Results 141–160 of 1548 for speaker:Mr Tim Smith

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: My hon. Friend is right: there is no doubt that the United Kingdom Government are far ahead of the game in dealing with the burgeoning cost of social security spending. Does he agree that it is striking that the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. Wicks) said that he wanted to cut the total amount of social security spending—he said that it was too high at one third of the total—but...

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: The hon. Gentleman has given us an interesting description of recent social trends and many of the aspects that he describes are deeply worrying. Is he suggesting that the social security system has been the cause of those trends? I wonder what he thinks we should do about them, if anything. How should the social security system respond to them? He said that we are spending too much on social...

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: I congratulate the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field), who is the Chairman of the Select Committee on Social Security, and all the members of the Committee on their work. In many ways, the Select Committee on Social Security is a model Select Committee. It oversees the Department of Social Security's work thoroughly and conscientiously. I have read the Committee's fifth report, entitled...

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: That suggests that, if additional resources were available to the agency and it was able to follow up some of the people who did not reply to its letters, further huge gains could be made. Some people do not receive letters in the first place. Admittedly, they are nothing to do with the CSA, but the implication must be that, if they were written to from time to time, they too might not claim....

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: Those people do not need to be upset because chief executives are well paid. If good people are wanted, one must pay a reasonable price and compare it with the price paid in the private sector. I agree that a better performance will not be had from an employee by reducing his remuneration or worsening his working conditions. Better performance can be had by adopting the opposite approach—by...

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: It is a most unsatisfactory matter. As a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I can certainly say that the Committee is not complacent about it in the slightest. The necessity for the Comptroller and Auditor General to qualify the audit of any Government Department or executive agency is a matter for concern. It suggests that the agency's record keeping is still unsatisfactory and that...

Supplementary Estimates, 1995–96: Department of Social Security (11 Mar 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: On the basis of the sample that the hon. Gentleman mentioned, will he estimate housing benefit fraud throughout the country? Is that fraud perpetrated only by the landlord, or is there a conspiracy between landlord and tenant?

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Returns and Self Assessment (25 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: I wonder, Mr. Morris, what the most boring thing is that you have to do every year. You may tell us that it is listening to debates on taxation in the Finance Bill Committee. I suspect that many people, if asked that question, would say that it was completing their tax return. People do not give a high priority to their tax returns. They eventually get round to doing them when they know that...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Returns and Self Assessment (25 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: That is very true, and I agree. The hon. Gentleman should recognise that one of the reasons for the changes is to ensure that those who are not among the best taxpayers—who are, as he implied, those who would volunteer—get equal treatment. That will cause difficulty. The system of automatic penalties will cause difficulty and we have experienced that before. The Government introduced...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Returns and Self Assessment (25 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: indicated dissent.

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Returns and Self Assessment (25 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: May we conclude that the hon. Gentleman advocates that compensation should be paid to small businesses that are investigated as a result of a random sample?

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Returns and Self Assessment (25 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: I wonder what leads the hon. Gentleman to suppose that, if we delayed self-assessment for another year, people in business who are very busy trying to run their businesses would attend to the matter in the next 12 months. Inevitably, there will be people who, however much information the Revenue puts out—it has put out some good, simple information, including audio tapes on the...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Returns and Self Assessment (25 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: Does the hon. Gentleman agree with the proposition in the letter that he read out that no obligation should be placed on employers to provide information to their employees to help them with self-assessment? He said, "And so say all of us," at the end of his quotation.

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Charge to Tax (23 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: That is nonsense. The whole point is that, although the tax is new, it will not raise any extra revenue. The money is being handed back to industry and commerce. One of the greatest tax burdens on industry and commerce is national insurance contributions, because they constitute a levy on jobs. Why does not the hon. Gentleman welcome the reduction?

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Charge to Tax (23 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: Does that mean that no recycling at all is going on in Nottinghamshire? Would not the councils there be well advised to consider changing their behaviour, instead of just passing on all the extra tax to council tax payers?

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Charge to Tax (23 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: The proposed landfill tax has my full support. I have always thought that, if the Government were to intervene in the market to change the environmental behaviour of industry and commerce, the best way would be by means of a fiscal instrument such as this rather than by endless extra regulation of businesses. I believe that it is possible to change behaviour quite quickly by using the tax...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Charge to Tax (23 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: On a point of order, Mr. Morris. May I seek your guidance? Do you anticipate that there will be a debate on clause stand part, or a wide-ranging debate on the first amendment?

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill (15 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: When I asked the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) whether the present level of interest rates were too high, too low or about right, he did not answer the question, but we should not be surprised about that because he does not answer any questions on matters of economic policy. He said that long-term interest rates are too high and something should be done about that. When he was...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill (15 Jan 1996)

Mr Tim Smith: I agree that the absolute number refers to an absolute number of people. That is why I have said that 2.2 million is an unacceptably high level of unemployment. My point is that the Government have put in place policies that are designed to decrease the level of unemployment by reducing employers' payroll costs. For example, the £500 million that will be raised by the landfill tax will be...


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