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tv   [untitled]    April 14, 2016 7:01pm-8:00pm EDT

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>> okay. i support what you're trying to do and pressure you're trying to put on them. one little word of caution. be aware of the difference in legislative schedules so we're not asking them to do something they can't possibly do within their legislative calendar. >> i just want to say we could rather than would. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentle woman from virginia, miss comstock, for five minutes. >> thank you. i thank the ranking member -- as a former member of the virginia state legislature, we are only there january through february or march sometimes. so that had some impact this year also as we were trying to take some action. so, thank you. and i also wanted to mention congressman wolf had been up here, my predecessor today. i mentioned we were having a metro hearing and he raised the
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same issue mr. delaney raised on the board. appreciate the honesty in terms of looking at the expertise there and obviously there are challenges there to look at. i do agree with mr. delaney that that needs to be looked at more thoroughly. i wanted to, again, return to some of the management ideas our new general manager is focused on just to get them on the record here. yesterday, you had talked about things like looking at paratransit. and how we can save money there. i don't know if maintenance might be an area that can be outsourced. could you maybe detail for the record, so we have some of these good, positive ideas that things will probably all share and have in common and can improve? >> parking, obviously, feeds our system. 60,000 parking spaces. but, you know, that's not the core thing that we wake up every morning worried about. i think that's an opportunity
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for private sector to do that, for instance. the paratransit, again, we have a model that, you know, it's been around for years. i think in today's technology that there's opportunities to do that, to make sure we don't take anything away from any of our customers but actually give them alternatives that for us will be cheaper. >> i think yesterday you cited the average cost for paratransit is $ 50? >> $50. >> you were already identifying other ways particularly on short trips where we could save money with the on-demand economy and probably be more efficient for some of the users. >> more efficient and right now you have to do a 24-hour notice for your trip. there's other alternatives. you can call up and it can happen very quickly. >> we can welcome the uber economy to metro. >> not one vendor. >> uber, lyft, on demand. >> right. the headquarters building is another opportunity, i believe. just in terms of the number of people we have there.
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do we need that many people in a prime location? you know, i'm basically looking at that as well. on the maintenance side, on the fair collection side, i think again there's opportunities to where it makes more sense to have other resources applied there, that's what we should do. i'll continue to do that. >> thank you. i really appreciate it. i just wanted to highlight some of those things. i think there's been some really good thought that the general manager has already put into this where i think we will find a lot of common ground and maybe we can focus on those things first. bring the costs down and minimize some of the other problems and costs that we're dealing with so we can have a more civil discussion on that when we have actually solved a lot of these problems. have a very functioning system. i appreciate your taking that approach as you proceed through. so, thank you. >> i thank the gentlewoman. let me follow up a little bit on what my good friend, mr.
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connolly was saying with regards to jurisdiction. miss flowers, i don't know that you were necessarily the best group, and i really care a lot about secretary fox. in fact, i consider him a personal friend. i don't know that it was necessarily the right decision. but here is my whole point on this. mr. hart, miss flowers, we have to get this system in a place where you're not at a hearing, talking about the safety of this system, you know. so, while it may be germane today, i'm hopeful that in the very near future it will not be a discussion that even comes -- we talk about uber a little bit. i've got staff members now taking uber and other forms of transportation to get to work who used to take the metro. just base they can't count on it anymore. we got to stop that. i mean, just pure and simple, we have to stop that. mr. evans, you started out your
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testimony by talking, acknowledging the service that many of us have provided, whether it's attending the state of the district meeting as you mentioned with me. i want to acknowledge your service. i guess it's ward 2 and your service there. and certainly say thank withdrew. there's no tougher job than local politics. and so i want to acknowledge that. i guess the fundamental question is how many more hearings are we going to have before we fix the problem? this now makes my fourth either hearing or roundtable or meeting that we've had on a mass transit system that i don't ride. the vast majority of people use here in the federal government, and whether 50% or 60%, you know, even if it's higher than that, we've got to get it right. and by getting it right, i need
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to figure out who's in charge because is it a 16- or 14-member board? is it the new general manager? is it the coalitn of people who put forth the people who sit on the board? who's in charge? who owns it? mr. evans, i think in your written testimony you want to make it clear you don't own the metro and paul doesn't own the metro. somebody has to own the responsibility. and i guess that's what i'm getting to. who is that? who do we hold accountable for a system that has deferred maintenance and is not safe? who is that? >> it's myself and paul. we are the two people in charge of metro today. >> okay. you can't have two leaders, so ultimately where does the buck stop? >> paul is in charge. >> okay. if paul makes a decision that the board doesn't agree with, what happens to paul?
