Mark Pawsey: rose—
Mark Pawsey: On employment law reform, does the Secretary of State agree that there would be a significant boost to our country’s small businesses if the cost of attending employment tribunals was reduced, given that, according to his Department, the average cost of successfully responding to and defending a claim is £6,200?
Mark Pawsey: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Mark Pawsey: Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the reasons why many of our constituents are so opposed to this debate taking place is that they believe we are about to vote on military action? Of course, that is not the case, as the Prime Minister made clear today.
Mark Pawsey: Is my hon. Friend aware of the concerns of cigarette packaging manufacturers that standardised packaging will be much easier for counterfeiters to copy? There is thus a grave danger that the very people about whom he is concerned are more likely to be smoking more dangerous illicit cigarettes.
Mark Pawsey: Why is 12 months better than six months?
Mark Pawsey: If 12 is better than six, is 18 better than 12?
Mark Pawsey: I wonder whether some of the negative views that have been expressed by your members are expressed in the light of recent military experience. Do you think your members would have a different view if we had had a greater period of stability than we have seen in recent years?
Mark Pawsey: That may be the case, but we need the support of small businesses. If there had been a period of stability, do you think your members would have been saying slightly different things?
Mark Pawsey: We have heard one or two negatives on the role of Reservists in small businesses. Can you tell us some of the benefits that accrue to small businesses as a consequence of employing Reservists?
Mark Pawsey: On occasion, the role of the councillor is to call officers to account and there is sometimes a danger that councillors become too closely identified with the body on which they are a councillor.
Mark Pawsey: ...communication to make certain that their residents know exactly what hard work they are doing. We have had a valuable debate and, I hope, recognised the role of councillors. I look forward to the remarks of the Minister and shadow Minister.
Mark Pawsey: One of the concerns that has been expressed about the establishment of the GoCo is whether the commercial skills exist in the public sector to manage such a massive contract. In your experience, does the MOD have the skills to manage it?
Mark Pawsey: Is that a structural problem?
Mark Pawsey: I am more interested in the ability of the civil service to negotiate with skilled negotiators from the private sector. Is there a mismatch of skills, and could it derail the process?
Mark Pawsey: Are you confident that will happen?
Mark Pawsey: I want to ask about a small matter that could lead to some confusion, which is the issue of the renaming the Reserve forces: the Army Reserve will become the Regular Reserve and the Territorial Army will become the Army Reserve. What are your views about that change and the rationale behind it?
Mark Pawsey: Do you not accept that we are creatures of habit and that people will be using the term “TA” in 20 years’ time, as we heard in evidence on Tuesday?
Mark Pawsey: Has the Prime Minister seen today’s BBC ICM report showing that despite reductions in spending, a majority of people think that services provided by local government, such as bin collections, parks, libraries and recycling, have got better? Does he agree that that shows we can get more for less?
Mark Pawsey: I am listening very carefully to the detail the Minister is giving. However, is not the point that if the burdens on contractors become excessive, many will be discouraged from coming forward to tender in the first instance?