Child Maintenance (Assessment of Parent's Income) Bill - 2nd reading – Heidi Allen.
Heidi Allen: It has always occurred to me that Access to Work is a great tool when someone has their job, but a bit like a journey, they need petrol to put in the car to get to the journey. There should be access to work experience and job interviews. What does the Minister think about expanding the scheme to cover those as well?
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many parents have been (a) granted and (b) refused a visa to join their child with either refugee leave or humanitarian protection in the UK in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016 and (iii) 2017.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people seeking family reunion with extended family members in the UK have (a) applied for and (b) been granted asylum in exceptional circumstances in each of the last three years.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to Autumn Budget 2017, how the announced £8 billion of new guarantees to support house building will operate in practice.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to Autumn Budget 2017, (a) how and (b) when local authorities will be able to increase their Housing Revenue Account borrowing caps.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Autumn Budget 2017, what the criteria is for the allocation of the £34 million fund for teaching construction skills.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's timetable is for implementing the recommendations of the Human Trafficking Foundation's Trafficking Survivor Care Standards, published in June 2015, for shelters caring for victims of modern day slavery in the UK.
Heidi Allen: Will my right hon. Friend give way?
Heidi Allen: I am afraid I am little overwhelmed by the legal expertise all around me—I will just speak very plainly. Does my right hon. Friend not understand the difficulty and the trust issue when my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield has been trying for weeks and weeks, with all good intentions, to engage the Government in this process and has failed? There comes a point...
Heidi Allen: I do not know where to start after that. I am humbled by the words of my good friend the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field). No Governments are perfect, no benefit system is perfect and no debate or motion is perfect, but by God we will work together and make this better. Select Committees are cross-party and they play an important role in scrutiny. Our Work and Pensions...
Heidi Allen: We have a job to do. I am sure the Select Committee’s evidence-gathering helped the Government to identify improvements and make universal credit better. We will continue that work. No one should underestimate the poverty-fighting potential of universal credit. I believe that and mean that most sincerely. There is a reason why work coaches are so motivated by it. There is a reason why,...
Heidi Allen: No family should be going through that. People have more difficult lives than I am blessed to have ever experienced, but work coaches are there, and discretionary housing payments and advance payments are there. Work coaches should be offering a wraparound service. I do not have universal credit yet in my area, but I hope that work coaches are doing everything they should for the hon....
Heidi Allen: I have been working very closely with Citizens Advice throughout this whole campaign. Is it not true that Citizens Advice in Scotland and in England have both welcomed the announcement that was made in the Budget and said that it is an excellent improvement?
Heidi Allen: Nobody is more interested than I am in universal credit and in its being a success. Does the hon. Lady acknowledge that even if we do get the reports, because the roll-out has been very slow—I am glad it has—some of them are really old and the system has been significantly improved since then? They might give us a window into the past, but I sense that they will not give the...
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of Family Hubs.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress her Department is making on updating relationship and sex education guidance.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, when she expects the fair funding review for local government to be finalised.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to implement an up-to-date needs assessment for local authority area funding in the absence of the 100 per cent business rates retention scheme.
Heidi Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to provide funding agreements for local authorities that did not sign up to the four-year funding settlement in the belief that the 100 per cent retention scheme would be implemented.