Thursday 25 July | Lords Questions | House of Lords
My. Lords the government remains committed to introducing a, system of alternative, Student Finance known, as a SF compatible. With the principles, of Islamic finance, we. Have received advice from the specialist, consultants, we appointed, and we'll, set out plans for implementation as, we. Conclude the post 18 review, at the spending review this. Will ensure that students, in receipt of an a SF package are not, disadvantaged. Compared, to other students in receipt of mainstream, student support. Still. Vague still, qualified, why. Can't the government make a firm commitment they've. Known about this problem since 2013. And, known, about the solution, since, 2014. Every. Year since then and, again this September, Muslim, students will have been disadvantaged. The. Noble Lord Lord Young told the House on March 13th. 2017. That, the government was currently working towards, the scheme being, open to applications, within, this Parliament then, due to end in 2020. Can. The minister give the house a firm, assurance that. The new scheme will in fact be available, for, the 2021. Academic. Year. Well. I can't get a firm, assurance on that - the labor law but what I can say is that we continue to work through the, complex range of policy legal and system, issues that, will need to be resolved, in order for us to develop and eventually launch an ASF, product. And my. Loss we shouldn't underestimate the, scale of complexity, here we are trying to replicate a system of Student Finance that delivers, the same results, as now, where, students do not receive any advantage, nor, suffer any disadvantage. Through applying for, air so. Their. Lordships that this, new government will do everything possible it can to, open, the gates as widely as possible for. Students from all over the world I particularly, keen as you know your lordship particular, keen in Iraq, students, and in other students, from the Middle East and from the Silk Route I would really welcome that. Endorsement we need the students and they really love being here. Yes. My noble friend is right because we want everyone with the ability to benefit, from a higher education, to be able to do so resolving. This particular issue with therefore make a significant, contribution to, our, widening, participation agenda. Ensuring. That people from all faiths and backgrounds feel. That there is support to remove financial, barriers to access. Sharia. Compliant version, of the help to buy scheme within, six months from a standing, start so. Why has it taken six, years so far not, to produce a student, finance, student. Scheme which is obviously to the detriment, of Muslim, students. Well. There is a process, in place and I know that the noble Lord little short show Sharky has expressed, frustration. At, the at. The progress of this and indeed the, noble Baroness but, going back to 2012. Of, course when these changes, were mooted. There. Has been a consultation, and, that was in April 2014, and then, the government published. Its, response to the consultation and then of course we enabled. The process. To to. Be. To. Go through Parliament, through the Higher Education Research, Act 2017. And this. Is one of these processes that is complex and does require the time to get it right my Lords the.
Noble Viko the minister has just given us what can best be described as obfuscation, because, this is, a sorry tale dating, back as the noble Lord Lord Sharky said to 2013. When, Prime Minister Cameron, spoke. To the world, Islamic, economic. Forum and promised a Sharia, compliant a, student. Loan scheme with the words never, again should. A Muslim in Britain feel unable to go to university, because they cannot get a student loan simply, because, of their religion, the. The government's chosen vehicle was at higher education and research at, 2017, which of course the normal vector at the minister himself, guided. Through your Lordships eyes and at no point did hear abut the view given to those, of us involved in that act. When it was a bill that, an Islamic. Compliance. Scheme could be in place within a year given, the political will at. Six years three Prime Minister's now since, that commitment was given to the Muslim community the, noble Vikon thermistor says he's very keen and I believe him in this in. Increasing, diversity in, a university, so how can he justify the, foot-dragging that it's causing precisely, the opposite. Well. I certainly don't call it at foot-dragging can I say that we would be the first government, to introduce a system of Student Finance compatible, with Islamic, finance principles so that is a good. Stuff but just to give a little bit more detail on the complexities, because we, have identified, and have been considering a range of issues in respect to this and that includes accounting, for the new arrangements, the degree of legal separation required. The, treatment of cash flows the, nature of the commitments, of the student will make under the new system and the method for establishing, equivalence of outcome amongst, others. Loads. Are not going to clear an interest I quote, share the all-party group on Islamic, finance, the. UK. Has got the largest Islamic. Finance market, outside the world now, the community is telling me that we are suffering because. Of lack, of facilities. For students, so we would like to say to my noble, friend the minister isn't it time that we. Put, into practice, the commitment, given by David. Cameron in 2013. That Muslim students will not suffer as a result of their religion. Well. My neighbor friend is right and I would just say that we want to introduce this as soon as we possibly can and I've, undertaken, today, to give an update at the spending review which, will be sometime in the autumn but, can I say that there, are around about 40,000, Muslims. Who who. Are down to study in this country what we don't know is how, many have been deterred, from starting. At university as a result of the delays. On this particular process, allows, the the noble Lord the minister has twice linked. Any further statements on this sorry, state his tale to the spending. Review could, he explain, to the house what, the relevance, of the spending review is, given. That what we're talking about by his own admission is. Simply, the extension, of existing provisions. Which other students. Non-muslim, student, can benefit from and there are no new. Policy. Expenditure. Implications. Of, this and secondly, and, when. Might. Expect the spending review I. Have. Been pressed on that particular matter before and I am able to give a particular. Date for, that review but can I just say that what I did, say. About the whole of the tuition. Fee, process. And system is that, we would be announcing. The, results of, the auger, review after spending review and of course this is included, in that so it does make sense to, make, the announcement when, we're ready to do so and to give an update at that particular point my. Lords might the delay be the result of it.
