All Mims Davies debates involving the Department for International Trade

Thu 23rd January 2020
19 interactions (579 words)
Thu 17th October 2019
19 interactions (555 words)
Thu 23rd November 2017
5 interactions (80 words)
Thu 8th September 2016
3 interactions (53 words)

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 23rd January 2020

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for International Trade
Marion Fellows Portrait Marion Fellows (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP)
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1. What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on increasing the level of employment for people with disabilities. [900369]

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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23 Jan 2020, 10:01 a.m.

This Government are committed to reducing the disability employment gap and seeing a million more disabled people in work by 2027. We help disabled people to start, stay in and return to work through programmes including the Work and Health programme, a new intensive personalised employment support programme, Access to Work and Disability Confident.

Marion Fellows Portrait Marion Fellows
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Inclusion Scotland recommends that the Access to Work fund should be increased and the cap lifted, and Leonard Cheshire recommends a cut in application waiting times so as not to jeopardise job offers. Will the Minister agree to put these proposals to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and meet me to further discuss what concrete steps can be taken to reduce the disability employment gap?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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23 Jan 2020, 10:02 a.m.

The Access to Work programme is a demand-led scheme that helps disabled people to get advice and a discretionary grant of up to £59,000 per annum. It is a flexible in-work support programme, and it will deliver reasonable adjustments, working with employers. I am sure that Ministers will be happy to hear from the hon. Lady.

Nadia Whittome Portrait Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East) (Lab)
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2. What recent equalities impact assessment she has made of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. [900370]

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Patricia Gibson Portrait Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran) (SNP)
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8. What recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of the increase in the state pension age on women born in the 1950s. [900377]

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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23 Jan 2020, 10:05 a.m.

State pension age entitlement is a matter that has been comprehensively debated on many occasions in Parliament over the decades. Meanwhile, there is a judicial review on the state pension age, which claimants have been given permission to appeal, meaning that there is still live litigation. We cannot comment on that litigation.

Justin Madders Portrait Justin Madders
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23 Jan 2020, 10:05 a.m.

Not so long ago, the Prime Minister said he would look at this issue with

“fresh vigour and new eyes”,

but as far as I can see, nothing has been done. What will the Prime Minister and this Government actually do to help those women?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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23 Jan 2020, 10:05 a.m.

We are here for Women and Equalities questions. Women retiring today can expect to receive state pension for an average of over 21 years—two years longer than men—and if state pension age had not been equalised, women reaching the age of 60 would be expecting to spend over 40% of their adult life in receipt of state pension. I believe in equality and opportunity for older women. There are great opportunities out in the workplace now, and our local jobcentres can give women really good advice on that next stage of their working career.

Patricia Gibson Portrait Patricia Gibson
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23 Jan 2020, 10:05 a.m.

As we have heard, the Prime Minister is on the record as saying that he is sympathetic to this cause. In fact, last summer he said:

“Let’s see what we can do”.

Very much in that spirit, and despite what the Minister just said, does she agree that if she really believes what she just said, at the very least she should commission an impact assessment on the effect of these changes for women, so that they can get the justice they need?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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23 Jan 2020, 10:05 a.m.

By 2030, 3 million women will stand to gain, on average, £550 more per year as a result of the recent reforms. The DWP has produced an estimate for keeping the state pension age at 60 for women and 65 for men, and that estimate assumes that state pension continues to be uprated at least at around average earnings going forward. The reality is that the Government’s reform has been focused on maintaining a balance between sustainability of the state pension and fairness between the generations, in view of the demographic challenges. My retirement age is 67. The Government have already introduced concessions costing £1.1 billion.

Carolyn Harris Portrait Carolyn Harris (Swansea East) (Lab)
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The appeal speaks for some of the groups of 1950s women, but certainly not all, and colleagues—both retreads and newbies—will by now have heard from women with different perspectives, all of whom will have a suggestion on how we resolve the issue. The appeal is silencing as many voices as it is speaking for, if not more. How can the silenced women be heard? They too are desperate, and they too need to be heard on this issue.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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23 Jan 2020, 10:09 a.m.

The Government’s position on the changes to the state pension age has been clear and consistent, and there are substantial problems with the various practical alternatives offered by different voices.

I understand what the hon. Lady is saying. We have an older workers champion, who is working with employers, in both the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and that links into the industrial strategy. As Employment Minister, I am keen to tackle the stigma around older workers and the feeling that it is better to be retired than on benefits or not working. For me, this is about equality and opportunity. As we heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford), people can have the best part of their career later in life.

Angela Crawley Portrait Angela Crawley (Lanark and Hamilton East) (SNP)
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5. What recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on (a) tackling the causes of racism and racial disparities in the justice system and (b) promoting equality of opportunity. [900373]

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Ben Spencer Portrait Dr Ben Spencer (Runnymede and Weybridge) (Con)
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T4. Constituents in Runnymede and Weybridge struggled last year to access Weybridge station because there was a broken lift. Thankfully this is now fixed, but can the Minister reassure my constituents that ensuring accessibility for all is a priority for this Government when franchises and contracts are awarded? [900387]

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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23 Jan 2020, 10:28 a.m.

