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Results 1–20 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:Lord Cotter

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Windfall Tax (2 Jul 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: I welcome this opportunity to make my maiden speech in today's important Budget debate and I thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for calling me. I congratulate the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Murphy) on his interesting maiden speech and I can assure him that there are plenty of conveniences in Weston-super-Mare. I pay tribute to my predecessor, Sir Jerry Wiggin, who represented...

Innovation (Small Firms) (7 Nov 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: I congratulate the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Ms Jones) on her knowledgeable contribution to this morning's debate. She spoke clearly and raised a number of serious issues, such as late payment and business support. I whole-heartedly welcome the opportunity today to debate innovation and the role of small firms. As the Liberal Democrat spokesman on small businesses and as a...

Innovation (Small Firms) (7 Nov 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: I agree with you about any reduction in the effectiveness of business links. However, I think the idea is that business links are supposed increasingly to become free-standing and to finance themselves, so the scheme will progress in that direction. I would join you if the Minister, unless she says otherwise—

Innovation (Small Firms) (7 Nov 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: rose—

Innovation (Small Firms) (7 Nov 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Innovation (Small Firms) (7 Nov 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: May I give way to the Minister, Mr. Deputy Speaker?

Innovation (Small Firms) (7 Nov 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: What we look for within the business links system is advice, and I shall touch briefly on some important details. Many small firms are not well aware of how to produce their own management accounts. That is the sort of system that I would hope business links could promote among small companies. Perhaps one way of helping companies in a financial direction would be a "lend an accountant"...

Orders of the Day — National Minimum Wage Bill (16 Dec 1997)

Mr Brian Cotter: Perhaps we can be allowed to speak for ourselves on that subject and not have words put into our mouths.

Orders of the Day — Regional Development Agencies Bill (14 Jan 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: May I begin by joining my hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Mr. Harvey) in his expression of support for the concept of the Bill. As he said, the Liberal Democrats, in broad principle, welcome the Government's proposal to create regional development agencies. We have long argued for a more devolved system of government. However, our view is tempered by several serious reservations about...

Oral Answers to Questions — Commercial Debt (5 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: I am sure that the Minister knows that I and my colleagues agree with and very much welcome the Bill. Does she agree that, often, both local and national Government are very bad at paying? I hope that she shares my view that the Government should give a lead in that direction.

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (17 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the Government signalled in their statement today that they would put more emphasis on controlling smuggling and on the Customs operation? The revenue from tobacco sales should go to the Exchequer for the purposes that the hon. Gentleman identified and also for the national health service. Much of that money is not being paid to the Revenue, and is also...

Internet (18 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: I should declare an interest in the debate, as I—like other hon. Members—have an e-mail address and was one of the first hon. Members on the international website. However, I do not want to present myself—or lay myself open—as an expert, expected to know an awful lot about the subject. The hon. Member for Mid-Dorset and North Poole (Mr. Fraser) made a timely reference to the fact...

Internet (18 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: I thank the hon. Lady for that clarification, and for making the point that I was trying to make. The organisation's top staff have only recently been appointed to deal with a problem that should have been dealt with, and perhaps solved, so that everyone in the United Kingdom knew what to do about it. It is a great concern.

Internet (18 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: That is certainly correct. However, we have to talk about personalities, because people will deal with the concerns. I very much welcome the Government's statements on giving children access in school to the internet. It is very important that they should have keyboard access, and not only an e-mail address. We will therefore require more equipment, not only in schools but in public buildings.

Internet (18 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: The hon. Gentleman has a very good point, although I am slightly conservative and do not want all paperwork to go out of the door. Books are very available. We welcome the pilot project in Newcastle, for example, where jobcentres have put vacancies on line, and job seekers can access jobs and call employers directly. I should like also to put in a little plug for Weston-super-Mare. It is...

Internet (18 Mar 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: I thank the hon. Lady for advancing the debate. She succinctly puts our concern. I shall not in this short debate dwell any longer on the subject, but merely highlight it as a problem. Solutions will be difficult to find, but the matter needs to be addressed. The Government need particularly to address on the one hand problems about who could be going through the internet, and on the other...

Opposition Day: Manufacturing Industry (6 Apr 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: The Conservatives are to be congratulated on securing this important debate. The Government forecast growth in manufacturing output this year of only zero per cent. to 0.5 per cent., and with the very strong pound, the risk is that there could even be a mini-recession in manufacturing this year, with falling output. The situation in Asia has increased the risk, and makes it all the more...

Opposition Day: Manufacturing Industry (6 Apr 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: Such a decision would cap the pound's rise and help industry. Businesses are irritated by the lack of a clear timetable for the single currency. The hon. Gentleman says, "Not at this rate." Had the steps I described been taken at the right time, we would not have the present rate. The Government should have done a better job on fiscal policy. They claim to have tightened fiscal policy, but...

Orders of the Day — Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Bill [Lords] (5 May 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: I broadly congratulate the Government on this long-overdue legislation. The Liberal Democrats have, for a long time, believed in a statutory right to interest, and we welcome the Bill on behalf of businesses. I run a small business, so I am glad to be part of the statistics in saying that, as a small business person, I approve of the legislation. The Conservative Government understood to...

Orders of the Day — Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Bill [Lords] (5 May 1998)

Mr Brian Cotter: As I said, we all agree that all companies have to pay on time. Moreover, small businesses' problems in meeting their bills often arise because they are not paid on time by large businesses. We must be realistic about small businesses' difficulties. The Bill is very important for small businesses, which are sometimes restrained in paying by large businesses. Evidence from Europe suggests...


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