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Session 2004 - 05
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 19th January 2005

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

PRAYERS.

1    Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mrs Irene Adams reported from the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Representation of the People (Variation of Limits of Candidates' Election Expenses) (City of London) Order 2005.

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

2    Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Nigel Beard reported from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Value Added Tax (Food) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3343).

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

3    Opposition Day [2nd 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.

    Value for Taxpayers' Money,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes that the Government has increased taxes 66 times and has failed to give value for taxpayers' money; is concerned that independent commentators believe that taxes will have to be increased under the Government's spending plans; and calls for a change of direction away from the path of more waste and higher taxes to a path of value for money and lower taxes.—(Mr George Osborne);

    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 'believes that economic stability is the foundation for continued investment in public services; welcomes therefore the lowest inflation since the 1960s, lowest interest rates for 40 years and the longest period of economic growth for 200 years; further welcomes this Government's record investment in public services; believes that it is important to ensure taxpayer value for money and therefore welcomes the fact that the Government is making efficiency savings to release resources into frontline services; further welcomes the fact that Sir Peter Gershon has identified over 20 billion efficiency savings across the public sector and notes that he said that to go further than the efficiencies he identified would put at risk the delivery of frontline public services; and further believes that any proposal to make cuts in public spending would not only damage frontline public services but the economy as a whole.', instead thereof.—(Mr Paul Boateng.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Gregory Barker, Mr Peter Atkinson: 147.

      Tellers for the Noes, Bridget Prentice, Mr Jim Murphy: 358.

    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 economic stability is the foundation for continued investment in public services; welcomes therefore the lowest inflation since the 1960s, lowest interest rates for 40 years and the longest period of economic growth for 200 years; further welcomes this Government's record investment in public services; believes that it is important to ensure taxpayer value for money and therefore welcomes the fact that the Government is making efficiency savings to release resources into frontline services; further welcomes the fact that Sir Peter Gershon has identified over 20 billion efficiency savings across the public sector and notes that he said that to go further than the efficiencies he identified would put at risk the delivery of frontline public services; and further believes that any proposal to make cuts in public spending would not only damage frontline public services but the economy as a whole.

    Needs of farming and rural communities,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House regrets that self sufficiency in indigenous food and drink products has fallen significantly since 1997; supports the principle in CAP reform of decoupling support from production but believes that the Government has failed to consider the implications for the countryside and food security of its inept implementation of this reform by creating a complex system of entitlements and cross compliance wholly contrary to the objective of simplification whilst failing to reduce the current burden of regulation or to enable farmers to compete with imported food not produced to British standards; laments the fact that there are now more officials in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs than there are dairy farmers in Britain, and that the workforce in agriculture has fallen by 15 per cent; recognises that many landscape features of the English countryside were created by historic farming practices and believes that the promotion of biodiversity and care of the countryside is best achieved by a profitable agricultural industry; and considers that the continued attacks on the countryside through unacceptable levels of development, an obsession with wind farms and the closure of rural services are the actions of a Government with no instinctive understanding of the needs of farming and rural communities—(Mr James Paice);

    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 Government's commitment to farming and rural communities set out in the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food and Rural Strategy 2004; applauds the Government's commitment to invest more than 500 million over three years in sustainable food and farming; commends the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy secured by the Government in June 2003, which will be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity in 2005; congratulates the Government's record on public service delivery in rural areas; further commends the 239 million allocated over six years to 2003-04 through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant for new and improved rural transport services; further applauds the increase in the resources available for regional development agencies to regenerate the rural economy; further welcomes schemes in place to provide affordable housing in rural areas; praises the efforts to retain the rural post office network; further congratulates the Government's action to protect and enhance the rural environment; and calls upon the Government to continue pursuing a strategy based on long term policies to regenerate British agriculture, improve rural services and revitalise the rural economy as a whole.', instead thereof.—(Alun Michael.)

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

    David Maclean 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, Gregory Barker, Mr Peter Atkinson: 189.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Nick Ainger, Mr Vernon Coaker: 322.

    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, Mr Vernon Coaker: 308.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Peter Atkinson, Gregory Barker: 182.

    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 Government's commitment to farming and rural communities set out in the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food and Rural Strategy 2004; applauds the Government's commitment to invest more than 500 million over three years in sustainable food and farming; commends the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy secured by the Government in June 2003, which will be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity in 2005; congratulates the Government's record on public service delivery in rural areas; further commends the 239 million allocated over six years to 2003-04 through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant for new and improved rural transport services; further applauds the increase in the resources available for regional development agencies to regenerate the rural economy; further welcomes schemes in place to provide affordable housing in rural areas; praises the efforts to retain the rural post office network; further congratulates the Government's action to protect and enhance the rural environment; and calls upon the Government to continue pursuing a strategy based on long term policies to regenerate British agriculture, improve rural services and revitalise the rural economy as a whole.

