Debates between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle during the 2019 Parliament

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 5th February 2024

(2 weeks, 3 days ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I am very sorry to hear about the hon. Lady’s constituent. Our aim is always to make the right decision as early as possible in the claim journey, and I would be keen to see the full details of that particular situation. On decisions, it is important to consider the context: 2.9 million initial decisions following an assessment have been made between June 2018 and July 2023; 5% have resulted in a completed tribunal hearing, with 3% overturned. I would be very keen to see what has happened in the case that the hon. Lady mentions.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Vicky Foxcroft Portrait Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) (Lab)
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As my hon. Friend the Member for Newport East (Jessica Morden) has just highlighted, the Department is in chaos and that is having a huge impact on claimants’ lives. As of October, there were 294,000 new personal independence payment claims waiting to be processed, with a further 445,000 claimants awaiting an award review. As of November, 24,339 people were awaiting Access to Work decisions. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of disabled people left in financial limbo, with tens of thousands waiting to start work. What message does the Minister think these huge backlogs send to disabled people, and how does she finally plan to get a grip of them?

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Mims Davies Portrait The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work (Mims Davies)
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If the hon. Gentleman has specific examples, I would be keen to hear from him and to look into them.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 18th December 2023

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my right hon. Friend, and I hope I am the Minister for getting things done in this brief, as I have been in all my other briefs in my almost five years at the DWP. I will be leaning very much into those details. I will be very clear with the House that the focus on youth transitions is really important for the sector and for the individual people we are talking about. I agree with my right hon. Friend, and I will be looking into that in the new year.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Vicky Foxcroft Portrait Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) (Lab)
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It is a pleasure to welcome the new Minister to her post. After a week of no news, I was starting to worry that the Prime Minister was not going to appoint anyone. I think she is aware of the huge Access to Work backlog her predecessor failed to tackle. Over the last year, it has reduced by only 942, with a staggering 24,339 still waiting, so hardly a dent has been made. What will she do to speed this up and ensure that thousands of disabled people are not left waiting months to start work?

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my hon. Friend for making that point. As someone who was self-employed for not far off 15 years, I understand where he is coming from. Our work coaches at Jobcentre Plus offices engage with claimants to support access to skills provision. They get a comprehensive range of support, which includes apprenticeships, skills bootcamps, vocational and basic training skills, and careers advice, so that they can work in a way that suits them. Less than 1% of workers on zero-hours contracts want more hours—it is more about caring or other flexibilities—but I am happy to look at the points he has raised in the Chamber today.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Select Committee.

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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As we have heard from the Secretary of State, 400,000 fewer children are in absolute poverty, and we thank our food banks for the work they do in supporting our communities. We do take this seriously. We have added food security questions to the family resources survey, and we will absolutely look at that. I would point to the hon. Member’s constituency having been allocated an additional £8 million in the last household support fund for exactly those families.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State.

Liz Kendall Portrait Liz Kendall (Leicester West) (Lab)
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On Friday, pupils at Shaftesbury Junior School in my constituency gave me the lovely Christmas earrings that I am wearing, which they made themselves using computer-aided design. I am so proud of all their achievements, especially when more than a third of Leicester’s children are growing up in poverty, with all the challenges that brings. As my hon. Friends have said, figures from UNICEF show that under this Government the UK has had the biggest increase in child poverty out of the world’s 40 wealthiest countries. My question is simple: what is the Minister going to do about it?

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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We will absolutely not follow Labour’s lead—let us look at their record. People might be worried ahead of Christmas. Cost of living payments, the household support fund, the benefits calculator and help for households are all out there. I want the people watching now to know that support is there. Progression will vary depending on circumstances; we have a tailored approach. We have 37 district progression leads to help exactly those families that the hon. Lady talks about.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Scottish National party spokesperson.

David Linden Portrait David Linden (Glasgow East) (SNP)
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The actions that we take to lift children out of poverty say an awful lot about our values. In Scotland, we have lifted 90,000 children out of poverty, with measures such as the game-changing Scottish child payment. Here in London, we have a Westminster Government, supported by the Labour party, wedded to a two-child policy that pushes 250,000 children into poverty. What does the Minister think it says about Westminster’s values on child poverty that they are wedded to a two-child policy with a rape clause?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 13th December 2023

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I apologise, Mr Speaker, because the Transport Minister I mentioned is not coming today—they might be on the bus. I will pick up the issue raised by the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Cat Smith) in further responses.

