Mr Clarke: My hon. Friend talks common sense about where we are with the legal aid system. I still think it is important to have a legal aid system to enable vulnerable people and people at serious risk to protect their rights, even when they cannot afford a lawyer, but there are plenty of other things wrong with the justice system. We are bringing forward proposals to try to improve the efficiency of the courts. At present the courts provide a daunting experience to any member of

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the public who finds himself unlucky enough to have to go through any form of litigation. The delays, waste of time and cost are almost endemic in the system.

We are tackling the efficiency of the criminal justice system—that applies to the civil justice system just as much—to try to ensure that the whole legal process becomes part of the public service and is there to be used by people who have to use it, or have to do justice, with rather more efficiency and rather less daunting waste and inconvenience than is often the case at present. The costs must be brought down through large parts of the service.

Ian Lucas (Wrexham) (Lab): The Lord Chancellor is a respected parliamentarian. It has become increasingly clear during the statement that he does not agree with the sentencing policy that the Prime Minister has foisted on him in relation to the reduction of sentences. Why does he not be honest, be true to himself, retain respect and tell the Prime Minister where to go?

Mr Clarke: The Prime Minister, other colleagues in the Government and I have all had perfectly reasonable discussions about the criminal justice system. We all presented a package of proposals for consultation and we are presenting the same package today in response to that consultation. This is a sensible way of running a Government. I realise that politics has become a branch of the celebrity culture, but the idea that what is really interesting is whether the Prime Minister and I are arguing or whether the Prime Minister and I are agreeing is largely obscuring what I think is an extremely positive package of proposals which, after consultation, is better fitted to meet the aspirations that we all had when we embarked on the policy in the first place.

Jessica Lee (Erewash) (Con): It is a sad fact that half of adults leaving prison are reconvicted within a year of release, a legacy of the previous Government. I therefore welcome the proposal for a work programme for offenders in prisons. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that this should surely provide prisoners with a brighter future and prevent them from becoming a menace to society again, not least to the law-abiding citizens of Erewash?

Mr Clarke: I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. The figure she repeats—one in two ex-offenders will be caught and convicted within a year of leaving prison—is truly extraordinary. I agree that proper change is needed. We need to protect the public from the worst of that, and where prisoners have the gumption to respond and try to get themselves out of their way of life and become honest citizens again, we should make more of them do so. I am sure that that would be appreciated in Erewash, as it would across the rest of the country.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab): The Secretary of State invited us to look at what the situation will be four years down the line. Does he not expect there to be a larger and more expensive prison population, with prisoners serving very long sentences for some of the offences for which he is increasing the tariff, and that there will be a large number of people denied access to legal aid, fewer advice services, fewer CABs and a lot of people very disgruntled that justice is not available to them because they are too poor?

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Mr Clarke: I always believe that policy is best judged by results and that half the fuss that surrounds policy making completely fails to predict what will go right and wrong thereafter. I firmly believe—I am quite confident—this package of policies will not have the results that the hon. Gentleman fears, but we will both know in four years’ time. The whole purpose of the policies is to achieve the precise opposite of what he holds up as a possible outcome. We had to have radical reform, and it has to be carried forward in a business-like and sensible way to deliver a criminal justice system and access to civil justice of the kind we require.

Richard Graham (Gloucester) (Con): My constituents will welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement today that serious sexual offenders, such as those recently convicted for rape and assault in Barton street and Eastgate street in Gloucester, will now serve two thirds of their sentence in jail, rather than half. They will also welcome the fact that illegal immigrants will no longer have access to taxpayer-funded legal aid. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes run by organisations such as the Nelson Trust near my constituency in Stroud have an important role to play in these new policies?

Mr Clarke: I agree with my hon. Friend. It is far more sensible to have an appropriate determinate sentence, and serious sexual and violent offenders—those serving longer sentences—should go back to having to serve two thirds before being eligible for release. Indeed, if the Parole Board thinks that they should not be released, they should probably serve their whole term. That is far superior to the lottery of the IPP that we have at the moment. I strongly agree that we must do something to encourage the many people in the voluntary sector who want to work with ex-offenders and can successfully help those who can be rehabilitated to get themselves out of a life of crime.

Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): Parliamentarians on both sides of the House will welcome not only the Secretary of State’s statement, but the whole process. To be helpful to him, I wonder whether he could solve the economic problem overnight by sending the 11,000 foreign nationals incarcerated in prisons in England and Wales back home on a plane tomorrow and forget their human rights.

Mr Clarke: There are some measures in the consultation on the release of foreign national prisoners after they have served their tariff and conditional cautions for people who go away on the basis that we will not let them come back. Those are intended to reduce the rather ridiculous proportion of foreigners in the prison population. We are working with the UK Border Agency on the difficult problem of how to get people out of the country when they have no papers and the receiving country will not take them. My instincts are entirely those of my hon. Friend’s. It is quite absurd that 13% of the prison population are foreign nationals and we must work to get that figure down.

Several hon. Members rose

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Mr Speaker: Order. I am keen to accommodate remaining Back Benchers, but I reiterate my ritual appeal for brevity.

Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes) (Con): On legal aid for medical negligence cases, can the Secretary of State reassure the House that he has made an assessment and we are not going to end up transferring additional costs to the NHS Litigation Authority?

Mr Clarke: Obviously, the NHS Litigation Authority has been involved in our consultation, but at the moment I see no reason why that should be the consequence at all. Indeed, I think—I hope—that the NHS will be spared some of the more speculative litigation that has taken place, whereby people really hope that somebody will pay a kind of settlement to avoid incurring the further costs of resisting the claim. In genuine cases, we have to ensure access to justice, of course, because clinical negligence claims are very important, and we think that the no win, no fee system, as modified, is the best way of doing so.

Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) (Con): The Lord Chancellor said in his statement, “Public confidence in the criminal justice system is unacceptably low,” and sadly that is the case. Does he agree that only when sentencing policy more truly reflects public opinion will that confidence return?

Mr Clarke: Of course, and that is why I have stressed some of the measures that we are introducing today to try to send the right messages about serious violent and sexual crime and about knife crime. No sensible or civilised person in this country suggests anything other than serious punishment for crimes of that kind.

It is very difficult to win public confidence, because in the course of an ordinary life most people’s contact with the criminal justice system is very sporadic indeed, so most people do not know anything about indeterminate sentences, discounts for early guilty pleas or any of the things that we talk about here. I have a rather sad feeling that for as long as I can remember opinion polls have always said that people think sentences are too short and the criminal justice system is too lax, but, on sensible public opinion, we are their servants and we are trying to reassure them that the criminal justice system will, indeed, protect them, as it should do.

Mr David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford) (Con): Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that time in prison should be time well spent and, therefore, that education and training, rather than just leaving prisoners to languish in their cells, is absolutely essential?

