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Summary

  1. After questions to the Welsh ministerial team, it was PMQs at noon.
  2. There was a debate on tax avoidance and evasion; and one of the schools White Paper.
  3. Peers started their day at 3pm; and after questions examined the Housing and Planning Bill at report stage.

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Patrick Cowling and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

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House adjourns

House of Lords

Parliament

The debate comes to an end and the House of Lords adjourns for the evening.

Join us again tomorrow from 11am, when peers will be asking questions of government ministers, debating the use of House facilities by retired members, and debating the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill at second reading.

Until then, good night! 

Technology advances 'nothing new'

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
BBC

Business, Innovation and Skills minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe is responding to the debate for the government, and she says "great advances in technology are nothing new".

"These advances have brought about huge changes to our society and to the world - and the net balance has been overwhelmingly positive." 

The minister muses on the changing pace of the world to laughter in the chamber when she says "many of us may think that everything in life around us seems to be speeding up, although this may only be an illusion - maybe just one of the depressing effects of age." 

Baroness Neville-Rolfe says that the government is committed to leveraging the UK's research and development community by "commercialising new and emerging technologies to bridge the gap and turning new ideas into innovative products and services".

Adapting skill sets 'absolutely fundamental'

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Opposition spokesperson Lord Mendelsohn replies to the debate for the Labour Party.

He says that the debate raises the question of whether the future presents the issues of the past where old jobs were made obsolete but new jobs were created, or whether "there something about today that is markedly different".

He says that whatever the future may hold "We have to invest - in training, education and skills, and in technology and science."

"The continued adaption of skill sets is absolutely fundamental for successful participation in the labour market - more so than ever before." 

Lord Mendelsohn
BBC

Helping those 'left behind'

Machines and job creation deabte

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington begins by saying that "even if the whole of society benefits - we always leave pockets behind".

"The way that we deal with those pockets might be a better test of the society and how it works than looking at the overall picture", he says.

"You end up wasting a great deal of money when you leave people behind."

He finishes by saying that "unless we address this issue the rosy words we dress this subject with do not amount to much". 

How do we deal with change?

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Bishop of Derby
BBC

The Bishop of Derby says that the subtext of the debate seems to be "how we deal with change".

Speaking about the rise in zero hours contracts and predicting that technology will drive a call for further flexibility of working hours, the Bishop asks "what is going to be a responsible compact in future between employers and workers?".

"We will need a much more radical understanding of the changing relationship between business and workers", he adds. 

What does the report say?

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Deloitte's report concluded that technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed in the last 144 years.

The report found that technology has "been saving us from dull, repetitive and dangerous work".

Agriculture was the first major sector to experience the change, the Deloitte report found - in 1871 it employed 6.6% of the workforce of England and Wales - today that stands at 0.2%, a 95% decline.

Technological innovation has resulted in fewer humans being deployed as sources of muscle power, the report states, and says that more people are now engaged in jobs involving the nursing and care of others.

1.1% of the workforce was employed in the caring sector in 1871, by 2011 it was almost a quarter in England and Wales.

Technology has boosted employment in knowledge-intensive sectors like medicine and accounting, the report found.

The report also found that technology has lowered the cost of essentials and raised disposable incomes.

The need for education

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Lord Fox also raises the issue of how education will be key in addressing the problems that technological improvements will pose in the future.

Lord Fox tells the House of the problems in engineering of retaining interest and in providing jobs for young people - highlighting how retention is extremely poor amongst both girls and boys.

The Liberal Democrat peer also says how government and schools need to make science, technology, engineering and maths more accessible to children, as the age at which children lose interest comes quite early. 

'We need to get this right'

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Lord Haskel tells the House that as a young man he trained as a bus conductor on the number 8 bus from Salford to Little Hulton. 

Lord Haskel says that the job of a bus conductor went fairly quickly and says the drivers' job is going to be automated too. 

He points out, as have other peers, that education will be key in this development.

"Yes technology is creating more jobs - but the jobs are very different" he says, "and we need to get this right". 

Lord Haskel
BBC

Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

That's it from the Commons for today.

MPs meet again from 9.30am tomorrow to put questions to the attorney general and women and equalities ministers.

MPs take part in debates on the still-awaited Iraq Inquiry report and on diversity in the BBC.

Machines end 'uncomfortable and dangerous jobs'

Machines and job creation debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Borwick
BBC

The Conservative peer Lord Borwick is leading this debate on the Deloitte report about ways in which machines create jobs.

Lord Borwick begins his oration with a look back at centuries of concern amongst workers that machines would steal their jobs - from the Elizabethan era, through the Luddites of the industrial revolution, and more recently with the trade unions' concern about automation in factories in the 1970s.

He says that history has shown that automation has ended a series of "uncomfortable and dangerous jobs".

Lord Borwick finishes his opening remarks by saying: "It is great education that can solve the problems raised by technology".

Legislative scrutiny over for the day

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have voted to reject amendment 71C by 80 votes to 185, a majority of 105.

