Results 161–180 of 514 for speaker:Dr Alan Williams

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate. Somewhere in the middle of her speech, the hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) talked about the lack of growth in the past 12 months in expenditure on health and education. It is very hard to take any criticism of our public expenditure plans from Conservative Members, as our plans are precisely those...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: We have been in power for only 10 or 11 months—although we intend to be there for quite a long time. Judge us, and our record on health and education, after five or 10 years. As my hon. Friend the Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mr. Jones) said, all we plead guilty to is keeping our election promises. Our promise on health and education was not to exceed—for reasons of sound economic...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: That is a magnificent point to put on the record. Our demography is changing. Factors such as the size of the family unit must be considered. Much of what the Government inherited in respect of the way that the benefit and taxation system works needs to be changed to take account of such social conditions. I enthusiastically endorse the main drift of the Budget—welfare to work and making...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for those comments. I agree whole-heartedly. It is prudent economic management to invest properly in education. Not to invest in the health service is to cause unnecessary suffering. Health and other parts of the public sector, particularly education, are starved of investment. It is unwise to stack away money rather than investing it in our young people, in...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: That is the third time the hon. Gentleman has mentioned lack of confidence in the Government's economic policies. The FTSE index shows that shares have soared, especially since we were elected, and the pound is also high. Our problem is not lack of confidence, but far too much confidence and a flow of money into London.

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Does my hon. Friend agree that, if we want an end to boom and bust and look to stability in the economy—the Government's overriding long-term objectives—we shall not achieve those objectives with the present level of the pound? We must have lower interest rates and a lower pound.

Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill: Equal Opportunities (Welsh Public Bodies) (2 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: I whole-heartedly agree with the aim of gender balance, but my hon. Friend knows from our discussions on achieving that aim that it raises difficult issues for constituency parties. What is the problem with 50:50 shortlists? That form of positive discrimination could apply in the public sector as well as to political parties, although it would not guarantee gender balance. Will my hon....

Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill: Equal Opportunities (Welsh Public Bodies) (2 Mar 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: The Liberal Democrats are claiming the moral high ground on sorting out the gender balance. Of the 46 Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament, how many are women? What did the Liberal Democrats decide at their weekend conference?

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Like my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Martlew), I have been present at many—indeed, virtually all—the debates on BSE in the House over the past 10 years. The Opposition—the Government of the day—would have done better to listen more to the contributions of Members such as my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle, my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr....

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: No. Time is very short, and I have many important things to say. I wanted to intervene on the Minister. I tried nine or 10 times, but he would not give way. I am glad that I have now been called. [Interruption.] I mean the shadow Minister, the right hon. Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack). He got into quite a huff over an allegation that my hon. Friend the Minister had made about the previous...

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: I will not give way. I listened intently to the arguments of the shadow Minister, the right hon. Member for Fylde, in attacking the regulations. He based his arguments completely on the fact that the risk is infinitesimal; it is one in a billion. SEAC did say that, but it is speculation. We have no real idea what the true risk is. As my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mrs. Campbell)...

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: I give way to the right hon. Member for Fylde.

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: I was saying that, when SEAC speculates that the chance is one in a billion, that is based simply on the fact that, to date, the number of new variant CJD victims is 23. The figure is based on that order of magnitude of incidence. If the incidence is 10, 100 or even 1,000 times as much as that, which we cannot rule out at this stage, that one in a billion figure becomes 10, 100 or 1,000 times...

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: As the hon. Gentleman has tried to intervene several times, I give way to him.

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Our beef is probably the safest in Europe, and it will be safer still if the regulations are passed.

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: The problem with the previous Government was that, throughout the 10 years that they handled the crisis, they never adopted the precautionary principle. The most serious allegation that the Liberal Democrats, the House of Lords and the Conservative party can make against us is that we err too much on the side of safety, but it is about time that Governments throughout the world erred on the...

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Time is running out, so I shall not give way again. I am surprised that in this evening's well-attended debate, we have spent one and a half hours debating beef on the bone, when there are more serious issues affecting the rural economy. Because of the BSE crisis and the value of the green pound, and thanks to the previous Government and the problems that they caused, the rural economy is...

Orders of the Day — Scotland Bill: Beef Bones Regulations (10 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Our time would have been far better spent considering the European beef ban. The lifting of the ban would be the answer to our problem. We should also have been discussing the painfully slow progress on the certified herds scheme.

Prayers: Energy Efficiency Bill (6 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: On the subject of cavity wall insulation, earlier this morning I read the Library's brief and I was impressed by sections of it showing that the proportion of houses with loft insulation, draught-proofing and double glazing is increasing substantially. Why are only 25 per cent. of homes that could have cavity wall insulation actually fitted with it? Are there fears that it could be a health...

Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill: Grants to Assembly (3 Feb 1998)

Dr Alan Williams: Does the right hon. Gentleman concede that the criteria that would work well for Wales—we are poorer, so the Barnett formula should give us more—would penalise Scotland, where GDP is about the same as in England, very heavily?


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