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  • Alok Sharma responds to China’s ban on UK Foreign Affairs Committee visit to Hong Kong
    Kong Alok Sharma calls for the UK to impress upon the Chinese Government that incidents such as this ultimately hit business confidence which could impact on China s opportunities to invest in Europe Alok Sharma Reading West Con The right hon Gentleman makes a point about trade China is looking to deploy enormous amounts of capital in Europe and clearly a lot of investment is taking place in the UK which I welcome What more could be done to impress upon the Chinese Government that these incidents ultimately hit business confidence and that they need to get over this because we want to see more investment from China in Europe Sir Gerald Kaufman The problem is that the Foreign Office and other Departments such as the Department for Business Innovation and Skills say In the end human rights in China and in Hong Kong are secondary to the fact that China is now an immense economic power and a very important trading partner Hansard Alok Sharma MP Reading West The Reading West constituency embraces parts of two local unitary authorities Reading Borough and West Berkshire Reading Battle Kentwood Minster Norcot Southcote Tilehurst and Whitley West Berkshire Birch Copse Calcot Pangbourne

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/770 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma questions Government on incentives to become army reservists
    while maintaining a civilian life and day job Funding of nearly 2 million has been delegated to fund regional and unit initiatives as we believe that it is from the unit level that the greatest impetus for recruiting should come Alok Sharma The fantastic 7 Rifles based at Brock barracks in my constituency will be encouraged by my hon Friend s answer but could he please outline any specific incentives that employers are being offered to encourage their employees to become reservists He has talked about the package for small businesses can he provide a bit more detail please Mr Brazier I in fact served in the unit to which my hon Friend refers when it was 4th Green Jackets The 500 a month on deployment available to small businesses is over and above the full compensation package available to all employers when soldiers are away on operations It is estimated that the training experience gained from an average period of mobilisation is worth up to 8 000 for a private 14 000 for a sergeant and 18 000 for an officer We have a full employer recognition scheme for supportive employers and I myself have signed off a number

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/766 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma takes part in Park Homes debate
    indeed a very high figure The Mobile Homes Act says that the charge on the sale of a home can be up to 10 Does the right hon Lady have any statistics or perhaps the Minister can give them when he responds on how many park home owners are charging 10 as opposed to a lower figure Annette Brooke I think we will have to rely on the Minister being informed of that number It has not been drawn to my attention that anybody charges less than the maximum as is usually the case when a maximum is set Hansard Parliament TV Alok Sharma The right hon Lady makes an interesting point about transparency A lot of these park homes are owned by individuals and private companies so there is not the level of transparency in the accounts that one would expect Does she agree that as part of a review we should ask park owners to be a little more open to demonstrate whether a reduction in the 10 charge would really hit their bottom line as much as they say Annette Brooke I absolutely agree Transparency is the key to finding the right answer for everybody in this

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/750 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma highlights the benefits of Heathrow expansion to other areas of the country
    more point to point flights from Manchester airport but for hub capacity surely we ought to be expanding our only hub capacity airport which is Heathrow That would lead to more connectivity more jobs and more investment in the north west Mike Kane Currently flights from Manchester airport mainly go point to point There is an argument for hub status but I think that argument must be much further down

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/726 (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma calls on Government to ensure world knows UK education sector is open to genuine students | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Exporting for Growth Seminar Battle Health Petition Boosting primary school places in Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma calls on Government to ensure world knows UK education sector is open to genuine students Alok Sharma calls on the Government to ensure that students in key markets get the message that the UK is open to genuine students and that there are no limits Alok Sharma Reading West Con I of course welcome all that the Government are doing to clamp down on bogus colleges and bogus students Certainly we do not need to take any lecture from the Labour party on controlling our borders I welcome the Minister s confirmation that the UK is open to genuine students and that there are no limits Will he ensure that that message is delivered in some of the key markets from which students travel to the UK because this is an important industry for us and one that is clearly growing James Brokenshire Absolutely I can certainly confirm that to my hon Friend He makes a number of important points about presentation and how others seek to present a false picture of our immigration system and the important requirements that we have We can puncture some of the myths that are perpetrated overseas Ministers visiting those key countries seek to underline that but we have firm processes and procedures in the visa system for a purpose to prevent abuse and that is why