The hon. Member for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck) will know that we are making cost of living payments once again to support people in need. In fact, that support totals over £104 billion. If she is concerned for her constituents—and rightly so—she should definitely direct them to Help for Households, the benefits calculator on gov.uk, and the help to claim process. There is also the household support fund, which is about £1 billion this year. I hope she is satisfied that we are absolutely supporting the most vulnerable.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Ashley Dalton Portrait Ashley Dalton (West Lancashire) (Lab)
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The disability pay gap has risen under the Conservatives from 11.7% in 2014 to 13.8% in 2021. Labour will act to close the gap and to support disabled people by introducing disability pay gap reporting for large employers. That is good for disabled people, good for business and good for our economy, so why will the Government not follow suit?

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady for raising that point. As she has rightly said, we should all aim to reduce the disability employment gap, and that remains our goal. To answer her question, I am the lead on those matters for Equalities oral questions. I am disappointed that I am not enough for her today, but I do lead on those matters for the Department. All Department for Work and Pensions Ministers take responsibility across our portfolios for removing barriers to progress, and updates to ministerial appointments will be made under the usual process.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Select Committee.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con)
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I reassure my hon. Friend that she is more than enough for me. There was a really worrying article in The Times a few days ago that talked about the invisibility of disabled people when making employment applications. We know that disabled people are less likely to be in work and to take up opportunities for entrepreneurship. Perhaps my hon. Friend could highlight the important work she is doing as the Minister for social mobility to make sure that across Government, there is a real drive to help disabled people get the best opportunities to work.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 13th November 2023

(3 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I absolutely agree that, in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency and more widely, it is absolutely right that young people get the opportunities they deserve. In fact, since September 2020 the DWP’s youth offer has seen over 600,000 starts. As I mentioned earlier, our comprehensive support for young people now encompasses those from age 16.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Alison McGovern Portrait Alison McGovern (Wirral South) (Lab)
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The Minister began answering these questions by claiming credit for having better youth unemployment figures now than in the aftermath of a global financial crisis, which seems to me to be a low ambition. As she has heard, we have problems with inactivity and we have more young people who are not doing anything. What account can she give for the fact that, even after 13 and a half long years of Conservative Government, we have worse youth unemployment than Ireland, Norway and the Czech Republic, and that here it is double what it is in Germany and treble what it is in Japan? What on earth has gone wrong?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 25th October 2023

(4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady for raising that matter. The point regarding the EHRC is that it is an independent and public body, but I do not think that any Member comes to this House to erode anybody’s rights whether they are disabled or have a health issue. I absolutely refute what the hon. Lady says. She should look at our actions and our record of the work that we have done around British Sign Language and more widely. We stand by all constituents whatever their needs.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Just before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I would like to welcome to this Chamber the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 4th September 2023

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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It is vital that those on low incomes, or indeed those who are keen to work more, see the incentives. In the spring Budget, we announced an ambitious package of measures to support people to take up work and, importantly, to progress by making sure that they are always better off. We are also supporting them with a significant investment in childcare and, of course, the largest ever cash increase to the national living wage, taking it up to £10.42. I would say to those people that they should look at the benefits calculator on gov.uk, because they will always be better off in work.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Select Committee.

Stephen Timms Portrait Sir Stephen Timms (East Ham) (Lab)
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Rents have risen very sharply over the past couple of years, but the support for people claiming means-tested benefits to pay their rent, determined by local housing allowance, has not changed at all since 2020—it has been completely frozen. I wrote to the Secretary of State about this over the summer. Is the Minister able to give the House any assurance that the forthcoming benefit uprating statement will include a realistic increase in local housing allowance?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 19th June 2023

(8 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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Mr Speaker, may I just confirm that the LHA rates were boosted by a £1 billion funding increase in 2020? I may have said 2010, so I apologise to the House, but that significant investment is maintained.

