House of Commons
4th March 2015
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
782 BETTING, GAMING AND LOTTERIES (S. I., 2015, No. 121) 10:2:15
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I., 2015, No. 121), dated 2 February 2015, a copy of which was laid before this House on 4 February, be annulled.
805 TWENTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE ATTACK ON KHOJALY 23:2:15
That this House notes that 26 February 2015 is the twenty-third anniversary of the attack on the town of Khojaly, where 613 men, women and children were killed by invading Armenian forces; extends its sympathies to the Azerbaijani people; and hopes that the Government can actively encourage a peaceful resolution of the conflict based on the four UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884.
806 WORKING CONDITIONS OF CARE WORKERS 23:2:15
That this House notes that care workers play an important role in looking after the elderly, sick and vulnerable; further notes that care workers should be treated with dignity and respect and should have the right to decent terms and conditions; believes that all care workers should be paid the Living Wage of £7.85 as a minimum for all hours worked; further believes that there should be enough care staff present at any one time to provide a premium quality service which meets the emotional and physical needs of residents with compassion and dignity; further believes that carers should be given sufficient, meaningful and constructive face-to-face training, which is provided and completed in normal working hours, acknowledging the professional skillset required of them; and calls on the Government to take steps to implement these measures.
808 MEASURE TO MINIMISE TAX EVASION 23:2:15
That this House calls on HM Revenue and Customs to amend the standard income tax form to include a question box on whether the person completing it has control of a foreign bank account so that if the box were ticked, the location of the account would have to be disclosed and the amount held; believes such a declaration under the penalty of perjury would obviate the complex and one-sided negotiations with the tax authorities over the purpose of the account and any settlement; notes that comparatively few people are prepared to commit perjury; further notes that such a question is already included in US tax forms; and further calls on the Government to ensure that this change is made forthwith, which can only help to minimise tax evasion.
809 1980s HEALTH GUIDELINES ON SATURATED FATS 23:2:15
That this House notes that recent evidence published in the journal, Open Heart, has determined that dietary guidelines given 30 years ago to avoid fatty foods were based on shaky evidence; believes that this has led to a focus on foods high in fat content; is concerned that this focus has overshadowed the impact of food high in sugar and carbohydrates, which have contributed heavily to the obesity crisis; and further notes that high-fat products and other risky food content should only be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
810 BRITISH LUNG FOUNDATION REPORT 23:2:15
That this House is aware that rates of the chronic lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which causes scarring of people's lungs, have increased more than sixfold over the past 40 years, today accounting for the deaths of around 5,000 people a year in the UK; notes that the disease often kills with devastating speed, with more than half of sufferers losing their lives within three years after diagnosis; recognises the outstanding efforts of the British Lung Foundation (BLF) which works tirelessly to raise awareness of this appalling disease and the needs of its sufferers and their carers, who often do not receive the support they need and deserve; and calls on the Government to act on the findings and recommendations of the BLF new patient experience report on this serious illness and develop ways to improve public awareness, medical research and patient treatment, support and care.
811 PHONE PHREAKING 23:2:15
That this House notes the increasing escalation of criminal activity resulting from the hacking of business telephone systems to initiate outbound calls to premium numbers; further notes that, according to the Criminal Fraud Control Association, the UK is a global hot spot for such fraudulent activity, known as phone phreaking, together with Cuba, Liechtenstein and India; further notes that such activity costs businesses based in the UK an estimated £1 billion per annum; further notes that a single attack on a small business can lead to telephone charges of thousands of pounds, endangering the viability of businesses; believes that it is unacceptable that the cost from clear fraudulent activity is borne by businesses targeted by criminals; and calls on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Ofcom to initiate measures to protect unsuspecting and law abiding businesses from being targeted by organised criminals via phone phreaking.
