements by the Department for Work and Pensions that claimants must send off at least 50 job applications a week or risk having their benefits stopped is unreasonable, punitive and fruitless; concludes that it is a way of removing people from the unemployment register both to save money and to artificially deflate the figures; and further concludes that the only honourable way to slash the numbers is to create meaningful jobs, which the Government has signally failed to do.
1110 SAVING HEDGEHOGS 25:2:14
That this House is concerned that the population of hedgehogs is declining at the same rate as tigers; notes that a quarter of Britons have never seen a hedgehog; supports the People's Trust for Endangered Species in its project Hedgehog Street which aims to reverse the decline; and urges widespread support for the campaign and commends the website www.hedgehogstreet.org where people can sign up to become citizen scientists.
1111 EDWARD SNOWDEN RECTOR SUCCESS 25:2:14
That this House congratulates whistleblower Edward Snowden on his overwhelming election win in becoming the new Rector of Glasgow University; applauds the students at the university for sending out such a clear and unequivocal statement that mass surveillance is more than a matter of intruding on privacy but an attack on academic freedom and human liberty; and urges the Government to use what powers of persuasion it has to urge the US administration to drop the threat of prosecution against Snowden so that he will be able to carry out his duties representing students in Glasgow for the three-year term.
1112 RE-LAUNCH OF BME CANCER VOICE 25:2:14
That this House recognises the re-launch on 25 February 2014 of BME Cancer Voice by BHI (Black Health Initiative), an organisation with charitable status which works nationally with a commitment to reducing cancer patient inequalities, increasing early diagnosis, culturally appropriate and equal services within prosthesis, hair loss services and takes account of religious and ethnic differences; and calls on the Department of Health to support its essential work.
1113 GREAT BRITISH SWITCH 25:2:14
That this House notes the public's ongoing concern with ever-increasing energy prices; recognises research published by the independent regulator, Ofgem, showing that 68 per cent of those who switched gas suppliers and 70 per cent of those who switched electricity suppliers in 2012/2013 believe they have saved money; commends the campaign launched by comparethemarket.com on this matter; and urges the public to support the Great British Switch on 15 and 16 March by taking advantage of the offer to switch energy supplier without penalty.
1114 GOOGLE AND UNOFFICIAL CHARGING SITES 25:2:14
That this House notes that Google has now agreed to co-operate with Transport for London to remove unofficial congestion charge sites; further notes that up to 1,000 people a day have been conned into paying an additional charge of up to £8 each as a result of the con being perpetrated by these unofficial sites with confidential financial information being unintentionally passed to persons unknown; believes Google's decision is welcome but long overdue; and calls on all Government departments and bodies such as the Land Registry and DVLA to seek a similar agreement from Google in relation to unofficial sites charging for their services as a matter of urgency.
1115 MYANMAR AND THE PERSECUTION OF THE ROHINGYA COMMUNITY 25:2:14
That this House notes that a recent report by the human rights organisation Fortify Rights concluded that the government of Myanmar systematically discriminated against the minority Rohingya Muslim community restricting their family size and mobility; further notes that the United Nations concluded that the Rohingya community is one of the most persecuted in the world; further notes that many members of the Rohingya community have fled to neighbouring countries where they are now living in very precarious circumstances; deplores the persecution of the Rohingya community; and calls on the UK Government to make urgent representations to the Myanmar government to change policy towards the Rohingya community and accept them as full citizens of Myanmar with equal rights.
1116 EFFECTS OF SUPERMARKET PROMOTIONS ON LOCAL NEWSAGENTS 25:2:14
That this House notes with concern the impact that some supermarket promotions can have on newsagents and convenience stores; recognises that the recent Waitrose offer of a free newspaper with every purchase over £5 in store or on line is likely to have a detrimental impact on the traditional corner shop and newsagents; further recognises the important role that independent retailers play in local communities; and therefore urges people to support local independent newsagents and convenience stores.
1118 PLEURAL PLAQUES COMPENSATION SCHEME 26:2:14
That this House welcomes the pleural plaques compensation scheme which was introduced in 2010; is disappointed the scheme closed to new applicants on 1 August 2011; and urges the Government to reconsider its decision and put in place further plans to provide compensation to those sufferers diagnosed with pleural plaques since 17 October 2007.
1119 ATOS 26:2:14
That this House congratulates Atos for seeking to terminate its £500 million contract with the Government prematurely as soon as a replacement can be found; notes that this contract was initially agreed in haste by the previous Labour administration without proper scrutiny and value for money for the taxpayer; further notes that the misery caused by Atos to the thousands of people who have had their benefits stopped without merit and without due attention to their medical notes, was thoroughly unacceptable; and urges the Government to learn lessons from mistakes made by the previous administration and ensure that any contract with a new company does not include the same financial incentives for the company for carrying out an appeal, that the company is only paid for an appeal if the decision is upheld and that the contract is of an appropriate length with a get-out clause if the company is not performing to an adequate standard.
1121 UGANDAN GOVERNMENT'S TREATMENT OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE 26:2:14
That this House strongly condemns Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's decision to sign into law the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which further criminalises homosexuality and introduces life sentences for aggravated homosexuality, making it lawful to report lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to the authorities; is appalled that the Ugandan Red Pepper newspaper has published the names of 200 LGBT people putting their lives at risk; urges the Government to take immediate action working with its partners in the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the EU to make it absolutely clear to the Ugandan government and the members of the Ugandan Parliament who voted in favour of the Bill that their cavalier disregard for fundamental human rights is intolerable and to formally requests that the UN Human Rights Council investigates this persistent violation of LGBT people's fundamental human rights; and requests that the Government seeks to assist those affected in Uganda in every possible way by working with allies who share the UK's commitment to LGBT equality.
