Results 161–180 of 700 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Cat Smith

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: I fully support my hon. Friend’s private Member’s Bill. I hope that Members across the House who want a more inclusive democracy where every eligible voter is on the electoral roll will continue to support her Bill. She raises an interesting point about why this matter is before us on a Friday as a private Member’s Bill. It is deeply concerning that this measure has been put into a...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: My hon. Friend makes a valid point. That is the context of local government funding being reduced significantly over the years, which has forced local authorities to review their electoral services. That has led to significant reductions in core service funding and staffing levels, with a growing number of skilled professionals leaving local authority elections teams. The impact of austerity...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: The report that my hon. Friend raises is very worrying and should be of concern to Members across the House. When 43% of local authorities agree that they do not have sufficient funds to administer a poll, we should all be worried about the integrity of our electoral system. The Government fail to understand that cuts to public services can have devastating consequences. Last year, the...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend’s intervention was particularly about the capacity of local elections offices. Were the Bill to be successful, the impact on local elections offices in councils up and down the country would be huge, because the process of registering an overseas elector can take around two hours. If those offices were to see a huge increase in the number of...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Let me return to the Bill. I want to ask the Government three questions. Have they any indication of how many of the estimated 5 million Britons living abroad would apply to be overseas electors in the run-up to a UK parliamentary election or national referendum if the 15-year rule were removed? How do they intend to fund EROs for the additional costs incurred by these proposals? What steps...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Given the overstretched nature of elections offices up and down the country, I suspect there would not be the capacity for such a check. Given that the Government are this May planning to trial requiring ID at polling stations, it seems that the requirements to prove the identity of an elector living in the UK are far greater than—

Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Parliamentary and Local Elections (21 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: It is clear that disabled people are under-represented in our democracy and our politics, but in 2015, the Minister’s Government abolished the access to elected office fund, which supported many disabled people in meeting the extra costs in standing for office. How can the Government claim to be making democracy more accessible when these financial barriers are put in their place?

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Topical Questions (5 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: My constituent Mrs Allinson suffers from multiple sclerosis. She has been receiving the personal independence payment for 24 months, but was recently reassessed and denied it on the ground that she can work, although only part time. Given that she is no longer getting that money, she is working full time and damaging her health. Do the Government recognise that disabled people need support to...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: On that point, will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for making an excellent speech, and declare my interest as one of those Members with a growing bump. Does she agree that that highlights the urgency with which we have to address the issue? I am not the only Member of the House who is currently pregnant. Does she agree that we are working to a deadline? Babies do not wait; it is not going to stay in...

Capita: Business of the House (1 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Almost three months ago, on 3 November, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government about the Preesall gas storage facility plans in my constituency. I am still waiting on a reply. Will the Leader of the House look into this on my behalf?

Taliban and is/Daesh Attacks: Afghanistan: Contaminated Blood Inquiry (29 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) for raising this important issue and echo the concerns that she and others colleagues in this House have raised. The victims of this appalling tragedy have been waiting decades for answers and for justice, and it is unacceptable that they are now having to wait even longer as the Government miss their own...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Leaving the EU: Research and Staffing (29 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: What conversations has the Secretary of State had with the Home Secretary on the contribution made by international students and staff to our British universities and about their classification in immigration statistics?

Modernising Defence Programme (25 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: I had hoped to ask the Secretary of State for reassurance for the service personnel and the many thousands of people across Lancashire who work in the defence industry, but I am aware that many colleagues were expecting this statement to be made on Monday and they are not in the Chamber today. Will the Secretary of State’s door be open to colleagues who are not here today because of the...

Business of the House (25 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: Government figures released today show that levels of rough sleeping are now the highest on record, so can we expect a statement next week about this serious issue that affects all parts of our country?

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Court Improvements (23 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: Under this Government hundreds of courts have closed, and I now see that Fleetwood court is on the latest consultation list. How do these court closures contribute to a positive experience for “those who work in the courts and those who use them”?

Private Sector Pensions (22 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: BlackRock was responsible for Carillion workers’ pensions, while simultaneously betting against their employer on the stock market. What measures will the White Paper contain to ensure that such a conflict of interests cannot happen again?

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Business of the House (18 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: In the light of the collapse of Carillion, do the Government intend to make a statement on the decision to award the Department for Work and Pensions facilities management contract to Interserve, another company with huge debts and a large pension deficit that has issued numerous profit warnings?

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (18 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: The previous rail Minister agreed to meet me to discuss the reopening of the railway line to Fleetwood. Will the new Minister honour that and get Fleetwood back on track?

Cabinet Office and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Local Authorities: Voting Services (10 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: On behalf of the Opposition Front Bench, I welcome the Minister to his new role. The chair of the Electoral Commission has warned that our electoral system is facing a “perfect storm” due to funding pressures, and 43% of local authority election teams have experienced real-terms cuts since 2010. Will the Minister outline why the Government’s democratic engagement plan fails to address...

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