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Mr. Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton): Further to that point of order, Sir Michael. The hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) has drawn your attention to one problem and I wish to draw it to another. The Division bell did not ring on my corridor and I did not know that the Division was on until I happened to look up at the Annunciator. I am sorry to say—and I confess to the Whips accordingly—that I could not vote, and I would therefore be grateful if you could have the functioning of the bells investigated.

The Second Deputy Chairman: I have heard both points of order. They will be recorded in the Official Report and I am sure that they will both be investigated.

5.45 pm

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Chope: Clause 1 goes to the heart of the Bill. We are against the Bill and against clause 1 in particular because it will effectively raise the rate of income tax on everybody, even those with very modest incomes. People on just £4,615 a year will have a marginal rate of tax next year of 21 per cent., instead of 20 per cent. The clause is in breach of the Government's promises made before the general election. It will provide more money for the health service but without the reforms that we see as an essential part of any extra funding.

Dawn Primarolo: Clause 1 provides the changes to the class 1 primary contributions paid by employees and lays out the increase to 11 per cent. up to the upper earnings limit and then the 1 per cent. beyond. The people of Britain have clearly stated that they wish the health service in the UK to be the best in the world. They also recognise that to have the best health service in the world, the resources need to be made available. They have also stated loudly and clearly that they believe that they should pay to ensure that that first-class health service is delivered fairly, based on the Beveridge principles. That funding will ensure that we can correct the underinvestment over which the Conservatives presided in their terms of office. It will ensure that the NHS is available comprehensively and on the basis of need, not ability to pay. I commend clause 1 to the Committee.

Dr. Evan Harris: I rise briefly to express my astonishment that the Conservatives can oppose a clause standing part without saying what they would put in its place. Clause 1 will provide significant additional funding for health services, and the Conservatives oppose the raising of those resources. However, they are unwilling to state which hospitals they would close, which health service staff they would not employ, which drugs would not be provided or what other taxes they would raise. That is not responsible opposition and it is certainly not effective opposition. Because we need the resources for the health service, the Liberal Democrats will support clause 1 standing part of the Bill.

John Mann (Bassetlaw): The Sunday Telegraph, which is known as a reputable newspaper that takes a wonderful

10 Jun 2002 : Column 631

array of polls—doubtless with extreme accuracy—managed to come up with a figure of 76 per cent. of the public approving of the 1 per cent. increase in national increase contributions to fund the health service. That is certainly mirrored in my postbag.

I recall challenging the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) to put a question about national insurance contributions on his excellent website, alongside those on immigration and asylum. Indeed, I offered the services of my webmaster to assist with framing such a question. Unfortunately, my kind offer was rebuffed, so we still do not have the definitive view from Aylesbury. However, the view from Bassetlaw, as I know from visiting the Bassetlaw district general hospital and talking to patients and staff, has been unanimous. A cross-section of 60 staff held a unanimous view. Indeed, not one was interested in talking about the 1 per cent. increase coming out of their salary.

Patients were also unanimous in their view. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Health kindly accompanied me on the visit. Every patient whom she and I saw in a visit lasting two and a half hours was asked his or her view, and it was unanimous. I do not expect the unanimity felt in Bassetlaw, which has an excellent hospital and a tradition of good NHS provision, to be mirrored 100 per cent. in every corner of the United Kingdom. However, a figure of 76 per cent. across the country is reasonable.

Mr. Bercow: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. We first jousted in 1986 and carried on doing so on Lambeth council until 1990. As I told him then, I thought that he was a peculiar individual, and nothing in the intervening 16 years has caused me to revise that opinion. Does he accept that people are likely to be anxious about a tax when they pay it and not before? Does he appreciate that, faced with the prospect of giving modest and gentle assent to his arguments or being embroiled in a lengthy and anorakish exchange in the middle of a hospital, some of his constituents might have decided that it was easier and less painful to ignore him?

John Mann: The pain is greatly reduced by the fact that we were celebrating the first anniversary of the day care centre at Bassetlaw district general hospital, which, as my hon. Friend the Minister said, is the best facility that she has ever seen anywhere in the national health service.

The hon. Gentleman refers back to May 1986, when he and I were both elected to Lambeth council. That was just when the Conservative increases in employers' national insurance contributions kicked in. I do not recall him hiding away in horror because of that during our successful campaign to get elected, or, indeed, the electorate raising the issue at all, let alone with any great ferocity. The issue throughout our campaign was the health service and how to fund it.

Finally, there is obviously a great air of anticipation about the World cup. I commend Radio 5 Live for its superb coverage; I have listened to it at every opportunity when travelling in my constituency over the past two weeks. On 31 May, two hours before the World cup was about to kick off, it took its road show to Ashford in

10 Jun 2002 : Column 632

Kent, where it had a large screen. It asked French business people why they were doing business in Ashford. One after the other, they stated that France was a high-tax economy in which to do business while Britain was at the moment a low-tax economy, and that that was why they had relocated from France to Britain, under this Government. I rest my case.

Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 315, Noes 125.

Division No. 255
[5.55 pm


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barrett, John
Barron, Kevin
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brake, Tom
Breed, Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bruce, Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Burstow, Paul
Cairns, David
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Carmichael, Alistair
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chidgey, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corston, Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Doughty, Sue
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ewing, Annabelle
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Francis, Dr Hywel
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew (St Ives)
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Harvey, Nick
Healey, John
Heath, David
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca–Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kirkwood, Archy
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laws, David
Lazarowicz, Mark
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNamara, Kevin
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moore, Michael
Moran, Margaret
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Price, Adam
Primarolo, Dawn
Pugh, Dr John
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Ryan, Joan
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheridan, Jim
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tyler, Paul
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
Webb, Steve
Weir, Michael
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wishart, Pete
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe and
Mr. Nick Ainger.


Amess, David
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Barker, Gregory
Baron, John
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Cameron, David
Chope, Christopher
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fox, Dr Liam
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward
Gibb, Nick
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hammond, Philip
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heathcoat–Amory, Rt Hon David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Norman, Archie
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Pickles, Eric
Prisk, Mark
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Ruffley, David
Sayeed, Jonathan
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (Mid–Norfolk)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Yeo, Tim
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Desmond Swayne and
Mr. John Randall.

Question accordingly agreed to.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 635

Clause 2

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