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>> we haven't faced that yet. >> but you will. i mean, listen, this is a big problem that's taken 40 years to get here. deferred maintenance. you've been on the board three times? is this your third tour of duty? >> twice. >> as we look at this, it's going to happen where the board thinks one thing and paul as the expert thinks something else so if paul does that, does he get fired? >> no. that would be my position as chairman of the board, but i am only one board member,member. but in that situation i would defer to the general manager who i believe has the expertise the rest of us on the board do not have. to close down is a good example. we discussed it and i turned to paul and said what do you want to do? he said, close it down. everybody get on board. i believe that's how this will operate. keep in mind we have 9 out of 16 new board members. i think it's a better board than we've had in a long time. we support the general manager,
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what he's doing. he's assessing the system -- to answer your longe eer question. he's going to come back in six weeks with a plan to fix this and we as a region have to decide how to implement the plan. the question you haven't asked me today is about the sikx monts in blue line. i'll address that. we have to come up with alan to fix this. it's like a bridge going into georgetown i have to fix. it's about to close down. if we do half, it's going to take me 18 months and $12 million. if i do it a lane at a time, it's even worse. it's convenience versus safety versus time versus money. and we, as a region, have to decide that. closing something for six months is a bad idea. >> well, yeah. let me just jump in. >> bad idea. >> if i haven't been clear before, let me be clear. closing the blue line for six months is not an option. >> not an option. >> do you understand that? >> i understand that. >> you'll take that to the board? that it's not an option. >> absolutely. but what we're doing now is also
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not working which is the other extreme. three hours at night and on the weekends single tracking. somewhere in between those two extremes -- >> i'm a numbers guy and agree with you because i went through and looked at the traffic and how people -- and actually had the staff and they looked at all those numbers and actually we can close down the metro on the blue line maybe at 10:00 at night. work all through the night and have it back up by 5:00 am the next morning, have a normal work period, do more work on saturdays and sundays. i mean, i've looked at it and the number of people that you affect is infinitesimal compared to the number of people that travel. when you make those kinds of statements i can tell you gerry and i -- it rally affects him. i'm not going to get calls in north carolina about the metro and d.c. being down. gerry will. barbara will.
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so, when that happens, you've got to understand that, you know, what we endured for 26 hours will be multiplied times 6 months. it's just not an option. but you made a statement, jack, that you said, "we." all right? so is it him, or is it we? who's in charge? because ultimately what i've got to get to is i want the next person that's sitting here to be able not only to certify that it's safe but they made all the instructions and if they're asking for money that we have given them the additional resources that thiey need to do that so you're saying that he can make the tough decisions and if he does, the board's not going to fire him, or at least you as a chairman are not going to recommend that? >> that's correct. >> all right. let me go to you, mr. general manager. as you've looked at this system, how much deferred maintenance
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should have been done that wasn't done? >> i don't have a numeric. but i think, again, i think the approach is part of the issue. the way we've been trying to do it. what you just talked about. you know, i just ran the numbers. >> so how many jumper cables were replaced between the death that we had in 2015 and literally the other day when you closed the system down? how many jumper cables were replaced? >> the number of the sleeves were 65%, but, again, that's part of the issue that i've had is we tend to do things around a particular issue and not look at this thing together. for instance, going out and replacing all the sleeves on the boots, that was dealing with one issue. that was not dealing with the issue of a cable that's lying on the ground. that's not dealing with a cable that's lying in moisture. that's not dealing with other drains that aren't working which creates those issues. that's where we got to come at
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this thing, not just the boot. >> so, why would you say that it hasn't been done? when we had an unbelievable, horrific tragedy that happened, everybody came. we all came to a meeting. we were determined to get this fixed right away and get it done. and yet what i heard from your testimony earlier was that we're going to wait to do another mile of test to figure out, okay, i'm seeing a shaking head and seeing a no so i must have misheard that. >> that was the cell phone issue. >> okay. >> totally different issue. what i'm doing right now based on what happened three weeks ago, i'm looking from the plaza to three weeks ago, what do we do, who did what? i'm going to get to that issue. like, what was done there? people had to do certain things. and did they do it? did they do it? did we do it poorly? what did we learn? then what did we put in place? and did that occur on the day
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of -- at mcpherson square? what happened in that 14 months, what happened on this incident and what are we doing going forward? for instance, we already initiated a new team that goes out every day basically and looks at the cables. so, we weren't doing that before. now we do it, in effect. they do the entire system. it takes them a month to do the entire system. so in effect we're doing that. every day going out and checking that. we weren't doing that before. i already put those things in place. even that, i'm not sure that's all we can do. you know? and that's why it's got to be part of this overall plan where we come out, we say, all right, we're going to fix the tracks, we're going to fix the paracables, we're going to fix the drainage system. we're going to fix those things as we go out there rather than keep coming back and forth, running off and doing this, running off and doing that. >> all right.
