Results 1–20 of 22 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 — Wales: Universal Credit (13 Dec 2017)

Laura Smith: What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the time taken for universal credit payments to be made in Wales.

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales: Universal Credit (13 Dec 2017)

Laura Smith: The Department for Work and Pensions’ own analysis shows that half of those with rent arrears under universal credit said they had gone into arrears after making a claim. Is the Secretary of State content with the fact that more Welsh families who are currently not in arrears will begin 2018 in debt once they have made their UC claim?

Universal Credit Project Assessment Reviews (5 Dec 2017)

Laura Smith: I want to thank my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field), who is not here at the moment, for speaking so openly. This is 2017. How can stories like that be commonplace? As we have just heard, universal credit is a perfect example of how this Government can detach themselves from the very real suffering that they have inflicted on their citizens, through the blinkered...

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

Laura Smith: I proudly declare my membership of Unison and congratulate it on its work on this matter. Rather than asking whether they can afford to scrap the public sector pay cap, the Government should be asking whether they can afford not to. Recruitment and retention costs in the public sector are soaring. The local government workforce survey revealed that 71% of councils are having trouble...

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

Laura Smith: I agree, and I will move on to another affected group. We have 900 careworkers leaving their job every day—every single day. An Age UK study estimated that, over five years, the NHS lost 2.4 million bed days as shortages of social care support meant that vulnerable patients could not be discharged, which has cost the NHS £669 million. For every extra pound put in a public sector...

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

Laura Smith: Government Members may sit and roll their eyes and shake their heads, but as far as I am concerned they just do not like listening to the truth. I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. The Government told us that it would all be over by 2015, once they had cleared the deficit. That was pushed back to 2016 and then 2018, 2019 and, most recently, 2025. In the meantime, we have become the only...

Sanitary Products — [Mr Virendra Sharma in the Chair] (29 Nov 2017)

Laura Smith: Will the Minister give way?

Legal Aid — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair] (29 Nov 2017)

Laura Smith: It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Robertson. Today’s debate cuts right to the heart of what we mean by justice. Legal aid has been a crucial instrument in ensuring that equal access to justice is attainable. After all, if access to justice is not equal, can we call it justice at all? My surgeries, like those of my hon. Friend the Member for Westminster North (Ms...

House of Lords Reform: Lord Speaker’s Committee — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair] (15 Nov 2017)

Laura Smith: It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Howarth. First, I convey apologies from the shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Cat Smith). Because of ill health, I, as the shadow Parliamentary Private Secretary, have been asked to stand in at the last minute. I congratulate the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard) on securing this debate...

House of Lords Reform: Lord Speaker’s Committee — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair] (15 Nov 2017)

Laura Smith: I want to point out that the last Labour Government massively reduced the number of hereditary peers who sat in the House of Lords, overthrowing the system of inherited political power that had previously dominated in the Lords. I will move on from that point if the hon. Gentleman does not mind. As I have said, it is important that the democratic deficit in this country is tackled. A root and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales: Swansea Main Line: Electrification (1 Nov 2017)

Laura Smith: What recent assessment he has made of the effect on the Welsh economy of the Government’s decision not to electrify the main line to Swansea.

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales: Swansea Main Line: Electrification (1 Nov 2017)

Laura Smith: May I associate myself with the Secretary of State’s comments? I offer my deepest condolences. The Government’s decision not to go ahead with electrifying the main line to Swansea has been a bitter blow to south Wales. My constituency is less than 20 miles from north Wales, and many of my constituents have written to ask me what steps the Government are taking to electrify the...

Social Care (25 Oct 2017)

Laura Smith: Social care has been pushed into a state of emergency. A report by the CQC in July found that one in four social care services is now failing on safety grounds, with at least one care home closing every week. Only 2% of providers are regarded as outstanding. In Cheshire East, almost a third of care homes have been rated inadequate or as requiring improvement. Imagine the uproar if Ofsted...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (24 Oct 2017)

Laura Smith: Last week, I shared with the House my own experience of benefit delay as a single parent when I was working as a teacher. We all sat and listened as Members from across the House voiced their concerns—and their constituents’ concerns—about the impact of universal credit. We also heard some horror stories—only they were not stories; they were accounts of ordinary...

Universal Credit Roll-Out (18 Oct 2017)

Laura Smith: Today, I hope to give the House an insider’s look at what it can be like for a single parent relying on the benefit system. I became a single parent when my son, who is six, was 14 months old. I was working as a teacher and had no option but to drop my hours and apply for working tax credit. I experienced the process of benefit delay and went many weeks focusing on feeding my son meals...

Monarch Airlines (9 Oct 2017)

Laura Smith: The Secretary of State emphasised that Monarch passengers abroad would be covered until 15 October, but constituents of mine who are due to return on 16 October are worried because there is no information available online. Will the Secretary of State please let me know where they can obtain information, and whether their return is protected or not?

Autism Diagnosis — [Mr George Howarth in the Chair] (13 Sep 2017)

Laura Smith: On that point, a constituent, Zoe, explained to me how the diagnostic procedures are outdated. Some children are not being diagnosed as autistic because they can do things such as make eye contact, and then that diagnosis is proved to be wrong. She also said: “If you become desperate and obtain a private diagnosis with an expert in the field, you are made to feel that you have bought...

HS2 Update (17 Jul 2017)

Laura Smith: Will the Secretary of State please confirm to my constituents in Crewe and Nantwich that the hub will be situated at the current Crewe station? Will he also confirm how many stops there will be? Crewe will welcome this if Crewe and the workers in Crewe will benefit from the station, but we need to know that we are getting the right number of stops and that the hub will be in the centre of our...

Schools Update (17 Jul 2017)

Laura Smith: Does the Secretary of State think it is right that schools in my constituency are already having to rely on donations from parents for books, stationery and other basic resources? This is not scaremongering; this is actually happening.

Education: Public Funding (4 Jul 2017)

Laura Smith: I represent Crewe and Nantwich, where Cheshire East Council is the worst-funded in Cheshire. My concern is that a primary school in Crewe is cutting six teaching assistants, including the only teaching assistant who can speak Polish. We have a new reception class starting in September with 23 EAL—English as an additional language—children who will have no support. I would like to...


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