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Public Service Delivery

Volume 541: debated on Wednesday 29 February 2012

7. What recent discussions she has had with (a) ministerial colleagues and (b) others on the delivery of public services in Wales. (96376)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and Welsh Government Ministers to discuss a wide range of matters, including public services in Wales.

Given the reports of patients in Wales crossing the border for better health care in England, does my hon. Friend agree that the NHS in Wales is in need of reform and deserves proper funding as in England?

Yes indeed. The Government are seeking in England to create an NHS that is fit for the 21st century and that gives greater discretion to professionals and choice to patients. By contrast, Wales increasingly has a one-size-fits-all health service that is falling behind the rest of the country.

One of the key public services in Wales is housing, but a constituent who came to my surgery last week is in work and works a full week but unfortunately is homeless. Were he to resign from his job, the local authority would be required to find him a home, and it would be paid for by the taxpayer. He does not want to do that. What will the Government do to end the manifest unfairness whereby somebody who is in work and paying Child Support Agency fees can still be homeless?

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman, as the constituency MP, is making appropriate representations to the Welsh Assembly Government, who are responsible for housing in Wales.

Another area of public service delivery is the additional £350 million for child care tax credits that the coalition Government are delivering. What difference does the Minister think that will make to working mothers and mothers trying to get into work?

This is currently a matter for discussion between the Welsh Assembly Government and the relevant Whitehall Department, and those discussions continue.