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so how do you respond to the criticism that there is a culture within the lamada family that does not really emphasize safety or service? is there a culture? is that an accurate statement? >> it is. >> okay. part of fixing a problem is recognizing that you have one. and so i would just say thank you for your candor and your honesty. mr. evans, thank you for your leadership on the board. i have a request of the two of you. i would like for you to answer it verbally, if you would. if you find that there are board members that are trying to exert their influence over the general manager, mr. evans, are you committed to at least letting either me or the ranking member know that that is happening? >> yes, i am, and if i do find that, i will act, myself. >> i believe that. i believe that. and to you, as a general manager, if you find that there
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is impediments to you getting this restored and up to speed from a safety and service standpoint and that you're getting undo political influence from the board, and i use the word "political" because there will be differences of opinions, are you committed to let the ranking member and i and this committee know? >> i will let you know. it will be after the fact because i won't be here in a month. >> enough said. i want to recognize the ranking member for a brief closing statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for your support and collaboration. i know it's there. even thousand though you represent south carolina. not the national capital. we must take ownership for the national capital transit system. you know, you were asking what happened and my legislative director and i came up with a
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way of putting it which is we have witnessed a maddeningly deca decade-long descent into mediocrity where it's imbued the entire workforce. i only work eight or nine hours and if it doesn't get done in that timeframe, somebody else's problem. customer is unhappy, so what. answering a question, not my job. just as mr. evans indicated, it's everyone's concern within the workforce. everything is everybody's job at a certain level. especially when it comes to public safety. what worries me about this deterioration are the implications of it. this is washington, d.c. this is the capital of the superpower elect.
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it is always going to be a target, tragically, for bad people wanting to do bad things. and we cannot allow the deterioration of our metro system to become the soft underbelly of any target in the future. tens of thousands of lives every day depend on that safety and that reliability in some fashion. so the stakes are even higher, frankly, after tragic attacks in europe. what more do we need by way of warning that this isn't just a nice thing to do? this isn't just us being anal retentive because we want a cleaner metro system. it's about the security and welfare of our country. metro is a very important part of that calculus.
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so it behooves all of us to find swift and efficacious solutions to the problems we've identified today and, again, i thank my good friend from north carolina, and for his support. >> i thank the gentleman. i want to thank each of you. we have a task ahead of us and that task is monumental in ways. you know, mr. evans, you talked about the fact when it was originally put in place, it was the modern era of the jetson's. i'm old enough to remember the jetson's. we've gone from the jetson's to mr. toad's wild ride. it's time to bring it back to a point of honor and a standard of which your constituents but miss comstock's constituents, mr.
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connolly's and all those around can be proud of it. i'm committed to work in a bipartisan manner to do that. i'm afraid that general manager, it's going to end in your portfolio to fix, and so what i would like is within the next 90 days is an update on what has been done, what is going to happen in the next 90 days, and if you will -- i think it would be prudent if we have a 90-day update as we look at this and before we make any long-term decisions on what is closed or not close, i'd ask that we really get some input from those who benefit from this system each and every day. i thank each of you. if there's no further business before the committee, the committee stands adjourned. >> thank you.
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during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. during his weekly question time session, british prime minister david cameron responded to members' questions on the panama papers data breach and tax reform. >> order. questions to the prime minister? wendy martin.
