Results 141–160 of 290 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Blackwell

European Union (Amendment) Bill (22 Apr 2008)

Lord Blackwell: I support my noble friend's amendment and speak to Amendment No. 125 in my name, which is in the same group. Like other noble Lords, I should very much like to get down to the substance of these treaties but it is difficult when the Government continue to deny in effect the substance of what we are supposed to be debating—the consolidated text, or the end result of it. This is not a...

European Union (Amendment) Bill (1 Apr 2008)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, it is a great privilege to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby, but, as we are at the start of a long journey on the Bill today, I should make clear at the outset that I do not share her assessment. I believe that this is a bad Bill for Britain and a bad treaty for Europe. This is not because I do not value our relationship with Europe but because I believe that this...

European Council: 13-14 March 2008 (17 Mar 2008)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, will the noble Baroness explain a couple of points in the communiqué? Like other noble Lords, I scan these communiqués avidly for evidence of added value from Europe, but I struggle to understand the conclusion on page 3 that the European Council recognises the role of local and regional level in delivering growth and jobs and asserts that increased ownership of the growth and...

Climate Change Bill [HL] (25 Feb 2008)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I have not intervened before in our consideration of the Bill but I hope that the House will forgive me if I intervene briefly to explain why I cannot support my Front Bench on the amendment. It is misconceived for two reasons. First, as the noble Lord has just said, the notion that defining a temperature 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels is the right temperature is entirely...

Banking (Special Provisions) Bill (21 Feb 2008)

Lord Blackwell: Since I was not able to intervene yesterday, I should start by declaring my interest as a director of a UK financial institution. The argument that has been made for maintaining the openness of the measure, apart from the hybridity point, is that in an uncertain market there may be other occasions where banks fall into difficulties. We need to understand that, even if the Government were...

European Council: 13-14 December 2007 (5 Dec 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, we are near the end of the debate, and I pay tribute to the noble Baroness the Lord President, who has sat in her place, almost unmoving, for five hours. I am sure that we all appreciate that. It has been clear during the debate that there are many views around the Chamber, and that is healthy. A number of noble Lords have put forward the genuine view that they welcome the major...

European Council: 13-14 December 2007 (5 Dec 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I say to the noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson, that my personal view is that we should seek what all polling shows is the mainstream view of the British electorate. What it clearly wants is a looser relationship that preserves free trade and the economic prosperity that goes with it and co-operation between Governments but allows the UK properly to opt out of the process of economic and...

EU: Reform Treaty (22 Nov 2007)

Lord Blackwell: asked Her Majesty's Government: Which articles of the former treaty establishing a constitution for Europe will not be reflected in the consolidated European Union treaty base if the proposed European Union reform treaty is adopted.

EU: Reform Treaty (22 Nov 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her response, although I am disappointed that it did not better address my Question. Has she seen, and does she agree with, the report of the scrutiny committee in another place, which suggests that only one article of the previous constitutional treaty is not reflected in the new treaty and that only one article has been added to the new treaty?

Children, Schools and Families (10 Jul 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, I join others in welcoming the Minister's commitment to the expansion of the academies programme. In addition to the assurances that he gave my noble friend Lady Morris on preserving the existing freedoms of the academies, do the Government have any plans—based on the success of the initial academies—further to extend their freedom so that they have more freedom to develop in...

Taxation: Private Equity Firms (10 Jul 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, given the importance of the international competitiveness of tax rates on business, will the Minister ensure that the reviews that he mentioned take account of the comparative rates of taxation on private equity investment in other countries? Also, what loss of revenue to the Government might ensue if capital moved overseas as a result of a change in tax rates?

Pensions Bill (11 Jun 2007)

Lord Blackwell: Perhaps I may anticipate the general answer that the Minister will give, in that guidance is already available on much of the information covered by the amendments. However, I would press him on unfair competition. Further to his earlier point about regulated advice and generic advice, if generic advice on basic pension accounts is to be unregulated, is the implication that people who believe...

Pensions Bill (11 Jun 2007)

Lord Blackwell: This is a very important amendment, but first I should remind the Committee of the interests that I declared on Second Reading. I pick up from where the noble Lord, Lord Turner, ended. It is important to lay down this type of amendment now so that the authority, in doing the preparatory work which we expect it to do over the next few years, is very clear about what the objectives will be by...

Pensions Bill (11 Jun 2007)

Lord Blackwell: I support the issue raised by both these amendments on the advice scheme. It is a key part of the proposed scheme that advice is available to people at an affordable cost. In the past, the major impediment to selling pension schemes to much of the population has been the cost of advice relative to the amount to be invested. The scheme for extending pensions to more individuals seems to rest...

Pensions Bill (6 Jun 2007)

Lord Blackwell: If the Minister's major concern is the tax loophole, can he envisage our discussing tax arrangements which would close that loophole and ensure that money going in with a tax advantage was not improperly used? I do not think that anyone is arguing that the fund should be used as an improper tax loophole but, if that is the basis of his concern, can we not discuss how to find a solution to it?

Pensions Bill (6 Jun 2007)

Lord Blackwell: I wish to speak briefly to the four amendments in this group in the names of my noble friends. For the reasons set out by the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, we have to recognise that the annuity rules are a major disincentive to people accumulating savings in a pension plan. Like her, I think that the best solution would be to move away entirely from this stricture towards a much more flexible...

Pensions Bill (14 May 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, in making my contribution, I should draw attention to my interest as director of a life assurance company that is also a major pensions provider. Like others who have spoken in this debate, I very much welcome the general direction of the Bill and I pay tribute to the work of the Pensions Commission under the noble Lord, Lord Turner, on which the Bill is based. Nevertheless, I fall...

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 (21 Mar 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, much of the debate, in fact all of it, has focused on the objections from those with strong religious convictions. Before the House proceeds, we should note that it is entirely legitimate to have concerns about the drafting of these regulations that do not depend on those religious convictions. As a number of speakers have said, those concerns come back specifically to the interests...

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 (21 Mar 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords—

Health: Modernising Medical Careers (19 Mar 2007)

Lord Blackwell: My Lords, the Minister says that a portfolio of experience may be presented. In a process that has taken so long to design, involved so much effort and that is so important to the NHS and to the doctors who have spent years in education, can he explain what he tells his doctors about why the system was designed so that their experience, CVs and references were given so little weight?


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