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House of Commons
Session 2002 - 03
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 4th June 2003

The House met at half-past Eleven o'clock.

PRAYERS.

1    Nottingham City Council Bill [Lords],-The Nottingham City Council Bill [Lords] was read a second time and committed.

2    Transas Group Bill,-The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the Transas Group Bill;

    Ordered, That the Bill be read a second time on Wednesday 11th June.

3    Legal Deposit Libraries Bill,-Mr Joe Benton reported from Standing Committee F, That it had gone through the Legal Deposit Libraries Bill, and made Amendments thereunto.

    Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered on Friday 4th July; and to be printed [Bill 118].

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 753].

4    Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-David Taylor reported from the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Contracting Out (Administration of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme) Order 2003.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

5    Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mr Bill Olner reported from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Supply of Services) Order 2003 and the draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Part 8 Domestic Infringements) Order 2003.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

6    European Standing Committee A,-Derek Conway reported from European Standing Committee A the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 13789/02, draft Directive concerning the quality of bathing water; and supports the Government's objective that effective, practical and proportionate measures are applied across the European Union to monitor and regulate the quality of bathing water.

    Report, together with Resolution, to lie upon the Table.

7    Fishery Limits (United Kingdom) Amendment,-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide that the Fishery Limits Act 1976 shall have effect regardless of the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972; that Part II of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 shall have effect as though it had not been repealed by the Merchant Shipping (Registration etc) Act 1993; to confer upon the Secretary of State powers to license fishing vessels to fish within United Kingdom waters; to exclude vessels of specified nations or specified vessels from fishing United Kingdom waters; to negotiate common policies with other countries to preserve fish stocks; to invalidate any provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Community; and for connected purposes: And that Mr Austin Mitchell, David Burnside, John Cryer, Mr Frank Field, Mr Kelvin Hopkins, Lawrie Quinn, Mr Alex Salmond, Sir Teddy Taylor, Ann Winterton and Mrs Iris Robinson do prepare and bring it in.

8    Fishery Limits (United Kingdom) Amendment Bill,-Mr Austin Mitchell accordingly presented a Bill to provide that the Fishery Limits Act 1976 shall have effect regardless of the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972; that Part II of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 shall have effect as though it had not been repealed by the Merchant Shipping (Registration etc) Act 1993; to confer upon the Secretary of State powers to license fishing vessels to fish within United Kingdom waters; to exclude vessels of specified nations or specified vessels from fishing United Kingdom waters; to negotiate common policies with other countries to preserve fish stocks; to invalidate any provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Community; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 11th July and to be printed [Bill 117].

9    Opposition Day [7th 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.

    Iraq,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House recalls the Prime Minister's assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction capable of being used at 45 minutes' notice; further recalls the Government's contention that these weapons posed an imminent danger to the United Kingdom and its forces; notes that to date no such weapons have been found; and calls for an independent inquiry into the handling of the intelligence received, its assessment and the decisions made by ministers based upon it-(Mr Menzies Campbell);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 1, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'believes that the Intelligence and Security Committee established by Parliament is the appropriate body to carry out any inquiry into intelligence relating to Iraq; and notes in relation to Iraq's disarmament obligations the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483', instead thereof.-(Mr Secretary Straw.)

    And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Richard Younger-Ross, Annette Brooke: 203.

      Tellers for the Noes, Charlotte Atkins, Mr Phil Woolas: 301.

    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 believes that the Intelligence and Security Committee established by Parliament is the appropriate body to carry out any inquiry into intelligence relating to Iraq; and notes in relation to Iraq's disarmament obligations the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483.

    Pensions,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House condemns the Government's extensive delay in appointing a new Minister for Pensions at a time of pensions crisis; further condemns the Government for pursuing a strategy of mass means testing of pensioners; notes that the Department for Work and Pensions will have satisfied its PSA target even if a million pensioners are still missing out on their entitlement to Pension Credit by 2006; further notes that the Pension Credit will be run on a computer system described by the previous Secretary of State as 'very decrepit'; believes that the Pensions Green Paper was an inadequate response to a range of pensions problems, including the large number of people of working age who are facing financial insecurity in retirement, particularly many women; further notes the continued insecurity of many members of defined benefit pension schemes and the lack of protection for working age scheme members when schemes are wound up; calls on the Government to address these issues as a matter of urgency; and further calls on the Government urgently to simplify the state pension system and to ensure that the basic state pension provides a firm foundation for income in retirement, with particular reference to the needs of older pensioners-(Steve Webb);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 1, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'recognises that the UK has the largest stock of private pension saving in Europe and a tradition of pension partnership at the workplace which leaves it well placed to rise to the challenge of longer lives; welcomes the conclusion of the Work and Pensions Committee that the UK pensions system is "basically sound"; further recognises that there are pressures on pension systems at the moment and supports the Government's proposals, as outlined in the recent Green Paper, to renew the UK pensions partnership, to introduce further measures to bolster the UK system which better focus regulation on contemporary anxieties, and to increase security without increasing the overall costs of running pensions; strongly endorses the Work and Pensions Committee's judgement that "current policies have been successful in reducing pensioner poverty"; further recognises that this is of particular benefit to women; welcomes the state second pension which will provide lower earners, disabled people and carers, some 18 million people most of whom are women, with a better pension; believes that good pensions policy must be built on a foundation of the basic state pension, which has increased in real terms for three years in a row; and looks forward to the Pension Credit reform in October which will ensure that those with modest savings are properly rewarded for the first time', instead thereof.-(Maria Eagle.)

