Holly Lynch – 2018 Speech on UK Fisheries

Below is the text of the speech made by Holly Lynch, the Labour MP for Halifax, in the House of Commons on 20 March 2018.

I am grateful to the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr Carmichael) for securing this urgent question and to the Secretary of State for his response. However, I am afraid I still have several questions.

The Secretary of State, alongside the Fisheries Minister, has asserted time and time again that the UK would take back absolute control of our waters from day one of leaving both the European Union and the 1964 London fisheries convention. However, following announcements made in the last 48 hours, we now know that the rest of the Government has been having very different conversations with the EU27. The announcement made by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, ahead of formal phase two negotiations, made it clear that the UK would continue to be part of the common fisheries policy for the duration of a 21-month post-Brexit transition period, extending up to 2020.​
The announcement that Britain’s share of the total allowable catch will remain unchanged during the transition period contradicts all other previous Government statements in relation to post-Brexit fisheries, and it is understandable that many coastal MPs and fishing communities feel so angry and let down. The Government’s failure to meet their previously stated aims through negotiations is one that now requires greater explanation and examination on the Floor of the House. The Government must be absolutely clear about who is leading the negotiations on fishing and what their position is. Have the Government failed to secure their desired position, as advocated by the Secretary of State and the Fisheries Minister, or was that never the position of our negotiating team and the rest of the Cabinet? If that red line has moved, can the Secretary of State tell the House whether there has been an exchange, and if so, what was secured instead?

Less than a month ago, in a Westminster Hall debate on the UK’s fisheries policy secured by the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Scott Mann), I asked the Fisheries Minister whether he had seen the draft proposals from the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries—the PECH Committee—and what the Government’s response was. He informed me that

“at the end of the day, it does not really matter what the European Union asks for, but what we are prepared to grant it.”—[Official Report, 27 February 2018; Vol. 636, c. 314WH.]

With that in mind, can the Secretary of State now be explicit in outlining what the Government are prepared to grant the EU in relation to fisheries? Can he also inform the House what the transition arrangement with the EU will mean for the London convention?

The Secretary of State will have seen the comments from the less-than-satisfied representative fishing organisations and the bold statements—and actions—of his own Back Benchers. Any post-Brexit fisheries policy must be rebalanced to work for our coastal communities and have a sustainable approach at its very core. What we need now from the Government is a move away from the chaotic approach we have seen this week and, instead, honesty and clarity about their negotiating position and exactly what that means for the fishing industry.

Michael Gove – 2018 Statement on Fisheries

Below is the text of the statement made by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in the House of Commons on 20 March 2018.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for this opportunity to update the House. I begin by paying tribute to the hard work of the Ministers and especially the civil servants in our country’s negotiating team, who this weekend concluded an agreement on the nature and length of the implementation period, which will help us to prepare for life after Brexit. Taskforce 50, on behalf of the EU, and our own team of dedicated civil servants secured an agreed text, which will now go to the March Council of the European Union at the end of this week, and after that the Prime Minister will update the House on Monday.

The House will be aware that there are important legal and technical questions relating to fisheries management, which means that it occupies a special position in these negotiations. Both the EU and our own negotiators were always clear that specific arrangements would have to be agreed for fisheries.

Our proposal to the EU was that, during the implementation period, we would sit alongside other coastal states as a third country and equal partner in annual quota negotiations. We made that case after full consultation with the representatives of the fisheries industry. We pressed hard during negotiations to secure this outcome, and we are disappointed that the EU was not willing to move on this.

However, thanks to the hard work of our negotiating team, the text was amended from the original proposal, and the Commission has agreed amendments to the text that provide additional reassurance. The revised text clarifies that the UK’s share of quotas will not change during the implementation period, and that the UK can attend international negotiations. Furthermore, the agreement includes an obligation on both sides to act in good faith throughout the implementation period. Any attempts by the EU to operate in a way that harmed the UK fishing industry would breach that obligation.

These arrangements will of course only apply to negotiations in December 2019. We are at the table as a full member state for negotiations in December 2018 and, critically, in December 2020 we will be negotiating fishing opportunities as a third country and independent coastal state—deciding who can access our waters and on what terms for the first time in over 40 years.

It is important that we use this transition period to ensure that we can negotiate as a third country and independent coastal state in 2020 to maximise the benefits for our coastal communities, ensure that we can control who accesses our waters and on what terms, and ensure that we manage our marine resources sustainably. We are already looking at a range of data to support ​consideration of future fishing opportunities, including the nature of catches and zonal attachment of stocks in the UK exclusive economic zone.

There is a significant prize at the end of the implementation period, and it is important that all of us in every area accept that the implementation period is a necessary step towards securing that prize. For our coastal communities, it is an opportunity to revive economically. For our marine environment, it is an opportunity to be managed sustainably. It is critical that all of us, in the interests of the whole nation, keep our eyes on that prize.

Sajid Javid – 2018 Statement on Local Government Finance

Below is the text of the statement made by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in the House of Commons on 20 March 2018.

The current 50% business rates retention scheme for local government is yielding strong results. Local authorities estimate that in 2017-18 ​they will keep around £1.3 billion in business rates growth, which we expect will be at least maintained into 2018-19 and 2019-20. On top of the 50% business rates retention scheme which is in place for all local authorities, in 2017-18 the Government established pilots of 100% business rates retention in five areas of England and extended business rates retention to 67% in London. The pilot programme will be expanded further in 2018-19 to cover an additional 10 areas.

My officials have worked through the necessary calculations to prepare for the extension of the piloting programme in 2018-19. In doing so, an historic error has been identified in the methodology used to calculate the sums due to pilots. An adjustment is therefore required to the methodology, which will reduce the amount due to these local authorities for participating in the pilot programme to the correct level. This adjustment does not affect the local government finance settlement nor the core spending power of the local authorities concerned. The relevant local authorities have been informed today.


Under the business rates retention system, local authorities retain a percentage of the business rates they raise locally. Since 2014-15, locally-raised business rates have been lower than they would have been because Government have under-indexed the business rates multiplier in each of 2014-15, 2015-6 and 2018-19. To compensate local authorities for their loss of income, therefore, the Government have calculated the extent of the loss caused by under-indexation and paid that amount as a grant under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

The compensation to be paid to local authorities is paid on account during the course of a year, based on estimates made by authorities before the start of that year. It is then adjusted once outturn figures are available, following the end of the year.

When on account compensation payments were calculated for the six 2017-18 pilot areas, the methodology used to adjust tariffs and top-ups contained an error. This resulted in 27 local authorities and the Greater London Authority being over-compensated by £36 million.

These local authorities will have been operating on the understanding that this funding has already been secured and, at this this late stage in the year, a sudden reduction in their funding could potentially have an impact on the delivery of the objectives agreed as part of their devolution deals. Therefore, although the rules of “Managing Public Money” indicate that the Department should recover the overpayment, I have issued a direction requesting that the permanent secretary does not do so in this extraordinary circumstance. My correspondence with the permanent secretary will be published on the Department’s website.

