17/05/2012 Business Questions


17/05/2012

Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to leader of the Commons Sir George Young.


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My honourable friend has put his finger on the Mail about the

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problems of programmes that have gone on before. They didn't offer

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real choice and were not open to real competition. The Green deal

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will change all of that. It will bring it real opportunities for

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local players to come to this market. The Secretary of State will

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know that for energy security and diversity, we have got to invest

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now in big infrastructure projects, and he knows of that name deism, so

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rampant in questions in this chamber, is a great barrier to

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planning permission. What will he do about planning permission to

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achieve these objectives? honourable gentleman will know that

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this has passed a planning statement relevant to this issue.

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We have brought forward the National Framework. We need to make

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sure that the local democratic voices heard, but we do need to

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source investment that we all support. So there is a balance, but

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we are determined to see the investment this country needs.

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now come to business questions. Could the Leader of the House

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please give us the business for next week. The business the next

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week will be: Monday made 21st, remaining stages of the Finance

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Bill. Tuesday May 22nd: Financial services bill followed by a third

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reading of the Civil Aviation Bill. Wednesday made 23rd, second reading

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of the electoral registration and administration bill. Followed by a

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European document relating to the proceeds of crime. Thursday 24th

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May, motion on the Whitsun recess adjourned. Thank you, Mr Deputy

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Speaker. Can I thank the Leader of the House for his statement and

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financing business. We can also congratulate our noble friend the

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Member for North East Derbyshire on her re-election. Last week's

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Queen's speech demonstrated this government has already run out of

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ideas. Only 19 announced bills, and have them, three are career overs

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from last session. Now as many as five of the new bills may have

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their passage delayed until the next session, making this the

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slimmest Queen's Speech in living memory. Can the Leader of the House

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tell us why? Today is the International Day against

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homophobia and Trans phobia. It is right that we market in this House.

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There are five countries where you can still be sentenced to death for

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being a lesbian or gay, and 76 where it is still illegal. We

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should pray tribute to all those who are bravely campaigning for

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equality around the world -- paid tribute. Can we have a statement on

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the Government's proposal for equal marriage. The Education Minister

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said he was totally opposed. But across the country there are

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couples who want to know whether do have a civil partnership or wait

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until the law is changed. What they don't want is to be in limbo while

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Conservative MPs fight among themselves and the Government

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prevaricates. The Prime Minister has said it is an important matter

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of equality, and I agree. Will the Government now commit to quickly

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bringing forward legislation on equal marriage? The whole House

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will be concerned about the eurozone crisis. On Monday, the

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Chancellor said to be open speculation from some members in

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the eurozone about the future of some countries in the eurozone is

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doing real damage across the whole European economy. Only for the

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Prime Minister to indulge in precisely the same speculation two

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days later. We have been pushed back into recession. This method

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has failed in Britain and it is failing across Europe. The Prime

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Minister should be pushing for a solution to the eurozone crisis. Mr

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Speaker, Deputy Speaker, at the election, members opposite promised

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not to cut a frontline services, but that is exactly what the Home

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Secretary has done. More than 5,000 police officer jobs have been cut.

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When she spoke to the Police Federation conference yesterday,

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she insisted they shift the podium because she didn't want to be

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filmed in front of or conference slogan opposing police cuts. Mr

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Speaker, you can shift the podium and the camera angle, but you can't

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shift the responsibility. So could the Leader of the House explained -

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- arranged the the Home Secretary to make a statement on police

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numbers so she can explain to the House what has happened to their

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manifesto promise not to cut frontline staff. And while she is

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at it, she could also explain the ongoing immigration shambles at

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Heathrow. Every week we have reports of thousands of people

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stuck at immigration, passengers queuing for hours while immigration

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desks are closed. It takes something when even Joan Collins

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feels the need to tweet from the queue saying that the Home

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Secretary should get a grip. The immigration Minister's

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justification for the shambles was it was the wrong type of wind. Mr

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Deputy Speaker, what is it about this Government and the weather?

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First they blame the performance of the economy on the snow. Then they

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say it was the wrong type of rain. Now we have the wrong type of wind.

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Mr Speaker, could we have a statement on the ministerial code?

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Does the Minister it -- does the House in tend to amend it so that

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they can say that Ministers are responsible unless it can be blamed

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on the weather? Neither the Secretary of State nor his deputy

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were President -- present at questions this week. They should at

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least turn up for departmental questions and not leave it to

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junior Ministers and whips to do their work for them. Could the

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Leader of the House undertake to make sure senior Ministers are

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present for all questions in future? Mr Deputy Speaker, justice

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Ministers and dodge their responsibilities to this House. The

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Home Secretary refuses to take responsibility for her police cuts.

