MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates Brexit and the Union

Source: British House Of Lords News

16 January 2019
Members of the Lords, including a constitutional advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland and an advisory council member of national debate forum These Islands, will debate the possible effects of Brexit on the stability of the Union of the parts of the United Kingdom, in the House of Lords on Thursday 17 January.

This is a general debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Lisvane (Crossbench), former chief executive of the House of Commons.
Members expected to take part include:
Lord Empey (Ulster Unionist Party), former Lord Mayor of Belfast and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (Labour), Lords opposition spokesperson for exiting the EU and constitutional affairs
Lord Hay of Ballyore (Democratic Unionist Party), president of the Northern Ireland Assembly branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Lord McInnes of Kilwinning (Conservative), constitutional advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland
Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve (Crossbench), member of the advisory council for national debate forum These Islands
Lord Thomas of Gresford (Liberal Democrat), former Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Welsh Affairs
Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru), former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly for Wales
Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Cabinet Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Committee looks to Canada and Belgium for devolution direction

Source: British Parliament News

14 January 2019
The Scottish Affairs Committee continues its inquiry into the relationship between the Scottish and UK Governments, with an evidence session looking at how other countries manage intergovernmental relations.

Purpose of the session
The Scottish Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry into how cooperation between the UK and Scottish Governments can be improved. In this session the Committee will look at international comparators to find out if lessons can be learnt from how devolution works elsewhere.
The Committee will question the Deputy Head of the Belgian Embassy and a former Canadian Permanent Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs on what the UK can learn from their approaches to intergovernmental relations. The Committee will also hear about devolution arrangements in other countries from academics specialising in constitutional affairs and federalism.
Witnesses
Tuesday 15 January 2019, Grimond Room, Portcullis House
At 10.15am – Academics
Dr Bettina Petersohn, Lecturer in Politics (specialising in Intergovernmental relations), Swansea University
Professor César Colino, Professor of Political Science (specialising in Spanish and comparative federalism), University of Distance Education (UNED) (Madrid)  
Dr Sandra León, Senior Lecturer (specialising in comparative government and decentralisation of public finance), York University
At 11.15am – Case Study: Belgium
Mr Jan Bayart, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Belgium in the UK
At 12.15pm – Case Study: Canada
George Anderson, former Deputy Minister (Permanent Secretary) of Intergovernmental Affairs, Privy Council Office, Canadian Government (via video link)
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: Clare Bailey reflects on two years since the collapse of our devolved institutions

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Wednesday 09 January 2019
Today marks two years since the collapse of devolved government in Northern Ireland.
Green Party leader Clare Bailey MLA reflects on the two year hiatus and calls on the Secretary of State to take a more inclusive approach to improving the political picture:
“The pantomime season may have just drawn to a close, but the farcical situation of two years without a functioning devolved government continues across Northern Ireland.
“It’s impossible to sugar coat the situation we find ourselves in. Brexit has been a shambles and has left the Westminster parliament and wider society dangerously divided.
“Many public services are under severe pressure from a prolonged programme of Tory austerity. There has been little or no movement on human rights and equality issues such as same sex marriage and abortion law reform. Victims of institutional abuse are dying without access to justice or reparations.
“Steven Agnew MLA’s last motion before the collapse of Stormont was a call for a meaningful Ministerial accountability process. The RHI inquiry and successive Stormont controversies have shown that Steven’s call was spot on.
“The lack of Ministerial accountability has been a contributory factor in the death of our devolved institutions. Any return to devolution must include meaningful Ministerial accountability measures. The previous pattern of stumbling from crisis to crisis has seriously damaged public confidence in our politics and our society.
“The Secretary of State Karen Bradley continues with a take on the role of an absentee landlady and strikes an obscurely upbeat note about our dismal situation when she drops into the jurisdiction.
“There must be serious questions answered by the Secretary of State. What are the prospects for All Party talks and will these talks be inclusive and purposeful?”
Clare Bailey MLA concluded:
“I call on the Secretary of State to take an inclusive approach. A political system dominated by Sinn Fein and the DUP failed to deliver good government. Civic society and new voices can inject the impetus and positivity that the politics of the past has stolen away.”
ENDS

Tags: Clare Bailey, Clare Bailey MLA, devolution, Green Party, Green Party NI
by Clare Bailey MLA

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Committee considers pressures facing teachers in Northern Ireland

Source: British Parliament News

09 January 2019
As part of its inquiry into education funding, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hears from trade unions representing teachers and head teachers about the pressures facing Northern Ireland’s teaching staff.