In respect of the payments due to 2018-19 business rates retention pilot authorities, my Department will use the corrected methodology to calculate the section 31 grant compensation due to authorities. Local authorities will shortly be notified of these amounts.


In recognition of the importance of the business rates retention system to the sustainability of local government, I am also today announcing an independent review of the internal processes and procedures that underpin the ​Department’s oversight of business rates and related systems. This should include modelling and analytical work, how officials manage the interface with policy decision making, and resourcing and skills.

Chloe Smith – 2018 Speech at Democracy Week Launch Event

Below is the text of the speech made by Chloe Smith, the Minister for the Constitution, on 21 March 2018.


Thank you Minister Atkins for those inspiring words. As you have said so clearly, this year is a tremendous opportunity to reflect on how far our democracy has come and the people who made that happen.

Lessons of the Equal Suffrage campaign

Looking back I am struck by the energy and determination of the women and their allies who fought for equal suffrage. They pressed on with their campaign, often in the face of fierce opposition and ridicule, because theirs was a struggle for justice. Their commitment re-shaped our democracy.

Democratic Progress

Since 1918 we have seen our democracy transformed. By 1928 women had finally achieved equal suffrage and the franchise was broadened, with property owning restrictions stripped away.

Fast forward a century and the General Election in 2017 saw the largest ever electoral register, standing at 46.9 million.

The modernisation of our electoral system, including the introduction of individual electoral registration and the launch of the online digital service, has made it easier than ever to make an application to register to vote. 75% of applications are now made online, but for young people this is closer to 100%.

Future Challenges

As Minister for the Constitution I am aware of how much has been achieved but also of the distance still to travel. I want to open up, protect and improve our democracy.

National Democracy Week

So, in this Suffrage Centenary year, our inaugural National Democracy Week will kick off on Monday 2 July through to 8 July 2018, the 90th anniversary of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act which gave women the same voting rights as men.

National Democracy Week is being delivered in collaboration with NDW Council members, Cabinet Office and our combined extended networks. National Democracy Week is an opportunity to use all of our experience, insight and passion to increase democratic participation. We believe that regardless of who we are or where we are from, we must work together to ensure that every member of society has an equal chance to participate in our democracy and to have their say.

Together we will deliver a range of democratic engagement activities in the lead up to and during the week.

Our aim will be to get results. To increase understanding of how to take part in decision making, and also to grow those who say they are more likely to participate. I want to do this across the whole UK.

I would like to thank the National Democracy Week Council for their time and commitment so far. They have been working with Cabinet Office to produce our new branding, which you can see around the room today and features real people our Council works with every day.

Parliamentarian Pack Launch

Parliamentarians are at the forefront of our democracy, the embodiment of the principle of representation and a vital connection between people and parliament. In recognition of this unique role, I am delighted to launch this new toolkit to support the crucial work that you do to promote our democracy amongst young people.

Many of you will have been inspired at an early age to explore how you make your voice heard on issues that are important to you. For many, their first awareness of politics and how decisions are made comes from contact with their local representative, in schools, youth clubs and other extracurricular activities.

It is a prime opportunity for engagement which can have a lasting effect on our young citizens’ understanding of our electoral system and how it works for them. I ask you to join me in making use of this new resource throughout the year designed to make your interactions with young people effective and powerful.

Awards – Nominations Open

The National Democracy Week Council have also helped determine the categories for the National Democracy Week awards, which I am very excited to announce today.

We know that individuals and organisations across the UK are working tirelessly to engage people in our democracy. Their work, particularly with under represented groups, has the potential to help people understand their democratic rights and make their voices heard. This service is not always recognised, but as part of this summer’s festival of democracy, I want to acknowledge the great contributions that so many have made.

The categories, as determined by the National Democracy Week Council, are:

Young Advocate of the Year Award

Diversity Champion of the Year Award

Changemaker of the Year Award and

Collaboration of the Year Award

So please, if you know of a young person who champions democracy, someone who is committed to ensuring diversity, if you have been blown away by the change that an individual, project or organisation has driven, or there is a partnership you feel breaks new ground, make sure you nominate them through our new National Democracy Week website www.gov.uk/nationaldemocracyweek. Nominations will close 5pm Sunday 27 May and we will hold an Award ceremony during National Democracy Week.

Our democracy should be as inclusive as possible – let’s celebrate those who are rising to this challenge. Let us also each commit to do our bit to engage others, during National Democracy Week and beyond. I am delighted to introduce my colleague, Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons, who will talk further about the Parliamentarian Pack and how it can help with that task.

Mark Sedwill – 2018 Statement on Salisbury Attack

Below is the text of the statement made by Sir Mark Sedwill, the UK National Security Adviser, on 21 March 2018.

On Monday EU foreign ministers expressed “unqualified solidarity” with the UK after the terrible attack in Salisbury and gave their support for our efforts to bring those responsible for justice, demanding urgent and full answers from the Russian government. EU ministers agreed the need to focus on the implications of this shocking incident.

Tomorrow the Prime Minister and other EU leaders will discuss this at the European Council. I came to Brussels today as part of the preparations for those discussions.

I had the opportunity to meet the High Representative and other senior EU officials and to brief representatives of all the Member States.

I set out the reasons for our clear assessment of Russian responsibility, the measured but clear response we were taking, the wider pattern of malign behaviour into which Salisbury fits, and the importance of a renewed and wider international focus, including from the EU, on the challenge Russia represents to our shared interests and values.

It was clear from my discussions not only the strong solidarity with my country but also the shared sense of gravity and determination to look carefully, calmly but purposefully at the implications, given the high stakes involved for our shared European security and the rules based international order.

Richard Harrington – 2018 Statement on the Competitiveness Council

Below is the text of the statement made by Richard Harrington, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Business and Industry, in the House of Commons on 20 March 2018.

The Competitiveness Council (Internal Market and Industry) took place on 12 March in Brussels. I represented the UK.

EU industrial policy

Ministers had a wide-ranging discussion on the future of EU industrial policy and the need for European industry to adapt to changes in the global economy and the digital revolution. The UK noted that its recently published industrial strategy identified many of the same challenges and drivers of growth, and stressed our commitment to an open, liberal market economy based around fair competition and high standards. Commissioner Bieńkowska updated Ministers on the first meeting of the “Industry 2030” High Level Roundtable which took place in February. The roundtable would work towards a future vision for EU industry. Ministers also agreed the draft Council conclusions (doc. 2793/18).

The UK also raised concerns at the recent announcement by the US Administration to introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. The UK stressed that unilateral tariffs were not the right way to tackle global overcapacity. Other member states stressed the need for a solution that respected the role of the WTO which Commissioner Bieńkowska supported in her response.

