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Results 1-20 of 169 for in the 'Westminster Hall debates' speaker:Esther McVey

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Dorries. I think it is the first time, so I am delighted to be here. I congratulate the hon. Member for Makerfield (Yvonne Fovargue) on securing the debate. Having listened to everything that has been said, there is one thing on which we can agree: this is about homes and people’s lives. This is about people and their local...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: I have heard various things—I will say that they are scare stories, because we have heard them before—about what would happen, and they have not happened. In fact—although at the moment this is just anecdotal—in the private sector house prices and rents are coming down, despite much of what the Opposition say; that is actually happening in Wales, which I visited last...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: We have had this discussion before with the Opposition. What the hon. Lady does not understand is that a full cycle is under way in that situation. When someone moves out of a home in one sector, someone else moves in. The 3,500 on the waiting list or the 1,500 who are living in overcrowded homes are moving, in this instance, from the private to the social rented sector. We cannot take only...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: We have put forward a full array of discretionary housing payments and exemptions, which I shall come to. However, I want to point out what Labour intended, when it was in power. Despite today’s claims about how it would have dealt with things, we know what is on the record: “We hope to implement a flat rate housing benefit system in the social sector, similar to that anticipated...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: I have given way a lot, and have answers to provide. Despite the bluster and fluster and cries of “We cannot do it,” that policy would have been implemented by the Opposition. We have provided for the most vulnerable, including disabled children who cannot share because of their disability; foster children; overnight non-resident carers for claimants and their partners; and...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: It might appear that the Opposition’s benefits policy—

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: Whether, in colloquial terms, the hon. Gentleman said that it was developed on the back of a fag packet, a cigarette packet or an envelope, it was discourteous, given the hundreds of hours of work that have been put in. I think he used the phrase “on an envelope in the shower”, but that was not the case, because many hours went into developing the policy. That might be how the...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: No one will pay anything back. The people who have got discretionary payments will keep them—they will have been paid to the social rented sector—and should they wish to use them going forward, they can.

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: We have said that we will take that into consideration. We are working on a set of numbers, and we presume the figure to be in the area of 5,000. We will take that cost on board, as we said—both the administrative cost, which we have agreed, and the extra costs that would have been used by the discretionary payments.

Under-Occupancy Penalty (North-West) (25 March 2014)

Esther McVey: The Labour party have never cared so much about money—hence we are in the debt we are in. We do not know how to sort out all of Labour’s problems. I have said that that is a cost we will be covering and dealing with. We have put discretionary housing payments aside, although of even the most recent 20 million that we have offered, only 13 million was used, leaving...

WorkProgramme — [Mr Charles Walker in the Chair] (10 October 2013)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Walker. I thank all hon. and right hon. Members for welcoming me to my new position, and I thank the members of the Liaison Committee for securing the debate. Can the Work programme work for all? I believe it can and it will. We are on a learning curve, and we have to make things better. Hon. and right hon. Members will be pleased to know...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan) (23 April 2013)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to be serving under your chairmanship today, Mr Hollobone. I congratulate the hon. Member for Makerfield (Yvonne Fovargue) on securing the debate on behalf of her constituents. I am under no illusion about the strength of feeling of many about the removal of the spare room subsidy, but we are not introducing the change lightly. A number of important principles lie behind the...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan) (23 April 2013)

Esther McVey: That example is taken completely out of context; one measure is about a business and ensuring that it remains, as well as about how people spend their money, but the measure we are discussing is about one set of finances that doubled in cash terms under the hon. Lady’s Government to 23 billion and about what we should do about it. We cannot pick and mix and move the finances...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan) (23 April 2013)

Esther McVey: I will proceed a little further, so that I can answer the hon. Lady’s questions. We need to improve use of the housing stock, and doing nothing is not an option, because we have 1 million spare rooms but 250,000 people living in overcrowded accommodation. The situation will not be easy to change overnight, but we have to start on the process of getting things right. It is about...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan) (23 April 2013)

Esther McVey: I can correct the hon. Lady. The size criteria applied to the social rented sector are exactly the same. If a private landlord is charging below the median market 30(th) percentile, a couple can do that. Equally, should local housing associations want to regroup or make a change from a three-bedroom to a two-bedroom property, they are entitled to do so. People can do such things, and that is...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan) (23 April 2013)

Esther McVey: The hon. Lady is right to talk about housing stock and how so many councils got their housing stock wrong for so many years. Why was it not reallocated? Why were conversions not carried out? Why did they not use the money? If they realised that so many people were in three-bedroom properties when they should have been in two-bedroom properties, why did they not do something about that work?...

Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan) (23 April 2013)

Esther McVey: We must get it right, and we are getting it right. I do not believe the hon. Lady’s description to be the case. We are working together to ensure that we support people now and in future. We never get a reply from Labour on spending commitments, but will the party—it introduced its policy in 2008—in addition to opposing what we are doing today, put on the record the fact...

Housing Benefit and Disabled People (23 January 2013)

Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to take part in a debate on such an important issue, and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy) on securing it. It is also a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Caton. I believe that it is the first time that I have done so. As we have heard, there is considerable interest among hon. Members in all parts of the House in housing...

Housing Benefit and Disabled People (23 January 2013)

Esther McVey: I am not being specific about what people should or should not do. I am saying that there is an array of options, for which someone will find their best solution. The hon. Gentleman will, like me, have met people at surgeries who have said that they have come together as a family to work on the best solution for everyone. It is not a question of one person in isolation but the whole family....

Housing Benefit and Disabled People (23 January 2013)

Esther McVey: I will proceed a bit further, and then if the hon. Gentleman wants to ask a further question he can. There are always specific cases where the options in question may not be sensible or appropriate, and that is why we have trebled funding—a considerable amount—for discretionary housing payments, to give local authorities more flexibility to help people affected by the changes....

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