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The Immigration Minister refuses to take responsibility for the

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shambles at Heathrow, and the Chancellor refuses to take

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responsibility for a double-dip recession made in Downing Street.

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What a way to start the new Parliamentary session. Can I begin

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in a conciliatory way and congratulate the honourable lady on

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her promotion to the chair of a party's and national policy forum.

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We hope she can do this without becoming a part-time Shadow Leader.

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I know she will bear in mind what her leader said and generate 10th:

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In these times, with less money, spending more on one thing means

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finding the money from somewhere else, something her colleagues seem

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to have forgotten. Her previous job as shadow chief secretary, she will

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want to bring some financial discipline to her party Bosman

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policies if they are to have any credibility with the electorate.

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Turning to the Queen's Speech, she asserted that we didn't have enough

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bills in the Queen's Speech. If she looks at the earlier Queen's

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speeches, she will find that the number of Bills introduced in this

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session is not dissimilar from those in the 2005, six and seven

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sessions. And if she looks at the Bill's we are carrying over, she

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will find there are three Bills carried over from the last session.

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What we are going to do is what the last government did which is to

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bring too much legislation to the House of Commons so that they

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weren't able to process it properly -- what we are not going to do. We

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are not going to make that mistake. She mentioned that today was a day

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to celebrate equality. If Mr Speaker had been in the chair, I

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would have commended the article which he wrote in today's copy of

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the Independent. Today is International they against

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homophobia and Trans phobia. The Government is strongly committed to

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making sure that all groups are free from discrimination. The ban

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has been lifted a missable partnership taking place a

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religious premises. We are continuing to remove barriers to

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tackle prejudice, and we are continuing to consult on the

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quality of marriage. -- Equality. On policing, can I just remind her

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that before the last election, the then Home Secretary was asked

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whether he could guarantee police numbers. He said no. The department

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has also endorsed cuts of 3.1 billion to the police budget. The

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effectiveness of policing cannot be measured by the number of officers

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a loner by reductions in crime and increases in public confidence. It

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is an inconvenient truth for the honourable lady that while she may

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suggest that crime is going up, official figures show that police

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recorded crime showed -- fell by 3%. Turning to immigration, we

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inherited a shambles at the UK Border Agency which we are in the

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process of putting right, and she will welcome the announcement by

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the immigration Minister before the Home Affairs Select Committee that

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an additional mobile unit is being put in at Heathrow to cope with the

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delays that she has referred to. I am astonished that she mentioned

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the absence of the Lord Chancellor at all the questions. She will know

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that occasionally Ministers have responsibilities other than at the

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House. As a former Minister, she will be familiar with that. In line

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with President, he wrote to say that he would be at an

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international legal forum in Russia. I'm sure that he would have

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preferred to be here, because he enjoys his time at the despatch box.

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Can I commend my a horrible Friend the Member for North West

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Cambridgeshire, who not -- my Al- Finally, can I just say to the

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honourable lady that it is a fortnight since the Labour Party

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candidate was defeated in the election for mayor of London. It is

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less than two months since her party lost Bradford West. So any

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triumphalism on the part of the honourable lady is very premature.

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A new report by previous president of the British Veterinary

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Association says that more than 25% of meat sold in our shops is coming

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from animals that have not been Prix stunned before slaughter. This

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figure exceeds easily the needs of some of our communities that have

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special religious requirements. It suggests that some abattoirs are

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cutting corners and costs. Could we please have a statement from Defra

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on what measures are in place to protect animals, and what measures

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are in place to make sure they are enforced? That is a sensitive issue.

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Obviously are ideally, all animals should be stunned before slaughter,

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but people have a preference to have their meat presented in a

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different way. But I can tell her that we are going to consult on

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measures to improve the welfare of animals slaughtered in accordance

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with a religious rights when we consult on measures to implement

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regulation which comes into effect on 1st January next year. That

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specifically deal for the Protection of animals at the time

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of killing, so there will be an opportunity for her to influence

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the decision-making process later this year. We are all on your side!

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I would like to thank the leader... Both sides are getting irritated,

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:13:47.:13:49.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I think the Leader of the House for

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the announcement of the Prix recess journalist debate next Thursday.

