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Summary

  1. The day began for MPs at 09.30 GMT with questions to the Business, Innovation and Skills ministerial team.
  2. The question session was followed by the weekly business statement, when the leader of the House set out future business in the Commons.
  3. MPs took part in two backbench business debates: on money creation and society; followed by a debate on devolution and the union.
  4. The adjournment debate was on health services in Halifax, led by MP Linda Riordan.
  5. Prime Minister David Cameron was questioned by the Liaison Committee on plans for devolution in wake of the Scottish independence referendum.
  6. The Lords began at 11.00 GMT with a half-hour question session with government ministers.
  7. Debates of the day began with a discussion of the Azure Card, a card given to refused asylum seekers who are destitute, to purchase essentials.
  8. That debate was followed by one on the impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on children’s and young people’s online and digital interactions.

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

  1. Good evening

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    George Freeman draws his comments to a close telling the few remaining MPs that NHS services need to adapt to properly serve a community and "preserving a service in aspic" is not the best way to maintain health services.

    Which brings the business in the House of Commons to an end.

    MPs return at 09.30 GMT tomorrow for a sitting Friday, where they will consider a selection of private members' bill, tabled by backbench MPs.

  2. NHS reform 'necessary'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Responding to the debate for the government, Health Minister George Freeman accuses Ms Riordan of "partisan politics" in raising this debate.

    He tells MPs that department closures can be problematic but that reform of NHS services are necessary.

    Decision on closures of health services are made by local health bodies who know the needs of the area best, he says.

  3. A&E fears

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Linda Riordan says proposals to close an accident and emergency department at Calderdale Royal Hospital, in her constituency, is the most important issue that has faced Halifax since the financial crisis.

    She says she hopes today's debate can shed some light on exactly what is happening as so far discussions have been carried out "in the most underhand way".

    Linda Riordan
  4. Final item

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now move onto today's final business, the adjournment debate. Today's debate is on health services in Halifax, led by Labour MP of Halifax, Linda Riordan.

  5. Decentralisation 'the way forward'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Leader of the House William Hague is now responding to the debate for the government. He says the time has come for a general recognition that decentralisation is the way forward, towards local government - something he says hasn't been pursued by the Scottish government in Scotland.

    Responding to some comments during the debate that devolution promised by the leaders of the main parties was being delayed he reassures the House that the Smith Commission is on schedule.

    Leader of the House William Hague
  6. Urge to vote against

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Angela Eagle urges MPs to vote against the motion because of its call for period of public consultation on the Barnett formula, which she says goes against the promises given to the Scottish people before the referendum.

    While she expresses some sympathy with the issue Ms Eagle says "English votes for English laws" is another way for the Conservative government to try and divide people. The issue is much wider than any government proposals, she says.

    She accuses David Cameron of not acting like a prime minister and instead focussing on narrow party issues and "running scared of UKIP".

    Bringing her remarks to an end Ms Eagle says there is an exciting period of constitutional change ahead, which can bring people further into the democracy.

  7. Devolution delivered

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow Leader of the House, Angela Eagle, is now replying to the debate for the Labour party. Labour support delivering the devolution promised, within the allotted timetable, she says.

    Shadow Leader of the House, Angela Eagle
  8. Focus on practical issues

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Sheila Gilmore says that MPs should be debating how to use the powers devolved in the Scotland Act 2012, and how they can be used to make people's lives better.

    New tax raising powers contained in the act could be used to improve care provisions in Scotland. Focussing on practical issues like this, rather than constitutional wrangles, is what the Scottish people really want, she argues.

  9. English nationalism waking?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Paul Flynn says that the debate so far has been unambitious in suggesting there will be "only four assemblies" at the end of the devolution process. He says he can see the UK becoming a "federal system" within the next 20 years.

    He warns the one "certain way to break up the United Kingdom" is the "sleeping giant" of English nationalism that he says has reared its head during today's debate.

  10. Peers rise

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    After some final remarks from Baroness Kidron the debate comes to an end and the House of Lords finishes for the day.

    Peers will be back at 10.00 GMT on Friday to consider a selection of bills tabled by backbench members.

    Do stay with us though, as we continue to bring you coverage of the Commons backbench debate on devolution and the union.