    And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    Sir Robert Smith rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

    And the Question being put, That the Question be now put:-It was agreed to.

    And the Question being accordingly put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Tom Brake, Mr Alan Reid: 202.

      Tellers for the Noes, Dan Norris, Mr Nick Ainger: 313.

    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, Mr Nick Ainger, Dan Norris: 305.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Alan Reid, Tom Brake: 195.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House recognises that the UK has the largest stock of private pension saving in Europe and a tradition of pension partnership at the workplace which leaves it well placed to rise to the challenge of longer lives; welcomes the conclusion of the Work and Pensions Committee that the UK pensions system is 'basically sound'; further recognises that there are pressures on pension systems at the moment and supports the Government's proposals, as outlined in the recent Green Paper, to renew the UK pensions partnership, to introduce further measures to bolster the UK system which better focus regulation on contemporary anxieties, and to increase security without increasing the overall costs of running pensions; strongly endorses the Work and Pensions Committee's judgement that 'current policies have been successful in reducing pensioner poverty'; further recognises that this is of particular benefit to women; welcomes the state second pension which will provide lower earners, disabled people and carers, some 18 million people most of whom are women, with a better pension; believes that good pensions policy must be built on a foundation of the basic state pension, which has increased in real terms for three years in a row; and looks forward to the Pension Credit reform in October which will ensure that those with modest savings are properly rewarded for the first time.

10    Section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993,-Ordered, That, for the purposes of their approval under section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993, the Government's assessment as set out in the Budget 2003 shall be treated as if it were an instrument subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation).-(Gillian Merron.)

11    Business of the House,-Ordered, That, at the sitting on Tuesday 10th June, Private Business set down for Four o'clock by the Chairman of Ways and Means shall be entered upon at the conclusion of Government business (whether before, at or after Four o'clock), and may then be proceeded with, though opposed, for a period of three hours, after which the Speaker shall interrupt the business.-(Gillian Merron.)

12    Finance Bill (Programme) (No. 4),-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Orders [28th June 2001 and 29th October 2002], That the Programme Order of 6th May 2003, as amended by the Order of 8th May 2003, shall be further amended by the substitution in paragraph 3(1) of '17th June 2003' for '12th June 2003'-(Gillian Merron):-It was agreed to.

13    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from Mrs Margaret Todd and others for restrictions on the days on which fireworks can be used, except at licensed displays, was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

14    Adjournment,-Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.-(Gillian Merron.)

    And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till seven minutes to Eight o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 7.53 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Eleven o'clock.


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

    1    Disabled Persons,-Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Furness Railway Trust North London Coach) Exemption Order 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 1436), dated 3rd June 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].

    2    Health and Safety,-Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Transportable Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 1431), dated 3rd June 2003 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Darling].

    3    Income Tax,-Income Tax (Exemption of Minor Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I., 2003, No. 1434), dated 3rd June 2003 [by Act] [John Healey].

Other Papers:

    4    Coroner Services,-Paper, entitled Death Certification and Investigation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: the Report of a Fundamental Review 2003 [by Command] [Cm. 5831] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].

    5    Public Petitions,-Observations by the Secretary of State for Health on the Petition [2nd April] from 'Consumers for Health Choice' and others against restrictions on the availability of natural health products [by Standing Order]; to be printed [Clerk of the House].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

    1    Municipal Waste Recycling Bill,-The Speaker has appointed Miss Anne Begg Chairman of Standing Committee C in respect of the Bill.

    2    Legal Deposit Libraries Bill,-The Speaker has appointed Mr Joe Benton Chairman of Standing Committee F in respect of the Bill.

    3    Draft Race Relations Act 1976 (Seamen Recruited Abroad) Order 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Tom Brake, David Cairns, Mr Christopher Chope, Geraint Davies, Mr Stephen Dorrell, Mr Don Foster, Mr George Foulkes, Mike Gapes, Mr John Grogan, Mr David Jamieson, Joyce Quin, Mr John Redwood, Mr Andy Reed, Joan Ryan, Mr Robert Syms and Mr Dave Watts.