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>> thank you, mr. speaker. this morning, i had meetings with ministers, colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in this house i'll have further such meetings later today. >> wendy martin? >> thank you, mr. speaker. last week i visited a manufacturing and pot clays who provide clay for the tower of london poppies. wouldn't my friend agree with me that supporting small businesses and further increase in income tax allowance that came in this month shows unlikely we on this side of the house are the party's enterprise -- believe on keeping hardworking people -- >> let me join her in congratulating the firm that she mentioned. she's absolutely right it is small and medium-sized businesses that predominantly will be providing the jobs of the future and we want people to keep more of their own money to spend as they choose and that's why the historic move last week to an 11,000 pound personal
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allowance means people will have gained by 2018, they'll be paying about a thousand pounds less per taxpayer and taken 4 million people out of the lowest tax all together. >> corbyn. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i'm sure the whole house will join me in mourning the death of the dramaist, one of the great playrights of the country, angry young men of the 1950s and like so many young people actually changed the face of our country. yesterday, mr. speaker, the european commission announced new proposals on country-by-country tax reporting so that companies must declare where they make their profits in the eu and in blacklisted tax havens. conservative meps voted against
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the proposal for country reporting and against the blacklisting. can the prime minister now assure us that conservative meps will support the new proposal? >> well, first of all let me join the gentleman in mourning the loss of the famous playwright and all the work that he did. it's quite right to mention that. we let -- let me -- let me also welcome -- let me welcome the country-by-country tax reporting proposal put forward by commissioner jonathan hill appointed by this government, united kingdom commissioner. this is very much based on the work that we've been doing leading the collaboration between countries of making sure that we share tax information and as we discussed monday, this has gone far faster and further under this government than under any previous government. >> corbyn. >> mr. speaker, if the proposals were put forward by the british government, why do conservative
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meps then vote against them? it seems to be a sort of a bit of a disconnect here. the panama papers, mr. speaker, exposed the scandalous situation where wealthy individuals seem to believe corporation tax and other taxes are something optional. indeed, as the member for -- member morton informed us, it's only for low achievers. when it's said that the tax gap is 34 billion pounds, why, then, is he cutting hmrc staff by 20% and cutting down tax offices which loses the expertise of people to close that tax gap? >> well, i'm glad you got on to our responsibility to pay our taxes. i think that's very important. i thought his tax return was a metaphor for labor policy. it was late. it was chaotic. it was inaccurate. it was uncosted.
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that's exactly wrong. turning to the -- turning to the specific questions, he's absolutely right. he's absolutely right to identify the tax gap and that is why we closed off loopholes in the last parliament equivalent of 12 billion pounds. we aim to close off loopholes in this parliament equivalent to 16 billion pounds. so the hmrc is taking very strong action back i by this government, backed by the chancellor, legislated for by this house and i think i'm right in saying that since 2010, we've put actually over a billion pounds into hmrc to increase its capabilities to collect the tax people should be paying. the difference i think between this side of the house and the right gentleman, we encourage low tax rates and encourage people to pay them and it's working. >> corbyn. >> mr. speaker, i'm grateful to the prime minister for drawing attention to my own tax return. the warts and all, the warts
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being my handwriting, my generous donation to hmrc. i actually paid more tax than some companies owned by people that he might know quite well. the prime minister isn't -- mr. speaker, the prime minister isn't cutting tax abuse. he's cutting down on tax collectors. the tax collector helps to fund our nhs and all the other services. last month, the obr reported that hmrc doesn't have the necessary resources to tackle offshore tax disclosures. the government is committed to taking 400 million pounds out of hmrc's budget by 2020. will he now commit to reversing that cut so we can collect the tax that will help to pay for the services? >> i'm afraid his figures -- rather, his tax return -- his figures aren't entirely
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accurate. at the sum of our budget 2015 we gave an extra 800 million pounds to hmrc to fund additional work, to tackle tax evasion and noncompliance between now and 2 2021. accumlive 7.2 billion in tax. and we already brought in more than 2 billion from offshore tax evaders since 2010. the point i'd make to him, i think we should try and bring some consensus to this issue. for years in this country, labor governments and conservative governments had an attitude to the overseas territories that their tax affairs were a heart for them. and their compliance affairs for a matter for them and their transparency was a matter for them. this government has changed that. we got the overseas territories. we got the crown dependencies around the take. we said you got to have registers of ownership, got to collaborate with the uk government, you got to make sure people don't hide their taxes
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and it's happening. so when he gets to his feet, he should welcome the fact huge progress has been made, raising taxes, sorting out the overseas territories and crown dependencies, closing the tax gap, getting businesses to pay more, giving international leadership to this whole issue. all things that never happened under labor. >> corbyn. >> mr. speak, i thank the prime minister for that question. the red book states hmrc spending will fall from 3.3 billion to 2.9 billion by 2020. and in regard to uk crown dependencies and overseas territory, only two days ago the prime minister said that he'd agreed they will provide -- these the overseas territories -- they will provide uk law enforcement and tax agencies with full access to information on the beneficial ownership of companies. seems to me some confusion here because the chief minister of jersey said this is in response to a need for information without delay where terrorist activities were involved.