Mr Clarke: I entirely agree with my hon. Friend, who has expertise in that subject, and I am working very closely with my right hon. and hon. Friends in the Department for Work and Pensions. What they are doing to improve the training and work opportunities of people in this country has to include ex-offenders, and we have to ensure that in parallel we do more to get our ex-offenders settled in work wherever the ex-offender is prepared to make the effort to get into honest employment.

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Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) (Con): I welcome the Secretary of State’s statement and, in particular, the abolition of legal aid for squatters resisting eviction. Can he clarify how much was spent on that in the past 10 years?

Mr Clarke: No. I shall have to write to my hon. Friend with that information, but I am grateful for his welcome. I do not know whether anyone would oppose this, but it is plainly wrong to make legal aid ordinarily available to people who, by definition, are squatting in properties for which they do not have a legal claim.

Amber Rudd (Hastings and Rye) (Con): Although I acknowledge the need for cuts to legal aid, may I share with the Secretary of State my concerns about local advice agencies, which sometimes provide essential local advice to the most vulnerable? Will he work closely with his ministerial colleagues to ensure that some provision is made for such agencies to continue?

Mr Clarke: I will take back to my ministerial colleagues the fact that several respected Members have made that point quite strongly in the course of these exchanges. We are discussing it, and we know that we have to respond to it. On the question of which Department will eventually announce the outcome, I am not quite sure, because several Departments are involved, but we are all seeking to find a solution to it.

Paul Maynard (Blackpool North and Cleveleys) (Con): The Howard League for Penal Reform’s recent report on short sentences makes it clear that one reason for the devastatingly high level of reoffending after sentences of under six months is a lack of adequate resettlement support for those leaving prison. In retaining shorter sentences, will the Secretary of State reassure me that more will be done to ensure that such prisoners are helped to have a useful and purposeful life after leaving prison?

Mr Clarke: I agree with my hon. Friend’s analysis. The reoffending rates are very bad for short-term offenders because they are often let out again without the follow-up that is given to more serious criminals. Of course, the problem is that one cannot simply extend the sentence. Short-term sentences remain suitable for some people. Indeed, some people do not really need help but would benefit from being put in prison—for example, uninsured drivers, about whom I was talking earlier today. People who are otherwise respectable and take no notice of the law by driving while uninsured will soon take notice if they are given a short prison sentence. They do not require rehabilitation when they are released; most will almost certainly not drive without insurance again. As for the others, we are where we are. Some people leave the magistrates no alternative because everything else has been tried and they keep offending. If we could get stronger community sentences and make them more magistrate-friendly, some of the people about whom my hon. Friend is concerned might be put on to a more constructive path that will help them to stop offending.

Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central) (Con): As a London MP, I warmly welcome my right hon. and learned Friend’s proposal to introduce mandatory sentences for adults who use a knife to threaten and endanger. He

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will know that many knife crimes are committed by younger offenders. May I implore him to send a similarly unambiguous message to those offenders?

Mr Clarke: I think the message from the whole House is that we disapprove of the carrying and using of knives. We keep striving to reverse what recently became, particularly in parts of London, almost a fashion for knife crime. I am sure that the offence that we are going to introduce will reinforce the message we are giving. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has also announced a whole package of measures on knife crime. The Government will take my hon. Friend’s advice in giving very high priority to this subject.

Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West) (Con): The Justice Secretary touched on the issue of clinical negligence, particularly in cases where litigation costs can often far exceed the actual sum insured. To echo the sentiment expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Dr Wollaston), can he give the House any guidance on measures that can be introduced to ensure an early resolution? The NHS Litigation Authority, trusts, GPs and consultants are often loth to admit liability, and that leads to undue costs and delayed and protracted negotiations.

Mr Clarke: A lot of that lies within the province of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Many people in the health service realise that the key way to proceed is to settle claims and pay up promptly when someone has obviously made a mistake, while fighting resolutely cases brought by people who are acting speculatively. Many cases could be resolved by better complaints procedures or by attempts to discuss the matter. One of the things we are exploring is the early exchange of reports so that both sides know exactly what expert evidence is available to them and do not hold their own evidence back, because that paves the way to a resolution of the claim. I am sure that everyone in the NHS is as anxious as my hon. Friend and I are to see some progress on this. Perhaps making legal aid less available in this area will stop some people being quite so litigious and make them a little more constructive about how to sort out a proper remedy.

Andrew Griffiths (Burton) (Con): My right hon. and learned Friend’s statements about knife crime will be welcomed by my constituent, Yvonne Upton, who has been campaigning since she lost her son, Connor, to somebody who chose to carry a knife on a night out.

As regards drugs in prison, does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that under the previous Government too many prisoners were on long-term methadone prescriptions and parked in state-induced dependency, and that getting those prisoners drug free with an abstinence programme is key to proper reform?

Mr Clarke: There are people with better clinical expertise on drug rehabilitation than I, but I share my hon. Friend’s instincts. We are seeking to make proper drug rehabilitation programmes work. There is obviously a danger that it sometimes becomes easier to maintain people on methadone, and that is going nowhere in

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some cases. I am sure that methadone has a place in all this, because people with more knowledge than I have insist that it does, but we are looking for proper rehabilitation wherever possible, with the aim of abstinence and making the person drug free.

Jane Ellison (Battersea) (Con): I warmly welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to making our prisons more drug free. A constituent of mine has become addicted while in prison and is desperate to get off his addiction lest he be drawn into circles of crime on his release. Can my right hon. and learned Friend make a commitment to do more for such people who want to get clean and go straight?

Mr Clarke: I hope that we can do more. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health is looking at drug rehabilitation services generally for people who do not offend, as well as for people who get themselves into trouble with the law. This is a very important area. The majority of crime in this country is linked directly or indirectly to drug abuse of some kind. The majority of prisoners have indulged in the abuse of drugs shortly before their admission to prison. It is essential that we respond to my hon. Friend’s plea that such programmes are supported and made more effective.

Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con): My constituents will welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement that more life sentences will be available to judges when dealing with serious, repeat and violent offenders. What offences that will cover and, specifically, which repeat offences will eventually carry the life tariff?

Mr Clarke: I think there will be an automatic increase in the number of life sentences when we get rid of IPPs. When indeterminate sentences were introduced, some of the people who were given IPPs were in really dangerous categories and had been convicted of offences for which life imprisonment was already the maximum offence. When we change it, judges will put such people back on life sentences. The whole IPP experiment was a mistake. We have indeterminate sentences in this country—they are called life sentences. They are better managed and are the proper way to deal with the most serious offenders. I think that some of the most serious offenders who get IPPs now will in the future get life sentences, just as judges always gave them before.

Mr Rob Wilson (Reading East) (Con): Many of my constituents want reassurance that the victims of crime will be properly catered for in the new Bill. What discussions has the Secretary of State had with the victims commissioner, and will he tell us a little about them?