I recognise that rents are increasing, as the hon. Gentleman has said, and that it is a challenging fiscal environment and difficult decisions are having to be made. He has mentioned the most vulnerable. For those of working age or with disability benefits, those benefits have been increased in line with inflation for 2023-24. The benefit cap has also increased, but I want to reassure the House that I understand this is a real concern for many of our constituents of all sizes of house, and I am focused on addressing those challenges.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We are only on Question 2, so I am a little worried about how long it is taking. I call the shadow Minister.

Karen Buck Portrait Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North) (Lab)
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The Government’s mortgage crisis is about to be the next blow to hit renters, because so many are renting from those with buy-to-let mortgages. Already, 49%—almost half—of children in privately rented homes with parents receiving universal credit are in absolute poverty, to take the Government’s preferred measure, and as we know, many of those parents work. Since then, rents across the country have risen by 9.5%, but the local housing allowance has risen by 0%. What does the Minister think is going to happen to low-income families with children in the private rented sector this year?

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Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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This Government are focused on making sure that work pays for all parents in every situation. My right hon. Friend will be pleased to know that I will take up the specific concern about nursery charging models and ensure that the matter is raised with the Department for Education.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We come to the SNP spokesperson.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 6th March 2023

(11 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. Under this Government since 2010, we have seen a significant increase in lone parents in work, with the rate going up from 56.1% in 2010 to 65.5% in 2022. However, the reality—and I think he describes it—is that there are too many challenges for lone parents, and it is absolutely right that we look at this. As we have heard from the Secretary of State, we are hoping to hear more: the Chancellor is ever present in our minds. As a lone parent, I again make the plea to employers to help people come back to work, because we know it is more than just a pay packet; it is really important to see the whole of society represented in the labour market.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Karen Buck Portrait Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North) (Lab)
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Figures published today by the Centre for Progressive Policy show that the lack of affordable childcare prevented a quarter of parents of children under 10 from working more hours, with all the implications that has for family finances, but also for economic productivity. In fact, parental underemployment is estimated to cost this country over £20 billion. With expectations having been raised again this afternoon that next week’s Budget will do something about the cost of childcare, can the Minister tell us how long it will be before she expects the level of lone parent employment to rise again to where it was three years ago?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 25th January 2023

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady for her question. As an MP who has won an award for focusing on disadvantaged groups, there is no doubt that she has interest in this area. At 70%, the ethnic minority employment rate is at a record high. We know that work is the best route out of poverty, and that mentoring, support and being able to see role models are absolutely key. I commit to continuing to work across Government with those disadvantaged groups to make sure that that focus is rightly on them.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Yasmin Qureshi Portrait Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) (Lab)
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My hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Catherine West) asked about deep poverty among minority children. I shall repeat the point again: black, Asian and minority ethnic households are twice as likely to be in deep poverty, struggling to afford everyday basics such as food and energy. That is 46% of ethnic minority children living below the breadline. Is the Minister proud of her Government’s record, and will she answer the question that was put by my hon. Friend?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 23rd January 2023

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State takes a great interest in this matter, and I can assure my hon. Friend that we are all keen to see more parents in work. In fact, the current rate for lone parent employment is 64.6%. She knows this subject very well and advocates for change, so she fully understands the challenges. We will respond in due course to the Committee’s report, which was published at the end of last year. I reiterate my absolute passion for making this work for all parents.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Karen Buck Portrait Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North) (Lab)
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Soaring childcare costs are indeed a major barrier to parents seeking to return to the workplace. Parents seeking to take a job may find that they have to have at least £1,000 in the bank in advance to pay for the first month’s childcare. Can the Minister explain how a parent on universal credit who wants to move back into work is supposed to fund those up-front childcare costs and then wait a month for them to be reimbursed?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 31st October 2022

