Results 1–20 of 793 for speaker:Mr Michael Stern

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

Mr Michael Stern: The force of my right hon. and learned Friend's argument is that it is more important to remove temptation from people who he and the Minister of State have said on many occasions are the least likely people to succumb to that temptation. A large group of people will be tempted: my right hon. and learned Friend has already admitted that such people regard the legislation as totally...

Orders of the Day — Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Bill (24 Jan 1997)

Mr Michael Stern: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Castle Point (Dr. Spink) on introducing the Bill, which is thoroughly welcome, although I intend to comment on some of the details of its provisions. I am thoroughly envious of my hon. Friend's success in the ballot; after 14 years, I am still waiting to succeed, but I shall carry on trying. The Bill is designed to fulfil a great need, which I can...

Orders of the Day — Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Bill (24 Jan 1997)

Mr Michael Stern: That point gives rise to an interesting speculation. If a bottle of lemon squash is confiscated by an officer because he believes it to contain alcohol, will he be obliged to submit it for analysis, or will he be able simply to pour it away? In the former case, if the bottle is subsequently found to contain lemon squash, the officer could be liable because he has confiscated property...

Orders of the Day — Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Bill (24 Jan 1997)

Mr Michael Stern: The Bill would not affect a person's right to drink in a private place under the age of 18.

Orders of the Day — Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Bill (24 Jan 1997)

Mr Michael Stern: As my hon. Friend will appreciate, my life has been based on being somewhat vertically challenged. I have no doubt that, in any such mixed group, until I was about the age of 25, if not later, I would have been regarded by the police as probably under 18. Is he sure that, in those circumstances, we wish to introduce a power to enable the police to judge purely by external appearance whether...

New clause 4: Payments in Respect of Firearms Rendered Unlawful (4 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: Unlike many of my hon. Members—indeed, hon. Members on both sides of the House—I am not familiar with guns; I barely know one end of a gun from the other. I recommend that no one ever test me on the subject. I am here to talk about people. The new clause is fundamentally flawed in that it treats gun clubs, their members and supporters shoddily—which, like many of my hon. Friends, I...

New clause 4: Payments in Respect of Firearms Rendered Unlawful (4 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: They may well apply in that case, but certainly not in the context of new clause 4, moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Weston-super-Mare (Sir J. Wiggin). If new clause 4 does not go through, a number of my constituents who shoot at gun clubs in Yate and Nailsea will be deprived of their occupation and hobby. That is what one would normally expect of a Government who are introducing...

New clause 4: Payments in Respect of Firearms Rendered Unlawful (4 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: Under the Government's proposals, can my hon. Friend imagine the reaction of those gentlemen if their invoices reach the Home Secretary and they are told that he disagrees with their valuations and has no intention of entering into discussion about what he intends to pay them, whether they like it or not?

New clause 4: Payments in Respect of Firearms Rendered Unlawful (4 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I wonder whether he would agree that his point—

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I am listening to the hon. Gentleman's web of fantasy with great interest. Has he not noticed that, in the same period, the number of private sector tenants has gone up? One would therefore expect the number of private sector claims to go up.

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: We have heard several distinguished contributions to the debate from members of the Select Committee on Social Security and I am grateful for those. I come to the debate from a slightly different perspective. The Social Security Select Committee has been considering one aspect of benefit fraud, but as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I have considered the problem because the remit...

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: The hon. Lady is placing far too great a reliance on data matching, and making the same mistake as the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms Harman). A typical pensioner could be receiving a state pension and a small occupational pension from a totally different source, and possibly have some savings income from the National Savings bank. No data matching system will bring that information together,...

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I am grateful to have the opportunity to answer the hon. Lady. I agree that Governments must continually look at take-up campaigns. All I am trying to prove to her—she seems to have conceded the point—is that they are totally irrelevant to the Bill.

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: My hon. Friend has suggested a complete rounded record of ins and outs, but, in the context of the Bill and the prevention of fraud, what he is looking for—and what we hope to achieve—are data-matching provisions. Does he not fear, however, that the system that he is describing would impinge rather more on individual liberties?

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I do not want the hon. Gentleman to think that I disagree with everything that he has just said, but it occurs to me that he may be dealing with the wrong problem. The Bill is not really designed to combat the small-scale fraud that he has described and into which he thinks people have been led. By and large, the people whom we are attacking in the Bill are not those who are trying to gain...

Orders of the Day — Social Security Administration (Fraud) Bill (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I should be grateful if my right hon. Friend could clear up a matter of confusion. According to the notes on clauses, the 30 per cent. penalty appears to be mitigable. I have read the clause and I cannot find a provision that allows for such mitigation. Are we talking about a mitigable penalty?

Household Projections (25 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I welcome the Green Paper's emphasis on local decisions on local housing matters. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is important to encourage planning authorities not to take decisions in other areas that are inimical to housing development? I am thinking in particular of the decision that my right hon. Friend took—quite rightly—to bar an airport at Filton in my constituency, which...

Prayers: Solon Housing Association (17 Jul 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: My hon. Friend is developing an important point, which is part of the core of my argument. To what extent does he have powers as a Minister to draw a case to the attention of the Housing Corporation, through which funds are channelled to housing associations, when it is felt, for any reason, that a housing association is not meeting the standards that he has outlined?

Prayers: Solon Housing Association (17 Jul 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: The subject of anti-social behaviour by what newspapers frequently call "neighbours from hell" has been a staple of social housing throughout the country for some time, and the Government are, of course, in the process of taking steps to provide local authorities with the power to do something about such behaviour. Whether authorities such as Bristol will actually use the power is another...

Prayers: Solon Housing Association (17 Jul 1996)

Mr Michael Stern: I am afraid that I cannot. I have little time, so I shall not be able to give way. In its 1994–95 annual report, a copy of which I shall place in the Library, Solon lists the various factors that it takes into account in assessing or selecting tenants, and notes that it regards itself as accountable to tenants and applicants for housing to the housing corporation and to local authorities....


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