Mr Clarke: I have very welcome conversations with the victims commissioner from time to time, and very much hope to involve her more closely than has been the case in the development of policy. Obviously, the concerns of victims should be at the heart of all that we do. I was told as I came in that the victims commissioner, Louise Casey, has just issued a statement about our

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announcements today. It is quite long and I will not read it all. [Hon. Members: “Go on!”] Well, I will read just the first sentence. She says that she sincerely welcomes

“the government’s response to the Green Paper consultation”

announced today. I will try to keep her support because it is extremely important that victims have confidence in what we are doing.

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): The transfer of foreign national prisoners is obviously not a simple issue. However, last year, Humberside police and East Riding of Yorkshire council brought to my attention the case of an EU national who had committed 33 crimes against the good people of Goole. We were told that deportation, if it did take place, could take up to two years. Surely it is completely and utterly unacceptable for any EU national to be in a British jail; they should be in their own countries in their own jails. Any EU nationals who are released from our jails should be deported immediately.

Mr Clarke: I am glad to say that there is an agreement on the transfer of prisoners within the European Union—[ Interruption. ] Yes, it was negotiated by the previous Government and it will come into force in November this year. Off the top of my head, only two countries, Ireland and Poland, have derogated from it and are delaying implementation. I look forward to the proper transfer of prisoners to all the other countries. It means that British criminals will be brought to our prisons to complete their sentences and that foreign prisoners will be returned elsewhere. We will see who benefits. It is obviously very sensible from every point of view.

We constantly consider with the UK Border Agency the quicker removal of prisoners who are due for deportation. I concede to the UKBA that deportation is not always as simple in individual cases as it is made to sound. It is difficult to get some countries to accept former prisoners, and it is, of course, difficult to get some people to go to other countries. Sometimes, their very identity or nationality is the subject of constant dispute.

Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): Should not judges and magistrates be made aware of the success or otherwise of their individual sentencing decisions, by being kept informed of the reoffending rates of the offenders whom they send down?

Mr Clarke: There is a lot of work going on about the transparency of justice and the publication of local figures. We all need to know more detail about what is being done at local level and what the consequences are of the administration of justice in our localities. I am sure that all the best magistrates would welcome some feedback and more information about what is happening as a result of their sentencing policy.

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Points of Order

4.55 pm

Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. We have today, for the second week in a row, had a written statement, followed by a prime ministerial press conference, followed by an oral statement. Last week it was on the Health and Social Care Bill, today it was on sentencing and legal aid. It is pretty unusual to have two statements on the same subject on the same day, but do you share my concern that it is discourteous to the House, because it means that the media have a chance to question Ministers on policy—the Prime Minister in the last two cases—before Members of this House get the chance to ask questions? As such, it is not in keeping with the spirit of our rules.

Mr Speaker: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order and for notice of it. I have made clear my view that important announcements of policy should be made first to this House, with the opportunity of questioning Ministers. Although I understand the pressures of the 24/7 news agenda, that remains my firm view. I am therefore uneasy at sequences of events in which a written ministerial statement is followed, or even preceded, by briefing outside the House, with the opportunity to question Ministers in the House by means of an urgent question or following an oral statement coming only some time later.

The House will recall that, on 20 July last year, it asked the Procedure Committee to consider whether the rules of the House should be changed. The Committee reported in February, and the Government’s reply was published a month ago. There are thus matters awaiting resolution by the House itself. In the meantime, the right hon. Gentleman may be assured that I will remain vigilant in the House’s interests, and will be ready to use my powers to permit questioning or debate if I see fit to do so, and indeed for such period as I see fit. I hope that is helpful.

Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I wish to show that there are concerns on both sides of the House, and to tell the shadow Leader of the House that I did not think he went far enough. Last night on Sky News, Jon Craig reported not only the detail of the statement but the media schedule. The policy was also reported in this morning’s newspaper. That clearly cannot be in order under current practices.

Mr Speaker: I note what the hon. Gentleman has said, and I think that the House will have noted it as well. I do not think I need to add to what he has said, but I am nevertheless grateful to him.

Helen Jones (Warrington North) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. We shall shortly be considering a very important motion on the recommittal of the Health and Social Care Bill, and I understand that the Secretary of State for Health is not going to be here to move it and be questioned on it. Have you had any communication from the Secretary of State about his presence or otherwise, or has he simply resigned or gone out looking for another job before he is pushed?

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Mr Speaker: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her point of order. I would simply say that no, I have had no indication on that matter. Of course, she and I came into the House together in 1997, and she will be as aware as I am that precisely who moves motions on the part of the Government is a matter for the Government. I think I know the Minister who is going to move the motion, and if he wants to respond he is perfectly welcome to do so. He is under no obligation, but he may.

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr Simon Burns): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. It might help you and the hon. Member for Warrington North (Helen Jones) if I point out that the precedents for recommittals are not that common, but that if one looks at the previous recommittal, it was done in 2003, by the then Minister of State, one Mr Tony McNulty.

Mr Speaker: I am grateful to the Minister of State. I think that we will leave that as a no-score draw or a score draw, as the case may be. I am happy to take any further points of order, but if the House’s appetite has been satisfied, we will move on.

Bill Presented

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Mr Secretary Kenneth Clarke, supported by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mrs Secretary May, Mr Secretary Lansley, the Attorney-General and Mr Jonathan Djanogly, presented a Bill to make provision about legal aid; to make further provision about funding legal services; to make provision about costs and other amounts awarded in civil and criminal proceedings; to make provision about sentencing offenders, including provision about release on licence or otherwise; to make provision about bail and about remand otherwise than on bail; to make provision about the employment, payment and transfer of persons detained in prisons and other institutions; to make provision about penalty notices for disorderly behaviour and cautions; and to create new offences of threatening with a weapon in public or on school premises.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 205) with explanatory notes (Bill 205—EN).

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Jobcentre Plus (Wales)

Motion for leave to introduce a Bill (Standing Order No. 23)

5 pm

Hywel Williams (Arfon) (PC): I beg to move,

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision for the transfer to the Welsh Government of certain functions relating to the work of Jobcentre Plus offices in Wales; and for connected purposes.

The Bill’s aim is to devolve responsibility for elements of Jobcentre Plus’s work in Wales to the Welsh Government. I am grateful for the support I have received from Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National party, the Alliance party, the Liberal Democrats, the Green party and the Labour party.

The argument for the measure is straightforward. The Welsh Government have responsibility for education and training under the Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills portfolio, and for the economy under the Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science portfolio. They operate a large-scale programme of social inclusion in particularly deprived areas, one aim of which is to improve employability. Jobcentre Plus will work through the Work programme with large numbers of Welsh people who are looking for work, but the responsibility for that activity in Wales lies with the Government here. I think that getting unemployed people back to work would be more effective, better organised and co-ordinated, and that accountability would be much stronger, if that was the Welsh Government’s responsibility, working closely of course with the Government in London.

