Opposition Day Debates: Dentistry and Information on costs of Rwanda Plan

The Opposition Labour Party was granted the 2nd Allotted Opposition Day on Tuesday 9 January 2024. The motions tabled were on NHS Dentistry and the cost of the Government’s Rwanda plan and administration of the asylum system.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Wes Streeting MP moved the motion on NHS Dentistry: the Motion said:

“That this House recognises that NHS dentistry is in crisis, with eight in 10 dentists in England not taking on new NHS patients and vast parts of the country considered so-called dental deserts, where no dentists are available; regrets that this has led to people resorting to DIY dentistry or attending A&E to access urgent care; is concerned that tooth decay is the most common reason children aged six to 10 are admitted to hospital; and therefore calls on the Government to provide an extra 700,000 urgent appointments a year, introduce an incentive scheme to recruit new dentists to the areas most in need and a targeted supervised toothbrushing scheme for three to five year-olds to promote good oral health and reform the dental contract to rebuild the service in the long-run.” 

The motion was defeated by a vote of Ayes 191: Noes 299.

2 The Second Opposition Day debate was on the cost of the Government’s Rwanda plan and administration of the asylum system, and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper moved the motion: The motion called for all the papers on the costs of the Rwanda Plan: 

“That an Humble Address be presented to His Majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give direction to the Home Secretary that, no later than 16 January 2024, there be laid before this House:

(a) a list of all payments, either already made or scheduled, to the Government of Rwanda under the Economic Transformation and Integration Fund, including the cost of the fourth- and fifth-year payments due to the Government of Rwanda under the fund;

(b) any document provided by his Department to HM Treasury relating to the per person cost of relocating individuals to Rwanda under the Agreement for the Provision of an Asylum Partnership Agreement to Strengthen Shared International Commitments on the Protection of Refugees and Migrants (CP 994);

(c) an unredacted copy of the confidential memorandum of understanding referred to in response to question 20 at the Public Accounts Committee meeting on 11 December 2023;

(d) any paper setting out the cost per person of relocating individuals to Rwanda and the Government’s assumptions about the number of asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda per year shared with or provided by HM Treasury between March and July 2022; and

(e) his Department’s internal breakdown of the 35,119 non-substantive asylum decisions made between 1 January and 28 December 2023 showing the number of such decisions that were classified as withdrawn asylum applications and the number further sub-classified as either:

(i) non-substantiated withdrawals

(ii) other withdrawals.” 

The motion was defeated by a vote of Ayes 228: Noes 304.