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my hon. Friend for raising that matter. I worked with the Prime Minister on the plan for jobs, and he has been very clear that he wants to protect the most vulnerable, which is why we are providing families with direct payments worth at least £1,200 over the winter. We will all look with interest at what the Chancellor does on the 17th.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Vicky Foxcroft Portrait Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) (Lab)
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Too many disabled people have been disproportionately hit by the cost of living crisis, with extra costs of over £600 a year. Sadly, we have seen too many unable to cope with this. The Information Commissioner ruled that the DWP unlawfully prevented the release of over 20 reports into the deaths of benefit claimants. We must be able to scrutinise whether the actions taken by the DWP were sufficient or timely enough to prevent the harms identified from happening again. So will the new Secretary of State agree to publish these and all other secret reports—and a yes or no would actually suffice?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady for her question, and I understand the Opposition have an interest in such reports. However, my role at the DWP is about people—helping people up and down the land—and that is what we are doing for people with disabilities. With the extra costs part of the disability payment, about 6 million will be helped by the extra one-off payment of £150, ensuring that we all across the DWP are focused on the most vulnerable.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the SNP spokesperson.

Kirsty Blackman Portrait Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
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I welcome the new ministerial team to their place. I hope to meet the new Secretary of State in early course; it was quite difficult to secure a meeting with some of his predecessors, unfortunately. The new Prime Minister spoke of the difficult decisions that will have to be made, but the real difficult decisions are those being forced on our constituents—people on low incomes struggling to afford the basics, pay their bills, heat their homes or feed their children. Let us not forget the reality of the tragic human cost of over a decade of Tory austerity, which urgently needs to end. Does the Minister agree that uprating benefits in line with inflation is not a difficult decision, but is instead the only moral course of action?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 26th October 2022

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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As I hope the hon. Gentleman will see, I am personally committed to ensuring the best possible response to these terrible crimes and, indeed, to all crimes. There is an online hate crime hub, True Vision, which police can now directly work with; he mentions a constituent’s case, and victims of online hate can submit reports and get the right support, which is equally important. That is there on both sides—it is for the police also.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Select Committee on Women and Equalities, Caroline Nokes.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con)
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In his question, the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Matt Western) did not include hate crimes committed against women, yet we know that the Nottinghamshire police force is doing some great pilot work on recording misogyny as a hate crime in the incidents it encounters. Will the Minister update us on how that pilot is going and whether there are plans to roll it out further? What progress is the Home Office making on its work and consultation on tackling public sexual harassment, which is one of those significant crimes that impacts women every day?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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My right hon. Friend will be pleased to know that I am very interested in both those issues. The consultation on public sexual harassment has been completed and I am currently looking at it. On misogyny as a hate crime, I am aware of the Nottinghamshire police work. It is absolutely right that a number of police forces are choosing of their own volition to record those particular crimes. I will update her further in writing, because there is more to say.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State, Anneliese Dodds.

Anneliese Dodds Portrait Anneliese Dodds (Oxford East) (Lab/Co-op)
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I welcome the new Minister for Women and Equalities to her place.

With reference to the previous question, I should of course say that making misogyny a hate crime is something the Government have stood against until now, when they have been pushed by a Labour police and crime commissioner in Nottinghamshire, but we hope the tide may be turning.

A moment ago, the Minister referred to some statistics on hate crime, but not the most concerning ones. One was mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Matt Western) when he talked about violent hate crime, which is six times higher today than it was 10 years ago. Hate crimes that are reported are up by 269% in England and Wales since 2010. We have also seen the highest number of religiously motivated hate crimes ever recorded this year. What are the Government going to do about this?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 21st March 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

The hon. Lady makes an important point about progressing; there is a focus on that at DWP and I hope the Select Committee she serves on will have a look at it, because we have just mentioned two areas where this is working for people and filling vacancies that need to be filled. We will be filling half a million new jobs by the summer through our Way to Work campaign; that will help people progress, and I hope the hon. Lady will welcome it.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call shadow Minister Alison McGovern.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think the Minister might struggle to answer that question, but if she wants to try, please do so.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

I am going to try, Mr Speaker.

That may be a devolved issue, but I would point out that many employers in Wales have been putting on transportation to bring workers in. That has been happening particularly in Ynys Môn—in Anglesey—to support production there. Working with the jobcentre to put on suitable transport makes a difference in getting people into work too.

