Speaking in the House of Lords on Tuesday, Lord Bilimoria’s addressed a number of issues emerging from the Second Reading of the SME. Touching on matters ranging from the pub tie, to entrepreneurship, to tax relief – his speech was well received and gained positive comments from the Business Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, and from other members of the House including the former Energy Secretary, Lord Wakeham.
Lord Bilimoria has spoken out against the government’s higher education policy, specifically with regards to restrictions placed upon international students in the United Kingdom.
The following article was published on the New Statesman’s “The Staggers’ blog on Monday 1st September.
Founded in 1913, the New Statesman is one of the most well-respected current affairs magazines in the United Kingdom.
On Sunday 11th May, Lord Bilimoria was interviewed on Sky News’ flagship “Murnaghan” programme regarding the on-going Indian General Election. A transcript of the interview can be seen below.
Speaking in a debate concerning higher education in the United Kingdom, Lord Bilimoria spoke out against a number of restrictions on student numbers, especially those concerning the fall in student numbers as a consequence of immigration policy. He noted the increased competition that British universities face from foreign competitors, as well as the need for the government to increase spending on research and development in order to bring the United Kingdom closer to the OECD average.
Speaking on a debate on the level of employment in the United Kingdom, Lord Bilimoria expressed his continued support for manufacturing concerns outside London and the valuable role that aviation, automobiles and engineering all have to play in re-balancing the British economy. He also commented on the tremendous benefits of immigration to the country and the role that migration has played in numerous businesses at the regional, national and international level.
Lord Bilimoria participated in a major debate on Scottish independence, which was moved by the former Scottish Secretary, Lord Lang of Monkton. In his speech – Lord Bilimoria noted the tremendous benefits and potential that comes from the historic Union between England and Scotland, as well as the fiscal risks associated with the proposals for an independent Scotland to become part of the Stirling Zone;
My Lords, I declare my various interests in this area. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord MacGregor, on initiating the debate. I also congratulate my friend the noble Lord, Lord Leigh of Hurley, on his excellent maiden speech. He is a fellow chartered accountant and we have known each other for many years. As he humbly said in his speech, he is also a fellow entrepreneur and a successful one at that. I read a book by a Wharton professor about givers and takers: in life you have givers, takers and matchers. It is not necessarily the case that the givers will get further in life, but when they do get there they always get there in a much better way and have a more sustainable, happier future. The noble Lord, Lord Leigh, is a giver. He has given to this House today his expertise as an entrepreneur, as an expert in corporate finance and as a chartered accountant. We welcome him here.
My Lords, I join in wishing the noble Lord, Lord Barnett, a very happy 90th birthday. He has asked an excellent question in that it relates to forward guidance. For a long time I have been saying that when setting interest rates the Governor of the Bank of England and the Monetary Policy Committee should look not just at inflation targeting but at the wider economy. This is excellent news. However, is it wise that the governor should tie himself down to a specific level of 7% unemployment, after which interest rates are to be raised, unless inflation is going out of control? When does the Minister think that the 7% will be achieved? Secondly, would it not have been wiser to have had a wider remit taking into account other aspects of the economy, not just inflation targeting?