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Session 2005 - 06
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 12th July 2005

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

PRAYERS.

1    Identity Cards Bill,—Mr Jimmy Hood reported from Standing Committee D, That it had agreed to the following Resolution in respect of the Identity Cards Bill:

    That the Standing Committee recommends that the Programme Order of 28th June 2005 should be amended by substituting "Thursday 21st July" for "Tuesday 19th July".

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

2    Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Christopher Chope reported from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Railways (Convention on International Carriage by Rail) Regulations 2005.

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

3    Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—John Bercow reported from the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Local Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Order 2005.

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

4    Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Eric Illsley reported from the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2005.

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

5    Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—David Taylor reported from the Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (Code of Practice) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005.

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

6    Ninth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Greg Pope reported from the Ninth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Community Legal Service (Scope) Regulations 2005, the draft Community Legal Service (Cost Protection) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, and the Revised Funding Code prepared by the Legal Services Commission.

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

7    Tenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Janet Anderson reported from the Tenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2005.

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

8    Eleventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Mike Hancock reported from the Eleventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Financial Assistance Scheme Regulations 2005, and the draft Financial Assistance Scheme (Internal Review) Regulations 2005.

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

9    Computer Misuse,—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Computer Misuse Act 1990; and for connected purposes: And that Mr Tom Harris, Mr Ian Austin, Mr John Spellar, Gordon Banks, Michael Gove, Jessica Morden, Ms Emily Thornberry, David Mundell, Derek Wyatt, Charles Hendry, Mr Alan Reid and Michael Fabricant do prepare and bring it in.

10    Computer Misuse Bill,—Mr Tom Harris accordingly presented a Bill to amend the Computer Misuse Act 1990; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 2nd December and to be printed [Bill 42].

11    Opposition Day [5th 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.

    Tax Credits System,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House commends the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Citizens Advice Bureau on their reports on Tax Credits; notes with concern their conclusions that many thousands of low income families are suffering financial hardship as a result of the serious problems with the administration of tax credits; further notes the huge cost to the taxpayer of these problems; calls on the Government to implement as soon as possible all the Ombudsman's recommendations to improve the tax credit administration; in particular calls on the Government to adopt the Ombudsman's recommendation to set up a statutory test for recovery of excess payments of tax credits consistent with the test that is currently applied to social security benefits, with the right of appeal to an independent tribunal and calls on HM Revenue and Customs to suspend all recovery of tax credit overpayments until this reform has been completed; and calls on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain the Government's failure to provide low income families with the service they deserve; and requests that he conduct a fundamental review of the structure and administration of tax credits, as recommended by the Ombudsman.—(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 'supports the Government's strategy to make work pay and provide financial support to families through tax credits; welcomes the fact that over 6 million families and 10.5 million children are benefiting from tax credits, with first year take-up of around 80 per cent., compared to just 57 per cent. for the Family Credit system inherited by the Government; recognises that far more families than ever before are benefiting from help with childcare costs; notes that tax credits are central to the Government's goal of abolishing child poverty; further notes that tax credits have helped ensure there are 1.5 million fewer children in poverty and have helped 275,000 lone parents into work; recognises the need to balance the demands for a simple system with the need for a system that responds to people's changing circumstances, giving most help to families when they need it most; acknowledges the IT and administrative problems that accompanied the early stages of implementation; and welcomes the measures announced by the Government for improving the administration of the system', instead thereof.—(Mr Des Browne.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Henry Bellingham, Mr Peter Atkinson: 220.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Vernon Coaker, Mr Dave Watts: 305.

    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 supports the Government's strategy to make work pay and provide financial support to families through tax credits; welcomes the fact that over 6 million families and 10.5 million children are benefiting from tax credits, with first year take-up of around 80 per cent., compared to just 57 per cent. for the Family Credit system inherited by the Government; recognises that far more families than ever before are benefiting from help with childcare costs; notes that tax credits are central to the Government's goal of abolishing child poverty; further notes that tax credits have helped ensure there are 1.5 million fewer children in poverty and have helped 275,000 lone parents into work; recognises the need to balance the demands for a simple system with the need for a system that responds to people's changing circumstances, giving most help to families when they need it most; acknowledges the IT and administrative problems that accompanied the early stages of implementation; and welcomes the measures announced by the Government for improving the administration of the system.