Digitalisation of the EU economy

Ministers considered how to better focus national reform efforts and funding decisions, to seize the opportunities presented by digitalisation for European industry and citizens. There was wide agreement on the need to boost digital skills, to provide clear regulatory frameworks, and to see SMEs and the public sector as potential beneficiaries as well as large businesses. Member states considered that both private sector and EU funding should be easier to access and complement existing national investment in infrastructure.

Single Market

Ministers held a policy debate on the single market to mark the anniversary of the treaty of Maastricht. A number of member states, including the UK, called for better enforcement of single market rules and an analysis of barriers to the services market to realise the single market’s full potential.

Commissioner Bieńkowska hoped that member states would reflect their aspirations for the single market in responding to Commission legislative proposals. The UK underlined our continuing interest in the success of the single market and support for ongoing efforts to reduce barriers, and reiterated the Prime Minister’s call for an ambitious UK-EU partnership.​

Other items

Commissioner Bienkowska set out the key elements of the Commission’s plastics strategy and highlighted the objectives of a review of the REACH regulation. On better regulation, the presidency presented work to highlight the role of scientific evidence in the EU’s regulatory decision making. Belgium presented a short note to highlight the risk of start-ups and scale-ups being captured by the rescue and restructuring guidelines in the state aid rules. Under the regular “Competitiveness Check-up” Commissioner Bieńkowska gave a presentation on the link between services reforms and productivity in manufacturing. Commissioner Jourova updated Ministers on the forthcoming package of consumer protection proposals which are due in April.

Jim McMahon – 2018 Speech on the Greater Manchester Metrolink

Below is the text of the speech made by Jim McMahon, the Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton, in the House of Commons on 20 March 2018.

Jim McMahon (Oldham West and Royton) (Lab/Co-op) Hold on to your seat, Mr Deputy Speaker, while I take you through the history of Greater Manchester’s tram network. [Interruption.] We could have two hours on this, but if it is any help, I promise not to take us anywhere near that—unless there is trouble on the line and we get delayed.

Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington) (Lab) If my hon. Friend is going to give us a history of Manchester’s tram network, which I look forward to, will he join me in paying tribute to the man described as “Mr Metrolink” by the Manchester Evening News—Councillor Andrew Fender, without whom we might not have a Metrolink system at all, and who stands down from Manchester City Council in May after 41 years of dedicated public service?

Jim McMahon Councillor Fender has been a real transport inspiration for many people in Greater Manchester. He is actually a very quiet and reserved character; he is not somebody who grandstands—who seeks attention. He works in the background and diligently gets on and does the work that is very complicated, often very technical, and requires a lot of time and dedication. I have absolutely no doubt that without the time that he put in to transport in Greater Manchester—not just the tram system but the bus network, and cycling routes especially—it would not be as advanced as it is. I think that is a very fitting tribute. I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention.

Greater Manchester’s tram network opened in 1992 and is now the UK’s biggest light rail network. It is essential to Greater Manchester’s economy. We know how important transport is. It is important to get people from A to B, but it is also essential to do so efficiently, to make sure that we reduce congestion, that people can get to work affordably, and that there are routes that take people where they need to go for their employment or for leisure. People vote with their feet. The light rail system in Greater Manchester carries 41 million passengers every year. It covers 60 miles over 93 stops. However, as always in Greater Manchester, we are not content to stand still. We want to go even further.

At the moment a new line is being built to Trafford Park, and that will provide fantastic connectivity to one of Europe’s largest employment sites. People across Greater Manchester will be able to travel through the city centre and on to Trafford Park, and capitalise on the jobs that are being created there. That builds on the success of the airport line, which will take people to Manchester Airport, one of our enterprise zones—also essential for getting people to decent, well paid, secure jobs, particularly now, and in the future too.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP) I am ever mindful that the Government have committed to reducing pollution levels massively in our cities. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that a working, modern, technology-friendly public transport system is essential for Manchester and other cities like it, and that the expansion of services into the ​south will attract more people into using the service, making it more effective, and therefore cost-effective, and benefit the environment as well?

Jim McMahon That is a very important point about the benefits for the environment and the economy. At one point, I was slightly fearful that we were going to make a claim for an extension over to Northern Ireland, which would be a great day out, but I might struggle to—

Mary Robinson (Cheadle) (Con) As the hon. Gentleman is talking about providing extensions, I would like to make a bid. At the moment, as he knows, East Didsbury is at the end of the line, as it comes out towards my constituency of Cheadle. We would love to see the line go all the way through to Stockport, as well as going to Manchester Airport, so that we would get true connectivity around the south of our area.

Jim McMahon That is an important point. I will mention some potential routes later. There is a case to be made not only for the Didsbury line to be extended, but for a connection from Ashton through to Stockport and through to the airport, because as important as the connections in and out of Manchester city centre are, so too are the orbital links connecting the boroughs around Greater Manchester, beyond the city of Manchester. We should be ambitious; we need to create a transport vision that will guide us for decades. The people who laid the foundations for Manchester’s current Metrolink system came up with that idea—that nugget of how Greater Manchester could be different, and could be modern—many, many generations before it was built. It is important that we now take on that responsibility for the next generation, and plan that far ahead. I think Stockport ought to be the beneficiary of a tramline. I think we ought to be able to connect the whole of that eastern ring, too.

The Oldham line, which is my particular interest, started construction in 2011 and opened in 2014. Work began in the year that I became council leader in Oldham and so we had the great success of work beginning on the line. It was previously a heavy rail line, which was then decommissioned, to be turned into a light rail system. Clearly, that caused a lot of disruption and not everybody was convinced that a tram coming through the town would pay dividends and ultimately be a benefit to it, given all the traffic chaos that naturally happens when we start laying tram tracks on the road network. Plenty of people said, “If you build a tram from Oldham to Manchester, surely people are just going to go to Manchester and that will be to the detriment of Oldham.” We said, “No, this is about that connectivity that makes us part of a great Greater Manchester. If Oldham sits in isolation, thinking it is an island, and does not capitalise on one of the best cities in the world, we are missing a trick.”

It was important not just to capitalise on a great city, but to have a vision for Oldham that meant it could be the best Oldham it could be. Metrolink was very important as part of that vision and that future economy. Significantly, the phase 3 line saw an investment of £764 million. It also connected many key sites. Obviously, it connected through Oldham and on to Rochdale, but it also went through two previous housing market renewal sites. We ​know that where Metrolink stations are placed, there is a good effect on the housing market and demand in that locality. So Freehold, where the Metrolink stop is placed, was a key site for housing market renewal. We know the local authority is keen to see that being redeveloped, with the eyesore of the Hartford mill, which might be the subject of a future Adjournment debate, demolished to make way for decent, secure accommodation for people to live in and to create a thriving neighbourhood. Metrolink also connected the Derker community, where there was a lot of clearance as part of the housing market renewal project. Now it has fantastic family houses for people to live in, just a walk to the station, where they are connected to Rochdale, on to Manchester and further into the network—to connectivity that is vital for them.

