Results 21–40 of 6259 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 Darling of Roulanish

Women and Equalities: Smith Commission (27 Nov 2014)

Alistair Darling: I, too, welcome the proposals being made by the Smith commission today, transferring, as they do, not just more powers but significant new responsibilities that will be taken on by the Scottish Parliament. As we implement those and discuss, as we must, further devolution to other parts of the United Kingdom, will the Secretary of State ensure that we do nothing that undermines the integrity...

Amendment of the Law (25 Mar 2014)

Alistair Darling: The hon. Member for Forest of Dean (Mr Harper)will forgive me, I hope, if I do not follow him directly in what he has just said. I want to say something about infrastructure in this country, and I want to talk about some of the slightly longer-term issues in relation to the capacity in our economy as it now is, as well as levels of public expenditure, but I start with annuities. In drawing...

Amendment of the Law (25 Mar 2014)

Alistair Darling: Absolutely, and the argument that has been with us throughout this Parliament has been about how to ensure that we generate growth to pay down the debt. Part of the problem that the Government have at the moment is that the plan that they started out with did not achieve significant results—it is not the same plan as they are operating now, by the way, because it is running some four years...

Amendment of the Law (25 Mar 2014)

Alistair Darling: Having been around at the time, I rather got the impression that it was having an impact on everybody, from communist China to the republican United States and throughout Europe and the whole world. If there is a banking crash, it is not surprising that it has consequences. To return to my point about the west country, we have to recognise that there are some things that the private sector...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Transport Infrastructure (17 Dec 2013)

Alistair Darling: The Commission appears to be recommending another runway at Heathrow, which is exactly where we were 10 years ago. The proposal on Gatwick appears to be “in addition to” rather than “instead of” the proposal at Heathrow. I notice that the Secretary of State studiously avoided expressing an opinion and I understand that he wants to await the outcome of the commission. However, could he...

Business of the House: Autumn Statement (5 Dec 2013)

Alistair Darling: I notice that the Chancellor’s growth forecasts follow a very familiar pattern of being fairly flat and then rising to, I think, 3.7% in four years’ time. That, of course, drives his assumptions in relation to borrowing and debt. Does he agree that risks remain not just in the eurozone, but here at home? In connection with that, could he tell me what the Office for Budget Responsibility...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: National Infrastructure Plan (4 Dec 2013)

Alistair Darling: I am sure that I was not the only Member of the House who had a sense of déjà vu when listening to what the Chief Secretary had to say. Indeed, I seem to remember announcing a number of those projects myself 10 years ago. Perhaps that demonstrates the problem we face, because successive Governments have found it very difficult to deliver on those large-scale projects, whether for housing,...

Grangemouth Refinery (23 Oct 2013)

Alistair Darling: I think that everyone in the House recognises the importance of the Grangemouth plant—not just for Grangemouth, but because, if we lose it, there will be huge hole in the Scottish economy and the loss of the refining capacity would have a serious implication for the UK. Does the Secretary of State agree that two things are necessary? First, the Government and the Scottish Government should...

Women and Equalities: Universal Credit (5 Sep 2013)

Alistair Darling: Like many Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions, I looked at something like universal credit some 12 years ago, and I was advised then that it was technically very difficult, if not impossible, to implement it at anything like an acceptable cost and that whatever the cost I was quoted, it was likely that it would end up costing an awful lot more. I have listened to the right hon....

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Spending Review (26 Jun 2013)

Alistair Darling: I was interested in the Chancellor’s claim to have rescued the economy. I think I am right in saying that in 2010, the economy was actually growing, whereas unfortunately, in 2011 it stopped growing. That is why he is borrowing more than he intended and why his target to reduce national debt has been moved well into the next Parliament. On the new growth items the Chancellor announced...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law (25 Mar 2013)

Alistair Darling: I shall follow up shortly the points made by the hon. Member for Bury St Edmunds (Mr Ruffley) on the Bank of England, but first I draw the attention of the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. The big problem we face at the moment is lack of growth. Here we are, five years since the crisis hit most western developed economies, yet contrary to what has happened...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law (25 Mar 2013)

Alistair Darling: With due respect to the hon. Gentleman, I anticipated that predictable nonsense. I am grateful to him for intervening, however, not least because he has given me another minute in which to make my case. As the Office for Budget Responsibility points out, the recession is taking far longer to come out of than any we have seen previously. The principal factor is that in 2007-08 we had a...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law (25 Mar 2013)

Alistair Darling: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention, but not in the way he intended, because that is nonsense too. Incidentally, in the leaked document from John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, the Scottish Government too faced up to some difficult decisions. The difference is that I and—to give them credit—the coalition Government were...

Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Constitutional Law (15 Jan 2013)

Alistair Darling: What the hon. Gentleman has said so far is absolutely right, but there is one further thing to say: the UK Government have always followed the Electoral Commission’s advice. We would be interested to know whether the SNP is likely to take the same position.

Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Constitutional Law (15 Jan 2013)

Alistair Darling: It is a pleasure to follow the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Mr Kennedy); I agree with just about everything he has said this afternoon. I shall not talk so much about the merits of the debate on independence, but deal with some procedural matters. Before I do so, let me say two things. First, depending on when the winding-up speeches occur, I may be absent from the Chamber....

Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Constitutional Law (15 Jan 2013)

Alistair Darling: I do not think that I was always party to the advice taken by my friend and former colleague Tony Blair, but I do remember something of the discussions, and the right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right: we are the best of friends as far as Better Together is concerned. We may have parted company on the single currency 10 years ago, but we probably would not do so now. We are all friends when...

Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Constitutional Law (15 Jan 2013)

Alistair Darling: I fear that we are about to exhaust your patience, Madam Deputy Speaker, but my hon. Friend is probably right. I think that in a contest such as this, the Scottish public will expect to see fair play. It would be unfortunate if, during those four months, the Scottish Government were allowed to spend money here, there and everywhere, with Ministers making announcements—and it is, after all,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Constitutional Law (15 Jan 2013)

Alistair Darling: I can assure the hon. Gentleman that that thirst for information has been evident, not least in his constituency last week. If he would care to turn up to one or two meetings, he would be asked quite a few questions which I think that he and his colleagues need to answer.

Oral Answers to Questions — Health: Constitutional Law (15 Jan 2013)

Alistair Darling: What irritated members of the SNP so much last week was that wherever I went in Scotland more and more questions were asked about them, and as that fact became more and more widely reported, it really did rile them. As for what the UK Government are doing, they will be producing a series of papers on key matters such as European Union membership. The hon. Gentleman cannot blame them for doing...

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: European Council (17 Dec 2012)

Alistair Darling: I agree with what the Prime Minister said about the banking union. Like so many other things coming out of the eurozone, it looks a bit half-baked at the moment. Did he get any sense of how much money the banking union will have, and where it will get it from? Did he also detect any urgency being applied to sorting out the Spanish banking problem? It looks as though all the problems that have...

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