    Implementation of the Licensing Act 2003,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes with concern that with only 25 days to go before the 6th August deadline set in the Licensing Act 2003, only 20 per cent. of licence applications have been received; further notes the chaos that this is creating both for the licensing trade and for local authorities; is concerned by the problems of extra cost that the legislation is creating for village halls, sports clubs and community centres; regrets the effect that this will have upon local communities; condemns the Government for its lack of action in dealing with the problem; and calls upon the Government to extend the deadlines for the receipt of applications and re-examine the impact upon village halls and sports clubs.—(Mrs Theresa May);

    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 'commends the Government on its effective publicity campaign that has significantly increased the rate of applications to convert existing licences under the Licensing Act 2003 before 6th August; encourages remaining licensees to fulfil their responsibilities and get their applications in before that date; considers that failure to implement the Act without delay would deny local communities increased powers of intervention and improved democratic accountability with regard to licensing and deny the police the expanded powers that are vital to their efforts to tackle alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour; welcomes the powers in the Act to prevent crime and disorder and public nuisance, and protect children from harm; believes that the Act will benefit local communities, local economies and tourism and generate savings for business of almost 2 billion over 10 years; and furthermore, believes that the Act will be successfully implemented by 24th November 2005 and will be welcomed by industry and non-commercial organisations, including village halls and sports clubs, alike', instead thereof.—(James Purnell.)

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Henry Bellingham: 193.

      Tellers for the Noes, Claire Ward, Tony Cunningham: 303.

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

    Resolved, That this House commends the Government on its effective publicity campaign that has significantly increased the rate of applications to convert existing licences under the Licensing Act 2003 before 6th August; encourages remaining licensees to fulfil their responsibilities and get their applications in before that date; considers that failure to implement the Act without delay would deny local communities increased powers of intervention and improved democratic accountability with regard to licensing and deny the police the expanded powers that are vital to their efforts to tackle alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour; welcomes the powers in the Act to prevent crime and disorder and public nuisance, and protect children from harm; believes that the Act will benefit local communities, local economies and tourism and generate savings for business of almost 2 billion over 10 years; and furthermore, believes that the Act will be successfully implemented by 24th November 2005 and will be welcomed by industry and non-commercial organisations, including village halls and sports clubs, alike.

12    Identity Cards Bill (Programme) (No. 2),—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 83A (Programme motions), That the Order of 28th June 2005 (Identity Cards Bill (Programme)) shall be amended, in paragraph 2, by substituting 'Thursday 21st July' for 'Tuesday 19th July.'—(Mr Parmjit Dhanda):—It was agreed to.

13    Northern Ireland,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 115 (Northern Ireland Grand Committee (delegated legislation)), That the draft Traffic Management (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 16th June, be approved—(Mr Parmjit Dhanda):—It was agreed to.

14    Health Care and Associated Professions,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Dentists Act 1984 (Amendment) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 26th May, be approved—(Mr Parmjit Dhanda):—It was agreed to.

15    Fees and Charges,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Consular Fees Act 1980 (Fees) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 16th June, be approved—(Mr Parmjit Dhanda):—It was agreed to.

16    Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from Prestwick Marine Neighbourhood Watch and others for legislation to enable the installation of closed-circuit television cameras on Prestwick seafront was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

17    Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from Karen Hook for a public inquiry into the lessons to be learnt from the treatment of whistle-blowers at BUPA was presented; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

18    Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Parmjit Dhanda.)

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

[Adjourned at 10.42 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    Constitutional Law,—Draft Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Darling].

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

2    Immigration,—Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules [by Act]; to be printed [No. 299], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Clarke].

3    Local Government,—Transport for London (Waterloo Station) Order 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 1866), dated 7th July 2005 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Darling].