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Had the backbench business committee been in existence, I am

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sure we would have looked at scheduling a pre- recess debate. I

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would like to pay a brief tribute to the outgoing members of the

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backbench business committee, the members for Kettering, Shipley and

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especially Wellingborough. Without them, the committee would not be

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what it is today, and I am sad to see them leave. I welcome the

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Member for a Nuneaton, Harrow East, and the Member for Southend West

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who is himself the greatest champion in that house of the Prix

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recess adjournment debate. There would also just like to say that by

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the end of the session, I hope that given that the committee is still

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entirely English in composition, that we can look at having

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membership from the minority parties in order that we can become

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a UK backbench business committee rather than just be entirely

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Can I repeat what I said last night in congratulating the Honourable

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lady on her re-election. I am grateful for her to endorse the

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decision about this debate next Thursday, which my Honourable

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Friend will responsive. She paid tribute to the outgoing members. I

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am not sure if it would enhance her reputation a fine dust that,

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because the whole point of the backbench committee is to choose

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subjects that the Government would not normally have chosen. They did

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that up until the last regime. I look forward to working with there

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and the newly elected colleagues over the next -- over the course of

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this session. Also, to take forward some of the ideas that we have

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shared in how we can get some certainty in the conventional

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debates. As far as Scottish members are concerned, her party has better

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place than my party Tippett members from Scotland on of the backbench

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business committees. But we have changed the standing orders to

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enable other members to attend. I hope that is a mood in the right

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direction. In a written parliamentary answer

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on eighth March from the independent parliamentary stands

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authority, I was told that under our publications game, we pro

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actively publish the minutes of meetings of it so's board. 30

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minutes ago, the transparency minutes of board meetings revealed

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that the last recorded public accessible minutes were on 30th

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January. Knowing how keen it Sir is on every I being dotted and every

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tee being crossed, and either they have not met for three months or

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are there not honouring what they should do. Bearing in mind there is

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a public consultation going on at the moment as to what the public

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feel the will of an MP is, should we not have a debate?

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My Honourable Friend is a member of skips there and he will know that

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on Tuesday, there is a meeting between the two companies. I'm

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sorry about all these initials! He will have an opportunity on Tuesday

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morning to put to the chairman of the question that he has just put

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to me. The chairman will have advance notice of what is coming

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and he will have in his breast pocket the answer to the question,

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with specific details as to when his board last met.

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Whatever happened to the Tory announcement of the school building

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programme? Several months ago, the State Secretary for Education in

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answer to me said that the state and would be made -- a statement

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would be made. Several months have passed and nothing has happened. Is

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this programme in the long grass with the quality programme, care of

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the elderly, building houses, the green deal and all the rest of it?

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We intend to announce which schools will be rebuilt through the

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priority school building programme by us month. It has been necessary

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to make specific sex on the building conditions of all schools

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that have applied, making site visits and we want to get it right.

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-- specific checks. The schools rebuild through this programme will

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open as Scheduled and 2014. Is the leader of the house aware

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that the 44th meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary

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Association took place in Dublin for two days this week, attended by

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many Honourable Members from this house and another place, and indeed

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from the Irish Parliament, including their leader? The Dail is

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discussing that meeting to discuss trade, environment, transport,

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Northern Ireland and environmental policies. We did not be helpful to

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this house and to another place if time were made available for us to

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report on the proceedings of the British-Irish Parliamentary

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Association? I have lots of work my Honourable

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Friend does as chair of the Northern Ireland Select Committee.

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He is also involved in the grip he has just mentioned. I don't know

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whether there is a brick through the Northern Ireland Select

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Committee and doing a report on these issues which could then find

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a or whether he could apply to the newly-established backbench

:19:39.:19:43.

business committee, or whether next Thursday, when we have the Prix

:19:43.:19:47.

recess adjournment debate, he would find it possible to speak on this

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subject and get a response from my Honourable Friend, the deputy

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leader. Answer the leader of the house

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would agree that it is important to keep good communications between

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members and their constituents. The last three days, the telephone has

:20:08.:20:14.

been out of action and my office. I don't know if anybody else has had

:20:14.:20:20.

the exasperation of trying to contact British Telecom recently. I

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spent 45 minutes on the telephone yesterday trying to get hold of

:20:25.:20:30.

somebody I could stop to about the problems. My Office spent three

:20:30.:20:34.

days trying to get hold of a person to correct the fault. British

:20:34.:20:39.

Telecom was privatised by this Government in 1984. It made a

:20:39.:20:46.

profit last year of �2.4 billion. Surely, somebody can look at this

:20:46.:20:50.

problem, given the difficulties it is probably -- causing both members

:20:50.:20:58.

and their constituencies I am sorry to hear about your problems.

:20:58.:21:04.

I have always find clover Fife, who works for BT, enormously helpful in

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solving constituency problems. I will bring to her the difficulties

:21:10.:21:13.

that you face in your constituency office and see if they can be put

:21:13.:21:20.

right. The wants to get everyone in.

