5 Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale debates involving the Department for Work and Pensions

Children Living in Poverty

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Excerpts
Wednesday 15th July 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

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Lord McNicol of West Kilbride Portrait Lord McNicol of West Kilbride
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of children living in poverty in working households.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord McNicol of West Kilbride and with his permission, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in his name on the Order Paper.

Baroness Stedman-Scott Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Stedman-Scott) (Con)
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My Lords, our current focus is on supporting people financially through this crisis. Our long-term ambition, based on clear evidence about the importance of work in tackling poverty, remains to build an economy that gives everyone the opportunity to enter and progress in work. In 2018-19, only 3% of children in households where both parents worked full time were in absolute poverty before housing costs compared to 47% in households where one or more of the parents worked part time.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
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My Lords, the mass unemployment of the 1980s did not leave just a generation of children—far too many children—living in poverty. It affected them, their children and their grandchildren for decades. Will the Government agree that in what is likely to be a very tough economic climate following this pandemic there is a need for targeted action to ensure that children not only escape the trap of poverty but have the educational opportunities to come out of poverty and have a better life thereafter?

Millennium Development Goals

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Excerpts
Wednesday 23rd October 2013

(10 years, 8 months ago)

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Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Jenkin, for securing and opening this debate, in particular with such an outstanding and comprehensive speech, allowing the rest of us to add value to what she has said, rather than fill in any gaps. I echo her welcome to the noble Lord, Lord Bates, who, I hope, retains his passion for this subject, even if he is now speaking from a different seat than he was before. It is good to see him on the Front Bench.

In the time available I do not want to restate in detail my deep and firm commitment to have at the heart of the new development goals the eradication of poverty; the need for women and girls to have a central role in making those changes; and the vital need for an expansion in educational opportunities as the surest route out of poverty and the best way to develop the potential of every citizen on the planet. It is vital that we complete—or at least, maintain the momentum to achieve—the millennium development goals between now and 2015.

We cannot have peace without development, nor development without sustainable peace: the two go hand in hand. Therefore it is right that we welcome the report referred to by the noble Baroness, Lady Jenkin, which puts at the heart of this new agenda the need for security, good governance, democracy, human rights and gender equality. If we have one goal over the next two years, in the difficult arguments and negotiations that lie ahead, it should be to ensure that the situation in conflict-affected and post-conflict states, where the poorest of the poor, the most vulnerable and hardest to reach people on our planet suffer far too much, is at the heart of this new agenda, so that we really secure the opportunity to eradicate poverty by 2030.

Children: Contact with Fathers

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Excerpts
Thursday 13th June 2013

(11 years ago)

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Lord Freud Portrait Lord Freud
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My Lords, I congratulate my noble friend on the alacrity with which he has asked this Question, because I do not think that the CSJ has yet published the report, so I cannot respond in detail on what is in it. Clearly, however, the coalition agreement contained the transferable tax allowance. That remains the Government’s intention.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
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My Lords, a lot of us are confused as to what has happened to the Prime Minister’s big society initiative. It seems that this is an area in which that initiative could find some traction. Will the Government look at the role model of grandparents to address some of the challenges in our society and at engaging grandparents as role models for young children whether they are in single-parent families or not? Those role models could teach young children an awful lot indeed.

Lord Freud Portrait Lord Freud
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Yes, my Lords. There is huge value in the role of grandparents. One of the encouraging things in a project in which I have been involved is how enthusiastic retired people are in mentoring youngsters—particularly youngsters making that difficult transition to adulthood. There is a lot that older people can contribute.

Human Trafficking

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Excerpts
Thursday 21st March 2013

(11 years, 3 months ago)

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Baroness Stowell of Beeston Portrait Baroness Stowell of Beeston
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I like to think of myself as a plain speaker and I understand very much the point that my noble friend is making. However, the term “human trafficking” is one that is recognised internationally. Whether it is called “human trafficking” or “slavery”, the most important thing is that it is a vile crime and we need to stop it.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
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My Lords, in this week when many of us have been celebrating the role of Dr David Livingstone in ending slavery in east Africa in the 19th century, will the Government make that association between human trafficking and slavery in the 21st century and ensure that international institutions, such as the European Union, the United Nations and others, give appropriate attention to global action, not just national action, to end this horrendous trade in human misery?

Baroness Stowell of Beeston Portrait Baroness Stowell of Beeston
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The noble Lord is right. This crime crosses borders and is based on international gangs. In the UK, our law enforcement agencies continue to work with their counterparts overseas on joint investigations to ensure that we tackle this by prevention and not just support people once they are victims of this terrible crime.

Remploy

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Excerpts
Wednesday 5th October 2011

(12 years, 8 months ago)

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Lord Freud Portrait Lord Freud
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My Lords, I must emphasise that what Remploy Employment Services has done in the past few years is genuinely remarkable. In the latest financial year, it has put 20,000 disabled people into mainstream jobs and it is aiming to do that for 30,000 next year. This signifies real change for these people, and that is something on which we must congratulate Remploy.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
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My Lords, will the Minister join me in congratulating Ian Russell and the board of Remploy on their terrific achievement in ensuring that thousands more disabled people go into mainstream employment and get the support they need in order to do that? However, does he also recognise the importance for some disabled people of stable factory-based employment which gives them continuity in their lives that they have perhaps enjoyed for 10 or 20 years, and that it would be helpful for them and for society generally to be able to enjoy that in future? A mixed programme of investment to help these people into mainstream employment but also to provide some factory-based employment for those who need it is the best way forward. The Government should continue to support the strategy that the board has followed over recent years.

Lord Freud Portrait Lord Freud
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My Lords, I must repeat that no decisions have yet been taken on the Sayce review. We are in consultation until later this month. However, I must point out that it is vital that the work is real. We are looking at the Sayce recommendations to see whether those factories can be turned into social enterprises where there is real and genuine long-lasting work. Make-work jobs are no solution for anyone.