Results 101–120 of 477 for speaker:Mr Nigel Beard

Government Targets (7 Jul 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: In terms of the motion, the Conservative party's record on economic management would have meant us debating the abolition of long division because its Government were incapable of basic arithmetic, let alone anything complicated. However, I shall deal with the points raised by the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) in the context of my other remarks. Having succeeded so well in our...

Government Targets (7 Jul 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: There is a great deal of truth in what my hon. Friend says.

Government Targets (7 Jul 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: I shall come in a moment to the question of there being too many targets in the beginning. I want first to say a little more on the justification for the general idea of public service agreements. After 18 years in which the civil service and public agencies had become used to a culture of contraction, in which their projects were constantly thwarted because those started during the boom were...

Government Targets (7 Jul 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: They toil not and neither do they spin, and they do not understand the disciplines of doing either. It is unbelievable that in the 21st century we have a motion against the very concept of a target as a means of managing major projects. I am sure that before long we will be having a debate on the need to abolish long division and double entry book-keeping, because PSAs and targets are as...

Government Targets (7 Jul 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: I agree. The reason that the Opposition can be so cavalier with the basic concepts of managing major projects is that they have no intention of managing a major investment project in the public sector again. That is what their policy implies, so they can indulge in these games. The motion demonstrates that the Tories cannot be trusted with public finance, the economy or public spending—in...

Government Targets (7 Jul 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Given the right hon. and learned Gentleman's diatribe against targets generally, if he were in charge of a major programme of public investment, how would he control it to ensure that the money achieves what is intended; or is it that he does not expect himself or his party ever to be involved in a major programme of public investment?

Humanitarian Crisis (Southern Africa) (26 Jun 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: As we are not under pressure for time, I am allowing fairly lengthy interventions, but that is not the custom.

Humanitarian Crisis (Southern Africa) (26 Jun 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Before I put the Question, may I say that from what I heard from my predecessor in the Chair and what I have heard since I took the Chair this has been an extremely interesting and well-informed debate? I congratulate all who have taken part. Question put and agreed to. Adjourned accordingly at eight minutes past Five o'clock.

European Council (23 Jun 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Did the European Council consider the need to amend the stability and growth pact in order to give member states greater freedom to stimulate their economies while maintaining fiscal discipline?

G8 Summit (4 Jun 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Did the G8 consider the worrying signs that the world economy might be moving towards deflation? In particular, did the group consider what concerted steps might be taken to counteract deflation if the threat proved more definite?

Business of the House (8 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: May I draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to the recently published Treasury Select Committee report on the UK and the euro—an all-party report which sets out the issues relevant to the Chancellor's five tests and the ultimate decision? Can he find time for a debate on it on the Floor of the House, before the Government come to a conclusion on this important issue?

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that the ERM was a disaster, first, because the Government went in at far too high a rate; secondly, because they had not negotiated with colleagues in the ERM, so when difficult times came, they were not ready to bail the Government out; and, thirdly, because the ERM left cracks into which speculators could get, as happened on Black Wednesday?

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: How does the right hon. Gentleman arrive at that conclusion? The tax introduced by the Chancellor at the beginning amounted to £5 billion a year or thereabouts, but the stock market has lost more than £100 billion in the past two years or so. Why is it the £5 billion that is having that dire effect, and not the fall of the stock market? In the contorted logic of the right hon. Gentleman's...

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Did the right hon. Gentleman have the use of a car when he was Minister?

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Does the right hon. Gentleman honestly believe this travesty? Indicators for the health service all show improvements over the past two years. Primary school literacy and numeracy have gone up unbelievably. Schools and hospitals recognise that big changes are happening. The right hon. Gentleman seems to fall into the trap that his whole party falls into by trying constantly to talk down...

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: It is a major achievement of this Budget that an unprecedented programme of investment in our public services has been maintained, despite Britain's being in the trough of the economic cycle, and despite a synchronised world recession. The Government's economic strategy has been stress-tested at home and abroad in the past year and has come through unscathed. The hon. Members for Arundel and...

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: As the hon. Gentleman heard me say, I was opposed to the process of balancing the budget in the trough of the cycle by cutting public spending because that deepens recession. That is exactly what the Governments of the hon. Gentleman's persuasion did, creating two very severe busts during that period, and that is what they will be ever remembered for. Today, the Conservatives' strategy is to...

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: No—the shadow Chancellor has endorsed those figures. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that they are preposterous, but I have heard no adequate refutation of them. Nor have I heard—this is the issue that I am getting at—how they fit into any rational macro-economic strategy, but perhaps all will be revealed when the hon. Gentleman speaks. We on the Labour Benches must not let the...

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: I doubt whether the people who had to join the pool of the unemployed enjoyed their bathe. Great structural damage was done to the UK economy and much of our manufacturing industry was wiped out in that period. The hon. Gentleman is certainly wearing rose-tinted spectacles in assessing that period. Among the developed countries, Britain's economic health is uniquely affected by the ebb and...

Finance Bill (6 May 2003)

Mr Nigel Beard: Indeed. It is in the nature of such a report that it sets out the issues to be taken into account rather than drawing a conclusion. Nevertheless, the wealth of evidence accumulated over recent months gives a strong lead on the answers to the five tests that the Treasury wants satisfied before recommending that Britain should join the economic and monetary union. The first test asks whether...

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