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Session 2005 - 06
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Monday 16th October 2006

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

PRAYERS.

1    Housing Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill,—The Order for reading the Housing Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill a second time on Friday 20th October was read and discharged.

    Bill withdrawn.

2    Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Exemption from Regulation) Bill,—The Order for reading the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Exemption from Regulation) Bill a second time on Friday 20th October was read and discharged.

    Bill withdrawn.

3    Opposition Day [19th 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.

    Future of the Post Office network and of Royal Mail,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes the Government is putting the future of the Post Office network and of Royal Mail at risk by their continued failure to take the tough and overdue decisions needed; further believes that many local post offices have closed or are under threat because of the uncertainty over the future of the subsidy to rural post offices after 2008 and the withdrawal of public sector business from the network, including the pension book, the television licence, passports and the decision to withdraw the Post Office card account when the existing contract expires in 2010; shares Postcomm's concern that over 6,500 remaining rural post office branches are vulnerable and could close over the next few years; further believes that the Post Office network provides significant social and economic benefits and can play a key role in tackling financial exclusion and helping rural and deprived urban communities to survive and thrive; further believes the delays in finalising the investment package for Royal Mail is undermining Royal Mail's ability to compete in the postal market following liberalisation last January threatening jobs and Royal Mail's market share; and therefore calls on the Government to end this paralysis in decision-making at the heart of Government so that the Post Office network and Royal Mail can make the investments they need with greater certainty about a sustainable and stable commercial future—(Mr Edward Davey);

    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 'acknowledges the important role that post offices play in local communities, particularly in rural and deprived urban areas; recognises that the business environment in which Royal Mail and the Post Office network are operating is undergoing radical change with more and more people choosing new electronic ways to communicate, pay bills and access government services; applauds the Government's record of working closely with Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd and sub-postmasters to help them meet these challenges with an unprecedented investment of more than 2 billion made by the Government in supporting the network; acknowledges the important role post offices can play in tackling financial exclusion while recognising that the Government must also take due account of the need to deliver services efficiently; and acknowledges that the Government is committed to bringing forward proposals to help put Royal Mail and the Post Office network onto a sustainable footing', instead thereof.—(Jim Fitzpatrick.)

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

    Mr Adrian Sanders 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, Mr Jeremy Browne, Mr Roger Williams: 218.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Dave Watts, Huw Irranca-Davies: 295.

    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 acknowledges the important role that post offices play in local communities, particularly in rural and deprived urban areas; recognises that the business environment in which Royal Mail and the Post Office network are operating is undergoing radical change with more and more people choosing new electronic ways to communicate, pay bills and access government services; applauds the Government's record of working closely with Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd and sub-postmasters to help them meet these challenges with an unprecedented investment of more than 2 billion made by the Government in supporting the network; acknowledges the important role post offices can play in tackling financial exclusion while recognising that the Government must also take due account of the need to deliver services efficiently; and acknowledges that the Government is committed to bringing forward proposals to help put Royal Mail and the Post Office network onto a sustainable footing.

    Green tax switch,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House notes with alarm the rise in carbon emissions since the Government took office in 1997; believes that this record is in part due to the steady fall in taxation derived from green taxes from 3.6 per cent. of gross domestic product in 1999 down to 2.9 per cent. last year; notes opinion poll support for a green tax switch from people onto pollution; urges the Government to move from rhetorical assent on the need for action on climate change to serious policy proposals which will set annual targets to cut carbon emissions, allowing for natural variations from year to year, and establish an independent monitoring body to report on progress; and therefore calls on the Government to increase green taxes on new high-emission cars and on aviation while using revenue generated to cut direct taxes, particularly on low earners, so that there is no overall rise in the burden of taxation—(Chris Huhne);

    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 UK's climate change programme which has already put the UK on course to exceed its Kyoto target of a 12.5 per cent. cut in 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2008-12 and make further progress towards the Government's ambitious target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. by 2010; recognises the vital contribution of the Climate Change Levy, which has already saved 28 million tonnes of carbon emissions and by 2010 will be reducing carbon emissions by over seven million tonnes per year; congratulates the Government on exceeding its recycling target supported by the Landfill Tax and Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme and contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; commends introduction in the UK of the world's first international emissions trading scheme capping emissions from power stations and energy-intensive industries; further welcomes the Government's proposals for the second phase of the scheme in the UK; further welcomes the Government's energy review, which proposes measures to save up to a further 25 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year by 2020 and to put the UK economy on a path to a 60 per cent. cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050; congratulates the Government on its commitment to delivering a strong economy based on high and stable levels of growth and employment as well as high standards of environmental care; and calls upon the Government to continue to put environmental protection, locally, nationally and globally at the heart of its policies', instead thereof.—(Ian Pearson.)

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

    Mr Adrian Sanders 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, Mr Jeremy Browne, Paul Rowen: 66.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Michael Foster, Liz Blackman: 296.

    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 Michael Foster, Mr Frank Roy: 284.

      Tellers for the Noes, Bob Russell, Jenny Willott: 63.

