Results 1–20 of 840 for speaker:Mr Mike Thomas

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: Will the right hon. Gentleman go through the list?

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: I want to make much the same point. I should have thought that the Government could at least pay in the middle of the month, which would mean a shorter gap for those who transferred. Why is it that the Government cannot print order books which simply have a code, with the local post office being instructed to pay the amount which corresponds to the code?

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: I fail to see the difficulty. If a difficulty is raised by the trade unions within the Post Office because their members are reluctant to operate such a system, surely it is not beyond the wit of man to devise a simple system. Could it not be pointed out to those involved that they are employed for the benefit of the community and not vice versa?

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way—after all, we are in Committee?

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: I always understood that the purpose of being a Member of Parliament was to ask questions on behalf of one's constituents and to get answers from Ministers. Unfortunately, we do not seem to be successful with the second half of that equation. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, I represent those who work in the central office in Newcastle. They tell me that there is no great difficulty in...

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: The Minister undermines his argument. If he does not know what the administrative cost is how, can he say that it is so great that we cannot contemplate it?

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: Why will not the Minister come clean with the Committee? The cost that he is worried about is the £250 million that paying people their benefits earlier would cost the Government. We accept that that is a real cost that would have to go on public expenditure. But clearly the administrative cost is not the most significant; it must be minuscule compared to £250 million.

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: If it turns out that the Minister has withdrawn the full confession that he made earlier, I am sure that the hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. Stallard) will observe that he was given a clear sedentary wigging by the Secretary of State, who waved his finger and shouted at him.

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: Will the Minister allow me to speak for a moment in my capacity as Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne, East where the central office that undertakes this work is located? The Minister knows perfectly well that the argument about the time delay on uprating is completely bogus. If we wish to uprate faster than the five months that he now claims to be able to achieve, we can do so, at...

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: We know how much it would cost to increase the level of benefit. But how much would it cost to employ all the extra staff that would be necessary to uprate twice a year? I should welcome an increase in employment in a constituency which has 50 per cent. unemployment.

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: The Minister should know that figure before he comes to the House.

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: The right hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Prentice) will forgive me if I do not deal with the issues he raised. I can understand the desire of the Government to avoid the biannual uprating of pensions and other benefits. Hon. Members on this side of the Committee— particularly those, including the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker), who during a period of Labour Government...

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: As usual, we are facing sedentary, not straightforward, interventions from the Treasury Bench. It is a brave man or woman, as the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) prompts me— I note that the Government are not doing it — who would give the commitment that they are sure that inflation will not rise above 6 per cent. to double what it will be in May when the uprating takes place. I...

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: We have established the answer to that question. Clearly, I know his manifestos rather better than the hon. Gentleman does. My adherence to the manifesto on which I stood seems to be more consistent than that of the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk) or other Labour Members, who seem to have departed from it in may respects since it was drawn up in 1979. I am sure, Mr. Armstrong,...

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: What the Labour Party is asking for in its amendment is entirely reasonable. My party supports it and we look forward to answers from the Minister not just to those questions but to the questions raised by the hon. Member for Macclesfield.

Orders of the Day — Social Security and Housing Benefits Bill: Up-Rating Orders (20 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: I much admire the hon. Gentleman's vibrancy and resolution. Has he not noticed that the Minister has already come clean and confessed that the Government needed the clawback of £210 million? Has it occurred to the hon. Gentleman that what the Government wanted the money for, was to raise the mortgage interest tax relief from £25,000 to £30,000, benefiting a few people in the south-east who...

Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (19 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: Has my right hon. Friend's constituency, like mine, been declared by one of his authorities a so-called nuclear-free zone? Does he agree that it is the greatest hypocrisy to lobby for shipyard orders, and to ask Ministers to place naval orders at yards such as Swan Hunter on north Tyneside, while at the same time promoting the idea that the area should be a nuclear-free zone? Is not that the...

Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (19 Apr 1983)

Mr Mike Thomas: rose—


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