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House of Commons
Session 1998-99
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 11th May 1999

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.
PRAYERS.
1Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Jim Cunningham reported from the Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Education (School Organisation Committees) (England) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 700), the Education (School Organisation Plans) (England) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 701) and the Education (Transition to New Framework) (School Organisation Proposals) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 704).
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
2Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr George Stevenson reported from the Fifth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the Education (Budget Statements and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 486).
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
3Twelfth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,—Mr Jimmy Hood reported from the Twelfth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Potato Industry Development Council (Amendment) Order 1999.
 
        Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.
4Fuel Poverty and Energy Conservation Bill,—The Order for reading the Fuel Poverty and Energy Conservation Bill a second time on Friday was read and discharged.
 
        Bill withdrawn.
5Control of Fireworks,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to ban the sale of fireworks to the general public; to provide for a licensing system for firework displays; and for connected purposes—(Sir Teddy Taylor);
 
        And the Motion being opposed, after a brief explanatory statement from the Member who made the Motion and from a Member who opposed it, the Speaker put the Question pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in bills and nominations of select committees at commencement of public business):—It was agreed to.
 
        Ordered, That Sir Teddy Taylor, Mr Richard Shepherd, Mr Stephen Pound, Christine Butler, Mr Andrew Mackinlay, Mr John Cryer, Angela Smith, Mr Ken Livingstone, Ms Diane Abbott, Mr Paul Burstow and Mr John Randall do prepare and bring in the Bill.
6Control of Fireworks Bill,—Sir Teddy Taylor accordingly presented a Bill to ban the sale of fireworks to the general public; to provide for a licensing system for firework displays; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 23rd July and to be printed [Bill 97].
7Opposition Day [11th 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 Pensions Policy,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes that the Government's proposed pensions reforms are in chaos and will do great damage to long-term savings and pension provision, especially occupational pension schemes and Group Personal Pensions; that, unless changes are made which have been called for by Her Majesty's Opposition, the stakeholder pension will be an expensive failure; further believes the Minimum Income Guarantee combined with the proposed State Second Pension will constitute a massive extension of means-testing; and condemns the Government's complacency and incompetence which will ensure millions of future pensioners will be forced into dependence on state handouts in retirement—(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 tackle 18 years of abject failure on the part of the Conservative government to put pensions provision on a proper footing and rejects the Conservative plans to privatise pension provision; commends the Government's commitment 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 Income 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, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Tim Collins: 134.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Greg Pope, Jim Dowd: 362.
 
        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 commends the Government's approach to pensions reform, set out in its Green Paper "Partnership in Pensions"; congratulates the Government on its determination to tackle 18 years of abject failure on the part of the Conservative government to put pensions provision on a proper footing and rejects the Conservative plans to privatise pension provision; commends the Government's commitment 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 Income 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.
 
        Implications of Scottish and Welsh Devolution for the Westminster Parliament,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House believes that the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales need to work not only in the interests of the people of Scotland and Wales but for all the people of the United Kingdom and calls upon the Government to address the imbalances and tensions introduced by the establishment of the devolved bodies; urges the Government to abandon plans for electoral reform at Westminster in the light of experience in Scotland and Wales; and calls upon all unionist parties to resist resurgent nationalism in every part of the UK—(Dr Liam Fox);
 
        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 establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales, following the elections on 6th May, and the prospect of working co-operatively with these bodies and in particular the opportunity this presents to make government more democratic, accountable and inclusive within the context of a stronger Union', instead thereof.—(Mrs Helen Liddell.)
 
        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, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Tim Collins: 121.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mr Robert Ainsworth, Mr Clive Betts: 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);
 
        The House divided.
 
          Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Clive Betts, Mr Robert Ainsworth: 349.
 
          Tellers for the Noes, Mrs Eleanor Laing, Mr Tim Collins: 118.
 
