Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.
If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.
If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).
Fund research for childhood cancers with the worst survival ratesGov Responded - 24 Mar 2020 Debated on - 7 Dec 2020 View Duncan Baker's petition debate contributions
12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.
Increase pay for NHS healthcare workers and recognise their workGov Responded - 4 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Duncan Baker's petition debate contributions
I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.
We would like the government to consider social care as equally important to NHSGov Responded - 20 Apr 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Duncan Baker's petition debate contributions
We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.
Reduce or scrap the immigration health surcharge for overseas NHS Staff.Gov Responded - 29 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Duncan Baker's petition debate contributions
To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.
Give non-British citizens who are NHS workers automatic citizenshipGov Responded - 6 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Duncan Baker's petition debate contributions
Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.
These initiatives were driven by Duncan Baker, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.
MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.
Duncan Baker has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Duncan Baker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to place a duty on major high street banks to provide banking services in post offices; to make associated provision about access to post office services, including for elderly and vulnerable people; and for connected purposes.
Duncan Baker has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
Carbon pricing has been shown to incentivise investment in renewable energy in a cost-effective manner. The UK has long been a supporter of carbon pricing and continues to lead the way with the new UK Emissions Trading System.
From the 29th of March the legal order to ‘Stay at home’ ceased and the government is asking people to minimise travel. This means that people should avoid making unnecessary journeys and combine their trips where possible. People should remember that other restrictions remain in place, for instance, if visiting friends and families they can only do so outside.
There are no permitted limits to the distance that may be travelled or frequency of journeys. People are permitted to stay away from their home overnight from 12th April, but only with members of their own household in self contained accommodation. People will not be allowed to enter another household to stay with friends and family until at least the 17th May. When travelling, people should remember to do so safely, planning ahead, travelling at quiet times, sanitise your hands, wear a face covering unless exempt and social distance.
Over the course of the pandemic, the Government has worked closely with the pubs and hospitality sector to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and has responded with a substantial package of business support. We keep all restrictions under constant review.
Under the Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgment, Redress etc.) Regulations 2012, installers are required to comply with the Green Deal Code of Practice. This does not proscribe any materials but requires that products and systems installed must comply with all legislation relevant to the testing, performance, certification and quality of the product or system. Installers must be certified by a UKAS-accredited Certification Body as meeting the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2030 for the measures they install.
The Government announced in-principle support in October 2019 for the Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal. The proposal would share investment costs between the mobile network operators and government and increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the United Kingdom to 95% by 2025. It will be underpinned by a legally binding coverage commitment from each operator.
The Government's in-principle support is subject to detailed negotiations. While this is not yet a done deal, the Prime Minister has made improvements to rural mobile coverage part of his first 100 days pledge. I will continue to work with the sector to make that happen.
The exact site deployment plans and timescales will be managed by the MNOs themselves in order for them to best deliver the agreed coverage outcomes. So until the operators’ final radio planning exercise is complete, neither the Government nor the operators will know the precise location or number of new or upgraded masts. However, the operators will be consulting with local communities as they do so. The MNOs’ intention is to deliver this programme by the end of 2025.
During national lockdown restrictions, special schools and special post-16 settings should continue to welcome and encourage pupils to attend full-time (or as per their usual timetable) where parents and carers wishes for their child to be able to attend (or for post-16s, where the young person wishes to attend). This is because we know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education. The Department for Education (DfE) has published new guidance on the period during the national lockdown, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#history.
It is important that staff in these schools continue to be supported. The rapid asymptomatic testing programme will include testing staff, vulnerable pupils and students, and children of key workers, including those within special schools and special post-16 settings. Further announcements on the roll out of testing to staff in primary schools will follow in due course, to help support the reopening of education settings.
As outlined in the department’s published guidance, additional use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 related purposes is only needed in a small number of cases, such as if a pupil or student becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained, or when undertaking aerosol generating procedures. If a pupil or student already has routine intimate care needs that involve the use of PPE, the same PPE should continue to be used. Public Health England have advised that the current guidance on the system of controls, including the use of PPE and face coverings, should continue to be followed.
The PPE portal can be used by residential special settings to access COVID-19 PPE. These providers will have received an email invitation to register with the portal. Depending on local arrangements, special schools and special post-16 settings may be able to access PPE for their COVID-19 needs via their local authority or local resilience forum.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are independent experts advising the government on which vaccine(s) the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19. In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments. The DfE will input into this cross-governmental exercise.
The government has issued guidance on the financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19). This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.
The Charity Commission has also issued coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector, including considerations and practical steps that charities can take when they are facing serious financial difficulties. This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector.
The Department for Education continues to advise against both overnight and non-overnight domestic (UK) and overseas educational visits as outlined in the coronavirus travel guidance for educational settings.
In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits. All such visits should be compliant with COVID-19 guidelines and subject to a thorough and ongoing assessment of the risks to ensure that they can be undertaken safely. Schools should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering any visit.
The above guidance will remain under review, including the position on overnight domestic visits, and will be updated in line with guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Transport and Public Health England.
The coronavirus: travel guidance for educational settings can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings/coronavirus-travel-guidance-for-educational-settings.
