Results 161–180 of 1518 for speaker:Alan Simpson

Orders of the Day: Clause 3 — Onward sales (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: I mean the Minister. During earlier exchanges, I thought that I was clear about the matter when the Minister's comments in Committee were read out. In the light of those comments, amendments Nos. 9 and 10 appeared appropriate, as they would give precisely the sort of protection that the House sought, without compromising Treasury rules about what amounts to a transfer of undertakings. In...

Orders of the Day: Clause 3 — Onward sales (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: I agree with my hon. Friend but I am not sure whether the technical argument is that the amendment would preclude the whole process happening. Some of us may argue that that would be no bad thing, but I am trying to explore the next level of protection. It is almost as if we are in a Catch-22 position. Those who have read the novel will recall a character called Major Major, whom one could...

Orders of the Day: Clause 1 — Sale of student loans (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: That is an important and serious point. I happen to have grown up on a different planet, where I went to university only because I could do so on a full student grant. Had my family been required to entertain the notion of taking out loans to go to university, they probably would not have done so. However, they certainly would not have entered into any loan agreements that included the...

Orders of the Day: Clause 1 — Sale of student loans (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: I will happily give way, but I have been trying to finish for the past few minutes!

Orders of the Day: Clause 1 — Sale of student loans (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: That is an important point. My answer is that as I read through the provisions in the Bill, it was not clear to me that such a legally binding lock was in place. If there is any ambiguity in the process, there is nothing wrong in putting those belt-and-braces locks in place—in fact, it would be irresponsible of the House not to do so. Those provisions would include specific arrangements...

Orders of the Day: Clause 1 — Sale of student loans (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: The amendments raise some important points, which I hope that the Minister will tackle. I believe that my concerns fit the same pattern. They begin from the same question: who, in their right mind, would want to buy someone else's debt? Why would they want to do that?

Orders of the Day: Clause 1 — Sale of student loans (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: Indeed. The obvious answer is that it would be done for foolish or speculative reasons or on the calculated basis that the purchasers would make money. For most of us, if we try to move our debts around, we do so to avoid or reduce costs. People do that when they reschedule their mortgages or move their credit card debts between different companies. However, in the context of the transfer of...

Orders of the Day: Clause 1 — Sale of student loans (23 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: I am indeed making precisely that case. That is why I am inviting the Minister to give the House an undertaking that precisely those guarantees will be written into the Bill. The issue is not the integrity of the existing Minister, with whom I have no dispute and on whom I cast no doubts; rather, such an undertaking would be a recognition not only that ministerial appointments are, at best,...

Orders of the Day: Energy Bill (22 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: The most controversial thing about the Bill is the elements that are not included in it. The Bill makes no mention of feed-in tariffs for electricity or gas, nor of renewable heat. It does not really address fuel poverty issues. It does not mention any imposition of regulated social tariffs. No clause addresses the urgent need for Ofgem to be restructured and the Bill does not honestly...

Orders of the Day: Energy Bill (22 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: Did my hon. Friend also see the Energywatch report on social tariffs? It claimed that, at best, British Gas contributes 0.18 per cent. of its revenue to such tariffs, while at the other end of the spectrum the poorest performer contributes 0.003 per cent. of its turnover. In the light of those huge profits, is that not obscene?

Orders of the Day: Energy Bill (22 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: Does the hon. Gentleman accept that concerns are being expressed about the nature of the competition to see who will have monopoly ownership of the rights to put carbon dioxide in the ground? At this stage, the competition would include only those companies that have previously enjoyed monopoly ownership of the oil beneath the ground. British universities are working on carbon reclamation....

Orders of the Day: Energy Bill (22 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that smart meters must empower the citizen, and not just the companies? That empowerment has to involve the ability to read energy that is fed in by the consumer as well as that used by the consumer, and to read gas inputs as well as electricity inputs.

Orders of the Day: Energy Bill (22 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: The Secretary of State will know that the Prime Minister has committed the UK to meeting the EU target of obtaining 20 per cent. of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. Will he specify which parts of the Bill will deliver that 20 per cent. by 2020?

Written Answers — Transport: Vehicle Size (22 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to report on the study her Department commissioned on longer and heavier vehicles in 2005.

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Topical Questions (15 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: What success has the Minister had in persuading her ministerial colleagues to look at the introduction of feed-in tariff legislation such as that which is being applied elsewhere in Europe? In Germany, in particular, such legislation has been successful in putting citizens at the heart of driving their sustainable cities agenda and providing sustainable and affordable energy in their own homes.

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: National Insurance Fund (10 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of employers paying employee pensions contributions at the reduced rate on national insurance fund revenue in the last three years.

Orders of the Day: Pensions Bill ( 7 Jan 2008)

Alan Simpson: I hope that it does not damage the standing or career of the Secretary of State or the Minister for Pensions Reform if I, too, congratulate them on making tonight's debate worth having. If they had not intervened effectively to restore the stolen pensions of the 125,000 pensioners affected, the House would have had to understand what my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field)...

Written Answers — Environment Food and Rural Affairs: Agriculture: Subsidies (17 Dec 2007)

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from which part of his Department's budget the penalty for late payment of farm subsidies is to be met.

Business of the House (13 Dec 2007)

Alan Simpson: Over the next couple of days, Ministers will be returning from the world summit in Bali, at the end of which there are almost certain to be no binding agreements on targets and no recognition of the urgent action that needs to be taken on the basis of the intergovernmental panel on climate change report on the six to eight-year window of opportunity that we have in front of us. I am surprised...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Adult Reoffending (11 Dec 2007)

Alan Simpson: One of the most successful intervention projects in my own area has taken young people with a track record of multiple car thefts and involved them instead with work on building and racing stock cars. The wheelbase motor project, at a fraction of the cost involved in keeping such young people in prison, has been able to keep them out of prison and out of reoffending. The problem it has faced,...


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