  11. Taking the initiative

    Commenting on the debate, Lord Bourne, a Conservative peer and government whip, commends the House of Lords for taking the initiative, "perhaps counter-intuitively based on the age profile" of members and some peers' self-confessed lack of knowledge.

    He offers Baroness Kidron - who called the debate - to meet officials to discuss matters further, and extends an invitation to i-Rights campaigners - a new civil society initiative designed to make children's use of the internet safer - to attend a meeting of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) in the new year.

    The UKCCIS comprises more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.

    Lord Bourne
  12. Call for regional empowerment

    Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Hywel Williams says he has every confidence that the powers that will eventually be devolved to Scotland will "fall short" of those promised by the three main party leaders.

    The government resisted implementing all the findings of the Silk Commission into the current Wales Bill, to their own determent, he says.

    The only solution to the arguments around the West Lothian question, English votes for English laws and the Barnett formula is to "fully empower" the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Northern Irish Assembly, he says.

  13. Opportunities and dangers

    Summating for the government, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth acknowledges the opportunities the internet provides for children, but also the dangers and challenges it exposes them to.

    Children's safety online is everybody's responsibility, he tells the chamber.

  14. What's the lesson?

    Baroness King says the lesson of today's debate is the need to build "a rights-based approach" to children in the digital world.

  15. Closing speeches in Lords

    We're on to the closing speeches of the debate now, beginning with Baroness King of Bow, representing the opposition.

    Lady King remarks that too many politicians, herself included, are "digitally housebound agoraphobes".

    She provides a detailed definition and history of the word agoraphobia, which she informs peers comes from the Greek word 'agora', meaning market place; "similar to what a first century Roman might call a forum, an open space, or what a 21st Century teenager might call cyber space".

  16. Speak for England

    Labour MP Frank Field, who also put his name to the motion, says the debate is really on England. Mr Field says the country is inevitable moving towards a system with four parliaments - one for each country in the United Kingdom. This is the only way to deal with the West Lothian question, he argues.

    Labour risks becoming a "party of ghosts" unless it shows it is unafraid to speak for England now, he says.

    Frank Field
  17. Local devolution

    Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee Graham Allen says that devolution needs to be taken more seriously, and not just reduced to "English Votes for English Laws" and the Barnett formula, if the United Kingdom is to survive for "another hundred years".

    Mr Allen, says the government needs to come to terms with giving "genuine independence" to local government, to match the local government structures elsewhere in the western world.

    The government needs to "entrench" these powers and give local councils an assignment of funds from tax in order to let them carried out increased functions, he says.

    Graham Allen
    Image caption: Graham Allen tabled an unsuccessful amendment to the motion on creating devolution in England through constitutionally independent local government
  18. SNP opposing

    SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson says that his party will be opposing today's motion.

    The motion, he claims, puts conditions on what was promised "in the vow" on devolving Scotland by the leaders of the main parties. The promise, "should be delivered in full" it should not "be tied to English votes for English laws or the Barnett issue" he says.

    Angus Robertson
  19. Bullying reports

    The charity Childline reported that they had received around 4,500 reports of a child being bullied online in 2012-13.

    The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre says 50,000 individuals downloaded indecent images in 2012.

  20. Online risks for children

    The UK government and Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee have identified three key online risks relating to children's online activity: sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and social networking.

    The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev John Inge, tells peers he has learnt the "hard way", with his own children, about the "insidious" nature of cyberbullying through social network sites, "some of it very subtle".

    He argues in favour of clear guidelines about the use of the internet and social media being taught and "rigorously applied" in all schools.

  21. Post update

    @Linda_Riordan

    Linda Riordan MP for Halifax tweets: Just finalising my speech for @UKParliament adjournment debate on Health Services in Halifax; it will be around 5pm in the main chamber.

  22. 'Harm' by technology abuse

    Lady Shields tells peers that during her work as a digital adviser to the prime minister she has seen first hand the "terrible harm" that can be caused to children by people "who abuse technology for criminal means".

    Eradicating the crimes that threaten children online "remains a significant challenge", she adds, and stresses the need to be faster, more nimble and innovative than the perpetrators to win the battle.

