Results 101–120 of 800 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Alan Reid

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's intervention. He raises a serious problem. The charging regime for meters should be reversed, so that the first units of energy consumed are the cheapest, unlike under the current system, where people who use small amounts of electricity and gas often pay a higher unit cost. The availability of low-cost energy conservation measures should be extended and...

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: If the hon. Gentleman bears with me, I shall come to that issue shortly. There is a risk that children from the poorest homes will miss out when it comes to teams, choirs and bands because of the higher cost of fuel. They might therefore miss out on an important part of growing up. I was delighted that the Committee urged "the UK Government, the Scottish Executive and local authorities to...

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I shall certainly give way to the hon. Gentleman if he will explain why he believes that poor children from Colonsay should not get that 40 per cent. discount when they travel to the mainland.

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I certainly welcome its extension to Coll and Tiree. Originally, it was meant only for the Western Isles, and I have campaigned for its extension to the whole of my constituency. However, cheap ferry fares are needed to all the Scottish islands and peninsulas, not just those that the hon. Gentleman represents.

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for that intervention. She is perfectly correct. Cheap ferry fares should be available to all islands and peninsulas, not just those that the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Mr. MacNeil) represents.

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I shall give him one more chance to explain why ferry users from Colonsay have to pay high fares, while his constituents get off with cheaper fares.

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: Thank you for your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I will move on. If the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar wants to find the answer, he should read my letter in this week's Oban Times. Another example of where the Scottish National party is contributing to poverty in the highlands and islands is by cutting the budget of Highlands and Islands Enterprise—the local agency that helps...

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I am grateful to the Minister for that intervention. Like him, I can think of no good reason, and I wonder whether any SNP Members want to answer. Travel costs are very important in rural areas and they must be reduced. Valuable services such as jobcentres and post offices must also be retained in our more remote communities so that sources of help and advice are available to be accessed...

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: rose—

Points of Order: Child Poverty in Scotland (1 May 2008)

Alan Reid: The Minister's description of the policy is at variance with what it actually is. We propose using existing jobcentres, which are half empty because staff have been transferred from them to call centres, and employing staff who can give local advice to local people rather than expecting people to phone a call centre, where local circumstances are not understood.

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship this afternoon, Mr. Weir, to discuss a subject that I know is dear to your heart. I applied for the debate after the panel that was set up to review the UK postal services sector published its initial report in response to the evidence submitted to it. I am grateful to Mr. Speaker for granting the debate. I shall first talk about Royal Mail...

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I definitely agree with my hon. Friend, who makes an important point. As far as the closure programme is concerned, Royal Mail is constrained by the Government's saying that it has to close 2,500 post offices. Mull is just one example of a worsening service, and there are many others throughout the country. Royal Mail's current strategy of constantly raising prices, combined with a worsening...

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I will take the hon. Gentleman's word on the comparison with prices in other countries, because I have not made such a comparison. However, I am concerned that if there are such price rises every year, the vicious circle that I described will be triggered.

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: Well, it would be inaccurate to describe my party's policy as privatisation. I support the policy of the party, which is to bring more private sector investment into our mail services, and I will come to that later in my speech. In the early stages of its existence, Postcomm argued that the universal service obligation was a help to Royal Mail and gave it a competitive advantage. I am pleased...

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention and I completely agree with him; I intended to mention that point later. The hon. Gentleman's intervention leads nicely on to the next part of my speech, which is to point out that Royal Mail is at a serious disadvantage compared with its competitors. It has to deliver mail to every home in the country. That obligation is often called...

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: That is an important observation. However, the key thing is that, where there are Government contracts, they must be given to the Post Office. The reason is that the Post Office is the only organisation that has a rural network. PayPoint has an extensive network, but only in towns. Let us compare PayPoint with the Post Office in my constituency. PayPoint has no outlet in the whole of rural...

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: Yes, my hon. Friend is perfectly correct. There are social costs and extra costs that rural dwellers have to pay to travel to a post office in a town if their post office is closed.

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend makes an important point. I was certainly pleased with the initiative proposed by Essex county council for the council and post offices to share services. Unfortunately, in my area, the proposal was made far too late to allow the council or community groups to put together a proper business plan. In the case of my hon. Friend's constituency, I hope that the Post Office will...

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: PayPoint was able to undercut Royal Mail because it does not support the rural network that the Post Office has to support. If the contract specified that the rural network was involved, PayPoint would not be able to compete with the Post Office.

Royal Mail and the Post Office (14 May 2008)

Alan Reid: If the Government were to specify the contract so that the provider had to have a rural network, including branches on the small islands in my constituency, the only company that could win the contract would be the Post Office.


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