    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 UK's climate change programme which has already put the UK on course to exceed its Kyoto target of a 12.5 per cent. cut in 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2008-12 and make further progress towards the Government's ambitious target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. by 2010; recognises the vital contribution of the Climate Change Levy, which has already saved 28 million tonnes of carbon emissions and by 2010 will be reducing carbon emissions by over seven million tonnes per year; congratulates the Government on exceeding its recycling target supported by the Landfill Tax and Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme and contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; commends introduction in the UK of the world's first international emissions trading scheme capping emissions from power stations and energy-intensive industries; further welcomes the Government's proposals for the second phase of the scheme in the UK; further welcomes the Government's energy review, which proposes measures to save up to a further 25 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year by 2020 and to put the UK economy on a path to a 60 per cent. cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050; congratulates the Government on its commitment to delivering a strong economy based on high and stable levels of growth and employment as well as high standards of environmental care; and calls upon the Government to continue to put environmental protection, locally, nationally and globally at the heart of its policies.

4    Northern Ireland Affairs,—Ordered, That Gordon Banks and Meg Hillier be discharged from the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and John Battle and Mr Denis Murphy be added.—(Rosemary McKenna, on behalf of the Committee of Selection.)

5    Public Petition,—A Public Petition from the residents of Hadleigh, Essex and others against a planned development in Park Chase, Hadleigh was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

6    Adjournment,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn—(Mr John Heppell);

    And the Motion having been made after Ten o'clock, and the Debate having continued for half an hour, the Speaker adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order, it being then Eleven o'clock, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 11 p.m.

Michael J. Martin

Speaker


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


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 13th October 2006 pursuant to Standing Order No. 158 (Presentation of command papers):

1    Science and Technology,—Government Reply to the Fifth Report from the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology, Session 2005-06, on Drug classification: Making a hash of it? [Cm. 6941] [Secretary John Reid].

Papers delivered to the Votes and Proceedings Office on Friday 13th October 2006 pursuant to Standing Order No. 159 (Presentation of statutory instruments):

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

2    Plant Health,—(1) Plant Health (Fees) (Forestry) Regulations 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2697), dated 10th October 2006;

    (2) Plant Health (Forestry) (Amendment) Order 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2696), dated 10th October 2006; and

    (3) Plant Health (Wood Packaging Material Marking) (Forestry) Order 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2695), dated 9th October 2006,

    with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [Secretary David Milliband].

Papers presented or laid upon the Table on Monday 16th October 2006:

Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:

3    Immigration,—Draft Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Juxtaposed Controls) (Amendment) Order 2006 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary John Reid].

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

4    Animals,—(1) Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) (England) Regulations 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2701), dated 10th October 2006; and

    (2) Equine Infectious Anaemia (Compensation) (England) Order 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2740), dated 12th October 2006,

    [by Act], with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [by Command] [Secretary David Miliband].

5    Companies,—Companies Act 1985 (Small Companies' Accounts and Audit) Regulations 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2782), dated 16th October 2006 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Darling].

6    National Health Service,—Special Trustees for the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, University Hospital National Health Service Trust (Transfer of Trust Property) Order 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2691), dated 11th October 2006 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Ms Secretary Hewitt].

7    Pensions,—Pension Protection Fund (Levy Ceiling) Regulations 2006 (S.I., 2006, No. 2692), dated 10th October 2006 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Hutton].

Other Papers:

8    Broadcasting,—Statement of Principles and Administrative Arrangements for Qualifying Revenue and Multiplex Revenue for Radio Licencees by the Office of Communications [by Act] [Secretary Tessa Jowell].

9    Constitutional Affairs,—Government Reply to the Seventh Report from the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Session 2005-06, on Freedom of Information—one year on [by Command] [Cm. 6937] [Ms Harriet Harman].

10    Criminal Justice and Court Services,—Consolidated Accounts of the Local Probation Boards for 2005-06, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 1588] [Clerk of the House].

11    Dentists,—Report and Accounts of the General Dental Council for 2005 [by Act] [Ms Harriet Harman].

12    National Audit,—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Rural Payments Agency: The Delays in Administering the 2005 Single Payment Scheme in England [by Act]; to be printed [No. 1631] [Clerk of the House].

13    National Loans,—Accounts of the—

    (1) Consolidated Fund; and

    (2) National Loans Fund

    for 2005-06, with the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 1630 and 1652] [Clerk of the House].

Papers withdrawn:

14    Immigration,—Draft Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Juxtaposed Controls) (Amendment) Order 2006 [laid 9th October].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill (Programming Sub-Committee),—The Speaker has appointed Jo Swinson in place of Mr Edward Davey as a member of the Programming Sub-Committee of Standing Committee B in respect of the Bill.

2    . Welfare Reform Bill,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr Ben Wallace from Standing Committee A (nominated in respect of the Bill); and nominated in substitution Adam Afriyie.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Communities and Local Government,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Communities and Local Government Committee [Is there a future for Regional Government?]; to be printed [No. 977-viii]; and

    (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Planning Performance]

    [Dr Phyllis Starkey].

2    Education and Skills,—Fifth Report from the Education and Skills Committee [Public Expenditure], together with the 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. 1201] [Mr Barry Sheerman].

3    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee [The UK Government's "Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy"], together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 1250-iv] [Mr Michael Jack].

4    Public Accounts,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [Financial management in the NHS]; to be printed [No. 1662-i] [Mr Edward Leigh].



 
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