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obviously we welcome his commitment to fighting terrorism, but is jersey and all the other dependencies actually going to provide beneficial ownership information or that? >> the short answer to that, yes, they are. that's what's such a big breakthrough. i totally accept they're not going as far as us because we are publishing a register of beneficial ownership that will happen in june, will be one of the only countries in the world to do so. i think norway and spain are the others. what the overseas territories are doing is making sure we have full access to registers of beneficial ownership to make sure that people aren't evading or avoiding their taxes. now in the interest of giving full answers to his questions, let me give him the figures for full-time equivalents in hmrc in terms of compliance. the numbers are going from 25,000 in 2010 to 26,798 in 2015. it's not how much money you spend on an organization, it's
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how many people you can actually have out there collecting the taxes and makes sure the forms are properly filled in. >> kror >> member corbyn. >> the miprime minister is quit right. therefore, why has he laid off so many staff from hmrc? in 2013, mr. speaker, the prime minister demanded the overseas territories rip aside the cloak of secrecy by creating a public register of beneficial ownership of information. will he now make it clear that the beneficial ownership register will be an absolutely public document, transparent for all to see who really owns these companies and whether they're paying their taxes or not? >> let me be absolutely clear. for the united kingdom, we have taken the unprecedented step
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never done by labor, never done previously by conservatives, of all open beneficial ownership register. they have to give the full access to the registers of beneficial ownership. we did not choose the option of forcing them to have a public register because we believed if that was the case, we'd get into the situation that he spoke about, some of them might have walked away from this corporation all togethtogether. that's the point. the question is are we going to be able to access the information? yes. are we going to be able to pursue tax evaders? yes. did any of these things happen under a labor government? no. >> corbyn. >> the prime minister speaks very tough. he's only offering us a private register that some people can s see. and it's quite interesting that the chief, the premier of the cayman islands is today
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apparently celebrating his vict victory over the prime minister because he is saying the information certainly will not be available publicly or available directly by any uk or non-cayman islands agency. the prime minister is supposed to be chasing down tax evasion and tax avoidance. he's supposed to be bringing it all into the open. if he cannot even persuade the premier of the cayman islands or jersey to open up their book, where is the tough talk bringing the information we need to collect the taxes that should pay for the services that people need? >> let me -- i think he's misunderstanding what i've said. in terms of the uk, it is an absolute first in terms of a register of beneficial ownership that is public. you keep saying it's not public. the british one will be publish. further to that, i think this is important because it goes to a question asked by the member for tottenham, also saying to foreign companies that have dealings with britain that they have to declare their protss prs
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and properties they own which will remove a huge veil of secrecy for london property. i'm not saying we completed all this work, but we got more tax information exchange, more registers of beneficial ownership, more chasing down tax evasion and avoidance, more money recovered from businesses and individuals, and all of these things are things that have happened under this government. the truth is, he's running to catch up because labor did nothing in 13 years. >> member stevenson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my constituents' whose daughter, jane, was tragically murdered by her ex-partner while out on bail, working to save nine women refugees currently at threat because labor proposing to cut all of their funding. does the prime minister agree with the family and me that
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labor should prioritize the victims of domestic violence? >> first of all, my honorable friend does raise this case, our sincere condolences. in terms of making sure we stop violence against women and girl, no one should be living in fear of these crimes. we committed 80 million of pounds to attack violence against women and girls and includes funding, securing the future for refugees and accommodati accommodati accommodation-based services and also helps if locals make the right decision as well. >> robinson. >> the united kingdom and its offshore territories and dependenciy iey ies collectivel at the top of the financial index of the tax justice network. since the leaking of the panama papers, france has put panama on a blacklist of uncooperative tax
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ravens and offices have been raided by the police in panama city. what have british authorities done specifically in relation and with panama since the leak of the panama papers? >> well, first of all, in terms of who is at the top of the pyramid of tax secrecy, i think it is now unfair to say that about our dependencies and overseas territories because they are going to cooperate with the three things that we asked them to do in terms of the reporting standard, the exchange of tax information, and now access to registers of beneficial ownership. frankly, that is more than we get out of some states in america, like delaware. so i think in this house we should be tough on all those that facilitate lack of transparency, but we should be accurate in the way we do it. he asked about what we're doing about the panama papers. we have a 10 million pound funded cross-agency review to get to the bottom of all the relevant information. it would hugely be helped if the
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newspapers and other investigative journalists now share this information with tax inspectors so we can get to the bottom of it and his final question on blacklists, we're happy to support blacklists but we don't think you should draw up a blacklist solely on the basis of a territory raising a low tax rate. we don't think that is the right approach. that's the approach the french have sometimes taken in the past. in terms of taking actions against tax havens, this government has done more than any previous one. >> robinson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. at 3,250 dwp staff have been specifically investigating benefit fraud whilst only 300 hmrc staff have been systemically investigating tax evasion. surely, surely we should care equally about people abusing the tax system and those abusing the benefit system.
