Results 61–80 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

Ways and Means — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law (20 Mar 2015)

David Willetts: Fortunately, the evidence is that the number of people applying for university is at a record level and that the proportion of people from disadvantaged backgrounds applying for university under the excellent stewardship of my successor, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, who I see on the Front Bench, has just hit another record. It looks as though those...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Manufacturing (12 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: Will the Minister confirm that when we talk about “tech” we mean not just the software, but the hardware as well, and that there are enormous prospects for British manufacturing, especially supported through the RGF, to be world leaders in the high-tech industries of the future?

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Topical Questions (12 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: Will the Minister confirm that one of the best ways of getting funding into innovative life sciences companies is for them to get contracts from the NHS earlier? He just referred to his very important early access review. What are the ambitions for that, and the timetable?

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (4 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: Will the Prime Minister welcome the increase in the number of students—especially those from the poorest backgrounds—who are applying for university places? Will he confirm that both universities and students would lose as a result of the reduction in funding that would be caused by a cut in fees? How could a policy that only helped rich graduates possibly be called progressive?

Living Wage (Reporting): Human Fertilisation and Embryology (3 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: I apologise to you, Mr Speaker, and to the House for missing the opening speech in the debate. Nevertheless, I was keen to speak because I think that the proposals before us today would tackle a real human need. There are parents who are currently bringing into the world children with a horrible disease and the suffering is made more acute by the fact that now, for the first time, those...

Living Wage (Reporting): Human Fertilisation and Embryology (3 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: It is absolutely true that mitochondria can be inherited through the mother, but it does not change the character of the baby. Secondly, let me consider the health and safety objection. Sometimes that objection is being used as a cover for what is really an underlying objection in principle. The scientists say, with typical caution and care, that there is no evidence that this is unsafe. It...

Living Wage (Reporting): Human Fertilisation and Embryology (3 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: Let me make some progress, as others want to speak. Thirdly, I hear a rejection on the grounds that we are somehow rushing because we are going to be first. People ask, why us? Why now? Why in Britain? I must say, having had the privilege of serving as the Minister responsible for science, that we are first because we have world-leading research in this area. We should be proud of the fact...

Living Wage (Reporting): Human Fertilisation and Embryology (3 Feb 2015)

David Willetts: We all know the feeling. One thing we are proud of in this country and, I hope, on both sides of the House is our innovation, research and enterprise, provided that the risks are clearly understood and regulation is in place. I hope that we will support innovation, particularly innovation that tackles a clear human need. We are not saying that this must go ahead today. We are saying that we...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: This has been an illuminating debate, although my successor, the excellent Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, might think he is in danger of hearing from too many former Ministers going through our old arguments. We look forward to his fresh approach. I want to respond to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee report. I always appreciated the courtesy of the Committee’s...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: My hon. Friend makes an important point. This is not public spending, as is explained in the Office for Budget Responsibility “Fiscal Sustainability Report” at page 174, paragraph B.21, which states: “given the way the National Accounts are measured this does not directly affect our fiscal forecast.” But that does not mean that we should be cavalier or wilful and say, “It doesn’t...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: I thank the shadow Minister for his generous remarks. I, too, as the former Secretary of State was saying, shall miss the House and even, no doubt, these debates. He asks a very fair question: what has happened to the RAB charge and why? The RAB charge is a peculiar calculation. First, it is a forecast, not public spending, and it has several elements. One element is a schematic assumption of...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: On write-offs, I hope people can accept that what we are talking about here is a forecast shaped with some rather peculiar assumptions, not an item of public spending today. On a review, a lot depends on what people mean. My view is that the last thing that the higher education sector needs is another equivalent of Robbins, Dearing or Browne. All three political parties represented in the...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: The only country that has a system like ours is Australia. The last time I was in Australia, comparing notes and discussing our two systems, when I asked the leading Australian expert what the Australian equivalent of the RAB charge was, he said, “I think when we launched the scheme five years ago, we did an estimate of write-offs, and come to think of it, we probably ought to have another...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: On inaccuracies, the RAB charge is largely determined by external factors. The 2.2% cost of borrowing is determined by Treasury assumption. The repayment threshold in 2016 relative to earnings is entirely determined by OBR forecasts. We did not go round trying to reach an alternative wages forecast; we just took the OBR forecast, which was the only sensible way to proceed. Then the British...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: That is very fair, and it is the point on which I want to end. I think debt collection is not a particular weakness of the scheme. Again, some of the Select Committee reports and even the NAO stuff is unfair in regarding debt collection as an area where we could do massively better. Essentially, we are forecasting income tax receipts up to 2045—calculating 9% of earnings above a threshold...

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that Germany has lower levels of social mobility than us? Many fewer people from low-income backgrounds go to university in Germany, because access in Germany is very restricted compared with access here.

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: Will the right hon. Gentleman clarify one important point? Is he therefore proposing that the maintenance grant goes and is not replaced by maintenance loans, and as a result that many more students do not travel from their home town to go to university?

Bill Presented — Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill: Backbench Business — Higher Education Funding (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: The hon. Gentleman talks about costs, budgets and public spending. In the interests of having a clear debate, will he confirm that the resource accounting and budgeting charge is not an item of public expending, as it appears in the national budget or the national accounts?

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Topical Questions (8 Jan 2015)

David Willetts: Will the universities Minister confirm that overseas students will continue to receive a warm welcome in this country, and will he assure me that we will not expect them to leave the country after they graduate and apply for a post-study work visa from abroad?


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