    4    Draft Uncertificated Securities (Amendment) (Eligible Debt Securities) Regulations 2003,-The Speaker has appointed Mr Peter Pike Chairman of the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Regulations.

    5    Local Government Finance (England) Special Grant Report (No. 122) on Local Authorities with Autonomy on Formulaic Capital Allowances:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Report to the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr James Arbuthnot, Mr Richard Bacon, Mr David Borrow, Mr Graham Brady, Mr Stephen Byers, Mr Martin Caton, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mrs Janet Dean, Mr Piara S. Khabra, John Mann, Mr David Miliband, Dr John Pugh, Mr Laurence Robertson, Mr Sin Simon, Derek Twigg and Mr Phil Willis.

    6    Draft Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed David Taylor Chairman of the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Regulations; and

    (2) The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Mark Francois from the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations); and nominated in substitution Mr James Clappison.

    7    Draft Contracting Out (Administration of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme) Order 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has appointed David Taylor Chairman of the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Order, in place of Mr Peter Atkinson; and

    (2) The Committee of Selection has discharged Anne Picking from the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Jim Sheridan.

    8    Draft State Pension Credit (Decisions and Appeals-Amendment) Regulations 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Regulations to the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Charlotte Atkins, Mr Clive Betts, Mr Julian Brazier, Mr David Clelland, Tom Cox, Mr David Crausby, Mr David Curry, Maria Eagle, Dr Hywel Francis, Mr Paul Goodman, Paul Holmes, Mr Mark Lazarowicz, Margaret Moran, Mr Ken Purchase, Angela Watkinson and Steve Webb.

    9    Draft Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and draft Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Regulations to the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Michael Clapham, Mr Edward Davey, Barbara Follett, Mr Philip Hammond, Dr Evan Harris, Mr Eric Joyce, Mr Edward Leigh, Tom Levitt, Sandra Osborne, Joyce Quin, Mrs Barbara Roche, Andrew Selous, Dr Gavin Strang, Mr Desmond Swayne, Mrs Betty Williams and Mr Phil Woolas.

    10    Draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Supply of Services) Order 2003 and draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Part 8 Domestic Infringements) Order 2003,-The Speaker has appointed Mr Bill Olner Chairman of the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Order, in place of Mr Joe Benton.

    11    Draft Referral Orders (Amendment of Referral Conditions) Regulations 2003,-The Speaker has appointed Mr George Stevenson Chairman of the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the draft Regulations.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Defence,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence Committee [Lessons of Iraq]; to be printed [No. 695-ii] [Mr Bruce George].

    2    Draft Corruption Bill,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Corruption Bill; to be printed [No. 705-vi] [Mr Richard Shepherd].

    3    Environmental Audit,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Budget 2003 and Aviation]; to be printed [No. 672-ii] [Mr John Horam].

    4    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,-(1) Fifth Special Report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [Government's Reply to the Fifth Report from the Committee, Session 2002-03, on the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000]; to be printed [No. 748];

    (2) Sixth Special Report from the Committee [Government's Reply to the Fourth Report from the Committee, Session 2002-03, on The Water Framework Directive]; to be printed [No. 749]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Gangmasters]; to be printed [No. 691-iii]

    [Mr David Curry].

    5    European Scrutiny,-Twenty-third Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 63-xxiii] [Mr Jimmy Hood].

    6    Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions,-(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee [Living Places: Cleaner, Safer, Greener]; to be printed [No. 673-iii] [Chris Mole];

    (2) First Special Report from the Committee [Government Response to the Sixth Report of the Committee, Session 2002-03, on the Licensing Bill [Lords] and the Evening Economy)]; to be printed [No. 750] [Andrew Bennett]; and

    (3) Memoranda laid before the Committee [draft Housing Bill]; to be printed [No. 751-II] [Andrew Bennett].

    7    Public Accounts,-(1) Twenty-sixth Report from the Committee [Safety, quality, efficacy: regulating medicines in the UK]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 505];

    (2) Twenty-seventh Report from the Committee [The Management of Substitution Cover for Teachers]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 473]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Fisheries Enforcement in England]; to be printed [No. 752-i]

    [Mr Edward Leigh].

    8    Trade and Industry,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Trade and Industry Committee [The Impact of the Introduction of 'Direct Payment' on Post Office Business]; to be printed [No. 718-iii] [Mr Martin O'Neill].

    9    Treasury,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub-Committee of the Treasury Committee [HM Customs and Excise Spring Departmental Report 2003]; to be printed [No. 746-i] [Mr John McFall].


[W.H., No. 65]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

The sitting commenced at half-past Nine o'clock.

    Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned-(Mr Jim Murphy);

    And the sitting having continued for two and a half hours after Two o'clock, it was adjourned without Question put, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 4.30 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst  
Deputy Speaker      



 
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