    Baroness shields
    Image caption: Baroness Shields is chairwoman of Tech City UK, the government's investment group for technology start-ups, and a former Facebook executive
  23. Developing technology

    Baroness Shields, a Conservative peer, is making her maiden speech during the Lords debate on young people's online digital interactions.

    She says the subject means "a great deal" to her, explaining that her life's work has been dedicated to developing technology and innovation "for good".

  24. Lords debate on online dangers

    Lib Dem peer and former children's TV presenter Baroness Benjamin highlights the impact that online abuse, content and cyber bullying can have on children, causing some young people to take their own lives.

    "These tragic incidences are becoming more and more commonplace in today's society, bringing pain and suffering and sadness to families across the country," she tells the chamber.

    Lady Benjamin stresses the need to find a way to teach young people to navigate their way safely in the online world, as she warns how easy access to online porn is resulting in the "highly sexualised" behaviour of young children.

  25. Motion debated in the Commons

    A cross-party group of 77 MPs have put their name to the motion being debated.

    The motions text states:

    "That this House recognises the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence; welcomes the freely expressed will of the people of Scotland to remain British; notes the proposals announced by Westminster party leaders for further devolution to Scotland; calls on the Government and Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to bring forward proposals that are fair and reasonable for the whole of the United Kingdom, following a period of public consultation to enable people in all parts of the Union to express their views; and, in particular, calls on the Government to ensure that such proposals include a review of the Barnett formula and legislative proposals to address the West Lothian question."

  26. Barnett formula queried

    Dominic Raab argues that as greater taxing powers are devolved Scotland "cannot expect" to continue to be funded by the Barnett formula - used to calculate the level of block grant provided by the UK government to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Continuing to fund Scotland on "such an arbitrary basis" will lead to resentment building in other parts of the UK, he says.

  27. Maiden speeches

    As peers have mentioned we are due a maiden speech in today's debate, from Baroness Shields.

    The Conservative peer is the chairwoman of Tech City UK and digital adviser to the prime minister.

    Maiden speeches are the first time a new member speaks in the chamber after joining the House of Lords.

  28. Democratic 'opportunities'

    Dominic Raab begins the debate by saying the Scottish Independence debate has opened up many opportunities for a "democratic renaissance", but has also caused much division and "undone" some of the union.

    Dominic Raab
  29. Calls for government review

    Concluding her remarks, Baroness Kidron calls on the government to commit to a review of how to implement the relevant articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on web based and digital technologies.

    The convention, which was brought into force in the UK in 1992, sets out rights regarding children and their well-being, and forms the basis for much of the work of UNICEF.

    UNICEF has recently published a report on how the rise of the internet could impact on children's rights or safety.

    Baroness Kidron also asks the government to consider ways it can support parliamentarians in improving their own knowledge of the digital world, warning that "none of us can afford to be absent from the digital debate".

  30. Devolution debate begins

    MPs now turn their attention to a debate on devolution and the union, led by Conservative Dominic Raab and Labour's Frank Field.

    The motion calls on the government and opposition to bring forward fair and reasonable proposals for the whole UK and for a review of the Barnett formula and legislative proposals to address the West Lothian question.

    Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing says that despite several amendments, and amendments to amendment, being tabled, none have been selected for debate.

  31. Dangers of uncertainty

    Andrea Leadsom says that there are several issues that surround creating a Sovereign Money Committee - which could create a new unregulated industry in shadow banks - and that introducing a new, untested system would create uncertainty at a time when people most need stability.

    Instead, she argues changes made by the government to the way the financial sector is regulated is the answer to fixing problems in the financial sector.

  32. Economics lesson

    Andrea Leadsom
    Image caption: Andrea Leadsom delivers a government funded economics lesson in the House of Commons
  33. Delivering rights

    Baroness Kidron stresses that the debate is not to establish whether web and digital technologies are good or bad, but about how best to deliver children's rights, inform them of their responsibilities and build their resilience.

    Crossbench peer Baroness Kidron
  34. Interest rates

    Andrea Leadsom tells MPs that while banks create money, money creation is dictated by the Bank of England, which sets bank rates that impact market interest rates, and thus people's ability to apply for loans.

    Banks create money when making a loan, but only do so under the expectation that this money will be repaid in the future, meaning banks will only create money if they think "new value will, in due course, be created", she says.

  35. Government response

    Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom is now responding to the debate for the Government.

