Bank of England (7th May 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions he has had with Ministers in the Scottish Government on the potential role of the Bank of England in the event of Scotland becoming an independent country.
AstraZeneca (Pfizer Bid) (6th May 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Two years ago, the incoming management of AstraZeneca announced the closure of the science park in Cheshire with the loss of 2,000 science-based jobs. The majority of those jobs will not transfer to Cambridge, resulting in a reduction in the UK’s capability. Can the Secretary of State confirm that he does not consider the completion of the botched move to Cambridge to be a prerequisite for this deal?

Legal Aid (6th May 2014)

 David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What his policy is on ensuring that legal aid is targeted at people with a strong connection to the UK.
High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill (28th April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I have been an MP for four years, and this is the fourth debate on HS2 in which I have participated. I have spoken in support of the project in all of them and I will do so again tonight, although it would be fair to say that if we were debating the current phase 2 route, which is out to consultation—I have high hopes of changes, particularly to the part north of Manchester, for which there is no business case—I would have difficulty supporting it, but I do support the Bill before us today.

Energy-intensive Industries (10th April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What steps he is taking to support energy-intensive industries.
Finance (No. 2) Bill (9th April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): There is a perfectly good case to be made for reducing the difference between high and low salaries, and the hon. Lady is making it. What I do not understand about Labour’s policy is that it seems to be concerned with variable pay but not with fixed pay. Labour Members appear to be quite sanguine about a pay level of £2 million a year, but not about a pay level that consists of a £1 million basic salary and a £1 million bonus. That strikes me as rather odd.
Libya (8th April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions he has had with the Libyan Government on reparations for people killed in attacks made using Libyan Semtex.
Energy Supply (3rd April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Ogfem tells us in its most recent energy capacity report that supply will fall by about 5% between 2012 and 2016, leaving an estimated capacity margin of between 2% and 4% in 2016. Will the Secretary of State confirm that contingency planning is allowing for that and that a cold winter will not cause the industry to have to close shifts?

Dealing with the Past  (2nd April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): One aspect of how we deal with the past is the continuing support we give to victims. May I thank the Secretary of State for the support she gave in securing the funding for the Peace Centre in Warrington announced in the Budget? May I also ask her to address the issue of European Union funding being ring-fenced for the island of Ireland, which means that victims on the mainland do not have access to it?
Royal Mail (1st April 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In his remarks the shadow Secretary of State referred to profiteering by spivs and gamblers. Will the Secretary of State confirm that the rate at which bankers were paid for this offering was approximately half the rate paid for QinetiQ?

Defined Contribution Pension Schemes (31st March 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment he has made of the Office of Fair Trading’s recent recommendations on the creation of independent governance committees in defined contribution pension schemes.
Business of the House (27th March 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): For the last decade or so, there has been a significant gap in transport and infrastructure spend between London and the English regions—perhaps as much as 15 to 20 times per head. Much of that has been caused by Crossrail 1, which has been very successful but has been responsible for part of that gap. Before we commit money to Crossrail 2, may we have a debate on its relative priority to similar projects in the English regions?

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (19th March 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Wrexham (Ian Lucas).There are four tests of a Budget that we could reasonably apply. First, is the cake growing? Secondly, are we distributing it fairly? We will come to that. Thirdly, did the Budget get tempted by short-term electoral considerations or was it long-term and structural? Fourthly, when the Chancellor had an opportunity, was he radical and reforming? On all four measures, this Budget is a success.

Topical Questions (18th March 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The recent orchestrated action by self-employed barristers in protection of their commercial interest is prima facie evidence of an anti-competitive cartel. Such a cartel would be illegal under EU and UK competition law. What can we do to uphold the law in this area?

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (25th February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Briefly, my hon. Friend mentions the need for an EU-US regulatory framework for financial services, which I have not heard of before. How does he square that with what, for example, the Basel agreements try to do globally at the moment? Is that really the way forward?

Automatic Pension Transfers (24th February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The pensions Minister is consulting on a charges cap. For the avoidance of doubt, will he confirm to the House that he still plans to introduce the cap during the lifetime of this Parliament?

Topical Questions (13th February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister will be aware of the Arpley landfill site in my constituency. He may also be aware that planning permission for continued use has now expired, yet neighbouring councils such as Merseyside, Halton and Cheshire West continue to use it for the waste that they will not recycle or incinerate. Will the Minister consider issuing guidance to those councils so that if they will not upgrade their disposal mechanisms, they will at least dump the waste somewhere that has planning permission?
Energy Company Charges (4th February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I agree with my hon. Friend that the current practice militates against the poorest people. His example of the ECO is rather a good one, because it involves the Government putting the onus on companies to do something. The only thing that bothers me a little, however, is that what is being suggested might imply a levelling of the bill upwards, as it does with the ECO, although that might be a reasonable thing to happen.

Deregulation Bill (3rd February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I am listening carefully to the hon. Gentleman’s arguments. His scenario is that of several self-employed people working as contractors in an umbrella organisation, but there is nothing in the Bill or clause 1 that would absolve that umbrella organisation from any health and safety aspect that I can see. His examples just do not apply.

Flooding (Somerset) (3rd February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Environment Agency correctly identifies housing as the principal driver of where flood defences should be built, and the Secretary of State saw the scheme in Warrington that was completed three months ago and prevented the flooding of 1,500 houses. For the avoidance of doubt, will he assure the House that there will be no knee-jerk reaction to change criteria after the tragedy in Somerset?

Topical Questions (3rd February 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Last week I was pleased to hand Lance Sergeant Tom Reah of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards the keys to his new house, which had been purchased with help from the long service advance of pay scheme. Does the Secretary of State agree that schemes of that type are very important when homelessness is rife, and that we should do all that we can to increase their take-up and efficacy?

Civil Service (Commercial Skills) (29th January 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What steps he is taking to improve commercial skills in the civil service.
Waste Disposal (20th January 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the duty of co-operation arising from the Localism Act 2011 in respect of waste disposal.
Banking (15th January 2014)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I agree completely on the need for global co-operation, as do the Government. That is why the Basel agreements are being implemented in the UK, with everything that that involves. However, there is a distinction between global co-operation and European co-operation. Why does the hon. Lady think that we should not follow global rules on bankers bonuses, which the Government would be much happier to do if they existed, rather than European rules?

Justice System (Savings) (17th Dcember 2013)

 David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment he has made of the potential for further savings to the public purse from the justice system.
Arts Council Funding (12th Dcember 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What steps she is taking to reduce differences in Arts Council funding spent in London and the regions.
Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill (11th Dcember 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I very much welcome the role that the payments regulator will have. For the avoidance of doubt, though, can the Minister confirm that part of its scope will be credit interchange fees and that it will have a role in potentially regulating their level over time?
Defence Procurement (10th December 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State said that the DE&S plus bid was somewhat less detailed than the Bechtel bid, which presumably means that if they were both evaluated on a level playing field, the Bechtel bid would be likely to win. Will my right hon. Friend tell us whether the major learning points or good points in the Bechtel bid will be incorporated into what is now going forward with DE&S plus?

Universal Credit (10th December 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Such programmes are highly complex, involving many hundreds, if not thousands, of man-years of work—probably more complex than delivering the Olympics. Given that the Opposition apparently support the programme’s objectives, does the Secretary of State understand why they have spent the past three quarters of an hour undermining the project team?

Energy Bill (4th December 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I like the hon. Gentleman’s point on CCS, but is he aware that Germany is building 11 GW of new, unabated non-CCS coal, with Holland building 4 GW? Those projects have kicked off in the past year or so and those countries do not appear to feel the need for CCS. Why are countries reading this matter so differently?

National Infrastructure Plan (4th December 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): A large part of the plan concerns Hinkley Point C and Wylfa, which are badly needed and vital, yet we are now hearing that the EU is minded not to give state-aid clearance for those programmes, which could delay them both by three to four years. Can the Chief Secretary put our minds at rest?

Decarbonisation (28th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State will be aware that the UK now has among the lowest emissions per capita and per unit of GDP in Europe. For example, they are 25% lower than those of Germany, which has just embarked on a programme of building coal power stations. Is there anything more we can do to help our European partners have any kind of meaningful targets?
Alternative Therapies (26th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent consideration he has given to banning the use of NHS funds for provision of alternative therapies.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (19th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Some 14% of the entire NHS budget goes on complaints relating to injury compensation. Of that, a third or £4 billion per year goes to lawyers. That diversion of cash away from the front line to lawyers makes it much harder to get the staffing levels that Francis envisaged. Will the Secretary of State address that as part of the wider issue?
Pension Charges (18th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What costs will be included in his proposed cap on pension charges.
Energy Price Freeze (6th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State has made a valid point about the consensus on the Energy Bill. Is he aware that the Labour party amended the Energy Bill yesterday in a way that will ensure that coal stations are switched off more quickly, at an estimated average cost per consumer of £50? The Labour party then comes to this House and proposes this motion. What does he think about that?

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Topical Questions - Treasury (5th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What representations he has received on Yorkshire bank and lending to small and medium-sized businesses.

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National Insurance Contributions Bill (4th November 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): A few moments ago, the shadow Minister was asked a question on regional focus. She has also said that one of the problems with the last scheme was that it did not include the south-east. Is it Labour's position that the scheme should have applied in the south-east as well?

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Annual Energy Statement (31st October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): During her remarks, the shadow Secretary of State said that she believes "secret deals" were being done by the big six—those were her words. If she has that evidence, it is clearly a cartel, which would result in a fine equal to turnover. In the case of Centrica that would be £20 billion. Does the Secretary of State agree that the right hon. Lady should put that evidence to the House—if she has it—and get that £20 billion?

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High Speed Rail (Preperation) Bill (31st October 2013)

David Mowat: If it were true that better infrastructure for the north would suck the lifeblood out of the region, would it not be right to close the M6? Perhaps that strategy would make the north really prosperous.

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Pensions Bill (29th October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I thank the Minister very much for the announcement that he will consider a 0.75% cap in the consultation. Will he ensure that, in the consultation, there is clarity about what the 0.75% includes? As he is aware, there are an awful lot of different interpretations of costs by different people. That is part of the problem.

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Topical Questions - Foreign and Commonwealth Office (29th October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Much of the instability in various parts of the world is caused by volatile and high food prices, a driver of which is the conversion of agricultural land into biodiesel, a practice described by the United Nations last year as a crime against humanity. What discussions have the Government had with the EU to encourage it to drop its 6% target on sources which could and should be food?

