Results 1–20 of 136 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Laura Smith

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (11 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: Will the Minister explain what the Prime Minister’s Brexit proposals would mean for those working for two of the largest employers in my constituency, Bentley Motors and the NHS?

Backbench Business: Defined-benefit Pension Schemes (10 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I thank hon. Members for attending this important debate. It is great to hear the Minister respond to the issues that I raised, and I thank him, especially for agreeing to meet me to discuss the ongoing issues at Bentley Motors. I also thank the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Jack Dromey) for his detailed response and for his continued efforts. I know he will continue to keep a...

Backbench Business: Defined-benefit Pension Schemes (10 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I beg to move, That this House has considered protecting defined-benefit pension schemes. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone, and to introduce this important debate. I welcome my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Jack Dromey) and the Minister; their presence underlines the importance of this issue. There are few more precious assets than a...

Backbench Business: Defined-benefit Pension Schemes (10 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I thank my hon. Friend for making that point. From my conversation with the Minister before the debate, I am sure he will be happy to talk about that in his speech and when he meets the Pensions Regulator. The Green Paper shows that there has been a clear decline in gilt yields over the past two decades. The public sector trade union, Unison, is of the view that most schemes that did not...

Backbench Business: Defined-benefit Pension Schemes (10 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I apologise to the hon. Gentleman—it was hard to hear him because of the sound of the fans. I will come on to those points. Basing assumptions on gilts may artificially inflate deficits and future service costs for the sponsoring employer and scheme members. That may lead to the unnecessary closure of schemes to new members and future benefit accrual. Unison’s experience is that...

Backbench Business: Defined-benefit Pension Schemes (10 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I touched on why I have concerns about that. As I said, securing member benefits should be paramount. What reassurance can the Minister give me that the eventual framework will ensure that employers’ decisions are focused on that objective? If an employer has the means to get a buy-out and that is the best way to guarantee scheme members’ benefits, it should get a buy-out. We need...

Petition - Home Education: Draft Guidance and Consultation (4 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I present this petition on behalf of home educators in my constituency who feel that there has been a failure to consult them as stakeholders in the creation of the new guidelines, going against Government policies on consultation. The petition states: The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to withdraw the draft guidance and the consultation, until it...

Estimates Day: Department for Education (3 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: Since the introduction of the new code of practice, there has been a significant increase in the number of pupils eligible to access special educational needs funding, but no proportionate increase in funding from central Government. Does my hon. Friend agree that the Government need to examine pressures on SEN budgets as part of their spending review, to help struggling local authorities...

Ministry of Justice: Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Northampton South (Andrew Lewer). One thing I think we can all agree on is that we take our health for granted. We all get bogged down with everyday worries and problems, and all too frequently we hear the phrase, often from those who are more experienced, “Your health is the most important thing. Don’t take it for granted.” Of...

Ministry of Justice: Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2 Jul 2018)

Laura Smith: I absolutely agree. The careworker who contacted me described how careworkers feel that they have no voice and no respect. Is it any wonder that more than 900 careworkers leave their job every day? The way that this crisis is being handled is utterly disgraceful, and the Government have missed opportunity after opportunity to put things right. How can we expect the care sector to function,...

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Voter ID Pilots (27 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: What representations he has received on the legality of the voter ID pilots.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office: Voter ID Pilots (27 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: Two barristers have concluded that there is no provision in the Representation of the People Act to introduce schemes by secondary legislation that restrict or discourage voting, and that the scheme is therefore beyond the scope of the law. Can the Minister reassure the House that she acted within the law?

Prime Minister: Engagements (27 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: Social care workers up and down the country are being paid less than the minimum wage as a result of incorrect Government guidance. We are repeatedly told that the Government are in talks with the EU to resolve this issue. Why are the talks taking so long? Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and commit to paying the workers what they are owed, directly through an HMRC scheme?

Prime Minister: Engagements (27 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: It is not happening.

Food Advertising (Protection of Children from Targeting): EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (26 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: Does the Minister accept that the investor-state dispute settlement has been excluded from the deal because of the widespread public outcry against it? Will he assure the House that his Government will not seek to include ISDS in any future deal with Japan?

Football: Safe Standing — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair] (25 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: Several Crewe Alexandra supporters are currently in Russia enjoying the World Cup and are tweeting at me all the time about the atmosphere. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, as football fans around the world and in Europe enjoy safe standing, UK fans should be given the same choice?

Health and Social Care: People with Learning Disabilities (19 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: Will the Government end uncertainty for people with learning difficulties who need social care by funding the historical liabilities associated with the sleep-ins crisis?

Housing, Communities and Local Government: Topical Questions (18 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: Why is the Secretary of State pressing ahead with changes in funding for homelessness hostels and other supported housing which charities in my constituency, such as the YMCA, have said could threaten their vital services?

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: High Street Businesses (12 Jun 2018)

Laura Smith: The British Retail Consortium has estimated that up to one third of retail jobs could disappear by 2025 as a fundamental transformation of the market occurs. Does the Minister agree that providing retail workers with the opportunity to upskill and reskill is critical to avoiding mass job losses over the next decade?


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