  36. Rejected proposals

    Labour's focus is on ensuring that the banking system is regulated so that it works in the interest of the country and the economy, Catherine MicKinnell tells MPs.

    In a parting shot, Ms Mckinnell says the government has rejected many Labour proposals- including putting a duty of care to customers on those working in the banking sector - would have helped achieve this aim.

    She ends her comments by noting that, in her view, this debate will continue for a long time.

  37. Final Lords debate begins

    We're on to the last item of business in the House of Lords - a three-hour debate on children and young people's online and digital interactions.

    The debate - which has been called by crossbench peer Baroness Kidron - will take note of a report on the subject by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Backbench speeches are time-limited to 11 minutes.

  38. Labour 'focussed' on economic reform

    Shadow Treasury Minister Catherine McKinnell is now responding to the debate for Labour. She says the Labour party is "acutely focussed" on how to rework the economy, so that it "works for the economy as a whole".

    Catherine McKinnell
  39. Do MPs understand?

    Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith argues that members of parliament, including himself, don't really understand how money is created.

    As such it cannot be assumed that the impulsive reaction of ignorant MPs, which he stresses includes himself, to increase regulation on banking will prevent repeat collapse of the financial sector, he argues.

    Mr Goldsmith, the son of Anglo-French billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, says he supports the creation of a "meaningful monetary commission of some sort" to be created to explore money creation and the impact of quantitative easing.

  40. New changes

    Baroness Williams of Trafford says the government is always looking at ways to improve the operation of the Azure card, and announces that changes will be introduced to allow card users to carry over extra credit from one week to the next.

  41. Calls for a review

    Baroness Smith says an evidence-based review of the way asylum support rates are calculated is needed to ensure that people are not left "destitute", but also that taxpayers are not "unfairly burdened".

    It would be appropriate to include in this the Azure card, she says, but adds that the UK needs to be more "efficient and supportive" in removing people when their options to stay in the country have been exhausted.

    Baroness Smith of Basildon
  42. 'Unstable' economy

    Labour MP Austin Mitchell says through moving finance away from the UK's "industrial base" the country has built an unstable economy that can't pay its way in the world, and created a very unequal society.

    He says that creating a public credit authority in charge of creating money would ensure the supply of money matches the needs of the economy, as opposed to what he calls the "excessive" supply of credit in recent years.

    Now is the time to "open our minds to the possibilities of managing credit more effectively for building the strength of the British economy" Mr Mitchell says.

  43. 'Temporary' measure

    Shadow Home Office spokesman Baroness Smith of Basildon notes that section four support for failed asylum seekers is meant to be a temporary measure, with the average time for receiving such support being about nine months.

    But she raises concern that "127" people have been on section four support for six years or more, a situation which she describes as "alarming and distressing".

  44. Special system?

    Conservative MP Peter Lilley says there is a social value to what banks do, but tells MPs that if other industries copied the practices of bankers, such as creating money "out of thin air", people would get arrested.

    He argues that banking system is so different from all other "capitalist" businesses that it justifies its own specialised regulatory body, a situation that may seem strange to many.

  45. Need for 'fine-tuning'

    Bow-tie wearing Lord Naseby, a Conservative peer, says the current scheme is "basically fine", but acknowledges that it does need some "fine tuning".

    Lord Naseby
  46. Calls for money committee

    Labour MP Michael Meacher tells MPs that the current financial system does not encourage entrepreneurs and prevents people from getting on the housing ladder.

    He supports calls for a Sovereign Money Committee to be created and given the sole responsibility for creating money in the UK. He urges the government to set up a "commission on money and credit" to look at creating such a committee.

    These steps offer the UK a "way out of the continuing and worsening financial crisis that has blighted this country", he argues.

  47. Azure card difficulties

    The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev John Inge, says one of the main problems with the Azure card is that it can only be used in certain outlets.

    He tells peers that in his own diocese, some asylum seekers have to travel "miles" just to buy milk because their local store does not accept the card.

    The bishop joins with Lib Dem peer Lord Roberts of Llandudno - who has tabled today's debate - in asking the government to review the system, either with a view to abolishing it or improving its efficiency and flexibility.

    The Bishop of Worcester
  48. Asylum seeker support

    'Section four' support is given to asylum seekers who cannot immediately return to their country of origin.