:21:20.:21:24.

Speedy questions and shorter answers may be a quick way of doing

:21:24.:21:32.

I am sure I am not alone in having to deal with the significant amount

:21:32.:21:36.

of constituent casework concerning the family court system and a

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feeling that my constituents find when they are dealing with such

:21:39.:21:43.

service. Could the leader find time for an urgent debate on this topic

:21:43.:21:47.

to reassure my constituents that all that can be done has been done

:21:47.:21:52.

to reform the system? We will be introducing a family and

:21:52.:21:55.

children's Bill which will be introduced -- addressing some of

:21:55.:22:01.

these issues. It will take six months for care cases to be

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completed and focus on issues which are essential to decide whether a

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court order is made. I would be testing the patience of a read out

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the other issues in the bill. But this is a priority for this

:22:11.:22:15.

Government and it is in the Queen's Speech.

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Can we have a debate about military procurement in Government? In

:22:20.:22:25.

particular, about how resourced -- bust the tendering processes and

:22:25.:22:31.

out due diligence is progressed. This has been prompted by the

:22:31.:22:34.

experience of the company in my constituency who made military

:22:34.:22:38.

comments. They tend to be significantly lower contract price

:22:38.:22:43.

than a Spanish company. The Spanish company won a contract. They then

:22:43.:22:47.

offered to sub-contract the entire business to the company in my

:22:47.:22:51.

constituency at that significantly lower price.

:22:51.:22:55.

I take it this was a contract with which the Ministry of Defence was

:22:55.:23:00.

the prime purchaser. I will certainly raise this issue with the

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Secretary of State and see if there has been any irregularity had asked

:23:03.:23:06.

him to write to the Honourable Member.

:23:06.:23:10.

Can we have a debate on trade? In 30 years under the previous

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Government, the automotive sector was in a trade deficit. In just two

:23:15.:23:20.

years, it has become a trade surplus. With the very good news

:23:20.:23:24.

today of Vauxhall Motors further investment in UK manufacturing, it

:23:24.:23:28.

is important for this house to have a debate and understand how we are

:23:28.:23:33.

rebalancing the economy. I'm grateful to my honourable

:23:33.:23:37.

friend and I notice the Honourable lady did not mention the good news

:23:37.:23:42.

at Ellesmere Port tough, securing 2,100 jobs and paving the way for

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another 700 as they move from two sister three. My Honourable Friend

:23:46.:23:50.

makes a good point in that it emphasises in at how we are being

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successful in rebalancing the economy away from over-reliance on

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financial services back on to manufacturing. He makes the point

:23:57.:24:01.

that a number of other major motor manufacturers are investing in this

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country, but also, some of the up and component suppliers are also

:24:05.:24:09.

moving back to the UK so be get the benefit of the whole supply chain.

:24:09.:24:14.

I am sure the leader of the house will want to listen to the

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catalogue of disasters that have affected my constituents. He has a

:24:19.:24:24.

problem at the age MRC. They keep taking monies from two separate

:24:24.:24:29.

employer relationships he got. 31st January, I wrote to them. Eight in

:24:29.:24:33.

the report, no reply. I chase the game and they said there would be a

:24:34.:24:37.

reply in 20th April. No reply. I contacted the minister on the as of

:24:37.:24:44.

May. 16th May, still no response. My constituent is still having

:24:44.:24:48.

money withdrawn from his account. Can the leader of the house please

:24:48.:24:53.

ask the Treasury minister to come to the house of Commons and explain

:24:53.:24:56.

whether his department is simply incompetent or whether it does not

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care about my constituents. Of course Treasury ministers care.

:25:02.:25:05.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will be at this dispatch box in a

:25:05.:25:09.

few moments time. Rather than waiting for a debate, if the

:25:09.:25:13.

honourable lady will that be have the details, I will see that the

:25:13.:25:17.

appropriate Treasury minister gets on to the case. If there is an

:25:17.:25:24.

injustice, we will see that it stops straight away.

:25:24.:25:27.

The Government is investing heavily in rail infrastructure across the

:25:27.:25:31.

North, with the electrification of the Trans Pennine route. The big

:25:31.:25:36.

decision is coming up about the big decision about the northern hub

:25:36.:25:39.

investment programme, which was simulate 20,000 jobs across the

:25:39.:25:43.