That brings to an end the report stage consideration of the Housing and Planning Bill for today after a very efficient day of parliamentary scrutiny, that has finished several hours ahead of time.

Peers now move on to the short debate on Deloitte’s report Technology and people: The great job-creating machine published in August 2015.

And finally... a spot of golf

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Karl McCartney
BBC

Finally in the Commons tonight, Conservative MP Karl McCartney leads a short adjournment debate on the value of golf to the economy.

The MP for Lincoln says that of course the sport has health benefits as well as economic ones.

Clear the bar!

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Government minister Baroness Williams of Trafford says that the government publishes many aspects of housing data that provides "a comprehensive and up to date picture of changes in housing stock".

With this attempt to reassure them of the "extensive data" that is available, she asks the opposition to withdraw their amendment.

Lord Kennedy of Southwark joins other peers in praising the "courteous and helpful" way that the government ministers, Baroness Williams of Trafford and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, have listened to issues raised in the chamber.

The ministers laugh as this praise is tempered by Labour's Lord Kennedy saying "having said that..." and indicating his wish to divide the House on amendment 71C.

Baroness Williams of Trafford and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
BBC

Amended motion passed

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The amended motion passes by 297 to 201, giving the government a majority of 96.

Labour now against motion

Calls for a review of housing stock

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Hollis of Heigham
BBC

Lord Kennedy's amendment 71C proposes a review to be held three years after the bill comes into force on the composition of local authority and housing association stock, and a report to be published on the findings.

Baroness Hollis of Heigham says that the minister "owes us this amendment" because of what she calls a "lack of preparation" before bringing the bill to Parliament.

The Labour peer says that the report is needed because the "skeletal scrutiny of a very skeletal bill" may have missed out "major issues" that may affect people in future.  

Lord Harris of Haringey also supports his party's amendment, saying that a review is required because "this bill is littered with unintended consequences, or perhaps they are intended consequences - we don't know".

Government amendment passes

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs back the government's amendment by 302 votes to 204 - a majority of 98.

This has the effect of changing Labour's motion competely, into one supportive of the government.

Another division takes place on the amended motion.

Last amendment of the evening

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have voted to reject amendment 71A by 115 votes to 206, a majority of 91.

The House now moves on to consideration of the last amendment on the list this evening - amendment 71C, which is being moved by Labour spokesman Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

Division on government amendment

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The Commons divides on the government's amendment to Labour's motion.

The amendment "'welcomes the transformation in England’s schools since 2010 where 1.4 million more children are now taught in good or outstanding schools".

It says that "the academies programme has been at the heart of that transformation because it trusts school leaders to run schools and empowers them with the freedom to innovate and drive up standards".

Minister: Government is 'raising standards'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Schools Minister Nick Gibb
BBC

Schools Minister Nick Gibb sums up on the debate for the government.

He says the government is "raising standards" in schools and claims that many local authorities are seeing the benefit of "giving educational professionals control of their schools".

Local authorities will continue to be "the champions of parents and pupils, in place planning, in administering admissions and ensuring that special educational needs are properly supported in their education".

He says Labour is offering "nothing" on education.

Division in the Lords

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

After only a very brief exchange between the two frontbenches, shadow minister Lord Beecham has decided to test the opinion of the House on his amendment 71A.

This amendment would impose an obligation on the government to define by secondary legislation - subject to the approval ofPparliament - of the circumstances that would make a property be deemed "vacant" for the purposes of the high value property sales policy in the bill.

'Why remove the historic partnership?'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow education minister Nic Dakin makes the closing speech on Labour's motion calling for the government to drop its plan to require schools in England to become academies.

"Why remove the historic partnership between communities and local schools?" he asks.

He also claims that proposals in the schools white paper pose risks to "small rural schools, nurseries and special schools".

Amendment compromises manifesto pledge

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Williams of Trafford argues that Labour's amendment would "compromise the ability of the government to meet its manifesto commitment".

The Conservative Manifesto stated that money from the sell-off of high value council homes would be "used to fund the Right to Buy discounts as well as support the delivery of additional homes".

This can only be done through central government control, she argues.

Labour call for Local Authorities to keep sell-off revenue

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Shadow housing minister Lord Beecham tables an amendment to allow all revenue made from the sell-off of high value council houses to be retained by local authorities - rather than paid back to central government.

Lord Beecham
BBC

Use existing powers to 'strike a balance'

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Housing Minsiter Baroness Williams of Trafford promises that before the conclusion of the bill's passage through parliament she will "consider how we might use existing powers to enable exclusions" that strike a "reasonable balance".

This, she says, will go a long to "meeting [Lord Cameron of Dillington's] concerns".

'Structures beget better standards'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Suella Fernandes
BBC

Another Conservative, Suella Fernandes, backs the government's schools policy.

"You improve standards by changing structures," she argues.

"Structures beget better standards. Tony Blair said that himself."