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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That gives me a chance to provide clarification for my hon. Friend, as it is important for his constituents and others who may be affected. This move is about turning opportunities into larger hubs, with more progression, and a chance for better career opportunities. With people working about two days a week in the new vicinity, which may be around 10 miles away, they will have opportunities to stay local and spend local; it will be hybrid working and able to support people’s needs in terms of caring and other responsibilities, such as doing the school run, which they might not be able to do now. I ask his constituents to lean into the engagement and I hope that they will find that the next stage is promising for them.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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The Minister should be answering the questions through the Chair.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 23rd February 2022

(1 year, 12 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Order. Sorry. I call the Minister.

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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In relation to the challenge in the High Court to the Government’s decision not to extend the universal credit uplift to those on legacy benefits during the pandemic, Mr Justice Swift said:

“My conclusion is that the difference in treatment…resulting from the 2020 Regulations was justified”.

I would ask the hon. Gentleman’s constituent to please use the benefits calculator on gov.uk and to talk to his work coach in case there is any support locally that he is missing out on.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 7th February 2022

(2 years ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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As a result of the pandemic, many people who never expected to need help have worked with the DWP, as we have heard. Many Conservative Members have seen just what a change that has meant for people. Again, I invite Opposition Front Benchers to actually go down and see what is happening in local communities.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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What a pleasure it is to see Amy Callaghan. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 13th December 2021

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

We absolutely measure the outcomes of all our programmes, particularly the sector-based work academy programmes. Of course, skills are devolved in Scotland. In my recent engagement with the Welsh Government and at the Welsh Affairs Committee, I pointed out that outcomes are not measured in Wales. I think this is a thing we should be doing in all devolved areas.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

We now welcome the shadow Minister to her new post. I call Alison McGovern.

Alison McGovern Portrait Alison McGovern (Wirral South) (Lab)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. People across the country who have had a really hard time at work in the past year need DWP Ministers focused on their jobs. It will not have escaped your notice that it was reported over the weekend that the DWP has joined the last Christmas naughty list of Whitehall lock-ins during lockdown, but it is not me the Secretary of State should be apologising to—it is the more than 100,000 young people who will not be helped by the time the underperforming kickstart scheme comes to a close before Christmas. So may I ask the Minister: when kickstart comes to a halt and thousands of young people still need help, what then?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 13th September 2021

(2 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I am absolutely delighted about the impact of the kickstart programme. I went to an event at the Emirates this week where there were 1,400 people coming to find jobs that simply were not there before the start of the pandemic. It is absolutely right that we focus on the outcomes for young people. We have more than 288,000 roles out there for young people, and there are 69,000 people in those roles. That is success. There are traineeships and apprenticeships, and work through youth hubs, and we will find a path for them.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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May I gently say that Members should be addressing the Chair and looking this way?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 28th June 2021

(2 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

I am working strongly with the sector. These are some of the most rewarding, varied and enjoyable roles that there are. It is right that we encourage people to work in hospitality, as well as to enjoy its reopening. In Falmouth, we have created an intensive programme to provide claimants with an interest in hospitality with a set of transferable skills to ensure that they have the skills they need to flourish in this vital sector in beautiful Cornwall.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We now come to topical questions.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 17th May 2021

(2 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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My hon. Friend knows the pain of the impact on the aviation sector, as do I in my nearby constituency. The DWP has a range of support for individuals who have been employed in this sector and are affected. The DWP rapid response service provides key help and advice for employers and their employees if they are facing redundancy. Our work coaches provide claimants with individual personalised support, utilising our plan for jobs, which includes SWAP—the sector-based work academy programme—for those currently displaced by the impact on the aviation sector. That can help to build confidence and transfer their very wide-ranging skills into other opportunities for the short or the longer term. I am pleased that many of them are working locally, vaccinating—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Let us go to Geraint Davies.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 24th March 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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The latest Office for National Statistics official statistics show the female employment rate at 71.8% at the end of January 2021. The Government recognise that times are hard for many women and men, which is why we have extended the furlough scheme until September, alongside new measures in our plan for jobs, such as our £2 billion kickstart scheme and the restart programme, which launches this summer.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Question 2 is withdrawn, so we now go to Kirsten Oswald.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) (SNP) [V]
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Covid forced short-term modifications to working practices, which demonstrate that change is possible, but proactive steps are needed to secure long-term improvements in flexible working to support the work and caring responsibilities of women in particular. Does the Minister agree that flexibility should be available from day one of a new job rather than being a possibility six months in, will she ensure that the forthcoming employment Bill provides for that, and will she confirm that that Bill will be in the Queen’s Speech?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 21st October 2020