Being Too difficult, to find a substitute for interest, to match, the to student, loan models, and. If. There isn't something similar. There's. An argument that one side or the other is is benefitting more. Well. It's helpful to hear that from my noble friend because as I say again it is a complex, issue, but. Can I say that we have made progress we have legislated, as I said earlier to make the introduction, of the system possible but we need to work through these complex issue and there's no point in rolling, the system out when, it is not fit for purpose, columns. Of hybrid. My. Lords I basically, to ask questions standing on by name on the order paper. My. Lords I note, the time and energy that the international, coalition to end transplant, transplant, abuse in China has, dedicated to these issues officials. Have reviewed the evidence thoroughly. While, the evidence is not. Interrupt. Intra. Incomprehensible. As. The wrong word is, what I'm saying in Contra bull. My. Apologies, it's a hot day I, was. Just listening to all the stuff about. Muslim. Loans I must admit and student loans and I think it's, not lost when everyone we have a chance to as a Muslim but back, to this question whilst. The evidence. We. Have consulted, the World Health Organization. And international. Partners, the evidence provided disturbing. Details about the, mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners. And raised, worrying questions about China's transplant, system we continue to monitor all, available, evidence in this regard I think. The. Minister for his response and, welcomed, him back to the despatch-box I'm, glad to see he's still here hope he is. Hopefully. Will be here in September. The. The. Fact of the matter is the. Tribunals, evidence was pretty strong the, w-h-o, are saying that, the Chinese transplant. System is ethical, will. The, noble Lord the minister actually. Take this up and saying the. Government should ask, the, w-h-o, to, examine, the evidence of the tribunal, and actually. Explain, why. They don't think it, sustains. The. Argument, that transport.
Harvesting, Is going on I. Know. Naga Lord has, raised this question before in others, as well from the opposition benches as well as the government ventures noble Lord Hunt I know has raised this issue I agree with the noble Lord work the World Health Organization. I've pressed, them on this very issue our ambassador, has the evidence that they use of course is based on the self-assessment made, by the country, who is a signatory and in this case it is China and, it's. Of course the, basis that do they meet the thresholds, to what they've signed up for there. Is a few countries who would actually admit perhaps, to saying they did not their noble Lord makes a very valid point and I assure the noble Lord I continue. To press on this issue directly with the World Health Organization, and we continue to press on this particular issue directly, and bilaterally, with the Chinese authorities as my Lords ministry, is, aware their government departments. Of make use of in, conclusion country, reports particularly, on matters related, relating. To, immigration and Asylum now. That this particular report of the tribunal, is available, may, I ask if you would put that particular report on, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, website, the, people who are travelling to China for. Medical tourism are aware how, such organs are secured, yesterday there seemed to be no transparency, in this matter my, lord leave a proud tradition of respecting, human rights of individuals. Wherever they live surely. Our bilateral, trade arrangement. Should not impede in this particular exercise. On. The first suggestion I will certainly take, that back to the, FCO, on the issue, of people traveling to China and, because this is an issue that's been taken up before I know both, myself and the. Minister, in the other place have both taken this up directly with the home office as well the, latest in we've actually has the Foreign Office written, to the Home Office to. See an explorer my. Understanding is. MP's. Maybe. That's a home office calling in now. My. Own, my. Understanding is, Canada, Spain, Israel Italy and also, Taiwan, have now implemented. Schemes on this very issue of monitoring. People traveling to China further, issue of transplants, and it's something that I wish to explore further with, Home Office colleagues my Lords it's a noble or the Minister aware the inaugural, meeting last, night of the All Party Parliamentary Group, on Wiggins but witnesses who were there expressed, great concern for. Many of the wiggers in detention centres and there may be as many as a million of them along, with Alan Gong practitioners. And people from other minorities, are being targeted through, DNA tests, which, they fear may be then, used for, forcible, are harvesting. Of of organs. Will. The noble Lord respond, to what the noble ordinal Collins asked about the World Health Organization. Given, that 34, parliamentarians. Wrote in April. Asking. For a response from the w-h-o, and as one has not been forthcoming. Will, he press the whu-oh to, give that response, and also, we undertake, to meet Sir Geoffrey nice QC, who chaired the independent, tribunal.
