Results 1–20 of 670 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Chris Stephens

Universal Credit and Welfare Changes (21 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I, too, was at Marylebone jobcentre as part of the Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into benefit sanctions. Given that the Secretary of State seems open to suggestions, may I suggest that she reviews the policy whereby a claimant can be sanctioned if they refuse a zero-hours contract? Could it not be counterproductive in the fight against poverty to move people from out of work...

Insecure Work and the Gig Economy (20 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: Will the Minister confirm that 25% of the posts at the national minimum wage compliance unit are still lying vacant?

Insecure Work and the Gig Economy (20 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: It is a pleasure to see you in the chair, Mr McCabe. I congratulate the hon. Member for Barnsley East (Stephanie Peacock) on securing this debate and on her private Member’s Bill, of which I am a sponsor. I also want to take the opportunity to commend the work of Better Than Zero, an organisation primarily organised through the Scottish Trades Union Congress youth committee, which...

Insecure Work and the Gig Economy (20 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I am not opposed to what the hon. Member for Leeds North West (Alex Sobel) suggests. I want to deal with the important issue of shift changes. Some of us in the Chamber attended a TUC event earlier this year. It is clear that two things are happening: sometimes shifts are cancelled, which means that people miss out and have to pay for childcare, and sometimes people are told they have to...

Backbench Business: Mortgage Interest — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (19 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: The Minister seems to indicate that affected individuals receive correspondence from his Department before the Serco letter. That is not what my constituents tell me, so will he place that correspondence in the Library for us to review?

Backbench Business: Mortgage Interest — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair] (19 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: My hon. Friend gives an excellent constituent example. Does she agree that many constituents across the UK found themselves getting a surprise letter from Serco, which caused fear and alarm across the board in people affected by this policy?

Glasgow School of Art (19 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I agree with and associate myself with the remarks that everyone has made about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday night. Does the Secretary of State agree that the creative arts and creative industries can find young people work in a way that conventional industry cannot? Will he take that into account when he considers what Government funding will be available?

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Sewel Convention (14 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: It was no surprise a few moments ago to hear the Secretary of State condemn walk-outs, given that 30 years ago his party legislated to deny workers that right in every other workplace. He made no mention in his statement of anything about the views of civic Scotland. There has been an overwhelming negative reaction, such as that from the Scottish Trades Union Congress, to the current form of...

Business of the House (14 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: May I refer the Leader of the House to early-day motion 1397? [That this House congratulates South West Arts and Music Project (SWAMP) Glasgow on its recent award of £91,300 from the Scottish Government Empowering Communities Fund; notes that the organisation is an SQA Approved Centre using accredited outreach in gardening, film, music, digital and technologies, and demonstrates how the...

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I thank everyone who has contributed to the debate. It has been a good-natured but serious debate, an excellent debate, on behalf of the civil servants who work right across these islands. We should commend them for the work that they do across all Departments. The purpose of these debates is to test the Government and to test policy, and I think that what we have discovered again this...

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I want to deter the Minister away from this Tory buzzword bingo, so will he explain to us what that has to do with public sector pay?

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: The Minister now appears to be suggesting to the House—I just want to double-check that what I heard him say was what he said—that each Department has budgeted for 1%. If that is the case, surely those of us who are arguing that the public sector pay cap has not ended or been lifted are correct. Is that the case, Minister?

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: rose—

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: The Minister has been generous. Could he just answer this one question? He and the PCS have had some discussion about addressing the 200 sets of pay negotiations. Is it his intention to continue that discussion to look at whether that is actually an adequate way of funding civil service pay?

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: Does the hon. Gentleman share my frustration that there are 4,000-plus employees chasing DWP social security fraud, estimated at £1.2 billion, and in HMRC’s wealth unit there are fewer than 500 employees chasing tax avoidance of £70 billion?

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: Can I bring the hon. Gentleman back to reality? Each and every UK Government Department has budgeted for a civil service pay rise of 1%. The Scottish Government have taken a different approach. Does he not acknowledge that in reality the public sector pay cap is still in place for employees who work for the UK Government?

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: rose—

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I beg to move, That this House has considered public sector pay policy. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Owen. I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and my position as chair of the Public and Commercial Services union parliamentary group. I shall focus entirely on the pay of civil servants. A few months ago the Government...

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I agree with the hon. Gentleman. I was a trade union rep in local government before I arrived in this place, and when the public sector pay cap was first put in place, I remember that the argument used to sell it to public sector workers was that the freeze would protect jobs. As he has said, however, we have instead seen job losses in the Departments and elsewhere in the public sector. I...

Public Sector Pay Policy — [Albert Owen in the Chair] (5 Jun 2018)

Chris Stephens: I agree with the hon. Gentleman. He makes a valid point. One difficulty arising from having 200 sets of pay negotiations is to do with the Equal Pay Act 1970. How does it operate for civil service pay with so many pay schemes across the board? The Government should reflect on that.


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