Results 81–100 of 1060 for speaker:Mr George Stevenson

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am prepared to give way, but I notice that my hon. Friend is not pressing the point. Let us accept that 75 per cent. of the increase was due to revaluation. Any mathematician would say that, if 75 per cent. was due to revaluation, 25 per cent. must have been for some other reason. That other reason was the Government. I have read Conservative manifestos over recent years, and I cannot...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. It underlines the point that I was making. The Government may want to camouflage the fact that there is obviously no interest on the Government Benches in this important issue. I promise, and I am sure that it is a promise which all my hon. Friends will make, that we shall ensure that businesses in our areas are fully aware of the...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That is particularly the case when we consider the comments made by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn about the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Duncan) earlier today. I could not agree with him more. If we accept that 75 per cent. of the increase was due to revaluation, the remainder must have been due to other factors such as the economic...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: My hon. Friend makes the point in his usual direct way perhaps better than I could ever hope to, for which I am grateful.

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: That is right. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for making that point. The Government cannot have it both ways. If they are determined to protect the council tax payers from any burden that may fall on them as a result of the Government's inability to top up the pool, or lack of commitment to doing so, they must make either a clear statement today that they "shall", not "may", do it and...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful to the Minister for that extension of his opening remarks which were confusing to many of us and remain so after that intervention. However, I am encouraged because I recall an intervention on another matter by the Minister in a previous incarnation when he said that my speech was lengthy and boring. It is now theatrical, so I seem to be making progress. That is more than I can...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that further intervention. It is a message that I and other hon. Members have tried to get across. If the Government are sincere in that commitment, why change the legislation?

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful for my hon. Friend's further intervention. I hope that the message has got across clearly and that the Government will make that commitment this evening to the business community in my constituency, which—in common with others the length and breadth of the land—suffered so badly as a result of the madness of the Government's economic policies and the uniform business rate....

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful for your ruling, Madam Deputy Speaker. I take it that you were not addressing me. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that Conservative Back Benchers are to be found somewhere in the precincts of Westminster. Why do the Government base their policies on choice and diversity, but when it comes to local government demand a form of centralisation—based on the premise that Whitehall...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: That is another important reason why the Government should, even at this late stage, reconsider their basic approach to such an important piece of legislation. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise that issue. The Government's policy, based on centralisation the like of which the country has not seen for generations, is wasteful, damaging and unaccountable and is being forced through...

Orders of the Day — Non-Domestic Rating Bill (12 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: Does not my hon. Friend find it strange that, on the one hand, the Government will cap a local authority in an attempt to control its expenditure which, in part, may emanate from decisions of that local authority, but, on the other hand, the Government seek to impose further expenditure on a local authority, which would form part of that capping total, by not making their full contribution to...

Opposition Day: National Health Service (20 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: On the subject of NHS trusts, does the Secretary of State understand that the split between purchaser and provider is widening and that patients are falling into the gap that is being created? For example, a 90-year-old constituent of mine, who was taken to a trust hospital for a head injury, complained of rib pains, was sent home without an examination and was later found to have broken...

Orders of the Day — Ambulance Service (Staffordshire) (24 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: Does not the crazy system of tendering on which the Government insist have one inevitable result? It drives down pay and conditions, and in this instance it will lead to a reduction in the excellent service that Staffordshire ambulance people have provided until now.

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I should like to speak in support of amendment No. 3, which is part of the clutch of amendments that we are now discussing. I support the demand for a report to be made on the effects of implementation of the tax which the House could consider before its imposition. I am sure that all hon. Members, irrespective of their opinion of the airport tax, would agree that we have already had...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: Yes, indeed. I hope that any problems with the airport tax will not be on the same scale as those caused by the disastrous poll tax. If hon. Members just took a cursory glance at the valid points made by the travel industry, they would be bound to share some of its concerns. I am sure that they, too, would then call for a full report to be made on the effects of the tax, which could be...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: The hon. Gentleman has made my point for me, so I might as well sit down and rest on the laurels of what he has just said. He admits that nobody knows what the effects of the duty will be. The Government are imposing a serious tax which, by the way, they did not mention in their manifesto. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman told his constituents about it when he asked them to vote for him. I should...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's further intervention. If the Government have no idea about the effects of the tax until it has been imposed, how can they assume that the damage to the industry will amount to only 2·5 per cent.? The hon. Gentleman seeks to argue all the way down the yellow brick road on which he has embarked and, the more he intervenes, the more he makes the case for...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I share that view. However, that situation is perfectly consistent with the Government's policy of imposing a tax, getting others to collect it, and then blaming them for it. I do not simply make a party political point on that. If an airline were to say that it could specifically identify the cost of the administration systems that the tax will impose on it, I should be dubious about that....

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I shall come to that point in a moment. The more Conservative Members intervene, the more I recognise that they will be joining us in the Lobby in support of the amendment and I look forward to continuing this exchange there. Only recently, the President of the Board of Trade said that he was determined to cut a swathe through regulations and burdens on...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Air Passenger Duty (31 Jan 1994)

Mr George Stevenson: There is indeed a distinct danger of that. In other parts of Europe the collection of such taxes is the responsibility of Governments, so the administrative burden does not fall on the airlines. Such a move might well be attractive to certain airlines, the more so if this proves to be the thin end of a wedge. Although the tax may be only £5 or £10 today, before we know it the figure may be...


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