Far too often, I see people not able to get around on our rail network and make their connections because of exactly the issues that my new hon. Friend has raised. As employment Minister, that is a matter of real concern. I will take on that issue of access of opportunity, getting on in life and getting out and about. A broken lift that affects people is just plain wrong. I will take up that matter with transport Ministers on his behalf.

Helen Hayes Portrait Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) (Lab)
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T3. Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service inspectorate recently linked a steep and alarming decline in rape convictions with cuts to the criminal justice system, which have left it close to breaking point. What representations is the Minister making to the Ministry of Justice and the Treasury to ensure that rape victims are able to access justice? [900386]

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 17th October 2019

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for International Trade
Peter Aldous Portrait Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)
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9. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the implications for the Government’s policies of the High Court judgment of 3 October 2019 on the increase in the state pension age for women born in the 1950s. [900032]

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

The claimants applied for permission to appeal on 16 October 2019, which was of course yesterday. Hon. Members will therefore understand that I cannot comment on live litigation.

Liz Twist Portrait Liz Twist
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

Thousands of women across my constituency and millions nationally continue to face real hardship from this inequality. What steps is the Minister taking, in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions, to address their real concerns and distress and to provide equality?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

I thank the hon. Lady for this opportunity to comment on the wider picture. As the Minister for employment with responsibility for jobcentres, I would tell anybody experiencing hardship at any point in their life to go to the jobcentre and to speak to their local citizens advice bureau—[Interruption.] The jobcentres do so much more than help people into work. They are a place of safety if you are suffering domestic violence, if you are looking to get support on benefits or if you are looking for housing support. It is a severe frustration for me as the Minister that people simply do not understand that jobcentres do much more than help people into work.

Judith Cummins Portrait Judith Cummins
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

Yesterday, along with many other colleagues in this House, I met a group of 1950s women who have been affected by the changes to the state pension age. Having been silenced while other groups took legal action, they are frustrated that they are still no further forward. What concrete actions will the Minister now take to help those women and give them the justice they deserve?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

I appreciate that this will look and feel frustrating to many women because of the legal action and the live litigation, but I absolutely believe that we are trying to find a balance in our Department in supporting people of all ages at all points in their lives when they need support and ensuring that we are balancing an ageing demographic and a secure retirement.

Peter Aldous Portrait Peter Aldous
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

I am grateful to the Minister for those replies, but notwithstanding the High Court decision and the appeal, there are thousands of women in my constituency who were born in the 1950s and who are affected. They find the support and advice measures that have been put in place inadequate, and I ask the Minister to liaise with the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to look again at this issue.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. I absolutely understand that this is about a sense of balance. I reiterate my point that we have a wide range of benefits and support in the jobcentres—[Interruption.] Well, if the hon. Member for Brent Central (Dawn Butler) disagrees, I would be happy to meet her to say more. It is absolutely right that if the support is not there, people should come to the jobcentres, speak to me and get involved with the DWP. We will support these women. This is ultimately about equality. We now have no defined retirement age for anyone: anyone who can work can continue to do so, and for anyone who wants to have a secure retirement, we will support them.

Anne Main Portrait Mrs Anne Main (St Albans) (Con)
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

As a WASPI woman, may I say on behalf of the many women who have come to me about this matter that we have been caught in a sandwich generation? We had our children young and brought them up, then acted as carers looking after our mums. This is causing big problems for women caught up in this dilemma. They are now finding themselves in the job market, having had very disrupted careers. That is what is so difficult for those women, when they are suddenly being asked to retrain in their 60s. It is really causing big problems.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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17 Oct 2019, 10:25 a.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that point. The women issue and the work journey are absolutely a priority for me in this role. Universal credit is not a gender-specific fund. It focuses on individual needs and support, and that can be different for men and women. I am absolutely determined, in this role, along with the new Secretary of State, to ensure that we better reflect the women’s work journey, including returning to work.

Emma Hardy Portrait Emma Hardy (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle) (Lab)
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7. What steps the Government are taking to support women leaving prison. [900030]

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Mohammad Yasin Portrait Mohammad Yasin
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17 Oct 2019, 10:33 a.m.

The Child Maintenance Service is failing receiving claimants, most of whom are women. Will the Minister introduce tighter monitoring of direct pay compliance, stop collect and pay charges for receiving parents, and finally introduce a service that ensures effective enforcement of late payments?

Mims Davies Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mims Davies)
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I am happy to hear details of where the Child Maintenance Service is a concern. The Minister for Welfare Delivery is working directly to support families in this area. As I said, I am happy to hear the details, so please write to us and we will come back to the hon. Gentleman.

Maria Miller Portrait Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke) (Con)
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T4. Bullying and harassment that particularly affect women have no place in any workplace anywhere in the world. When will the Government ratify the new International Labour Organisation global convention that outlaws such offences? This Government led the way on that convention when it was established earlier this year. [900041]

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Kate Hollern Portrait Kate Hollern (Blackburn) (Lab)
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T8. During the Prime Minister’s leadership campaign, he promised to look into the impact of the changes in state pension age for women. Will the Minister commit to working with the Prime Minister to provide transitional arrangements for the women of the 1950s, who have been hit hardest? [900045]

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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17 Oct 2019, 10:42 a.m.