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why -- why has this government had ten times more staff dealing often with the purist in society abusing benefits than with the super rich evading their taxes? >> i will look carefully at his statistics but they sound to me entirely bogus. for this reason, the job of the predominant job of the dwp is to make sure that people receive their benefits. the predominant job of hmr kprrc is make sure people pay their taxes. the 26,000 people i spoke about earlier, all of them are making sure that people pay their taxes that's the -- the clue's in the title. >> jesse norman. >> thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. will and carol davis and many other farmers are still awaiting their 2015 payments from the rural payments agency. nearly four months after they were due. this follows the failure of the rpa website last year.
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it is causing great personal and financial distress and threatens the future of farm businesses. will the prime minister agree to meet with farmers on this issue? will he press the rpa to make these payments by the end of this month and share my view that at the very least farmers should receive interest on the amounts overdue? >> well first of all, i have met recently with both the nfu and the welsh nfu and continue to have meetings with farming organizations including my own constituency. i know there have been problems with the payment system. given the latest figures, some 87% of all claims have been paid. and i believe that the figures are in line with the national average, but obviously that's no consolation for the 13% that haven't received those payments. that's why we have a financial hardship process. we're working with charities. we've made hardship payments amounting to over 7 million pounds. we do need to make sure that the lessons in how to make the system work better in future years are properly learned. >> if the british people vote to
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leave the european union, will the prime minister remain in office to implement their decision? >> yes. >> again, mr. speaker, does the prime minister agree with me the european union is not just the world's biggest single market, but it is also an ample source of foreign direct investment providing 50% of the investment we receive, and also an excellent platform for supply chains to thrive and prosper? meaning the ability to get the skills that they need and innovation that they need, and my constituency, a whole load of other high-tech companies thrive and prosper as they do in the united kingdom. >> well, i well remember my visit with my honorable friend where they showed me the, i think a world first in a bicycle that was printed on a -- on a
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3-d printer, and i didn't get on and give it a try, but it looked like it would even carry someone of my weight. he's right because the single market is 500 million people and that is a great market for our businesses, for our services and increasingly the market and the supply chain is getting more and more integrated and that is why we should think very carefully before separating ourself from it. >> alistair carmichael. >> tauhank you, mr. speaker. brain tumors are the biggest cancer killer of children and people under 40, but despite this, they receive just over 1% of the uk's national cancer research. this is going to be the subject of a debate next monday in westminister hall. will the prime minister have a word, so answering that debate might be able to bring with him or her long overdue good news of change in this area? >> well, i'm very happy to do
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exactly as he says. it is an important issue. we invest something like 1.7 billion a year in health research but there is always this question when it comes to cancer research, the spending has gone up by a third over the last parliament to over 135 billion pounds. there's always the question about whether that is fairly distributed between all the different types of cancer and i'll make sure the minister can give him a very full reply. >> chris green. >> thank you, mr. speaker. produce at the heart of my constituency, concerns raised about the future of the steel industry and worrying of energy intensive manufacturing. north england has extensive manufacturing but held up by green taxes, high energy costs and emissions targets. what more can we do to help energy-intensive industries? >> i think my honorable friend raises an important point. the changes we're making are going to save the steel industry 400 million pounds by the end of this parliament and that's a good example of the steps we can
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take. there was an excellent debate yesterday in the house about this issue. we need to work on everything we can do in terms of procurement. we need to make sure we're taking action in the eu against dumping and we are. we need to make sure we reduce the energy costs where we can and we stand by to work with any potential purchaser, to safeguard jobs in other parts of the country to see how we can help on a commercial basis i'm absolutely satisfied we're doing everything we personally can. we cannot totally buck the global trend of this massive overcapacity in steel and massive decline in prices but those are the key areas in terms of power, in terms of plant, in terms of procurement. all areas where we can help. >> timms. >> thank you, mr. speaker. shows turning schools into academies doesn't necessarily improve them. thousands of excellent primary schools, parents want them to continue to be maintained by their local authority. why are ministers planning to
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overrule parents and force all those schools to become academies? >> well, i think all the evidence shows that academies work as part of our education reforms. let me give the house of commons -- let me give the house the evidence. if you look at those schools that converted into academies, 88% of them are either outstanding or good schools. if you look at the sponsored academies, often failing schools -- hold on. if you listen -- if you listen to -- if you look at what happened with the schools that often failing but are actually now sponsored by academies, you've seen on average a 10% improvement over the first 2 years. so all the evidence is the results are better, the freedoms lead to improvements and also where there are problem, intervention happens far faster with academies. we have got 1.4 million more children in good or outstanding schools and i say let's finish the job. >> nigel huddleson.