Guidance for full opening: schools is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.
Guidance on health and safety on educational visits can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-safety-on-educational-visits/health-and-safety-on-educational-visits.
As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.
Our latest guidance for schools and colleges is at:
These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.
We have prioritised the return to school of children in reception, year 1 and year 6, and have asked secondary schools and colleges to offer some face to face support for young people in year 10 and year 12 to supplement their remote education. This is because they are preparing for key examinations next year and are most at risk of falling behind due to time out of school or college. From 1 June 2020, we expect that secondary schools and colleges will be able to offer some face to face contact with year 10 and year 12 students. This will not be a return to full timetables or students back in school or college full time, but rather support to supplement students’ remote education.
We have also committed over £100 million to boost remote education, including giving free laptops to year 10 students from disadvantaged backgrounds, alongside care leavers and those with a social worker, to help them learn from home during the lockdown. Additionally, if families of these students do not have good access to the internet, we will provide them with 4G routers so that they can learn online. Students aged 16 to 19 without a suitable device for education may be eligible for support through the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund. The Department will also ensure that every school and college that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education.
In light of the disruption experienced by students in Years 10 and 12 who are due to take exams in 2021, we are working with Ofqual and the exam boards to develop our approach to next year’s exams.
In July 2019, the Secretary of State announced an in-depth evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life. The evaluation included 3 strands of research:
- hearing directly from claimants and charities about their first-hand experiences;
- considering international evidence to find out what works in other nations and the support they provide; and
- reviewing current DWP performance to better understand how our Special Rules for Terminal Illness process operates and performs.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) considered data from OpenSAFELY and QCOVID in determining the risk of COVID-19 in those with asthma and in determining which individuals with asthma were at significant risk of mortality from COVID-19 in phase one of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The JCVI concluded that only a subset of those with asthma are at clinically higher risk from COVID-19. This group is defined by data from OpenSAFELY and QCOVID as adults with asthma who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guideline Bloom et al were not used.
For phase two, the JCVI concluded that there is good evidence that the risks of hospitalisation and critical care admission from COVID-19 increase with age. The JCVI advised that the offer of vaccination during phase two is age-based starting with the oldest adults first. The JCVI has not advised prioritisation of any sub-groups and is currently considering the need for and timing of future phases and booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Their advice will be published in due course.
This OCTAVE study will provide important insights into the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups. This includes COVID-19 vaccine responses in patients with certain immunosuppressed conditions, including those with inflammatory disorders, high risk cancer patient groups, and patients with severe kidney and liver disease. The research will use comprehensive immune tests performed on blood samples taken before and/or after COVID-19 vaccination. It will determine patients’ COVID-19 immune response and therefore the likelihood that vaccines will fully protect these groups from COVID-19 infection. Key sample timings include 28 days and 6 months post vaccine boost. Results will be available within three months of sampling date. It is estimated that initial results for 28 days post-vaccine will be available across the majority of the cohort by the middle of June.
The decision to pause shielding was based on the epidemiological data which showed that cases of COVID-19 had fallen considerably from when national restrictions were first introduced in January. In addition to the prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccines of households of immunosuppressed individuals, the Government continues to provide all clinically extremely vulnerable individuals with additional guidance that they are advised to take to help protect themselves.
We are looking to the independent Pay Review Bodies (PRBs) for a recommendation on NHS pay, who consider a range of factors, including, motivation, morale and affordability. The Department and HM Treasury work together closely during the PRB process.
As the PRBs are independent of the Government, we cannot pre-judge their recommendations. Once received, we will take time to carefully consider their recommendations before responding.
The vast majority of care workers are employed by private sector providers who ultimately set their pay and remuneration, independent of central Government. Local authorities work with care providers to determine a fair rate of pay based on local market conditions
In line with the guidance and the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, anyone defined as a frontline healthcare worker is prioritised in cohort two, whether they work for the National Health Service or a private healthcare provider. This includes dentists and dental staff.
United Kingdom vitamin D recommendations are based on advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). The SACN is an advisory committee of independent experts that advises the Government on nutrition-related matters.
In its 2016 report on vitamin D and health, the SACN carried out an extensive and robust assessment of the evidence on vitamin D and a wide range of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal health outcomes, including infection. The SACN report is available at the following link:
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advise the Government on which vaccine(s) the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation.
As the highest risk of mortality increases with age, the JCVI advise that care home residents, their staff and those over 80 years old should be the first group to receive the vaccine. Adults with Down's syndrome and people with a severe and profound learning disability are also prioritised to receive the vaccine; they are within the fourth and sixth vaccine prioritisation groups respectively.
With regards to prioritising vaccines for people in care home settings with learning disabilities higher than in their current group six category, we will continue to review the evidence and advice from the JCVI as it emerges to determine if this is required.
The NHS Long Term Plan set out a vision for providing integrated mental health support across primary and community services to ensure people can access the care, treatment and support at the earliest point of need.
All local areas have received funding to develop and deliver these new models of integrated care by 2023-24. The Government has not prescribed the form these should take though they may take the form of community mental health hubs.