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-calls-government-ensure-world-knows-uk-education-sector-open-genuine-students (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma highlights importance of developing economies | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    will talk later in his speech about some of the issues or some of the solutions that have been found with improving access to finance for individuals who want to start businesses Jeremy Lefroy My hon Friend and the hon Member for Upper Bann David Simpson have obviously read my notes in advance either that or they are most prophetic because I will come on to that subject in a moment Jobs in the widest possible sense will need to bring in more than merely an income on which people can barely survive The World Bank has set two goals for 2030 to eliminate absolute poverty which is vital and to promote inclusive growth by concentrating on the lowest income 40 in each country I commend the World Bank president Dr Jim Yong Kim on his relentless focus on that He sees that we must not only eliminate absolute poverty vital though that is but raise the living standards of everybody particularly those at the lowest end of the income scale Hansard Alok Sharma My hon Friend has a huge amount of experience of working in Africa and in some ways the continent is an untapped resource for business links I will be speaking at the Afro Business Expo which is taking place in the Thames valley in a few weeks and which I believe UK Trade and Investment is supporting Does he agree that as individual Members of Parliament one of the things we can do is to encourage such events that enable businesses from African countries to come and meet businesses here Such events will provide an opportunity for creating jobs not only in the UK but in developing nations Jeremy Lefroy I absolutely agree with my hon Friend Such events are vital The more connection we have

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-highlights-importance-developing-economies (2016-02-14)
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  • Alok Sharma backs WREN's secondary school plans in Parliament | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    places in Reading Delivery of Purley Bund Flood alleviation for Keswick Close and Ogmore Close Flood alleviation for Kingsley Close in Whitley NatWest Branch Closure in Pangbourne No to Pincents Hill Development Number 33 Bus Route Number 33 Bus Route Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Alok Sharma backs WREN s secondary school plans in Parliament Speaking in the House of Commons Alok Sharma pays tribute to the success of the West Reading Education Network and backs their plans to open a single academy trust secondary school next September Alok Sharma Reading West Con The West Reading Education Network parents group is seeking approval to open a single academy trust secondary school next September The same parents group set up the outstanding All Saints junior free school Does the Secretary of State agree that this is exactly the type of excellent parent led initiative that everyone in the House should be backing It certainly enjoys cross party support in Reading Michael Gove I absolutely do agree It is important to bear in mind that the All Saints school in Reading was

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/alok-sharma-backs-wrens-secondary-school-plans-parliament (2016-02-14)
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  • Queen's Speech Debate | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    the economic recovery and about jobs The latest Thames valley business barometer which will be formally published later this month it is put together by accountants BDO and consultants C8 Consulting could not be clearer it has recorded a staggering swing in confidence levels in Thames valley businesses from 31 last year to 90 now Furthermore 82 of businesses said turnover had increased 86 expect it to increase further in the next six months and 71 expect to increase their headcount over the next six months Even on the availability of finance 37 of businesses surveyed by the barometer said that they felt that access to finance had improved Access to debt finance is of course important but so is access to equity finance especially for start up ventures The Thames Valley local enterprise partnership has received funds from the Government some of which it has allocated to a growth fund The fund is administered by a third party with match equity funding of between 50 000 and 150 000 available Of course that is a good initiative but we need to ensure that we can provide more equity funding I would like to see the Government replicate the success of their StartUp loans scheme with a StartUp equity finance scheme with match equity funding of up to 5 000 or 10 000 mentoring support and a fast turnaround of application decisions The StartUp loans scheme has been allocated 150 million and has helped more than 18 000 entrepreneurs Perhaps a StartUp equity finance scheme would have similar success I turn now to the small business enterprise and employment Bill outlined in the Queen s Speech I welcome the Bill There is a lot in it that will help smaller businesses In particular I welcome the fact that it will establish a deregulation target for each Parliament and introduce a new appeals champion to protect business against overreaching regulators Small and medium sized businesses do not want to be shackled by unnecessary red tape or to spend precious time and resources on it they want to spend their time and resources building their business and creating employment As well as an appeals champion I suggest that in future Parliaments we ought to have a Minister whose sole job is to look at deregulation across the piece Ministers are helping to create new legislation every day and it would be rather nice if at least one Minister spent all his or her time thinking about reducing the burden of regulation particularly on businesses My final point is about naming and shaming employers who are not paying the minimum wage and raising fines on such errant employers I welcome what the Government are doing to expose the underpayers but we need to be careful that reputable employers who make a genuine one off error are not having their reputations tarnished unnecessarily On Monday I was contacted by HSS Hire Group which employs almost 3 000 people across the UK and Ireland and

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/queens-speech-debate (2016-02-14)
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