Alex Burghart: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for reminding the House that we now have record numbers of disadvantaged pupils going to university.
Alex Burghart: Is it not unacceptable that the shadow Education Secretary went on Question Time the other night and claimed the opposite?
Alex Burghart: Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that clause 15 will bring more money into this country, which is presumably a good thing, and something we can all agree on?
Alex Burghart: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Alex Burghart: Did any SNP Members, when they raised this issue, ever point out that there was a call-back service?
Alex Burghart: I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in this debate, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have been following the progress of universal credit since its inception about 10 years ago. The shadow Secretary of State asked, at the start of her remarks, how did we get here? How did we get to a place where there is a new benefit system on the table whose principles are agreed by most in this House? Those...
Alex Burghart: The whole House will agree that it is important that those who have been directly affected by the fire have their voices heard, so will the Secretary of State update us on what meetings the Government have had with the victims?
Alex Burghart: What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of community sentences in reducing rates of reoffending.
Alex Burghart: I very much welcome the figures that were published on Thursday showing that recidivism was coming down for people on community sentences. However, about a third of people on community sentences do still reoffend, so will the Secretary of State would consider the “swift and certain” programmes in the United States that have had considerable effect in reducing recidivism?
Alex Burghart: I strongly welcome the consultation. Many of us remember the disastrous legislation on FOBTs under the last Labour Government, and their intention to bring forward a generation of super-casinos. I urge the Minister to look at online gambling where people can gamble repeatedly through the night on online casinos while drinking.
Alex Burghart: It is an honour and a privilege to be speaking during the Report stage of the Finance Bill. You will know, Mr Speaker, although some Opposition Members might have forgotten, that I am the MP for Brentwood and Ongar. Today is a great day in the history of Brentwood, because “Woman’s Hour” has announced that it is the best place in the UK for women to live and work. That is something for...
Alex Burghart: I could not agree more with my right hon. Friend. She can rest assured that she is always welcome in Brentwood. There will always be a place next to me in the teashop where we can sit down to discuss exactly why Brentwood is such a wonderful place for women to work, raise their families and be part of the community. My right hon. Friend is absolutely correct that we have to get the balance...
Alex Burghart: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for bringing those figures to the House. Our extraordinarily impressive figure illustrates the achievements of successive Conservative Chancellors in their work to improve the situation that they inherited in 2010. My hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford) raised an extremely important point about timing. Do we really want a review to kick in just...
Alex Burghart: rose—
Alex Burghart: You are quite right, Madam Deputy Speaker. I assure you that my comment was directly relevant to the Bill, but my peroration was cruelly interrupted by my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall North (Eddie Hughes). He has now set the record straight but, in the process, destroyed one of the great anecdotes about the Beatles. I was going on to say that new clause 1 is not even the best amendment...
Alex Burghart: I thank my hon. Friend for that wonderful speech. He is of course entirely right that these measures are fair. They get a good deal for the British taxpayer and will help to underpin future investment in our fine public services.
Alex Burghart: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. It is crucial, perhaps now more than ever, that this country is entirely open to money, to investment and to good business practice from around the world. It is incumbent on the Government to ensure that they create an environment that will bring jobs and investment into his constituency and mine, and indeed into all parts of our country. I also want to...
Alex Burghart: Is it not the case that, with the Criminal Finances Act 2017, the Government have created a new criminal offence for firms that do not stop staff facilitating tax evasion?
Alex Burghart: What steps his Department is taking to support the UK car industry after the UK leaves the EU.
Alex Burghart: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for mentioning Ford in an earlier answer, because Ford is a major employer in my constituency. What is his Department doing to ensure that this country is the epicentre for innovation in the car industry as we move out of the European Union?