Witnesses
Wednesday 9 January in Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster
At 9.30am
Geri Cameron, President, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) NI
Justin McCamphill, Senior Northern Ireland Official, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)
Gerry Murphy, Northern Secretary, Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO)
Purpose of the session
The Committee considers the impact of the pay dispute and working pressures on staff performance, morale and wellbeing, and retention rates in the profession. The witnesses represent teachers and head teachers’ unions in Northern Ireland. 
The inquiry
Throughout its in-depth inquiry into education funding, the Committee has heard evidence of teachers in Northern Ireland facing long working hours and unmanageable workloads and some witnesses have raised serious concerns about the mental health of teachers. The teaching pay scale in Northern Ireland falls behind that of England and Wales, and the Department of Education has rejected the unions’ call for a 5% pay increase. Some unions have taken industrial action in recent years.
Further information
Image: Parliamentary copyright

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MIL-OSI UK: Committee considers potential impact of devolving Air Passenger Duty to Wales

Source: British Parliament News

04 January 2019
On Tuesday 8 January, the Welsh Affairs Committee begins its inquiry into the potential impact of devolving Air Passenger Duty  to Wales. The session will gather evidence from a range of witnesses including the Chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales, the Chair of the Independent Commission on Funding & Finance for Wales, and tax experts.

Background
Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a tax levied by the UK Government on passenger flights from UK airports and is chargeable per passenger. APD in England and Wales is set and managed centrally by the UK Government. However, APD has been devolved to some extent to Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Welsh Affairs Committee will consider the implications of devolving APD to Wales; what advantages doing so might bring to Cardiff Airport and the people of Wales and whether there may be any negative impact on airports serving Wales.
The former First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, argued that APD should be devolved to the Welsh Government, claiming that APD continues to place unjustifiable constraints on Wales’s ability to promote itself abroad and is hindering growth in its aviation sector and wider economy.
Purpose of the session
In the first panel, the Committee will question Sir Paul Silk and Gerald Holtham, chairs of commissions that have made recommendations about the devolution of APD. In the second panel, the Committee will take evidence from tax experts on the practicalities of devolving APD to Wales.
Witnesses
Tuesday 8 January 2019, Wilson Room, Portcullis House
At 4.15pm
Panel One:
Sir Paul Silk, Chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales (Silk Commission)
Gerald Holtham, Chair of the Independent Commission on Funding & Finance for Wales (Holtham Commission)
Panel Two:
David Phillips, Associate Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Mike Trotman, Associate Director, Deloitte LLP and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Indirect Tax Technical Committee and Welsh Technical Sub-Committee
Tom Walsh, Partner, Deloitte LLP
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Y Pwyllgor yn ystyried effaith posib datganoli Toll Teithwyr Awyr i Gymru

Source: British Parliament News

04 January 2019
Ddydd Mawrth, 8 Ionawr, bydd y Pwyllgor Materion Cymreig yn dechrau ei ymchwiliad i effaith posib datganoli Toll Teithwyr Awyr i Gymru. Bydd y sesiwn yn casglu tystiolaeth gan sawl cyfrannwr, gan gynnwys Cadeirydd y Comisiwn ar Ddatganoli yng Nghymru, Cadeirydd y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ariannu a Chyllid i Gymru, ac arbenigwyr ar drethi.

