Dawn Butler: On that point, the Bakers Union is campaigning for fair rights for fast food workers, and is trying to increase pay in America from $7 to $15 and in the UK to £10. Does the hon. Gentleman think that this measure is trying to restrict that kind of activity?
Dawn Butler: May I declare that I am a proud trade unionist and was a full-time trade union official for more than 10 years? Does my hon. Friend agree that the Bill’s real agenda is to stop public sector workers speaking out against this Government’s attacks on their pay and conditions?
Dawn Butler: The Secretary of State talks about women on low pay. Many of these women and men do not have bank accounts, yet he is still trying to get rid of check-off, which makes it easier for people to join trade unions. How is that helping people to defend their own rights?
Dawn Butler: The Secretary of State is being very generous with his time. On the point of businesses being open and transparent, should 40% of shareholders have to agree before a business can donate to a political party?
Dawn Butler: When?
Dawn Butler: indicated dissent.
Dawn Butler: Misleading.
Dawn Butler: What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of proposed changes to employment support allowance on levels of employment.
Dawn Butler: Of course we all want to see work pay, but a large section of the community are sometimes unable to work for short periods of time because of illnesses such as sickle cell disease. The Minister seems to have overlooked that group of people.
Dawn Butler: Will the Minister give way?
Dawn Butler: The average house price in Brent is £384,000, which is 19 times my constituents’ average take-home pay of £19,937. Rent can be 78% of a constituent’s income. That contributes to the housing crisis in London. Does the hon. Lady agree?
Dawn Butler: I congratulate all those who have made their wonderful maiden speeches today. I received a tweet from a constituent that said: “I’m seriously scratching my head to that bit.” Members might ask, “What bit?”, because we were scratching our heads to quite a few bits of the Chancellor’s Budget speech. My constituent was referring to the bit about the minimum...
Dawn Butler: Apologies, Madam Deputy Speaker. I think that at the time he was not the Prime Minister, but I apologise. Brent has the above average number of 5,609 lone parents, which is 11% of all households. Some 64% of families in Brent Central are receiving tax credits. It is okay to have universal credit—I agree with that; I used to work in the employment service—but the Institute for...
Dawn Butler: Sorry, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Dawn Butler: A recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority highlighted my early-day motion 238, which stated that people using pre-payment meters were paying up to £226 more than those on the cheapest energy tariffs. [That this House notes the recent Ofgem report calling on all energy suppliers to treat prepayment meter (PPM) customers fairly; further notes that households need more...
Dawn Butler: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Holly Lynch) on securing the debate. I need to declare an interest because I am vice-chair of Labour Friends of Palestine. I plan to visit Gaza, God willing, this year. I support a two-state solution, but it must be recognised by neighbouring countries, it has to be sustainable, and peace has to prevail. Part of that must be about...
Dawn Butler: Not from those nasty Tories.
Dawn Butler: My hon. Friend is making a compelling case for why Members on all sides of the House should support the motion. The Secretary of State said that she supports the motion in principle. Should we just urge Government Members to support us?
Dawn Butler: The Secretary of State is advancing some powerful and valid arguments. One possible way in which people can tackle the pay gap is to take their employer to a tribunal, but the Government have introduced tribunal fees, and, as a magistrate, I have observed that that has deterred many women from taking their employers to court. The number has fallen by 68%. How does the Secretary of State think...
Dawn Butler: I am sure that the Mayor of London is a lover of statistics and will enjoy this one: 71.2% of adults in Brent would love to do more sporting activity, compared to 55% in the country as a whole. Unfortunately, however, the lack of access and opportunity prevents that from happening. I declare an interest in being the Member of Parliament representing Wembley stadium, where we should have seen...