Ann McKechin: Yes. As I have said before, half those who take up smoking will not be able to stop, and we know that every week hundreds of teenagers across the UK take up the smoking habit. So every week that we delay has a direct health impact in our local communities. The Minister’s own review, the Chantler review, concluded when it reported in early April last year that branded packaging plays an...
Ann McKechin: The right hon. Gentleman is right about that, because these regulations, which need to be laid by the end of this month if they are to be approved in time by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments and the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee. That is why we need to use the precious time that we have in this Parliament between now and the end of March to save lives and reduce the...
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 7 January 2015 to Question 219632, whether his Department received any direct or indirect information from people or organisations other than City Link or the administrators (a) orally or (b) in writing before 23 December 2014 that there was a possibility of City Link being placed into administration.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Greek counterpart on elections in that country in January 2015; and if he will make a statement.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effects of fracking on rural communities; and if she will make a statement.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average amount of annual housing benefit payments per applicant was in (a) Glasgow North constituency, (b) the city of Glasgow and (c) Scotland in each year since 2010.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much housing benefit was paid to applicants in (a) Glasgow North constituency, (b) the city of Glasgow and (c) Scotland in each year from 2010 to 2014.
Ann McKechin: What change there has been in the level of child poverty in Scotland since 2010; and if he will make a statement.
Ann McKechin: It is incredible how complacent the Government are about the fact that child poverty in Scotland is increasing. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, it is set to increase by a further 100,000 by 2020 if the current Government’s policies are followed. Is it not about time that both the UK and Scottish Governments, who seem to be relaxed about that increase in poverty, got together...
Ann McKechin: The Minister will be aware that in parcel and distribution services there is not only widespread use of zero-hours contracts but, as we have seen with the collapse of City Link, increased use of self-employed contractors, who have ended up with no rights to redundancy, with losing pay, and with being increasingly abused. How will the Minister regulate the sector so that we halt this race to...
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the Insolvency Service plans to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the administration of Citylink.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when his Department (a) first became aware of the possible administration of Citylink and (b) was advised by Citylink or its advisers that the company might be placed into administration.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when his Department was first made aware that there would be insufficient funds from the administration of Citylink to pay statutory redundancy payments to that company's former employees.
Ann McKechin: I am grateful to the Minister. May I give credit to the Greater Maryhill food bank in my constituency, which does exemplary work? It did not exist in 2009, despite the fact that unemployment in my constituency was much higher than it is now. Can the Minister explain why the use of food banks has gone up by a huge percentage while unemployment is decreasing, which he reminds us about frequently?
Ann McKechin: The Minister stated that there are no quotas for the number of refugees we are taking, but he does not seem, from his answers, to be very proactive in trying to obtain offers of assistance within the United Kingdom. May I suggest that he arranges a summit with the devolved Administrations and local government in England to find out how many authorities are prepared to make offers of...
Ann McKechin: What steps she is taking to tackle youth unemployment in Northern Ireland.
Ann McKechin: The Minister will be aware that unemployment in Northern Ireland is much higher than the UK average, and a recent survey by the BelfastTelegraph found that two thirds of young people wanted to leave Northern Ireland. What specific steps is he taking to improve skills and training to encourage young people to stay in Northern Ireland?
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what equality impact assessment in relation to gender his Department carried out on the proposal to limit the new postgraduate student loan finance to students under 30.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what proportion of part-time UK postgraduate students of each gender were (a) under 30, (b) between 30 and 40 and (c) over 40 years of age on entry in each of the last three years.