Alex Burghart: What steps he is taking to increase support for people with autism and learning disabilities.
Alex Burghart: As a former governor of a school for children with autism, I thank the Minister for her response. It is well known that people with ASD suffer premature morbidity due to worse rates of heart disease, cancer and death through epilepsy. What is the Minister doing to ensure that fewer people with autism die early?
Alex Burghart: In Brentwood, the roll-out of universal credit has been very successful thus far. I congratulate the Government on their use of test and learn to ensure that universal credit learns lessons that previous benefit systems did not. Will the Minister commit to sharing with the House the details of the pilot of 10,000? When does he expect to be able to do that?
Alex Burghart: It is a pleasure to be called to speak in this important debate, and to be part of a debate in which several thoughtful points have been made from hon. Members of all parties. We should be proud of the legislation that we are introducing. As the Minister said, it is the first time that something like this has been attempted anywhere in the world. Although we could undoubtedly go further, this...
Alex Burghart: What progress his Department has made on strengthening the social work profession.
Alex Burghart: Initiatives such as Step Up to Social Work and Frontline have done a very good job in bringing high-qualities graduates into the profession, but what is the Department doing to encourage better continuing professional development for those who are already in the workforce?
Alex Burghart: What steps his Department is taking to support public libraries.
Alex Burghart: I thank the Minister for that answer. There is considerable concern in Shenfield in my constituency that the local library will close, and residents have already put together 1,000 signatures. What steps is the Department taking to ensure the future of local libraries?
Alex Burghart: Me and my colleagues on the all-party parliamentary group for children were delighted by the extra money that was found for children’s services in the Budget. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is important that we continue to distribute extra funds fairly across all regions of the UK?
Alex Burghart: What steps the Government are taking to prepare contingency plans for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
Alex Burghart: I welcome the Secretary of State, along with my great friend the Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Kwasi Kwarteng), who takes his rightful place on the Government Front Bench. Will the Minister set out specific examples of what the Government have done in their no deal preparations? Does he agree that the actions he has outlined are far...
Alex Burghart: What steps he is taking to deliver equitable funding schemes for farmers throughout the UK.
Alex Burghart: I very much welcome the news that we will have fairer funding across all four parts of the UK after we leave the EU. Will the Minister reassure me that this fairer funding will take account of each country’s individual circumstances, particularly the environment, their agriculture and their socioeconomic needs?
Alex Burghart: What recent discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on progress on delivering Crossrail.
Alex Burghart: There have been reports in the media that Transport for London’s finances are in trouble. Crossrail reaches out into my constituency, with stations at Brentwood and Shenfield. Is the Minister concerned by these reports, and will this affect the delivery of Crossrail?
Alex Burghart: I fully respect the hon. Lady’s position on welfare—I often think it is a gift to the Government that she does not serve on the Front Bench—but it is slightly absurd to suggest that people are not better off in work. They are better off in work. We would all like people to earn more money in work, but to suggest, as Opposition Members often do, that work is no benefit is ludicrous. Work...
Alex Burghart: I would certainly take up the hon. Gentleman’s offer to talk about Cicero, but I am sure that I would be ruled out of order.
Alex Burghart: Cicero, as the hon. Gentleman knows, was one of the great minds of the Roman senate, and I can say with full certainty what he would have made of new clause 1. He would have said that it was a waste of time. We can rely on the Treasury to keep us informed of all the ins and outs of Government policy. We do not need additional laws and additional bureaucracy to achieve that. I know that the...
Alex Burghart: As ever, my hon. Friend puts it extremely well. “Wise after the event” might be one of the Labour party’s mottos. I am pleased to welcome, in clauses 41 and 42, further improvements to stamp duty to help more people to get on the housing ladder and buy the homes that they so richly deserve. Those measures will put more money into the system and encourage the building of more homes, to...
Alex Burghart: My hon. Friend quotes Cicero far better than I ever could, and I regret only that she did not do so in the original Latin—we can hope for such things next time.