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Topical Questions - Business, Innovation and Skills (24 October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What projects will be eligible for funding from the Green Investment Bank?

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Topical Questions - Grangemouth Refinery (23 October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The impact of Grangemouth closing is far in excess of the 800 jobs because of the issues regarding ethylene and refining capacity throughout the country. Will the Secretary of State assure us that, in the same way that European countries go to the nth degree to prevent their refineries from closing even though there is overcapacity in Europe, he will do the same in this country?

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Topical Questions - Energy and Climate Change (17 Ocotber 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister may be aware that when Hinkley Point C comes onstream it will produce as much electricity in a year as every single onshore and offshore wind turbine we currently have. Given that, will he assure the House that there will not be a further 10-year delay in respect of future nuclear stations?

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Topical Questions - Northern Ireland (16 October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment her Department has made of the role of the voluntary sector in dealing with the legacy of the past.

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Topical Questions - Work and Pensions (14 October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The pensions Minister mentioned earlier that the Office of Fair Trading report highlighted some of the abusive practices in the private pensions industry, such as active member discount and charges of up to 3% on many schemes. I welcome his consultation, but does he agree that it will be important to put a cap in place before auto-enrolment is rolled out at volume?

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Topical Questions - Justice (08 October 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment he has made of the scope for further savings in the justice system in England and Wales.

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Transforming Legal Aid (05 Sept 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): For the avoidance of doubt, will the Secretary of State confirm that the absolute level of savings implied in today's statement is similar to that in the initial consultation and that we will be moving our costs in this area to a similar level as that in other countries?

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Energy Prices and Profits (04 Sept 2013)

David Mowat: I think we are using the term "profit" quite loosely, particularly the Opposition. What matters in judging the profitability or effectiveness of these companies is return on capital employed. That is how they measure themselves for the investments they make and the returns they get. I do not believe there is any evidence that the return on capital...

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Topical Questions - Cabinet Office (04 Sept 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What progress the Government have made in response to the 2010 report on use of the Government estate?

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Topical Questions - Culture, Media and Sport (05 Sept 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The major UK sporting event of the year will soon kick off. The rugby league world cup will comprise 14 nations and Warrington looks forward to welcoming some of them. Will the Minister confirm that that event is one of his Department's main priorities this year and outline the support that it is providing?

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Shale Gas (18 Jul 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I congratulate the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) on obtaining the debate and on her spirited contribution. Unlike the hon. Member for Blackley and Broughton (Graham Stringer), I can only recall being in debates in which I disagreed more or less 100% with her, but I may have missed some of the other debates.

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Shale Gas (18 Jul 2013)

David Mowat: I agree with the point the hon. Gentleman has just made about renewables and potential increases in the price of fossil fuels. Effectively, the Government's strategy is to use renewables as a hedge against increased fossil fuel prices. That is not altogether unreasonable, is it?

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Shale Gas (18 Jul 2013)

David Mowat: I am trying to understand the point that the hon. Gentleman has just made. Is his point that because there is not enough shale gas in Europe potentially, it will not have enough of an impact on the European gas price vis-à-vis what has happened in the US? Is that the point

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Shale Gas (18 Jul 2013)

David Mowat: My hon. Friend is making a number of strong points on behalf of his community in Lancashire, and I agree with them all. I will just draw his attention, though, to the unemployment figures that came out yesterday. The three constituencies with the lowest unemployment in the country are all around Aberdeen, and that has been achieved without community transfers. Does my hon. Friend not think that there will be a bonus in terms of economic activity, potentially centred on his constituency?

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Shale Gas (18 Jul 2013)

David Mowat: The hon. Lady makes the point that the cost of extracting the gas will be higher than the cost of selling it. If so, why would the private sector go ahead with such projects? Surely the problem will be solved. Why does she think the price of shale gas in the US has reduced the price of wholesale gas by 75%?

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Shale Gas (18 Jul 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I heard that number with interest: six times as much for fossil fuels as for renewables. Can the hon. Lady take us through the calculation that gave that number? Was it, for example, by comparing solar with gas?

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Royal Mail (10 Jul 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Will the Secretary of State confirm that having access to private capital and no longer competing with schools and hospitals for capital will protect jobs in the medium term as well as protecting the universal service obligation?

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Post Office: Horizon Systems (9 Jul 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): For the purposes of clarity, can the Minister confirm that all the issues we are talking about today are business, process and training-related, and not software-related? Is that what we are saying?

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Topical Questions - Deputy Prime Minister (9 Jul 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In the event of a no vote in the Scottish referendum next year, there is some discussion that further devolution, sometimes called devo max, will be offered. Will the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that before we go ahead with anything along those lines, there will be clarity on how many fewer MPs from Scotland there will be in this place?

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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill (26 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I support the Bill, but before I say why I support it let me give a number of reasons for not building this railway. We should not build it just because we have less high-speed track than any other country in the world. We could be right and those countries could be wrong, so that is not a good reason....

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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill (26 Jun 2013)

David Mowat: My hon. Friend makes the point that others have made—that the business case does not properly reflect productive time, iPads and all the rest of it. Page 51 of the business case addresses that point explicitly, stating that if trains are overcrowded, people who are standing will not be able to work on PCs. The business case would be better if it took that into account.

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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill (26 Jun 2013)

David Mowat: The hon. Gentleman is generous in giving way a third time. I make the point again: the logic of his argument is that the north would be richer if the M1, the M6 and perhaps the existing west coast main line were all closed. That is ridiculous.

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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill (26 Jun 2013)

David Mowat: The hon. Gentleman makes the point, as I understand it, that infrastructure spending does not spread wealth out. In that case, would he like to make the north really prosperous by closing the M1 and the M6?

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High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill (26 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I would like to add a thought on the capacity question. Will the Secretary of State confirm that over the past 15 years passenger numbers have increased by an average of 5% a year and that the business case for HS2 assumes an increase of 1.6% a year, which is quite a conservative estimate?

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Topical Questions - Education (24 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Bewsey Lodge primary school is a very good school in a difficult part of Warrington. It has a large special needs unit that, although it is high quality, reduces the overall performance metrics, which affects morale. Better school comparability could be achieved if metrics were produced with, and without, special needs units.

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Topical Questions - Culture, Media & Sport (20 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The England football team is a valuable national asset, yet of the millions of pounds raised, over 50% goes to the professional game, not the impoverished grass roots; I speak as a director of Warrington Town football club, an example of the impoverished grass roots. Does the Minister intend to follow the Select Committee recommendation and make it Government policy to make a switch in regard to that funding?

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Questions to the Prime Minister (19 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Last year the Prime Minister successfully intervened in the case of newly born baby Lexie-Mai, who has eventually been confirmed as the daughter of Private Daniel Wade, who died on active service in Afghanistan. Private Wade's fiancée and her family are in the Gallery today. This whole situation would not have arisen if the Ministry of Defence routinely kept samples of DNA of soldiers on active duty. Are we making any progress on this?

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Topical Questions - Cabinet Office (19 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In 2010, the Smith report suggested that substantial cost savings would result from moving parts of the civil service from London to the regions. It suggested a target of moving 15,000 civil servants by 2015. Will the Minister update us on progress?

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Pensions Bill (17 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Like many other Members on the Government side of the House, I strongly support the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberconwy (Guto Bebb) described it as bringing simplicity and fairness. He also described it as a "brave" Bill, although I assume that he did not mean that in the "Yes, Minister" sense. It will reduce complexity and regularise the treatment of women, but I want to talk about the way in which it will interact with the private sector pensions industry....

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Pensions Bill (17 Jun 2013)

David Mowat: The "pot follows member" proposal interests me as well. Did the Select Committee give any thought to the use of NEST as a vehicle for aggregation? That strikes me as a natural way of going down a different route.

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Pensions Bill (17 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I have been reflecting on what the hon. Lady said about the National Employment Savings Trust. It is clear that NEST is directionally right and that a passive, low-cost investment vehicle is needed, but there are a great many restrictions which will prevent it from competing fairly with the existing industry in the marketplace. Did the Select Committee give any thought to what could be done about some of those restrictions?

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Green Investment Bank (13 Jun 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What types of projects will be eligible for funding from the green investment bank.

David Mowat: I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, and I congratulate him on getting the bank operational so quickly. However, he will know that under the terms of the EU state aid clearance a number of low-carbon technologies were excluded, including nuclear supply chain and solar, and that carbon capture and storage was regarded as low priority. Does he have any intention of going back to the EU and asking for the clearance to be amended, so that the bank can more closely follow the purpose set out in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013?

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Per Capita Carbon Emissions (6 June 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland regarding the level of per capita carbon emissions and the future policy of those countries.

David Mowat: The March European Environment Agency report confirmed that the UK's per capita emissions are among the lowest in Europe, and in 2011 they fell at double the rate of those of the rest of the EU. Furthermore, the recent emissions trading scheme vote by the European Parliament means the UK has a carbon price six times higher than the rest of the EU, and now we are seeing several countries moving ahead to build coal stations that will not use carbon capture and storage. Is there a risk that we are increasingly acting unilaterally in this area?

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Energy Bill (4 June 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Gentleman mentions Siemens. In Germany emissions per capita and per unit of GDP are higher than in the UK, and in the UK they are falling more quickly, yet he seems to think that the best way forward for us is to have targets and increasingly to act unilaterally. Why are our European neighbours going in the opposite direction?

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Energy Bill (3 June 2013)

David Mowat: Specifically on that point, the hon. Gentleman says that a strike price of 10 is unacceptable. Would he extend that to offshore wind?

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Energy Bill (3 June 2013)

David Mowat: I accept the thrust of what my hon. Friend says on matters such as fuel poverty, but I rise to defend the Bill a little. Does he accept that we have to cut carbon? If so, does he accept that the way set out in the Bill is a path forward towards that?

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Energy Bill (3 June 2013)

David Mowat: Does the hon. Gentleman envisage the Government coming to an agreement with EDF that is subject to ratification by some panel? Would he expect EDF to negotiate on that basis?

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Energy Bill (3 June 2013)

David Mowat: I have listened carefully to what the hon. Gentleman said about the need for an expert panel, and all that that implies. Is it the position of the Opposition Front Benchers that the Government should not be able to enter into a binding contract with EDF, after negotiating with it in good faith, without that coming back to Parliament?

