Maria Caulfield: On a point of order, Mrs Cummins. While this is very entertaining, I am quite conscious that we are still not even past considering clause 2. We must get through the whole of the rest of the Bill this afternoon—there are 12 more clauses. May I ask your advice, Mrs Cummins, on how we can get through that when speeches are not necessarily referring to the Bill itself?
Maria Caulfield: I am sorry, Sir Graham, but what about amendment 15?
Maria Caulfield: On a point of order, Sir Graham. The debate is fascinating, but I ask your advice as to whether we are truly sticking to the scope of the Bill. I am aware that more than an hour has passed and we are on only the second group of amendments. Of course it is an important issue, but I would hate to reach a point next week where Opposition Members felt that we had not given proper scrutiny to the...
Maria Caulfield: Last year, NHS England announced that it would offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them, and the Home Office announced plans to change the law to provide period products to those in police custody. In January this year, the Department for Education launched a scheme to provide access to free products in state-funded schools across England.
Maria Caulfield: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his question, and I am sure that we welcome the Bill. In 2019, the Department for International Development announced a global campaign of action on this very issue—to end period poverty globally by 2030. The global campaign was kick-started with an allocation of up to £2 million for the small and medium-sized charities working on period poverty in...
Maria Caulfield: The hon. Lady makes an absolutely essential point. The tampon tax fund has dealt with a number of these points; it was established in 2015 to allocate funds generated from VAT on period products to protect vulnerable women and girls on this very issue.
Maria Caulfield: Life expectancy at birth in England is the highest that it has ever been. Every single person deserves to lead a long, healthy life, no matter who they are or where they live. This Government have been clear that we will address the needs of all those who have been left behind.
Maria Caulfield: I thank the hon. Member for explaining women’s health inequalities to me, but I fully support the Government’s commitment to delivering £33.9 billion of investment in the NHS—the largest cash boost in its history—which will make reducing health inequalities for all possible.
Maria Caulfield: The hon. Member specifically asks about women from the poorest backgrounds, and black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. I thank the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Bedfordshire (Ms Dorries), for the work she is doing in this regard. Through the long-term plan, the NHS will accelerate action to achieve 50% reductions in stillbirths,...
Maria Caulfield: It is an honour to close this debate, and I thank every Member who has attended to raise issues, highlight successes and reflect how much women have contributed and will continue to contribute to our country and the rest of the world. There have been some fantastic speeches—too many for me to mention them all, so I will highlight just a few. My hon. Friend the Member for Mid Derbyshire...
Maria Caulfield: I thank my right hon. Friend for that intervention. She is right; it is already law and we need to enforce it to ensure that it absolutely happens. The Government continue to show leadership in multiple forums such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the G7, the G20, the OECD and the Council of Europe, as well as in our bold initiatives such as the international LGBT conference, which we...
Maria Caulfield: What plans the Government have to make a further decision on the salaries paid to Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Maria Caulfield: I echo the sentiments about colleagues who are leaving, in particular my fellow Northern Ireland Affairs Committee member, the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey), who has stood up for Northern Ireland. At the Select Committee last week it was revealed that the cost of MLA salaries has reached over £15 million since the Assembly was dissolved. MLAs do good constituency work, but is it not...
Maria Caulfield: What steps she is taking to increase the number of police officers in Sussex.
Maria Caulfield: I thank the Home Secretary for her answer. Will she join me in welcoming the announcement from Sussex police that they intend to use their extra funding to reintroduce PCSOs across towns and villages in Lewes?
Maria Caulfield: I thank the shadow Chancellor for giving way. It is very generous of him. The Labour party’s policy of a four-day week will reduce the earnings of the poorest workers in the country. Those are not my words, but the words of a Labour peer, Lord Skidelsky.
Maria Caulfield: Given the absence of an Assembly and Executive, the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill has to be passed in this place, and it will have its Second Reading in the House of Lords next week. What will happen to that Bill should the Assembly be restored? Will we continue with it, so that the victims get the compensation they need as soon as possible?
Maria Caulfield: What steps are being taken to protect veterans who served in Northern Ireland?
Maria Caulfield: rose—
Maria Caulfield: When the issue of historical institutional abuse was raised during debate on the Bill that became the Act, the Secretary of State promised that there would be legislation, and it was mentioned in the Queen’s Speech. Has the Minister any idea of the date when that legislation will be introduced? It will affect thousands of people in Northern Ireland.