It would be up to the Welsh Government to determine how to organise matters, but elements of a possible model might be derived from Northern Ireland, where the Department for Employment and Learning works to promote learning and skills, to prepare people for work and to support the economy. Its objectives are to promote economic, social and personal development through high quality learning, research and skills training, and to help people into employment. It works with individuals to improve their skills and qualifications, with those who need support and guidance to progress their employment, including self-employment, and with businesses in the public and private sectors.

Some of the Department’s key activities include: enhancing the provision of learning and skills, including entrepreneurship, enterprise, management and leadership; increasing research and development, creativity and innovation; developing and maintaining a framework of employment rights and responsibilities, and, crucially, helping individuals acquire jobs, including through self-employment, and improving the links between employment programmes and skills development.

All that offers many elements that we could adopt in Wales to tailor a comprehensive employment service, better suited to the needs of our country. That need, I am sorry to say, is great.

I am glad that unemployment in Wales was lower in the last quarter, but it still stands at 115,000 people or 7.9%, with the United Kingdom level being 7.7%. The number of jobseeker’s allowance claimants increased in the last quarter by 1,700 to 72,000, and total employment was up at 1,349,000.

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However, the number of economically inactive Welsh people stands at 480,000, including many older people, who find it particularly difficult to find a job. They represent 25.3% of the working-age Welsh population, compared with 23.3% for the UK as a whole. Most tellingly, 77,000 Welsh people have been without a job for 10 or more years. The need is indeed great.

My aim in the Bill is therefore to integrate better learning, skills and development and job finding, education and social action, enterprise and self-employment in Wales, all under the Welsh Government, to fashion them into a better organised and more coherent form. That change would help unemployed people build on their individual skills and find relevant and worthwhile employment that meets their needs and those of society. It would also help to promote Welsh business and enterprise, by working with the grain of the system of Welsh government in a simplified, one-stop model. Essentially, this is a common-sense matter of improving co-ordination and delivery, and of locating the task at the most local level where it can be best carried out.

I have concerns about the current system, and particularly about the Work programme. Currently, job seeking is all too often associated negatively in the public mind with claiming benefits. That creates a negative and often stigmatising view of the process, when it should be part of our wider contract between people and communities. We should assist in the provision of work, which allows people to pay taxes and contribute to the wider society. There is no reason why that negativity should be so, particularly if job seeking is linked with positive activities such as providing education and training, and enterprise and development. Job seeking could and should be viewed as positively as entrepreneurship is viewed.

Jobcentre staff do a difficult job in hard circumstances. It was difficult enough running the new deal in good times, but now times are very much harder. It is not simple or easy to find employment, especially for people who have been out of work for a long time and those who face a disability of some sort. We have many such people in Wales. People fear that, under the Work programme, some severely disadvantaged people will not be helped because there are insufficient funds to meet their more complex needs. The task in deprived areas will also be difficult, because there will be few job outcomes. People fear that such areas will be sidelined.

Ministers have said that the Work programme will tackle the endemic worklessness that has blighted so many communities for decades, but I fear that insufficient account has been taken of the differences between labour markets, the different conditions that businesses, especially small businesses, face, and the nature of education and training in Wales. In Wales, much of the expertise in such matters lies with the Welsh Government.

Furthermore, in Wales, the voluntary sector and the capacity of organisations to become subcontractors in the Work programme varies enormously. I have very competent and successful third sector employment organisations in my constituency, such as Agoriad and Antur Waunfawr, but in rural Wales in general we have a preponderance of voluntary bodies that do not employ professional staff. There must be doubts about the ability of some such organisations to participate.

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Interestingly, Neil Lee, a senior economist at the Work Foundation, has pointed out that the

“Work programme is based on a national payment structure and does not take into account local and regional variations in labour demand…There is the danger that private contractors will focus on investing in places where they are more likely to get people into work to secure a return on investment.”

There are many such places in Wales, most notably the Rhondda, where I believe there is one job for every 120-odd people seeking it.

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): Eighty-four.

Hywel Williams: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that correction.

Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab): Will you mention me and my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Ian Lucas) as well?

Hywel Williams: Be quiet.

The financial risk could be passed down to small, local voluntary sector organisations, which could be knocked out of the market as a result. There is a real danger of market failure.

Job search provisions should be devolved the Welsh Assembly, so that we can develop a Welsh solution to employment as part of a comprehensive solution to getting people into work and keeping them there. I commend the Bill to the House.

5.9 pm

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy) (Con): It gives me no pleasure to oppose the Bill, because the hon. Member for Arfon (Hywel Williams) is not only my constituency neighbour but my MP. I thought long and hard before deciding to oppose the Bill, but ultimately I believe strongly that it is a diversion from the issues facing us in the reform of the welfare state. The Government are currently introducing real and significant changes to the way in which we approach the welfare state and, more importantly, the way in which we deal with economic inactivity in Wales, and my concern is that the Bill would divert us from the need to ensure that people in Wales have the opportunity to work and contribute to society.

Despite the hon. Gentleman’s best intentions, the Bill would create confusion and a problem in establishing an equal and level playing field between England and Wales. The truth of the matter is that the Government have already embarked on a significant review of how Jobcentre Plus works, not just in Wales but throughout the United Kingdom, and I see no reason to complicate the situation in Wales. Nowhere in the United Kingdom is the need for the Work programme and changes to the welfare state greater than in Wales. Some of the figures are truly appalling. For example, the level of economic inactivity in the UK is about 23%, but in Wales that approaches 28%. In his constituency, the level is 27%, and in mine it is 25%. We need changes to the system that will create results, not bureaucratic changes moving powers from one place to another. We need results.

Economic inactivity rates are a symptom of the fact that the Welsh economy is far too dependent on the public sector. That is in no way an attack on the public sector. Many public sector workers do an immense

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amount of work ensuring that we have good services in our schools and hospitals, but we cannot continue with an economy in which about 70% of gross domestic product is produced by the public sector. We need the private sector to be able to play its full part in the economy, creating employment—full employment, I hope.

Some of the figures on job creation in Wales over the past year have been encouraging. That job creation is coming not from the public sector, but from the private sector, which we need to applaud. That is also a development that will be fully supported by the Work programme. The question we have to ask ourselves today is: would the changes proposed by the hon. Gentleman result in a single additional person going back to work, or would they simply lead to more confusion and further bureaucratic problems? With all due respect, I challenge him. He has in his constituency wards such Peblig where 34% of the population are in receipt of key state benefits, and the same is true in other wards in his constituency such as Marchog and Nantlle. Does he really believe that moving responsibility for Jobcentre Plus from London to Cardiff would result in a single individual moving from benefits to work? I doubt it very much.