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Energy Bill (3 June 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister has referred several times in the last few minutes to CCS technology. What is his core estimate of that being deployable on a commercial basis in the UK?

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Justice Topical Questions (21 May 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Our criminal justice system may be the most expensive in the world, perhaps by a factor of two or three times, and yet we continue, as a state, to pay many practitioners several hundreds of thousand pounds a year more than we pay surgeons or scientists. This practice is of course enthusiastically supported by the Bar Council, and apparently by Opposition Front Benchers. Can the Secretary of State confirm that his consultation will at last bring to bear competition and market forces?

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Work & Pensions Questions - Universal Credit (IT System) (20 May 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The pilot commenced on time and substantially on budget at one of the pathfinder locations, implying that much of the application must be working. Does that not contrast well with the failed big-bang approach taken by the last Government in similar implementations?

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Business of the House (16 May 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Over the last decade, transport capital spending in London has been about 10 times that of the regions. Much, but not all of that, has been caused by spending on Crossrail. Recent comments by the Mayor of London imply that he has momentum and Government support for Crossrail 2. Will the Leader of the House confirm that there will be no money spent on even preparatory work for Crossrail 2 without a full debate in this House?

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Petrol Prices (15 May 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The allegations are serious, and yet the EU energy portal told me this morning that the pre-tax and duty prices of diesel and petrol in the UK are among the cheapest in Europe—indeed, they are cheaper than in Germany, France and Holland. Given that, will the Secretary of State tell us whether the focus of the inquiry is the UK market or the cross-border European market, which, on the facts, would appear to have bigger problems?

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Prime Minister's Questions (20 Mar 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Today is the 20th anniversary of the Warrington bombing. The Prime Minister will recall that more than 20 people were killed and injured, among them a 12-year-old boy, Tim Parry. Will he join me in congratulating Tim's parents, Wendy and Colin, on how they have worked tirelessly for peace over the past two decades, and particularly on the establishment of the Foundation for Peace, which brings help to victims of conflict around the world?

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Justice Topical Questions (19 Mar 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): A continuing issue is convicted criminals who hide their wealth or in other ways refuse to abide by financial assessment orders. Is there more we can do in this area?

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Energy & Climate Change Questions - Deep Coal Mining Industry (14 Mar 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister said in his response that coal had a good future in this country if it was combined with carbon capture and storage, a technology that is many years from working. Across the rest of the world, unabated coal is accelerating. In particular, countries such as Germany that produce 20% more carbon per unit of GDP and 20% more carbon per capita than us are launching a number of coal-fired stations. Why is their position so different from ours?

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Work & Pensions Topical Questions (11 Mar 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Pensions Minister will have seen the recent press coverage about the high margins generated by annuity providers. That comes as no surprise given the complete market failure that has occurred in large parts of the private pension industry. Will he consider imposing a uniform product structure—as has been done in energy—and will he enforce legally the open market option?

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office Topical Questions (5 Mar 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Twice in the past year, the UK has failed to vote at the UN to support the aspiration of Palestinians for their own state as part of a two-state solution. On each occasion, the reason given was that we did not wish to undermine a future US-led peace process. May we have an update on the time scale for that? When do Ministers think they might be able to vote in a different direction?

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Human Rights Act 1998 (Repeal and Substitution Bill (1 Mar 2013)

David Mowat: May I press my hon. Friend further on his position on a world court of human rights? The logic of his position seems to be that the scope of the European court should be extended as far as possible, given that these things are absolute and not relative, as he says.

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Human Rights Act 1998 (Repeal and Substitution Bill (1 Mar 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): My hon. Friend is giving an eloquent defence but the logic of his position seems to be that we should not have a European convention on human rights or a Court, but rather a world convention. Is that his position?

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Health Questions - Private Finance Initiative Hospitals (26 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment his Department has made of the effect of hospitals built under the private finance initiative on the work of neighbouring hospitals.

David Mowat: I apologise for my voice—perhaps I shall soon be interacting more directly with the NHS. The Warrington and Halton hospital has independent trust status. It is busy and getting busier. The previous Government built a huge PFI hospital about 10 miles away at Whiston, which does not have the patient volumes to sustain the demands of the botched PFI ideal. It is heavily loss-making. Will the Minister provide assurance that there will be no forced merger and that my constituents will not pay for a bad decision made a decade ago?

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Defence Topical Questions (25 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Since 1990, the Army has been reduced by about 40%, but officer numbers are down by less than 30%. Indeed, there are more colonels now than there were then. Is there more that we can do to ensure that the cuts are proportionate?

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Defence Questions - DNA Samples (25 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What consideration he has given to routinely storing DNA samples for all members of the armed forces.

David Mowat: The Minister may recall the case of my constituent Emma Hickman, who had difficulty in demonstrating paternity because of a dispute over the ownership of DNA. That case was resolved, and I thank him for his help in that, but we need routinely to require all active soldiers to have DNA taken so that, as in the case of armies such as that of the United States, samples can easily be made available. By what time scale might we do that?

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Culture Media & Sport Questions - Non-League Football (14 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What steps her Department is taking to encourage the development of non-league football clubs.

David Mowat: I declare an interest as a director of Warrington Town football club, which would not exist were it not for dozens of donors and unpaid volunteers. Other non-league clubs are going bust, yet 50% of the money from our national team continues to be diverted to the professional game, which is really very wealthy. The Select Committee has mentioned that problem. Will the Minister update us on the progress towards fixing that allocation?

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Prime Minister's Questions (13 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Each year many dozens of my constituents have to sell their houses to pay for social care, which is random and unfair. Does the Prime Minister agree that the proposals announced last week will at last start to mitigate this issue?

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New Nuclear Power (7 Feb 2013)

David Mowat: We have established that this technology is more expensive than coal, but it is not more expensive than other carbon-free types of technology. In the view of the right hon. Gentleman, is the price for carbon a subsidy? He seems to be implying that it is.

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New Nuclear Power (7 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am pleased to have the chance to speak in this debate, and I congratulate the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Martin Horwood) on securing it. Before I begin my remarks, I want to address two of the points that the hon. Gentleman made. First, on the subsidy issue, of course it is true that we are paying more for nuclear than we would pay if we let the market ride, because the market would take us to coal, and if not coal, to gas....

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New Nuclear Power (7 Feb 2013)

David Mowat: I, too, am a free marketer in general. In this case, however, if we leave it to the market alone, the answer will be coal or maybe gas. Does my hon. Friend not believe that carbon is a bad thing for society, that the Government must therefore intervene to put a price on carbon, and that the CFD structure that they are introducing is a mechanism for putting a price on carbon, which is good for us and good for the planet?

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New Nuclear Power (7 Feb 2013)

David Mowat: I agree with just about everything the hon. Gentleman has said and would make the point that Hartlepool puts more into the grid than the entire onshore wind sector in this country. He is correct to make his points about up-front investment, but does he agree that the CFD structure, with a strike price lower than that agreed for wind, is the best way of achieving that?

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New Nuclear Power (7 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I am listening very carefully to my hon. Friend's argument as to why contracts for difference should apply to those technologies and not nuclear. He says that Government should not be choosing winners and losers, and I agree. Does he therefore think that the contract for difference price—the strike price—should be the same for all the technologies he has just listed?

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Curriculum & Exam Reform (7 Feb 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In the recent past, examining boards have competed with each other to offer better results. This has been a driver of grade inflation. Now we are moving away from having a single board per subject, how can we be sure this will be dealt with

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International Aid Targets (30 Jan 21013

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment she has made of the proportion of GDP spent on overseas aid by the UK compared to equivalent spending by France and Germany.

David Mowat: I thank the Minister for that answer. As we have heard, we are on a trajectory to meet the 0.7% commitment, but that determination is not shown by all our EU partners. Can the Government do more to encourage them to meet previously made commitments?

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High Speed Rail (28 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): This project is very important to the wider economy in the north and north-west. Given that the revised business case remains considerably better than, for example, the Crossrail business case, will the Secretary of State do what he can to deliver this project before 2033?

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Armed Forces Redundancies (22 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Will the Minister confirm that these redundancies will take place pro rata across all ranks, and that nothing in the statement will cause a drift towards a top-heavy Army?

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office Topical Questions (22 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Rising global food prices are a major cause of instability in developing countries, including those in north Africa. The UN has recently described the practice of converting agricultural land to biogas as a crime against humanity. What more can the Government do to persuade the EU and the US to stop subsidising that practice?

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Transport Topical Questions (17 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The new Mersey Gateway bridge will be tolled, with the risk of significant extra traffic through Warrington. The inspector at the planning inquiry stated the toll should be set no higher than that of the nearby Birkenhead tunnel. Will the Secretary of State confirm that in any evaluation of a change to the tunnel toll, he will also look at the situation of the bridge and of Warrington?

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Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency (16 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): My hon. Friend is making a very interesting speech. He has mentioned the United States and the fact that gas prices have gone down by a factor of four. The other interesting thing about the United States is that it was the OECD country that reduced carbon emissions the most last year, by replacing coal with gas—exactly the opposite of what Germany is doing.

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Scottish Independence ( Use of Sterling) (9 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and Ministers in the Scottish Government on the continued use of sterling in an independent Scotland.

David Mowat: The decision to use sterling after separation means that the Bank of England will be the bank of last resort and the lender of last resort to Scotland. To avoid a repetition of what happened in the eurozone, the UK residual Government must have an oversight role in Scottish spending plans. Has this been sought, and on what time scale will it happen?

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Gender Balance on Corporate Boards (7 Jan 2013)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Lady said that companies that are more diverse grow more quickly and that there is evidence of that. Is this not, then, a self-correcting problem, because all companies need to grow, and those that are struggling to grow and are not diverse enough should surely being doing what is required to correct that? Surely this is self-correcting, so the measures she is describing are unnecessary.

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Energy Bill (19 Dec 2012)

David Mowat: My hon. Friend may know that Germany is about to build 23 unabated coal-fired stations. Perhaps those 300 people from Kingsnorth could find work over there.

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Energy Bill (19 Dec 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The overarching policy statement sets out the context of the problem we are trying to solve, and to which there are three dimensions: cost, decarbonisation and security. We have heard quite a lot about decarbonisation, and something on security, which has two parts to it: the level of imports that we continue to need and keeping the lights on. We have heard less about cost, and I will also talk about that.....

