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Session 2003 - 04
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 13th October 2004

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

PRAYERS.

1    First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Bill Olner reported from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Roads (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.

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

2    Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Alan Hurst reported from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Legal Services Ombudsman (Extension of Remit) Regulations 2004.

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

3    European Standing Committee C,—Mr Edward O'Hara reported from European Standing Committee C, That it had agreed to the following Resolution:

    That the Committee takes note of European Union Document No. 8875/04, Commission Communication entitled Fostering Structural Change: an Industrial Policy for an Enlarged Europe; and supports the actions proposed by the Commission to facilitate the process of structural change, namely better lawmaking, better exploitation of synergies between different Community policies impacting on competitiveness and analysis of the specific needs of various sectors; but believes that such analysis should concentrate on sectors with potential for growth.

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

4    Tenant Obligations and Vetting Arrangements,—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to establish minimum obligations to be imposed on new tenants; to make provision about the vetting of such tenants; and for connected purposes: And that Mr Stephen McCabe, Mr David Amess, Mr Adrian Bailey, Mr Liam Byrne, Mr Tony Clarke, Mr Ivan Henderson, Andy King, Siobhain McDonagh, Ms Gisela Stuart, Mr John Taylor and Mr Anthony D. Wright do prepare and bring it in.

5    Tenant Obligations and Vetting Arrangements Bill,—Mr Stephen McCabe accordingly presented a Bill to establish minimum obligations to be imposed on new tenants; to make provision about the vetting of such tenants; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 15th October and to be printed [Bill 161].

6    Opposition Day [18th allotted day],—It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.

    Pensions and Welfare Reform,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House condemns the Government's continued failure to bring forward proposals to strengthen pensions and savings or to reform the welfare state; takes note of the deeply worrying interim findings of the Turner Commission and of the contrast between the Commission's detailed analysis and the Prime Minister's empty and inadequate rhetoric on pensions and welfare reform; further notes with concern the high levels of economic inactivity; condemns the lack of incentive to make private pension provision and the failure to help 1.7 million people, including many of the poorest pensioners, who are entitled to the Pension Credit but do not receive it; regrets the failure of the Government to address the crisis in state, personal and company pensions; observes that the Pensions Bill is still widely regarded as poorly drafted and that the Pension Protection Fund does not provide the 'guarantee' claimed for it by Ministers; and urges the Government to join the growing consensus of organisations representing pensioners, pension providers, employers and trade unions that the basic state pension needs to be significantly improved and that the spread of means-testing should be reversed so that older people can be assured of dignity and security in retirement—(Mr David Willetts);

    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 Pensions Report commissioned by the Government; notes that it reinforces the conclusions of the 2002 Green Paper identifying the need for all to work longer or save more; commends the Government's commitment to face the challenges of an ageing society and to tackle inactivity by helping those who want to work; welcomes Pension Credit, benefiting over 3.1 million people, and the state second pension, helping millions build decent second pensions; further welcomes new tax credits making a huge difference to saving incentives for 3 million lower earners; commends steps to restore confidence in pensions through the Pension Protection Fund and the 400 million Financial Assistance Scheme; notes the Government's commitment to tackling age discrimination, and to rewarding those continuing to work after state pension age; believes both main Opposition parties' policies are unaffordable and do nothing for the very poorest; notes that Conservative policies would create a 500 million deficit within four years and be unsustainable in the longer term; commends proposals building on the Government's historic success in tackling pensioner poverty, which will continue to build a pension system with the basic state pension at its core, while still helping the poorest and offering saving incentives for hard-working families', instead thereof.—(Mr Secretary Johnson.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Hugo Swire, Mr Peter Atkinson: 201.

      Tellers for the Noes, Margaret Moran, Mr Tom Watson: 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, Margaret Moran, Mr Tom Watson: 308.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Hugo Swire, Gregory Barker: 192.

    So the Question was agreed to.