In effect, the Bill shows the difference between the Conservative party in Wales, which believes in results, and the other parties there, such as Plaid, which believe in process. The reality is that results are what count, and in my view the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill proposals will create real change. However, we also need to think carefully about the proposal to link these major changes to the welfare state and the Work programme with the Welsh Assembly department for economic development. Economic development in Wales has, to be perfectly frank, been a basket-case since the Welsh Development Agency was abolished under the previous Labour Administration in Wales.

When the WDA was abolished we probably lost one of the most effective vehicles for private sector investment in Wales. Just last week, the Welsh Affairs Committee took evidence from Sir Roger Jones, whose description of the decision to take the WDA into the Welsh Assembly is worth quoting. He said that it was like

“being micro-managed by people who don’t know much”,

which “is a dangerous practice.”

My concern is that bringing Jobcentre Plus into the Welsh Assembly would do the same again. I wonder what benefit is to be gained by losing the expertise from Jobcentre Plus and allowing decisions to be made by Welsh Assembly officials with no previous experience of dealing with jobcentres or the Work programme. It would be a huge mistake.

The other thing we need to debate is how, in order to change attitudes in Wales, Jobcentre Plus officers and the Work programme must provide hope for people. We must provide the opportunity for aspiration to become a reality in our communities in Wales. We also need to provide support for communities and individuals wishing to get back into the work force in Wales, as well as encouraging the concept of self-reliance. I am concerned that if we move the responsibility for such major changes to the Welsh Assembly, we will create confusion at a time when we have an opportunity to create far-reaching change that will allow communities and individuals to become self-reliant, to stand on their own two feet and to contribute to society.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 196

I am concerned by the comments that Glenn Massey made in his evidence to the Select Committee on Welsh Affairs last week. He stated that as a result of constant changes imposed by both Labour Administrations and the previous Plaid Cymru-Labour Administration, Welsh Assembly Government staff were “disillusioned”, suffering from low morale and finding it difficult to become motivated. I ask the House this question: if we want to encourage people back into the workplace, do we want that encouragement to come from staff who have been so demoralised by the Labour and Labour-Plaid Administrations, who have served Wales so badly over recent years? The situation is simple. We have here in Westminster a coalition Government who are willing to tackle the real problems faced by our communities. They are willing to tackle deprivation and to try to persuade people, for the first time in a generation, that work will pay—not just financially, but by giving people value and a feeling that they are contributing to society.

The proposed Bill would divert us from both the need for proper change and from moving things forward. I therefore urge the House to reject the proposition and support the Government’s attempt to create real change, rather than bureaucratic change.

Question put (Standing Order No. 23).

The House divided:

Ayes 21, Noes 127.

Division No. 300]

[5.17 pm


Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Durkan, Mark

Edwards, Jonathan

Francis, Dr Hywel

Gilbert, Stephen

Hemming, John

Horwood, Martin

Hosie, Stewart

Lucas, Caroline

Munt, Tessa

Pugh, John

Reckless, Mark

Robertson, Angus

Rogerson, Dan

Sanders, Mr Adrian

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Smith, Sir Robert

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Williams, Hywel

Williams, Mr Mark

Wishart, Pete

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil and

Mr Mike Weir


Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Andrew, Stuart

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Bone, Mr Peter

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Buckland, Mr Robert

Byles, Dan

Cairns, Alun

Carmichael, Neil

Carswell, Mr Douglas

Cash, Mr William

Chishti, Rehman

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Colvile, Oliver

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, David T. C.


Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

de Bois, Nick

Dinenage, Caroline

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Dorries, Nadine

Drax, Richard

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Jonathan

Field, rh Mr Frank

Field, Mr Mark

Fullbrook, Lorraine

Garnier, Mark

Glen, John

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Griffiths, Andrew

Halfon, Robert

Harris, Rebecca

Havard, Mr Dai

Henderson, Gordon

Hinds, Damian

Hoey, Kate

Hollingbery, George

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hopkins, Kris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kelly, Chris

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Mr Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Laws, rh Mr David

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leigh, Mr Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Lewis, Brandon

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Main, Mrs Anne

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McCrea, Dr William

McIntosh, Miss Anne

Mensch, Mrs Louise

Mercer, Patrick

Mills, Nigel

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Murray, Sheryll

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Mr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pritchard, Mark

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Rosindell, Andrew

Ruffley, Mr David

Scott, Mr Lee

Shannon, Jim

Simpson, David

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Henry

Soames, Nicholas

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Stuart, Mr Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Syms, Mr Robert

Tomlinson, Justin

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vickers, Martin

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Weatherley, Mike

Wheeler, Heather

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Williamson, Gavin

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

James Wharton and

Simon Hart

Question accordingly negatived.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 197

21 Jun 2011 : Column 198

Health and Social Care Bill (Programme) (No. 2)

5.30 pm

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Mr Simon Burns) rose—

David Wright (Telford) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Will you find out from the parliamentary authorities whether the monitors are working throughout the parliamentary estate? Only one Liberal Democrat Back Bencher is present, and, given that the Liberal Democrats have laid claim to significant alterations to the Bill, it is very important that they are in the Chamber.

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): Good try, but let us move on.

Mr Burns: I beg to move,

That the following provisions shall apply to the Health and Social Care Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Order of 31 January 2011 (Health and Social Care Bill (Programme)):


1. The Bill shall be re-committed to the Public Bill Committee to which it previously stood committed in respect of the following Clauses and Schedules—

(a) in Part 1, Clauses 1 to 6, 9 to 11, 19 to 24, 28 and 29 and Schedules 1 to 3;

(b) in Part 3, Clauses 55, 56, 58, 59, 63 to 75, 100, 101, 112 to 117 and 147 and Schedules 8 and 9;

(c) in Part 4, Clauses 149, 156, 165, 166 and 176;

(d) in Part 5, Clauses 178 to 180 and 189 to 193 and Schedule 15;

(e) in Part 8, Clause 242;

(f) in Part 9, Clause 265;

(g) in Part 11, Clauses 285 and 286;

(h) in Part 12, Clauses 295, 297 and 298.

2. Proceedings in the Public Bill Committee on re-committal shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion on Thursday 14 July 2011.

3. The Public Bill Committee shall have leave to sit twice on the first day it meets.

Let me say at the outset that, because of the number of Members who wish to speak in the debate, I will take only a small number of interventions and will respond to them briefly.

The vital importance of our national health service cannot be overstated, nor can the Government’s determination to do all in our power to make it as good as it can be for the patients who depend on it by putting patients at the centre of care and putting outcomes first—outcomes such as survival rates, speed of recovery, and the ability to lead a full and independent life. The Health and Social Care Bill represents a bold evolutionary programme of essential modernisation: a programme—[Interruption.]