    They are provided with accommodation and £35 per week, paid on an Azure card.

    A recent report by the Red Cross said that the current system of supporting asylum seekers is leaving them hungry.

    It found that the Azure card prevented refused asylum seekers from meeting their basic living needs.

    The Red Cross report recommends a cash support system instead.

  49. Azure card

    In the House of Lords, peers are in the midst of a discussion on the Azure card.

    This is a card is given to refused asylum seekers who are destitute and cannot return home.

    It is only accepted by a few retailers and can be used for food, toiletries, clothing and mobile phone credit.

    The card cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, vehicle fuel and store or gift cards.

  50. Session ends

    David Cameron ends his evidence session exclaiming his surprise at how soon he will next meet with the Liaison Committee. The Prime Minister will appear in front of the committee again on the 16 December.

    David Cameron
    Image caption: David Cameron ends the evidence session with a smile.
  51. Science funding

    Science and Technology Committee chair Andrew Miller says devolution opens up some structural problems in the science community and asks how these will be dealt with.

    David Cameron replies he does not agree, and feels the current funding system works.

  52. 'Huge disparity'

    Louise Ellman says there is a huge disparity in transport spending in the UK, to the benefit of London. She asks how this will be addressed.

    David Cameron says the City Deals are all about "shifting the balance away from London" and "rebalancing the economy", adding that the figures on transport funding in London have been skewed by the Crossrail project.

  53. Transport devolution

    Transport Committee chair Louise Ellman asks if there is a central policy on the devolution of transport in England, which she says has been done in a piecemeal fashion so far.

    David Cameron insists that there is already a lot of devolution taking place.

  54. Virtual currencies

    Bringing his speech to a close, Steve Baker tells MPs that the emergence of virtual currency Bitcoin shows that "peer-to-peer, non-state money" is possible.

    He says he would like to see the removal of every obstacle to the creation of alternative currencies "within the ordinary commercial law".

    Bitcoin is not controlled by a central bank but is growing in popularity.

    In August, Chancellor George Osborne said the government would explore the role that digital currencies such as Bitcoin could play in the financial system and whether they need to be regulated.

    This includes plans to make it easier for businesses to get loans from sources other than banks.

  55. Missed opportunity?

    Graham Allen says that many felt that the Scottish Independence referendum may be used a springboard for further devolution. He asks if the Prime Minister if he thinks he's missed an opportunity to "bottle that enthusiasm" and push through changes.

    David Cameron says he disagrees. The government has made considerable progress on devolution, he adds.

  56. English veto?

    Andrew Tyrie asks if David Cameron supports the idea that "English votes for English laws" will be taken to mean a veto power for English MPs on matters relating only to England. Mr Cameron says he agrees.

  57. Stage four

    Charles Walker asks whether David Cameron would support a Fourth Reading stage for bills on English matters, at which only English MPs would be able to vote.

    Mr Cameron says there are several proposals like this that have "a lot of merit", that could potentially be combined.

  58. What is 'quantitative easing'?

    Quantitative easing (QE) is being mentioned a lot in this debate. So, what is it?

    QE is when a central bank introduces money into the economy directly, to try to revive consumer spending and economic growth.

    The way it does this is by buying assets - usually government bonds - using money it has simply created out of thin air.

    Prior to 2009, QE had never been tried before in the UK.

    You can read more about quantitative easing here.

  59. Devolution 'timetable'

    Procedure Committee chair, Charles Walker, asks how discussions are going on devolution. He says he hopes they are not being rushed as the parliament comes to an end.

    David Cameron says there is no need to rush, but that there is a timetable. He adds, however, that the legislation was always going to be for the next government to put in place.

  60. 'Corrupting' methods

    Steve Baker MP
    Image caption: Steve Baker tells MPs the methods of money production in society today are "profoundly corrupting"
  61. Health spending

    Chair of the Health Committee, Sarah Wollaston, asks how it can be right that Scotland gets £203 per head more to spend on health than England through the Barnett formula.

    David Cameron says he does not accept that the differences are as big as that, and point out that if the Barnett formula did not operate, there would have to be another formula.

    Mr Cameron argues the Barnett formula is not a "pot of gold", and that if the extra money Scotland receives were distributed amongst 55 million English people, it would not go very far.