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

    Resolved, That this House welcomes the Pensions Report commissioned by the Government; notes that it reinforces the conclusions of the 2002 Green Paper identifying the need for all to work longer or save more; commends the Government's commitment to face the challenges of an ageing society and to tackle inactivity by helping those who want to work; welcomes Pension Credit, benefiting over 3.1 million people, and the state second pension, helping millions build decent second pensions; further welcomes new tax credits making a huge difference to saving incentives for 3 million lower earners; commends steps to restore confidence in pensions through the Pension Protection Fund and the 400 million Financial Assistance Scheme; notes the Government's commitment to tackling age discrimination, and to rewarding those continuing to work after state pension age; believes both main Opposition parties' policies are unaffordable and do nothing for the very poorest; notes that Conservative policies would create a 500 million deficit within four years and be unsustainable in the longer term; commends proposals building on the Government's historic success in tackling pensioner poverty, which will continue to build a pension system with the basic state pension at its core, while still helping the poorest and offering saving incentives for hard-working families.

7    Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Joan Ryan.)

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

[Adjourned at 7.58 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 Affirmative Resolution

1    Environmental Protection,—Draft Landfill Allowances and Trading Scheme (England) Regulations 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

2    Environmental Protection (Northern Ireland),—Draft Landfill (Maximum Landfill Amount) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

3    Agriculture,—Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2640), dated 11th October 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

4    Food,—Olive Oil (Marketing Standards) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2661), dated 12th October 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

5    Income Tax,—Energy-Saving Items (Deductions for Expenditure etc.) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2664), dated 13th October 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [John Healey].

6    Tax Credits,—Tax Credits (Miscellaneous Amendments No. 3) Regulations 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 2663), dated 13th October 2004 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Dawn Primarolo].

Other Papers:

7    European Communities (No. 6, 2004),—Decision, done at Brussels on 28th April 2004, of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 28th April 2004 concerning Privileges and Immunities granted to ATHENA, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 6345] [Mr Secretary Straw].

8    European Communities (No. 7, 2004),—Agreement, done at Brussels on 28th April 2004, between the Member States of the European Union concerning Claims introduced by each Member State against any other Member State for Damage to any Property owned, used or operated by it or Injury or Death suffered by any Military or Civilian Staff of its Services, in the context of an EU Crisis Management Operation, with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Cm. 6346] [Mr Secretary Straw].

9    School Standards and Framework,—Accounts of the—

    (1) Bedford Education Action Zone;

    (2) Dudley Education Action Zone;

    (3) Greenwich Education Action Zone;

    (4) North Gillingham Education Action Zone;

    (5) North Islington Education Action Zone;

    (6) Slough Education Action Zone;

    (7) Southend Education Action Zone;

    (8) Wednesbury Education Action Zone;

    (9) Withernsea and Southern Holderness Education Action Zone; and

    (10) Wolverhampton Education Action Zone

    for 2003-04, with the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 1102, 1109, 1104, 1111, 1110, 1103, 1108, 1106, 1107 and 1105] [Clerk of the House].

10    Treasury,—Treasury Minute on the Twenty-seventh Report from the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 2003-04 [by Command] [Cm. 6332] [Mr Stephen Timms].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    Mental Capacity Bill:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee A; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated nineteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr David Atkinson, Mr Peter Atkinson, Mr Kevin Barron, Mr Tim Boswell, Mrs Angela Browning, Mr Paul Burstow, Mr Liam Byrne, Mr Tom Clarke, Mrs Claire Curtis-Thomas, Dr Hywel Francis, Paul Holmes, Mrs Joan Humble, Mr David Lammy, Laura Moffatt, Ms Meg Munn, Bridget Prentice, Ann Winterton, Ms Rosie Winterton and David Wright.

2    Civil Partnership Bill [Lords]:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee D; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated eighteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr John Bercow, Mr David Borrow, Malcolm Bruce, Chris Bryant, Mr Alistair Carmichael, Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Parmjit Dhanda, Mr Jeffrey M. Donaldson, Mr Alan Duncan, Angela Eagle, Mr Andrew Love, Mrs Anne McGuire, Ann McKechin, Andrew Selous, Mr Sin Simon, Jacqui Smith, Mr David Stewart and Mr Tom Watson.

