Alex Burghart: I fully understand the hon. Lady’s point because of course there are knock-on consequences. I am also very sorry to hear that her constituent waited eight weeks for money, but we know that that should never happen when advance payments are available and people can receive money on the same day. The seven waiting days have now been removed. The process of test and learn shows that we can...
Alex Burghart: What steps he is taking to maintain the economic viability of farming after the UK has left the EU.
Alex Burghart: I am grateful to the Minister for his remarks. Many farmers in my constituency in the bounteous county of Essex supported Brexit, but some did not. What reassurances can he give them that the Government are straining their many sinews to ensure that new and emerging food markets are open to them after Brexit?
Alex Burghart: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Alex Burghart: Given my hon. Friend’s experience of the NHS, I should be interested to hear how that £500 million investment in future technologies could benefit the health service in the future.
Alex Burghart: We were asked earlier to look things up on the internet, so I looked up something about universal credit. It turns out that £2 billion has been set aside for universal credit but, according to the shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the £1.5 billion set aside by the Chancellor in the Budget represents only £1 in £10 that needs to be put in, therefore creating a £13.5 billion...
Alex Burghart: My hon. Friend is being extraordinarily generous with her time. Like her, I enjoyed the speech of the hon. Member for Bootle (Peter Dowd), although I did not agree with all of it. He says that there is nothing in the Bill for low-paid workers. Perhaps my hon. Friend would like to remind him that there is a tax cut for 31 million workers, from which low-paid workers will benefit.
Alex Burghart: On Friday, I visited my local jobcentre and saw the genuine enthusiasm that work coaches have for the new universal credit system. Will my hon. Friend confirm that additional help is available for users who are not too tech savvy?
Alex Burghart: After 2008, a bank levy was needed because there was not much profitability in the banks to enable their assets to be taxed, but as we have improved regulation it is now worth moving to tax their profitability. Does the Minister agree that this is the right time to make this shift in raising revenue?
Alex Burghart: Does the hon. Gentleman regret the fact that his party opposed the bank levy when this Government introduced it in 2011?
Alex Burghart: rose—
Alex Burghart: I am very grateful. I want to give the shadow Minister another opportunity to answer the question. Does he regret his party’s decision to vote against the bank levy in 2011?
Alex Burghart: Given the hon. Gentleman’s love of punishingly high corporation tax, does he not regret supporting the corporation tax surcharge on banks in 2015, when he was in the House?
Alex Burghart: I am enjoying the hon. Gentleman’s potted Marxist history of the past 10 years. There seems to be a little bit of history that he has forgotten, which is of course the lax and inappropriate regulatory regime that the Labour party introduced under Ed Balls. That regime contributed to the terrible state in which our banking sector was left after 2008. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would like to...
Alex Burghart: Will the hon. Gentleman not acknowledge that, as we have reduced the rate of corporation tax, so revenues have increased and there is now more money to spend on public services than there would otherwise have been? Does he not acknowledge that there is a real risk that, if his party were to increase corporation tax rates, there would be less money coming in, and cuts to public services and so...
Alex Burghart: Will the Minister welcome the fact that UK manufacturing is at an eight-year high?
Alex Burghart: I welcome the Government’s commitment to do more to protect the pensions of private sector workers. Does the Secretary of State agree that it is absolutely necessary to have private sector providers of public services, and that the Government should continue to support them?
Alex Burghart: I strongly welcome the Secretary of State’s decision, which will benefit a lot of disabled people. We all know that DLA was a far worse benefit for people with mental health problems than PIP. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that, even before the ruling, far more disabled people were receiving PIP than had ever received DLA?
Alex Burghart: I thank the Minister for her statement and for the way in which the Department is going about this reassessment. Will she assure the House that, as the Department undertakes this major operation, it will still be able to deliver assessments for people moving on to PIP for the first time and that this will not affect their claims in any way?
Alex Burghart: Can my right hon. Friend reassure my constituents that the UK’s pension protection system has responded effectively to the Carillion situation?