Ann McKechin
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Ann McKechin is the Member of Parliament for Glasgow North. She is currently a member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select committee and also serves on the executive of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that works with different Parliaments across the world.

Ann was previously the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland until October 2011 and prior to the 2010 General Election was a Scotland Office Minister in the last Labour government. Ann previously served on the Scottish Affairs Committee and then as a member of the International Development Committee at the House of Commons.

Entries by Ann McKechin

Whatever Happened to Help to Buy?

(4) Comments | Posted 25 November 2014 | (00:00)

Whatever happened to Help to Buy? Ministers seldom mention the government's two-part mortgage guarantee and equity loan scheme these days, yet it was initially heralded by the chancellor and the prime minister as a major Coalition policy to allow those tens of thousands of people without access to large deposits...

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Scotland and the Rest of the UK: Better Together for Business

(0) Comments | Posted 11 August 2014 | (14:52)

The new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, the first of which was named by the Queen last month, are testament to the capability and quality of the UK's advanced industrial economy. The construction of the ships has employed 10,000 people in hundreds of companies in every single region of the...

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UK plc Should Not Be the Victim of Big Pharma's Innovation Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted 14 May 2014 | (17:21)

There is a view that says that ownership of companies is unimportant, so long as they keep customers and shareholders happy. As yet another successful British company faces the prospect of a foreign takeover, this is a particularly pertinent question for the government. Yet the Prime Minister and Chancellor's enthusiastic...

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Still No Answers From Ministers on Botched Royal Mail Sale

(0) Comments | Posted 30 April 2014 | (18:01)

If Business Secretary Vince Cable had simply dumped up to £1bn of taxpayers' money off the top of his Department's Victoria Street HQ to flutter into the lake in St James's Park, the British public would rightly demand his immediate resignation.

The recent fire sale of Royal Mail saw a...

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The UK Business Department Must Partner With Industry, Not Rule Over It

(0) Comments | Posted 26 March 2014 | (18:22)

Despite being the government department charged with representing the interest of business around the Cabinet table, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has worryingly little direct input from the business sector when it comes to conducting their own work.

A series of Parliamentary Answers received by me show that...

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Small Business Deserves a Seat at the Top Table

(0) Comments | Posted 31 January 2014 | (11:32)

My colleague Chuka Umunna MP's plan for the next Labour government to introduce a US-style Small Business Administration is very welcome. SMEs comprise 99% of all UK businesses, providing 60% of all jobs and 50% of UK corporate turnover, yet the institutional structures which currently serve them often significantly underperform...

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Meet the New Scotland - Same as the Old Scotland

(19) Comments | Posted 19 December 2013 | (00:00)

Alex Salmond's long-awaited white paper on Scottish independence has appeared, rounding off the last full year Scots have before the referendum that will decide our constitutional future. And what an underwhelming document it is.

Underwhelming, but also seriously concerning; because the Scottish government is proposing a drastic reconfiguration of almost...

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The Extractive Industries: The Case for Greater Transparency

(0) Comments | Posted 18 November 2013 | (16:44)

The perennial paradox of international development is that countries with the most plentiful natural resources - whether oil, gas or diamonds - often tend to be relatively poor, undemocratic and economically stagnant. The starkest example of all must be the Democratic Republic of Congo. Possessing $24trillion in untapped deposits of...

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Payday Lending Must Not Become a Permanent Fixture of British Life

(0) Comments | Posted 6 November 2013 | (23:10)

With Christmas just around the corner, it's that time of year when statistics emerge to tell us how many people will fund their annual festivities with some form of short-term credit. This year, the Government-backed Money Advice Service has said that over a million people are considering using a payday...

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Like it or Not, Payday Lenders Are Here to Stay - They Must be Better Regulated.

(0) Comments | Posted 3 September 2013 | (11:54)

This Friday, the High Cost Credit Bill returns to the House of Commons to resume its Second reading debate, following a Backbench Business debate on the same issue this Thursday. Unfortunately, due to the lack of Government support, there is a real risk that it will not be granted sufficient...

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The Biggest Privatisation in Two Decades, and not a Peep out of the Scottish Government

(0) Comments | Posted 18 July 2013 | (14:48)

The privatisation of Royal Mail is thundering along at a mighty pace. With the business secretary's statement on the matter coming less than two weeks before Westminster's summer recess, Members of Parliament have little time to scrutinise the Government's plans before the autumn, when the offering of shares is set...

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Business in an Independent Scotland - Too Many 'Known Unknowns'

(5) Comments | Posted 28 June 2013 | (18:35)

The prospect of an independent Scotland has given rise to a host of tricky questions. From currency to central banks, Naton to nuclear weapons, the First Minister and his colleagues treat us to their trademark bluff and bluster when pressed on the key issues and continually accuse those who simply...

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Untapped Talent: How Family-Friendly Employment Practices Help Women Fulfil Their Potential

(0) Comments | Posted 20 June 2013 | (11:08)

Today, the Business, Innovation and Skills committee publishes the report of our inquiry into Women in the Workplace.

I hope the Government will not just listen but actively take on board the committee's recommendations of how to best enable women to fulfil their true potential, starting in school, through university...

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Help to Buy - Good Politics, Bad Economics, Horrendous Policy

(1) Comments | Posted 21 May 2013 | (16:57)

The Government's wafer-thin legislative agenda for this Parliamentary session, outlined by the Queen in just seven minutes, spoke of an administration unable, and seemingly unwilling, to drive any real change in the economy. Amounting to just fifteen Bills, the programme typified the Government's laissez-faire approach and its continued failure to...

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Open Access - Breaking the Monopoly of Large Academic Publishers

(0) Comments | Posted 17 April 2013 | (17:18)

The Business, Innovation and Skills committee's new inquiry into Open Access in academic publishing has revealed a familiar collision between the accepted practices of a sector unused to change, and the disruptive power of the internet, with its greater transparency, economy and reach.

This clash has been a...

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MOOCs Will Challenge Universities but Could Boost Social Mobility

(0) Comments | Posted 19 March 2013 | (16:24)

Universities in the UK are no more immune to technological change than businesses, and the publication of a report last week outlining some of the threats facing the sector made this clearer than ever.

The ominously titled 'An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead' from...

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Patterns of Part-Time Work Across Government Reveals Patchy Strategy

(0) Comments | Posted 11 February 2013 | (15:53)

The Government's response to its own Modern Workplaces Consultation announced that the civil service would become an "exemplar in flexible working practices". This is a good thing. Flexible working is beneficial for individual wellbeing, for families, and for businesses. Government is right to set a good example. But a series...

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This Rudderless Government Must Adopt a Strategy for Our Fading High Streets

(17) Comments | Posted 25 January 2013 | (00:00)

If 20,000 automotive workers lost their jobs in one month, it's likely that a crisis summit would be swiftly convened at Number 10, urgent questions would be asked in Parliament, and MPs across the country would rush to champion the skilled workers facing unemployment in their constituencies. The same is...

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A New Year's Resolution for British Business: Start Spending

(0) Comments | Posted 9 January 2013 | (12:51)

With recent reports from the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors and others all suggesting that UK business confidence is starting to look up, let's hope that 2013 is the year that corporate optimism finally kick-starts economic growth. It is certainly overdue. Over the...

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More Women in Science and Engineering Will Unlock Growth

(11) Comments | Posted 19 December 2012 | (11:40)

The jobs of the future will be made in the high-tech industries that depend on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduates. With our universities consistently punching above their weight in the global league tables, the UK should be in a position where businesses needing skilled engineers or schools needing...

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