As I said, people vote with their feet. The old heavy rail system, with the clunker carriages we used to have on the old Oldham Mumps station, carried 1.1 million passengers a year, which was impressive, but nowhere near as impressive as the figure of 3.6 million people using the current Metrolink system on the same line. So we know this has a material effect on increasing passenger numbers, and the more people who go on the tram, the fewer the people who have to travel by car, because they have a genuine alternative, provided in a more environmentally friendly way.

If the Government are serious about creating the northern powerhouse, it is crucial that we rebalance the UK’s economy. But we also need to understand that if all we do is benefit Manchester city centre and the south of Manchester, which have historically been the better performing parts of Greater Manchester, and we do not concentrate on north Manchester, which has historically underperformed compared with the south of Greater Manchester, we will miss an opportunity to make sure that every part of the northern powerhouse can benefit from future investment. Let me give some context on that, because this is not just about a northern Manchester bias and saying “Why does south Manchester get everything at our expense?” This is where the facts are. The gross value added return for Manchester south is £34.8 billion a year, which accounts for 68% of the total GVA for the whole of Greater Manchester. So we can see that an underperforming north Manchester—I am not saying south Manchester is necessarily overperforming—needs to do far better to rebalance and to contribute to that greater GVA. To do that, we need concerted and long-term investment planning—on transport, on housing and on schools. So this debate is about how we might achieve that.

Those who have been on the Manchester Metrolink and gone on a real journey will perhaps bear with me while I take them on what could be a journey of the future, if the Government and Greater Manchester are willing to work together on this plan. I am going to concentrate on the potential of connecting Oldham with Middleton and then on to the Bury line at Heaton Park. Currently, when the tram comes down the Metrolink track and gets to Westwood station, it turns off to the left, towards Manchester. In the new journey we are taking today, however, the tram could continue straight down Middleton Road, towards the sunny climes of Middleton. People could benefit from a park and ride in Middleton town centre and go on further towards Heaton Park, and join with a Bury line that would connect them with Bury and that part of Greater Manchester.​

Coming back, where the line currently carries on to Rochdale after Oldham Mumps, people could go on from Mumps, perhaps up Ashton Road or even along the disused railway line—which would be a cheaper option, although clearly not to the benefit of as many people—on to Ashton town centre, where the line currently terminates. There is nothing worse than a line that terminates; we could at least carry it on and make it nice and tidy. People could carry on straight to Ashton town centre and then, as the hon. Member for Cheadle (Mary Robinson) said, there would be the potential of a loop to Stockport and on to Manchester airport. Suddenly, we are beginning to create what the Manchester Evening News has dubbed the “circle line”. That is a way to use public transport to create proper interconnectivity across Greater Manchester, just like the M60 motorway currently provides for car users. That would be a fantastic boost for many people accessing jobs and for our local economy and tourist industry.

All that would also give Oldham a critical part to play as an important transport hub. It would not just be the place that people pass through; it would mean that Oldham Mumps, which is currently a strategic regeneration site, would be a critical point of interconnectivity between Bury, Rochdale, Manchester and Tameside, and perhaps further on if we have further extensions. Oldham would become an important place for investment and regeneration, and I believe it would be an important catalyst for the rebalancing of the Greater Manchester economy.

To achieve all that, we need to be honest. Currently, financial modelling is heavily predicated on the question, “What does this mean for GVA return?” If we invest £1, what will be the pound-for-pound return in the local economy? This is where the way in which we assess capital investment in this country needs a fundamental rethink. There ought to be a measure to take human capital into account.

What is our starting point if we want everybody to have equal opportunity to access well-paid, secure jobs and decent leisure and sporting facilities? To do that, we need to accept that different communities in Greater Manchester will start at different points and that a rebalancing will need to take place. It is important to bear in mind that we can rebalance in two ways: we can bring the highest-performing area down to the level of the lowest-performing area, so that they are equal but have to share scraps of the table, and the economy will suffer; or we can use investment to raise areas that are not currently performing as well as they could be, so that everybody thrives across Greater Manchester.

To achieve that second option, we need a different way of assessing GVA return, because the truth is that on any assessment today, building a mile of Metrolink track in, say, Trafford would have a higher GVA return than building a mile of Metrolink track in Oldham, just because the starting point is very different. I do not believe that that is the way to generate an investment plan that rebalances the economy in the way we need it to be rebalanced.

This debate is about setting out a potential route, but I am not precious about exactly which road or route the new tram line ultimately goes along. I am, though, passionate about Oldham realising its full potential. I am passionate about people in Oldham being able to access high-performing, decent, secure, well-paid jobs throughout Greater Manchester. I am desperate for ​young people in Oldham to recognise that their horizon is not just at the end of their street, but is much further away, and for it to be available to them because it is affordable and accessible.

Let me tell a personal story. I have been helping my son to navigate the complex world of apprenticeships and college courses. We were looking at some apprenticeships in Trafford Park, which is not far away at all—we can get there by car in half an hour. My son was looking at engineering courses. The problem is that our bus system does not connect young people with Trafford Park in a way that means they can work shifts on those jobs. For instance, if a young person living in Royton wants to get to Trafford Park for a 6 am shift start, they would have to set off at 11.30 pm the night before, because the buses do not start until quite late in the morning. Therefore, if a young person cannot get a driving licence and a car to make their own way there, and they are reliant on public transport, which for people in Royton is a bus at the moment, straight away they are excluded from working shifts in one of the largest engineering employment locations in Europe. That just cannot be right.

I am not saying in this debate that if all we do is to build a bit of Metrolink track, Oldham will be fixed. My point is much broader: we need to get transport in Greater Manchester right for the people who live in Greater Manchester. Significant effort has been made by the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and by his team on the Greater Manchester combined authority. Sterling work has been carried out by Andrew Fender and by all the very dedicated officers that work at Transport for Greater Manchester. The truth is that much of this comes down to resource and investment. Unfortunately, in Greater Manchester, we have lost many local bus routes that would connect young people in particular with the job opportunities of tomorrow, and we need to see investment in that area.

We also need proper capital investment that at least puts Greater Manchester on a par with London. We want Greater Manchester to thrive and to play an active part in the northern powerhouse, but the northern powerhouse cannot be done on the cheap; it needs investment on a par with that of this great capital city. Manchester deserves absolutely every penny of that investment. If we see even a fraction of it, we will see very different outcomes for young people in Greater Manchester.

I urge the Government to get behind this. I am not necessarily talking about the A to Z route that we are proposing—that will come out of a feasibility report and a technical assessment of what is possible and, of course, it has much to do with patronage and whatever physical barriers may be in place. There should be no barrier to our desire to make Greater Manchester absolutely great. That can happen only if the Government come to the table, offer real investment and work with Greater Manchester to make sure that transport in the future is far better than it is today.

Liam Fox – 2018 Speech in Hong Kong

Below is the text of the speech made by Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, in Hong Kong on 21 March 2018.