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>> the prime minister met many great people but has yet to meet the asparagus man. would you like to join me for the joup coupcoming british sap festival and show his support for our fantastic farming industry? >> i'm happy to say we're only one constituency away. we share the same railway line. if there's an opportunity for great british asparagus, i'd be happy to join him. >> jenny chapman. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i take the prime minister back to his response to the honorable member. i met mr. and mrs. cliff, too. it was a truly dreadful case. women's refugees, mr. speaker, are facing absolute crisis. >> yes. >> the changes that the government proposes to make to
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housing benefit will force the closure of women refugees. he needs urgently to look again at these changes because unless he makes refugees exempt, they will be closing up and down the country. will he do it? >> what we did in the last parliament with rape crisis center, we're doing the same thing with the refuges and 80 million pounds of funding are so important and that's why my friend has written to local authorities to explain this money is available to make sure those refuges are there. >> mrs. cheryl gilian. >> mr. chairman, the national autistic society raised its biggest campaign called too much information. young alex, the star of the film was here in the house and met many mps on monday this week. their research shows that some 50% of autistic people and their
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families don't sometimes even go out in public because they're afraid of what people think and the public reaction to them. will the prime minister meet with me and the charity to discuss how the government can support this campaign and how we can help tackle the social isolation of so many families through this campaign and through government assistance? >> well, first of all, let me pay tribute to my right honorable friend who's been campaigning and legislating on this issue now for many, many years including the landmark legislation that went through in the last parliament. we've been working closely with the autism alliance and invested some 325,000 pounds since 2014 but she's right, there's more that needs to be done in terms of helping families with autistic children and raising the profile and understanding of what having an autistic child or being autistic is all about. i think she's absolutely right to do that. let me put in a pg for the strange incident of the dog in the night which i think is still available at the -- i think it's the white hall theater. i took my children the other
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day. it gives a better explanation of autism than perhaps anything we can discuss in this house. >> caroline. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. authorities in peru, el raided seizing documents and computer equipment. but no one has knocked on the door of the law firm's branch here in the uk. now while recognizing the independence of our enforcement agent circumstances does the prime minister share my deep concern that as we speak documents are no doubt being shredded and databases being wiped undermining the opportunity to bring further potential wrong doing to light. >> honorable lady makes an important point, which is we need to make sure that all the evidence coming out of panama is properly invested. that's why we set up a special cross agency team inclouding the national crime agency, hmrc and other relevant bodies to make sure we get to the bottom of what happened. but she is right to reference the organizations are
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operationally independent. it will be quite wrong for a n minister or prime minister to order an investigator into a particular building in a particular way. that's not what we want to cross in this house. empower the national crime agency, give them the resources and let them get on with the job. >> andrew? >> mr. speaker, can i draw the prime minister's attention to the tragic death of ms. smith in my constituent wi. she was 21 months old when she was stamped on by her mother so violently that it punctured her heart. her body resembled a car crash victim. yet she had been known to social services since the day she was born. they knew about the violent boyfriends. they knew about the domestic violence. they saw the doors kicked in and smelt the cannabis and saw the bruises. they saw the fingerprints on her little thighs. and they did nothing. the prime minister will understand that people want to
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know how this could have happened. yet they are concerned to know that the serious case review has on its panel people who are directly involved in the organizations being investigated. will the prime minister look at what we can do to make serious case reviews more independent so we can make sure no other child suffers the life and the death? >> my honorable friend is absolutely right to raise this. obviously, in the work we all do, we get to hear about some hideous and horrific incidents. but anyone watching television that night and seeing the description of what happened to her it simply took your breath away that people could behave in such a despicable and disgusting way towards their own children. there's no punishment in the world that fits that sort of crime carried out by the child's own parent. as he says, there will be a serious case review. i'll look very carefully at the suggestion he is makes and i