  62. Impact on Universal Credit?

    Dame Anne says devolving housing benefit would mean the roll-out of the Universal Credit system in Scotland would be different to the rest of the UK, and asks whether the Prime Minister would be happy with this.

    This is where we need to let the Smith Commission do its work, David Cameron replies.

  63. Welfare devolution

    Work and Pensions Committee Chair, Dame Anne Begg, says many aspects of welfare would lend themselves to devolution, and asks which ones the Prime Minister would like to see devolved.

    David Cameron says that it is difficult to answer this question while the Smith Commission is still working. He says, however, that he wouldn't want to see devolution of the state pension system.

  64. Money creation debate

    After a brief point of order from Labour MP Paul Flynn, business moves to the first of this afternoon's backbench business debates, on money creation and society.

    It is being opened by the Conservative MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, who explains that the essence of the discussion is "who should be allowed to create money, how and at whose risk".

  65. English parliament 'wrong answer'

    Political and Constitutional Reform Committee chair, Graham Allen, asks what will happen if the Smith Commission, which is producing plans for further devolution, proposes reallocating existing tax funding to local councils, as has happened in Scotland.

    David Cameron says he does not think this is the right answer. On the issue of English Votes for English laws, he says the "wrong answer" would be to set up a new body, such as an English parliament.

    The answer, he adds, should involve looking at changing how MPs vote.

  66. Quiet house

    House of Commons
    Image caption: The House of Commons chamber is looking pretty sparse for this morning's business statement
  67. What about local councils?

    Communities Committee chair, Clive Betts, asks a series of questions about devolving tax powers to local councils.

    David Cameron says there are no plans to devolve powers in this way, as he feels there are "enough taxes in this country" already.

    He says his government has ensured there is a better connection between local decision-making and tax, adding that the new homes bonus ensures that councils are rewarded for building more homes.

    He tells Mr Betts, a Labour MP, that if he wants to give cities the power to "whack up" council tax, he should put it in his own party's manifesto.

  68. Corporation tax powers

    Laurence Robertson, Northern Ireland committee chair, asks what is being done about giving Northern Ireland control over corporation tax. The prime minister replies that plans will be set out in the autumn statement.

    Mr Cameron says Northern Irish politicians from all parties make two arguments about Northern Ireland being different, and thus requiring powers to cut corporation tax: that Northern Ireland has a land border with the Republic, and that the Troubles have left the public sector too large in Northern Ireland compared to the private sector.

    But devolving a tax power is a serious matter, he adds.

  69. Calls for urgent debate

    Lib Dem Greg Mulholland, the Leeds North West MP, welcomes government indications that it will not seek to overturn Tuesday's defeat in a Commons vote on the control that parent companies can exercise over pubs.

    But he also calls for an urgent debate on development rights which allow pubs to be turned into supermarkets without local people being consulted.

    MPs voted 284 to 259 in favour of Mr Mulholland's amendment to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill to allow landlords an independent rent review and to buy their beer on the open market.

  70. Borrowing limits

    Andrew Tyrie says that if more fiscal devolution is granted, there is a greater likelihood of volatility in tax and spending. He argues that there may be a need for expanding the scope of Scottish borrowing.

    David Cameron says he agrees, and that the limits on borrowing are already being expanded.

    Andrew Tyrie asks whether this means the Bank of England will end up being the lender of last resort.

    Mr Cameron says that this is what will have to happen.

  71. Grand commission

    Treasury Committee Chair, Andrew Tyrie, says there is a consensus that the Barnett formula is "over-generous" and suggests a "grand commission" to look into how best to allocate resources to the nations.

    David Cameron says that this is being looked at already and he's happy for it to continue, although he adds that a grand commission is not on his "horizon".

  72. Impact on spending?

    Margaret Hodge says an increase in income tax will not add to the UK's deficit but will add to public expenditure if they use the funds on the NHS, potentially meaning the UK would have to reduce its public expenditure to reach targets.

    David Cameron says this is easier to solve, and that the overall spending total would increase. "No government would cut English spending" if Scotland increased spending, he says.

    However, he adds that there would be a problem if overall borrowing went up.

