Baroness King of Bow (Lab): My Lords, I thought I would start with a reflection on what a strange breed working mothers are. All you really need to know about us is that we never sleep and continually stress over childcare. Between 1 am last night, when I gave the baby his last feed and started jotting down a few notes for this speech, and 5 am this morning, when my husband got up to feed him, I was woken six times. I have four children so I have no one else to blame but myself. It is my bed and I made it; I just wish I could lie in it, but that is a problem entirely of my own making.
What is not a problem of my own making is that when I drag myself out of said bed and complete several school runs, as I did this morning, and when I finally arrive at my two year-old’s nursery, I find that I must pay £1,100 per month if I want her to go full-time, five days a week. Despite the fact that I am, by definition, extraordinarily privileged because—look—I am standing in this gilded Chamber as a Member of Britain’s most prestigious LinkedIn group, the fact remains that I cannot afford £1,100 a month. So my daughter does not go full time; she goes half time—two and a half days a week. For that I pay £660 a month.
The Battle to Engage: Renewing democracy for the next generation
It’s time to re-write the compact between people and politicians, citizen and state. This means genuinely embedding democracy in our current governance structures, and inventing new ones that give more power to the people, and in particular young people. By redistributing influence we tackle entrenched inequality, and help build stronger communities. Our task is complicated by a globalised world, with a churning population, that makes it harder to build cohesive communities – and easier to stir up hate.
Managing diversity and building social cohesion are key challenges of our time. As people feel greater insecurity, witness widespread change, and feel less control over their lives, they become either despairing or angry, and withdraw from the democratic process. These days, democracy-rage drives people insane: the rage against those in charge, the inability to pin them against the wall, and the conviction that politicians just don’t care.
Asked by Baroness King of Bow
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many households, broken down by local authority, are currently in receipt of benefits totalling more than £500 per week, but are exempt from the Household Benefit Cap on the basis of their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance.[HL1371]
Lord Freud: A Local Authority breakdown of the number of households currently in receipt of benefits totalling more than £500 per week, but are exempt from the Household Benefit cap on the basis of their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), will be placed in the library.
Please note DLA claimants are exempt from the benefit cap. From the data available in May 2013, we estimate an additional 47,000 households would potentially be brought into scope of the benefit cap if this exemption did not apply and by virtue of other benefits being claimed. This estimate references those whose only reason for exemption from the cap is that either the HB claimant, their partner or a dependent child in their household receives DLA. Please note that it includes those in the scope of both the £500 and £350 benefit cap limits.