North. Could we have another debate on the fully funded northern

:25:43.:25:46.

harbour project, particularly focusing on the support the scheme

:25:46.:25:49.

is getting from local enterprise partnerships and the private

:25:49.:25:55.

sector? This is an important project and

:25:55.:25:57.

the Secretary of State for Transport was speaking about it

:25:57.:26:01.

yesterday. I cannot promise another debate in the very near future. But

:26:01.:26:05.

we have agreed to fund Network Rail up to �130 million to implement the

:26:05.:26:09.

package that he has just referred to. The increasing capacity on the

:26:09.:26:13.

Sheffield Manchester line, increasing the speeds on this line,

:26:13.:26:18.

and also the Manchester to Bradford and Manchester to Preston viable to

:26:18.:26:22.

lines. All these investments will be subject to value for money being

:26:22.:26:25.

confirmed, but it is a demonstration of our commitment to

:26:25.:26:31.

infrastructure. On 15th March, the Government

:26:31.:26:35.

tabled a series of changes to the immigration laws. Some of these are

:26:35.:26:39.

perfectly sensible, but some of them will lead to a new generation

:26:39.:26:45.

of domestic workers living in virtual servitude. These come into

:26:45.:26:49.

force if after 40 days there has been no motion in this house tabled

:26:49.:26:55.

to oppose them. I know the Government has difficulty working

:26:55.:27:00.

out when a 40 days laps, but they lapse tomorrow. The Government has

:27:00.:27:04.

already failed to provide an opportunity for us to debate this.

:27:04.:27:07.

Will the Minister delayed the introduction of the implementation

:27:07.:27:14.

of these until such time as we have a proper debate?

:27:14.:27:19.

The procedure that we are her opting for is the same procedure

:27:19.:27:24.

that he adopted when he was deputy leader of the house.

:27:24.:27:28.

The decision of the right honourable gentleman to re-order

:27:28.:27:32.

his priorities may or may not have been a welcome development to the

:27:32.:27:35.

opposition, but it is a welcome development for those of us who are

:27:35.:27:40.

concerned about making best use of tidal and hydro energy schemes.

:27:40.:27:45.

Will the Government make time for her at a debate on the knees for

:27:45.:27:49.

investing in tidal and hydro schemes, not just like the ones

:27:49.:27:54.

that the Severn Estuary, but also such as that at Morecambe Bay. We

:27:54.:27:57.

need to create clean green energy on a massive scale and thousands of

:27:57.:28:03.

jobs. The sorrow important issues and part of our agenda to diversify

:28:03.:28:07.

supply of electricity generation. I say to my Honourable Friend that

:28:07.:28:12.

yesterday we did have a debate on that these issues. We just had

:28:12.:28:15.

questions to the Secretary of State and his team of ministers, so I

:28:15.:28:20.

cannot promise another immediate opportunity to address these issues.

:28:20.:28:26.

But later in the session, there will be a pill and electricity

:28:26.:28:29.

market fall and this may be an opportunity for him to develop his

:28:29.:28:35.

team. The leader of the house has already

:28:35.:28:39.

noted that today is the International Day against, phobia

:28:39.:28:45.

and Trans gender and transsexuals will be a. Can there be a debate on

:28:45.:28:50.

tackling homophobic bullying in schools?

:28:50.:28:53.

This is an important issue and I want to know whether it would be

:28:53.:28:57.

appropriate for the Honourable lady to make an early application for

:28:57.:29:01.

that backbench business committee to see if a debate on bullying in

:29:01.:29:04.

schools and the particular type of bullying she has referred to be

:29:04.:29:08.

something that we should take forward. Be can be proud that the

:29:08.:29:13.

UK has been recognised as the number one country in Europe for

:29:13.:29:18.

her rights for the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

:29:18.:29:22.

Car and we have a statement on how this Government is helping hard-

:29:23.:29:26.

pressed households by freezing council tax, something the last

:29:26.:29:30.

Labour Government completely failed to do. Council tax more than

:29:30.:29:34.

doubled during their term in office. Not only is this Government to

:29:34.:29:38.

living in council tax pledges, but so is by district councils. We are

:29:38.:29:42.

currently freezing council tax for the third successive year.

:29:42.:29:47.

I'm grateful to my Honourable Friend for reminding the house of

:29:47.:29:52.

the combined saving of this two years freeze of �147,000. I pay

:29:52.:29:55.

tribute to the local authorities to have made these difficult decisions

:29:55.:30:00.

to pass the benefits through and he does contrast the record of the

:30:00.:30:03.

first two years of the coalition Government with the previous record

:30:03.:30:13.
:30:13.:30:13.

of the Labour Government when I wonder if the right honourable

:30:13.:30:17.

gentleman has seen the report by three independent housing

:30:17.:30:23.

organisations on the emerging housing crisis? That report

:30:23.:30:27.

confirms that last year, only 109,000 homes were completed, much

:30:27.:30:34.

less than the 140,000 on average of the last Government, and less than

:30:34.:30:39.

half the number that the Government nose needs to meet demand.

