Results 1–20 of 10377 for speaker:Malcolm Wicks

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: Welcome to our debate, Mr Deputy Speaker; it is good to see you again. My intention today is to talk about aspects of family life and how they relate to the “cost of living” theme. However, as a former Energy Minister, I am bound to say that I have been stimulated by the debate to make a few other remarks. Let me offer some friendly advice to the Secretary of State: his soundbite of the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: I will give way in a moment—if the intervention is a good one. As a Government, we also tried to push forward carbon capture and storage—a formidable endeavour, and I congratulate the Norwegians on the progress they have made. It would be good to hear from the Government at some stage where they think we are on CCS because it is a vital part of our low-carbon objectives, given that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: I am a kind person, and I suppose it was major until recently. That party was adamantly opposed to nuclear energy. I ask the Secretary of State whether he has now made a strategic realignment in his own mind to support nuclear energy. I hope he has. I think the fact that the Prime Minister has appointed Liberal Democrat Members to this important role of Secretary of State for Energy and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: What I am proud of is that across a range of fronts, including transport, where we saw the development of hybrid cars, for example—I do not say that the Labour Government were responsible for them, but we encouraged them—energy demand reduction in industry and in the service and retail sector, and, of course, literally on the home front, with our domestic dwellings, we made many efforts...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: I will give way one more time, but then I shall move on to discussing what I thought was to be my main subject today.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: A very senior Liberal Democrat Member says that nuclear will not happen, while the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change says that it will. I suspect that there may well be more rows in that party in the weeks and months to come—for other reasons, too—but an interesting divide has been opened up. Let me move on from nuclear energy to the nuclear family—and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: May I pursue my theme for a while? The hon. Gentleman must remind me later that I was going to give way to him. This is not a painless revolution. I do not want to compete with the Secretary of State’s soundbite, but for many women and men there is what might be called a care-career collision.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: The alliteration is better. What I mean is that the time when young men and women in their mid-to-late twenties and thirties are working hard at their careers, and when their employers are watching them, is precisely the time when they think about the need to have children. That is a dilemma and a difficulty that we have not entirely thought through. One consequence of the fact that women as...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: It could well be a factor. Certainly I acknowledge the hon. Gentleman’s main point that, although we often talk about the childminder or the nursery or the crèche, as I have been doing today, the role of the extended family—granny and granddad—can be vital. To support my case that we need to take parental leave far more seriously, let me cite a recent, or fairly recent, pamphlet...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: I will give way to all sorts of people shortly. We need to draw on some of the experience of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. We need parental leave which—almost in a social engineering way—enables and encourages dads as well as mothers to take parental leave.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: I will give way to the Secretary of State. Perhaps he is going to answer my question about nuclear energy. He has had enough time in which to think about it.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: That is good, and when we see the Government’s proposals we can debate whether they go far enough and what our long-term ambitions might be. On parental leave, perhaps we should be thinking of several years, rather than shorter periods. However, with dads in more and more families playing a much greater role than their own dads did, we must concoct the policy so that we give them, as well...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: That raises the serious and fundamental question of why this inequality still exists. It also raises a more practical question, which I think my hon. Friend was implying: how can dads who are bringing in the great majority of the family bacon take much in the way of parental leave?

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: I understand that point, which raises the difficult issue of what financial allowance we can make for parental leave. We need to get to grips with this. I turn to an issue that the House has discussed before. I put it to the Government that their policy on child benefit is a case study in unintended consequences—and I am being kind here. I speak as a great advocate of child benefit, which,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: The hon. Gentleman wants to defend the policy.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: Yes, I am, because our welfare state, although a mixture of universal and selective provision, nevertheless needs that universal core if it is to command public respect. Those of the hon. Gentleman’s constituents who have a couple of children, and who will suffer as a result of this provision, have costs, by definition, which the single person or the childless couple do not have. It is part...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: That is the logic of the position and, to be fair, many on the free-market wing of the Conservative party—such as the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank—have been arguing for decades against universal provision and for a move towards a residual welfare state just for the poor, guarded strictly by the means test. That is the logic of some of these arguments. I want to make two more...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Cost of Living (16 May 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: As I said earlier, any sensible social policy balances universal and selective provision. Many of these higher-income groups are paying substantial amounts of tax and thereby contributing to the community chest. The story becomes yet more bizarre if we consider the second unintended consequence. Following the reaction against the Treasury decision to introduce a cliff-edge, resulting in the...

Written Answers — Home Department: Police: Croydon (2 Feb 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were serving in Croydon at the end of January (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Clause 10 — Responsibility for children and young persons (1 Feb 2012)

Malcolm Wicks: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Brigg and Goole (Andrew Percy), and I shall echo some of his remarks on the child maintenance charge. I have been privileged to be a Member for 20 years, and I have noted that the issue of child maintenance and child support has been a running controversy and a running sore through Parliament and Government during that whole period. I shall...


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