Debates between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran during the 2019 Parliament

Thu 28th Jan 2021
Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
Lords Chamber

3rd reading & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard) & 3rd reading (Hansard): House of Lords
Mon 25th Jan 2021
Mon 12th Oct 2020

Apprenticeship Levy Scheme

Debate between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran
Thursday 16th June 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Haskel Portrait Lord Haskel
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the survey by the British Retail Consortium, published on 17 May, which concluded that the apprenticeship levy scheme was “not fit for purpose”; and what steps they intend to take to modify that scheme.

Baroness Barran Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education (Baroness Barran) (Con)
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My Lords, the apprenticeship levy has enabled government to increase apprenticeship funding to £2.7 billion by 2024-25. We are continuing to improve apprenticeships to meet the needs of employers and drive up their quality even further. This includes developing more flexible training models that provide improved pathways for young people to access apprenticeships, while simplifying the transfer of levy funds, which will enable employers to make greater use of their funds and support smaller businesses.

Lord Haskel Portrait Lord Haskel (Lab)
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I thank the Minister for that reply. Some of the Government’s so-called improvements were actually announced a year ago, but this report was issued last month, so they are not working. The BRC is not alone: the food industry and manufacturers are all equally critical of the levy in its present form—in fact, it faces opposition from 80% of employers. We all want to create a higher-skilled and more productive workforce, yet entry-level apprenticeships are declining, letting down the very young people who would benefit most, while more levy money is being spent on management and other courses for existing employees. When will the Government put this right and introduce the sensible changes proposed in this and other reports?

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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I do not accept the noble Lord’s assertion that the changes that the Government have introduced are not working. Clearly, the context of the last 12 months, with the pandemic, has had a major impact on the confidence and ability of employers to recruit more generally. But, in the year to date, apprenticeship starts are up 17.4% and the number of starts among young people under 25 has risen to 55%, up from 50% the previous year.

European Football Championships: Travel

Debate between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran
Monday 21st June 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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I am not familiar with the details of that, but I imagine it would be the responsibility of UEFA and the international football associations, since it would apply to non-UK citizens.

Lord Haskel Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Haskel)
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My Lords, the time allowed for this Private Notice Question has elapsed.

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Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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Some of the wider issues to which the noble Baroness rightly alludes are part of our broader strategy for lifting lockdown progressively. Quarantining is obviously part of that. Our number one priority for these events is the public health safety of our citizens. The second is to be good hosts to the teams and VIPs coming to this country. To do this, we will build on our existing elite sport exemptions. Anyone allowed in will be subject to the same restrictions.

Lord Haskel Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Haskel)
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My Lords, all supplementary questions have been asked.

Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill

Debate between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran
Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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I hope I did not confuse the House. I am very happy to put in writing the Government’s exact position on this.

Lord Haskel Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Haskel) (Lab)
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I have received a request to ask a short question from the noble Lord, Lord Alton.

Social Capital

Debate between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran
Monday 25th January 2021

(3 years, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Haskel Portrait Lord Haskel
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the report by the Office for National Statistics Social capital in the UK: 2020, published on 20 February 2020, what steps they are taking to rebuild social capital.

Baroness Barran Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Barran) (Con)
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My Lords, social capital is the fabric that binds our communities together. Sources, such as the ONS and our Community Life COVID-19 Re-contact Survey, shape the steps that build communities. Covid shows that there is much to build on. The number of people who informally volunteer increased to 47% during the pandemic. This Government were elected to level up the country: our £4 billion levelling-up fund, our £1.5 billion shared prosperity fund and the £1.57 billion culture recovery fund, as well as a raft of other commitments, will help build social capital across communities, as we build back better.

Lord Haskel Portrait Lord Haskel (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, the ONS report says that the trend has not been good, and that was before the pandemic. The pandemic has forced us into more remote and flexible hybrid working, and the effect has fallen unevenly across society, increasing inequality. Research suggests that social capital boosts well-being and efficiency by reducing transaction and monitoring costs and building trust, but does this not then call for yet more effort on behalf of the Government? The current effort seems inadequate.

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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I genuinely disagree with the noble Lord’s last point. He is right that the impact of the pandemic has been uneven and hit the poorest hardest, and young people particularly hard, but I commend to him the Chancellor’s Statement at the spending review, which is a long list of major financial commitments.

Amazon

Debate between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran
Monday 12th October 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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The Government expect the digital services tax to raise about £2 billion over the next five years, which will go some way to addressing the issues that my noble friend raises, but I am delighted to commit to meeting him and other interested parties.

Lord Haskel Portrait Lord Haskel (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, in spite of what the Minister said, many are concerned about the abuse of market power by Amazon. If the Prime Minister wants to “build back better”, we need a commission that recognises and promotes good company behaviour and standards, in the same way that the Low Pay Commission does for pay. A good place to start would be the increasingly popular environmental, social and governance investing and reporting framework. Will the Government set up such an organisation?

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran (Con)
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The noble Lord raises an important point, but I remind him that the Government have established a number of groups and reviews, starting with the Furman review, which reported in March 2019, and most recently the digital markets task force. One of the recommendations we have accepted is the development of a code of conduct, just as the noble Lord suggests.

Arts and Cultural Services

Debate between Lord Haskel and Baroness Barran
Tuesday 3rd March 2020

(4 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Haskel Portrait Lord Haskel (Lab)
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My Lords, we were told a year ago that there was a plan for business rate relief for music venues, particularly in the regions. When will we get it?

Baroness Barran Portrait Baroness Barran
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I will have to write to the noble Lord on that. I do not have that information.