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Energy Bill (19 Dec 2012)

David Mowat: The hon. Lady makes a number of interesting points on energy-intensive industries, most of which I agree with. Does she agree that, although the Government may be doing some things to help energy-intensive industries, energy use is a continuum and any energy that is differentially expensive compared with our competitors will hurt our economy? It is not only the intensive industries that we have to sort out.

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Energy Bill (19 Dec 2012)

David Mowat: I agree with my hon. Friend on the need for consensus. Was he therefore as surprised as I was to hear the shadow Secretary of State attack the 450 gram limit for gas, which by implication means that the position of shadow Front Benchers appears to be that we should build no unabated gas stations? If that is their position, it is an extraordinary one.

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Energy Bill (19 Dec 2012)

David Mowat: I am excited at being given way to, so I thank the hon. Gentleman for that. My point was similar to that of the hon. Member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (Sir Robert Smith). What return on capital employed would the hon. Gentleman consider reasonable for such an organisation? Does he believe that anything in those companies' accounts demonstrates that the return on the capital employed that they have been making is unreasonable? What is a reasonable figure?

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DECC Questions - Carbon Capture & Storage (13 Dec 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In his discussions with the EU Commissioner yesterday, did the Minister have the chance to raise the case of Germany? It burns about 25% more carbon per head than the UK, yet has just decided to go ahead with 23 unabated coal power stations, which will increase that differential still further.

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West Coast Main Line (6 Dec 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State read two quotations from the report, which both implied to me a severe organisational failure. Did Laidlaw have anything to say about the position of the permanent secretary in all this?

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DEFRA Questions - Water & Sewerage Industry (6 Dev 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con):
What plans he has for the future structure of the water and sewerage industry.

David Mowat: The UK regulated asset base has been a great driver of inward investment into the UK for infrastructure projects. Will the Minister confirm that there is nothing in the draft Bill that will undermine the size of that asset base, and will he consider using the regulated asset model to bring in money for badly needed flood defences?

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Foreign & Commonwealth Offce Questions - Libya (4 Dec 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions his Department has had with the Libyan Government on reparations for previous victims of Libyan Semtex.

David Mowat: It is now accepted that Libya provided the Semtex used both at Lockerbie and at the Warrington bombing in 1993. The US Government are vigorously pursuing a claim on behalf of the Lockerbie victims, whereas the UK is more passive in its support for the equivalent McCue case. Will the Minister review our position and undertake to go the extra mile for the UK victims, including those living in Warrington?

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Education Questions - Education Funding (3 Dec 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What plans he has to review the allocation formula for education funding.

David Mowat: The current formula, which we inherited, contains in-built bias and anomalies. Given that the Secretary of State and several Ministers are on record as saying that it needs to be replaced, why must we wait until 2015 before that process even starts?

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Energy Policy (29 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I welcome the Bill, which at last gives us the possibility of unleashing nuclear power at scale in the UK. The Secretary of State will have seen the recent EU figures showing that every EU industrial country except France has higher carbon emissions per head than the UK. Yet Germany, which has 20% more carbon emissions per head than the UK, has recently embarked on a project to build 20 unabated coal power stations. How does he reconcile Germany's position with ours?

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Topical Questions - Defence (26 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Some weeks ago in Prime Minister's Question Time I raised an issue relating to my constituent Emma Hickman, whose fiancé had died in Afghanistan and who was having difficulty determining a paternity because a DNA sample had not been released by the MOD. May I first thank the Minister of State for the work he has done on this case, which is almost resolved? Will he consider asking the Army to hold DNA samples routinely for those on active duty, as happens in France and the United States?

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Petition - Arpley Landfill Site (19 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con):
I rise to present a petition on behalf of the people of Warrington in respect of our objection to the proposal to potentially continue the licence at Arpley tip beyond 2013. Working with community leaders and councillors from all political parties in Warrington, we have collected 6,206 signatures from residents, many of whose homes and lives have been blighted by their proximity to Arpley tip, whose side effects have been felt for more than 20 years.

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Home Office Questions - Police Procurement (19 Nov 2012)

11. David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment she has made of the potential for achieving savings through economies of scale in police procurement.

David Mowat: One area with potential benefits is IT spend, which should not continue to be replicated 42 times. Will the Minister give us an update on the progress of the Police ICT Company, announced in July, and confirm that the police and crime commissioners, including the excellent John Dwyer in Cheshire, will be expected to use it?

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Energy Market Fraud (13 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): First LIBOR and now—potentially—this. Are there other indices at which we should be looking proactively without waiting for whistleblowers to suggest market abuse?

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Justice Questions - Whiplash (13 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Whether he has made a comparative assessment of the number of claims for compensation for whiplash injuries in courts in (a) the UK, (b) France and (c) Germany.

David Mowat: The very high level of claims in the UK pushes up insurance premiums for ordinary people by hundreds of pounds a year. In Germany, two medical opinions are required before claims go forward. Are we considering introducing that here, and what other measures are we considering to sort out this industry?

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Communities & Local Government Questions - Unauthorised Developments/Illegal Encampments (12 Nov 2012)

David Mowat: A recent case in Warrington has involved a group of Travellers being repeatedly moved on peacefully using section 77 directions to leave orders, but they move only a few hundred metres and the whole process starts again, costing time and money. Will the Secretary of State consider amending the order, such that people will be required to leave the local authority area and not just that site?

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House of Commons Administration & Savings Programme (8 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Gentleman is making a very rational argument for POST and I am listening to it carefully. Is there not perhaps a more symbolic argument to be made at this juncture of our country's development and given the need for science and technology? We could learn from the fact that the Government exempted science and technology from their cuts. It would be hugely symbolic if we were to cut POST more than other areas—and it would just be wrong.

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Future Reserves 2020 (8 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In my previous career, I came across instances where being a reservist did adversely—wrongly—affect someone's promotion opportunities. One way of balancing that would be to go down the procurement route in respect of the kitemark. I believe that other countries in the EU would do this in terms of local content, so are we not dismissing it too easily?

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Topical Questions - Business, Innovation & Skills (8 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Earlier the Secretary of State gave us an update on the good progress we are making on the green investment bank. Can he confirm, however, that EU state approval specifically excludes the nuclear supply chain, which is a major low-carbon industry, and that organisations such as Sheffield Forgemasters will be excluded if we do not appeal that?

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Growth & Infrastructure Bill (5 Nov 2012)

David Mowat: I was indeed. Every year, thousands of people who work for firms of lawyers and accountants give away all their employment rights by joining the partnership, thus taking a stake in the business. Why are Opposition Front Benchers opposed to the extension of that principle to ordinary people in ordinary companies?

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Work & Pensions Question (5 Nov 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent discussions he has had on the auto-enrolment charging regime for employees.

David Mowat: The Minister will be aware of the recent Cass business school report that says that many older defined-contribution schemes charge 3% or more. That is six times the best practice of newer schemes, and it is costing many tens of thousands of people the chance of having a decent pension. Will he act to ensure that people cannot be auto-enrolled into those schemes—by using either a kitemark or a charges cap?

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Prime Minister's Questions (24 Oct 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In March, my constituent Emma Hickman was informed that her fiancé, Private Daniel Wade of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, had died in Afghanistan. Three months later, she gave birth to Daniel's baby, Lexie- Mai. The Army will not accept paternity without evidence; nor will it release the DNA without a court order. As a consequence, Lexie-Mai receives nothing. Will the Prime Minister help to expedite this case? Will he also require that the Army routinely holds DNA, as happens in other countries, such as the United States?

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Health Questions - Health Allocation Formula (23 Oct 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What plans he has to review the health allocation formula.

David Mowat: There have been two problems with how the formula has worked over the past few years. First, it has not placed enough emphasis on ageing as a criterion, and secondly the Department of Health has not implemented it properly, in so far as flat-rate increases have been given to primary care trusts, meaning that there has been no impact from changes. Both these things have worked to the detriment of Warrington. Will the Minister resolve these issues?

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European Council (22 Oct 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Much of the discussion this afternoon has been on the need to protect our banking industry from regulation. For the avoidance of doubt, will the Prime Minister confirm that all our other exporting industries, such as pharmaceuticals, energy and oil, will be given the same respect in our negotiating position?

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Defence Questions - Nuclear Fleet (22 Oct 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Whether his Department has undertaken any preparations for the removal of the nuclear fleet from HMNB Clyde in the event of Scottish independence.

David Mowat: The Minister will be aware that last week the Scottish National party decided that an independent Scotland would join NATO, availing itself of the nuclear umbrella. It then voted to evict the UK deterrent from the Clyde. Replicating that facility would cost millions and take many years. Is that a coherent policy or a hypocritical rant?

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Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill (17 Oct 2012)

David Mowat: For clarity on the point that was made from the Opposition Benches, there is a proposal for a very large wind farm in the Republic of Ireland, whose output would come over to the UK through an interconnector and would therefore hit our green purposes. Could we invest in that scheme in the Republic of Ireland under the Bill?

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Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill (17 Oct 2012)

David Mowat: I believe the Minister said that the European permission excludes nuclear power, which forms by far the largest part of low-carbon electricity in this country and is likely to continue to do so. Given that, will he amend the purpose stated in clause 1(1)(a), as it is no longer accurate?

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Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill (17 Oct 2012)

David Mowat: I thank the shadow Minister for telling me what I should say in my intervention. What I was going to say was that, although I did not catch the name of every company in the list that he read out, I am pretty sure that the headquarters of all of them are outside the UK—as, by the way, are those of the major manufacturers of offshore wind. And, yes, it is a problem.

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Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill (17 Oct 2012)

David Mowat: I thank the shadow Minister, but I am a bit disappointed by the tone of his remarks. I want to get clarity about the point that was raised a few moments ago about nuclear, so that I can understand the position of those on the Opposition Front Bench. Would Sheffield Forgemasters, for example, which is a nuclear supply chain company, be eligible for assistance from the bank?

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Referendum (Scotland) (15 Oct 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): We seem to have used the piecemeal extension of the franchise as part of a negotiating process. What concerns me is that 16-year-olds will vote on the sovereignty of their country, but six months later they will be unable to vote in council elections. How can that be right or coherent?

