Results 141–160 of 544 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Mark Spencer

Estimates 2014-15 — Department for Work and Pensions: Housing Costs (Reformed Welfare System) (3 Mar 2015)

Mark Spencer: I am not familiar with Birmingham, Yardley, but I wonder whether the fact that the lists were so long is a symptom of the legacy of the previous Government’s inability to build single-bedroom accommodation for the hon. Gentleman’s constituents to move into.

Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day]: Members’ Paid Directorships and Consultancies (25 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day]: Members’ Paid Directorships and Consultancies (25 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: I draw attention to my declaration of interests, and let me spell them out, as has been requested. I am a director of a garden centre company and I will even name the other three directors. One is my wife, one is my father and the other is my mother. I am a partner in a farming business, as well. There are three other partners. They are my wife, my father and my mother. I understand the...

Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day]: Members’ Paid Directorships and Consultancies (25 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: That is a very good point. I am a partner of an agricultural company that receives subsidies from the EU. I am an unremunerated partner in that company, but how does one extract oneself when one’s immediate family are benefiting? I live in a house at the centre of that farm. There is only one electricity meter for that property, so the farming business pays the electricity bill, in...

Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day]: Members’ Paid Directorships and Consultancies (25 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: That is a legitimate point and it brings me to my final point about the best way to solve this. Members of Parliament should be allowed to do whatever they want to do, in whatever role they want to do it in and with whatever money they want to earn elsewhere, but that should be wholly in the public domain. The constituents of that Member of Parliament would be able to make a judgment about...

Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day]: Members’ Paid Directorships and Consultancies (25 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: Will the hon. Lady also clarify whether she is talking about cash payments only, or whether the motion includes payments in kind, in the form of goods and services?

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) for calling the debate and for the passion with which she delivered her speech. Interestingly, in the 45 minutes she took to do so, she did not give us a single indication of what a future Labour Government might do to address some of the concerns she raised. She did not even look at how she might solve the challenges we face. It seems...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: Zero-hours contracts are not something that happened under this Government; they existed before we came to power. The Labour Government did nothing about them when they were in power. I have met individuals in my constituency who have been offered a zero-hours contract. They took it up, went to work and became very successful. They were then offered a full-time career; they progressed through...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: Absolutely. Those statistics stand on their own. The second way to help people, once they have succeeded in getting a job, is to cut taxes for those at the bottom of the pay structure, so that they pay no tax at all. The Government have been very successful in lifting those people completely out of the tax system. The hon. Member for Wigan mentioned the friction between wages and inflation....

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: Of course, the Labour party now supports our funding pledges, so there is friction between what is being said about reversing some of our changes and other statements about supporting our spending regime. It will be interesting to hear the Labour Front-Bench justification of that. In another life, I was a farmer, involved in food production and supply. Interestingly, the OECD says that 9.8%...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: I will not give way any more, because other people want to speak. I want the Government to continue to reduce the deficit, and to make sure that the economy continues to grow and that we generate more jobs and help people out of poverty through employment. I want them to continue to cut taxes at the lowest end, so that we can raise more people out of tax altogether. I want them to create more...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: I hope that the hon. Lady appreciates that people who work very hard, and who might be earning very small amounts from working 50 hours a week, have to turn up to work on time. If they are late for their employment, they might be sanctioned by their employer. It is important that those who are seeking employment learn the discipline of timekeeping, which is an important part of securing and...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: I think that that emphasises the importance of the education system in solving the challenges that we face as we move forward. We must try to ensure that the employees of the future are in the best place to be able to take on a career and move forward with a job.

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: Surely the hon. Lady has to accept that in a complicated welfare system, with officers working in jobcentres, on occasion a mistake will be made. That may happen at times. The question is, how do you put that problem right? If the rules are being set by the Government, but sadly on occasion being misinterpreted or misunderstood, we have to find a system that puts that right. Accidents will...

UK Poverty — [Mr David Crausby in the Chair] (4 Feb 2015)

Mark Spencer: I wonder whether the hon. Lady could help us by giving a definition of the types of food that she means. Products such as potatoes and fresh carrots are actually the cheapest sources of food available.

Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day]: NHS (Government Spending) (28 Jan 2015)

Mark Spencer: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry). It is a little sad, to be honest, to be having this debate today, because we could approach this issue in a much more mature way as politicians. Clearly there are enormous challenges facing our health service and our adult social care services, not only for this Government or the next, but for the...

Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day]: NHS (Government Spending) (28 Jan 2015)

Mark Spencer: That is where the hon. Gentleman’s party falls down. Labour Members obsess about cash and forget about clinical operation. That is why we ended up with crises such as that at Mid Staffs hospital, with people dying in their beds because of bureaucracy, target setting and obsession with process rather than the care of patients. The Opposition also have an obsession with the private...

Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day]: NHS (Government Spending) (28 Jan 2015)

Mark Spencer: I thank the hon. Lady for that intervention. What my constituents who are in the unfortunate position of suffering from cancer care about is whether they are going to get better. Is the service going to deliver a service that makes them better and gets them over the disease? Frankly, if it does not cost constituents any money, and if the level of care and service is the highest, I think that...

Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day]: NHS (Government Spending) (28 Jan 2015)

Mark Spencer: Of course, I am the first to admit that there is financial pressure within the system. The previous Government borrowed enormous amounts of money and ran up an enormous deficit. Any Government coming in at that time would have had to take difficult decisions, but the simple fact is that spending in England has gone up under this Government, while spending in Wales under the control of the...

Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day]: NHS (Government Spending) (28 Jan 2015)

Mark Spencer: The Opposition appear to struggle with the concept that we can fund public services only if the economy is moving forward. The interest alone on the debts that the previous Government amassed would have been enough to build a hospital ward every 30 minutes.


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