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Alan Simpson,
Alan Simpson,
Vernon House,
House Of
18 Friar Lane,
NG1 6DQ.
0115 9560 460
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Houses Of Parlaiment

Parliament has 4 main roles. Alan has a distinct line on each of these.

Alan is a long-term campaigner on housing issues, particularly the scandal of substandard and poorly insulated housing in Britain. The Warm Homes Act 2000 came out of these campaigns and commits governments to eliminating fuel poverty in Britain within 15 years. Alan helped draft the Bill and steer it through its parliamentary stages. As Chair of the Parliamentary Warm Homes Group he is now working with government ministers and national organisations on the practical steps that will turn this from a policy into a working strategy. He also chairs the All Party Group on Social Policy which aims to re-connect government policy making to soundly based research carried out in British Universities and internationally. Alan has also submitted two Ten Minute Rile Bills - the Genetically Modified Foods and Producer Liability Bill, and the Food Poverty (Eradication) Bill. Such Bills have little chance of forming immediate laws, but serve more as campaigning tools, around which a political momentum for change can be built.

Monitoring existing laws and policies. Apart from their role in All Party Groups or Select Committees in Parliament, MP's keep government policies in check via written and oral questions to ministers. Alan's main lines of questioning have been in the following areas :

Defence - Alan is an opponent of nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation and the 'Star Wars' project that would open up a new arms race in space. Alan is an active proponent of 'common security' measures, which explore non-military solutions to underlying problems behind civil and regional conflict.

The environment - Alan champions sustainable food production, reduced product miles (and pollution) and bio-diversity rather than biotech monopolies. He is also committed to renewable energy and carbon taxation. As a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol, he wants economic rules to be driven by environmental criteria rather than short-term greed. International - many of today's priorities favour global corporate interests rather than international development ones. Alan has used parliamentary questions to chase up who is making the money out of international trade, aid and development finance. His questions have focused on the Illisu Dam (Turkey), the Arms Trade, the World Bank and the exchange of nuclear materials (and research) between Britain and the USA.

Alan asks numerous questions arising out of the problems that his constituents come to see him about. Many of these relate to the Child Support Agency (CSA), Multiple Sclerosis sufferers access to beta interferon, and the New Deal programme.

Alan only ever admits to being a lapsed economist, but he has submitted his own 'alternative budget' and regularly argues in favour of :

  • Progressive taxation (for corporate as well as personal incomes) .

  • Simple, universal and inclusive welfare systems in preference to the fragmentation of societies in pursuit of more elaborate (and divisive) means testing.

  • The use of public subsidies to deliver public stake-holding. Rather than privatising services, which then have to be rented back (or subsidised) by public taxation, Britain's tax rules should favour new experiments in common ownership and long-term investment and localised public accountability.

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