My Lords, I evidently failed to register my strong interest in this subject by not putting my name down to speak in this debate, and therefore I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in the gap.
Of late, we have heard an awful lot about having more people in work than we have ever had before, but we have failed wantonly to look at the nature of much of that work and the conditions of employment that go with it. The vulnerability of many people between their work and the abyss that awaits them is frightening.
We have also had too much ideology in our approach to politics and economic management in recent years. This debate and this situation bring home to us that we need a reassertion of humanitarian and economic pragmatism in fulfilling our objectives. There is just no room for bigoted ideology.
This morning I have been in touch with the chief executive of Hospice at Home West Cumbria, of which I am a vice-president. She is disturbed about how the present situation is making it very difficult to raise the public funds that are essential to provide for the work of that organisation. That must be typical of many charitable organisations across the front line, which become part of the indispensable fabric of our social infrastructure. Can we have an assurance from the Government that, when they are looking at industry and the big institutions, they will look also at the charitable sector and the support that must be provided at this juncture?