Well, Of course, we're pleased to meet with Sir, Geoffrey nice on the other, issue as I've already said to the noble Ord Collins this is something I'm pressing, for directly, and we will follow up with the world health organisation. On this matter my. Lords and it, seems from this inquiry that the time, that you have to wait for an organ transplant in China is literally, a matter of weeks as opposed to every other country in the world including similarly. Populous countries like India where the weight is at least months if not years so, could, my noble friend please meet with the depart is counterpart, the Department of Health because it seems that maybe the Chinese have discovered, some miracle. Option, in transplant, matching, that the rest of the world including the NHS, needs to know about I. Thank. My noble friend for that usual useful, suggestion, bearing in mind I'm sitting next to the, noble lady who's, the Minister for health I'm sure she's, also made note and we can probably arrange that meeting in prickly, pear pretty quick time. I. Believe. To ask the question standing, in my name on the order paper. My. Lords we recognize, many, of the issues highlighted, by, a - people, of all ages and our living longer sometimes with complex care needs Social. Care funding for future years will be settled in the spending review where, the overall approach to funding, local government will be considered, in the round meanwhile. We have given local authorities access, to up to 3.9, billion for, more dedicated, funding for adult social care this year and a further four hundred and ten million is available. For adult and children's services. My. Lords the 8a survey. Results provide yet more evidence of the ongoing crisis, in social care caused, by persistent, underfunding, and a fragile and failing, care market, as the report says, 700. Million pounds of plan cuts to adult social care budgets, in the current financial year and a cumulative 8 billion of cuts since 2010. My, lot on this the last day of our current session can, the noble lady the Minister update the house on the timing of the social care green paper six. Times delayed, and now two years overdue. Given. This unexcusable. Delay, and the widespread consensus. Across social care of what needs to be done anyway, why, can't the government now commit to publishing a white paper with actual proposals, and hasn't. The Lord's Economic, Affairs Committee, report calling for 15 billion pounds extra funding, to include, free personal, care for people needing basic. Washing and dressing support, done the government's job for it. Well. I share the noble Baroness is impatience. On this issue and I also agree, with the, overall. Conclusions, of the ADA's report that older, and disabled people need dignified, high-quality care and support, and that when properly resourced it does work and as a nation we must make this an immediate priority and that is why I very much welcomed, the incoming, prime minister's statement, that, we, will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve he, will make it a priority of the incoming government and it will be an imminent announcement, of the, new health secretary as I don't know whether I would be part of that department, I'm afraid I can't commit to that but, I'm sure that whoever is in this place when, that comes forward about will be very happy to do so my. Lords my, Lords, does my know. First. Of all can I welcome, the statement, by the incoming prime minister but, does my noble, friend share the concern at, the unfairness. Of. The. Unfairness of the current system where, people who are suffering. From, dementia. Are, not given access to free care or people are suffering from motor neuron, disease are not given access to free care whereas, people who are suffering from cancer do, or where.
People Who choose, to be looked, after at home, do. Not get free care until, their assets have been run down to twenty three and a half thousand, pounds but their home is not taken into account the people who go into residential, care then, their home is taken, into our and what. We need now as the noble lady has indicated is not another white paper we, need the government to write a check and we need to move away from the system where, local authorities are, being asked to fund this out of business rates which results, in a postal, lottery and differences, in care throughout the kingdom. Well. I think, I, think for the, amount, of work that he has done on this issue it is very much welcomed he, will know that the Prime Minister as. One of his first statement said that his job is to protect you, or, your parents or your grandparents, from the fear of having to sell your home to, pay for the costs of care and this is one of the first points, that he made but also he. Will also know that a long-term principle. That the government does have is that, there. Is must, be a level of personal responsibility for. Social care in England as well as a safety net that supports, significant, numbers of people today we. Do accept however that they will need to be a significant. Amount of funding, as part of the spending, review commitment, and that is what is being considered at, the moment and will be imminently coming forward my, Lords the, sustainability. Of adult social care is a severe, and immediate risk and we. To welcome the Prime Minister's words yesterday and, could the minister then confirm, that, he will commit to continue, with the precept, with, the social care grant or improved better care fund after 20, 19, and 20, otherwise, how can councils. Plan their finances. For. 2021. And what assurances, to councils have that any future, funding will be protected. For adult social service budget and not, be part of the overall spending at the councils discretion. The. Noble Baroness is quite right that the better care fund has been considered, a great, success and it is an important, part of the integration. Proposals. Between, health and social care which the government and the NHS, are committed, to it, is under review, at the moment to see how it can work better, and it will conclude later this year so that certainty can be given to local councils which I hope that she does welcome, on the issue of market instability though I will.
