Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Mr. Clifton-Brown: The one thing on which the House can agree is that the Bill is important and that we want it on the statute book as soon as possible.

The Minister uses an interesting device to try to reject the amendment—threatening us that it could delay the implementation of the measure. She has certainly anticipated that she will not accept our amendment so that she can bring forward the implementation of the measure. That is a new parliamentary device and we may be breaking new ground. However, I hope that the Minister will keep an open mind as to the amendments that we have not yet debated.

I remind the Minister of the genesis of the Bill. As long ago as 10 October 1997, Michael Matthews took his case to the European Court. The Court hearing was on 28 November 2000, and on 17 February 2001 the Deputy Prime Minister announced that primary legislation would be introduced to amend the law so as to equalise at 60 the age at which men and women qualified for travel concessions.

The Government have had a huge amount of time to put the Bill on to the statute book, so there is no excuse for them not to accept our relatively straightforward and wholly fair amendment. Surely, if a council is out of pocket due to the obligations imposed on it by the Government, it should be reimbursed by the Government.

Mr. Don Foster (Bath): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Clifton-Brown: May I make one more point?

The Minister mentioned the system of fair burdens. My hon. Friend the Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham) referred to the remarks of the Minister for the Environment and I repeat the Minister's words. He said:

The Opposition take the view that if the Government impose any duties on local government, they should be fully funded. If the Government impose duties, the Government should fund them.

31 Jan 2002 : Column 463

I shall now give way to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster)—[Interruption.] He no longer wants to intervene so I must have dealt with the point that he wanted to make.

Mr. Foster: Very effectively.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: I may be damned with faint praise later, so I shall keep going while I am ahead.

Mr. Chope: Will my hon. Friend address the fallacy in the Minister's argument that the authorities under the greatest financial pressure were those with the most generous schemes? Surely, the authorities that did not have generous schemes were under financial pressure—that is why their schemes were not generous. They wanted the money that would flow from the Government under the new system to enable them to introduce more generous schemes.

2.45 pm

Mr. Clifton-Brown: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. The Minister's argument was fallacious in that respect.

Ms Keeble: We have just heard a different version of what I said. I said that those local authorities that had traditionally had the most generous concessionary fares schemes were those that would be the most likely to be under financial pressure as a result of the Government using this formula. Those were not the authorities represented by Conservative Members—they were places such as Merseyside and the west midlands.

Mr. Clifton-Brown: Until I read the record, I shall not be entirely sure whether the Minister has repeated what she said before or whether she is saying something slightly different. The argument still sounds fallacious, so I shall need to examine the record carefully. My hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) is right: the smaller rural authorities are likely to be most disadvantaged by the provisions of the Bill.

We have held a long debate on the subject and we need to move on. The Opposition remain dissatisfied that the Government are introducing extra burdens for local authorities—especially small authorities. Because of that and because the Minister has not wholly convinced us that the Bill would be fair, we shall seek to divide the House so that our local authorities can see that we are protecting their interests to the full.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 128, Noes 262.

Division No. 150
[2.46 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, Rt Hon Michael
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John
Barrett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bellingham, Henry
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Julian
Bruce, Malcolm
Burstow, Paul
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cotter, Brian
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland & Melton)
Duncan Smith, Rt Hon Iain
Fabricant, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger
Garnier, Edward
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gibb, Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, John
Heald, Oliver
Hendry, Charles
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
May, Mrs Theresa
Moore, Michael
Murrison, Dr Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Randall, John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Simmonds, Mark
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stunell, Andrew
Swire, Hugo
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul
Viggers, Peter
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Peter Luff and
Mr. Peter Atkinson.


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Casale, Roger
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davidson, Ian
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Galloway, George
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Grogan, John
Hain, Rt Hon Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Harman, Rt Hon Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDougall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Edward
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Wareing, Robert N
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Woodward, Shaun
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Ivor Caplin and
Mr. Nick Ainger.

Question accordingly negatived.

31 Jan 2002 : Column 466

Mr. Don Foster: I beg to move amendment No. 4, in page 1, line 21, at end insert—

Next Section

IndexHome Page