Penrose Inquiry

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons am 11:19 am ar 26 Mawrth 2015.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 11:19, 26 Mawrth 2015

The hon. Lady is absolutely right to say that this is an ongoing tragedy, and that, as I said in my statement, many people’s lives have been devastated and continue to be severely affected. I pay tribute to her and to other members of the all-party group, including my right hon. Friend Alistair Burt, who cannot be present today but who has spoken to me in the last couple of days, since the publication of the report. Indeed, I pay tribute to all the Members who have represented their constituents so ably and passionately over many years.

As the hon. Lady said, the next Parliament will return to this issue. I was very open with Members during the Back-Bench debate on 15 January, and the hon. Lady knows that I am frustrated by the fact that we were not able to do more in the current Parliament. It is a matter of record from that debate that I spoke with Scottish Government Ministers in spring 2014 in anticipation that we would have an earlier report from the inquiry and that we might be able to move forward.

In response to the specific points the hon. Lady raised, let me reiterate something I said in my initial remarks: the one-off amount of up to £25 million is to support any transitional arrangements to a different system of financial assistance. That is intended to provide assurances to those affected by these devastating events that we have heard their concerns.