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order. I know that passions are running high, but it is important that we hear the Minister.

Mr Burns: It is a programme that will end the culture of processed targets and diktats from politicians and of putting the convenience of institutions above the needs of patients.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 199

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I thought we were debating a programme motion, but the speech we are hearing seems to be a rehearsal of the Bill.

Mr Burns rose—

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hold on. Keep calm. I am absolutely certain that the Minister is about to move on to the programme motion.

Mr Burns: If Opposition Members were more interested in listening than in trying to be disruptive, they would discover that after setting the scene I will deal precisely with the recommittal and our reasons for proposing it.

We will replace that culture with a bottom-up culture of clinical leadership and patient choice and an unfaltering focus on improving health outcomes.

While there has always been widespread agreement on the principles of modernisation—a fact that even the shadow Secretary of State now accepts—there have been concerns in some quarters that the Bill could support those principles better.

Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Some of us wish to talk about the programme motion that we are supposed to be debating, and indeed to intervene on the Minister if he will give way, as he said that he would at the outset. Can the Minister be persuaded to discuss the motion that is before the House?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Several Members wish to participate in this very short debate. It will last for only an hour, and we are already well into that hour. Will the Minister now refer directly to the programme motion?

Mr Burns: Absolutely, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Given our commitment to, and the paramount importance of, the NHS, we decided to take the unprecedented step of pausing at an appropriate point in the legislative process. The independent Future Forum produced its report. We shall be able to make some changes to our plans that will not require legislation, but a number of changes will need to be scrutinised again by a Committee. All our proposed changes will be subject to further detailed parliamentary scrutiny through a further Committee stage and on Report. We propose—

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Burns: I was about to come on to what we propose to do, but I will give way to the hon. Member for Penistone and Stocksbridge (Angela Smith), and then I will make progress.

Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge) (Lab): I thank the Minister for giving way.

It is not unprecedented for Bills to come back to the House having been changed by the Government, but previously the whole Bill has gone back to Committee. Why are the Government not doing that?

21 Jun 2011 : Column 200

Mr Burns: The hon. Lady might not be too familiar with the past. Two previous Bills have been recommitted, both in 2003, and if she will wait I will put them in the context of what we are doing.

We propose to recommit 63 of the Bill’s clauses and to add a further five to the Bill. About 35 of those 63 clauses will need to be amended. The remainder will provide context and allow the Committee to have a sensible debate about the revisions. These clauses will cover the key areas of the Bill, including the role of the Secretary of State, clinical commissioning groups, the NHS commissioning board, the role of Monitor, foundation trusts, health and wellbeing boards and HealthWatch. We are demonstrably committed to subjecting the Bill to the full and proper scrutiny of Parliament. The Health and Social Care Bill spent a very long time in Committee, with 28 sittings over seven weeks, which, in fact, is the longest series of sittings of a Committee since we considered the modernisation of this Chamber and the House of Commons. Indeed, the hon. Member for Halton (Derek Twigg), who led for the Opposition in Committee, acknowledged at the time that the Committee had

“scrutinised every inch of the Bill.”––[Official Report, Health and Social Care Public Bill Committee, 31 March 2011; c. 1310.]

However—[Interruption.] However, as the changes we are making are—

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Burns: Earlier, Opposition Members complained that I was not discussing why the Bill was being recommitted, yet as I now go through, point by point, why we are doing that they do not seem interested in listening. As I have said, I will not accept interventions frequently, because the House wants to know what we are doing and why are doing it, and that is the right way to proceed.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Burns: I will give way once more, to the hon. Member for St Helens North (Mr Watts), and then I will make progress.

Mr Dave Watts (St Helens North) (Lab): I thank the Minister for giving way.

So far today, the Minister has used the precedent of 1983. Will he confirm that when a similar Bill came back in 1983, the whole Bill was recommitted to the House?

Mr Burns: The hon. Gentleman seems a little confused. He is talking about 1983, but if he had been listening he would know that I have already said that two Bills were recommitted in 2003. I also said that if Opposition Members wait, I will explain the context of those Bills vis-à-vis the current situation. I therefore urge them to show patience, as they will then learn something.

Kevin Brennan: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. In fact, the last Bill to be partially recommitted to a Committee was the Mineral Workings Bill in 1951, some 60 years ago, but the Minister is not referring to that.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 201

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): That is just an extension of the debate. I reiterate that we have only one hour to debate this programme motion, so may we make progress? May I also ask Members to calm down, because I am finding it difficult to listen to the Minister?

Mr Burns: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, and you can rest assured that I am doing my bit. If only Opposition Members would listen, they would get the plot.

As the changes we are making are substantial and significant, we have decided to recommit relevant parts of the Bill to Committee. I can tell the House that we expect to make around 160 amendments to the Bill, which we will table in good time. We will also go further and publish briefing notes to help explain the amendments to parliamentarians and those who follow our proceedings outside.

Emily Thornberry (Islington South and Finsbury) (Lab): When?

Mr Burns: The hon. Lady, from a sedentary position, rather like a Greek chorus that ill-befits her, asks when. The answer is that we expect to table the amendments by 23 June, which, if it helps her, is in two days’ time. That is despite the fact that many previous Bills—[ Interruption. ] The hon. Member for Islington South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry) should listen to this because it has some direct relevance that she will not like. We are doing this despite the fact that many previous Bills were not recommitted under the previous Government despite their having undergone significant change. For example, the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill in 2007 had 54 new clauses and three new schedules added by Government amendment, but rather than returning it to Committee the previous Government added them on Report. The Planning Bill of 2007-08 had 29 new clauses and three new schedules added by Government amendment; again, rather than return that Bill to Committee, the previous Government added the clauses on Report. Indeed, a Bill has not been recommitted for eight years since the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill in 2003.

No fair-minded person can claim that we are not subjecting the Bill to the closest possible scrutiny. Our recommitting the Bill will give hon. Members additional time to examine parts of the Bill that the Government propose to change. Of course, hon. Members will have further opportunity to scrutinise the entire Bill on Report in the Commons and the Bill will receive full scrutiny in another place. We do not believe that it is necessary for the entire Bill to be recommitted—[Hon. Members: “Why not?”] If hon. Members will listen they will find out why not. We do not believe that it is necessary for the entire Bill to be recommitted in order for proper scrutiny to take place. Indeed, we feel very strongly that that would unnecessarily delay the progress of the Bill to the ultimate detriment of patients. It is now time to give greater clarity and direction to staff and patients. As Professor Steve Field said in the Future Forum report:

“It is time for the pause to end.”

Professor Field is not alone in the opinion that now is the time to move forward and to enable proper and thorough scrutiny of those parts of the Bill that will

21 Jun 2011 : Column 202

change but without delaying the Bill’s passage beyond what is absolutely necessary. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said in its response to the Future Forum report:

“We hope the Government will now accept the Future Forum’s recommendations in full and move swiftly to make the changes to the Bill and the proposals that are required”.

