Results 17981–18000 of 90000 for speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms OR speaker:Stephen Timms

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: The coverage is being extended to widowers. It will be a new contributory benefit for widowers. Those with children will continue to receive non-means-tested help until the youngest child for whom they are responsible ceases full-time education. The income support safety net will be in place for those who are older than 55 when the measures are introduced and who are widowed in the following...

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I have made the point that there is a new contributory benefit for widowers. There has been no such measure before; we are introducing one. It is time-limited, but not means-tested. All widows will receive non-means-tested benefit for six months to help during the transition, and those with children will continue to receive non-means-tested help until the youngest child ceases full-time...

Oral Answers to Questions — Bereavement Benefits (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: My hon. Friend makes an interesting point. I looked carefully through the documents issued this morning by the Liberal Democrats to see whether the matter was dealt with there. My hon. Friend is right—it is not. He is also right about the extra help that we are making available through the single work-focused gateway. That is an extremely important change, which will help many thousands of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Older Pensioners (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. The minimum income guarantee is being set at a higher level for older pensioners. It will be £75 a week for a single pensioner just above retirement age, but £77.30 a week for a single pensioner aged 75 to 79 and £82.25 a week for a pensioner aged 80 or over.

Oral Answers to Questions — Older Pensioners (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I am aware of the proposals in the document produced this morning by the Liberal Democrats for higher rates of state pension for older pensioners. That would be an expensive measure that would provide no help to older pensioners already on income support, which cannot be right. We acknowledged in our election manifesto that there was a problem with the number of people who claim the minimum...

Oral Answers to Questions — Older Pensioners (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I agree with my hon. Friend. Even the least well-off pensioners should share in rising national prosperity. That is why it is right to aim to link the level of the minimum income guarantee with average earnings. I welcome the fact that the Liberal Democrats have endorsed that policy today.

Oral Answers to Questions — Annuities (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: There are no such plans. The Inland Revenue rules require that personal pension and money purchase occupational pension funds must be used to buy an annuity at retirement. The exception is when a personal pension fund is used for income draw-down whereby income is drawn directly from the fund. Although that means that annuity purchase is deferred, an annuity must be purchased by the age of 75.

Oral Answers to Questions — Annuities (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: I recognise that many people have been disappointed by the fall in annuity rates, but they have enjoyed the benefits of substantial stock market growth so their funds are bigger than might once have been expected. My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the Government's success in managing the economy and that can be expected to continue. Inflation is lower and stable so that annuities...

Oral Answers to Questions — Annuities (8 Mar 1999)

Stephen Timms: It is an important principle that since pensions savings are tax free, they must eventually be converted into an income stream so that tax may be paid on them. Of course, we always keep these matters under review, but, as I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston (Ms Stuart), the present system is the only practical one available.

Schedule 6: Information (24 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time. The Third Reading debate traditionally provides an opportunity to thank hon. Members who have taken part in our debates. I am grateful for the work and help of my hon. Friends, especially my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary. This has been a good example of joined-up government and of how our Departments work together. The Bill has...

Clause 25: Orders and Regulations (24 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: This amendment would require a debate in both Houses before any Order in Council or regulations could be made by the Secretary of State or the board of Inland Revenue under the powers in the Bill. However, regulations primarily will be about the detailed procedures for appeals to go down the tax appeals route. I suggest to the House that these are not matters of such sufficient moment that...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill (23 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: This has been a lively and interesting debate. We have enjoyed the rumbustious speech made by the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies); it was somewhat unguided and mistargeted, but no less enjoyable for all that. I am pleased that so many hon. Members wanted to take part in the debate, recognising as they do the central importance of the task that the Bill takes on. The...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill (23 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: Our proposals for single parents have been welcomed extremely widely, and the young woman whom I quoted from that radio interview speaks for the overwhelming majority of lone parents. I turn to some of the points raised in this excellent debate. I shall comment first on the intervention that the hon. Member for South Antrim (Mr. Forsythe) made at the beginning of the debate about the effect...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill (23 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: I have every confidence that the Assembly will take up its powers within the next couple of months and introduce the necessary legislation, but the Bill's provisions will not automatically take effect in Northern Ireland. On the future of the contributory principle, I point out that nobody starting from scratch would invent the system that we have today, with all its complexities. We are...

Orders of the Day — Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill (23 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: The staff were encouraged to think of themselves as benefits police, with targets set accordingly. However, with the new deal—I am delighted that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment is on the Front Bench with me tonight—they have a completely different task. For the first time, as a result of the windfall tax, they have the resources to do the job that...

Orders of the Day — Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, Etc.) Bill [Lords] (8 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: This has been a wide-ranging and interesting debate. It is hard to believe from the speech of the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) that this is a technical Bill, which moves around parts of the machinery of government. We have had the opportunity to range over topics from welfare reform and the contributory principle to the information technology system used in the...

Orders of the Day — Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, Etc.) Bill [Lords] (8 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: The CBI does indeed support the measure. Has the hon. Gentleman discussed his argument with the shadow Chancellor? Has he read the deregulation task force report, for which the shadow Chancellor was responsible? It says: It is a massive and unnecessary burden for employers to have to cope with two separate bureaucracies for matters concerning payroll taxes"?

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Security: Benefit Vouchers (8 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: In November 1998, we referred draft regulations to the Social Security Advisory Committee to make non-cash vouchers subject to national insurance contributions, in the same way as cash earnings. After a period of consultation, the committee sent its report to the Secretary of State on 28 January 1999. We are considering the report and its recommendations and will respond in due course.

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Security: Benefit Vouchers (8 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: We announced during the summer of 1997 that we wanted to reduce the burden for business by bringing together the arrangements for income tax and national insurance. The Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, Etc.) Bill which will be considered by the House this afternoon is an example of that process. Where two people receive the same pay but one receives part of his pay in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Security: Benefit Vouchers (8 Feb 1999)

Stephen Timms: As far as I know, people on probation are not in receipt of luncheon vouchers. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that, in resolving the issue and coming forward with proposals in response to the report that we have received from the Social Security Advisory Committee, we shall take all relevant issues fully into account.


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