Good morning to everyone.

It’s a real pleasure to finally be here, at the start of the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong.

For myself and the members of my team who have travelled from the UK, it almost seems surreal that this fantastic showcase is finally upon us. And a huge thank you to all of our people here from the UK and Hong Kong who have made this happen.

For me, this festival offers an opportunity to look far into the future, exploring the technological developments that will unite the UK and Asia, and shape the world economy for up to a century or more.

Innovation is, of course, a key focus of ours. My department was created in order to shape an independent trade policy for the United Kingdom, our first for more than four decades.

A 21st Century trade policy must embrace the realities of the modern trading environment, and that means protecting, promoting and celebrating innovation.

But the location of this festival lends it an extra significance.

Hong Kong has always been one of my personal favourite cities – a global commercial hub that possesses a unique blend of drive, energy and dynamism.

Of course, this city has, for centuries, been Britain’s gateway to Asia.

Of course, we are not here to dwell on the past. But the ties of history and language that are shared by the UK and Hong Kong have put opportunities ahead.

Our shared history is the preface of to our shared future. Now, the IMF predicts that, in the next two decades, 90% of global growth will be generated beyond the borders of the European continent.

Much of this will be driven by the Asian economies, where new markets are growing to meet their own innovation revolution.

The next few years will offer a golden opportunity for the UK to work with our partners across Asia to drive innovation and shape the future of global trade.

The UK has the experience and capability in key industries – from technology and finance to education and healthcare – that make us the natural partner for the region’s burgeoning economies.

This festival is hugely symbolic. Why? Because it comes at a time when the UK is seeking to deepen our trading ties with partners across the world.

This not only applies to those emerging economies that will be the drivers of global economic growth, but also to long-established partners and friends with highly developed and complementary economic structures.

And of course, Hong Kong is foremost among these.

We have chosen to hold the GREAT Festival here in Hong Kong because our trading relationship with this city is, I believe, a model for the UK’s future trading partnerships.

Both the UK and Hong Kong believe that agility and adaptability are the keys to an effective trade policy in an ever-changing and evolving global environment.

And this approach is at the heard of what the Prime Minister has described as a truly ‘Global Britain’. We won’t be less engaged, but more engaged as we leave the EU, deploying the determination that Britain has always had to promote our values and help shape the global environment in our fast-changing world.

Governments must be able to act quickly and effectively to changes on the ground, ensuring that new industries do not mean new barriers to trade but effective and efficient policy tolls to deal with them.

The Strategic Dialogue with Hong Kong was one of the first of our new measures to be launched following the creation of DIT.

We are already holding meetings, at official and ministerial level, to identify and remove those non-tariff barriers which currently impede trade flows between our two economies. Because there is much we can do, and businesses already do, to liberalise our trading practices without undergoing the process of negotiating a full free trade agreement.

What underpins this is the recognition that we share values, goals, and a mutual commitment to global free trade, and built on that commonality.

Earlier this year, I travelled to Davos in Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum.

The event was, as ever, extremely productive, and an invaluable opportunity for businesses and policymakers to come together and shape the future of global trade.

In that respect, it is a lot like particular showcase – the GREAT Festival of Innovation.

But the WEF also emphasised, to me, how unnecessary some of the perceived complications around global trade liberalisation really are.

A Free Trade Agreement is, of course, a fine achievement for both parties, and should often be pursued as the ultimate goal.

But it is simply too broad to be the first or only approach to bilateral trade liberalisation. Often, barriers can be lifted more quickly with an incremental approach which identifies existing common ground – the ‘low-hanging fruit’, if you like, of trade relations.

There is no greater defender or advocate for the rules-based global trading system than the United Kingdom and multilateral agreements remain the gold-standard of trade liberalisation. Hong Kong is a strong and valued ally in this cause.

Yet it is also true that the system possesses an inherent inflexibility. Too often, formalised policy frameworks have been left standing by progress and innovation, and by the technological developments that have accelerated globalisation.

Let’s just think of the one great change we have witnessed – the development of the digital global economy. It’s hard to imagine now when it didn’t exist.

In the UK alone, the digital economy supports around 1.4 million jobs, and the sector is growing 32% faster than the wider economy.

In 2015, global e-commerce sales surpassed $25 trillion.

Yet there exists no formal international framework governing these vast trade and capital flows.

Of course, you do not need to hear this from me. Many of Asia’s most distinguished and innovative digital companies are here with us at this festival – one of the reasons we chose Hong Kong in the first place.

Many of you might assert that your industry is doing just fine, having reached all its achievements without any multinational governance whatsoever.

But any such measures would be designed not to stifle innovation, but to enhance it.

But these disrupters are the Darwinians drivers of our economy. We all know the benefits that technology can bring to consumers and citizens.

And, I want to see a wider discussion around how technology can help governments to facilitate trade and lead effective policy development.

Later this morning, we will have a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Free Trade’.

Much of the talk around the future of trade is focussed on the ‘trade disruptors’. These new technologies and industries are at the forefront of the shake up the global economy and are reshaping the way we approach international commerce.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to help shape trade legislation must ask ourselves how we can harness the power of innovation to enhance global opportunity and build a more prosperous future for us all.

So technology may be a disruptor, but it is also a facilitator.

One small example is my own department’s trade platform online – great.gov.uk.

Government is using digital innovation to directly put exporters in the UK in contact with potential customers overseas.

Similarly, by the same route, companies in Asia and around the world can access a searchable directory of British exporters, allowing them to quickly source their ideal product.

It is a small but important step towards government embracing technology as a way to facilitate more traditional trade.

But if we really want to harness innovation to open global trade, we must look at the transformative effect technology has had in lifting the burden of bureaucracy from certain industries.

Now take personal finance, just as an example. Twenty years ago or more, if you wanted to take out a loan, you had to walk into a bank for a face-to face discussion with the manager.

For those of you, remember what it was like, armed with your employment and income details, it was up to you to persuade the bank that you were able to repay the money borrowed.

Today, you can take out a loan at the touch of button, or a tap of a smartphone screen you can achieve the effect.

This is not because finance has somehow become less complex. Arguably, people’s personal finances and credit scores are more convoluted than ever.

Rather it is because technology has removed the bureaucratic burden from the customer, and even from the bank manager, and delegated it to an algorithm.

Even in medicine – my own profession in which I began my working career – patients can be assessed, and prescriptions issued through an automated online service.

The fundamental contribution that technology has made to human existence has been to make complicated things simple. It probably says something about our nature that the history of innovation is a long string of labour-saving devices for us.

And if technology can make paying your tax or booking a holiday more efficient and accessible, then why can’t it do the same for exporting?

A bilateral or multilateral free trade agreement is, fundamentally, an attempt to make the system less complicated. It is an admirable an important goal and one which we must pursue with vigour at all time.

But as well as making the world less complicated, we should also recognise that technology can be used to ease to improve the conditions of the people within the economic system.