814 CHRISTIANS IN EGYPT 24:2:15
That this House recognises that the new Egyptian constitution advocates religious freedom and equality for all of Egypt's citizens; further recognises the Egyptian government's pledge to reduce persecution and congratulates it on this commitment; commends President el-Sisi on the actions he has taken thus far; and urges the Egyptian government, through the UK Ambassador and Foreign Secretary, to ensure that interpretation of the constitution will enforce the rights of Christians and offer protection to Christians throughout Egypt.
815 DISABLED STUDENTS' ALLOWANCE 24:2:15
That this House notes the importance of support for students with disabilities to enable them to access education; is concerned with the proposed changes to the disabled students' allowance (DSA) announced on 7 April 2014 and updated in regulations laid on 16 October 2014; believes that the Non-Medical Help (NMH) aspect of DSA is an important means of support for students with disabilities to achieve and prosper in higher education; further notes the results of a survey by a specialist support provider which found that 42.4 per cent of survey respondents said they would be more likely to drop out if cuts to the DSA fall whilst they are at university; is alarmed that many potential students stand to be affected by the proposed changes to the DSA; further notes with concern the funding and support disparities that would result from the proposed changes; and calls on the Government to review the current proposals to ensure that any student, regardless of disability, has fair and sustainable access to support whilst studying.
817 ROYAL BRITISH LEGION INSULT TO INJURY CAMPAIGN 25:2:15
That this House notes the invaluable contribution made by servicemen and servicewomen, past and present, to the security of the UK and the risks they take with their health and lives in defence of freedom; further notes that this unique sacrifice is not fully recognised within the social care system, with veterans who were injured before 6 April 2005 typically finding that all but the first £10 per week of their military compensation is taken to cover the costs of their care; further notes that this is not the case for veterans who were injured after 6 April 2005, or for civilians who have been injured in the workplace, both of whom can retain their compensation awards in full when accessing council support; recognises that the current situation amounts to a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant principle of no disadvantage due to Service; and calls on the Government and devolved administrations to harmonise the treatment of injured veterans' compensation payments in social care charging guidance, making additional financial resources available to help local authorities implement this policy change.
818 CHILD MAINTENANCE SERVICE CHARGES 25:2:15
That this House is deeply concerned by the introduction of charging for use of the new Child Maintenance Service and that a lack of resources means that £2.9 billion of the £3.9 billion arrears owed to single parent families is not being collected; deplores the fact that money once intended for the upbringing of children is now being taken solely for Government coffers and that receiving families will lose out by over £70 a year which could pay for anything from winter coats to school trips or to put food on the table; refutes the idea that charges act as an incentive for parents to make private arrangements; questions how charging passes the Government's flagship family test, which includes an assessment of what impact a policy has on families most at risk of deteriorating relationships and breakdown; is mindful that a statutory child maintenance system was set up 21 years ago to address the suffering caused by child poverty and the financial costs that were otherwise being met by the state; and urges the Government to end charging for use of the child maintenance system and ensure adequate resources to collect arrears.
819 ACCESS TO TREATMENTS FOR DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY, TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS AND MORQUIO DISEASE 25:2:15
That this House is aware that the pause in NHS England's decision-making process on prioritisation and specialised commissioning has created a block to accessing effective medicines for rare diseases where there are commissioning policies under development or assessment; notes that for conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tuberous sclerosis and Morquio disease, where a cohort of more than five patients exists, there is no alternative viable route to NHS funding; further notes that as a result patients with need of treatment are left at risk of significant harm, including organ failure and avoidable death; also notes that around 180 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tuberous sclerosis and Morquio disease are currently being denied access; believes it is unethical to place patients at risk as a result of process inefficiencies; and calls on the Government to bring into force, without delay, interim measures to provide children and adults with rare diseases access to vital and proven medicines that will prevent organ deterioration and premature death.
820 EPILEPSY VOLUNTEERS 25:2:15
That this House notes the excellent work being done across the UK by groups like Epilepsy Action supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy; recognises the outstanding efforts being made across the UK as a whole, but particularly in Northern Ireland, by volunteers who have helped raise the profile of the condition; and commends the efforts of all involved in addressing a condition which is often overlooked by society as a whole.
