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Results 41–60 of 3000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Stephen Hammond

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (25 Jan 2006)

Stephen Hammond: Earlier, the Prime Minister spoke about the number of schools at which 70 per cent. of the pupils achieved five A to C grades. Is he aware that in my constituency no non-faith state secondary school achieves that? The dead hand of Merton local education authority deprives those pupils of achieving standards similar to those in surrounding boroughs. Will he assure my constituents that local...

Orders of the Day — Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Bill [Lords] (25 Jan 2006)

Stephen Hammond: The Minister said in his opening remarks that the Bill was precise and targeted, and it is. Essentially, it provides the United Kingdom with protection and the best compensation in relation to pollution from oil, and reduces air pollution from ships. We support the UK getting protection from the supplementary fund protocol. The Bill deals with our environment, and my right hon. Friend the...

Government's 10-year Transport Plan (1 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: This has been a strategically important debate, featuring interesting contributions from a number of Members. Opening the debate, my hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) got to the heart of what we were asking—if the Government are spending so much money, where is it going and why are they not delivering on their 10-year plan? The fundamental failure of the plan lies...

Government's 10-year Transport Plan (1 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that intervention. The paper that I read on this issue confirms what he says. The reality is that capacity seems not to be a word in this Government's lexicon. The capacity issues that the transport system needs to address are not being addressed. The hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Tom Brake), who spoke for the Liberal Democrats, gave a...

Government's 10-year Transport Plan (1 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: Some might agree. The hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington regaled us with several of his supposedly spiked press releases, but in doing so he merely proved to the House why they have remained unused by the Press Gallery. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) described the economic context in which we need to consider our country's infrastructure requirements and...

Orders of the Day — Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (9 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I am honoured to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood), who has spoken about deregulation in some depth. The Bill has two significances—the regulatory significance and the parliamentary constitutional significance. The hon. Member for Cannock Chase (Dr. Wright) said he hoped for a Queen's Speech that contained no regulation. If he had looked at last year's...

Orders of the Day — Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (9 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: My hon. Friend's intervention is rather timely. As some hon. Members will know, the financial services were my trade before I came to the House. There were two amusing things about the Financial Services Authority: it instituted a huge amount of extra legislation across the City, including money laundering legislation, and it failed to produce any protection for people making the biggest...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: British Transport Police (14 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: Whichever version of the Government's 10-year transport plan one reads, it states: "We want people to travel safely and feel secure." British Transport police statistics show a 43 per cent. increase in violent crime on trains since 1999–2000. Can the Minister confirm exactly when his review will be finished and what steps he will take as a result to ensure that people feel safer when...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: On the point about funds to Bob Crow, let us consider what Nick Wright, head of communications for ASLEF, has said, which is that it is easier to negotiate with the TOCs and the franchise operators in the run-up to the renewal of the franchise. So in fact the Government are giving money to Bob Crow and his friends, because they have the power in the balance of negotiations at that time. That...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I congratulate the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell) on securing the debate and on putting his case so clearly, eloquently and forcefully. I support him in praising the staff of the railways for the job that they do. I represent a London constituency that benefits from both surface and underground rail, and the staff work very hard. Unfortunately, all too often in the...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I shall leave that for the hon. Gentleman to read later in the day; the brochure does not set out any policy in detail. Of course, later this week the Liberal Democrats have a bigger day, and we shall see whether it presages any change. I confirm for the hon. Gentleman that by the summer recess there will be detailed Conservative policies on a number of issues, such as transport...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I am happy to confirm that my party believes that the current franchise arrangements are suitable and appropriate. I look forward to the Minister giving a number of answers—either in the Chamber this morning or in writing later. If he cannot answer the rather large number of huge, detailed questions, perhaps he will do us the courtesy of making any written response available to everybody by...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I am happy to withdraw my remark. I merely point out that a huge amount of dialogue is going on between unions and franchise operators and between unions and the train operating companies, as was shown by my quote from the head of communications at ASLEF. We have talked a little about the principle of an employer and employee talking together, and I suspect that there is agreement on that...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: In this case, this hon. Gentleman is genuinely being misleading. I opened my remarks by specifically praising the staff, and I would utterly condemn anyone who made such remarks to railway workers. My remarks about the unscrupulous nature of union leaders referred not to the workers, but to the tactic of calling action on a minority turnout.

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I think that that is also wrong. The recommendation is that there should be a 50 per cent. turnout of the membership in the ballot; that would be the relevant majority. All too often, action has been called on a turnout of well below 50 per cent. That is the difference.

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: That is not the recommendation of the GLA transport committee, which is rather different. It is that there be at least a 50 per cent. turnout in the ballot.

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: No, I am not condemning him, because he is entitled to that view and I might support it. I was merely pointing out what the actual recommendation is. The tendency of union officials to act in their short-term interests all too often hampers industrial relations in the rail industry. We could have a debate lasting an hour and a half on the railway pension scheme.

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I am glad that we will, because it will be an interesting debate. It will be extremely interesting to hear the Minister's response about previous pension fund holidays, how they will work, and how they have worked and acted against pensioners. The Minister might not wish to comment on the fact that across the public sector there is currently an unfunded liability in pensions, which the...

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I am merely pointing out the Government's own error. If, in the same way as they force corporate pension funds—[Interruption.]

Industrial Relations (28 Feb 2006)

Stephen Hammond: I was merely pointing out that if the Government operated on the same basis as that which they force on companies, the unfunded liability of the public sector pension fund would be between £670 billion and £850 billion. The Conservative party is considering whether or not we should fund it. It would be honest to say that this Government's liabilities are 125 per cent. of gross domestic...

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