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West Coast Main Line (15 Oct 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): This decision was one of the two or three major pieces of work done in the Department for Transport this year. If the permanent secretary will not hold himself accountable for this, what is he accountable for?

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Communities & Local Government Questions - New Homes Bonus (Warrington) (17 Sep 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment he has made of the potential benefits of the new homes bonus to Warrington.

David Mowat: The Minister will be aware that many councils, such as Warrington, are under severe pressure as they do their bit to reduce the legacy of debt that we have inherited, but does he agree that the bonus represents a valid way of taking money into the town hall and preventing cuts in other areas?

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Fuel Prices (13 Sep 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon) on securing this debate; he has been redoubtable on this important subject. Fuel prices are indeed regressive, and it is therefore important to look at the evidence for the issues that the OFT is to consider. I am pleased that the OFT will consider this matter, and that the previous Secretary of State for Transport asked for more transparency in the wholesale market.....

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Urgent Question - Industrial Strategy (10 Sep 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The chief executive officer of Alcan UK has recently said that differentially high energy prices are a much bigger issue for his business than the eurozone crisis. Energy prices have not been discussed so far in this urgent question. Does the Secretary of State agree that it is hard to have an industrial strategy based on more manufacturing when our energy prices are potentially higher than those of our neighbours, such as France?

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Work & Pensions Questions - National Employment Savings Trust (10 Sep 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): If he will make it his policy that the National Employment Savings Trust should have greater freedom to compete in the market for occupational pensions.

David Mowat: I thank the Minister for that answer. He will be aware that for the past two decades we have had the highest pension charges in the OECD. Part of the solution for the next two decades is NEST, yet there are a number of restrictions on its operating model that are really quite onerous, owing to an onerous interpretation of state aid rules. Will he undertake to look at that again before auto-enrolment comes in, which could save many hundreds of thousands of people a lot of money?

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Health Questions - Health Allocation Formula (17 Jul 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What plans he has to review the health allocation formula.

David Mowat: I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. It is becoming increasingly clear that ageing is a key driver of health care costs, yet the ACRA formula currently does not properly take that into account, to the detriment of towns such as Warrington. Can he confirm that under the new formula, ageing will be more prominent?

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Topical Questions - Energy & Climate Change (12 Jul 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Over the past few months, there has been a significant increase in the level of electricity imports, mostly cheap nuclear from France, through the interconnector. Indeed, over the past 24 hours we have imported more electricity by a factor of two than we have produced from offshore and onshore wind. That is a big policy failure and is costing us thousands of jobs. How can we address it?

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Topical Questions - Deputy Prime Minister (10 Jul 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): There is a body of opinion in Scotland that says that the upcoming referendum should have a third option: devo-max. Does the Deputy Prime Minister agree that putting that option on the ballot paper in advance of detailed discussions with the UK Government would be misleading and wrong?

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Professional Standards in the Banking System (5 Jul 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I was neither a banker nor a financial adviser in a previous life, but given the hon. Gentleman's points, it seems to me likely that amendments will be required to the Financial Services Bill, so should we not proceed with that as quickly as possible? Can he think of a better way of getting into a position to action that than setting up a Joint Committee that can identify the requisite amendments and get them ready for January? That seems to me to be the point the hon. Gentleman is making.

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Navitus Wind Farm, Swangage (4 Jul 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Unfortunately, that news will not apply to schemes such as Navitus Bay because it will not be applied retrospectively, if ever it were to happen. Is my hon. Friend as concerned as I am that, based on the numbers he has quoted, the total subsidy for that wind farm over the next two decades would be in the order of £1.5 billion to £2 billion, which is an awful lot of money for other consumers to find?

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Topical Questions - Justice (3 Jul 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In this country, we now have 1,200 whiplash claims a day, which is about 30 times more than in France or Germany. The industry costs to the rest of us are £2 billion a year, resulting in many young people being unable to afford to insure their cars. What discussions has the Minister had with the relevant regulatory body of the Law Society that drives this industry?

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LIBOR (FSA Investigation) (28 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Had price fixing on that scale taken place in other industries, under competition law, a fine of multiples of turnover could have been levied. Will the Chancellor tell us whether there is any possibility of a further fine, because £60 million is not a great deal to Barclays?

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Topical Questions - Work & Pensions (25 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Given the increasing evidence of market failure in the private pensions system and the Financial Services Authority's recent estimate that between 30 % and 50% of private pension pots now go on charges, will the Government consider putting a cap on charges before auto-enrolment comes in?

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Regional Pay (20 Jun 2012)

David Mowat: My hon. Friend's analysis would be 100% right if there were proof that higher public sector pay was crowding out private sector growth. I have not heard that argument being made.

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Regional Pay (20 Jun 2012)

David Mowat: I agree with the thrust of my hon. Friend's remarks. He cited the phrase "economically destructive", but does he agree that what is also economically destructive is average public spending per head in London being 15% higher than in the north-west, and that if we wish to tackle the issue under discussion that would be a place to start?

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Regional Pay (20 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way, as I have been trying to intervene for a while. He makes a point about the north/south divide, about which many hon. Members on both sides are concerned. Will he concede that in the last year of the previous Government, the gross value added difference between London and the north-east reached the highest level for a decade and a half? I do not think that was due to the present Government, so what was it due to?

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Statement - Executive Pay (20 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In many quoted companies, highly paid employees actually earn more than directors. Will the Secretary of State consider extending at least the transparency aspect of this legislation to employees, as well as directors?

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Topical Questions - Health (12 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Cheshire and Merseyside treatment centre has been closed for just over a year, since the private sector contract let by the last Government expired. Can the Minister confirm that the centre is now going to be brought back into the NHS as a fully fledged part of the Warrington and Halton hospitals trust, and will he give me an indication of the time scale involved?

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Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill (11 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I am listening carefully to the shadow Secretary of State's comments on the green investment bank. He has talked about the importance of low-carbon industries. Does he agree that the scope of the green investment bank should include the nuclear supply chain, which is far and away the biggest low-carbon industry in our country? That would enable us to lend to Sheffield Forgemasters, a company that I have heard him talk about many times.

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Topical Questions - Defence (11 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): This afternoon we have heard the Minister speak of the objective criteria that will be used to determine how the infantry will be cut. For the avoidance of doubt, will he reassure the House that one of those criteria is not the upcoming Scottish referendum?

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Defence Questions - Social Housing (11 Jun 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on access to social housing for former members of the armed forces.

David Mowat: The Minister will be aware of the recent changes to the housing allowance, which mean that those aged between 25 and 35 will have to share. Exemptions have been announced for those living in homeless hostels and for certain offenders. Will the Government consider also exempting servicemen returning from active duty, particularly those who may be at risk of redundancy?

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Whitsun Recess Adjournment (24 May 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I will endeavour to speak succinctly on one issue. I rise as a Back Bencher, and I am aware that many of us make suggestions to the Government about policies that usually have the characteristic of costing money. I am delighted to say that the proposal I am going to outline will save the Government about £30 billion per annum. The case I wish to make is for the abolition of tax relief on pensions....

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Whitsun Recess Adjournment (24 May 2012)

David Mowat: I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that every Member should spend some time looking at a blast furnace. The one that I saw was in Port Talbot. It is quite an emotional experience. The right hon. Gentleman is making a case about high energy prices, and it is a fact that they destroy jobs and value in industries of the type that he is representing today. However, I am not quite so clear about what his solution is, given everybody's apparent desire to have more windmills.

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Whitsun Recess Adjournment (24 May 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way and I note that the fourth issue he has addressed, rugby, has attracted a lot more interest in the Chamber than the previous three. I endorse the comments that we have just heard about the quality of administration in the RFU. If he or his club would like to come to the rugby league to see an example of fine administration they should do that....

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Feed-in Tariffs (24 May 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Will the Minister confirm that even after today's changes, solar will be the most heavily subsidised form of low-carbon electricity generation? Can he tell the House when it will reach the same cost status as other forms of low-carbon generation and when it could reach grid parity?

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Oral Questions - BIS: Energy Prices (24 May 2012)

16. David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the potential effect on process manufacturing of the Government's policy on energy pricing. [109165]

David Mowat: In January, the Department of Energy and Climate Change published figures which say that 18% of electricity costs for business go towards supporting the renewables industry. Last week, in the Financial Times, the chief executive officer of Solvay said that high energy prices are a bigger issue for his business in the UK than the eurozone crisis. What assurance can the Minister give us that as we decarbonise, we do it as cheaply as possible to ensure that we minimise value destruction and the number of jobs lost?

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Questions to the Prime Minister - Engagements (23 May 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In 1993 the IRA bombed Warrington, killing two small boys and injuring more than 50 other people. Last week a memorial plaque with a scrap value of about £40 was stolen. The Government have already legislated to prevent the sale of scrap metal for cash. Will the Prime Minister consider further legislation making the theft of such memorials an aggravating factor?

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Financial Services Bill (22 May 2012)

The Whips have asked me to be brief, and I will. The Chairman of the Treasury Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Chichester (Mr Tyrie), listed eight issues. I am pleased to say that he did not get to the one that I wish to raise, which is the area in which the Bill could be improved. That is international regulation....

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Financial Services Bill (22 May 2012)

David Mowat: The hon. Gentleman makes the point that the twin peaks structure that we are implementing here does not fit with the European sectoral structure. Is it the Opposition's position that we should have had a sectoral rather than a twin peaks Bill?

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Financial Services Bill (22 May 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Gentleman is right to raise this serious issue. What I do not understand in his amendment, however, is what additional powers it would effectively give to a small business, given that the Financial Services Authority can already investigate all these things. Am I missing something?

David Mowat: Many of us want to see more action, but what I do not understand is the extent to which the hon. Gentleman believes that the FSA does not have the powers to investigate mis-selling of this type. If mis-selling has occurred—the hon. Gentleman provided some good examples of unfair and asymmetric contracts—surely the FSA is already able to investigate it.

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Arpley Landfill Site (10 May 2012)

David Mowat: The Minister says we are making progress on reducing the amount of landfill, which is true, but it still accounts for about 50% of the total, versus 3% in Germany and 5% in the Benelux countries. Will he confirm that the Government's long-term plan is to achieve similar figures in this country? That is a long way from where we are now.

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Arpley Landfill Site (10 May 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I thank the Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the right hon. Member for South East Cambridgeshire (Mr Paice) for the work done so far within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on this difficult issue, the future of the Arpley landfill tip. I am also grateful to his noble colleague, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, with whom I met recently to discuss some of the issues that continue to prevail.

