Mr Denzil Davies: The right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire (Sir Brian Mawhinney), who is no longer in the Chamber, said that he had been a Member of Parliament for 25 years. I can beat him by 10 years. I shall leave at the next election having been a Member of Parliament for 35 years. I suppose that means that I have sat through 35 Budgets, but in the 1970s we sometimes had the luxury of two Budgets...
Mr Denzil Davies: Yes; technology, like capital, moves freely around the world today, and we cannot do much to stop it. The reality is that we are now competing with a country that has advantages that we do not necessarily have. I agree that we cannot compete, if that is the right word, on health and safety. We read recently of a terrible mining disaster in China, and no one is suggesting that our health and...
Mr Denzil Davies: I am not dealing with regulations. I am talking about more fundamental policies involving flexible working, which exists in the United States, and part-time working. Those policies help with the work-life balance.
Mr Denzil Davies: I am not as conversant with the position in America as is the hon. Gentleman. I am making a general point: if we are serious about competing, we should at least consider policies in light of this very vicious competition that we face now and are likely to face in future. The Chancellor also mentioned—we have heard about it from others—the knowledge economy. Perhaps that is the same as...
Mr Denzil Davies: All sorts of things could happen in relation to China—M4 could grow through the roof, public expenditure could be dreadful and currencies could implode. But given the size, force and energy of that country, even if Karl Marx disappears and some version of Confucius comes back, I suspect that Adam Smith, at least for some time, will go marching on in China. As I have tried to say, the...
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many statutory regulatory bodies have been established since 1997.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what percentage of the total Iraqi adult population is estimated to have voted in the recent election; (2) what the official estimate is of the percentage of registered voters who voted in the recent election in Iraq.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which EU member states require their citizens to possess identity cards.
Mr Denzil Davies: It is only right and proper for the Chancellor to remind the House of his and the Government's fine record of economic stewardship over the past seven years. It compares more than favourably with most, if not all, western European countries and the Government deserve credit for it. We do not always acknowledge the external pressures of globalisation on western economies. I do not believe that...
Mr Denzil Davies: I do not know how it will unwind. There have been calls for China to be brought increasingly among the main economic nations, but the Chinese will probably go their own way and make their own decisions in their long-term trading and security interests. The pressures on the US are considerable. An American think-tank recently looked at the prices of products in the US and in China. Prices in...
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the number of (a) full-time and (b) part-time employees in the United Kingdom in each of the last five available years.
Mr Denzil Davies: My right hon. Friend referred to the Iraqi elections. Is it the case that any party or grouping in Iraq is free to put forward representatives to stand in that election, or are there some restrictions? If there are restrictions, who is entitled to draw them up and lay them down?
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much was paid to external commercial, legal and financial advisers in respect of the STEPS agreement; (2) how much was paid by the Department to Mapeley STEPS Contractor Ltd. in each year to April (a) 2002 (b) 2003 and (c) 2004.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the average number of hours worked by UK employees in the latest year for which figures are available.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the percentage change in the hours worked per capita in the UK in (a) 1970 to 1980, (b) 1981 to 1997 and (c) 1998 to the latest available year.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the ratio of workers to pensioners in the (a) United Kingdom, (b) each region of England, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the countries which the Government (a) knows and (b) believes, to possess weapons of mass destruction.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the efficiency savings that will be achieved by establishing the proposed National Offender Management Service.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 15 June 2004, Official Report, column 835W, on the STEPS agreement, in respect of what costs were the payments in excess of the annual charge of £170 million made to Mapeley STEPS Ltd. in each year to April (a) 2002, (b) 2003 and (c) 2004.
Mr Denzil Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 15 June, Official Report, column 835W, on the STEPS agreement, what his present estimate is of the total payments over the 20 years' contract that will be paid to Mapeley STEPS Ltd. for the Chancellor's departments.