3    Draft Roads (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mrs Helen Clark and Patrick Hall from the First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Mr Colin Pickthall and Phil Sawford.

4    Government's Assessment under section 5 of the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Richard Bacon, Gregory Barker, Mr Henry Bellingham, Mr Clive Betts, Peter Bottomley, Mrs Helen Clark, Jim Fitzpatrick, Alan Howarth, Helen Jones, Norman Lamb, Mr David Laws, Judy Mallaber, Rob Marris, Mr Brian Sedgemore, Ian Stewart and Mr Stephen Timms.

5    Draft Primary Medical Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2004:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Richard Burden, Ross Cranston, Jon Cruddas, Mr Adrian Flook, Mr Robert Jackson, Miss Melanie Johnson, Mr Peter Luff, Mr Alan Meale, Dr Andrew Murrison, Lembit pik, Christine Russell, Joan Ryan, Alan Simpson, Llew Smith, The Reverend Martin Smyth and Claire Ward.

6    Draft Financial Assistance for Young Farmers (Northern Ireland) Order 2004:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated twenty-one Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Nick Ainger, Mr Harold Best, Ms Karen Buck, David Burnside, Mr Tony Clarke, Mr Jeffrey M. Donaldson, Andrew George, Mr Roger Godsiff, Mr James Gray, Mr Tom Harris, Dr Brian Iddon, Lynne Jones, Mr Peter Luff, Mr Michael Mates, Mr Ian Pearson, Mr Stephen Pound, Mr Mohammad Sarwar, Mr Paul Stinchcombe, Mr John Taylor (Solihull), Mr David Tredinnick and Iain Wright.

7    Value Added Tax (Disclosure of Avoidance Schemes) (Designations) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 1933), and the Value Added Tax (Groups: eligibility) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 1931):

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Dr Vincent Cable, John Cryer, Mr Jim Cunningham, Julia Drown, Jim Fitzpatrick, Mr Mark Francois, Mr Ivan Henderson, Mr David Laws, Mr Terry Lewis, Dawn Primarolo, Mr David Ruffley, Mr Richard Shepherd, Ms Debra Shipley, Mr Ian Taylor, Mr Bill Tynan and Mrs Betty Williams.

8    Draft Local Authorities (Indemnities for Members and Officers) Order 2004:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Paul Clark, Mr Huw Edwards, Linda Gilroy, Matthew Green, Phil Hope, Helen Jackson, Mr Peter Kilfoyle, Andy King, Mr John MacDougall, Mr Eric Pickles, Bob Spink, Mr Gerry Steinberg, Mr Hugo Swire, Mr Michael Trend, Dr Alan Whitehead and Richard Younger-Ross.

9    Draft Damages (Variation of Periodical Payments) Order 2004:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Peter Atkinson, Mr John Burnett, Geraint Davies, Mr Jonathan Djanogly, Mr David Heath, Mr Michael Jack, Mr David Lammy, Mr Iain Luke, Mr David Marshall, Dan Norris, Anne Picking, Bridget Prentice, Sir John Stanley, Jon Trickett, Dr Desmond Turner and Mr Mike Wood.

European Standing Committees

10    European Union Document No. 11491/04, relating to the Common Agricultural Policy: reform of the sugar sector, has been referred to European Standing Committee A.

11    European Union Documents Nos. 11557/04 and 11495/04 and Addenda 1-9, relating to the financing of agricultural and rural development policy, have been referred to European Standing Committee A.

12    European Union Documents Nos. 11890/04 and 11981/04 and Addenda 1-2, relating to the fight against fraud, have been referred to European Standing Committee B.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Defence,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence Committee [Duty of Care]; to be printed [No. 620-vi] [Bruce George].

2    Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry,—Memoranda laid before the Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committees [Strategic Export Controls]; to be printed [No. 390-II] [Mr Roger Berry].