The King’s Fund has also emphasised the need to avoid unnecessary delay. It said:

“The ‘pause’ has served the NHS, its staff and patients well”—

Ian Lucas (Wrexham) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I tabled a named day question to the Minister, of which he is aware, in which he made it very clear that the changes to the Bill that he says relate to the recommendations of the Future Forum were in fact—

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): Order. Please resume your seat. That is not a matter for the Chair; it is an extension of the debate. Yet again I reiterate that we are now 13 minutes into a one-hour debate and we have yet to hear from the shadow Minister and a number of Back Benchers who wish to participate, so, please, could we restrain bogus points of order—that is No. 1 —and could we also have more quiet?

Mr Burns: As I was saying, although the pause may have ended, we will never stop listening. [ Laughter. ] That is why a team of top health experts will continue to provide independent advice to the Government. [ Interruption. ]It is extraordinary, Mr Deputy Speaker, that hon. Members giggle and scream hysterically when they do not like what they hear. What they will not accept is that we did listen through the independent forum—we listened, we strengthened the Bill and they do not like it that more people and more organisations outside the House now believe that the plans that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State introduced have been strengthened and will meet the needs of a modernised health service. That is the problem. That is why they are behaving in that way.

Of course, we need to give right hon. and hon. Members ample opportunity to examine the amendments in detail, but unnecessary delays will only cause harm for patients and add to the pressure on hospitals and commissioners as they make their modernisation plans. They will prevent clinicians on the ground from making the changes they believe will help to improve and save people’s lives. That is why we can have proper scrutiny through the recommittal of the parts of the Bill we are changing, as outlined in the motion, and I urge my hon. Friends and the House to accept it.

5.45 pm

John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne) (Lab): Last week, we had a political fix on the Government’s health Bill. This week, we have a procedural fix. The way the Government are dealing with the national health service and with the House of Commons is a disgrace. Last week, the Prime Minister was forced to backtrack in some areas to buy off the many critics of his health plans. This week, to head off proper parliamentary scrutiny of his plans, he refuses to put the whole Bill back into Committee.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 203

The changes announced last week to the Prime Minister’s NHS changes are not a proper plan for improving patient care, or for a better or more efficient NHS. Those aims could largely be met without legislation, and certainly without the huge risk and cost of the biggest reorganisation in NHS history. The big quality and efficiency challenges the NHS must meet for the future will be made harder, not easier, by the reorganisation and the announcements last week.

The NHS has seen a wasted year of chaos, confusion and incompetence from the Government. Today, it is clear from the motion that that will continue. The motion signals the onset of sclerosis in the health service. The Bill will mean that the NHS is deeply mired in more centralisation, more complex bureaucracy and more wasted cost in the years to come. There will be five new national quangos and five new local bodies doing the job that one—the primary care trust—does at present.

Today, the motion signals that the essential elements of the Tories’ long-term plan to see the NHS broken up as a national service and set up as a full-scale market are still intact.

John Pugh (Southport) (LD): Regardless of the merits of the Bill, does the right hon. Gentleman accept that what the NHS and the public want is to find out whether the House supports it? They do not want to prolong the agony.

John Healey: What the public and patients want is to get to the bottom of the changes the Government said they were bringing in. They want us to do our proper job of scrutinising the detail, and for that we need the time to do so, with the full Bill recommitted to the Public Bill Committee. Even some of the hon. Gentleman’s Lib Dem colleagues are beginning to see through this. Yesterday, the hon. Member for St Ives (Andrew George) wrote that the Government

“leaves many of the previous concerns—about the risk of a marketised NHS, a missed opportunity to better streamline health and social care and a lack of accountability—still unresolved.”

John Pugh: But does the right hon. Gentleman accept that those concerns will all be covered in the areas of the Bill to be discussed? Nothing will be left out.

John Healey: I do not normally quote the hon. Gentleman’s party leader, but a few weeks ago, the Deputy Prime Minister said:

“It is very important that MPs, who represent millions of patients up and down the country, have the opportunity to really look at the details that we are proposing…I have always said that it is best to take our time to get it right rather than move too fast and risk getting the details wrong.”

The Prime Minister has stopped listening to the Deputy Prime Minister, and that is exactly the mistake the Government are making with the motion.

Grahame M. Morris (Easington) (Lab): Does my right hon. Friend agree that despite the Conservatives saying that they are against cherry-picking, that is exactly what they are doing? They are cherry-picking the elements to be referred to the Bill Committee. Clause 60, for example, which deals with Monitor and the regulation of the NHS, is not included. There are so many inconsistencies in the Bill.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 204

John Healey: One of the deep flaws in the motion is that it is hard to see how the Committee can properly consider the changes that the Government say they want to make without being able to consider the consequences for other parts of the Bill and other parts of the NHS.

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): Moderation in these debates is always to be welcomed. Surely the right hon. Gentleman must see that he cannot have it both ways. He cannot complain about the money and the length of time spent on the listening exercise. When I was in the House last week to listen to the statement, he said it was time to get on and get it done, yet he argues that we should drag the process out for even longer. He cannot have it both ways.

John Healey: I can and I have. This is a reckless and needless reorganisation, which has led to confusion and chaos over the past year. If the House does not help to get the legislation right by doing its proper job, that chaos and confusion and the wasted cost—money that should be spent on patient care—will continue.

Kevin Brennan: Is it not an abuse to use this procedure, which is very rare? According to the Library, the most recent example of a partial recommittal of a Bill to the same Committee was the Mineral Workings Bill in 1951 because of an inadvertent error in the original Committee stage. It is totally wrong to use the procedure. The whole Bill should be recommitted.

John Healey: My hon. Friend has a point. What is wrong is a partial recommittal of the Bill, because the Bill requires full scrutiny of the full provisions with the changes that the Government propose to make, once we have had a chance to see them.

The Health Minister and Government Members urge us to go faster. Everything this Government have done with their NHS reorganisation has been rushed and reckless, and the motion signals that they are set to repeat the mistake by railroading the Bill through at breakneck speed and denying this elected House its proper role in scrutinising the legislation. Labour tabled a motion a month ago for the full Bill to be reconsidered in Committee, for more time to look at the detail of the amendments and for proper scrutiny and debate in Committee.

Ian Lucas: Is it not important to take into account the written answer that I received to the named day question—a very good question—that I put to the Minister? He gave me a very good answer: far from recommittal being a consequence of the NHS Future Forum, the Government were consulting on these very amendments to the Bill prior to the announcement that they made on the consequences of the Future Forum. Is not the entire process a sham?

