Results 121–140 of 3419 for speaker:Mr Michael Alison

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Income (11 Dec 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: My hon. Friend makes a good suggestion. Again, the Commissioners do not have direct responsibility for the way in which different cathedrals are run. Among the 40 or so dioceses, there is a variety of practice and performance and there is no doubt that some are much more effective at fundraising than others. Our aim must be to maximise performance in respect of all the historic value locked...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Church Investments (11 Dec 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: The Commissioners have always managed their investments within clinical guidelines—I beg your pardon, Madam Speaker, I meant within ethical guidelines. In recognition that ethical issues are becoming increasingly complex, we established an ethical working group in October 1994. The group is chaired by the First Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Michael Colman, with representatives from the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Church Investments (11 Dec 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: The holding is valued at £29 million, which shows how the portfolio has increased since the hon. Gentleman looked at the figures. We have regular contact with Shell regarding the company's Nigerian operations, and have had for the past two years. We are continuing carefully to monitor Shell's operations in Nigeria. The hon. Gentleman will know of the critical importance of oil income to the...

Orders of the Day — Investment (20 Nov 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: Although the topic for today's debate is, strictly speaking, investment and the areas that the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) covered in her speech, there is fortunately no law of the Medes and the Persians that forces one to confine oneself to those topics, and I earlier gave notice that I am hoping in my short speech to venture into the terrain of tomorrow's debate, as...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Class Sizes (17 Oct 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: Does my right hon. Friend agree that overcrowded school premises can inhibit a school's excellence as much as overcrowded classes? Will she look with special sympathy at proposals, soon to reach her, to rebuild or expand Monk Fryston Church of England primary school in my constituency? Built for 44 children, it is now crammed with 126 of them, in more temporary classrooms than original...

Prison Service (16 Oct 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree, although there is a good deal of gloom and discouragement in the Learmont report, that the silver lining lies in the glowing tribute that the report pays to the conscientiousness and commitment of the great mass of the prison officers and public servants in the governor grades, demonstrating that the service is fundamentally and essentially well...

Orders of the Day — Church of England (General Synod) (Measures) (11 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: With the permission of the House, I shall speak a second time. In doing so, I am conscious of the fact that the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Cummings) is having to be on duty this evening and is not necessarily very much in sympathy with Church of England affairs keeping the House up too late. I shall therefore do my best to be brief. I concede, however, that the hon. Gentleman was helpful...

Orders of the Day — Church of England (General Synod) (Measures) (11 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: And clerically ordained regius professorships—but that the fact that Wimbledon was won by an American combating a German, that the All Blacks have proved to be extraordinary rugger players and that England does not always win the World cup has enriched those games. Let us therefore enjoy the extra richness that will come to the university of Oxford by the throwing open of the regius...

Orders of the Day — Church of England (General Synod) (Measures) (11 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: I beg to move, That the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, passed by the General Synod of the Church of England, be presented to Her Majesty for Her Royal Assent in the form in which the said Measure was laid before Parliament. As the short title of the Measure indicates, it contains a miscellaneous collection of provisions relating to the Church of England. Their effect is...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Financial Support (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: The commissioners have taken independent actuarial and other professional advice. A peak distribution in 1993 of more than 7 per cent. as a percentage of their assets, to meet increased expenditure commitments on clergy benefits, was reduced to 6 per cent. in 1994, but this is still an unsustainably high level. Action to bring distribution levels down further continues, but at a pace which is...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Financial Support (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: As I think that my hon. Friend will have heard in the first part of my answer, it is recognised that the Church Commissioners have been distributing more than it is proper or reasonable to do over a long period. That is due entirely to the extraordinary increase in both the standard and the take-up of pensions, which have to have priority. It is for that reason that offsetting action has been...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Financial Support (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: Yes, I can certainly give the hon. Gentleman that assurance. Cuts in Church Commissioners' funds to dioceses are focused on the prosperous, well-to-do dioceses. The wind is tempered to the shorn lamb of dioceses such as that to which the hon. Gentleman refers. He will be glad to know that the shortfall in the Church Commission contribution to dioceses has already been made good by the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Financial Support (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: I take my hon. Friend's point. People probably do not realise how much support is still generated by the Church of England, and by Christian churches generally in Britain. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently pointed out that a quarter of the British population—many millions of people—went to church last Christmas day. The average donation to a typical church collection plate on Sundays...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Church Investments (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: The total return on the commissioners' investments in 1994 was 4.8 per cent., which compares well with the minus 3.9 per cent. shown by a recognised independent benchmark that measures the performance of a large number of pension funds. The commissioners' consultant actuaries continue to advise on asset allocation strategy.

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Church Investments (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman has dipped into the familiar territory of New Testament parables and other utterances. He will recall alternative words from the scriptures about making a friend to oneself of the mammon of unrighteousness—they were said by the founder of the Christian religion—and about developing talents: the man with one or two talents who increased the number...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Church Investments (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: If the hon. Gentleman has glanced at the annual report of the Church Commissioners—I arranged for it to be sent to him—he will have noted that most investment and pension funds are dominated by stock exchange investments, and could not avoid the decline in values of equities and gilts. In 1994, the total return on Church Commissioners' property holdings was £205 million; if the same...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: Church Investments (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: I can assure my hon. Friend that there are ample funds to meet all actuarially computed pension obligations to those who have already retired and those still in service with retirement pensions in prospect. Because of uncertainty about the long-term future, however, steps will soon be taken to introduce a contributory fund for future pension beneficiaries, making the overall package for all...

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: St. Ethelburga's Church (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: The church was declared redundant on 22 June 1994 and is now in the ownership of the diocese of London while its future is considered. The Bishop of London has held a competition for schemes to deal with the remains of the building and its site, the result of which was announced in June. No ensuing recommendations have yet been made to the Church Commissioners.

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners: St. Ethelburga's Church (10 Jul 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: As I think the hon. Gentleman might have known, one of the suggestions made by the so-called Templeman Commission favoured the sale of the St. Ethelburga's site for secular development. That goes to the other extreme of what might be done and has been turned down. What is proposed now is that there should be a memorial on the site for those who died in the City bombs, and that there should...

Business of the House (29 Jun 1995)

Mr Michael Alison: May I draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to early-day motion 1267 on the prosecution of British paedophile tourists, which has been signed by at least 140 right hon. and hon. Members from both sides of the House and is likely to acquire further signatures in the next few days and weeks? [That this House notes that over 300 members from all parts of the House have recently expressed...


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