Pwrpas y sesiwn
Mae’r Toll Teithwyr Awyr (TTA) yn dreth a godir gan Lywodraeth y DU ar hediadau i gwsmeriaid o feysydd awyr y DU ac fe godir fesul teithiwr. Mae TTA yng Nghymru a Lloegr yn cael ei gosod a’i rheoli’n ganolog gan Lywodraeth y DU. Serch hynny, mae TTA wedi ei datganoli i ryw raddau yng Ngogledd Iwerddon a’r Alban. Bydd y Pwyllgor Materion Cymreig yn ystyried goblygiadau datganoli TTA i Gymru; y manteision posib o wneud hyn i Faes Awyr Caerdydd a phobl Cymru; ac unrhyw effaith negatif posib ar feysydd awyr sydd yn gwasanaethu Cymru.
Dadleuodd cyn-Brif Weinidog Cymru, Carwyn Jones, y dylai TTA gael ei datganoli i Lywodraeth Cymru, gan ddweud bod TTA yn parhau i osod cyfyngiadau anghyfiawnadwy ar allu Cymru i hyrwyddo’i hun mewn gwledydd tramor a’i bod yn rhwystro tyfiant ei diwydiant awyrennu a’r economi ehangach.
Yn ystod y panel cyntaf, bydd y Pwyllgor yn holi Syr Paul Silk a Gerald Holtham, ill dau yn gadeiryddion ar gomisiynau sydd wedi cyflwyno argymhellion yn ymwneud â datganoli TTA. Yn yr ail banel, bwriada’r Pwyllgor holi arbenigwyr ar drethi am agweddau ymarferol datganoli TTA i Gymru.
Tystion
Mawrth 8 Ionawr, Ystafell Wilson, Portcullis House
4.15yh
Panel In
Syr Paul Silk, Cadeirydd y Comisiwn ar Ddatganoli yng Nghymru (Comisiwn Silk)
Gerald Holtham, Cadeirydd y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ariannu a Chyllid i Gymru (Comisiwn Holtham)
Panel Dau 
David Phillips, Cyfarwyddwr Cyswllt, Sefydliad Astudiaethau Cyllid
Mike Trotman, Cyfarwyddwr Cyswllt, Deloitte LLP ac aelod y Pwyllgor Technegol ar Dreth Anuniongyrchol a’r Is-Bwyllgor Technegol ar Gymru yn y Sefydliad Trethiant Siartredig 
Tom Walsh, Partner, Deloitte LLP 
Gwybodaeth bellach
Delwedd: iStockphoto

MIL-OSI UK News

MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates case for UK Constitutional Convention

Source: British Parliament News

12 December 2018
Members of the Lords, including the governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a former First Minister of Scotland, will debate the current constitutional challenges within the United Kingdom and the case for the establishment of a UK-wide Constitutional Convention to address issues of democratic accountability and devolution, particularly in England, in the House of Lords on Thursday 13 December.

This is a general debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Party), co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Reform, Decentralisation and Devolution
Members expected to take part include:
Lord Higgins (Conservative), governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, is expected to make his valedictory speech.
Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Cabinet Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: State of mental health care funding in Northern Ireland examined

Source: British Parliament News

12 December 2018
The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hears from mental health charities and the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Northern Ireland on the challenges facing mental health services in Northern Ireland.

Witnesses
Wednesday 12 December in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House
At 9.30am
David Babington, Chief Executive, Action Mental Health
Dr Gerry Lynch, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Northern Ireland and Vice President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Professor Peter McBride, Chief Executive, Inspire
Professor Nichola Rooney, Chair of the British Psychological Society
Purpose of the session
Northern Ireland faces a higher prevalence of mental illness than elsewhere in the UK, and, in the aftermath of the Troubles, Northern Ireland has the highest suicide rate in the UK. More people have died from suicide since the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998 than in the 30 years of the Troubles. The Committee considers how these concerning realities should be reflected in health funding decisions in the 2018/19 budget.
There is significant concern that despite Northern Ireland’s high mental illness rates, the proportion of the health budget that is given to mental health remains the lowest in the UK. The Committee will hear about the implications of the mental health funding gap, and how funding could be prioritised to provide more effective care for mental health patients in Northern Ireland. 
Further information
Image: Medicine-standard

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