4    Deferred Divisions,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions), That, at this day's sitting, Standing Order No 41A (Deferred Divisions) shall not apply to the Question on the Motion in the name of Mr Peter Hain relating to the Electoral Commission—(Mr Tom Watson):—It was agreed to.

5    Electoral Commission,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation) and Order [21st December 2004], That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will re-appoint as Electoral Commissioners, with effect from 19th January 2005:

    (1) Pamela Joan Gordon for the period of two years; and

    (2) Sir Neil William David McIntosh KBE for the period of three years—(Mr Tom Watson):—It was agreed to.

    Address to be presented to Her Majesty by such Members of the House as are of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council or of Her Majesty's Household.

6    Local Government,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Local Authorities' Plans and Strategies (Disapplication) (England) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 10th January, be approved—(Mr Tom Watson):—It was agreed to.

7    Public Petitions,—Resolved, That this House approves the recommendations in paragraphs 5 and 8 of the Fifth Report from the Procedure Committee, Session 2003-04, on Public Petitions, House of Commons Paper No. 1248.—(Mr Tom Watson.)

8    Fire and Rescue Services,—Ordered, That the Fire and Rescue Services (National Framework) (England) Order 2004 (S.I., 2004, No. 3217), dated 7th December 2004, be referred to a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.—(Mr Tom Watson.)

9    Non-Domestic Rating,—Ordered, That the Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Rate Relief) (England) Order 2004, (S.I., 2004, No. 3315), dated 14th December 2004, be referred to a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.—(Mr Tom Watson.)

10    Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Tom Watson.)

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

[Adjourned at 7.51 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    London Government,—Transport for London (Consequential Provisions) Order 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 56), dated 17th January 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Darling].

2    Social Security,—Social Security Pensions (Home Responsibilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 48), dated 12th January 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Johnson].

3    Water Industry,—Water Industry (Charges) (Vulnerable Groups) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 59), dated 16th January 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

Other Papers:

4    Marshall Aid Commemoration,—Report of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission for 1st October 2003 to 30th September 2004 [by Command] [Cm. 6418] [Mr Secretary Straw].

5    Miscellaneous (No. 15, 2000),—Revised Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention, done at Aarhus (Denmark) on 25th June 1998 [Cm. 4736], on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters [by Command] [Mr Secretary Straw].

6    Standards in Public Life,—Tenth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life: Getting the Balance Right, Implementing Standards of Conduct in Public Life [by Command] [Cm. 6407] [The Prime Minister].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    Consumer Credit Bill:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Gregory Barker, Mr John Battle, Malcolm Bruce, Chris Bryant, Alistair Burt, Mr James Clappison, Paul Farrelly, Mr Mark Lazarowicz, Sir Brian Mawhinney, Mr James Plaskitt, Lawrie Quinn, Mr Sin Simon, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe, Mark Tami, Dr Jenny Tonge and Mr Tom Watson.

2    Drugs Bill:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Ms Hazel Blears, Mr Crispin Blunt, Mr Alistair Carmichael, Mr Michael Clapham, Mr Nigel Evans, Caroline Flint, Mrs Cheryl Gillan, Mr Tom Harris, Mr John Heppell, Dr Brian Iddon, Mr John MacDougall, John Mann, Mr Mark Oaten, Ms Dari Taylor, Mr Mark Todd and Angela Watkinson.

3    Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) Order 2005:

    (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: Mrs Angela Browning, Mr Frank Doran, Clive Efford, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Mr Calum MacDonald, Mrs Anne McGuire, Rosemary McKenna, Anne Picking, Bridget Prentice, Mr Ernie Ross, Andrew Selous, Sir Robert Smith, Mr David Stewart, Dr Gavin Strang and Pete Wishart.

4    Draft Child Trust Funds (Amendment) Regulations 2005:

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

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr John Burnett, Mrs Janet Dean, Mr Michael Fallon, Jim Fitzpatrick, Mr Nick Gibb, Mr Piara S. Khabra, Mr David Laws, Ian Lucas, Julie Morgan, Dr Doug Naysmith, Mr George Osborne, Mr Geoffrey Robinson, Mr David Ruffley, Jonathan Shaw, Ian Stewart and Mr Stephen Timms.