(3 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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The hon. Gentleman will be pleased to know that on 6 May, we launched the “Apply for Pension Credit” service, which is an online claim service that supplements the existing telephone and—[Inaudible.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We will go to the SNP spokesperson, Anne McLaughlin.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We are now, I hope, heading back to Minister Davies.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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Apologies. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

In supporting our older people, pension credit is an absolute priority for this Government, as I mentioned earlier. In fact, about 1 million pensioners—close to that number—who are pension credit customers will receive a winter windfall of £140 off their fuel bills, thanks to the Government working with energy firms to cut costs. This Government are determined to do all we can to support pensioners, and the DWP cross-match these pension credit customers with the data held by pension suppliers. I am sure that we will continue to support pensioners as widely as we can through this pandemic and ongoing.[Official Report, 2 November 2020, Vol. 683, c. 2MC.]

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 22nd July 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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If the Minister can answer anything, it would be good, but if not, I understand.

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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How about: I will take the hon. Lady’s question and give her a full response?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Excellent.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 29th June 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I confess that I know my hon. Friend’s jobcentre extremely well; I thank it for its response to the pandemic and all those who have been on the frontline in this emergency. From the start of June, our work coaches have made over a quarter of a million outbound customer support calls each week. Understanding the digital needs as well, we will be using technology to host virtual job fairs—they have already started—working with employers to deliver online mentoring circles and facilitating sector-based work academies, which I am sure will come to Eastleigh.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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In order to allow the safe exit of hon. Members participating in this item of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I suspend the House for three minutes.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mims Davies and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 11th May 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my hon. Friend for that question. My Department works closely with Mayors such as Andy Street on the devolution in skills deals. In the west midlands, we are also working with the combined authority on its local industrial strategy, skills advisory panel and innovation pilots. We are engaged with regional labour market issues and pressure points so that all regions and communities can benefit from the recovery.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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May I welcome Seema Malhotra to her place as shadow Minister?

Seema Malhotra Portrait Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston) (Lab/Co-op)
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Our economic recovery will depend much on public confidence, yet polling this morning found that almost half the population believe that the Prime Minister has gone too far. Many have deep concerns that they could put themselves and family members at risk if they cannot properly social distance when they return to work, and it is clear that the workforce and management must agree safe arrangements that people will trust. Will the Government adopt the TUC’s proposals for employers to publish covid-secure risk assessments and urgently increase funding for the Health and Safety Executive, which the Minister knows has been cut by a third since 2010, to enforce these measures?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady and welcome her to her place. I am very interested to hear her policy priorities, ideas, thoughts and views, and I am keen to meet to discuss what the Department for Work and Pensions is doing. It is absolutely right that, as people look to return to work, we have published our plan—a cautious road map—this afternoon. We recognise that this is not a short-term crisis. I can tell her that our Secretary of State has been engaged in broader support for the HSE, which has done a magnificent job—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Too long, Minister, far too long. We have to get through to the questions to the Secretary of State, which are coming further on in the order. Claire Coutinho is waiting with her substantive question. Can you please answer it?

Claire Coutinho Portrait Claire Coutinho (East Surrey) (Con)
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What steps her Department plans to take to support employment after the covid-19 outbreak.

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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies [V]
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As I said previously, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is leading the way on safer workplaces. There are lots of opportunities to build relationships between employers, employees and trade unions as we open up the economy, and the guidelines will be published in due course. The Health and Safety Executive is an arms-length body of the DWP. It has been actively involved in each of the work strands in the sectors. Our Department takes an interest in recruitment, helping to build confidence so claimants can return to work or take up new employment.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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That concludes what are referred to as questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The arrangements for hybrid proceedings allow Departments to reorder questions according to the answering Minister, but I do not believe that it was the House’s expectation that this would lead to the Secretary of State not answering any questions and to important issues raised by Members from the Opposition parties being relegated to the bottom of the list. I will raise this matter with the Leader of the House, and I do not expect to see this repeated.