Like To reassure her that the number of social care birds overall has remained more, or less constant over the last nine years and actually there are over. 3,700. More home care agencies, now so while there will be inevitably, some exits, from the market we are more, reassured, than we would otherwise have been may I take the noble lady back to her was reference. To personal responsibility and. I think that there is a great deal of agreement, across, the house and elsewhere, that personal responsibility is, important, as, far as social concern, hair, is concerned, but, does the personal responsibility. Extend. To, subsidies. For, those who, are actually, on local, authority, placements, in nursing, homes because. Those who are paying for themselves privately, are actively. Subsidizing. Those places because. Local authorities, can't afford adequate, rates. No, Baroness's got, to the nub of the challenge which, is how we get the balance rights so this is why we have brought. Forward the, work that we have been doing which, is to make sure that while we do have the safety net in place and an element of personal responsibility. It becomes, more fair and that is why the, prime, minister and the Secretary of State have made it clear that they are determined to drive this work forward at a faster, rate and with more urgency than it has been done until now and that has been put forward as, a key priority for the incoming cabinet my, Lords. Well, my Lords we've. Heard properly about the needs of the elderly would, the minister assure, us that people. With learning disabilities. Will. Be and their needs will be better. Addressed in any action, the government is, likely to take as. Particularly, as. Something. Like 41 percent of the helpline. Calls to Mencap in. April were, people. Very concerned about their, loss of unity care. Has. Pointed out something very important, which is a significant. Portion, of those accessing. Adult social services, are actually those. Of working, age and those with learning disabilities, and it's very important that that does not get lost within, the debate and any, solution, which comes forward as part of the social care, solution. Must address the concerns of that part of the community in a much more effective and joined-up way and I do think that integration, of social care and NHS, budgets. And effective. Delivery, is going to be caught to that delivery. The. Charity, the International, longevity. Center UK, which I had. Published. A report on, the funding, gap in Social Care in, particular, for, older people living. In rural areas. The. Report summarized, it very well as, saying there isn't just one crisis. But, lots of crises, and that loads local, leadership alone, can't. Overturn. The inequalities. As. A co-chair, of the old part of group once adult, social, care I hope, the noble lady, the minister can assure me that her, majesty's, refreshed. Government, will, now prioritize. This issue in the way of suggested. The. Noble Baroness has placed that very elegantly, in terms of refreshment. Of government, and, I shall use that and going forward well, I would like to just. Make, the gentle, point that, the funding available for adult social care is, increasing by 8 percent, in real terms from, 2015, 6 point 20 19 20, which is a step in the right direction but there is a recognition that to put adult, social care on a sustainable, footing for, the future there, does need to be a settlement. Within. The, upcoming spending review and that is recognized, on the point that she's made about rural areas which is important. A lot, of this hinges on workforce. Recruitment and retention which, can be more challenging in rural areas and that is why the government has invested, 3 million in everyday as different national adult social care recruitment, campaign to encourage more people to apply to work in the social. Care sector, and to raise the profile of it and this has had some success already, which is an encouraging, picture and we need to work harder on that Lord. Bishop of st. Albans I beg, leave to ask the questions, standing, in my name on the order paper. My. Lords last, week the World Health Organization. Declared the, Ebola outbreak in the DRC a public, health emergency, of international concern. This. Is a wake-up call to the international, community that Ebola is a problem that cannot be ignored we. Recognize, the gravity of the situation and, that is why two days before the w-h-o declaration, the UK announced an additional 50 million pounds of funding, for the response in DRC now. Others must follow suit I know. I thank. The, noble. Baroness for, her answer and indeed for the money that's be being. Made available at. One of the most effective ways of rolling out preventative health education.