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Scotland Bill (26 Apr 2012)

David Mowat: To paraphrase my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart), I rise with passionate moderation to speak in favour of Lords amendment 18, although I will ask for some clarification of those provisions and of the legislative consent motion from the Scottish Parliament.....

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Scotland Bill (26 Apr 2012)

David Mowat: As my hon. Friend says, there a change has been made at the last moment to what is called the no-detriment principle, which was indeed set out in the Holtham report, produced in July 2010. Does he concede that the majority of the Holtham report focused on a needs-based funding formula, and that we are not implementing that at this time?

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Scotland Bill (26 Apr 12)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I think I heard the hon. Gentleman say a few moments ago that this version of the Bill would save the Scottish Government and the Scottish people many billions, compared with the version that we discussed a year ago. Will he tell the House which amendments that observation pertains to, and what it was that he was talking about?

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Oral Questions to the Treasury: Growth Strategy (23 Apr 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment he has made of the effect of energy costs on the Government's growth strategy.

David Mowat: The Minister will be aware that gas is an important feedstock in many industrial processes. As of this morning, the price of gas in the US was four times less than it was in the UK and Europe, which is driving GDP and reducing fuel poverty. Is she willing to speak with her colleagues in the Department of Energy and Climate Change to ensure that we can emulate the US by driving GDP and also reduce carbon emissions?

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Financial Services Bill (23 Apr 2012)

David Mowat: I thank the shadow Minister for his lecture on macro-prudential tools. I was on the Joint Committee and I certainly did not recommend the inclusion of a growth objective, because I believe that stability and growth are potentially competing objectives. We are passing the Bill because of what happened in October 2008. I was concerned that anything that diluted the absolute requirement for stability might give an excuse for failure, which I did not want to arise.

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Financial Serivces Bill (23 Apr 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): My hon. Friend mentioned Wonga, and he was right to suggest that 4,000% is an absurd rate of interest. Does he have a view on the rate at which interest should be capped for a fortnight's payday loan?

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IMF (23 Apr 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Chancellor has confirmed to the House that interest on this loan is payable in full. For the avoidance of doubt, will he confirm that the rate of interest that is payable is higher than the rate at which we will have to borrow?

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Finance (No 4) Bill (19 Apr 2012)

David Mowat: A number of Labour Members have mentioned bravery in respect of Government Members and some Budget measures. I was not a Member of the House before the last election, but perhaps Opposition Members who were could tell us whether they lobbied the Chancellor for a 45% or a 50% tax rate during the 12 years of the Labour Government, in which the disparity between rich and poor in this country rose to the highest level ever.

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Finance (No 4) Bill  (19 Apr 2012)

David Mowat: The hon. Lady is making a powerful point about the cumulative impact of policies on particular regions of the country. Her constituency is close to mine. Will she concede that in the last year of the previous Government the north-south divide, measured in terms of gross value added per head, reached its maximum level in the past 20 years? That is something we have to fix in this Parliament, not continue.

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Urgent Question: Abu Qatada (19 Apr 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Home Secretary may have seen today's press reports saying that the appeal was launched only after a reminder was sent by officials of the Court to Abu Qatada's lawyers. If that is the case, does it not bring into question the independence of the officials and of the Court itself?

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Scottish Questions (18 Apr 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the funding formula for Scotland. [102888]

David Mowat: Given that the Government have no plans to replace the current formula with a formula based on need, and given the requirement for clarity so that the people of Scotland know what proportion of the national debt they will inherit before they vote, does my hon. Friend agree that the Barnett multiplier would provide a good solution?

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Topical Questions: Health (27 Mar 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State will be aware that under the allocation formula a number of PCTs have built up historic deficits, which have required us in Warrington, for example, to reduce our in vitro fertilisation services. Can the Minister confirm that with the transfer to GP commissioning, those historic deficits will be written off, which will in effect inject large amounts of money into local health economies such as Warrington's?

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Business of the House (22 Mar 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Leader of the House will recall the "Newsnight" revelations before Christmas that the head of the Student Loans Company was not having tax deducted at source. The Government subsequently initiated an inquiry across all areas of the civil service, but that did not include the BBC. Having submitted a freedom of information request to the BBC, this week I received a reply indicating that 41 non-talent-based members of its staff are being paid over £100,000 a year and are not having tax or national insurance deducted at source. Will the Government find time for a debate on the abuse of tax regulations in the public sector?

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Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I will talk about four areas: tax avoidance; the effectiveness of the Budget in terms of pension tax relief; regional policy; and some aspects of green policy, which may not be entirely coincidental given the speech by the hon. Member for Brent North (Barry Gardiner).

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Jobs and Growth in a Low Carbon Economy (5 Mar 2012)

David Mowat: The thrust of my right hon. Friend's comments—that we cannot generate jobs with lower-productivity activities—is right, but if we accept that the Climate Change Act 2008 is right also and we have to decarbonise, we reach a position whereby we ought to decarbonise ruthlessly with the cheapest option in front of us, which takes us to nuclear power rather than to some of the others.

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Jobs and Growth in a Low Carbon Economy (5 Mar 2012)

David Mowat: I have been listening carefully to the Secretary of State's remarks. He tends to use the terms "low carbon" and "renewables" interchangeably; they are, of course, not the same thing. The Climate Change Act 2008 asked us to reduce carbon, not necessarily to build renewables. In any event, will he confirm that all low-carbon sources of energy, including carbon capture and storage and nuclear, will be eligible for Green investment bank funding?

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Jobs and Growth in a Low Carbon Economy (5 Mar 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I have listened carefully to the right hon. Lady's catalogue of achievements by the previous Government in this area, but can she explain why, given all that, in the last year of the previous Government, we were 25th out of 27 in the EU for use of renewable energy? Furthermore, in 2010, that decreased, which is extraordinary.

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 Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill (29 Feb 2012)

David Mowat: I have listened to the points about the south-west, and I, too, have no problem with the region being helped through the Bill. However, there is an issue about water poverty and in which regions it is greatest. There is a case for helping them, notwithstanding the specific problems that exist in the south-west. I believe that there is more water poverty in the north-west than the south-west, and there is therefore a case for doing something there at the same time.

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Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill (29 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In the Select Committee's consideration of the £50 reduction in the south-west, did it look at water poverty more generally across the United Kingdom, including whether other regions have more consumers in water poverty than the south-west, such that it might have been fairer for the money to have been allocated in a different way?

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DEFRA - Preparations for the Rio+20 Summit (28 Feb 2012)

David Mowat: My hon. Friend is using the terms "green economy" and "renewables" as though they were the same as decarbonisation. As the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) explained, we have to cut our carbon emissions by 80%, or even 90%, by 2050. Currently, about 2.5% of our energy comes from renewables. Does my hon. Friend accept that other forms of low-carbon energy have a major part to play, because he has not mentioned them so far in his remarks? I of course mean nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

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Vote on Account 2012-13: Department for Transport - Transport and the Economy (28 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I, too, congratulate the Select Committee on their coherent report and I want to focus on one aspect of it, which is the issue of regional imbalances in spend and how they happen, and to give some of my thoughts on how we can avoid them. Those thoughts are about the appraisal mechanisms used in the Department for Transport and the Treasury, the approach to appraisal and the Treasury Green Book.

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Vote on Account 2012-13: Department of Transport - Transport and the Economy (28 Feb 2012)

David Mowat: I agree that the jury is out on LEPs and that the RDAs were not a panacea in this area, but the real point is that neither the RDAs nor the LEPs can compete with the velocity of spending which is so skewed away from the regions and towards London and the south-east. For example, when the Chancellor announces £30 billion of spend, of which 80% was in London, that dwarfs the amount available to the RDAs or the LEPs. The real issue is how we fix that problem, rather than tinkering with the LEPs, which I hope, as I am sure does my hon. Friend, will work in time.

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Vote on Account 2012-13: Department of Transport - Transport and the Economy (28 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Lady raises an important point about the discrepancy in the level of spend in London and the south-east, which occurred under the previous Government, as the Select Committee report made clear, and is apparently continuing under this Government, as the IPPR figures that she cited made clear. Did she and her Committee consider why the methodology by which transportation schemes are assessed continues to drive an answer that skews the cash so much towards one small part of our country?

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Pension Industry (21 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I am delighted to have this opportunity to raise a number of emerging cost structure issues within the UK pension market. This is an area in which I continue to receive a high number of representations from constituents, and the recent debate over public sector pensions has highlighted yet again the vast disparity that continues to exist between public and private sector provision. My view is that we should now stop talking about public sector pensions and ensure that the vast majority of the work force who make up the private sector get a better deal.....

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Business of the House (9 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Last week, I attended a public meeting at which more than 100 of my constituents were protesting about the 15-year licence extension to a landfill in the constituency, which will take no waste from Warrington after 2013 but a great deal of waste from surrounding cities. May we have a debate on regional landfill strategy? Cities such as Liverpool and Manchester should be encouraged to look after their own waste and not send it to my constituency.

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Feed-in Tariffs (9 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister will be aware that in the last year of the previous Government, we were 25th out of 27 European countries in the use of renewables. I note his target of 20 GW, which seems quite heroic. Can he confirm that meeting it would put us at the top of the league and not in the relegation zone position he inherited?

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Topical Questions to DCMS (9 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Each year, the Football Association raises a surplus of about £100 million, mostly from the England football team. By convention, 50% of that money goes to the professional game, where it is not needed, and not to the community and grass-roots game, where it is badly needed. I declare an interest as a director of Warrington Town football club, which badly needs the money. When will the Minister address this governance issue?

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Business of the Hosue (2 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In his autumn statement, the Chancellor announced £30 billion-worth of capital projects as part of the rebooting of the economy. A recent Institute for Public Policy Research report stated that 84% of the projects are in London and the south-east—a spend of £2,700 per head in London, £134 a head in the north-west, and £5 a head in the north-east. May we have a debate or discussion on how we can get capital spending better aligned in the regions?

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Tax Avoidance (Public Servants) (2 Feb 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Will the Chief Secretary confirm that his review will include all parts of the public sector, including, for example, the BBC, in which daily rates are quite prevalent?

