Results 161–180 of 1306 for speaker:Nick Ainger

Public Bill Committee: Pensions Bill (15 Jan 2008)

Nick Ainger: I am sure that you appreciate the real issue. Here we have the lowest paid in our society, and there is the issue of complexity. I understand the reasons why we have set the thresholds where they are, and that they can be moved up or down. I understand that thresholds have to be set, but surely there are ways in which we can target those people and encourage them at least to come into the...

Written Answers — Culture Media and Sport: VisitBritain: Finance (3 Dec 2007)

Nick Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much VisitBritain spent in each year since its establishment; how much it is budgeted to spend in each year of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review period; and what the percentage change (a) was and (b) is expected to be from each year to the next.

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales: Economic Inactivity (10 Oct 2007)

Nick Ainger: My right hon. Friend will be aware of the transformation in economic success of my constituency. Ten years ago, it was an unemployment blackspot; now it has almost full employment. However, problems remain with economic inactivity. May I draw his attention to the work of the Prince's Trust and Pembrokeshire college, which are delivering upskilling for young people, 140 of whom are based at...

Oral Answers to Questions — Leader of the House: Foot and Mouth/Bluetongue (8 Oct 2007)

Nick Ainger: A number of colleagues have already referred to this happening at the worst time possible for the farming industry and for the impact that it has certainly had on the sheep sales of hill farmers in Wales. However, the solution is clearly to get trade back to normality as quickly as possible. My right hon. Friend's statement did not refer to the possibility of resuming live exports,...

Orders of the Day: Clause 19 — power to award foundation degrees (12 Jul 2007)

Nick Ainger: I understand the Minister's point about the Privy Council, but what about the process? If, following Sir Adrian Webb's report, the Assembly decides that it wishes in principle to allow FE colleges to award foundation degrees, will the process be that an Order in Council will be requested from this place to give the power to the Assembly to do that, and that the power that the First Minister...

Orders of the Day: Clause 19 — power to award foundation degrees (12 Jul 2007)

Nick Ainger: As my former role as a Minister has been referred to by at least two Members in this short debate, I thought that I had better say a few words. The debate has highlighted that we are on new ground when dealing with these matters. The Assembly wants to assume new powers, and Parliament is rightly insisting that there should be proper scrutiny of the role and responsibilities that the Assembly...

Orders of the Day: Clause 19 — power to award foundation degrees (12 Jul 2007)

Nick Ainger: The hon. Gentleman is quite right, which is why I am seeking an assurance that the Order in Council process can actually deliver degree-awarding powers to FE colleges in Wales. It is a very important point and, as I say, I really hope that the Under-Secretary will come up with the same assurances that I sought to give to the Committee last month. I conclude by saying that we need to recognise...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: The FE colleges in Wales are not demanding degree-awarding powers. One or two might be, but others are perfectly satisfied with the current consortia arrangements that they have with HE institutions. As I said in my response to the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings, however, an independent review of further education in Wales is under way, so the issue will be raised by  ...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: I reassure the hon. Gentleman that there was wide consultation. Fforwm, which is the equivalent of the Association of Colleges in England, is aware of the proposals and has welcomed them. As I said, I attended and gave evidence to the relevant Committee in the Assembly. Of course, we will not know the precise detail of what the Assembly will ultimately propose until the independent review has...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: On that point, there are two routes to confer primary legislative powers on the Assembly. One is through the Order in Council process; I did not want to go on at huge length about that, but I think that I explained it. The second is through primary legislation in this place. Perhaps I ought to take a step back, to explain matters. The White Paper that we published in September 2005 addressed...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: This is my first contribution to the Committee’s debates, Mr. Atkinson, and I belatedly welcome you to the Chair. Some interesting points have been raised. As the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings explained, he might not have spoken were it not for the contributions made by my right hon. Friends the Members for Torfaen and for Islwyn. Both are genuinely my friends: I was the...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: My problem is that I cannot request the Welsh Affairs Committee to undertake any inquiry or any pre-legislative scrutiny, so it was not invited to do so. However, every member of that Committee received a letter signed by me, including a copy of the explanatory memorandum, which goes into considerable detail about what is proposed. I know all the Committee members extremely well, including...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: There is a process between officials in the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills in the Assembly. Once it was known that the Bill was coming, the process of discussions at official level to bring forward a framework power started. The White Paper preceding the Government of Wales Act 2006, which was published in September 2005,...

Public Bill Committee: Further Education and Training Bill [Lords]: Clause 25 (14 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: No, that is not the case. I attended the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee in February—it is their equivalent of our Select Committee—to answer questions from Assembly Members on this Bill, the framework powers and so on. There has been that relationship. I also have regular bilateral talks with Assembly Ministers, where these matters are discussed. There has been considerable...

Mtas (6 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: My right hon. Friend has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Health on a range of health issues. I understand that Wales has opted out of using MTAS for recruitment, and that the Department of Health had no difficulty with its doing that.

Mtas (6 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: I saw the exchange between the hon. Gentleman and the Secretary of State for Health, and I can tell him that the current recruitment system in Wales does allow for applicants to complete their form and then be interviewed in the Welsh language, provided that they inform the recruitment panel in advance. As we are interviewing every applicant, there is that clear opportunity for them to make...

Mtas (6 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: Well, the hon. Gentleman gives us his usual rant, but the system that is now being used in Wales—in which every applicant will receive an interview—has been warmly welcomed by the Welsh deanery and the BMA Welsh junior doctors committee. The process is working well in Wales and we now have more than 2,200 doctors in training in Wales. The number of training places in Wales will rise from...

Mtas: Hospital Waiting Times (6 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: The Assembly Government are investing record amounts in the NHS in Wales and are delivering real improvements in the standard of service to patients. Waiting times for Welsh patients in English hospitals are falling.

Mtas: Hospital Waiting Times (6 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: The facts are that there are no Welsh patients waiting more than eight months for treatment in hospitals, including the Royal Shrewsbury, compared with 900 a year ago, and in the past three years the number of Welsh patients waiting for more than six months for a first appointment at an English hospital has fallen by 61 per cent. Those are significant improvements. Yes, further improvements...

Mtas: Hospital Waiting Times (6 Jun 2007)

Nick Ainger: Indeed. I congratulate Lesley Griffiths on her recent success. My hon. Friend is right that the investment in the health service in Wales is delivering real improvements and waiting times are falling. Local health boards in Wales need to talk to hospitals in England about local packages of care, but given the money that is now going into the health service in Wales, finance should not be a...


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