Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, it is well known in the retail sector that a large number of the workers are part-time. They earn very little money. We have recently seen that not even the minimum wage is paid by some retailers in that area. Will the Minister look at the question of business rates and see the extent to which they will raise the standards of working people in the retail sector?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, I spent 28 years representing people in the retail sector and I support this amendment. In the main, the people we are talking about are women and girls under the age of 18. They are the ones who face up to the criminals who enter the stores and do damage to individuals, who are frightened to death doing their job. As I said, in the main we are talking about young girls and women in...
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, in 1999 the previous Government made sure that more than 700 hereditary Lords could no longer sit in this House. Now then, can the Minister tell me how many Peers on the Conservative Benches came from Eton?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, we know that nothing happens in China except by the leave of the Communist Party, which controls the whole of China. We know what the British delegation wants from China. Can the Minister tell the House what the Chinese want?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, does the Minister remember that a very long time ago a man by the name of Galbraith coined the phrase “private affluence and public squalor”? In view of the increase in poverty and the growth of food banks, does the Minister believe that this country is heading for the same situation?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, does the Minister think there is a measure of inconsistency in, on the one hand, encouraging the Cypriots to reunite while at the same time asking the Scots people perhaps to break up the United Kingdom?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, I certainly welcome the Government’s approach to apprentices with dyslexia. However, I would like to know what the Government are doing when the apprentices become craftsmen, because apprentices will become craftsmen but will still have dyslexia. How will the Government cope with that?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, Amendment 1 is very simple and I give it whole-hearted support. Some things have been said during the debate on which I want to comment. The noble Lord, Lord Fowler, talked about prejudice. Yes, there is prejudice. For example, there is prejudice about capital punishment and there is prejudice about the European Union. We do not ban them. In fact, we might be having referendums on...
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, to what extent does the Minister feel that the people of central Asia have benefited from our involvement there?
Lord Davies of Coity: Will the Minister address the question asked by the noble Baroness, Lady Gardner? It has been said quite clearly that there are circumstances in which unqualified paramedics attend an emergency call. Does he believe that any unqualified paramedic should be responding to an emergency call?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, the Minister said very clearly in his Answer to the first Question that it was a matter of "value for money". Is there not a danger that the Government will cost the exercise at the expense of the care that should be had by patients in this country?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, we have all heard about the big society. We have all heard that we are all in this together. I am driven to the belief that the proposed cuts in the draft Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 are another example of the most vulnerable people in our society being expected to make the greatest sacrifices. Before coming to your Lordships' House 15 years ago, I was an officer of...
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, I wonder if the Minister can advise the House as to the number of clubs that have been forced to close in recent years as a result of government legislation?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, if there is some improvement as a result of what they do in Ireland and France, why do not we do something that will be an improvement on the current situation?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, will the Minister advise me on an issue-
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, in answer to the question posed by the noble Lord, Lord Lea, the Minister said there were no plans to have employee representatives on management boards. Fine-but can the Minister tell the House why the Government object to workers' representatives being on the boards?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, Syria is likely to go into a civil war, as the Minister has said. We have been involved in the bombing of Libya and went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. To what extent do the Government believe that we have helped the people of those countries by our involvement?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, my noble friend Lord Foulkes described the circumstances arising out of his question, such as the slotting of aircraft. The Minister replied to the issue of the slots but he never replied to the point about the dithering over the decision, for which the Government are responsible, about the third runway at Heathrow.
Lord Davies of Coity: Can the Minister tell the House the extent to which the Government believe that British companies are involved in the offshore companies that are involved in this expertise?
Lord Davies of Coity: My Lords, I regret that I was not able to be in the House on Tuesday and therefore could not participate in the Second Reading debate. However, I take the point of view of the noble Lord, Lord Judd, with regard to the protection of shop workers. In the Second Reading debate the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, said that he had been involved prior to 1986. So was I as the general secretary of the...