  73. Devolution debate

    In response to a question from the SNP's Pete Wishart, William Hague insists that the so-called vow made by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg for greater Scottish devolution is not in doubt - and that the SNP should "stop pretending it is".

    MPs are to debate devolution and the union later this afternoon, on a motion tabled by Conservative MP Dominic Raab and Labour's Frank Field.

    The motion calls on the government and opposition to bring forward "fair and reasonable proposals" for the whole of the UK, and for a review of the controversial Barnett Formula, which sets funding for the nations.

    The SNP has tabled an amendment to the motion calling for the timetable for Scottish devolution to not be made dependent upon Conservative proposals for English votes for English laws.

  74. Barnett formula

    Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, Margaret Hodge, says that her committee has seen evidence that if Scotland is given control of income tax and the government keeps the Barnett formula, the Scots could be gaining an unfair advantage, creating an unsustainable settlement.

    David Cameron says that this seems correct, but if you didn't have Barnett you'd need another formula to work out needs and Barnett "for all its faults, sort of works".

    Barnett is not a perfect answer, he says, but as tax-raising powers are devolved, the importance of the formula will be reduced because the share of total spending in Scotland coming from the block grant will get smaller.

  75. EU debates

    The front bench exchanges are over and the floor is open to backbench MPs to raise topical questions or request parliamentary time on matters they feel merit attention.

    Sir William Cash, a Conservative eurosceptic MP, is the first to his feet - and expresses concern about the government's "lack of progress" in scheduling debates on EU matters.

    He calls for "urgent steps" to schedule all the debates recommended by his European Scrutiny Committee, which he chairs, particularly on free movement, the courts and the European Police College.

    William Hague responds by saying he cannot guarantee to find time between now and the end of the parliament for all the debates - but he promises to take a look at what can be done.

  76. Referendum possibility

    David Cameron says he thinks there should be a referendum on the Welsh Assembly getting tax-raising powers, but that is for the Assembly to request.

    He admits that he has some concerns over devolving policing.

  77. Welsh devolution

    David T C Davies, Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, asks whether devolution of welfare or policing powers to Wales is now inevitable.

    David Cameron says that if he becomes prime minister, he hopes there will be further moves on Welsh devolution as he wants to find a good settlement that will allow all parts of the United Kingdom to feel "content".

    But devolution would depend on the Welsh Assembly, he added.

  78. Return of the 'milk snatcher'?

    Angela Eagle also makes reference to claims this week by Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander that Conservative Chancellor George Osborne keeps his milk in a locked fridge at the Treasury.

    "What would Mrs Thatcher say if she knew it was the Liberal Democrats that are now the milk snatchers?" she asks.

    Commons Leader William Hague responds dryly, that the former Conservative prime minister "would've believed anything about the Liberal Democrats" - before adding that he is "very fond" of his Lib Dem colleagues.

    William Hague
  79. Room for disagreement?

    Ian Davidson, the chair of the Scottish affairs committee, asks what will happen if the government doesn't agree with the findings of the Smith Commission.

    David Cameron says he hopes that doesn't happen, and he thinks there will be a consensus on the findings.

    Mr Davidson asks who is ultimately responsibility for this in the government.

    Mr Cameron says he is in overall charge, but William Hague has been chairing a committee on the issue.

  80. Eagle's response

    Angela Eagle, the shadow Commons leader, responds to the statement in a characteristically humorous style.

    She takes a pop at chief whip, Michael Gove, noting that he presided over the "first ever Commons defeat of this government on their own legislation".

    The government was defeated over its Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill on Tuesday when MPs voted to allow landlords an independent rent review and to buy their beer on the open market.

  81. Prime Minister faces committee

    David Cameron
    Image caption: A jacketless David Cameron is giving evidence to the Liaison Committee.
  82. Question session finishes

    The question session is over - and William Hague, the leader of the House, takes to the floor to set out the timetable for future Commons business.

  83. Workplace quotas

    Tory MP Philip Hollobone uses a question on workplace quotas to take a pop at the business secretary, Vince Cable.

    He accuses him of contradictory remarks about whether there should be boardroom quotas for ethnic minorities.

    "I know the secretary of state is a Liberal Democrat and therefore used to holding two different opinions at the same time, but can I try to pin him down to one.

    "Does he believe in quotas in boardrooms, or does he believe in merit?" the MP asks.

