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Results 1–20 of 478 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Rebecca Long-Bailey

Defence Industry and Shipbuilding (11 Jul 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: The World cup semi-final starts in less than half an hour, so I shall make sure that my comments are uncharacteristically brief. I thank all Members who spoke today; I apologise for not referring to them individually. I give a special mention to my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith), who made the case for why greater Government intervention is necessary not only for defence...

Defence Industry and Shipbuilding (11 Jul 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I thank my right hon. Friend for his contribution, but it has somewhat delayed my speech and stands in the way of the World cup semi-final. I am coming to those points. What should the Government be doing to support British manufacturing? As I have said, infrastructure is a key tool in driving investment upwards. Upgrading the nation’s infrastructure in projects such as the Swansea Bay...

Defence Industry and Shipbuilding (11 Jul 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I am leading on to that issue. It is a debate not only about the ships in question, but about wider manufacturing procurement strategy. Given the severity of the crisis facing British steel, this is simply shocking. The Government need to take a long-term approach to procurement, appreciating the wider economic and societal benefits of their decisions, rather than simply driving down the...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Economic Growth and Emissions (12 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: The Government’s shambolic policy on the solar and onshore wind sectors in recent years has meant that significant economic growth and decarbonisation opportunities have been lost. For example, we have seen dramatic feed-in tariff subsidy cuts; business and VAT rate hikes; and obstruction to clean power auctions. Sadly, as we have heard today, there are reports that the Swansea Bay...

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Economic Growth and Emissions (12 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I think we touched a nerve there. The Minister is living in a parallel universe to me, because in the first quarter of 2018 the deployment of new solar slowed to its lowest level since 2010, and next year onshore wind installation is expected to be at its lowest level since before 2008. But it gets worse: last November, the industrial strategy was published, yet seven months on progress has...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I beg to move, That this House notes that 21,000 jobs were lost in the retail sector in the first three months of 2018 due to store closures and company administrations, with more announced since; further notes that the retail sector is one of the largest employers in the UK and contributed £94.6 billion to the UK economy in 2016; regrets that the Government’s industrial strategy...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I will.

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention and I completely agree. I will come on to business rates and the action that I would suggest that the Government take shortly.

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: Yes, and I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention—I completely agree. Before I start the substantive part of my comments, it is important to note that the commercial retail sector has faced significant strain over recent years, affecting landlords and tenants alike. That is not least due to the business rates system. A lot of major property investors—for example, St...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I completely agree, and now I will begin the substantive part of my comments, if I may. The retail sector is undergoing a period of transformative change that will impact millions of workers across the UK. As has been played out in the press over the last few months, the sector is experiencing huge challenges, with almost silence from the Government, sadly. We have seen an onslaught of store...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I agree with my hon. Friend, but the issue is twofold. It is not simply about imposing obligations on businesses; the Government have a duty to provide a fertile business environment in which large and small businesses can grow and provide a positive contribution to their communities. Toys R Us and Maplin collapsed on the same day in February, putting 5,500 jobs at risk in one day. Card...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I completely agree, and interestingly historically RBS had a last-man-standing agreement to be the last bank on many high streets, and that does not seem to have been enforced by the Government, so I call on the Secretary of State to look at this. My hon. Friend makes a pertinent point, and it is not just bank closures that are damaging the high street infrastructure; the closure of post...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I thank the hon. Lady for her intervention. Please will she congratulate her son on his recent promotion? Some of the Government’s commitments are welcome, including the national retraining scheme and the T-levels that she has just mentioned, but sadly they are meaningless in the context of the cuts that we have faced over recent years. For example, £64 million was announced for...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments, and I do apologise for speaking for some time. If he listens, perhaps he will get some of those pearls of wisdom in due course. The point I am making is that the Government need to recognise that businesses need support. Businesses themselves need to innovate and to ensure that they drive productivity increases in-house, but the Government need to...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: My hon. Friend makes a vital point, and I shall come on to that shortly. For some people, working in retail may be their only viable employment option. If a chain goes under and the local store closes or relocates out of the area, they will either have to travel further afield to find work or decide that the journey is simply not cost-effective and be forced to give up work altogether....

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: My hon. Friend makes an important point about another key factor in improving productivity. This is about not just improving skill levels, but engaging with the workforce proactively and collaboratively. That is best done through trade union membership and allowing trade unions access to workplaces, so issues on the shop floor can be identified and dealt with quickly, increasing productivity...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I thank my hon. Friend and support what she says. Going back to Sainsbury’s, staff will no longer get paid breaks or higher rates of pay for working on a Sunday under the new terms. Premium rates for night-shift work will be restricted to between midnight and 5 am, and shop floor staff will no longer be able to earn bonuses. It is interesting, however, that the freeze on bonuses is...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: With the hon. Gentleman’s knowledge of the sector, I am surprised that he says that, given that business rates are one of the critical issues affecting the high street. Retailers often tell me about the unfairness of businesses such as Amazon receiving skewed business rates valuations due to the size of their operations, so I have dealt with that point.

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I have not in any way, shape or form suggested that any business lacks the capacity or drive to innovate—quite the contrary—but they do lack Government support to drive that innovation. As for making tax digital, I ask the hon. Lady to read some of the Library research. While the sentiment is credible, the implementation has been far from it, with numerous businesses reporting...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Rebecca Long-Bailey: I referred earlier to the commercial retail property market, and the Government must recognise that they have to work collaboratively across the sector and with landlords to enable tenants to secure fair tenancies. In the current climate, many tenancies are unfair to retailers, forcing many of them over the edge. Offshore landlords are a significant issue that we have discussed at length in...


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