House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 1999-2000
Publications on the internet

House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 17th January 2000

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Private Bills [Lords] (No Standing Order not previously enquired into applicable),—The Speaker laid upon the Table a Report from one of the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills, That, in the case of the following Bill, originating in the Lords and referred after the First Reading thereof, no Standing Order not previously enquired into is applicable thereto, viz.:
 
        City of Newcastle upon Tyne Bill [Lords].
 
        Bill to be read a second time.
2Opposition Day [2nd allotted day],—It being an allotted day at the disposal of the leader of the second largest opposition party in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.
 
        Meeting the Needs of Pensioners,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes that an increase of 75p in April 2000 in the rate of the retirement pension would be inadequate—(Steve Webb);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'notes that the Government inherited a situation where increasing numbers of pensioners were living in poverty and where, if nothing had been done, one in three people would have retired on to means-tested benefits by the middle of this century; congratulates the Government on the start it has made in dealing with these problems; applauds in particular the introduction of the Minimum Income Guarantee, benefiting one and a half million pensioner households, and welcomes the Government's commitment to raising it in line with earnings for the rest of this Parliament and to conducting a take-up campaign to ensure that pensioners get what they are entitled to; supports the Government's commitment to helping pensioners, including the restoration of free eye tests and the new winter fuel payments, which benefit over seven million pensioner households and will be paid every year from now on; welcomes the Government's commitment to extending further help with pensioners' needs, including free television licences for people aged 75 or over from next autumn and the extension of concessionary public transport fare schemes; supports the Government's commitment to letting pensioners benefit more from their savings through the minimum tax guarantee which now means that two thirds of pensioners now pay no income tax; and welcomes the Government's plans to reform pensions, through the new stakeholder pensions and second state pension, so that everyone who puts in a full life of working or caring will in due course be able to retire on an income above means-tested levels', instead thereof.—(Mr Jeff Rooker.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Bob Russell, Mr Edward Davey: 41.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Mike Hall, Mr Greg Pope: 300.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):—It was agreed to.
 
        The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House notes that the Government inherited a situation where increasing numbers of pensioners were living in poverty and where, if nothing had been done, one in three people would have retired on to means-tested benefits by the middle of this century; congratulates the Government on the start it has made in dealing with these problems; applauds in particular the introduction of the Minimum Income Guarantee, benefiting one and a half million pensioner households, and welcomes the Government's commitment to raising it in line with earnings for the rest of this Parliament and to conducting a take-up campaign to ensure that pensioners get what they are entitled to; supports the Government's commitment to helping pensioners, including the restoration of free eye tests and the new winter fuel payments, which benefit over seven million pensioner households and will be paid every year from now on; welcomes the Government's commitment to extending further help with pensioners' needs, including free television licences for people aged 75 or over from next autumn and the extension of concessionary public transport fare schemes; supports the Government's commitment to letting pensioners benefit more from their savings through the minimum tax guarantee which now means that two thirds of pensioners now pay no income tax; and welcomes the Government's plans to reform pensions, through the new stakeholder pensions and second state pension, so that everyone who puts in a full life of working or caring will in due course be able to retire on an income above means-tested levels.
 
        Protecting Post Office Services,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House deplores the continuing decline under successive governments in the sub-post office network which is contributing to growing financial exclusion especially among pensioners and other low-income groups; regrets the Government's intention to press ahead with automated credit transfer from 2003 which will lead to further large scale closures and will deny freedom of choice; and urges the Government to postpone automated credit transfer until the Post Office has developed its own automated platform and, as part of the Universal Service Obligation, require Post Office Counters to maintain a sub-post office network which satisfies broad social and economic as well as narrow financial criteria of viability—(Dr Vincent Cable);
 
        An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'welcomes the fact that the Government will be introducing a Bill to modernise the Post Office; notes the contrast with years of Tory inaction, that left the Post Office to decline; welcomes the reduction of the External Financing Limit and the ability to borrow which will boost the Post Office's ability to invest for the future, welcomes for the first time the clear commitment of the Government to a network throughout the United Kingdom of post offices which will be automated, and to introduce for the first time criteria for access to Post Office services; welcomes the fact that for the first time the Universal Service Obligation will be guaranteed in legislation; welcomes the study by the Performance and Innovation Unit which is looking at the future of the network; and notes that the policies of the Opposition would undoubtedly lead to the decline of the Post Office', instead thereof.—(Mr Alan Johnson.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Bob Russell, Mr Andrew Stunell: 43.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 298.
 
        So the Question was negatived.
 
        And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 286.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Bob Russell, Mr Andrew Stunell: 41.
 
        So the Question was agreed to.
 
