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House of Commons
Session 1998-99
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 3rd February 1999

The House met at half-past Nine o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Adjournment,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn—(Mr Greg Pope);
 
        And it being Two o'clock, the Motion for the adjournment of the House lapsed, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
2City of London (Ward Elections) Bill,—The Order of the day being read, for the Second Reading of the City of London (Ward Elections) Bill;
 
        Ordered, That the Bill be read a second time on Tuesday 9th February.
3Scottish Enterprise Bill,—Mr Andrew Welsh reported from the First Scottish Standing Committee, That it had gone through the Scottish Enterprise Bill, and directed him to report the same, without Amendment.
 
        Bill, not amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered to-morrow.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 220].
4Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Bowen Wells reported from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Apportionment of Money in the National Lottery Distribution Fund Order 1999.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
5Insolvency Act 1986 (Amendment),—Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Insolvency Act 1986 so as to disqualify from appointment as receiver or liquidator of a company any person or company called in to carry out a financial appraisal of that company: And that Mr Richard Page, Mr Andrew Rowe, Mr Tony Colman, Mr Andrew Lansley, Mr Robin Corbett and Mr Richard Spring do prepare and bring it in.
6Insolvency Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill,—Mr Richard Page accordingly presented a Bill to amend the Insolvency Act 1986 so as to disqualify from appointment as receiver or liquidator of a company any person or company called in to carry out a financial appraisal of that company: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 26th February and to be printed [Bill 40].
7Opposition 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.
 
        The Government's Record on Pensions,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes the Government has failed pensioners and thrown away a unique opportunity for reform; deplores their attack on pensioners through the abolition of the ACT dividend tax credit, which will cost pensioners and all future pensioners £5 billion per year; believes the Government has further hurt occupational schemes by increasing the regulatory and cost burden in the pensions Green Paper; rejects the Government's proposals, which will make pension provision more complex and offer no real security for pensioners in the future; and condemns the Government for their extensions of means-testing in the welfare and pensions system, which will undermine the incentive to save—(Mr Iain Duncan Smith);
 
        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's approach to pensions reform, set out in its Green Paper, Partnership in Pensions; congratulates the Government on its determination to end the scandal of pensions mis-selling and its plans to strengthen the financial regulatory system; commends the Government on its commitment to economic stability and low inflation, which helps pensioners; believes that its reforms to the corporate tax system, which will result in the lowest-ever rate of Corporation Tax, will be in the long-term interest of companies, shareholders and pensioners; and approves of the Government's introduction of the Minimum Pension Guarantee, Winter Fuel Payments, the re-introduction of free eye tests and commitment to concessionary travel for the elderly as part of its strategy to provide security in retirement', instead thereof.—(Mr Secretary Darling.)
 
        And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Sir David Madel, Mr Stephen Day: 185.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Greg Pope, Mr Clive Betts: 327.
 
        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 Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.
 
        Resolved, That this House commends the Government's approach to pensions reform, set out in its Green Paper, Partnership in Pensions; congratulates the Government on its determination to end the scandal of pensions mis-selling and its plans to strengthen the financial regulatory system; commends the Government on its commitment to economic stability and low inflation, which helps pensioners; believes that its reforms to the corporate tax system, which will result in the lowest-ever rate of Corporation Tax, will be in the long-term interests of companies, shareholders and pensioners; and approves of the Government's introduction of the Minimum Pension Guarantee, Winter Fuel Payments, the re-introduction of free eye tests and commitment to concessionary travel for the elderly as part of its strategy to provide security in retirement.
 
        Planning and the Green Belt,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House regrets decisions by the Government to allow large-scale development in the countryside; deplores the fact that the Government has failed to publish revised planning guidance, despite its promise to do so 12 months ago, which has led to further erosion of the green belt and greenfield sites; expresses concern at the confusion that will be caused by the role given to the regional development agencies in planning issues; and urges the Government to enhance the protection of the countryside, while encouraging urban regeneration, by ensuring an increasing share of new housing is built on brownfield sites—(Mr Simon Burns);
 
        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 continued commitment to protecting the countryside, including green belts, and promoting sustainable regeneration in towns and cities; recognises that the Government's decentralised and integrated policy approach, as stated in Planning for Communities of the Future, Modernising the Planning System and A New Deal for Transport, is helping to achieve more sustainable and equitable patterns of urban and rural development; welcomes the Government's commitment strictly to control development in the open countryside and to increase the proportion of new housing on previously-developed land in urban areas, smaller towns and villages from 40 per cent in the mid-1980s to 60 per cent; recognises the need to replace the previous predict and provide approach to the issue of household growth with a more flexible decentralised system, involving realistic regional targets for the building of new homes on recycled land, tighter controls on urban sprawl, new regional and housing planning guidance to ensure the adoption of sustainable solutions to housing development and more rigorous and detailed assessment of land availability; and believes that the Government's inter-linked policies for urban regeneration and protection of the countryside will enhance the quality of life for people in both rural and urban areas,' instead thereof.—(Mr Nick Raynsford.)
 
        And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;
 
        Mr James Arbuthnot 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, Sir David Madel, Mrs Caroline Spelman: 164.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Jane Kennedy, Mr David Clelland: 320.
 
        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 David Clelland, Jane Kennedy: 318.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Sir David Madel, Mrs Caroline Spelman: 160.
 