    Vince Cable replies that he does not believe in the use of quotas, and has never claimed to.

    But he does acknowledge there is a problem, telling MPs that half of the boardrooms in UK have no non-white representation.

  84. Devolution terms

    David Cameron is now in front of the Liaison Committee.

    He opens the session by saying that the terms of the devolution of taxing and spending powers to Scotland, agreed ahead of the Scottish Independence referendum, will not be dependent on a wider debate about English votes on English matters. Mr Cameron says that if he wins the next election, both issues will be dealt with.

  85. Toilet breaks

    Responding to a question from Labour MP Madeleine Moon, Jo Swinson says that the government is encouraging businesses not to deduct money from staff salaries for toilet breaks. Workers have rights for rest breaks, and employers that do not pay during toilet breaks may find themselves in breach of care quality acts or individual contracts, she says.

  86. Coming up

    From 10.30 GMT Prime Minister David Cameron will give evidence to a committee of senior MPs about the government's plans for 2014-15.

    Specifically, he will be pressed on his proposals for wider devolution within the UK in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum vote.

    The Liaison Committee, as it is known, is made up of the chairmen and chairwomen of the Commons select committees and the head of the joint committee on human rights. It questions the prime minister three times a year.

  87. Higher education claims

    Business, Innovation and Skills Committee chair, Adrian Bailey, says two reports - one from his committee and one from the Higher Education Commission - have found that the current higher education model is unsustainable, and asks what the government plans to do about higher education.

    Business minster Greg Clarke rejects Mr Bailey's claims, stating that the higher education system is in "rude health" and one of the few sustainable systems in the world.

    Former universities minister David Willets backs Mr Clarke's claims, saying the UK now has "more people applying for universities, more funding for universities and more applications from low-income families".

  88. Minimum wage

    Highlighting the case of a factory in her constituency that is hiring foreign nationals to undercut local job seekers asking for the minimum wage, Labour MP Diana Johnson asks what the government is doing to promote the minimum wage. Low-paid work was "removing people from unemployment figures, but not poverty", she says.

    Business Minister Jo Swinson says that the government is "naming and shaming" companies that fail to pay the minimum wage and has invested extra money into enforcing the minimum wage's payment.

  89. Front bench response

    Vince Cable
    Image caption: Business Secretary Vince Cable is fielding questions from MPs.
  90. Timber industry

    Conservative MP John Stevenson opens the day's business in the Commons asking Vince Cable to look at including the timber industry into the the proposed relief scheme for the indirect cost of renewable, which it is currently excluded from despite being accepted as an "energy intensive industry" under the climate change agreement.

    The business secretary agrees to look at the proposals. The government is looking at expanding the relief scheme to more energy intensive industries.

  91. Day begins

    The day in the House of Commons begins at 09.30 GMT with questions to Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary Vince Cable and his ministerial team.

  92. Adjournment

    Today's adjournment debate, held at the end of the day in the House of Commons, is on health services in Halifax led by Labour MP for Halifax, Linda Riordan.

  93. Leader's statement

    The leader of the House William Hague will deliver his weekly statement setting out the future agenda for the House of Commons at about 11.15 GMT. This session is also an opportunity for MPs to request parliamentary time on matters they feel merit attention.

  94. Good morning

    Welcome to our live coverage of the Houses of Parliament. The day in the Commons is about to begin.

    The main business in the Commons today is two debates chosen by the Backbench Business Committee.

    The first focuses on money creation and society, focusing on the issues around quantitative easing - the massive expansion in the money supply since the 2008 economic crisis. The debate is led by the Conservative Steve Baker, Labour's Michael Meacher, the Green MP Caroline Lucas and UKIP's Douglas Carswell.

    That's followed by a debate on devolution and the union led by the Conservative Dominic Raab and Labour's Frank Field. The motion calls on the government and opposition to bring forward fair and reasonable proposals for the whole UK and for a review of the Barnett formula - used to calculate the level of block grant provided by the UK government to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - and legislative proposals to address the West Lothian question.

    There are several amendments, and amendments to amendments - stay with me here - tabled by Scottish Nationalist MPs and interested parties, so expect a contentious debate.

    The debates are designed to give an opportunity to backbench members to bring forward debates of their choice.