The UK is concerned by the violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region. The Foreign Secretary called Prime Minister Abiy on 10 November to raise our concerns and stress the urgent need for de-escalation and for unfettered humanitarian access. He reiterated these messages when he met Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke on 25 November. I also reiterated this in my tweets of 24 and 19 November and when I spoke with the Ethiopian Ambassador in London on 18 November. We will continue to track the situation and to raise with the Government of Ethiopia and regional leaders these concerns, our concerns about civilian deaths and casualties, and the importance of respect for human rights.
We are contributing to UN-led planning efforts for Tigray. It is important that agreement between the UN and the Ethiopian Government, which permits access to government controlled areas of Tigray, also quickly paves the way for unfettered access to those areas that remain contested. We are in close contact with UK-funded humanitarian agencies there to understand humanitarian needs and what programme adaptations are required, as well as monitoring the regional situation. In Ethiopia, the UK provides funds to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, to provide food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation, health, nutrition and protection support. In Sudan, flexible UK funding to WFP and the UNHCR is already helping new refugees from Ethiopia to receive emergency assistance, including shelter and food. These agencies have proven themselves capable of working in high risk contexts, in Ethiopia and elsewhere, and for managing UK funds adeptly.
The government sets out funding arrangements for the Devolved Administrations in the Statement of Funding Policy (SFP), which was most recently updated at the 2020 Spending Review and is kept under review. The 2020 SFP states that the Barnett formula continues to perform a key part of the arrangements for pooling and sharing risks and resources across the UK. This means that a downturn in one area can be supported by other areas, rather than being dependent on local economic conditions – and a windfall can be shared with other areas. It ensures the devolved administrations receive a population share of changes in relevant funding consistent with the wider principles set out in the SFP.
Ensuring an effective solution to the challenges related to the taxation of the digital economy is a priority for the Government. In April 2020, the Government introduced a Digital Services Tax which ensures digital businesses pay UK tax that reflects the value they derive from UK users. The Government is also strongly supportive of OECD negotiations which seek to come to a global consensus agreement on the taxation of the digital economy.
Regarding subsidy control, following the end of the transition period, the UK also has the freedom to design a new domestic regime. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently published a consultation seeking views on the approach the Government should take.
People who have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but have applied for and are granted British citizenship will have the right of abode in the UK. If they were lawfully resident in the UK under EU law as an EEA citizen at the end of the transition period, they will continue to enjoy relevant rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements even if they did not obtain EU Settlement Scheme status before they were granted British citizenship.
Those who have not been granted British citizenship and have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 will not have the right to remain in the UK after that date. If there are reasonable grounds for the person missing the deadline to apply to the scheme, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.
A person who has applied for and not yet received British citizenship can ensure they are in the UK lawfully after 30 June 2021 by making a free of charge application to the EU Settlement Scheme by that date.
Permanent residence is a status derived from EU law.
EU citizens with this status need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for a UK immigration status by 30 June 2021 in order to continue living in the UK after that date.
The Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting 20,000 additional police officers over the next three years.
Norfolk Police has been allocated 67 officers in year one of the uplift, to be recruited by the end of March 2021. This is supported by an increase of up to £11.4m in 2020/21. Decisions on the allocation of officers for years two and three are yet to be taken.
Decisions on the deployment of officers within a force area are operational decisions for Chief Constables.
The Greater London Authority precept charged in the 32 London boroughs decreased by £33.82 (10.9%) between 2009-10 and 2016-17; a real terms (CPI) decrease of £71.81 (23.2%). Between 2017-18 and 2020-21, it increased by £52.05 (18.6%); a real terms (CPI) increase of £31.10 (13.2%).
Based on the latest OBR forecasts, the average council tax bill in England in 2021/22 would be 1.7% lower in real terms (RPI) than in 2010/11.
The Government has no plans to ban rent increases and we have put in place an unprecedented package of support to protect renters during this period.
We have legislated to increase notice periods to 6 months in all but the most serious circumstances and bailiffs have been asked not to enforce evictions across England whilst the new, toughened national restrictions apply from 5 November. The only exceptions to this will be the most egregious cases, including cases of illegal occupation, fraud, where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or are the perpetrator of domestic abuse in social housing and where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant. We also intend to introduce an exemption for extreme pre-Covid rent arrears and will provide more detail in due course.
Together with the pause on evictions starting in December, this means that evictions will not be enforced in England until 11 January at the earliest, except in the most serious circumstances.
These measures build on the Government’s major economic package of support to help renters continue to meet their housing costs, including the Chancellor’s recent announcement to extend the Job Retention Scheme to March 2021 .
We have also strengthened the welfare safety-net with an over £9 billion boost to the welfare system, which includes an extra £1 billion to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they cover the lowest 30 per cent of market rents. For renters who require additional support, there is also an existing £180 million of Government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments made available this year, an increase of £40 million from last year, which is for councils to distribute to support renters needing additional help.
The Government has introduced a series of measures to help mitigate second home ownership. In 2013 the Government removed the requirement for local authorities to offer a discount on second homes enabling them to charge the full rate of council tax. Additionally, in April 2016, the Government introduced a 3 per cent higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for those purchasing additional properties.