821 UK OFFSHORE OIL INDUSTRY 25:2:15
That this House notes the severity of the downturn in the UK's offshore oil industry resulting from the slump in oil prices; believes that short-term responses such as delay or cancellation of long-term projects, laying off workers, extending working hours, accelerating cost-cutting recruitment practices or changing terms and conditions without consultation will fail to mitigate the impacts on workers or the wider economy; further believes that reducing essential maintenance work would jeopardise infrastructure integrity and capacity, thousands of jobs, essential skills and future tax revenues from this vital sector; further believes that oil industry trade unions have a key role to play in government and industry initiatives, such as the Energy Jobs Taskforce, in ensuring that the views and interests of those working in the industry are taken fully into account; and calls on the Government at every level to work closely with employers, regulators, trade unions and elected representatives to support measures that preserve the sustainability of operations, jobs, skills and investment, as well as a robust safety regime in the North Sea.
822 CITIZENS ADVICE SCOTLAND'S FAIR ENOUGH? EMPLOYMENT CAMPAIGN 25:2:15
That this House welcomes Citizens Advice Scotland's Fair Enough? employment campaign which aims to help employees assert their rights and remind them of the laws which protect those rights; commends the detailed report accompanying the campaign which outlines the common unfair employment practices that Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) clients have faced including unfair dismissal, problems with entitlement to minimum wage levels, annual leave and sickness payments, contract problems including zero-hour contracts, parental rights and bullying; notes that CAB dealt with 46,540 new issues of unfair treatment at work in 2014, an increase of 5.5 per cent on the previous year; and urges all those who have an employment problem to seek advice from their local CAB or trade union.
823 ELECTION OF CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE 25:2:15
That this House is of the opinion that in the next Parliament the Chair and members of the Intelligence and Security Committee should be elected by hon. Members.
824 YAMUNA RIVER IN INDIA 26:2:15
That this House is concerned by the damage caused by pollution to the Yamuna River, one of the holiest and most significant rivers in India; notes that domestic and commercial waste is dumped in large quantities into the river and that no fresh water flows through cities like Delhi, Mathura, Vrindavan and Gokul; further notes that 150 kilometres of the Yamuna river bed is completely empty; congratulates the campaign to improve these conditions and address the pollution problem, led by individuals across India and the UK such as Rakesh Rajpara; and calls on the Indian government urgently to address this issue.
825 FRENCH NATIONAL KIDNAPPED IN YEMEN 26:2:15
That this House condemns the kidnapping of Isabelle Prine and interpreter Sherine Makkaoui in Yemen and calls for their immediate release; notes that Ms Prine, a French national and World Bank consultant, was taken with Ms Makkaoui by unidentified gunmen; is deeply concerned at the political and security vacuum in Yemen, which has dramatically increased levels of violence and the danger faced by Western nationals working in that country; further notes that there is a history of kidnappings by groups linked to al- Qaeda; and urges all political parties to maintain negotiations and restore order in that country.
826 STICKLE TARN 27:2:15
That this House notes Stickle Tarn in the Langdale Pikes is widely regarded as one of the finest beauty spots in the Lake District National Park; further notes that the Lake District National Park Authority intends to sell the Tarn for a price estimated to be between £20,000 to £30,000; welcomes the opportunity provided to local communities by this Government via the Localism Act 2011 to register such sites with the local authority as assets of community value; further welcomes the fact that the Act allows local communities to bid to acquire such assets; celebrates the initiative and hard work of the Langdale Valley Association in seeking to register the Tarn as a Community Asset; and expresses support to the Langdale Valley Association's campaign to raise funds to buy the Tarn for the benefit of the local community.