Rural exemption from high value sell off

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbench peer Lord Cameron of Dillington moves an amendment to exempt rural areas from having to sell off their high value council homes.

He is worried that "rural council houses will be at the top of the list, the first to go" when sold off but will be replaced by affordable homes in more urban areas in the local authorities.

"We are desperately short of affordable housing in rural areas," he tells peers, and is "often difficult" to find areas to build new homes on in rural areas as "appropriate land" is scarce.

Lord Cameron notes that the government have indicated they will allow exemptions in "special areas" such as National Parks, where planning permission is often impossible to obtain, but adds he hopes this will be extended to all rural areas.

Crossbench peer Lord Cameron of Dillington
BBc

Tory MP's 'reservations'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

"Many of us have great reservations about this enforcement," says Conservative MP James Cartlidge.

"We believe in choice," he says, and defends turning failing schools into academies.

However, he adds: "We find it hard to defend the idea that we should take schools that are good or outstanding and force them to become academies."

'Naive expectation'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

John Pugh
BBC

"Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome," says Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh.

"At the start of every Parliament someone suggests that political capital shouldn't be exhausted so we try to restructure a major public service with the hopeful, if naive, expectation that delivery will be somehow improved."

Government 'keen' to amend bill

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Housing Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford announces that the government is keen to include a similar provision to help "ensure at least one new affordable home replaces high value homes being sold off".

While she is "very happy to work to make that intention clear on the face of the bill" she asks that the amendment be withdrawn while the government "consider further how we can best reflect this".

Housing Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford
BBC

The cost of high value housing

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Liberal Democrat Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville moves an amendment to allow councils to deduct costs incurred when selling off high value housing stock - to be replaced by affordable homes - from fines, paid to the government for owning high value housing stock. 

"Local authorities do not have spare capacity at their disposal," she argues.

Liberal Democrat Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville
BBC

Labour academy programme 'not forced'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Dawn Butler says that Labour in power turned "failing schools" into academies to drive up standards.

"It was a process, it wasn't something that was forced," she tells MPs.

She says an attempt to turn a school in Brent, north London, into an academy upset many parents, who were denied a vote on the plans.

"Strikes followed, marches by the parents, distressed kids, because the school was forced to turn into an academy.

"I fear this is what will follow if other schools are forced to turn into an academy."

Dawn Butler
BBC

'U-turn isn't on the cards'

BBC political correspondent tweets

Amendment 'removes a manifesto pledge'

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding to the debate, Housing Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford argues that the Lord Foster's amendment would "remove a clause that is vital to deliver a manifesto pledge".

If the amendment is accepted it is likely the House of Commons "will overturn the decision", she warns.

'Essentials to drive up standards'

Schools White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Lucy Allan says the experience in her constituency of Telford shows "the academy structure makes it easier to put in place the essentials to drive up standards and it allows underperformance to be tackled".

However, she wishes to "sound a note of caution on primary schools" adding that parents in her constituency have said they don't want to see any "unnecessary" changes.

A u-turn ahead on academy plans?

Isabel Hardman writes

The Spectator

"Tory MPs are increasingly convinced that the government may back down on some of its plans for forced academisation of all schools, I understand."

Read more of the story here.

'A different 90s LP'

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Lord True also takes a shot at Lord Deben during his remarks, saying his colleague "occasionally joins us to launch an attack on local authorities".

"Perhaps he could bring a different 1990s LP next time as we have heard that little speech before."

Who's to blame?

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Lord Deben disputes the need for Lord Foster's amendment by saying "I am really quite suspicious about the Foster Doctrine", as he says that local councils have been well aware of the housing shortages in their areas for many years but have not built enough homes.

"Local authorities need a kick up the backside," he says.

His Conservative colleague Lord Porter of Spalding rises immediately to say that he "cannot let that remark go unchallenged".

"The problems with shortages of housing in this country is not the fault of any local authority - it is the fault of successive governments of all colours."

Lord Deben seeks to placate his noble friend by saying that he intended to go on to say that successive governments are to blame - before specifically laying blame at the feet of the last Labour government.

Lord Porter of Spalding
BBC
Lord Deben
BBC

'Unfair' effect on councils

Housing and Planning Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers are now debating amendments relating to vacant high value local authority housing.

Baroness Williams of Trafford says that a number of the government amendments in this group have been tabled to address issues raised during debate on the bill at earlier legislative stages. 

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Foster of Bath is moving his amendment which seeks to remove clause 67 - which relates to payments by Housing Associations to the government.

Lord Foster says that there are 165 councils that will be unfairly affected by this measure in the bill.

Lord Foster of Bath
BBC

Concerns over changes

School White Paper debate

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Marion Fellows says that while her party is abstaining on the vote - education is a devolved matter in Scotland - she is concerned by the change.

Ms Fellows, who also sits on the Education Committee, says the "cost of academisation will take away form educating school children".

She adds she finds it "strange that forced removal of local authorities is being done against the wishes of parents, local authorities, school governors and trade unions".

SNP MP Marion Fellows
BBC