:30:39.:30:46.

Homelessness is up 27%. Overcrowding, over 600,000

:30:46.:30:53.

households affected. This is a win- win situation. The reality is that

:30:53.:30:57.

to build homes will increase growth over the Prime Minister is talking

:30:57.:31:03.

about. Will the right honourable gentleman to give government time

:31:03.:31:10.

for a debate on housing? As a former Housing Minister, I do take

:31:10.:31:17.

a close interest. When we came to office, we had the lowest peace

:31:17.:31:20.

time housing records since the 1920s, so what we inherited was not

:31:20.:31:26.

very positive. Am sure he will welcome are affordable homes

:31:26.:31:33.

programme, which is set to exceed expectations. I hope he would also

:31:33.:31:37.

welcome what we have done on the planning side to get decisions made

:31:37.:31:41.

more quickly, and what we've been doing in making public land

:31:41.:31:43.

available the House builders to build, what we have done to help

:31:43.:31:49.

first-time buyers, and also the fiscal decisions we have taken to

:31:49.:31:54.

allow interest rates to remain low and help first-time buyers.

:31:54.:31:57.

children and families Minister announced earlier this week her

:31:57.:32:01.

response to the green paper on special educational needs. His area

:32:01.:32:05.

of policy has been ignored for far too long, where parents have to

:32:05.:32:08.

battle for their children to receive the education they need.

:32:09.:32:12.

Can we have a debate on this important area of policy so that we

:32:12.:32:17.

can push progress much quicker? would welcome such a debate, and we

:32:17.:32:21.

are committed to a draft Bill on this matter, where there will be an

:32:21.:32:26.

opportunity to take it forward. We want to ensure that services for

:32:26.:32:30.

disabled children and young people and those of special educational

:32:30.:32:32.

needs are planned jointly by local authorities and commissioning

:32:32.:32:37.

groups, and we want to give our children who have challenges a

:32:37.:32:46.

fairer deal than they have at the moment. I'm sure everyone in the

:32:46.:32:47.

House would join me in congratulating the Glasgow Labour

:32:47.:32:54.

Party on their success in the elections last week, helping to

:32:54.:32:59.

crash the SNP juggernaut. One reason for that success is the

:32:59.:33:03.

policies that Glasgow Labour put forward, including the jobs

:33:03.:33:07.

guarantee scheme. In the ongoing unemployment crisis, can we have a

:33:07.:33:12.

debate in the House on that question? If he looks up in men

:33:12.:33:15.

under the Queen's Speech which has been tabled and which we are about

:33:15.:33:17.

to debate, he will see that unemployment is a specific issue

:33:17.:33:22.

which has been mentioned, so the answer is yes, I can gap grant the

:33:23.:33:25.

debate on the subject he had referred to, and it will start in

:33:25.:33:33.

20 minutes. Please can we have a debate on encouraging

:33:33.:33:39.

entrepreneurialism in young people in schools and colleges? I went to

:33:39.:33:41.

harried at college and was impressed by the pitches and

:33:41.:33:46.

ability of the people I met. Young people just need the opportunity in

:33:46.:33:49.

our education system to understand the excitement and rewards of a

:33:49.:33:56.

career in business. I commend what my honourable friend has done, and

:33:56.:34:00.

I can't think of anybody who looks less like a dragon! It is important

:34:00.:34:08.

to look that reward children for the financial challenges in life.

:34:08.:34:13.

Pupils are given a relatively small sum of money and challenged to let

:34:13.:34:16.

it grow. There has been an increasing self-employment young

:34:16.:34:24.

people, which is encouraging. I applaud his encouraging young

:34:24.:34:30.

people in his constituency to become attuned to financial matters.

:34:30.:34:37.

On Tuesday, the Member for carding Valley raise the issue of how the

:34:37.:34:41.

principles of the rehabilitation of offenders Act are being undermined

:34:41.:34:47.

by CRB Cech, whereby a people's lives are being blighted for ever

:34:48.:34:53.

by it cautions from decades before. In view of the utterly complacent

:34:53.:34:57.

reply from the Minister, can we have a debate to remedy this

:34:57.:35:02.

ongoing injustice? rehabilitation of offenders

:35:02.:35:08.

legislation has recently been reviewed. I was certainly take on

:35:08.:35:12.

board the. Do the right honourable member makes to see if any further

:35:12.:35:14.

tweaks are needed to the legislation to make sure that

:35:14.:35:17.

people are not unjustly penalised for relatively trivial offences

:35:17.:35:27.
:35:27.:35:28.

that may have happened for some time ago when they seek employment.