        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 continued commitment to protecting the countryside, including green belts, and promoting sustainable regeneration in towns and cities; recognises that the Government's decentralised and integrated policy approach, as stated in Planning for Communities of the Future, Modernising the Planning System and A New Deal for Transport, is helping to achieve more sustainable and equitable patterns of urban and rural development; welcomes the Goverment's commitment strictly to control development in the open countryside and to increase the proportion of new housing on previously-developed land in urban areas, smaller towns and villages from 40 per cent in the mid-1980s to 60 per cent; recognises the need to replace the previous predict and provide approach to the issue of household growth with a more flexible decentralised system, involving realistic regional targets for the building of new homes on recycled land, tighter controls on urban sprawl, new regional and housing planning guidance to ensure the adoption of sustainable solutions to housing development and more rigorous and detailed assessment of land availability; and believes that the Government's inter-linked policies for urban regeneration and protection of the countryside will enhance the quality of life for people in both rural and urban areas.
8European Communities,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 11th January, be approved—(Mr David Hanson):—It was agreed to.
9European Communities,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft European Communities (Immunities and Privileges of the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission) Order 1999, which was laid before this House on 11th January, be approved—(Mr David Hanson):—It was agreed to.
10Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from the Hospitalfields Area Residents Committee relating to environmental problems in the Hospitalfields area was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
11Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr David Hanson.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till five minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.55 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam 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:
1Government Trading Funds,—Draft National Health Service Estate Management and Health Building Agency Trading Fund Order 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dobson].
2Local Government Finance (Wales),—(1) Local Government Finance Report (Wales) 1999-2000, and
 
        (2) Local Government Finance (Amendment) Report (Wales) 1998-99
 
    [by Act]; to be printed [Nos. 203 and 204] [Mr Secretary Michael].
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
3Agriculture,—Miscellaneous Products of Animal Origin (Import Conditions) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 157), dated 26th January 1999 [by Act] [Mr Nicholas Brown].
4National Health Service,—National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Establishment and Constitution) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 220), dated 2nd February 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dobson].
Other Papers:
5Gas Levy,—Accounts prepared pursuant to section 6(3) of the Gas Levy Act 1981 for 1997-98, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 215] [Clerk of the House].
6Government Trading Funds,—Treasury Minute, dated 3rd February 1999, concerning a further financial objective desirable of achievement by the Forensic Science Service Trading Fund for the period 1st April 1999 to 31st March 2002 [by Act] [Mr Alan Milburn].
7Industrial Organisation and Development,—Accounts prepared pursuant to the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947 of the sums recovered by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under Orders made under section 9 of the Act, and of their disposal, for 1997-98, with the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 216] [Clerk of the House].
8Treaty Series (No. 6, 1999),—Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, done at Madrid on 4th October 1991 [by Command] [Cm.4256] [Mr Secretary Cook].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
1Hallmarking (Hallmarking Act Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1998, No. 2978):
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation and has appointed Mr Jim Cunningham Chairman; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz.: Mr Tony Benn, Mr Christopher Chope, Dr David Clark, Mr Tim Collins, Mr Brian Cotter, Mr Terry Davis, Dr Kim Howells, Mr Nigel Jones, Mr Ian Pearson, Mr Greg Pope, Bridget Prentice, Ms Debra Shipley, Sir Teddy Taylor, Mr Jon Trickett, Sir Raymond Whitney and Dr Tony Wright.
2Draft Railways (Rateable Values) (Scotland) Order 1999:
 
        (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation and has appointed Mr George Stevenson Chairman; and
 
        (2) the Committee of Selection has appointed sixteen Members to serve on the Committee, viz: Norman Baker, Dr Lynda Clark, Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Mr Tam Dalyell, Mr Brian H. Donohoe, Mr Oliver Letwin, Mr Tim Loughton, Mr John McAllion, Mr Calum Macdonald, Mrs Anne McGuire, Mr Frank Roy, Mr Malcolm Savidge, Sir Robert Smith, Dr Gavin Strang, Mr Charles Wardle and Mr James Wray.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Defence,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Defence Committee [The Future of NATO]; to be printed [No. 39-iv] [Mr Bruce George].
2European Scrutiny,—Eighth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 34-viii] [Mr Jimmy Hood].
3Foreign Affairs,—(1) Second Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee [Sierra Leone], 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. 116]; and
 
        (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Sierra Leone]
 
    [Mr Donald Anderson].
4Modernisation of the House of Commons,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons [The Main Committee]; to be printed [No. 194-ii] [Margaret Beckett].
5Northern Ireland Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee [Operation of the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989: Ten Years On]; to be printed [No. 95-v] [Mr Peter Brooke].
6Public Accounts,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts [BBC World Service]; to be printed [No. 219-i] [Mr David Davis].
7Science and Technology,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Science and Technology Committee [Director General of the Research Councils]; to be printed [No. 202-i] [Dr Michael Clark].
8Scottish Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Scottish Affairs Committee [Inward/Outward Investment]; to be printed [No. 84-v] [Mr David Marshall].
9Social Security,—(1) Second Report from the Social Security Committee [Family Credit Fraud], with an Appendix; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 217];
 
        (2) Third Report from the Committee [Disability Living Allowance]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 63]; and
 
        (3) Memorandum laid before the Committee [Disability Living Allowance]
 
    [Mr Archy Kirkwood].



 
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