Other Papers:

4    Broadcasting,—(1) Papers, entitled:

      (i) BBC Property: LST partnership arrangements—Ernst and Young review presented to the BBC Governors' Audit Committee, May 2005, and a response to the review from the BBC;

      (ii) The BBC's White City development: the second phase of the building project—NAO review presented to the BBC Governors' Audit Committee, May 2005, by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and a response to the review from the BBC;

      (iii) Credit management operations: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP review presented to the BBC Governors' Audit Committee, May 2005, and a response to the review from the BBC;

      (iv) Public service broadcasting: the BBC's performance measurement framework—NAO review presented to the BBC Governors' Audit Committee, May 2005, by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and a response to the review from the BBC; and

    (2) Report and Accounts of the British Broadcasting Corporation for 2004-05

    [by Command] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

5    Competition,—Account of the Competition Commission for 2004-05, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 327] [Clerk of the House].

6    Crown Estate,—(1) Account of the Crown Estate Commissioners for 2004-05, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 133]; and

    (2) Report and Accounts of the Crown Estate Commissioners for 2004-05, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]

    [Clerk of the House].

7    Data Protection,—Report and Accounts of the Information Commissioner's Office for 2004-05, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 110] [Clerk of the House].

8    Defence,—Government Responses to the—

    (1) Second Report from the Defence Committee, Session 2004-05, on the Armed Forces Bill; and

    (2) Third Report from the Defence Committee, Session 2004-05, on Duty of Care

    [by Command] [Cms. 6619 and 6620] [Secretary John Reid].

9    Enterprise,—Account of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Competition Service for 2004-05, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 326] [Clerk of the House].

10    Government Resources and Accounts,—Report and Accounts for 2004-05 of the—

    (1) Defence Dental Agency, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 238] [Secretary John Reid];

    (2) Defence Procurement Agency, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 108] [Secretary John Reid]; and

    (3) Employment Tribunals Service, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 180] [Secretary Alan Johnson].

11    Parliamentary Commissioner,—Fourth Report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, Session 2005-06 on: 'A Debt of Honour': The ex gratia scheme for British groups interned by the Japanese during the Second World War [by Act]; to be printed [No. 324] [Clerk of the House].

12    Prosecution of Offences,—Report of the Crown Prosecution Service for 2004-05 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 81] [The Solicitor General].

13    Transport,—Report and Accounts of British Waterways for 2004-05 [by Act] [Secretary Margaret Beckett].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    Draft Railways (Convention on International Carriage by Rail) Regulations 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr David S. Borrow from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations) and nominated in substitution Mr Gordon Prentice.

2    Draft Local Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Order 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Sadiq Khan from the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Liz Blackman.

3    Draft International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Harry Cohen, Mr Alan Meale, Albert Owen and Gwyn Prosser from the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Brian H. Donohoe, Andrew Gwynne and Mr Jamie Reed.

4    Draft Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (Code of Practice) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Ms Dari Taylor from the Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Mr Tom Harris.

5    Draft Community Legal Service (Scope) Regulations 2005, the draft Community Legal Service (Cost Protection) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, and the Revised Funding Code prepared by the Legal Services Commission,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Fabian Hamilton and Tony Lloyd from the Ninth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations and Revised Funding Code) and nominated in substitution Jessica Morden and Mrs Linda Riordan.

6    Draft National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Bernard Jenkin and Ian Stewart from the Tenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations) and nominated in substitution Charles Hendry and Mr Bob Laxton.

7    Draft Financial Assistance Scheme Regulations 2005 and the draft Financial Assistance Scheme (Internal Review) Regulations 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Danny Alexander and Paul Flynn from the Eleventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Regulations) and nominated in substitution Sandra Gidley and Andrew Miller.

8    Draft Companies Act 1989 (Delegation) Order 2005,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mrs Eleanor Laing from the Nineteenth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Mr James Arbuthnot.

    European Standing Committees

9    European Standing Committee,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Vernon Coaker, Mr John Hayes and Derek Twigg from the European Standing Committee.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

Statutory Instruments,—Second Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 35-ii] [Mr Eric Forth].

[W.H., No. 17]

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 John Heppell.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 1.59 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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