:35:28.:35:33.

Given that politicians and the Congo -- Democratic Republic of

:35:33.:35:43.

Congo have claimed that payments offered foreign gilts payment to

:35:43.:35:47.

give foreign companies offshore mining activities, can we have a

:35:48.:35:55.

debate on overseas aid? My right honourable friend the Secretary of

:35:55.:36:00.

State debated this at some length in the House. On the specific issue

:36:00.:36:05.

mentioned here, it is not right to withhold support to the DRC. The

:36:05.:36:08.

aid which we give does reach some very poor people who would be

:36:08.:36:13.

deprived of the assistance that they need. But I will draw his

:36:13.:36:19.

concern to the attention of my right honourable friend. The Leader

:36:19.:36:24.

of the House will be aware that small and medium businesses in my

:36:24.:36:26.

constituency are eager to respond to the Government challenge to

:36:26.:36:34.

export more to Brazil, Russia, China and India, but did he also

:36:34.:36:37.

see Lord Digby Jones's remarks that the UK trade and investment arm of

:36:37.:36:42.

the Foreign Office has been devastated. What help can we give

:36:42.:36:49.

small and medium but as in -- businesses in constituencies like

:36:49.:36:58.

mine to export to these countries? They recently held a seminar in my

:36:58.:37:01.

constituency for small and medium- size enterprises wanting to export.

:37:01.:37:05.

It was well-attended and have found to be of great value. I couldn't

:37:05.:37:12.

praise more highly the input of the UK TI into that initiative. By

:37:13.:37:19.

encourage other members to contact them and have a similar conference.

:37:19.:37:24.

Another hidden a scandalous form of discrimination in this country is

:37:24.:37:30.

the reluctance of businesses, often small businesses, to hire women of

:37:30.:37:34.

child-bearing age because they fear that they may take maternity leave.

:37:34.:37:38.

Could we have a debate on shared parental leave, and the importance

:37:38.:37:41.

that this will halve in ensuring that that form of hidden

:37:41.:37:47.

discrimination ends? I applaud what a horrible friend has said, and it

:37:47.:37:52.

is indeed a policy to move towards more flexible parental leave so

:37:52.:37:55.

parents can share caring responsibilities. We are working

:37:56.:38:00.

with businesses to create a more flexible system of parental leave.

:38:00.:38:03.

Parents will be given the choice to determine how they take leave for

:38:04.:38:08.

child care, and they will be able to divide the majority of the lead

:38:08.:38:12.

into blocks and split it between both parents. I hope that will

:38:12.:38:19.

remove some of the barriers. Last year, I raised with the Leader of

:38:19.:38:22.

the House the tragic case of my constituent Joe Arthur who was

:38:22.:38:27.

killed on holiday in Greece in 2006, and the family's fight for justice.

:38:27.:38:31.

This week the family have again been aired degrees, and yet again

:38:31.:38:36.

the trial has stalled. Can the Leader of the House arrange for me

:38:36.:38:40.

to meet urgently with a Minister from the Foreign Office to offer

:38:40.:38:42.

assistance to the family, because this situation cannot be allowed to

:38:42.:38:48.

continue. I'm sorry to hear of the problems which confront the

:38:48.:38:51.

honourable lady's constituents. It so happened that a constituent of

:38:51.:38:59.

mine was killed in Greece last year, and the family are having the same

:38:59.:39:02.

problems finding out whether they can play a role in proceedings and

:39:02.:39:08.

when the trial will be held. I will ask a friend in the Foreign Office

:39:08.:39:13.

and to contact her and see what assistance they can give to the

:39:13.:39:18.

family. I support the Government been putting public sector pensions

:39:18.:39:21.

on an affordable and sustainable footing, and in that spirit, could

:39:21.:39:26.

we have a debate on the pension contributions of judges? Judges are

:39:26.:39:30.

being asked to make a contribution of just 2% towards their pension,

:39:30.:39:36.

which can be neither affordable nor sustainable. Surely my right

:39:36.:39:39.

honourable friend must agree that it is wrong that judges should pay

:39:39.:39:42.

less intent towards their pensions than up of a public sector workers

:39:42.:39:46.

are being asked to pay an increased contributions. I can say that there

:39:46.:39:50.

will be an opportunity going to debate this. We are committed to

:39:50.:39:55.

producing legislation on public service pensions. There will be an

:39:55.:40:02.

opportunity for him if he finds to propose the necessary amendments to

:40:02.:40:10.

the legislation. Mr Deputy Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister was

:40:10.:40:14.

asked about the cut in the number of frontline police officers, and

:40:14.:40:19.

answered by talking about the proportion. Can the Leader of the

:40:19.:40:21.