827 HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN GAZA 2:3:15
That this House agrees with the United Nations Secretary-General that there is a dire humanitarian situation in Gaza; fears the outbreak of further hostilities unless the situation improves dramatically; notes the considerable amount of British and other international aid required to keep Gaza from deteriorating further and to assist in the reconstruction of infrastructure and homes; regrets that the Israeli authorities continue to refuse access to British elected representatives to visit Gaza via Erez checkpoint; further notes that, given the dangerous security situation in the Sinai, the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing is the only viable entry point; and asks the Government to do everything in its power to persuade the Israeli authorities to permit parliamentary access into Gaza to assess the situation, the needs of the population and how British funds are being spent.
828 POLICE WIDOWS' PENSIONS 2:3:15
That this House recognises that police officers often place themselves in the way of harm to protect their communities, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice and leaving behind families and loved ones; believes that we have a moral and public duty to ensure all police widows and widowers are financially provided for for their lifetime; is deeply concerned that the Police Pension Regulations 1987 do not allow police widows or widowers the opportunity to marry or cohabit, without losing their right to a police widows' or widowers' pension for life; agrees with the Police Federation of England and Wales that it is morally and ethically wrong to make police widows and widowers and their dependants effectively choose between future financial security and the possibility of future personal happiness; welcomes the fact that the Police Pension Regulations 2006 allow new entrants or serving officers to transfer to a new scheme which permits their survivors to access benefits which are payable for life regardless of whether they remarry; regrets that nevertheless many police widows and widowers still remain disadvantaged by the Police Pensions Regulations 1987, and calls on the Government urgently to review the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 to ensure that the families of those who have served their community and been lost in the line of duty receive financial security regardless of their decision to remarry or cohabit.
829 PARDON FOR PEOPLE CONVICTED UNDER REPEALED ANTI-GAY LAWS 3:3:15
That this House welcomes the recent pardon granted to Alan Turing for his conviction under anti-gay laws; recognises that a further 50,000 to 100,000 men were also convicted of offences under those laws during the 20th century; believes this is one of the UK's great historical injustices; notes with concern the continued problem of homophobia in Britain today; and calls on the Government to issue, firstly, a universal apology to all men convicted of consenting adult same-sex behaviour under now repealed anti-gay laws and, secondly, a pardon, on a case by case basis, for all men convicted of consenting adult same-sex behaviour under now repealed anti-gay laws, with the convicted person or their partner, family, descendants, friend or any interested third party being eligible to apply for a pardon to the Home Secretary.
830 MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR IRFON WILLIAMS 3:3:15
That this House supports the campaign to ensure that Irfon Williams of Bangor is given the most appropriate treatment for his illness; notes that he has now moved from Wales to England and that subsequently an application has been submitted by his doctors to the Cancer Drugs Fund; regrets that his family, friends and supporters have had to conduct a campaign on his behalf, as have others in a similar position; and is grateful to the medical staff at Ysybyty Gwynedd Bangor for the treatment and care that he has received, but believes that there should be a proper system and process in Wales to ensure that the best treatments are available to cancer patients and others, and that families, friends and supporters should not have to wage case by case campaigns.
831 HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN MEXICO 3:3:15
That this House notes, on the occasion of the State Visit to the UK of the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, that continued violations of internationally accepted labour rights take place on a daily basis in Mexico, many of which have been carried out in an attempt to crush the National Miners' and Metalworkers' Union of Mexico (SNTMMSRM); further notes that the US State Department's 2012 Human Rights Report concluded that the Mexican government did not consistently protect workers' rights in practice; condemns the continued use of protection contracts in which many thousands of workers are governed by illegitimate collective agreements that they have never ratified, were never consulted on and in many cases have never seen; further condemns arbitrary denials of trade union recognition, limitations on the right to strike, and serious health and safety problems in the mining and petroleum industries; believes the existence of free and independent trade unions is essential to the functioning of any democracy; and therefore calls on the Government to make representations to the Mexican government to carry out fundamental reforms to ensure that Mexican labour law respects and enforces international standards; and following the complete exoneration of SNTMMSRM General Secretary, Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, of all allegations against him, that the government of Mexico will guarantee his freedom, safety and wellbeing when he decides to return to Mexico.
