Results 1–20 of 4000 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 Willetts

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Security: Family Credit (8 Jun 1992)

David Willetts: Will my hon. Friend confirm that four times more families now receive family credit than received family income supplement in 1979? Does that not represent considerable progress in the reduction of disincentives to work?

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance: Economic Policy (11 Jun 1992)

David Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he next expects to meet the Director General of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss economic policy.

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance: Economic Policy (11 Jun 1992)

David Willetts: Has my right hon. Friend seen the latest quarterly CBI industrial trends survey, which shows a big improvement in export orders and business confidence? Is he aware that since the general election, we have seen the biggest improvement in business optimism since 1988?

Adjournment (Summer) (9 Jul 1992)

David Willetts: I am most grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to catch your eye and so make my maiden speech. I follow the conspicuous and eloquent maiden speech of my hon. Friend the Member for High Peak (Mr. Hendry). Mine is very much a valley after his great heights. I have the honour of succeeding Sir Ian Lloyd, who was the Member for Havant for 25 years. He was a most assiduous and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Security: Unemployment (2 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: Does my hon. Friend accept that the Government's proposals for one-stop shopping represent an important improvement in the potential service to the unemployed, who will no longer be caught in an administrative muddle between unemployment benefit and social security offices?

Social Security (12 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his conspicuous success in securing a full uprating of social security benefits. I congratulate him particularly on securing what is in effect an increase in the real value of income support. Is not that evidence of our ability to target help effectively on the poorest members of society? Our low inflation ensures that the real value of benefits is...

Orders of the Day — Autumn Statement (19 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: Does the hon. Gentleman not recognise that in the circumstances of the 1981 Budget we were looking at inflation of over 10 per cent.? Does he not accept that now, with inflation below 4 per cent. and still falling, it is a very different economic situation?

Orders of the Day — Autumn Statement (19 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I should like to give a wholehearted welcome to the autumn statement. I should have liked to give it a fulsome welcome, but, with the constraints of the 10-minute rule, suffice it to say that with the lowest interest rates and tax rates in Europe we now have the basis to rebuild consumer confidence, which is crucial. We hear so much talk about investment as though it were virtuous and...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: My hon. Friend has already made it clear that he envisages a scheme whereby unemployed people would receive £100 a week, but he has added that entitlement to other benefits such as housing benefit would remain and that, if a family was entitled to benefits worth more than £100, the benefits system would be used to top up the income from the scheme. Does that not mean that my hon. Friend...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, North (Mr. Howell) on raising this issue today and on his contribution to the debate on the problem known as, "Why work?" Whatever his frustrations in getting his message on workfare across, several measures that have been introduced to try to deal with the "Why work?" problem in the past decade can be traced back to the battles that my...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who has added a fourth item to my list. That list adds up to a series of significant initiatives aimed at encouraging people into work to ensure that we do not reward people who remain unemployed for a long time.

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: The test of actively seeking work does not depend on the availability of numerous jobs in an immediate area. If someone sends off many job applications and, when offered, accepts a place on a training scheme, even if they live in an area which, sadly, is suffering from a high rate of unemployment, any sensible adjudication officer will accept that that person is seeking work and will not...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I was, of course, shocked to be described as a waster of last resort by my hon. Friend. I have not previously attempted to adopt such a role and I am not pleased to have it attributed to me today. The problem is rather more complicated than my hon. Friend imagines. Of course, in the short term, my hon. Friend may be tempted by the idea of putting someone to work straightaway on planting...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I will, but I hope that my hon. Friend will bear in mind the stricture that we received from Madam Deputy Speaker.

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that point, which I shall address later. I have attempted to set out the reasons for my concern about the ambitious workfare scheme that my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, North has advocated. My first objection is one of principle. Of course it is frustrating when one sees idle hands when there is unmet need, but it is not the job of the state...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: Moreover, when one looks at the practical difficulties in implementing a workfare scheme it is clear that lessons can be learned from the experience of youth training schemes for 16 to 18-year-olds. I entirely supported that attempt and had no difficulties in principle in expecting that 16 to 18-year-olds should be in education, training or paid employment. However, in the past few years we...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I am sorry if my hon. Friend thinks that I am simply putting difficulties in his way. I am not trying to do so. I am trying to deal with practical issues, which would have to be dealt with before a scheme along those lines could become a viable proposition. The American experience has already been described in an intervention by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Hawkins)....

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I defer to my hon. Friend's wide experience of the American debate. May I conclude with some constructive suggestions? I do not wish to leave any hint of a suspicion in the mind of my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, North, that I am here to carp or be negative. One possible way forward is for TECs to review how they are currently dealing with their work for the unemployed. I am worried...

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: Of course.

Prayers: Workfare (20 Nov 1992)

David Willetts: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention because it gives me the opportunity to clarify what I said earlier. Obviously I did not make the point sufficiently clear. The Government have enormous responsibilities in terms of employment and the labour market. The Government's responsibility is, first, to ensure that there is the right economic framework. That means ensuring that...


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