James Berry: If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
James Berry: Last year, after the Prime Minister’s historic visit to Jaffna, the UN Human Rights Council passed a consensual resolution on accountability and reconciliation, following the atrocities at the end of the Sir Lankan civil war. When the resolution comes back before the UN in June, will our Government do whatever they can to ensure that Sri Lanka lives up to its promises? Progress to date has...
James Berry: What steps he has taken to increase the number of younger workers subscribing to pension schemes.
James Berry: Having spent time with charities and high street banks in Kingston, I have been surprised by the low level of financial literacy they report, even among people with secondary and tertiary education. What steps will the Government take to ensure that young people receive the high-quality information and guidance they need, particularly on pension planning, which often feels a long way off to...
James Berry: Does the hon. Lady accept that the increase in house prices in outer London as well as inner London means that the difficulty in recruiting teachers affects the whole of London? The distinction between inner and outer London is no longer a good one, given the increase in house prices across the city as a whole.
James Berry: As one of the Members of Parliament representing Kingston upon Thames, may I ask my hon. Friend whether he agrees that it cannot be right that my borough gets less than £5,000 per pupil, while other boroughs in London get more than £7,000 per pupil?
James Berry: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the UK has the double protection of being outside the automatic opt-in and outside Schengen, so that when asylum seekers choose not to claim asylum at the first port of call, they cannot travel across Europe and come to the UK through a no-border zone?
James Berry: But they are not elected to a specific responsibility, as PCCs are. People who vote for PCCs know they can hold them to account specifically for policing, and that will now be extended to the fire service.
James Berry: Does the hon. Lady not accept that her comments could be interpreted by the police as quite insulting? They do a lot of preventive and humanitarian work. As she knows, the hon. Lady’s submission comes right out of the Fire Brigades Union’s consultation document, which I also thought was quite insulting to the great work that our police officers do in the very areas that she highlighted.
James Berry: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the UK has the strongest borders in Europe, partly because of the Government’s investment in technology at our borders and partly because of the Conservative party’s firm position that we should not join the Schengen system?
James Berry: Does my hon. Friend agree that it is easy to trot out phrases such as “tax cuts for companies”, but it is vital that we have low corporation tax to attract investment into this country and to ensure that we have jobs here? The Chancellor has repeatedly encouraged companies to pass on tax cuts to workers, which is where they should go.
James Berry: rose—
James Berry: I am glad that Members have been waiting for this. In Kingston, we have the best GCSE results in the country, bar the Isles of Scilly, and only one of the schools is not an academy. It is legitimate to have a debate about whether that model should be mandated throughout the country. Does my right hon. Friend agree, however, that whatever the hon. Member for Manchester Central (Lucy Powell)...
James Berry: What she did not misrepresent was the guff about asset stripping, privatisation and profit that many of her colleagues have engaged in.
James Berry: What steps the Government have taken to tackle violence against women and girls.
James Berry: Last month, True Honour, an honour-based violence charity led by my constituent Sarbjit Athwal, and of which I am proud to be a trustee, was recognised with charity status. Will my right hon. Friend update the House on her Department’s progress in tackling honour-based violence?
James Berry: rose—
James Berry: Will the hon. Lady give way?
James Berry: There is much in the Budget that I welcome. Before coming to my main point, I will mention four particular things: measures to reduce childhood obesity; money to tackle homelessness that shames our city and our country; a freezing of fuel duty; and the cutting of taxes for small businesses and corporation tax. I remind Opposition Members, who sometimes make crass political points about...
James Berry: My hon. Friend is right. This is not just a London project. I heard the cat-calls from Members on the Opposition Benches saying, “What about this or that part of the country?” This is not just a London-centric project. It helps people across the south of England. Anyone coming into Waterloo will see a huge change, with a huge amount of space freed up because trains will be diverted to...