Results 161–180 of 6256 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

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Fiscal and Monetary Policy (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: As my hon. Friend knows, the Government's policy is to target inflation, but it is the combined efforts of fiscal policy and monetary policy that will make a difference and ensure that we can get through this and achieve the sustainable growth that is absolutely essential. It is very important that we secure that growth and we continue to take no risks with the recovery, and that is why the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: The Treasury's responsibilities remain as I have set out on previous occasions.

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: Over the past 12 years, we have taken measures to take an increasing number of pensioners out of tax precisely by raising their personal allowances. [Interruption.] I am sure that the hon. Lady is being unintentionally distracted by her hon. Friend the Member for Southport (Dr. Pugh), but I was making the point that because we have raised personal allowances for older people, we have been...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: I am sure that there was a good reason. As the hon. Gentleman and the House know, the Freedom of Information Act provides for advice to Ministers to be withheld. As for the document referred to, for the most part, it brings together contemporary literature on the question of fiscal consolidation. It seems to me, however, that it is the hon. Gentleman who has the problem. Five times today he...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: The House will know that on 10 December last year the Government published a wide range of proposals relating to matters including transaction taxes, increased capital and the insurance levy. All those matters are still being discussed. The IMF has been asked to come up with proposals, which will be discussed at the spring meetings. As I said earlier, there are problems which we know need to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: As I said earlier, we have agreements with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds to increase the amount of money that they are lending to the small and medium-sized enterprise sector. That lending has been issued, although the net figure is affected by the fact that there have been some quite large-scale repayments. In the first instance, the hon. Gentleman should do what I do and write to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: First, I think that we should wait and see what the final American proposal is because discussions are taking place and it may not be quite as was reported last week. We will see. In relation to my right hon. Friend's point about what he calls casino banks, the safe investment banks, the problem with that approach was probably demonstrated most vividly in relation to Lehmans. It did not have...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: Up to a point; I would not want to raise false hopes. As the hon. Gentleman knows, because he has long taken an interest in these matters, for some time, there has been a lot of discussion on how we can open up the waters to the west of Shetland to get at the oil and gas supplies there. It is estimated that about 20 per cent. of oil and gas supplies are there, waiting to be exploited. The...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: The hon. Gentleman will no doubt be aware that we are discussing that directive with the Commission and the presidency, which is held by Spain, because we have concerns about it. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that we must ensure that at one and the same time we have sufficient supervision and regulation to make the system safer while also remembering that that must operate alongside...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: Well, I have to say to the hon. Gentleman that it was the Scottish National party Government in Scotland who cancelled the Glasgow air link. Therefore, how on earth he has got the gall to stand up and somehow blame someone else really says it all about the nationalists. They cut the rail link; they have to live with the consequences.

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Topical Questions (2 Feb 2010)

Alistair Darling: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the figures in the pre-Budget report.

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: I have said that we should halve the deficit over a four-year period, but the hon. Gentleman clearly thinks that we should go further and faster. How much faster and how much further?

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: That is what we are proposing to do, but in addition, the Governor of the Bank of England said in the same interview in response to a series of questions that he recognised the difficulties that could arise from going too fast and too much further. Let me ask the shadow Chancellor again: if he thinks we should go further and faster, will he tell the House how much further and how much faster?...

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: Let me ask the hon. Gentleman a last time, as it does not seem that I am going to get an answer. If he read the whole of the Governor's reply, the hon. Gentleman would know that he was talking about countries across the world, not just this country. But why will the hon. Gentleman not answer the question? He quite clearly hints that he would like to go further and faster, so why will he not...

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time. We are debating the pre-Budget report more fully on Thursday, so this evening I will confine my remarks to the Bill. Every country in the world has been hit by a severe financial crisis, resulting in the worst global economic recession for decades. Inevitably, borrowing and debt levels have risen as revenues have fallen. We are affected...

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: No. It is important that the right hon. Gentleman recognises that the Bill requires the Government, in line with the proposals I set out in the Budget and the pre-Budget report, to halve our borrowing over a four-year period, which I believe is absolutely essential. The measures I have set out will enable us to do that, but it is important that we do it in a way that supports and does not...

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: I will give way, but I shall first finish dealing with the point made by the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood). It is important that we have that discipline. As I was saying, every Government must have a discipline in relation to their fiscal policy and the discipline I set out is important.

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: I have said so-we have not yet had the figures for the fourth quarter of last year. I have said before on many occasions that I believe we will come out of recession at the turn of the year, but we will not have those figures until later this month. Had I said otherwise, the hon. Gentleman would be the first to jump up and say that we do not have the figures, which we do not.

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: I think that the hon. Gentleman means Sir Michael Scholar, who is the chairman of the ONS. I have explained that point before to the House. This was money that was made available by the Bank of England as emergency support to ensure that RBS and the then HBOS could get through the crisis that we faced in October 2008. I have been asked about that and explained the position before. As I have...

Fiscal Responsibility Bill (5 Jan 2010)

Alistair Darling: I shall come on to that point, but as I was saying before I gave way, all Governments have rules and objectives. Up until 1997, those were simply statements made by the Chancellor in a Budget or at some other fiscal event. Since 1998, we have had the code for fiscal stability and two rules that have guided fiscal policy for the past 10 years. The hon. Gentleman is right: it is open to any...


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