Results 1–20 of 566 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

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: I wish to speak in favour of amendment 73, which was spoken to by my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard). The amendment asks that workers’ rights be agreed by the Joint Ministerial Committee and seeks to clarify the role of the committee in this regard. There are three reasons why that should be done. First, there is divergence. Employment law is totally devolved...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: I thank the hon. Gentleman for making that point for me. He is absolutely correct that that is what the Government are trying to do. Statements have been made in the House of Lords, including by the former chair of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, who has previously called for the scrapping of “the working time directive, the agency...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that there is a real concern across the UK in relation to workers’ rights, particularly as many in Government at present were saying during the EU referendum campaign that the roll-back of workers’ rights was one of the reasons why they advocated a leave vote in the first place?

Finance (No. 2) Bill (11 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: Please do.

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: It was the former hon. Member for Foyle, Mark Durkan, who is sadly missed in this place, who once referred to Opposition day debates as being like a silent disco: the Opposition talk about the motion on the Order Paper, and Government Members talk about something that might have a tenuous link to the motion on the Order Paper. In this debate, some Conservative Members— rather naughtily...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: I asked a number of my hon. Friends before I rose to speak whether the hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest some sort of corporal punishment, and I have to say that they thought that he did. I want to talk about the Information Commissioner, because what has happened is quite strange. The DWP appealed to the Information Commissioner over the publication of a 2011 report and then went to the...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: I agree entirely. There is a significant problem of equality impact assessments not being published, not only by the Department for Work and Pensions but across the board. Last year, I tabled parliamentary questions to each and every UK Government Department and found that not one equality impact assessment had been carried out under their change and reform programmes. Universal credit...

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: Is my hon. Friend also aware that the Department for Work and Pensions appealed to the first-tier tribunal about a 2011 project assessment report? Should we not know what the cost of that was to the taxpayer?

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: Does the Minister believe that when a Government pay their own workforce decently the whole country benefits from the increased tax revenue generated and the increased spending it allows?

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: The Minister talked about the size of the pay bill. Have the Government done any research on its size and how much activity that has generated in the wider economy?

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: Now that the Conservatives have found their voice in this debate, does my hon. Friend agree that we should find the elusive Conservative who agrees that the public sector pay cap should be lifted?

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Mr Stringer. As the Member of Parliament for Glasgow South West, which the House of Commons Library informs me has a bigger percentage of public sector workers in employment than any other constituency in these islands, as a proud member of Unison and former activist and treasurer for the Glasgow city branch, and—I refer to my entry in the...

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: I am more than happy to give way to Conservatives in a moment, but I want to develop this point. Cynics may believe that a political party that introduced in 1823 the Master and Servant Acts—legislation designed to repress working people and punish them for joining trade unions—would not be interested in issues affecting public sector workers, but I cannot believe that that would...

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: If the hon. Gentleman does not believe that the public sector pay cap was ideological, I really do fear for him and for his political analysis. Of course it was designed to be ideological. It was part of the cuts programme in the Budget. They kept boasting about the number—

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: In a second; I will just finish answering that point before we have a jack-in-the-box routine. It is good we have finally woken Conservative Members up. Of course it was ideological—the Government kept talking about the savings it would bring to the Exchequer by imposing a public sector pay cap. I will talk about the effects on the devolved Administrations later on, but it might be very...

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: Well, I would have thought a Conservative would know that the Scottish Budget follows the UK Budget. On 14 December, the Scottish Government—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Cheltenham (Alex Chalk) can shout people down and follow the lead of the Scottish Conservatives that we have seen in the last six months, but he obviously has not read the petition. We are debating a petition...

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: My hon. Friend is right. The facts speak for themselves. I am reminded of the speech I made in the Chamber less than two weeks ago on the Budget, in which I said: “The only difference between this Chancellor and the previous one is that of style, not substance. Where George Osborne could best be described as a tin of gloss, superficially painting over the cracks in our broken economy,...

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: I am not your friend, but I will give way.

Public Sector Pay — [David Hanson in the Chair] (4 Dec 2017)

Chris Stephens: The last point is well above my pay grade, but I will say this to the hon. Gentleman. It is not for me to determine what the percentage is. That should be negotiated. But the Government should not impose a cap of 1% and then say to individuals, “It’s either that or hit the cobblestones and take industrial action,” particularly given that they passed anti-trade union...

Work, Health and Disability (30 Nov 2017)

Chris Stephens: The Secretary of State will be aware of evidence presented to the Select Committee about individuals’ frustration with the Minicom service and text relay operators. It is not acceptable for people to wait 45 or 50 minutes to access those services, or to be hung up on. Can he assure me that the Minicom service and text relay operators will be adequately staffed?


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