        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 establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales, following the elections on 6th May, and the prospect of working co-operatively with these bodies and in particular the opportunity this presents to make government more democratic, accountable and inclusive within the context of a stronger Union.
8Public Petitions,—A Public Petition from residents of the constituency of Swindon South and others was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
9Public Petitions,—Public Petitions from residents of the constituencies of—
 
        (1) Hitchin and Harpenden, and
 
        (2) St Ives
 
    against hunting with dogs were presented; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.
10Adjournment,—Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr David Hanson.)
 
        And accordingly the House, having continued to sit till four minutes to Eleven o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.
[Adjourned at 10.56 p.m.
Betty Boothroyd
Speaker        

Madam Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Nine o'clock.

APPENDIX I
Papers presented or laid upon the Table:
Papers subject to Negative Resolution:
1Education,—(1) Education (Nursery Education and Early Years Development) (England) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1329),
 
        (2) Harrow College (Government) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1328), and
 
        (3) Harrow College (Incorporation) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1327),
 
    dated 10th May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Blunkett].
2Local Government,—Local Government (Publication of Staffing Information) (England) (Revocation) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1267), dated 4th May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
3Police,—(1) NCIS (Complaints) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1273), and
 
        (2) National Crime Squad (Complaints) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1266),
 
    dated 29th April 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Straw].
4Public Passenger Transport,—Public Service Vehicles (Community Licences) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1322), dated 10th May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Prescott].
5Road Traffic,—Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (County Borough of Neath Port Talbot) Order 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 1288), dated 5th May 1999 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Michael].
Other Papers:
6Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies (Northern Ireland),—Northern Ireland Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies Report for 1998 [by Command] [Cm. 4334] [Secretary Marjorie Mowlam].
7National Audit,—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the Arts Council of England: Monitoring major capital projects funded by the National Lottery [by Act]; to be printed [No. 404] [Clerk of the House].
8National Health Service,—Statement of Guarantee given by the Secretary of State for Health on 5th May 1999 on loans proposed to be raised by the Isle of Wight Healthcare National Health Service Trust [by Act] [Mr Secretary Dobson].
APPENDIX II
Standing Committees
Education (Education Standards Etc. Grants) (England) Regulations 1999 (S.I., 1999, No. 606),—The Speaker has appointed Mr Joe Benton Chairman of the Seventh Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation in respect of the Regulations, in place of Mrs Ray Michie.
APPENDIX III
Reports from Select Committees
1Agriculture,—(1) Third Special Report from the Agriculture Committee [Government Reply to the Second Report from the Committee, on CAP Reform: Rural Development]; to be printed [No. 441];
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Outcome of the CAP Reform Negotiations]; to be printed [No. 442-i]; and
 
        (3) Memoranda laid before the Committee [Sea Fishing; Outcome of the CAP Reform Negotiations]
 
    [Mr Peter Luff].
2Environmental Audit,—(1) Fifth Report [Genetically Modified Organisms and the Environment: Co-ordination of Government Policy], 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. 384]; and
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee [The Greening Government Initiative]; to be printed [No. 426-ii]
 
    [Mr John Horam].
3Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment Sub-Committee of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee [The Departmental Annual Report 1999]; to be printed [No. 440-i] [Mr Andrew F. Bennett].
4International Development,—Third Report from the International Development Committee [Kosovo]; 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. 422] [Mr Bowen Wells].
5Procedure,—Memoranda laid before the Procedure Committee [Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill] [Mr Nicholas Winterton].
6Statutory Instruments,—Eighteenth Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be printed [No. 50-xviii] [Mr David Tredinnick].
7Trade and Industry,—(1) Seventh Report from the Trade and Industry Committee [Electronic Commerce], 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. 187]; and
 
        (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee [Trading, Trade Marks and Competition]; to be printed [No. 380-iii]
 
    [Mr Martin O'Neill].
8Treasury,—Minutes of Evidence taken before the Treasury Committee [Effect of Kosovo on Public Finances; Public Service Agreements]; to be printed [No. 378-iii] [Mr Giles Radice].



 
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