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).
Give UK nurseries emergency funding if they have to close down amid COVID-19Gov Responded - 14 Apr 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.
Provide financial support to performers and creators during the COVID-19 crisisGov Responded - 22 Jul 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.
Extend grants immediately to small businesses outside of SBRRGov Responded - 29 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.
Government to offer economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19Gov Responded - 27 Mar 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.
Make nurseries exempt from business rates to support the childcare sectorGov Responded - 2 Apr 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.
Offer more support to the arts (particularly Theatres and Music) amidst COVID-19Gov Responded - 20 Jul 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.
Support the British aviation industry during the COVID-19 outbreakGov Responded - 7 May 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.
Business Rate Relief to be extended to all small businesses in healthcare.Gov Responded - 5 Jun 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare
Provide financial help to zoos, aquariums, & rescue centres during the pandemic.Gov Responded - 28 Jul 2020 Debated on - 25 Jun 2020 View Felicity Buchan's petition debate contributions
Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.
These initiatives were driven by Felicity Buchan, 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.
Felicity Buchan has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Felicity Buchan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to make provision about electric vehicle charging points in new buildings; and for conected purposes.
The Government recognises the importance of keeping Parliament updated on the Northern Ireland Protocol and on further discussions with the EU. We have done so consistently. We will continue to work constructively and transparently with Parliament on issues relating to the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee, including by continuing to lay Written Ministerial Statements before and after each Joint Committee meeting.
The government is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and education staff during this period. The return to school for all pupils was prioritised due to the significant and proven impact caused by being out of school, including on wellbeing. The support schools provide to pupils following the return to face-to-face education should include time devoted to wellbeing.
Our new Mental Health in Education Action Group is putting mental health and wellbeing at the heart of recovery plans. It is considering how we can support the mental wellbeing of children, young people and staff following the return to education settings, with the transition period between education settings in September, and in the longer term.
Schools can use their additional funding from the COVID-19 “catch-up” package for pastoral support for mental wellbeing where pupils need it. In addition to this, the new £700 million package includes a new one-off Recovery premium for state primary, secondary and special schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged pupils. This will help schools to provide their disadvantaged pupils with a one-off boost to the support, both academic and pastoral, that has been proved most effective in helping them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Furthermore, we recently announced a £79 million boost to children and young people’s mental health support, which is on top of the £2.3 million funding for mental health in the NHS long term plan. This will accelerate the roll out of mental health support teams. We have delivered ‘Wellbeing for Education Return’ an £8 million scheme, which has helped schools and colleges to develop the knowledge and confidence to offer pastoral support at this time.
We have also taken action to respond to the mental health needs of school leaders by launching a pilot, led by the Education Support charity, to provide online peer-support and telephone supervision from experts to around 250 school leaders. Following the success of the pilot, we have recently agreed to extend this support to an additional 160 school leaders until August.
Free trade will be the cornerstone of our economic recovery in this global crisis. With over 1.22bn pieces of PPE delivered to the front line already, including 11 million items on Sunday 10 March alone, we will continue this good work with international counterparts to keep global supply chains open. The Department will work to facilitate resilience building through our free trade agreements in order to secure a thriving international trading future for businesses in the United Kingdom.
For public chargepoints funded with public money, the Government already requires that they meet a strict eligibility criteria. This includes that chargepoints be capable of at least charging those vehicles with a Type 2 connection and that they meet at least the minimum technical specifications required by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles including ensuring chargepoints provide ad-hoc access in line with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations 2017.
We want to ensure that all public chargepoints are easy to use and accessible for all motorists who need to use them. The Government has powers under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 to improve the customer charging experience and increase provision of electric vehicle infrastructure, and stands ready to introduce regulations if they are needed. We recently consulted on improving the consumer experience at public chargepoints. This covered four key areas: making it easier to pay, opening up chargepoint data, using a single payment metric and ensuring a reliable network. The consultation closed on 10 April and we are analysing responses with a view to legislating later in the year.
The UK State Pension is payable worldwide and is up-rated where there is a legal requirement to do so, for example, where UK State Pension recipients are living in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for up-rating of the UK State Pension. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK State Pension recipients living in the EEA and Switzerland by 31 December 2020 will have their state pensions up-rated for as long as they continue to live there and remain in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement. This will happen even if they claim their pension on or after 1 January 2021, provided they meet the UK State Pension qualifying conditions. For those not within scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules governing up-rating are subject to the negotiations on the Future Relationship with the EU. The UK Government is seeking a reciprocal agreement with the EU which includes state pension up-rating.
It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.