Is To, use local, indigenous leadership. In, 2015. Christian, Aid and other charities. Recommended. NGOs, should engage with local faith leaders, for this purpose, is Her, Majesty's Government following, this advice and secondly, were daily flights between. DRC. And Europe, and the highly, infectious nature of this disease will. She explain to her house the steps that are being taken for, our own domestic preparedness. And. I agree with the right Reverend Paris on the importance of getting education, on, this on this out and community engagement reins one of the most important, factors that will help end the outbreak and strengthening. As that special aspect, of the response is a key part of our of the resets the ongoing research which the UK and other partners have pushed the. Response is increasingly, working with the religious leaders to help community trust and ownership and on top of our wider support we're fun during anthropological. Research into, community, dynamics, which is working with faith leaders on. The right reverend hood at second question we do of course have screening, at the airports, in the affected areas but, the civil contingencies, Secretariat, in the Cabinet Office is coordinating, the UK preparedness, working closely with the Department of Health Department for Transport and, UK border force we. Manage a returning workers scheme so people who have traveled to the area, register. And, we monitor their health we. Have the expertise to handle a case for bolo in the UK with two high level isolation. Units and we undertake risk, assessment, every two weeks a monitor the situation daily, the, current their current their current assessment is that the risk the UK is negligible, to very low my, lord. But, I. Visited. Sierra, Leone during. The last available outbreak, and were very much endorse what right Reverend brown said about the importance, the critical, importance, and we left it too late in that outbreak, of gaining. The trust of, communities. Through. The religious, leaders but also through, young people from their own communities. In, order, to adhere to public, health measures, but. During. That outbreak, we didn't have the, option of a vaccination and, that's why many frontline. Health care workers, in West Africa, died, during, that outbreak, we, do have a vaccine this time but, I know there are concerns, both. About the availability, of the current vaccine that stops of that and of, the potential, use of a second, vaccine and I wonder she could tell us in the information, on that issue. The. Neighbor ladies right to highlight sports benefits, the vaccine has bought I think previously. And the. An. Outbreak of Ebola was, passed, on to four people and now it's just one and following the vaccine and we should be very proud that UK, aid paid a part played a part in developing that vaccine we, are of course working very closely with the vaccine manufacturer, and.
The. Chief medical officer in the Department of Health to ensure that we have enough vaccine, and. We're of course monitoring, the numbers of vaccine which would be needed and, we're also investing. And, into further research to make sure that we're prepared for another outbreak my lords can I pay tribute to, always sure who did go to Geneva, and actually, make the plea make the pledge and encourage. Other governments, to. Work and, of course this, disease those no, national, boundaries it's important, that we, address this issue globally and of, course one of the things as the noble lady has mentioned in terms of building community action, and public, health awareness is using. Every, method of communication, and then particularly. In Sierra Leone we, use local radio, other. Projects. Schools. Changing. Behavior, was critical, can she reassures, us in this very difficult situation, of a warzone, that were able to build that community action. And. I'll, join the naval or didn't in paying tribute to my. Right honourable friend Rory Stewart to achieved a lot in his short time at David's passionately, advocating, for what point seven percent can do put. And climate and environment at the heart of what we do and of course coordinating. Our response and a boner and really pushing pushing, the agenda on that and I I'm sure a new Secretary of State will be continuing, that good work and. The noble Lord is also right, to point out the importance of communication, on this and we're working on every angle of that making, sure that we do so in the correct languages using, media where we can and. I mentioned before this anthropological. Research which, we're doing which is really looking into how we can best spread the message rather, than disease by, Lords my. Lords. Reducing. The spread of infection. Sorry. My Lords as well as. July. The. Outbreak, in the DRC, has, already affected two neighboring, countries, who gone down from London, given, that rule on today except become, the, chair of the Commonwealth, meeting next year. Children in, Kigali June 2020. There. Is a opportunity, to focus. A spotlight, on the collective tropical, diseases, so. Charsi, know related the minister and in doing so welcomed. The fact that she's still in her place at the despatch-box. And what. Will this government, do to ensure. That the proposed, summit, on, NTDs. And malaria gives ebola, high prominence, and successfully. Generates, the resources. And political. Will to deliver, on Commonwealth and SDG, commitments. And. We are the leading donor of the regional preparedness. And we will be certainly be working with Rwanda to ensure this is firmly on the agenda my. Lord's presence, already been and said it's important, to control. The spread of Ebola, can. My noble friend say, our local schools closed, in eastern. DRC would, that help to reduce the. Spread of this inflection I. Think. My noble friend to that question of course we're doing all we can as I said to reduce infection. Unlike. In Sierra Leone schools in the affected area currently remain open so far they haven't been identified as a major source of transition, transmission, in. West Africa we saw that school closure could actually have many negative, long lasting effects on children the surrounding communities, and. As the neighbor Lord pointed, out schools. Are actually away which we can educate, people on this our, support to UNICEF helps fund infection. Prevention, and control work, in schools near confirmed cases and, whilst. Ultimately, the decision to shut schools rests, with the government of DRC this is something that you came on it is very closely, your. Daughter.