Results 1–20 of 198 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Derek Thomas

The Secretary of State’S Handling of Universal Credit (11 Jul 2018)

Derek Thomas: The only things that actually matter today are the life chances of people who have been failed for decades by the benefit system. People who have been trapped out of the workplace do not care two hoots for the politics on display here today. In a previous life, I worked to support working-age people who had little or no opportunity of getting anywhere near the workplace and satisfying...

The Secretary of State’S Handling of Universal Credit (11 Jul 2018)

Derek Thomas: My hon. Friend is right. I went into that work because in west Cornwall we have a significant number of people who could be described as vulnerable, some with severe learning disabilities, and who deserve the support and help that they are beginning to get today. Under the benefit system that universal credit replaces, potential employers were encouraged to offer placements and pay people a...

The Secretary of State’S Handling of Universal Credit (11 Jul 2018)

Derek Thomas: I agree, and I know from my experience of working with some of those vulnerable people that they have untapped talents and skills. Employers want access to those skills, but all sorts of barriers have existed. They are beginning to be broken down now, enabling people to move away from the support my hon. Friend describes and giving them much more control over their lives. More must be done to...

Sustainable Fisheries (4 Jul 2018)

Derek Thomas: I welcome the statement, which will come as a relief to the sector in Newlyn and west Cornwall and is consistent with promises that have been made by the Secretary of State and the Fisheries Minister in Newlyn. After years of decline and the erosion of the fleet, skills and infrastructure as a result of the common fisheries policy, will the Secretary of State give careful consideration to how...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: If every property’s rubbish was collected at the same time by the refuse collection company, that would reduce vehicle movements and congestion in our tourist areas, which are often not built for large vehicles at the best of times. In summary, I believe that asking for council tax to be paid on every property would provide a significant boost to funds which could be used to help...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: I appreciate the opportunity to raise this important issue for my constituents, for the whole community in Cornwall and, I am sure, for many tourist areas around the country. I am a firm believer that taxes should be simple and fair and that they should benefit the local community, so my overriding priority in securing a debate on council tax is to ensure that it is as easy as possible for...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: I will give way first to my colleague from St Austell and Newquay.

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: That is a completely fair point, and I will be addressing it later. I have had meetings with people in St Ives town, where this has been a particular issue and where bins have been removed because the council has deemed them to have been abused by holiday let owners. This has resulted in residents who are paying council tax having nowhere to put their rubbish.

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: I am quite impressed by that intervention. It was quite a thing to hear, and I am sure that it will go on public record and that people will refer to it in future. I have raised this issue with the Chancellor of the Exchequer since I was elected in 2015. I have raised it with three separate Secretaries to the Treasury, and I raised it once again just a couple of weeks ago in a debate in...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: That is why I believe that this is an opportunity for the Government to simplify council tax. If they know that every property built as a residential property is due for a council tax charge, surely that simplifies it. What the Government then decide to do about whether the properties are registered for business rates or not should be left to someone far brighter than I am. I am glad that I...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: No, not just Cornwall, but we work closely together as a team, fighting for Cornwall in all sorts of ways. I am proud to be in a county where the six MPs work so closely together on such important issues, helping us to maintain good local communities and a fair society. I am also asking the Government to see what powers local authorities can be given to collect an additional council tax...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: As the rules stand, if a property is advertised for let for a certain number of weeks a year, it can be registered as a business and exempted from council tax and business rates. It is not necessarily required for people to be in the building during that time, as long as it is advertised as available for let. My hon. Friend is right, but I do not want to complicate the issue further. Simply...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: I clarify that I am talking about second homes that are not available for let. There are properties where I live that are owned by people who might live not far from here in Westminster and who go to Cornwall for a few weeks a year as a holiday. That is absolutely fine, and they choose to contribute a great deal to the local community, but what I am proposing is that the Government look at...

Council Tax and Second Homes (26 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: That is a fair point, because we would be dispersing the problem. I completely accept that point, and it is not something I have considered a great deal. In my constituency and across Cornwall, we are fairly sea-locked, so there would not be great competition from neighbouring counties. There is a particular issue for us in Cornwall, because once the houses are gone, they are gone and it is...

Health and Social Care: Highly Specialised Technologies Evaluations (19 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: Is the Minister aware of the recent NICE draft review regarding treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms? Some 1,500 to 2,000 lives are saved yearly by NHS AAA screening. If the draft recommendations are adopted, a patient is likely to have an aneurysm erupt before treatment and 80% of patients are then likely to die. Will the Minister look carefully at this issue to avoid this unintended...

NHS Long-Term Plan (18 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: This statement is very welcome, but I have raised in this place before how the money is distributed around the UK; it is well known that the south-west gets about 2% less a year of increased NHS funding. When the Secretary of State has a moment, will he look again at how funding is distributed, and ensure that as it increases, it is increased fairly?

Business Rates — [James Gray in the Chair] (13 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: I thank the hon. Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell) for securing this debate. It is one that I wanted to secure, but I was not successful, so I am glad to have the opportunity to contribute again on the subject. The Minister might just groan when he hears me speaking again—he has heard the issues several times before, and I was glad to raise them in last week’s Opposition...

Business Rates — [James Gray in the Chair] (13 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: Is it 24%? Golly! I know the Government need to continue to collect that money, and I am absolutely in favour of the transaction tax. A high street business should pay the same rate on an individual item as an out-of-town store or an online store pays. There must be a way to make taxes fair. There must be a simple way to make tax digital that enables the Government to continue to collect the...

Retail Sector (6 Jun 2018)

Derek Thomas: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will reduce my speech to 40 pages now that you have said that. In counties such as Cornwall, the retail sector is a significant contributor to the local economy, so I welcome the opportunity to discuss it. I am glad that the Secretary of State is still in his place, as it is really good to be able to speak directly to him. Most employees in Cornwall work in...

Street Homelessness — [James Gray in the Chair] (24 Apr 2018)

Derek Thomas: I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesham (Adam Holloway) for securing the debate. In Penzance we have a problem, and across Cornwall two years ago we had the third highest level of rough sleeping in the country. When I ask people why, they say because it is the end of the line. People get on the train and get off when it stops in Penzance. There are rumours that local...


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