        The Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House welcomes the fact that the Government will be introducing a Bill to modernise the Post Office; notes the contrast with years of Tory inaction, that left the Post Office to decline; welcomes the reduction of the External Financing Limit and the ability to borrow which will boost the Post Office's ability to invest for the future, welcomes for the first time the clear commitment of the Government to a network throughout the United Kingdom of post offices which will be automated, and to introduce for the first time criteria for access to Post Office services; welcomes the fact that for the first time the Universal Service Obligation will be guaranteed in legislation; welcomes the study by the Performance and Innovation Unit which is looking at the future of the network; and notes that the policies of the Opposition would undoubtedly lead to the decline of the Post Office.
3Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill,—Ordered, That Standing Committee G be discharged from considering Part I (the Electoral Commission) and Part VII (Referendums) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill and any new Clauses or new Schedules relating to those Parts, and that those Parts of the Bill, and such new Clauses and new Schedules, be committed to a Committee of the whole House.—(Jim Dowd.)
 
        Ordered, That, when the provisions of the Bill considered respectively by the Committee of the whole House and by the Standing Committee have been reported to the House, the Bill be proceeded with as if the Bill had been reported as a whole from the Standing Committee.—(Jim Dowd.)
4Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Jim Dowd.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till eleven minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.49 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Two o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 14th January 2000 (Non-sitting Friday, S.O., No. 12) pursuant to Standing Order No. 158 (Presentation of command papers):
1Treaty Series (No. 87, 1999),—Third Supplementary List of Ratifications, Accessions, Withdrawals, Etc., for 1999 [Cm. 4561] [Mr Secretary Cook].
Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 14th January 2000 (Non-sitting Friday, S.O., No. 12) pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
2Broadcasting,—Television Broadcasting Regulations 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 54), dated 14th January 2000 [Mr Secretary Smith].
3Education,—Education (Funding for Teacher Training) Designation Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 57), dated 12th January 2000 [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
4Family Proceedings,—Family Proceedings (Amendment No. 2) Rules 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 3491), dated 15th December 1999 [Mr David Lock].
Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 17th January 2000.
Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:
5Immigration,—Draft Immigration (Regularisation Period for Overstayers) Regulations 2000 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Straw].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
6Sea Fisheries,—Sea Fishing (Enforcement of Community Control Measures) Order 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 51), dated 12th January 2000 [by Act] [Mr Nicholas Brown].
7Social Security,—Social Security Amendment (Education Maintenance Allowance) Regulations 2000 (S.I., 2000, No. 55), dated 12th January 2000 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].
Other Papers
8Appropriation Accounts, 1998-99,—Appropriation Account of sums granted by Parliament for 1998-99 for Class I (Ministry of Defence) [by Act]; to be printed [No. 11-I] [Mr Stephen Timms].
9Deregulation,—Proposal under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 by the Minister for the Cabinet Office for the Deregulation (Sunday Dancing and Licensing) Order 2000, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Act] [Marjorie Mowlam].
10Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration,—Twenty-ninth Report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration for 2000-01 [by Command] [Cm. 4562] [The Prime Minister].
11Investors in People,—Report and Summary Accounts of Investors in People UK for 1998-99 [by Command] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
12Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine,—Seventeenth Reports of the Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine on:
 
        (1) Nursing Staff, Midwives and Health Visitors, and
 
        (2) Professions Allied to Medicine
 
    for 2000-01 [by Command] [Cm. 4563 and 4564] [The Prime Minister].
13Science and Technology,—Accounts of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council for 1998-99, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 165] [Clerk of the House].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Terrorism Bill,—The Committee of Selection has nominated seventeen Members to serve on Standing Committee D in respect of the Bill, viz.: Mr Russell Brown, Mr Alan Campbell, Mr Charles Clarke, Mr Mike Gapes, Mr Simon Hughes, Mr Andrew Hunter, Mr Adam Ingram, Helen Jones, Mr David Lidington, Mr Stephen McCabe, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr David Maclean, Mr Ken Maginnis, Mr Denis Murphy, Mr John M. Taylor, Mr Gareth R. Thomas (Harrow West) and Mr Anthony D. Wright.
2Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Ms Fiona Jones from Standing Committee F (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Desmond Browne.
3Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Ms Oona King from Standing Committee G (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Mr Ian Davidson.
4Draft Contracting Out (Functions in Relation to Petroleum Royalty Payments) Order 2000,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Barry Gardiner from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mrs Diana Organ.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
Public Accounts,—(1) Eighth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [Office of Gas and Electricity Markets: Giving Customers a Choice—The Introduction of Competition into the Domestic Gas Market]; to be printed with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No.171];
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [The Procurement of Non-Combat Vehicles for the Royal Air Force]; to be printed [No. 172-i]; and
 
        (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [The Management of Medical Equipment in NHS Acute Hospital trusts in England]; to be printed [No. 173-i]
 
    [Mr David Davis].



 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Revised 18 January 2000