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Welsh Questions - Funding Formula (18 Jan 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the funding formula for Wales. [89241]

David Mowat: The Under-Secretary will know that the English regions and Wales lose out because the block grant allocation is based not on need but on Barnett. In the case of Wales, the loss is about £300 million a year. What indication can the Government give us that there will be reform?

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Energy Prices (11 Jan 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I have been sitting here for a few moments trying to work out whether to talk quickly in the next few minutes or to curtail my remarks. I wish briefly to say something about the structure of the UK gas and electricity industries. First, I shall discuss the gas industry. I heard the comments made by hon. Members from both sides of the House, but particularly by Labour Members, about the predatory nature of the industry, cartels, price fixing and so on.

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Energy Prices (11 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I have in front of me a copy from the EU website of the gas prices for every country in Europe and it would appear that the UK has the fourth lowest gas price of the 27. What is the right hon. Lady's analysis of why that has happened?

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Scotland's Constitutional Future (10 Jan 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State will have seen today's press reports which say that apparently, as of this week, the Scottish First Minister is applying the finishing touches to his own referendum plans and will publish them in the next month. If that turns out to be the case, would the Secretary of State agree that at last we were making some progress?

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HS2 (10 Jan 2012)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): With a benefit-cost ratio of over 2.5, HS2 is a much better business case than Crossrail, which has just been accelerated. Will the Secretary of State consider accelerating phase 2 of this scheme so that it can reach the north before 2032?

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Energy & Climate Change Debate (20 Dec 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Over the next few minutes, I shall give a critique of aspects of the Government's energy policy, but first I thank the Government for having an energy policy that it is possible to critique. Although I do not want to make a party political point, it is worth reflecting on the legacy that we inherited...

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Public Service Pensions (20 Dec 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): An inflation-proof pension of £20,000 a year taken at the age of 67 would cost about £500,000 to purchase on the open market, yet the average pot in the private sector is about £30,000 for those people who have any provision at all. This difference is exacerbated by the charging structure in the UK fund management industry, which cripples private provision. Now that the Chief Secretary has more time on his hands, having concluded these negotiations, will he address this issue with colleagues because it is a disgrace?

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Banking Commission Report (19 Dec 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): There is no agreed definition of which bank functions may be included in the ring fence, and which may not. There is therefore a risk of fudge as the proposals are rolled out over the next few years. Will the Chancellor agree to ensure that that is defined in primary and secondary legislation, and not simply left to the regulators to argue over with the banks?

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Durban Climate Change Conference (12 Dec 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State will be aware that in the last year of the previous Government we were 25th out of 27th on the percentage of our energy that came from renewables, ahead only of Malta and Luxembourg in the EU. Did that impair his ability to lead by example in Durban; and will he confirm that by the end of this Parliament we will have gone a substantial way to correcting that?

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Royal Bank of Scotland (FSA Report) (12 Dec 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The report makes it clear that had the Basel III legislation been in place, the AMRO transaction could not have happened. Will the Minister confirm that it remains his intention to implement Basel III as soon as possible and ideally before 2019?

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Public Sector Pensions (8 Dec 2011)

David Mowat: I have listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman's argument and he seems to be saying that he supports the proposals in the Hutton report, but does not support what the Government have done. Which aspects of what the Government are doing are not in the Hutton report?

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Public Sector Pensions (8 Dec 2011)

David Mowat: I am listening very carefully to the Minister's comments on the interaction between the Scottish Government and himself. Does he agree that one of the interesting features of the motion is the last part, which appears to concede the point that the Barnett consequentials should be reviewed and that certain types of expenditure should be taken out of them? If that is a principle that the SNP wishes to adopt, we should consider the Barnett formula more generally and the whole settlement and block grant for Scotland.

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Autumn Statement (29 Nov 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Chancellor will be aware that in the last year of the previous Government, the discrepancy in gross value added between London and the English regions reached 100%—the worst for two decades—so can he confirm that it remains at the forefront of his policy to fix this appalling situation?

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Vascular Services: Warrington (28 Nov 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister is describing in some detail the process by which the nine centres that previously existed are to be reduced to two, and we can, perhaps, accept the logic of that. This is a piecemeal decision for one type of service, however. If every centralisation decision is taken in a piecemeal way, Warrington and Halton might well lose every single time. When decisions on centralisation are made, should there not be some kind of strategy for deciding what will end up where, so that every decision is not made on a piecemeal basis?

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North Africa and the Near & Middle East (28 Nov 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I was particularly interested in the hon. Lady's recent comments about how Israel came into existence, pursuant to a United Nations commission which set out the boundaries and established how things would work. Would she accept a similar result from a UN commission now on the establishment of a Palestinian state?

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Manufacturing in the UK (24 Nov 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I have been listening carefully to the Minister's points about how his Department is helping parts of the manufacturing sector. Many manufacturers tell me that the big issue for them is differential energy prices. Can he assure the House that his Department is on top of that issue, and that we will not lose process manufacturing in particular to countries such as France and Germany, and of course to the far east, due to high electricity prices and high energy prices in general?

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Feed in Tarriffs (24 Nov 2011)

David Mowat: My right hon. Friend is making an extremely powerful speech. In addition to his point about the allocation of £8 billion, is he aware of the recent peer-reviewed research from Imperial college—it was the subject of a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology note—that said that nuclear power has one third the CO2 emissions per kWh of solar over its life cycle? That is an extraordinary statistic, which goes right to the heart of the policy.

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Feed in Tariffs (24 Nov 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): My hon. Friend makes a very interesting point about Germany. He will perhaps be aware that, in the last year of the previous Government, Germany was getting approximately 10% of its energy from renewables, while we were getting 2.5%. We have a lot to learn from Germany.

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Annual Energy Statement (23 Nov 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Secretary of State will be aware that in the last year of the previous Government, less than 3% of our energy came from renewables and we were 25th out of 27 in the EU. By what extent does he expect to improve on that by the end of this Parliament?

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Feed-in Tariffs (31 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Minister may be aware of a recent research paper produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, which estimates that solar produces three times as much carbon per kWh as other renewable technologies such as wind and nuclear. Why are we subsidising solar more than the others?

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Environmental Protection & Green Growth (26 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I should like to associate myself with the comment of my hon. Friend the Member for St Ives (Andrew George) that this should not really be a political subject, but it does tend to become one. I also want to associate myself with the Minister's comment that the Opposition had shown chutzpah by holding a debate on green leadership and growth....

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Environmental Protection & Green Growth (26 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I note the comment, "Our Labour Government were the greenest Government". We were 25th out of the 27 countries in the EU for renewables production in 2009-10. Is that what the hon. Lady means by "the greenest Government"?

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Energy Prices (19 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I will speak as briefly as I can about three issues: unconventional gas, fuel poverty, and what we should be doing about the big six—or, perhaps more pertinently, what we should not be doing....

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Energy Prices (19 Oct 2011)

David Mowat: It is not true to say that shale gas is more expensive than conventional gas. In the US, gas prices are now 50% of those on the European hub. That is a huge and unprecedented thing to have happened, and it is why the US is about to become a net exporter of gas. It has decoupled gas and oil prices due to shale gas. I am not saying that we can do that easily, but it has happened in the US, and it is wrong to say that shale gas is more expensive than other methods.

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Energy Prices (19 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con):
I hear the hon. Gentleman's comment on super-profits, but perhaps he will tell the House which way he voted on the windfall tax proposed on this side of the House on those same energy companies. They are making a 60% return on capital employed in a medium-sized field in the North sea, while the people whom he criticises today in the retail sector are making much less. Which way did he vote, and why has he changed his mind?

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Questions to DEFRA - Flood Protection (Warrington) (13 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What steps her Department is considering taking to protect households in Warrington from flooding.

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Jobs & Growth (12 Oct 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Gentleman is making some powerful points about the north-east and the gap in gross value added per head between it and London and the south-east. However, does he accept that over the past two decades that gap reached its widest in the last year of the previous Government?

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Rail Projects (15 Sep 2011)

David Mowat: I thank the Secretary of State for that reply. As he made clear, the business case for HS2 is stronger than the business case for Crossrail. The HS2 business case gets even better if the link north of Birmingham is taken into account. Given that fact, will the Minister consider bringing forward the construction of HS2 in order to stimulate the economy in the same way as has been mooted for Crossrail?

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Energy Bill [Lords] (14 Sep 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Would the hon. Lady care to tell the House approximately how much she believes is available or needed for the ECO, and how much of that the sources named in her new clause—in particular, those named in subsections (1)(a), (b) and (c)—would provide?

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National Energy Policy Statements (18 Jul 2011)

David Mowat: I am enjoying the Minister's comments about nuclear. He may have seen the recent Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology—POST—note on carbon emissions, which stated that over the life cycle nuclear produced one third as much carbon as solar. Is that properly reflected in the thrust of these statements in their entirety?

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Draft Financial Services Bill (Joint Committee) (18 Jul 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I thank the hon. Gentleman for his generosity in referring to me. He is going through the list of people nominated to the Committee. How many of them does he think know more about international financial services than the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr Laws)?

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Business of the House (14 Jul 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Leader of the House will be aware that four times now, Opposition Members have objected to the setting up of the Committee to scrutinise the draft Financial Services Bill. Does he know what they have against better scrutiny of financial services, and in particular why they do not want that Committee to start its important work?

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Business, Innovation & Skills Oral Questions - Green Investment Bank (14 Jul 2011)

David Mowat: I thank the Minister for that reply. When the Secretary of State announced the bank in May, it was stated that there was a shortlist of the three locations that have been mentioned, two of which are capital cities. Further to the reply today, can the Minister confirm that the selection process will be based on rigorous and transparent criteria and that other towns and cities will be judged on their merits?

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Finance (No.3) Bill (5 Jul 2011)

David Mowat: The hon. Lady is making a powerful case against the nuclear industry, but a few moments ago she made a case against high electricity prices and their impact on the poorest in our society. Electricity costs in France are between a third and a quarter less than those in this country owing to decades of cheap nuclear power, which has a beneficial impact on both heavy industry and consumers....

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Finance (No. 3) Bill (5 Jul 2011)

David Mowat: I have listened carefully to the hon. Lady's remarks on behalf of the Labour party. Can she make it clear for the House whether the Labour party supports a carbon floor? I thought that that was settled policy. If it does support a carbon floor, what is the particular aspect of the announcement that is causing such concern?