We cannot forget that innovation also has the potential to unlock vast swathes of the global economy, especially in the developing world.

For years now, millions of Africans have been using mobile phone banking, in lieu of a reliable system of high-street institutions – an early innovation often overlooked outside the continent.

E-commerce has also helped to neutralise at least to some extreme the barriers of geography and infrastructure that have sometimes stifled new ventures in undeveloped nations.

And by allowing economic activity to take place within the home, it continues to emancipate women in particular across the globe into the world of work – entrepreneurism at the click of a mouse.

But, as well as addressing the wider questions of technology and international trade, the GREAT Festival of Innovation also has a narrower and more immediate focus: the vast opportunities that exist between Asia and the United Kingdom.

Our country has a richly-deserved reputation for excellence in innovation and technology.

The UK boasts some 58,000 technology firms. In the last year, more venture capital in tech came to London than in Germany, France, Spain and Ireland combined.

In many areas, the research and development capabilities of the UK have put us at the cutting-edge, creating the technologies of the future.

In Bristol close to where I live and represent in parliment, a company called Graphcore is developing the next generation of computer processors.

In Exeter, the Centre for Graphene Science are developing self-powering wearable tech that will allow electronic devices to be woven directly into clothing – not that far away from the images the young people were telling us about.

And in Cardiff, the Compound Semiconductor Catapult is leading the way to find a high-capacity replacement for silicon chips.

These companies are being aided in their endeavours by a government that is committed to technology and innovation.

Our business-friendly regulatory environment and the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20 have helped to propel us to 1st place in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business survey.

Our Industrial Strategy is ensuring that the investment, resources and infrastructure are in place to help innovators to thrive in every corner of the United Kingdom.

And our ambition to build a truly global Britain is allowing UK companies to trade more freely than ever with our partners across Asia.

Let me give you just one local example – the UK company OC Robotics are working here with Dragages Hong Kong to provide remote access technology for the construction of the undersea road tunnels between the mainland and Hong Kong International Airport.

This is what is at the heart of the GREAT Festival of Innovation.

The UK may have a lot to offer, but so does Asia especially Hong Kong. The festival is not about selling our products to Asian markets though we don’t mind if we do, but about building relationships and collaboration.

The partnerships between UK and Asian firms that will be established at this festival and the networks that we build will shape the future not only of the UK, Hong Kong, and Asia, but of the world.

The festival will showcase the very best of British and Asian innovation in how we will learn, how we live, how we work and how we play in the future, across multiple sectors.

We are here not only to celebrate what we have, but to build a network that will drive innovation, develop new technology, and determine the future of global trade.

We are at a truly exciting moment in history. We want to hear your opinions on global commerce, and learn from your expertise to unlock the opportunities of free and open commerce.

If we innovate together, we can achieve so much.

So, let’s discover the future. Let’s create tomorrow.

Thank you.

Jeremy Hunt – 2018 Speech on Social Care

Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, on 20 March 2018.

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.”

The famously optimistic line by Robert Browning might seem out of place to many worried about how we will cope with an ageing population

In modern-day Britain, one of the most developed countries on the planet, our aspiration should be to prove those worries wrong. Because how we care for our most vulnerable citizens is the true litmus test of whether we are a civilised society – not only the care for older people but for younger disabled people who are living much longer.

Progress has been made: the Better Care Fund is transforming the way councils and the NHS work together to treat the whole person: nearly 7 in 10 service users were extremely or very satisfied with their care and support over the last 3 years, and 81% of adult social care providers are rated as good or outstanding. Spending will rise by 9% this year, the number of care home agencies is up 55% since 2010, and we recently set out a new package of measures to protect care home residents from unfair practices.

But today I want to be honest about how well we are meeting that litmus test. In truth, not well enough.

Many families find it incredibly hard to access the care they want with or without means-tested support from the state.

Many people employed in the system find themselves working too hard as they struggle with fragmented services coming under unprecedented pressure.

The CQC has itself expressed serious concerns about the state of the adult social care market and the risks of provider exit.

And that pressure is feeding through to the NHS with A&Es becoming overcrowded because hospitals find themselves unable to discharge patients who cannot access social care support packages.

Behind these systemic issues sit many ordinary human beings in a great deal of distress. Families coming to terms with a relative with dementia. Older people living on their own who won’t admit they are lonely. Care home residents with clinical depression, as we know happens in 4 in 10 cases.

So let’s be brutally honest. In a country that prides itself on kindness, neighbourliness and respect this does not sit easily, and we need to do better.

Now no-one could accuse this or any government of not talking about the issue. In the past 20 years there have been 5 Green or White Papers, numerous policy papers, and 4 independent reviews into social care. So it would not be unreasonable to expect scepticism about yet another one this year – and as the new Health and Social Care Secretary I do rather feel the weight of stalled reform programmes on my shoulders.

So in order to get things right this time I want to outline the 7 key principles that will guide our thinking ahead of the Green Paper. And in doing so I wish to pay tribute to the work done by Damian Green, my predecessor, on whose thoughtful foundations much of our thinking has developed.

1. Quality

The first key principle relates to the quality of care. 81% of adult social care providers are good or outstanding according to the CQC – testament to many hardworking and committed professionals working in care to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.

But still too many people experience care that is not of the quality we would all want for our own mum or dad. They describe a daily visit from a rotating cast of care workers, perhaps as brief as 15 minutes, with barely time to get help washing or getting dressed and no time to build the friendly relationships that are only possible with proper continuity of care.

And then, despite some improvements, we also still get cases of demonstrable neglect, such as a few weeks ago when a worker at a care home in Norwich was jailed for bullying vulnerable patients, including humiliating a resident with incontinence problems in front of others.

So my first of the 7 principles will be that we need a relentless and unswerving focus on providing the highest standards of care – whatever a person’s age or condition. This means a commitment to tackle poor care with minimum standards enforced throughout the system so that those using social care services are always kept safe and treated with the highest standards of dignity and compassion – or as our Chief Inspector for Social Care puts it, that all provision passes the “good enough for my mum” test.

Part of this will be tackling the unacceptable variations in quality and outcomes between different services and different parts of the country.

How can it be, for example, that, according to the NHS atlas of variation, there is around a 90-fold difference in the over 75s’ rates of admission to hospital from care homes or nursing homes between the highest and lowest performing local authority areas?

Over the last 5 years enhanced CQC inspections have been central to the journey of improvement that the NHS has been on. And thanks to the superb leadership of Andrea Sutcliffe and her team, those principles have been extended to the social care provider sector. No longer do we worry in the same way as before that abuses in a small minority of cases will go undetected for long periods and we see demonstrable improvements in the majority of cases when people are inspected a second time round.

But the recent local systems reviews conducted by the CQC have demonstrated that an independent approach to reviewing commissioning as well as provision can also be a powerful force for good. These reviews have highlighted variation in performance between local authorities across a range of measures, including how the local authority commissions care from local providers.