832 REPLACEMENT OF THE ASPIRE CONTRACT 3:3:15
That this House welcomes the publication of the Committee of Public Accounts report, HC705, Managing and replacing the Aspire Contract; notes the importance of the Aspire contract in creating a single IT system where previously numerous standalone systems that could not talk to each other had existed, and the 650 linked computer systems that now aid the collection of £50 billion in revenue for HM Treasury as a result; recognises the skills and business knowledge of current Aspire contract staff in achieving a 98 per cent delivery record and a 90 per cent reduction in downtime, as well as their expertise in working on the complex IT system; is troubled that the government proposals to break up that contract will limit contract sizes and risk serious problems, with untested suppliers being asked to work to technical specifications from a government department when both parties may lack the necessary skills; is deeply concerned that the current hubs in Telford and Worthing are being moved to a location hundreds of miles away, possibly even off-shore, and that critical expertise will be lost as staff are unlikely to want to transfer to an employer that has had a seven-year pay freeze; and urges the Government and HM Revenue and Customs to consider the value of the staff who work on the Aspire contract and the dangers of their proposals for the day-to-day delivery of the work.
833 EPILEPSY IN THE UK 3:3:15
That this House is aware that there are more than 500,000 people in the UK who are affected by epilepsy, an illness that can develop in anyone at any age and be difficult to diagnose, with treatment often taking years to successfuly be established; understands that currently only one in five sufferers are being seen by specialists within the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended waiting period; further notes that significant numbers also experience severe problems or delays in accessing other services or treatment to help manage their condition; further notes that many people having this illness often have to claim benefits to cope and remain independent and that claiming periods for accessing such support can often be lengthy and stressful with many assessors having only a limited knowledge of this illness; and calls on the Government to provide better training for benefits assessors dealing with such conditions, provide sufficient investment to deliver quicker access to specialists and ensure full provision for patients in their communities.
834 FANS ON THE BOARDS OF FOOTBALL CLUBS 4:3:15
That this House congratulates Greenock Morton Football Club for voluntarily appointing Nick Robinson, chairman of the club's Supporters' Trust, to the board; believes that football fans should have a voice in every boardroom; recognises that this is the only way to ensure that those running football clubs share information, power and responsibility with the fans; notes that this is what the fans themselves are saying; is concerned that fans are often disregarded when clubs take important decisions; is convinced that having fans in the boardroom is a good thing for the game; calls on other clubs across the UK to take similar steps; praises the Greenock Morton Chairman Mr Douglas Rae not only for his board's leading example to put fans at the heart of football but his commitment to Greenock Morton Football Club over many years.
835 FURTHER EDUCATION FUNDING 4:3:15
That this House deplores the cuts to the further education budget which will impact severely on Bradford College and on other colleges throughout the country; notes that 24 per cent is to be cut from that budget in the next financial year; believes that crucial stepping stones back into learning for many people, including those who missed out on qualifications at school and those who need to update skills and retrain, will be removed; further notes that since 2009 student numbers have fallen by one million and the University and College Union believes a further 400,000 will go with the next round of cuts; and calls on the Government to reverse this appalling loss and to boost further education and people's life chances by not only retaining but increasing the present sums spent on this crucial arm of education.
836 SEWAGE ON RAILWAY TRACKS IN SCOTLAND 4:3:15
That this House is dismayed that ScotRail train services and also East Coast rail services into Scotland still discharge effluent onto railway tracks; is concerned that there is no formal or legal requirement to stop train operating companies from discharging toilet waste onto the track or to force rolling stock leasing companies to retrofit controlled emission toilets to those trains that currently discharge waste onto the track; believes it is utterly disgraceful that rolling stock and train companies are making billions in profits while railway track workers have to endure being splashed with effluent and passengers witness disgusting conditions; is further concerned about the impact on track workers' health and welfare; and calls for the UK and Scottish Governments to take immediate action to clean up UK rail routes.