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Finance (No. 3) Bill (5 Jul 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The hon. Lady is making a case for the higher taxation of banking bonuses and salaries. Does she think that high salaries in other professions such as the oil industry, financial services, insurance—

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Police Detention (30 Jun 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Our criminal justice system costs about 10 times more than similar criminal justice systems in similarly sized countries, yet judgments such as the one yesterday, which are perverse and self-regarding, are causing this sort of reaction by Government. When are we going to consider more structural reform of a system that is barely fit for purpose?

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Scotland Office Oral Questions - Forth Road Bridge Replacement (22 Jun 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions he has had with members of the Scottish Executive on the funding of the Forth road bridge replacement.

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Scotland Bill (21 Jun 2011)

David Mowat: I want to make a few points about the excellent speech made by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) on new clause 8, but before I do so I shall nail a couple of red herrings. People have talked about priorities. It is absolutely right that the Scottish Government have the ability to set free prescriptions if that is their priority....

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Statement - Sentencing Reform/Legal Aid (21 Jun 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Even after these changes, we will be spending between four and 10 times as much on legal aid as other countries, some with similar jurisdictions to ours. Does this not imply that there is a structural issue in parts of our legal system, and is there not more that we could do to address this structural issue in the years ahead, in which case we would make real savings?

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Business of the House (9 Jun 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): An important decision to be made in the next few months is the location of the green investment bank. It is important that the criteria for that decision are transparent and open to scrutiny. May we have a statement on what the criteria will be, and an assurance that the process will be transparent, open and fair, in which case I am sure the bank will end up in Warrington?

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Energy Bill (10 May 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): It was not clear to me this evening whether I would make the remarks that I want to make, because it occurred to me that they might be more apposite to the next energy Bill than this one. However, I want to make a few points that perhaps have not yet been made.

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Treasury Oral Questions - Barnett Formula (10 May 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What his policy is on the operation of the Barnett formula in relation to relative need.

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Finance (No.3) Bill (3 May 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): At the current price of $120 a barrel, the average return on capital employed for a medium-sized field is roughly 40%. Do Labour Members think it right that oil companies should be making 40%?

Culture, Olympics, Media & Sport Oral Questions - Rugby League World Cup (28 Apr 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What financial support the Government plan to provide for the 2013 rugby league world cup; and if he will make a statement.

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Budget and Financial Resolutions (29 Mar 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): We have heard a lot this afternoon about the serious deficit left to this Government, but there is another aspect of the economic legacy referred to by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton North East (Emma Reynolds): the incredible imbalance in our economy between London and the regions in the north, Wales and the midlands....

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Topical Questions (DEFRA) (17 Mar 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The Arpley landfill site in my constituency is in the process of applying for a multi-year extension to its licence and yet we know that best practice countries, such as Germany and Denmark, have virtually no landfill because they incinerate for power that which cannot be recycled. Can we not move faster in that direction?

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Block Grant Settlement (16 Mar 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent representations she has received on the mechanism for calculating the block grant settlement for the Welsh Assembly.

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Scotland Bill (14 Mar 2011)

David Mowat: My hon. Friend's answer to that intervention was very generous. It is right that the Scottish Parliament should make decisions about priorities in Scotland—about free tuition, prescriptions and whatever else—but the question that remains and needs to be answered is whether the baseline of the block grant, as it is set up, is fair on Scotland, England and Wales.

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Scotland Bill (14 Mar 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Many of the hon. Lady's comments imply that she is unhappy with residency being the method for working out where people pay tax, but it seems to me that there is no alternative. Is her position that she would like everybody to fill out a tax return?

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Defence Oral Questions - Means of Identification (Licensing) (14 Mar 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent representations he has received on the acceptance by licensed premises of his Department's form 90 as a means of identification.

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Business of the House (10 Mar 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con):
Subsequent to the demise of the regional development agencies, there is now a £1 million shortfall in the funding for the rugby league world cup. We are having some difficulty establishing whether that is a matter for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Can we have a statement from the Government on that?

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Business of the House (27 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): In 2004, the Lyons report on property strategy, as updated last year by Smith, said that significant savings could be made by transferring up to 15,000 civil servants out of London to the regions. May we have a statement from the Minister for the Cabinet Office on the Government's property strategy and their progress on this issue?

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Women & Equalities Oral Questions - Custodal Sentences (Mothers) (27 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on custodial sentences for women with children.

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Scotland Bill (27 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Before I get into my remarks, may I apologise to the House for three things? First, it is not my birthday; secondly, I have not written a book; and thirdly, I think I am the first speaker in the debate not to have a Scottish accent. I do have a Scottish name, however, so I shall do my best with that.

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Scotland Office Oral Questions - Calman Commission (26 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What progress the Government have made on implementation of recommendations of the Calman Commission on Scottish devolution; and if he will make a statement.

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Disadvantaged Children (20 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I, too, congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for East Hampshire (Damian Hinds) on securing the debate and I applaud Members on both sides of the House for the good temper in which it has been held. I also congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mark Pawsey) who spoke just before me in a debate on life chances. He and I started 43 years ago in the same class. I sat three behind him, and I am delighted that his life chances have not been overly impacted by that experience.

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National Insurance Contributions Bill (13 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I want to respond to the point about Tatton. Many of my constituents work in Tatton, yet parts of Warrington are extremely deprived. Perhaps Labour Members will explain how publishing numbers specifically for Tatton would identify the impact on the deprived areas of my constituency next door.

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Postal Services Bill (12 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Will the hon. Gentleman explain how the Bill, which gives each of the 7,000 currently unviable post offices approximately £200,000 over the next four years to keep going, is an attack on their communities?

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Statement - Contaminated Blood (10 Jan 2011)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I, too, welcome the statement, particularly the attempt to get better parity between HIV and hepatitis C. However, I remain slightly concerned about the definition of stage 2. What proportion of hepatitis C complainants does the Minister expect to progress to stage 2? He must have estimated that number in order to put a financial amount on the settlement.

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Defence Oral Questions - New Aircraft Carriers (13 Dec 2010)

8. David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What assessment he has made of the value-for-money of the contract to build two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy.

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Business of the House (9 Dec 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Some weeks ago, the House was promised-in a ministerial statement and on the Floor of the House-that by Christmas, there will be a statement on contaminated blood. Will the Leader of the House confirm that that is still the case?

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National Policy Statements (1 Dec 2010)

David Mowat: Thank you for your help on that matter, Mr Deputy Speaker. I agree with the hon. Gentleman's point about decarbonisation, but it prompts the question: how much cost penalty would he advocate as reasonable....

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Banking Reform (29 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): One of the odd things about this debate is that those of us who believe that structural reform of the banking sector is necessary are characterised as being anti-free market, anti-capitalist and anti-banking. I am none of those things...

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Immigration (18 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I apologise in advance to the House for the fact that my remarks may appear less entertaining and somewhat more low-key than the previous exchange. I am also aware that we are nearing the end of the debate, so I shall be fairly brief....

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Immigration (18 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Using the analogy of the IT industry, my right hon. Friend has pointed out that unemployment exists, and that there is a demand from a small number of companies for a large number of people to come into the country...

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Statement - Legal Aid and Civil Cost Reform (15 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Has consideration been given in this review to the further savings that may be achieved by addressing the structure of aspects of the legal profession? In particular, the criminal Bar enjoys a near monopoly in some courts, but still constrains new entrants into the profession in a way that keeps rates higher than they might otherwise be?

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Topical Questions - Education (15 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): The comprehensive spending review has set out that we intend to spend £16 billion on about 600 schools during the spending period as a replacement for the Building Schools for the Future programme. The Secretary of State will be aware that a number of initiatives, pursuant to BSF, were lost in Warrington. When does he expect to be in a position to announce the results of his capital review?

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Policy for Growth (11 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): One of the great pleasures of speaking in this place is occasionally hearing Members of the Opposition saying something that I agree with. I agree with both the hon. Member for Copeland (Mr Reed) and the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton South East (Mr McFadden)....

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Topical Questions (11 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Over the past couple of years, work has commenced in countries other than the UK on about 60 nuclear power stations, which will provide cheap, economically sustainable energy across the world. Does the Minister agree that this represents an opportunity for our own office for nuclear development, and will his Department support it in its endeavours to secure exports?

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Business of the House (4 Nov 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Prior to the spending review, it was accepted that Scotland receives approximately 20% more per head than a needs-based analysis would result in, particularly when compared with the English regions....

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Custodial Sentences (Women) (28 Oct 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the number of women given custodial sentences.

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Transport (Investment) (26 Oct 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): Like Members on both sides of the House, I am delighted that the Secretary of State has found the money for the Mersey Gateway. However, the fact that it will be tolled-it has not been historically-will divert large amounts of traffic through inter alia my constituency...

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Contaminated Blood and Blood Products (14 Oct 2010)

David Mowat (Warrington South) (Con): I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr Spencer) for being brief and thereby letting me contribute to the debate, and I shall be brief as well. Like many others, I welcome the movement from the Minister over the past couple of days...

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Equitable Life (Payments) Bill (14 Sep 2010)

David Mowat: Let me add my congratulations to my neighbour in Cheshire and in London, my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Fiona Bruce), on her excellent maiden speech. Like everybody else, I support the Bill and I applaud our Front Benchers for moving so quickly to get this sorted out...

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Statement to the House - Annual Energy Statement (27 Jul 2010)

David Mowat: Electricity in the UK-this is a legacy from the past 15 years-costs about 30% more than in France, where it is supplied by cheap nuclear. Is it a policy objective for us to fix that, and if so, under what time frame does the Secretary of State think that that will happen?

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Oral Answers to Questions — Education: Topical Questions (12 Jul 2010)

David Mowat: Given that last week's announcement on BSF has had an impact on several schools in Warrington-including Penketh high school, where the need is great-will the Secretary of State tell us when his capital review is likely to report, and what criteria will be used in the review to prioritise schools? Is he willing to meet me and Warrington educationalists to discuss their needs?

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Tackling Poverty in the UK - The Maiden Speech (10 Jun 2010)

David Mowat: It is a particular honour to be following the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) in a debate on poverty, and I congratulate you, Madam Deputy Speaker, on your new role. We are in the season of maiden speeches and have heard a good many today. I congratulate in particular my hon. Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Tracey Crouch). She spoke with great passion and conviction about her...

Watch the speech in full here

 

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