Children’s Minister Debate

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Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top

Main Page: Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top (Labour - Life peer)

Children’s Minister

Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top Excerpts
Wednesday 6th December 2023

(7 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Gascoigne Portrait Lord Gascoigne (Con)
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Fine, I will give way.

Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top Portrait Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top (Lab)
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My Lords, I know the Minister is new, so he does not understand that we have asked Questions similar to this one time and again but end up getting the same waffle. The reality is that thousands of children are now seeing their welfare at risk. In his department, we read about a primary school where 80% of the children are in families that are homeless. Does he think that that is acceptable this Christmas?

Lord Gascoigne Portrait Lord Gascoigne (Con)
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I thank the noble Baroness for the point that she makes but, with respect, I absolutely disagree on the point that she is trying to get at. The Government have continued to work towards our target of building new homes. We have increased the local housing allowance to the 30th percentile of market rents from April. We introduced an amendment to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill that requires the Secretary of State to ensure that it addresses hazards such as damp in social houses.

I never got the chance to finish the point that I wanted to make. Describing the general support that the Government are giving is not waffle, as the noble Baroness said. We spend around £276 billion through the welfare system; we will spend £8 billion on free hours in early education by 2027-28; and we are introducing family hubs in 87 local authorities, bringing services and support together. There are a number of other examples that I look forward to giving during this Question.