837 SIKH SOLDIERS IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR 4:3:15
That this House notes the contribution of Sikh soldiers in the First World War when over 138,000 Indian troops fought in Belgium and France, many of them Sikh; recognises that more than one-quarter of these soldiers would become casualties; further notes that in March 1915, 100 years ago, Sikh troops along with counterparts from around the British Empire fought in the bloody battle of Neuve Chapelle and many made the ultimate sacrifice; further recognises that Sikh regiments lost nearly four-fifths of their men and three regiments stood at only 16 per cent of their original strength; and urges the Government to support the erection of a permanent monument in Central London to highlight and commemorate their brave actions and grave losses.
838 NATURAL RESOURCES OF PALESTINE 4:3:15
That this House acknowledges the view of the World Bank that Israel's occupation is preventing Palestine from accessing its natural resources, including not only oil and gas but also agricultural land and water acquifers; notes the natural gas reserves of Gaza Marine One and Noa South of Gaza Marine Two are in Gaza's territorial waters and contain at least $5 billion of gas; further notes that BG Group has held a licence since 1999 but Israel's intransigence has prevented it from commencing exploration; further notes the already operational Meged oil field in Israel is believed to contain reserves of at least 3.5 million barrels and to extend into the Occupied West Bank; further notes that Israel has also issued licences for oil exploration in the occupied Golan Heights in violation of international law; recalls that the Oslo Accords oblige Israel to co-ordinate exploration for natural resources in shared territory with the Palestine Authority and share its benefits; and therefore calls on the Government, together with its European partners, to press Israel to abide by its obligations and cease obstructing legitimate Palestinian endeavours aimed at accessing its natural resources.
839 PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTION TIME 4:3:15
That this House is appalled at the demeaning spectacle of Prime Minister's Questions, where the Leader of the Opposition's questions are not answered by the Prime Minister, who uses the occasions as a bully pulpit for his own chosen issues; notes the widely expressed public revulsion at this ill-mannered, pointless spectacle; and calls for its replacement by meetings where the Prime Minister will answer questions from 20 randomly-selected backbenchers in a committee room in an atmosphere of calm and dignity.
840 SEJAL KOYANI AND LONDON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND FINANCE 4:3:15
That this House condemns in the strongest terms Sejal Koyani of the London School of Business and Finance, who has stolen thousands of pounds from a constituent of the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, and has failed over a period of months to reply to letters from the right hon. Member; calls on the Home Secretary to remove any recognition from this criminal, on the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to look into these larcenous activities, and on the Metropolitan Police to investigate; and advises any potential clients to have nothing to do with these thieves.
841 MAHATMA GANDHI STATUE IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE 4:3:15
That this House is delighted that the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament Square will be unveiled on 14 March 2015 by the Prime Minister and Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley; congratulates the various stakeholders, including the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, Councillor Robert Davies, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment of Westminster City Council and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who chairs the Gandhi Statue Special Advisory Board; applauds the hundreds of generous donors from the UK, India and around the world; notes that this is the third Mahatma Gandhi statue in the UK, the others being in Tavistock Square, London and Belgrave Road, Leicester; and believes the statue is an important testimony to Gandhi's powerful legacy and a very positive step for the relationship between the UK and India.
842 BENEFITS SANCTIONS 4:3:15
That this House welcomes the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into Benefits sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Review; notes the large amount of compelling evidence from the PCS union, charities, welfare advisers and academics showing that the current sanctions regime is excessive, punitive and failing; is concerned that sanctions are not a last resort, as their use and severity have both escalated dramatically and that they hinder rather than enable claimants to get work; and urges the Government to instigate a far-reaching independent review of sanctions and their effects and to suspend the 2013 stricter benefit regime at least until such time as such a review has been completed.