1123 FAIR TAX MARK 26:2:14
That this House notes that the Government is losing much more than £1 in every £10 it seeks to collect from companies to tax evasion and avoidance; further notes that according to a recent Institute for Business Ethics poll, the public is now more concerned about tax avoidance than any other issue of corporate conduct; shares the public opposition to companies that avoid and evade paying the tax they owe; further notes the emergence of boycotts of companies such as Amazon and Starbucks; welcomes, like ICAEW and others, the launch of the Fair Tax Mark and the certification of Midcounties Co-opeative, Unity Trust Bank and others, who have been accredited as seeking to pay the tax that they owe in the right place at the right time; believes that such a mark will usefully provide consumers with the information they need to make ethical purchasing decisions based on the behaviour of corporations, and ultimately lead to additional tax revenue being paid to HM Revenue and Customs; and therefore calls on the Government to endorse the idea of a Fair Tax Mark, to work with its founders to put fair tax at the centre of the corporate social responsibility agenda and to redouble its efforts to clamp down on corporate tax evasion and avoidance.
1124 MIGRATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND TIER-ONE VISAS 26:2:14
That this House notes with concern the recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee that would allow foreign millionaires to bid for fast-track tier-one UK visas; rejects the principle that the right to stay in the UK could be sold off to affluent people, even if they would donate money to the UK; recognises that this policy would widen the gap in opportunity between the rich and poor applying for a tier-one visa; and recognises the benefit of allowing talented, motivated and hard-working people to apply for the right to settle in the UK, regardless of their financial background.
1125 NEW BEATSON CANCER CHARITY 26:2:14
That this House welcomes the launch of the new Beatson Cancer Charity, which brings together the resources of Friends of the Beatson and the Beatson Oncology Centre Fund; recognises that this new charity will support the vital work of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow which is the UK's busiest cancer treatment centre and second busiest in Europe; understands that the launch and subsequent development of this new charity is a unique and significant step in the fight against cancer in the UK; further welcomes that the Beatson Cancer Charity is determined to beat cancer and that through a programme of active fundraising it will help fund improvements and innovation in services, provide enhanced medical equipment, fund additional nursing, radiology, physics and research posts, as well as fund education, training and staff development at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre; further welcomes that the charity will focus on facilitating high quality research programmes and ground-breaking early stage research to improve cancer treatment; understands that the Beatson Cancer Charity will adopt a partnership approach; further welcomes the Beatson Cancer Charity's support of the vision of the Beatson in Glasgow being rightfully regarded as an internationally renowned comprehensive cancer centre attracting the highest calibre of professional staff and developing state-of-the-art, pioneering techniques and treatments that will change the face of cancer treatment on a local, national and international scale; further recognises the importance of this new charity in the fight against cancer; and looks forward to hearing more about its work in due course.
1126 TIM MARTIN ON PUBCO MODEL 27:2:14
That this House agrees with the recent comments by Tim Martin, chairman of the successfully managed pub company JD Wetherspoon, that large leased pub companies disregard the plight of their tenants; also agrees with Mr Martin that the founders of Punch Taverns, Hugh Osmond, and Enterprise Inns, Ted Tuppen 'bought the large tenanted pub estates of the major brewers, using borrowed money, and then hiked up the rents and the beer prices paid by tenants'; endorses his assessment that this unsustainable economic model has led to thousands of pubs having to close; and calls on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to intervene urgently in order to protect the great British pub.
1127 WORKING TO REDUCE THE USE OF ANIMALS IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 27:2:14
That this House notes the publication of Working to reduce the use of animals in scientific research, following the pledge in the Coalition Agreement to work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research; believes that effective implementation of this should lead to specific targets; is concerned that the document contains neither timescales nor targets for any reduction; and supports the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection in its call for the Government to set unambiguous targets for reductions in animal experiments before the end of the current Parliament.
1128 REGIONAL DISPARITIES IN TRANSPORT EXPENDITURE 27:2:14
That this House recognises the benefits that a substantial increase in investment in transport has brought to the London economy in recent years and the potential economic benefits that an equally significant uplift for transport investment in the North West could stimulate; but notes with concern the continuing substantial difference between public spending on transport in London at £545 per head of population compared with £265 per head in the North West as set out in HM Treasury's November 2013 Country and Regional Analysis of Public Spending; further notes that this difference between London and the North West is not replicated for public spending as a whole; and calls on the Government to ensure a more balanced approach to transport spending in order to promote a more balanced national economy.
1129 TAX ON LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS 27:2:14
That this House welcomes the contribution that road fuel gases such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have made in reducing environmentally damaging emissions from transport whilst cutting fuel costs for hard-pressed drivers; supports the commitment to maintain the fuel duty differential between most road fuel gases and petrol for 10 years; expresses concern however that the most successful and widely used road fuel gas LPG is singled-out for annual increases in duty until 2024; challenges HM Treasury's rationale that LPG is not as environmentally beneficial as CNG; notes the study of 9,000 modern cars undertaken by Atlantic Consulting in 2014 which found that LPG overall is just as clean, if not cleaner, in its emissions than CNG; and calls on the Government to change its policy and treat LPG on the same basis as CNG for the next 10 years.