5    Draft Local Authorities (Contracting Out of BID Levy Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) 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 sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Peter Atkinson, Virginia Bottomley, Paul Clark, Mr Edward Davey, Mr Brian H. Donohoe, Jeff Ennis, Mrs Lorna Fitzsimons, Matthew Green, Mr Philip Hammond, Phil Hope, Mr John Lyons, Mr Greg Pope, Mr Terry Rooney, Mr Mohammad Sarwar, Mr John Taylor and Joan Walley.

6    Draft Representation of the People (Variation of Limits of Candidates' Election Expenses) (City of London) Order 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Ms Debra Shipley from the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Mr Liam Byrne.

European Standing Committees

7    European Union Documents Nos. 7170/04, 7147/04, 7172/04, 7149/04, 7148/04 and 7150/04 relating to the Third Railway Package, have been referred to European Standing Committee A.

8    European Union Documents Nos. 15237/04 and 15390/04, relating to fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks in 2005 and 2006, have been referred to European Standing Committee A.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Culture, Media and Sport,—Second Report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [Work of the Committee in 2004], to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 253] [Sir Gerald Kaufman].

2    Draft Mental Health Bill,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill; to be printed [No. 95-x]; and

    (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 95-xi]

    [Mr George Howarth].

3    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—(1) Second Report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [Dismantling Defunct Ships in the UK: Government Response]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 257];

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Climate Change: Looking Forward]; to be printed [No. 130-iii];

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Progress on Pesticides Sub-Committee of the Committee [Progress on Pesticides]; to be printed [No. 258-i]; and

    (4) Memorandum laid before the Committee [Badgers and Bovine TB]

    [Mr Michael Jack].

4    Environmental Audit,—(1) First Report from the Environmental Audit Committee [Housing: Building a Sustainable Future?], 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.135];

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [The international Challenge of Climate Change: UK leadership in the G8 & EU]; to be printed [No.105-v];

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [Pre-Budget 2004: the road ahead]; to be printed [No. 261-i]; and

    (4) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Education Sub-Committee [Environmental Education: Follow-up to the Learning the Sustainability Lesson Inquiry]; to be printed [No. 84-v]

    [Mr Peter Ainsworth].

5    European Scrutiny,—Fourth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 38-iv] [Mr Michael Connarty].

6    Human Rights,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on Human Rights [International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination]; to be printed [No. 263-i]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Review of International Human Rights Instruments]; to be printed [No. 264-i]

    [Jean Corston].

7    Northern Ireland Affairs,—(1) First Report from the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [The work of the Committee in 2004], together with Appendices; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 262]; and

    (2) Minutes of evidence taken before the Committee [The Functions of the Northern Ireland Policing Board]; to be printed [No. 108-ii]

    [Mr Michael Mates]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Sub Committee of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [Air Transport Services in Northern Ireland]; to be printed [No. 53-vi] [Mr Tony Clarke].

8    Procedure,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Procedure Committee [Sub Judice Rule of the House of Commons] ; to be printed [No. 125-ii] [Sir Nicholas Winterton].

9    Public Accounts,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Energywatch and Postwatch: Helping and protecting consumers]; to be printed [No. 260-i] [Mr Edward Leigh].

10    Science and Technology,—(1) Second Special Report from the Science and Technology Committee [The Use of Science in UK International Development Policy: Government Response to the Committee's Thirteenth Report, Session 2003-04]; to be printed [No. 235];

    (2) Third Report from the Committee [Office of Science and Technology: Scrutiny Report 2004]; 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.8]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Human reproductive technologies and the law]; to be printed [No. 7-iii]

    [Dr Ian Gibson].

11    Scottish Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Scottish Affairs Committee [Meeting Scotland's Future Energy Needs]; to be printed [No. 259-i] [Mrs Irene Adams].

12    Transport,—(1) First Report from the Transport Committee [Work of the Committee in 2004]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 251]; and

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Road Pricing]; to be printed [No. 218-ii]

    [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

13    Welsh Affairs,—First Report from the Welsh Affairs Committee [Work of the Committee in 2004]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 256] [Mr Martyn Jones].

14    Work and Pensions,—Second Report from the Work and Pensions Committee [The Performance of the Child Support Agency], 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. 44 -I and -II] [Sir Archy Kirkwood].

[W.H., No. 12]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

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

Adjournment,—Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.—(Mr Nick Ainger.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 4.41 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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