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Results 1–20 of 557 for speaker:Mr Ralph Howell

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill (14 Jan 1997)

Mr Ralph Howell: I am interested in my hon. Friend's argument. Will he explain why the Government's excellent scheme on workstart, which is in line with what my hon. Friend is suggesting, has not been introduced nationally? That is crying out to be done.

Prayers: Right to Work (26 Jun 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: Surely we have reached a point at which we must choose between the right to be unemployed and the right to work. The hon. Lady and her party will have to make up their minds about what they want. I believe that, while the right to work would constitute a big step forward, defending the right to be unemployed is unacceptable.

Prayers: Right to Work (26 Jun 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: I thank my friend the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) for his kind remarks about me and for allowing the debate to take place. I became a member of the Committee approximately two years ago. Soon after I joined the Committee, it decided to study workfare and the right to work. I believe that the Committee did a good job in looking into the matter and trying to find a...

Prayers: Right to Work (26 Jun 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: I shall refer to the details of the cost a little later in my speech. I beg the Government to take this matter seriously and to have an independent inquiry into the overall cost of the proposals—only then will we know whether they are practical. The Committee believes that we could save at least £5 billion per year, and probably considerably more. It is obvious that the welfare state is...

Prayers: Right to Work (26 Jun 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: The figure of £3 an hour would not be a minimum wage in a statutory sense—anyone who wanted to could work for less—but it would probably develop into one. I have no hang-ups about that, although perhaps the Government do. I am glad of the hon. Gentleman's intervention as it allows me to admit that I have pitched the figure at a low level. I have been talking about £3 an hour for about...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Employment: Employment Policy Priorities (21 Feb 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: May I congratulate the Secretary of State on the success of the workstart scheme, which she initiated as Secretary of State for Employment? Why have the Government never claimed the credit for the money saved under that scheme, as I believe that we have saved at least £40 per week for every person who participated in the workstart pilot scheme?

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Home Purchases (Right-to-buy) (30 Jan 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many tenants bought their homes under the right-to-buy legislation in the last year for which figures are available. [10380]

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment: Home Purchases (Right-to-buy) (30 Jan 1996)

Mr Ralph Howell: I thank my hon. Friend for that reply and congratulate the Government on the success and popularity of their right-to-buy policy. Is not it remarkable that, after all these years, we are still selling more than 100 houses a day?

Select Committees (7 Nov 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: I am glad that the Government have gone as far as they have in letting the Select Committee on Employment continue until the end of February, but I hope that they will listen to this debate and go further, because they are making a serious mistake. Unemployment is the biggest problem that confronts the advanced world and merely trying to hide it in another Department will not solve the...

Select Committees (7 Nov 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: I am grateful for that intervention. It reminds me of Question Time today. It is crazy to have education questions and employment questions all muddled up on the Order Paper. They should be in two separate halves, so that we can examine those issues properly and sensibly. I am especially concerned in relation to the statistical evidence and the report that we are compiling. We need that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Social Chapter (7 Nov 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to rewrite the social chapter of the EU. [40129]

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Social Chapter (7 Nov 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. In view of the fact that the social chapter has few friends in the House except on the Labour Front Bench, would it not be constructive for the Government to produce a more acceptable alternative social chapter? Will my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister urge the Government to make the Right to Work Bill the cornerstone of that new social...

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment: Workfare (9 May 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: In view of the acknowledged success of the workstart pilot schemes devised by Professor Snower, will my right hon. Friend institute a workfare scheme, which is also supported by Professor Snower and myself?

Agricultural Prices (21 Mar 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: Attacking the common agricultural policy is a popular sport, but I do not intend to play it. I welcome the speech of my right hon. Friend the Minister, who said that the CAP is an integral part of the European Union and will remain so. It must remain. However, there is no doubt that changes are necessary. In the context of my constituency, it is obvious that we should not be penalised by...

Agricultural Prices (21 Mar 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: My hon. Friend makes an interesting comment. This country has enjoyed 50 years of peace and prosperity, and the common agricultural policy probably did more to bring that about than NATO. The CAP was the first policy adopted by the six original members of the EEC. One purpose of being generous to the small farmers and to the peasant population of Europe was to stave off the threat of...

Agricultural Prices (21 Mar 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: The other day, a Treasury Minister said that the CAP was costing every family £28 a week. That was too much for me to tolerate, so I went to see him. By the time I arrived, he had reduced the figure to £20 a week—and by the time I had finished with him, he had cut it to £15. But even that is not the right figure. The true UK and EU subsidy amounts to less than £3 per family per week....

Agricultural Prices (21 Mar 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: I thank my right hon. Friend for those comments. There is no such thing as a world price of food or of wheat. Nobody can give one. The fictitious figure of £20 a week was calculated on the basis of wheat at £50 per tonne, which was available for a short period from Australia. The world cannot live on wheat at £50 per tonne. We would all starve if that policy were adopted. We should...

Agricultural Prices (21 Mar 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: My right hon. Friend has given us some interesting figures going back to 1974. However, would not he be able to prove his point even better if he went back to 1960, when we were spending 1 per cent. of GDP supporting agriculture, since when it has fallen. Only one quarter of 1 per cent. was spent on total support for agriculture in 1988 and even now it is less than half of 1 per cent. from...

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment: Unemployment (7 Feb 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: While welcoming the fact that unemployment is falling, is that not partly due to the trend for one regular full-time job to be turned into two part-time jobs? Should we not cease to deceive ourselves that unemployment is falling in the long term when in fact it is 65 per cent. higher than it was four years ago?

Orders of the Day — Jobseekers Bill (10 Jan 1995)

Mr Ralph Howell: I welcome those parts of the Jobseekers Bill which will help to simplify the benefits system. That desperately needs doing and I am sure that the Bill will be successful in that direction. I hope very much that the Bill will make it easier for people to move from unemployment into work. That is also a very worthy part of the Bill. While most people recognise that most of the unemployed...

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