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know my rival friend for education will do so as well. there are criticisms of the way these cases are done, but to start with this in case, we must get on with the serious case review because we have to get to the bottom of what went wrong. >> thank you, mr. speaker. there are currently 7,000 people in the uk needing an organ transplant including 139 children. many will die because of the shortage of available organs. the government has already introduced ground breaking legislation for opt out organ donation in wales. will the prime minister join me in supporting the change the law for life campaign for opt out organ donation throughout the uk? >> i'm always happy to look at this again. i have looked at it before and haven't come out in favor of opting out. we debated i think in the last parliament and made quite a lot of moves to making opt in much easier. we found that if you look at different hospitals, different areas of the country there's different records in terms of how well they do. my personal position is that something we should support and
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continue to drive. this house of commons can vote on this issue about whether it wants to go down the welsh track. personally, let's make opt in work better. >> gary streeter. >> my humble friend will be aware that our colleague has just started a 2,000-mile walk to rio arriving for the olympics to raise awareness for the olympic truce and money for refugee children. will my frnd join me in wishing had him well on this epic journey and committing his government to uphold the values and principles of the olympic truce? >> i have already written to wish him well on this long walk and to give support for the work he's done over many years to the olympic truce. he leaves me a bit of a hole in the house of lords where he's been doing fantastic work on security issues. so we wish him a good walk and a speedy return.
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>> dr. huk? >> mr. speaker, we technically do a highly experienced doctors i met with last week are dismayed that the government's own equality assessment of the new contract finds the it discriminates against women. as the prime minister is a self-confessed feminist leading a progressive government, will he reverse -- so he says, so he says. will he reverse this blatant injthsz which has no place in 2016? >> her question and back handed compliment. i would say this contract is actually very pro women because it involves a 13% basic pay rise because it restricts the currently horrendous hours that some junior doctors are working that are unsafe and because it gives greater guarantees about levels of pay and the amount of money doctors will get, i think
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as people start to work on it and work with it, they will see it's pro women. >> jacob? >> thank you, mr. speaker. over 200,000 economic migrants came from the european union in the period that we have figures. and yet the propaganda sheet set out to the british people claim we maintain control of our borders. have we withdrawn from the free movement of people or is that sheet simply untrue? >> the truth is this. economic migrants that come to the european union do not have the right to come to the uk. they are not european nationals. they are nationals in pakistan or nationals of morocco or turkey. none of those people have the right. this is very important. frankly, this is why it's important we do send information to households to see the truth about what is being proposed. what my friend put forward is classic of the sort of scare
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story we get. britain has borders. we have the best of both worlds. >> steven patterson? >> mr. speaker, university of sporting excellence sports have been rocked by an international doping scandal that a ban for major sports and competitions. does the prime minister agree that the anti-doping agency needs further support and tell pe what further action can be taken? >> i think he's right to raise this issue. the world anti-doping agency made a lot of advances in recent years. there's a relevance here to our anti-corruption summit on may 12th where we're looking at corruption in sport and bringing forward new codes of practice we will adopt in this country. there's also the question about whether doping should be made a specific criminal offense, which i think is something we should be looking at and debating in this house. >> what progress has been made
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in implementing the ten clinical standards published in december 2013 and that are absolutely essential for rolling out the seven day nhs? >> perhaps i can write specifically on the clinical standards, but the truth is that what is good is that others within the nhs support this vision of a seven-day nhs and recognize that we should pay tribute to all those doctors and nurses who work at weekends already because that's very important point. what we're trying to move towards is an nhs where the individual has access to the family doctor seven days a week and also where hospitals work on a more seven-day basis because that will save lives and improve care. >> can governors play a role in schools supporting education and performing an important civic duty. is the prime minister aware of the sadness and anger which has
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resulted from the academy's announcement m that the duty for each school to have governors removed? will the prime minister urgently review this attack on parents? >> i'm delighted the honorable lady asked this question. i know we're going to be debating it later today. let me be clear. we support parent governors. we think they have a great role to play. but no school should think that simply by having parent governors you have solved the problem about how to engage with parents. let me say to the honorable lady that something in the labor motion today that is actually inaccurate and should be withdrawn. the labor motion says that the white paper proposes the removal of parent governors from school governing bodies. it does no such thing. so as well as not getting his tax return in on time, he's bringing forward motions that are simply on

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