So we now need to ask whether the time is right to expand that approach, and one of the questions the Green Paper will pose is whether we can build on the learning from the introduction of independent Ofsted-style ratings for providers to spread best practice to commissioners as well.

2. Whole-person integrated care

Secondly we know that right now, despite many warm words, if you have complex needs our current health and social care system can be confusing and fragmented.

An 85 year old living alone with multiple conditions such as diabetes and early stage dementia often faces a bewildering range of services and organisations.

And the risk is that too often an individual and their family are passed from pillar to post, giving the same information repeatedly without receiving joined up, personalised care that makes them feel like a valued human being and not just another task on someone else’s to do list.

So my second key principle is the full integration of health and social care centred around the person. We know when this happens people stay longer at home, healthier, more independent and needing fewer hospital services.

There are many good examples of progress from around the country:

In Waltham Forest they have introduced a managed network of care and support to meet the needs of local residents through individually selected services – and seen emergency admissions reduced by a fifth during 2015/16.

In Leeds an integrated care record is now used by over 5,000 health and social care professionals so hospitals arrange faster discharges with care packages put in place more quickly.

The Better Care Fund, too, has incentivised local areas to work more closely together, and many now have mature systems in place to bring together health and care services around the needs of their older populations.

But the key to this progress is that users of the social care system should have just one plan covering all their health and social care needs based on a joint assessment by both systems. So today I can announce new pilots in Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire which will mean that over the next 2 years every single person accessing adult social care will be given a joint health and social care assessment and – critically – a joint health and care and support plan, where needed.

Why does this matter? Because integration must never be a bureaucratic exercise that makes life easier for professionals but makes no difference to people using the services. We will fail if we only join up the structures – we have to focus relentlessly on joining up the actual care experienced by vulnerable adults and service users on the ground – and these 3 pilots are intended to be trail-blazers for how to get this right.

3. Control

My third critical principle is control. What matters to individuals and families is the ability to direct the care they receive and autonomy to lead the lives they want.

Personalisation isn’t new, and there is a strong consensus that it is the right path to follow, but progress has often been slower for older people than for working age adults with disabilities. Whilst over 90% of older people receive some type of self-directed support, only around 1 in 6 take it as a direct payment with take-up stubbornly low for older people.

Yet we know that the greater control people have over their care, the better their outcomes and the lower the cost. I heard the story of Malcolm Royle, who had dementia, from his son Colin. His personal budget meant that Malcolm no longer had to go to the day centre 8 to 5, but could have regular carers when he needed them. He got back control of his life – and we need to help everyone do this if they have the mental and physical capacity to do so.

So I want to turbo-charge progress on integrated health and care budgets, making them the norm and not the exception when people need ongoing support.

And today I can announce that we will be consulting on Personal Health Budgets, in order to achieve better integration for those with the greatest ongoing social care needs as well as health needs.

And as part of that I commit that over the next 2 years in Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire – our 3 pilot areas – every single person with a joint care plan will also be offered an integrated health and care personal budget.

Control also means transparency and access to reliable information. Where individuals and families have the necessary information to make informed choices, it usually drives quality up. Yet the truth, as set out in a comprehensive report by the Competition and Markets Authority last year, is that the current social care market is anything but transparent. We also need to make sure that anyone who needs to can get the right information to make a meaningful comparison between services so that they end up with a fair and straight deal on their choice of care provider. This isn’t just fairer, it will also spur quality and innovation in the sector.

4. Workforce

My fourth principle is to respect and nurture the social care workforce.

People who work in care homes, who do home visits, who look after people with care needs with kindness and love in every street in every town – these are our society’s modern-day heroes. Often highly skilled, they are typically also the lowest paid.

I am deeply proud that the introduction of the National Living Wage means that the average salary for a care worker in the independent sector has gone up by 4%, with those on the minimum wage seeing a pay rise of up to £2,000 since 2015.

But to attract more people into this sector, financial support must be matched with recognition of the value of this vital work and action on the wider set of challenges facing the workforce.

Today is World Social Work Day. So it is right to acknowledge that as a society we have ascribed too little value to these vital caring roles: yet the quality of care our parents get in their final years is as important as the quality of education our children get at the start of their lives.

So it is time to do more to promote social care as a career of choice and to ensure there are better opportunities for progression into areas like nursing which span both the health and social care sectors. And we need coherent workforce planning that is better aligned with that now being undertaken by the NHS. Alongside social workers, occupational therapists and nurses in social care we have many care workers who could benefit or be inspired by new progression ladders similar to those that are being developed in the NHS including roles such as associate nurses and nurse degree apprenticeships. These must be as available to those working in social care as in the NHS.

We have many registered professionals including social workers, occupational therapists and nurses in social care; and many more care workers and other unregistered professions. We need to ensure we have enough people within all of these skilled roles to support people to live the best possible lives. That means making sure that the new routes in to professions that we have developed for those working in the NHS, and the new roles such as nurse associates, also work for those wanting to build their careers in social care.

We need to recognise that people move between the NHS and social care systems – and will do more so as the 2 systems join up. So part of our thinking must be to think about health and care workforce issues in a joined up way. I can therefore confirm today that later this year we will not now be publishing an ‘NHS 10 year workforce strategy’ – it will be an ‘NHS and social care 10 year workforce strategy’ with the needs of both sectors considered together and fully aligned.

5. Supporting families and carers

Ronald Reagan famously quipped that “the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see is a government programme.” A big danger in this debate is to see it purely as a government solution.

So my fifth principle is to make the needs of carers central to our new social care strategy.

Of course we need to foster the deep, innate and human responsibility we all feel to look after our loved ones, families and friends. But we should never take it for granted.

If we can make it simpler to look after a loved one, if we can make it easier to juggle working and caring responsibilities, if we can encourage volunteering – whether by more flexible working, better employer support or harnessing new technologies, then that is what we should do.

Over the past months we have been listening to the views of carers so ahead of the Green Paper we will publish an action plan to support them.

And alongside support for carers, as a society we also must tackle the epidemic of loneliness. It is truly a scandal that over 30% of people in Britain over the age of 65 say that television is their main form of company. So the appointment of Tracey Crouch as Minister for Loneliness is a welcome sign of the Prime Minister’s personal determination to address this issue, and we will work with her as we develop the Green Paper to address the underlying causes of loneliness by building an active and creative partnership between the state, individuals and wider civil society.

6. A sustainable funding model for social care supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market.

Person-centred care means nothing if the individual’s choice and control is undermined by a lack of high-quality services to provide the support they need. Too often we hear of people unable to find the care they want, or of services which are only available in some places but just don’t exist in others.

We have to make sure that we have a vibrant and diverse base of care services for people to draw on. So the sixth principle running through our Green Paper will be the question of how we ensure a sustainable financial system for care, delivering a stable and vibrant market which delivers cost-effective, quality services for all including the debate we need to have with the public on the challenges of sourcing additional social care funding.

