Debates between Baroness Morgan of Cotes and Lord True during the 2019 Parliament

Covid-19: Debt Collection

Debate between Baroness Morgan of Cotes and Lord True
Thursday 23rd July 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord True Portrait Lord True
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Yes, a consistent understanding of the problems of debt using such techniques is extremely important. The regulations on council tax were promulgated, I believe, back in 1992—now a sort of Neanderthal age, when I was in No. 10. The Local Government Minister has announced that MCHLG will update its guidance to councils on collection and enforcement of council tax.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Con) [V]
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I am sure that my noble friend is hearing the strength of view on this issue. I hope that he has seen the letter that 55 cross-party Peers and Members of Parliament wrote to the Government at the end of May to support the CSJ report. Is there more that the Government could do, not just to encourage local authorities to show appropriate sensitivity in relation to these bills, but to require them to do so, given that local authorities themselves are asking the Government for restraint in chasing money that they owe the Government?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I am of course hearing what noble Lords are saying and I endorse the principles of the Centre for Social Justice report. I am very proud of having done public service in local government. Local councils are custodians of their whole community and community interests. They should be sympathetic and act proportionately towards anyone in genuine hardship. I will reflect on the points that my noble friend has made and pass them on to colleagues in the department.

Northern Ireland Protocol

Debate between Baroness Morgan of Cotes and Lord True
Thursday 21st May 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I do not agree that facilitating arrangements, which is what is stated in the protocol, necessarily translates into cement. We are looking for light-touch, easy arrangements. I can only repeat what I have said to the House I believe four times already this evening: the position of the UK Government is that it is not necessary for the implementation of our undertakings under the protocol.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Con)
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My noble friend has rightly said a number of times that a light-touch approach will be adopted. I know from my work with others on alternative arrangements for avoiding a hard border that administrative processes are perfectly capable of being used. Will he confirm that the processes planned are only administrative and that any import declarations would be in electronic form?

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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I thank my noble friend and of course I pay tribute to her, as indeed I should have to the noble Lord, Lord Hain, for their contributions over the years to these matters. Yes, I can give my noble friend both those assurances. We hope for, expect and are proposing light administrative procedures of exactly the type she describes.

Covid-19: Restrictions

Debate between Baroness Morgan of Cotes and Lord True
Monday 18th May 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, the noble Lord makes an important point about mental health. The Government have stressed at all times that there needs to be a balance in these matters. However, the scientific advice is clear that the groups concerned are at the greatest danger of suffering severely from this virus. That has been the reason for the advice, which, as I said, is under continual review.

Baroness Morgan of Cotes Portrait Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Con)
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My Lords, as we have just heard, 2.5 million people have been advised to stay at home, often on the basis of just a text message or a letter from the NHS. Perhaps I may press my noble friend a little further on the details of the review: how it will be conducted; whether there are any timelines; and when the up to 2.5 million people might be given further guidance about whether they really need to continue shielding in the way that they are.

Lord True Portrait Lord True
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My Lords, I cannot give my noble friend a specific date. However, I underline not only that the matter is, as I stated, under continuous review but that Public Health England hopes to issue further guidance next month.