House impress on his colleagues the importance of asking the question

:40:21.:40:25.

asked and not one they would rather have been asked so that next and

:40:25.:40:30.

that question is asked, he gives the answer which a point of clarity

:40:30.:40:36.

is over 5,000? I think with respect of that is a game which we can play

:40:36.:40:42.

as well, having listened to the previous prime Minister for some

:40:43.:40:46.

Third genius. One of my colleagues actually read a book compiling not

:40:46.:40:50.

just the failure to answer but actually be inaccurate answers that

:40:50.:40:56.

the previous Prime Minister gave. The Prime Minister always answers

:40:56.:41:02.

questions as accurately and as honestly and has openly as he can,

:41:02.:41:08.

and I would rebut any criticism of his performance at this despatch

:41:08.:41:16.

box. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. Despite the the Scottish Parliament

:41:16.:41:20.

and the Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies, we continue to have

:41:20.:41:25.

questions in this House, often dominated by questions by English

:41:25.:41:29.

MPs provided by the whips office. If we are going to carry on with

:41:29.:41:34.

this, is it not time also to have English questions so that English

:41:34.:41:42.

MPs Ken raise questions that are important to the English people?

:41:42.:41:45.

The principle of oral questions are put a house should have opportunity

:41:45.:41:49.

to halt Secretaries of State and Ministers to account, and that is

:41:49.:41:53.

why there is a separate Northern Ireland, Scotland and Welsh

:41:53.:41:58.

questions. English Ministers have to answer for English related

:41:58.:42:02.

matters when they are at the despatch box. Of the House wants to

:42:02.:42:05.

hold the Government to account, the best way to do it is by a series of

:42:05.:42:10.

department are questions, which is what we have at the moment. With

:42:10.:42:14.

that the publication of the BBC Trust latest plans for savings,

:42:15.:42:18.

will the House have an early opportunity to debate these plans,

:42:18.:42:23.

and in particular the plans for local radio? The reason I ask is

:42:23.:42:27.

because of excellent services like Radio Humberside that covers my

:42:27.:42:35.

constituency, and this week we saw the radio show Beryl and Betty,

:42:35.:42:40.

where the two ladies are 86 and 90, winning the Sony Gold Award for the

:42:40.:42:44.

excellence of the programme. BBC is an independent organisation

:42:44.:42:47.

responsible for how they allocate their funds and where they have to

:42:48.:42:51.

find savings. If she wants to make an application to the backbench

:42:51.:42:55.

business committee for a debate on how the BBC is organised, I'm sure

:42:55.:43:05.
:43:05.:43:05.

she would get a warm representative -- reception. Earlier this week,

:43:05.:43:08.

the All Party Parliamentary Group on pharmacy published its report

:43:08.:43:13.

after a six-month inquiry into medicine shortages where patients

:43:13.:43:17.

want to go and get their prescriptions are fulfilled. The

:43:17.:43:21.

difficulty which they have had is they can't always get them. Could

:43:21.:43:26.

we have a debate or at least a ministerial statement to make sure

:43:26.:43:29.

that we understand what the Government proposes to do about

:43:29.:43:36.

this position? I appreciate the work, are all friend does as the

:43:36.:43:40.

vice chair of this group. There are 900 million prescriptions issued

:43:40.:43:46.

each year for some 16,000 medicine's, and some of them are in

:43:46.:43:55.

short supply. -- some 16,000 medicines. If a pharmacy cannot get

:43:55.:43:59.

a medicine it needs from the wholesaler, it can go direct to the

:43:59.:44:04.

supplier. But we do want to response to the suggestions in the

:44:04.:44:10.

report. Please could we have the chance to debate the Government's

:44:10.:44:17.

thoughts on a regional pay? There what government last week produced

:44:17.:44:20.

a paper in response to the consultation, and it would be in

:44:20.:44:28.

port and to debate how unfair these proposals are to areas like Newport.

:44:28.:44:34.

It might be an order to raise the matter as an amendment to the

:44:34.:44:38.

debate. I welcome the contribution to the consultation process which

:44:39.:44:43.

she has referred to, they think the consultation ends later this year.

:44:43.:44:48.

At that point it might be sensible to have a debate to indicate

:44:48.:44:51.

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