I thank the hon. Lady for raising this issue again. Obviously, with the litigation ongoing it is difficult for me to comment more broadly, but I understand that that comment was made by the Prime Minister. If people are suffering and need any support, they should go to their jobcentre, talk to their local citizens advice bureau and make sure that they ask for help. We have many different benefits, both in retirement and after retirement, to support people to have a good, secure retirement. This issue should not affect anyone—women or men.

John Bercow Portrait Mr Speaker
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17 Oct 2019, 10:39 a.m.

Order. We now come to the urgent question.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 23rd November 2017

(4 years ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for International Trade
Nick Gibb Portrait Nick Gibb
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23 Nov 2017, 10:26 a.m.

The hon. Lady has expressed an opinion, and so has my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow East (Bob Blackman). As I have said, we are looking at 13,000 opinions. We completely oppose any form of discrimination related to a person’s caste, but the way in which we ensure that that does not happen must be proportionate. We will respond to the consultation in due course.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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10. What steps the Government are taking to ensure that changing facilities are available in toilets for people with disabilities. [902534]

Jake Berry Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Jake Berry)
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23 Nov 2017, 10:27 a.m.

The Government recognise that the provision of changing facilities is an important issue for people whose needs are not met by standard public lavatories. We have worked with Mencap and the Changing Places campaign to improve provision. In particular, we have provided funds for a searchable application to enable people to find their nearest Changing Places lavatories.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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23 Nov 2017, 10:27 a.m.

I thank Changing Places for the work that it has done to improve facilities throughout the country, and I thank local campaigners for approaching me. They are right to campaign for more suitable facilities in areas of leisure such as football stadiums where people can be changed with dignity and in safety. Will the Minister outline further Government support?

Jake Berry Portrait Jake Berry
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23 Nov 2017, 10:28 a.m.

Owing to the campaigning of my hon. Friend and other organisations, since 2007 the number of Changing Places lavatories has increased from 140 to more than 1,000, but there are still not enough. I remind those in charge of all public buildings, and all buildings in which services are provided, that they have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that changing places can be installed.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 6th July 2017

(4 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for International Trade
Justine Greening Portrait Justine Greening
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6 Jul 2017, 10:32 a.m.

I know that there was an important debate yesterday in Westminster Hall. This is an important area, but it is also important that we have a steady transition, as the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Hexham (Guy Opperman), has set out. I am content that the way the Government are handling this, which follows on from previous Governments, is the right way. The hon. Gentleman should also reflect on the fact that we have invested £1.1 billion to ensure that there is support during the transition.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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6 Jul 2017, 10:32 a.m.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Women’s Leadership Network conference, alongside the principal of Eastleigh College. Confidence is key in getting women back to work, particularly returners, or climbing up the ladder. What are the Government doing to encourage returneeships so that we can support what the Prime Minister has said?

Justine Greening Portrait Justine Greening
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As part of the Budget the Chancellor announced a £5 million fund for returneeships, which we know disproportionately help women returning to the workplace. Industry is already doing some groundbreaking and innovative work. We want to use the fund to help develop that work and hopefully mainstream it.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 23rd March 2017

(4 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for International Trade
Justine Greening Portrait Justine Greening
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The Government are committed to ensuring that everybody who is entitled to vote in our country, women included, is registered to vote. I very much hope over the coming months that we can all be role models and inspirations for a new generation of young girls growing up in our country, and encourage them to play their role in our democracy not just in this Parliament, but in councils and other community groups around the country.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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This House benefits hugely from the much broader representation that women and all those from different backgrounds bring to it. As chair of the all-party group for women in Parliament, may I ask the Minister to commit the Government to highlighting women’s suffrage, which was hard fought for and should be highly valued and used?

Justine Greening Portrait Justine Greening
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I absolutely give my hon. Friend that commitment. We announced £5 million in the Budget to help community groups around the country to celebrate and highlight this important centenary. When I arrived here as a Conservative female MP just over 10 years ago, there were fewer than 20 others. We now have a huge number, but we need to do more. We all need to work together to say that politics is a place that should have more women in it. It is important that we see that happen.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 8th September 2016

(5 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for International Trade
Liam Fox Portrait Dr Fox
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On behalf of the team, I will give full agreement to that. If I am unable to do that because of diary commitments, another member of our ministerial team will certainly do so.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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T6. We heard this morning about a focus on the positive opportunities for free trade with the Commonwealth and Australia. Does the Minister agree that that gives a great opportunity to reassure businesses in our constituencies that this Government can make a great success of the bold choice made by our voters? (906180)

Greg Hands Portrait Greg Hands
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As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has made clear, we are encouraged by comments coming from across the Commonwealth, from leaders and Ministers of countries such as Australia. Several additional ministerial visits are planned in Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth markets—for example, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. I will be in South Korea and Taiwan, and other Ministers in China, Japan and Vietnam in the coming months.