3    Draft Mental Health Bill,—Memoranda laid before the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill; to be printed [No. 1127-i] [Mr George Howarth].

4    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—(1) Seventeenth Report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [Agriculture and EU Enlargement], together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 421];

    (2) Fifteenth Special Report from the Committee [Government's Reply to the Eleventh Report from the Committee, Session 2003-04, on the GM Planting Regime]; to be printed [No. 1128];

    (3) Sixteenth Special Report from the Committee [Government's Reply to the Twelfth Report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Session 2003-04, on Reform of the Sugar Regime]; to be printed [No. 1129];

    (4) Seventeenth Special Report from the Committee [Government's Reply to the Thirteenth Report from the Committee, Session 2003-04, on Bovine TB]; to be printed [No. 1130];

    (5) Minutes of Evidence taken before the draft Animal Welfare Bill Sub-Committee of the Committee [The draft Animal Welfare Bill]; to be printed [No. 1032-x];

    (6) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Agriculture and EU Enlargement];

    (7) Memorandum laid before the Committee [GM Planting Regime];

    (8) Memorandum laid before the Committee [Marine Environment]; and

    (9) Memorandum laid before the Committee [Biofuels]

    [Mr Michael Jack].

5    Environmental Audit,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Housing: Building a Sustainable Future?]; to be printed [No. 709-v] [Mr Peter Ainsworth].

6    European Scrutiny,—Thirty-second Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 42-xxxii] [Mr Jimmy Hood].

7    Health,—Memorandum laid before the Health Committee [Public Expenditure on Health and Personal Social Services 2004]; to be printed [No. 1113] [Mr David Hinchliffe].

8    Northern Ireland Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub-Committee of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [Waste Management Strategy in Northern Ireland]; to be printed [No. 637-v] [Mr Tony Clarke].

9    Public Accounts,—(1) Forty-seventh Report from the Committee of Public Accounts [The management of suspensions of clinical staff in NHS hospitals and ambulance trusts in England]; to be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 296]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Helping Farm Businesses in England]; to be printed [No. 1131-i]

    [Mr Edward Leigh].

10    Science and Technology,—(1) Twelfth Report from the Science and Technology Committee [Government support for Beagle 2]; together with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 711]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Human reproductive technologies and the law]; to be printed [No. 599-vii]

    [Dr Ian Gibson].

11    Transport,—(1) Sixteenth Report from the Transport Committee [Traffic Law and its Enforcement], together with the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 105-I and -II];

    (2) Seventeenth Report from the Committee [Cars of the Future], together with the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed, together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 319-I and -II];

    (3) First Special Report from the Committee [Government Response to the Eleventh Report from the Committee, on the National Rail Enquiry Service]; to be printed [No. 1132];

    (4) Second Special Report from the Committee [Government Response to the Ninth Report from the Committee, on Navigational Hazards and the Energy Bill]; to be printed [No. 1133]; and

    (5) Third Special Report from the Committee [Government Response to the Twelfth Report from the Committee, on the British Transport Police]; to be printed [No. 1134]

    [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

12    Treasury,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub-committee of the Treasury Committee [The Merger of Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue]; to be printed [No. 556-iii] [Mr John McFall].

13    Welsh Affairs,—Fourth Special Report from the Welsh Affairs Committee [The Powers of The Children's Commissioner for Wales: The Government Response to the Fifth Report of the Welsh Affairs Committee (Session 2003-04)]; to be printed [No. 1126]

    [Martyn Jones].

14    Work and Pensions,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Work and Pensions Committee [Child Support Agency]; to be printed [No. 928-ii];

    (2) Second Special Report from the Committee [Government Response to Third Report from the Work and Pensions Committee, DWP's Administration of IT Projects]; to be printed [No. 1125]; and

    (3) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Miscellaneous]

    [Sir Archy Kirkwood].

[W.H., No. 87]

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—(Bridget Prentice);

    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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