Results 1–20 of 3566 for speaker:Mr Terence Higgins

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office Staff (24 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: The National Audit Office audits the majority of expenditure in the United Kingdom that is funded from the European Community budget. That work is done as part of the Comptroller and Auditor General's responsibility to audit the appropriation accounts of the 10 UK Departments and agencies through which most of those funds pass. It is not possible to identify separately the staff effort...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office Staff (24 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: As my hon. Friend well knows, the Comptroller and Auditor General does not have powers to examine expenditure under European schemes in other EU countries. He may be interested to note that the Comptroller and Auditor General reported to Parliament last week on the report, "The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Common Agriculture Policy: Fraud and Irregularity", which examined...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office Staff (24 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: The report was concerned with fraud and irregularity rather than the overall position, but I am sure that if the hon. Gentleman were to study it in detail he would see that it gives a broad perspective on that particular aspect of the common agricultural policy, which concerns many hon. Members.

Firearms (Amendment) Bill: New clause (18 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: Will the hon. Gentleman take into account the point made by his hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, East (Mr. Anderson) about the European convention on human rights? When voting on the amendment today, will he consider the implications of the convention, particularly if it should be incorporated? More important, the shadow Chancellor said very clearly that he would not do anything in excess...

Firearms (Amendment) Bill: Having Small-Calibre Pistol Outside Premises of Licensed Pistol Club (18 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?

Firearms (Amendment) Bill: Having Small-Calibre Pistol Outside Premises of Licensed Pistol Club (18 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: It is not our fault that there is a timetable motion: it is my right hon. and learned Friend's fault. We had the ludicrous position just now of the Minister of State saying that she could not give an answer because she was about to be cut off by the guillotine motion. The whole thing is farcical. If people have a criminal intent, why should they bother to raid a gun club for a .22 when they...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Value Added Tax (13 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: On the collection of VAT and other Customs and Excise taxes, has my right hon. and learned Friend seen the article in the Financial Times the day before yesterday and the leader in the early editions of the Evening Standard yesterday that suggest that clauses 51 to 54 of the Finance Bill would make it possible for customs to take money direct and forthwith from bank accounts and, if people...

Ministerial Accountability and Responsibility (12 Feb 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: This is an important, if somewhat esoteric, debate for both the House of Commons and the public at large. I am sure that it is right for the Liaison Committee to use one of its scarce slots on Wednesday mornings to provide the House with the opportunity to debate the issues to which the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr. Radice) referred. I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on the work of his...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (Staff) (27 Jan 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: The National Audit Office employs 328 staff who do not currently have a professional qualification. Included in that number are 91 staff who are training for a professional qualification and 100 others who have been trained to a high standard in the professional disciplines required by the office. The remaining 137 include the full range of support staff required by a professional organisation.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (Staff) (27 Jan 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: In 1997–98, a greater volume of work will be done at a lower real-terms cost. As for the second part of my hon. Friend's question, he may well think that, but it would be wrong for me to answer a hypothetical question.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (Staff) (27 Jan 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: The main work of the office covers 570 accounts, involving expenditure and income of more than £500 billion. It is also the auditor of half of the 300 or so non-executive agencies to which the hon. Gentleman referred. I shall consider carefully what he has said and bring it to the attention of the commission.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (Staff) (27 Jan 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: I cannot give the hon. and learned Gentleman an immediate reply, but I shall happily look into the matter and write to him. Alternatively, he may wish to table a specific question. I am not aware of any form of discrimination in the employment of the staff to whom I referred in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for South Hams (Mr. Steen).

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (21 Jan 1997)

Mr Terence Higgins: Does the Prime Minister agree that the electorate are not naive? They know that a promise not to increase rates of income tax is not the same as a promise not to increase personal taxation. If one says that one wants a starting rate of 10p, that is utterly meaningless if one does not also say at what level it will start and how wide the band will be. Will my right hon. Friend comment on the...

European Union (12 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: It is a particular pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood) and to congratulate him on the immense amount of hard work that he and the Select Committee on European Legislation do. He referred to the origins of this two-day debate, and I want to say a couple of things in that context. The hon. Gentleman has a tremendous amount of work to do, and I am a little concerned by...

European Union (12 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: It is not ridiculous, in respect of either scale or effect. The difference is that, with reparations, the Germans borrowed to pay. With fines, we will not be allowed to borrow more, so the House will have no option but to raise taxes or cut expenditure. That strikes at the basis of Parliament. I therefore hope that, when my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor negotiates, he will...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (9 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: The National Audit Office's resources and procedures for certifying accounts provide for qualifying the certificate when necessary. Qualification involves additional costs for the NAO, including, for example, preparation and agreement with the Comptroller and Auditor General of reports on the accounts and consequent hearings of the Public Accounts Select Committee. However, as it is several...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (9 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: I read with interest the hon. Gentleman's contribution to the debate on 16 October and I understand his concern. He will realise, of course, that that is a matter not for the commission but for the Public Accounts Select Committee and the Department. None the less, I have no doubt that the expenditure that the National Audit Office devotes to that problem and the work it is doing are worth...

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (9 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: I am not clear exactly who my hon. Friend means when he refers to the Audit Commission. He may mean the Public Accounts Commission, which has very little bureaucracy—as the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Sheldon) will confirm. That is one of many aspects that the NAO has looked into, and it is important that it should do so.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (9 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: The NAO employs some 728 staff. Of these, there are 419 qualified audit staff, 64 qualified accounting technicians and 98 people training for professional qualifications, making 71 per cent. of the total. It is important to note that a number of the remaining 29 per cent. have technical qualifications in other areas—for example, economics and operations research.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Accounts Commission: National Audit Office (9 Dec 1996)

Mr Terence Higgins: A considerable number of accountants are involved, but there are also a number of experts in other disciplines—including, I think, education—who can look at the matter, given the responsibilities of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the NAO for education.


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