Tackling Financial Exclusion (Financial Exclusion Report) - Motion to Take Note (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:34 pm on 18 December 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Tyler of Enfield Baroness Tyler of Enfield Liberal Democrat 8:34, 18 December 2017

My Lords, I am very grateful to the Minister for his response and I will briefly pick up a couple of points. First, I thank everyone who has spoken in this excellent debate—both those who served on the committee and those who did not. As befits the subject matter, the debate has been wide ranging and extremely well informed. I am very grateful to those who raised issues that we did not address in the report. I was going to summarise a few of the issues raised but the noble Lord, Lord Bates, did it so well that I do not need to do so.

I feel somewhat more reassured by the Minister’s response than I was by the formal written response. Perhaps it is a matter of tone, but the Minister managed, as ever, to convey an appropriate sense of urgency and seriousness regarding the report—something that, frankly, seemed lacking in the written response. He said one thing that I shall hang on to. I think I am right that he said that the Government are taking the report seriously and that it will be an important part of their thinking in preparing their own strategy. I am pleased about that. I very much look forward to seeing the strategy when it is published, as I hope it will be. I hope that it will give the Government another opportunity to go around the block and to look again at the 14 other recommendations that they have not been able to accept so far. I hope that there will be an annual report to Parliament after the strategy is published and that that will give us in this Chamber another opportunity to look at this very important issue.

I intend to follow up assiduously in this area. Meeting Ministers, whether in this Chamber or in the other place, will always be very welcome. I look forward to further debates on this vital issue, which, as the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Birmingham said, is inextricably linked with the poverty and breath-taking inequalities that currently blight the lives of many of our fellow citizens.

Motion agreed.