Bill Esterson: The problem that the Minister has is that the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK is happening now. It is already causing huge disruption and we are all anxious to ensure that the situation does not get worse in the run-up to Christmas. Will the Minister tell us how many of the 5,000 temporary worker visas that the Government made available to overseas lorry drivers in September have been allocated?
Bill Esterson: I find it extraordinary that the Minister was unable to tell us how many visas have been allocated to overseas HGV drivers. We were told in October that it was just 20; I wonder what the figure is now. The reality is that the Wine and Spirit Trade Association warns of “delivery chaos”, of “major delays on wine and spirit delivery times” up to five times longer than last year and...
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using recruitment and retention payments to tackle staff shortages in the social care sector.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the supply of wine and spirits over the festive period 2021-22.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2021 to Question HL 3265, if he will speed up his Department's investigation into allegations of modern slavery at Supermax.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made in securing a supplier for medical examination gloves and surgical gloves under tender, reference 269071/982217, published on 23 July 2021.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the (a) national and (b) international potential merits of introducing a TRIPS waiver in respect of covid-19 related (i) vaccines and (ii) vaccine technology.
Bill Esterson: What steps he is taking to tackle the high job vacancy rates in social care.
Bill Esterson: There are 105,000 vacancies across all social care workforce grades, but employers are unable to recruit across those grades. The Government have accepted the need to add senior care workers to the shortage occupation list—they did that in April—but the Migration Advisory Committee is not due to report until next April on the need to recruit social care workers. It is no good the...
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations he has received on the requirement for people who have been vaccinated against covid-19 outside the UK with a MHRA approved vaccine to quarantine for ten days in the event that they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace following contact with a positive covid-19 case in the UK.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what representations he has received on the suitability and safety of women prison officers carrying out their duties between the ages of 60 and 68.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the letter from British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Charles Hay MVO, to her Department of 17 June 2020 regarding labour concerns within Malaysia's glove industry.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she had on workers' rights and forced labour during her November 2021 visit to Malaysia.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on appointing a Chair of the public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the covid-19 outbreak.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Sefton Central to the Minister for International Trade, dated 3 August 2021.
Bill Esterson: I beg to move amendment 59, in clause 64, page 36, line 11, leave out paragraphs (a) and (b). This amendment removes the exemptions in relation to the CMA’s referrals and functions, for streamlined subsidy schemes and minimal financial assistance. We are all having fun changing our minds this afternoon—well, maybe the Government are not changing theirs too much. We have tabled amendments...
Bill Esterson: Again, we just are not getting from the Minister certainty about the creation of the regime, and this is a common problem all the way through. We are waiting and it is uncertain exactly how this will operate, which makes it very difficult for us to judge whether what we will end up with will provide a degree of scrutiny and transparency in the use of public funds. That applies both to...
Bill Esterson: We have debated the amendment and the need for the change to this clause. We have tested the will of the Committee already and will not oppose clause stand part.
Bill Esterson: It is good to see you back in the Chair, Mr Sharma. The hon. Member for Aberdeen North makes a good point, which we reiterate, about amendment 5, which we will come to because of its relation to our amendments to clause 64.
Bill Esterson: I say to the hon. Member who spoke from a sedentary position that it was not very good. As we have said throughout the—