Results 21–40 of 3419 for speaker:Mr Michael Alison

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Agricultural Holdings ( 9 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: The hon. Gentleman should reflect that, nowadays, we also have the urban fox. My advice is that he should get hold of a red coat, a nice black top hat, a handy and reliable donkey, a pack of old mongrel hounds and a nice ouzo stirrup cup and sound the tally-ho in Newham, North-West in pursuit of the urban fox, and stop worrying about the shire foxes.

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Agricultural Holdings ( 9 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: I can assure my hon. Friend about the last point. Fox hunting has a great many proponents and a great many opponents, and the balance has to be properly struck. That is why we leave decisions on fox hunting entirely to our tenants and do not attempt to overrule their preferences. I am glad to know of the affection of the hon. Member for Newham, North-West for cats, as I understand that he is...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Clergymen's Widows (Pensions) ( 9 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: Levels of pension benefit for both the clergy and their widows or widowers are reviewed every year at the commissioners' annual general meeting. The revised rate agreed at this year's AGM in June takes effect from 1 April 1997, when the full basic rate of a widow's or widower's pension will rise by 3.5 per cent. to £5,890.

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Clergymen's Widows (Pensions) ( 9 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: I have certainly never received any correspondence or complaints about the level of pensions for clergy serving overseas; in nearly every case, that is because they serve with a properly funded charitable society that would be responsible for developing and maintaining a pension for them. Most clergy spend a period of their time in the parochial stipendiary ministry and then change for a...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation ( 2 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: In the last sections of her speech, the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) made a great deal of promise, pledge and fulfilment in successive elections. I hope that she recognises the real measure of internal contradiction in the Labour party's approach to the national health service, which was what my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health emphasised most. The...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation ( 2 Dec 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: The hon. Lady will find that in any period in which the Conservative party has been in power since 1979 she or her colleagues could have pointed out some deficiency or defect in the national health service that we would all have liked to have put right. To return to the flying analogy, occasionally something goes wrong, but one cannot persuade people that it is not safe to fly and by...

Interpretation (18 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: I am—stemporarily, I hope—ambivalent about the motion. I am certain that the time allocated to debate the money resolution, which finished at about 4.30 pm, was inadequate to provide opportunities to debate the compensation aspect of the Bill. I hope that I shall be able to stay in order by telling my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary that there is a possible conundrum...

Interpretation (18 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: I feared precisely that rebuke, Madam Deputy Speaker, which is why I was trying to tell my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary that the conundrum of whether compensation for debts will be given directly to the firm that is owed the bad debt or to the business that owes the debt is the sort that could be debated interminably. That is why I am raising the matter in connection with...

Oral Answers to Questions — National Heritage: Millennium Celebration (18 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what consideration is being given to emphasising the Christian character of the millennium celebration. [12837]

Oral Answers to Questions — National Heritage: Millennium Celebration (18 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that encouraging answer. Does she recall that our forebears at the time of the previous millennium started to build our great cathedrals as a fitting landmark of the Christian heritage? Does she agree that a modern equivalent landmark might be the millennium Christian village project, of which the hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Timms) and I...

Orders of the Day — Education Bill (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: Clauses 20 and 21 impose important new duties on head teachers and governing bodies of maintained schools generally to prescribe in written form and to enforce acceptable norms and standards of pupil behaviour in schools. It is perhaps a coincidence—if so, it is a helpful one—that we should be debating the Bill as a national consultation is taking place on the conclusions and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Investments (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: Commissioners' assets were valued at £2.7 billion in their annual report and accounts for 1995. The commissioners' 1996 figures will be published next year in the annual report for 1996.

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Investments (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: The hon. Gentleman, who is normally, like myself, a peace-loving soul, has fired a gatling gun at me this afternoon. I can deal with only one of his points in the short time available. The pensions bill in the Church of England reflects the great improvements that we have made to the pensions of retired clergy, and the fact that more clergy are retired and drawing pensions than are in active...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Clergy Salaries (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: For many years, the proportion of the total stipends cost that was met by the commissioners has fallen to accommodate rising clergy pension costs, of which I gave the hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) a few details. Reductions in the commissioners' contributions have been made to correct an over-distribution in earlier years, not as the result of loss. At the same time, clergy...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Clergy Salaries (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: My hon. Friend is not being his usual fair-minded and objective self. The so-called £800 million loss reflects a decrease in property value, which many real property holders and private householders encountered, but I am glad that £600 million of the book loss of about £800 million has already been recouped by changes in property values and by the improvement in the market since the basic loss.

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Clergy Salaries (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: The hon. Gentleman and I, apart from being perambulators in the wood, had an exchange across the Floor of the House about this matter last week. The property is off the market at present. The Forestry Commission—the leaseholder—is entirely free to sell the lease if it so wishes. On the matter of consultation, I cannot add anything to what I said to the hon. Gentleman last week, except...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Women Priests (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: The commissioners' records relate only to clergy who have claimed assistance in accordance with the Ordination of Women (Financial Provisions) Measure. At 31 October 1995, a total of 329 clergy had resigned and the commissioners had made payments from their income totalling £8.2 million since 1994. It is difficult to forecast how many more will resign, but the rate has continued to slow....

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Women Priests (11 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: My hon. Friend is right to make the point that the laity have to bear the burden of the extra costs. However, they do so voluntarily because their representative body, the General Synod, by an overwhelming majority vote, introduced the very generous package of measures to help clergy to rehabilitate themselves. In fact, there is a built in cut-off point, in that most clergy receive payments...

Orders of the Day — Local Government and Rating Bill ( 6 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: It is one of the unexpected charms of our debates that occasionally they offer an opportunity to stray from the often rather boring highways of principle and generality, and suddenly focus on a good old solid object, something readily identifiable, something even photogenic. Such is the case in our debate for there has swum into our ken a magical piece of woodland in my constituency known as...

Orders of the Day — Local Government and Rating Bill ( 6 Nov 1996)

Mr Michael Alison: I am well aware of that, and I do not want to dodge the implications of the hon. Gentleman's experience of this charming wood, but I feel bound not to surrender the fact that Hagg wood is not strictly subject to an open access agreement. The hon. Gentleman has described a practice that has grown up by custom. That is a grey area—what the legal rights might be of those who have established a...


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