Mark Pawsey: My hon. Friend is setting out measures that will enable small businesses to grow. Let us not forget that every big business was once a small business, and, taken together, such measures should provide an incentive for businesses to get bigger.
Mark Pawsey: My hon. Friend mentioned pre-qualification questionnaires. Once a small business has managed to jump through the hoops demanded by one authority, should not that be good enough for another authority? Perhaps we should have some form of qualification certificate.
Mark Pawsey: Is the hon. Lady confusing late payments with customers who refuse or do not have the means to pay? Those are totally separate issues and if a business wants to avoid the problem of late payment, it can refuse to supply goods to the customer until the account has been paid.
Mark Pawsey: Was the hon. Gentleman as struck as I was by the assertion at a recent breakfast meeting that the top entrepreneurs were those people who had not been to university, did not have degrees and had had to work from the bottom up?
Mark Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department has taken to maximise the benefits to tourism of major sporting events.
Mark Pawsey: Does the Minister agree that enlightened and far-sighted local authorities such as Rugby borough council anticipated several years ago the tough economic environment in which we now find ourselves, and started to put their houses in order at an early stage by taking a hard look at all their items of expenditure?
Mark Pawsey: Is it not rather disappointing that the one group of people about whom we have not heard today are the general public, who donate so generously to food banks? Ought we not to express our gratitude to them?
Mark Pawsey: Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?
Mark Pawsey: Will the Minister confirm that his Department intends to exempt small and medium-sized businesses from its proposed tax on plastic carrier bags? Given that biodegradable plastic in the waste stream is a contaminant and will reduce the number of plastic bags being recycled, will he withdraw that exemption?
Mark Pawsey: Did the Secretary of State see last week’s report that showed that local authorities have lost £51 million over three years in overpayments to staff, with £16.7 million still to be recovered? Does he agree that local authorities need to raise their game in that area?
Mark Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the treatment of Palestinian child detainees.
Mark Pawsey: What steps he is taking to support small businesses.
Mark Pawsey: What plans he has for the National Citizen Service in 2014.
Mark Pawsey: As somebody who used to sell coffee machines, what is the burden on the supplier of coffee machines to make certain that he is selling a coffee machine that does not bring his customer into conflicts?
Mark Pawsey: If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Mark Pawsey: The Secretary of State is working hard to improve the chances of those who have completed a prison term. Does he agree that locally managed schemes such as Future Unlocked, which he visited in Rugby last year, have a key role to play in achieving that objective?
Mark Pawsey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress he has made on the implementation of the second wave of city deals.
Mark Pawsey: What steps he is taking to promote neighbourhood planning.
Mark Pawsey: Youth unemployment has shown a welcome national fall, but the situation is even better in my constituency, where youth unemployment has more than halved from 7.6% to 3.1%. Does the Chief Secretary agree that that shows that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working for my young constituents?
Mark Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to increase opportunities for injured service personnel to participate in competitive sporting events.