We should not assume that the best long term answer will be necessarily the same for different age cohorts. There may be changes that are equitable and achievable for younger people that would not be either of those for the generation approaching retirement. And part of the outcome of this process must be much greater public understanding of where the costs – often inappropriately – currently lie both for the state and individuals in every age cohort.

We also know the economics of the publicly funded social care market are highly fragile so we need to transform and evolve our models of care.

We will therefore look at how the government can prime innovation in the market, develop the evidence for new models and services, and encourage new models of care provision to expand at scale.

This will specifically include looking at the role of housing, including how we can replicate the very best models that combine a home environment with quality care and how we can better support people through well-designed aids and adaptations.

We must also recognise the potentially transformative role of new technology. We British are good at innovation, although sometimes less good at its application: so let’s see the brightest and best new ideas put into action to help us tackle the challenges we face and that will help us stay at home independently for longer.

Which is why the Ageing Grand Challenge announced as part of the Industrial Strategy needs to play a definitive role. Only last week the Government announced a new £98 million innovation fund to support healthy ageing. This funding will aim to catalyse public-private investment in technologies and innovations so that we don’t just invent great ideas here, we see them taken up throughout our system.

Going forwards, I will be working closely with other government departments, industry, civil society, academia and local government to ensure we make the most of the opportunities that the Industrial Strategy presents.

A more vibrant and diverse market offer will give people greater choice and more effective support. But it is also vital because if we do nothing to support people’s needs more creatively or efficiently, the cost of simply delivering these services today will double in a decade.

And of course we must make sure there is a long term financially sustainable approach to funding the whole system.

Resolving this will take time. But that must not be an excuse to put off necessary reforms. Nor must it delay the debate we need to have with the public about where the funding for social care in the future should come from – so the Green Paper will jump-start that debate.

7. Security for all

The final principle, which lies at the heart of this debate, is the question of security.

We are proud that 70 years ago this country made a big statement of our values when we established the National Health Service. It is, to this day, the most powerful expression of what we believe in as a society, the central idea that no-one – rich or poor, young or old – should have to worry about affording good healthcare.

But this year is also social care’s 70th birthday. The National Assistance Act that abolished the Poor Law and created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS Act.

The National Assistance Act established a related but different principle: that of shared responsibility for care. Whilst the State has always accepted – and continues to accept – its duty to provide decent care for those unable to afford it – notably for those born with a disability or developing a care and support need early in life – our system has also reflected the principle of personal responsibility for care by individuals and families.

And the principle of shared responsibility continues to be right and people should continue to expect to contribute to their care in the future as they prepare for later life – but we are clear that there has to be a partnership between the state and individuals.

But the way our current charging system operates is far from fair. This is particularly true for families faced with the randomness and unpredictability of care, and the punitive consequences that can come from developing certain conditions over others.

If you develop dementia and require long-term residential care, you are likely to have to use a significant chunk of your savings and the equity in your home to pay for that care. But if you require long-term treatment for cancer you won’t find anything like the same cost.

So people’s financial wellbeing in old age ends up defined less by their industry and service during their working lives, and more by the lottery of which illness they get. We therefore need a system that includes an element of risk-pooling and, as the Prime Minister promised in the election campaign, we will bring forward ideas as to how to do this alongside their potential costs in the Green Paper.


The Green Paper will be published before the summer and will be framed by thinking on the 7 principles that I have set out today:

quality and safety embedded in service provision

whole-person, integrated care with the NHS and social care systems operating as one

the highest possible control given to those receiving support
a valued workforce

better practical support for families and carers

a sustainable funding model for social care supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market

greater security for all – for those born or developing a care need early in life and for those entering old age who do not know what their future care needs may be.

Innovation is going to be central to all of these principles: we will not succeed unless the changes we establish embrace the changes in technology and medicine that are profoundly reshaping our world.

By reforming the system in line with these principles everyone – whatever their age – can be confident in our care and support system. Confident that they will have control, confident that they will have quality care and confident that they will get the support they need from wider society.

Let me finish by quoting the words of Fauja Singh, who at a mere 100 years of age became the oldest person ever to complete a marathon: “Anything worth doing”, he said, “is going to be difficult.”

The path to a long-term settlement for social care, built around a strong social contract, has been equally long and arduous, and there will no doubt be further twists and turns.

But Britain has a proud pedigree in establishing one of the first comprehensive healthcare systems in the world. Our innate sense of decency, kindness and common humanity will also drive us to the right solution for social care as it has for health.

Matt Hancock – 2018 Statement on Cambridge Analytica

Matt Hancock

Below is the text of the statement made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, in the House of Commons on 19 March 2018.

The revelation this weekend of a serious alleged privacy breach involving Facebook data is clearly very worrying. It is reported that a whistleblower told The Observer newspaper that Cambridge Analytica exploited the Facebook data of over 50 million people globally.

In our increasingly digital world, it is essential that people can have confidence that their personal data will be protected. The Information Commissioner, as the data regulator, is already investigating as part of a broader investigation into the use of personal data during political campaigns. The investigation is considering how political parties and campaigns, data analytics companies and social media platforms in the UK have used people’s personal information to micro-target voters. As part of the investigation, the commissioner is looking at whether Facebook data was acquired and used illegally. She has already issued 12 information notices to a range of organisations, using powers under the Data Protection Act 1998. It is imperative that when an organisation receives an information notice, it must comply in full. We expect all organisations involved to co-operate with this investigation in whatever way the Information Commissioner sees fit. I am sure that the House will understand that there is only so far I can go in discussing specific details of specific cases.

The appropriate use of data is important for good campaigning. Canvassing someone’s voting intention is as old as democracy itself. Indeed, we do it in the House every day. But it is important that the public are comfortable with how information is gathered, used and shared in modern political campaigns, and it is important that the Information Commissioner has the enforcement powers she needs. The Data Protection Bill, currently in Committee, will strengthen legislation around data protection and give her tougher powers to ensure that organisations comply. The Bill gives her the powers to levy significant fines for malpractice, of up to 4% of global turnover, on organisations that block the investigations by the Information Commissioner’s Office. It will enhance control, transparency and security of data for people and businesses across the country.

Because of the lessons learned in this investigation and the difficulties the Information Commissioner has had in getting appropriate engagement from the organisations involved, she has recently requested yet stronger enforcement powers. The power of compulsory audit is already in the Bill, and she has proposed additional criminal sanctions. She has also made the case that it has become clear that, in order to deal with complex investigations such as these, the power to compel testimony from individuals is now needed. We are considering those new proposals, and I have no doubt that the House will consider that as the Bill passes through the House.​

Data, properly used, has massive value, and social media are a good thing, so we must not leap to the wrong conclusions and shut down all access. We need rules to ensure transparency, clarity and fairness, and that is what the Data Protection Bill will provide. After all, strong data protection laws give citizens confidence, and that is good for everyone.