The Cancer Services Recovery Plan, published in December 2020, aims to restore urgent referrals at least to pre-pandemic levels, to reduce the number of people waiting over 62 days from urgent referral and ensure sufficient capacity to meet demand.
The latest data from December shows that in London:
- 30,236 people were referred on the urgent two week wait pathway in December 2020, 4% more than in December 2019;
- 2,690 people started a first treatment for cancer in December, 7% more than in December 2019, and 96.9% of those people did so within 31 days; and
- Of those, 1,502 people started treatment via the urgent pathway, 12% more than in December 2019.
Through the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS Cancer Programme is committed to improve access to treatments for all cancer patients and reduce health inequalities. Cancer Alliances are working with local sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems to reduce variation on patient outcomes and experience.
The Government’s COVID-19 guidance makes it clear that support groups for mutual aid, including people recovering from addictions, are able to meet in groups up to 15 people. The guidance can be viewed at the following link:
Public Health England published guidance outlining COVID-19 advice for commissioners and service providers involved in assisting people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol or both. It can be viewed at the following link:
The guidance includes advice about meetings of mutual aid and other support groups.
The Business Rates Relief has been directed towards the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as these are properties that are wholly or mainly being used by visiting members of the public. However, shared office spaces owners who are ineligible for the Local Authority (LA) grant schemes may be eligible for the Discretionary Grant Scheme in England. This has made up to £617m of additional funding available to LAs to enable them to make payments of up to £25,000 to businesses. LAs have received guidance regarding which kinds of businesses should be considered a priority, which includes those in shared offices. LAs may also choose to pay grants to businesses according to local economic need, so long as businesses meet the following criteria:
Small businesses operating out of shared offices also continue to have access to a range of support measures including, but not limited to:
The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply -https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.
The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England through business rates relief, given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. Business rates in Northern Ireland are devolved.
A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as medical service providers, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank. The Government is also deferring VAT payments for this quarter.
Employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible and zero-hour contracts are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme providing they were on their employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020, and that HMRC received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020. Fixed term employees can also be claimed for, and if their contract has not already expired it can be extended or renewed.
If employees were made redundant or stopped working for their employer on or after 28 February 2020, they can be re-employed by their previous employer and put on furlough as long as they were on the employer’s PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020. Employees that started and ended the same contract between 28 February 2020 and 19 March 2020 will not qualify for this scheme. This is not specific to employees on fixed-term contracts, the same would apply to employees on all other contracts.
Guidance for employers can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#employees-you-can-claim-for
Those who are not eligible to receive this grant may be able to access other support Government is providing. This includes a package of temporary welfare measures, including increases in the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element; providing local councils an additional £500 million to support the most vulnerable people in society; and providing up to three-month mortgage payment holidays for those struggling with their mortgage payments.
The UK is working with Allies to ensure NATO continues to protect the Euro-Atlantic area from current and future threats. At the Summit on 14 June, leaders agreed new proposals on deterrence and defence, emerging and disruptive technology, resilience, strengthening relationships with NATO Partners and climate security. NATO remains the cornerstone of our defence and the UK is the leading European Ally in the Alliance.
The growth of this sector is important for meeting the needs of the ageing population and supporting our housing supply objectives. We are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, where 10 per cent of delivery over the course of the programme will be used to increase the supply of much needed specialist or supported housing, including retirement housing.
We are continuing to work closely with the sector to look at how we can further support its growth.
We have made an additional £500 million available via the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) announced by the Chancellor on 5 January. This builds on the £1.1 billion already allocated following the second lockdown in November 2020.
This further grant funding is designed to support businesses that are severely impacted by the new Covid-19 restrictions. Local authorities have discretion to use this funding to support businesses in the way they see fit, and to determine which businesses are.
Local authorities must be assured that businesses applying for grants: a) have been mandated to close as a result of national restrictions, b) are solvent, c) are is eligible to pay business rates, and d) that the business in question is able to meet any other criteria laid out in the guidance. Where businesses do not meet this criteria, local authorities have the ability to provide discretionary grant funding via the Additional Restrictions Grant.
The Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, in particular the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to tackle the pandemic. SAGE advice continues to inform the decisions made by the Government, and data and scientific advice informing the fight against COVID-19 are published on gov.uk and specific relevant findings are shared in presentations accompanying significant policy announcements.
The Places of Taskforce met on 2 November. In addition, roundtables have been held with our major faith groups to discuss the revised guidance.
Discussions with our faith groups at these meetings, as they have been throughout the pandemic, have proved to be extremely helpful in sharing information with our faith groups, as well as hearing of their concerns, and we will continue to draw on the expertise of Taskforce members.