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EDMs

Early Day Motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. In practice, however, they are very rarely debated.

MPs usually use EDMs to draw attention to issue they believe are important. Other MPs then sign the EDM if they support its sentiment, which provides a public declaration of their opinion.

EDMs can help show the Government that there is support for an issue in Parliament. Two of the key asks of EDMs tabled by APPG on Wellbeing Economics members have been for the Government to measure wellbeing and to integrate wellbeing research into the policy making process.

Both of these things are now happening.

The list of key EDMs, tabled by group members, is below.


2010-2011 Parliamentary Session



ACTION FOR HAPPINESS CHARITY
Parliamentary session: 2010-11
Date tabled: 26th April 2011
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Graham Allen MP, Peter Bottomley MP, Lorely Burt MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Chris Ruane MP

That this House welcomes the launch of Action for Happiness, a charity which aims to bring people together to help create a happier society, by being a hub for the exchange of new ideas and the dissemination of reliable information; notes that large surveys such as Eurobarometer show the UK’s life satisfaction has only changed marginally during the last quarter of a century and other studies even suggest a decline; encourages people to sign up to the Action for Happiness campaign at its website; further welcomes the Office for National Statistics’ efforts to measure national wellbeing; and urges the Government to integrate the findings of wellbeing research into its policy making process so that it can play its part in promoting the happiness of the nation.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.



ACCESS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES
Parliamentary session: 2010-11
Date tabled: 9th February 2011
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Peter Bottomley MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Jim Dobbin MP, Mark Durkan MP, Mike Hancock MP.

That this House regards depression as a serious condition that can profoundly diminish a person’s wellbeing; recognises that psychological cognitive-behavioural therapy is an effective and scientifically validated form of treatment; welcomes the news that 3,660 new psychological therapists, trained under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, are in place as of January 2011; commends the current Government for its ongoing commitment to invest in the IAPT programme; also commends the previous Government for starting the IAPT programme; and thanks Professor Richard Layard of the London School of Economics for his work on the Depression Report in 2006, which demonstrated that provision of extra psychological therapy could more than pay for itself through reducing benefit claims and helping people back into work.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.



MEASUREMENT OF GENERAL WELL-BEING
Parliamentary session: 2010-11
Date tabled: 16th November 2010
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Graham Allen MP, Peter Bottomley MP, Natascha Engel MP, Martin Horwood MP, Julian Huppert MP

That this House welcomes media reports that suggest the Government is planning to measure the general well-being of the nation on a regular and large-scale basis, a policy which the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics has called for since its inception; believes that the promotion of well-being is a legitimate and important goal of Government; notes that measurement of well-being will help facilitate research, identify groups in the population who have low levels of well-being, and allow the Government to evaluate the impact of its policies; recognises that many scientists and economists already use existing well-being measures in their work, which are widely accepted and validated; and urges the Government to implement this policy as soon as is practicable.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.



PROMOTION OF HAPPINESS AND WELL-BEING
Parliamentary session: 2010-11
Date tabled: 3rd June 2010
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Peter Bottomley MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Martin Horwood MP, John Leech MP, Caroline Lucas MP

That this House believes that the promotion of happiness and well-being is a legitimate and important goal of government; notes that large surveys such as Eurobarometer show the UK’s happiness has remained broadly static for at least a quarter of a century; reminds the new Prime Minister of his statement in 2006 that, `It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money, and it’s time we focused not just on GDP but on GWB – General Well-being’; and calls for the introduction of official and regularly conducted statistics on national well-being in the UK to inform policy-making.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.

2009-2010 Parliamentary Session



WELLBEING IN PUBLIC POLICY
Parliamentary session: 2009-10
Date tabled: 15th December 2009
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Peter Bottomley MP, John Gummer MP, Chris Huhne MP, Lynne Jones MP, Andy Reed MP

That this House believes that the promotion of happiness and wellbeing are legitimate and important goals of Government; notes that large surveys such as Eurobarometer show the UK’s happiness has remained broadly static for at least a quarter of a century; congratulates the French government on publication of the Sarkozy/Stiglitz commission report, which provides alternative measures of progress to GDP; and calls for the introduction of official and regularly conducted statistics on national wellbeing in the UK to inform policy-making.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.

Tabled by Jo Swinson MP prior to formation of the APPG

2008-2009 Parliamentary Session



HAPPINESS AND PUBLIC POLICY
Parliamentary session: 2008-09
Date tabled: 10th December 2008
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Peter Bottmley MP, John Gummer MP, Chris Huhne MP, Lynne Jones MP, Andy Reed MP

That this House believes that the promotion of happiness and well-being are legitimate and important goals of Government; notes a GfK NOP poll showed 81 per cent. of people believe Government’s prime objective should be happiness, not wealth; notes large surveys, including Eurobarometer, that show the UK’s happiness has remained static for at least 25 years; recognises the Government can influence some factors that affect happiness, such as unemployment and respite for carers; welcomes the Government’s Foresight report into Mental Capital and Well-being showing how well-being promotion is possible; and calls for official and regularly conducted statistics on national happiness and well-being to inform policy-making.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.


2007-2008 Parliamentary Session


NATIONAL DEPRESSION WEEK
Parliamentary session: 2007-08
Date tabled: 24th April 2008
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Peter Bottomley MP, Jim Devine MP, Glenda Jackson MP, Lynne Jones MP, Mike Weir MP

That this House notes that national depression week occurs between 21st and 26th April; further notes that depression is a common illness, which will affect one in five people during their lifetime; further notes that access to psychological therapies for depression, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is still severely restricted; recognises that access to such therapy would not only have a huge impact on patients themselves, but also dramatically cut the number of people who are forced onto incapacity benefit because of their illness; urges the Government to fully implement the Layard proposals to ensure access to suitable psychological therapy for those who need it; and further urges the Government to move beyond mere treatment of mental illness and work to promote mental wellbeing across the nation to help reduce the incidence of future depression cases.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.


MEASURING QUALITY OF LIFE
Parliamentary session: 2007-08
Date tabled: 17th January 2008
Primary sponsor: Jo Swinson MP
Co-sponsors: Peter Bottomley MP, Lynne Jones MP, John Leech MP, Steve Webb MP, Jenny Willott MP

That this House notes the undertaking of a study by the French government to establish how quality of life indicators can contribute to new methods of economic calculation; further notes the participation in the study of eminent scholars Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen; commends the French government for seeking a more sophisticated method of measuring well-being than straightforward GDP; notes with concern the Answer given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 29th November 2007, Official Report, column 428, on well-being, which failed to acknowledge the need for improved measurements of quality of life, despite the stated aim of the Treasury being to `raise the rate of sustainable growth and to achieve rising prosperity and a better quality of life’; further notes that for the last 50 years material wealth in the UK has increased dramatically but surveys show that expressed levels of well-being, or happiness, have remained static; and urges the Government to both endorse and participate in the French study, with the aim of improving the well-being, not simply the wealth, of all people in the UK.

Official entry in the Parliamentary EDM database.

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