John Healey: My hon. Friend is right. We know that the Prime Minister is a PR man. We know that he was forced to call the pause and that, when he did, he was looking for a PR solution. The answer that my hon. Friend flushed out of the Government stands that up clearly.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 205

To return to the motion before the House and the question whether the Bill requires, as we argue, recommittal in full, parliamentary precedent demands this, proper parliamentary scrutiny demands this and, above all, our responsibility to NHS patients to try to get the legislation right demands this. The parliamentary precedent is clear, as my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff West (Kevin Brennan) said. The House of Commons Library tells me that the last time a Bill was recommitted in part was 60 years ago. In response to a point of order, the Health Minister cited the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill of 2003 as a precedent. The Labour Government recommitted that Bill in full and gave Committee members the whole of the summer recess to examine the detailed amendments before the Committee sat again. Why are the Government not acting as they should and as Labour acted in government with that Bill?

The NHS, the legislation and the changes to the changes announced last week are all complex, and the House cannot do its proper job unless the Government’s changes to one clause can be considered alongside the consequences for other parts of the Bill and for the health service. How can the promised changes to Monitor’s role be considered without looking at all 29 clauses dealing with its licensing powers? The House cannot do its proper job unless all the areas that the Government say they will change are recommitted.

Why are the clauses on the failure and designation regime for hospitals, which the Government say they will change, not covered in the recommittal motion? The House cannot do its proper job, and organisations cannot give proper evidence to the Bill Committee, unless all the amendments are tabled in good time, so why will there be only two full working days between the tabling of amendments and the Committee sitting? The House cannot do its proper job unless the Bill Committee has sufficient time for scrutiny.

The 64 clauses in the recommittal motion took 45 hours of debate in Committee last time. The Government are now cutting that time in half. The Minister said that he expects 160 amendments in Committee. That allows less than 10 minutes for each amendment that the Government table, and that is before the Opposition table our own amendments and before taking into account the six schedules that are being recommitted.

Mr Simon Burns: As a former Minister, the right hon. Gentleman knows about taking legislation through Committee. Given that a number of the 160 amendments will be technical and drafting amendments, will he please tell the House how many minutes he needs for each technical and drafting amendment to be debated in Committee?

John Healey: The Minister, his colleagues and the Prime Minister have broken their word so often so far on the NHS that we cannot take at face value what the Minister says. We will wait to see and we will judge what he does when we see the detail of the amendments that he tables.

Mr Dave Watts (St Helens North) (Lab): Does not this go to the root cause of the way the Government are dealing with the NHS? They are dealing with it piecemeal.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 206

At present we have an integrated health service. Does not their approach show that they want to break that NHS up?

John Healey: My hon. Friend is right. What the Government are doing is reckless and rushed. The NHS is still intact, but what they are doing will break it up as a national service, as we know it.

Several hon. Members rose

John Healey: I give way for the last time to the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon).

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): The Committee had 28 meetings, 100 Divisions and hour upon hour of debate. That has been reflected in public opinion. The electorate who put us all in the House to represent their views are clear about what they want: a full debate in Committee, not a short-term Committee. They want it to sit until 18 October, not until 14 July.

John Healey: The hon. Gentleman served on the Public Bill Committee. I hope he will continue to serve when the Bill is recommitted. He is right. The public and NHS patients expect us to do our best to get the legislation right. To do that, we require the detail, we require the time, and we require the whole Bill to be recommitted.

The House cannot do its proper job without an impact assessment. The current assessment says that

“the full benefits of these changes will not be realised unless there is a change to regulation to promote competition”.

The Government now say that this policy will be altered. There will also be greater bureaucracy, longer time scales and more bodies with more complex accountabilities. Both the supposed benefits and the stated costs have changed, yet the Government tell us that the new impact assessment will not be published until the Bill reaches the Lords.

How much will this reorganisation now cost? How much can the Government now claim this will save? What are the risks? Why has the Health Secretary being blocking my freedom of information requests to release the official risk register since November? Why will the Government not welcome and allow full scrutiny of the Bill in view of the significant policy changes they say they are making? Why are they preventing this elected House from doing its proper job of fully scrutinising the legislation?

If the programme motion is passed, more will need to be done on Report in this House and during the Bill’s passage through the other place. We will continue to oppose this reckless and needless NHS reorganisation, lead the detailed scrutiny this legislation requires and speak up as patients start to see their NHS services suffer again under the Tories. We will oppose the motion.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans): Order. Many Members wish to participate and there is only half an hour left, so long speeches would not be appropriate, to be fair to Back Benchers.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 207

6.1 pm

John Pugh (Southport) (LD): I will briefly specify three linked reasons, good and bad, why we support the Government’s programme motion. We oppose the Opposition’s amendment to the motion because it would simply lead to unnecessary delay. The Government have identified through the listening exercise, perhaps belatedly, the controversial, difficult and unworkable aspects of the legislation and want to change them. In deference to the people they have consulted, they want to change those aspects promptly and subject them to proper scrutiny, not only in Committee, but in an evidence session that we will also have.

Surprisingly, many areas of the Bill are relatively uncontentious and ought not to detain the House a great deal longer, such as the aspects relating to social work, the health and care professions or the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Those areas are relatively uncontentious and need not be massively reconsidered. In addition, there is the summer recess, as the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey) said, which means that after the Committee has concluded its considerations there will be ample time for him and anyone in the NHS, including all the consultees, to make adequate representations. The Bill will then go to the Lords and return for our further consideration.

Bill Esterson (Sefton Central) (Lab): The hon. Gentleman will have been lobbied by constituents in the same way that I and other Members have been. Does he agree that the public’s real concern is the potential for cherry-picking by private companies, even with the amendments that are being made, and that this approach will be unable to stop such a process?

John Pugh: The public are perfectly entitled to an answer on whether the Bill contains cherry-picking or not, but it is better that they have that answer sooner rather than later. There is a second reason—[ Interruption. ] May I just set my stall out? The second reason why this must be done properly is that the Bill has so far led to uncertainty and the implosion of primary care trusts. Whoever’s fault it is—[ Interruption. ] People will know that I did not support the original Bill. It has led de facto to the implosion of PCTs and to some irregular adjustments and appointments being made on the hoof—Members can ask their constituents about that—and to some premature arrangements being made.

Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East) (Lab): I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. How many times did he support my colleagues and I in the Bill Committee?

Several hon. Members None.

John Pugh: None is not the correct answer. The issue that Labour Members need to understand is that the NHS, as a result of the Budget that most of them voted for in 2010, needs to find £20 billion, and we cannot do that unless—[ Interruption. ] If it is a disgrace, it is a disgrace that the Labour party inflicted on us. We cannot do that against a background of complete and utter uncertainty, not knowing who will be running the NHS and having to find those savings. Members can

21 Jun 2011 : Column 208

check for themselves, but that is the view of the local people running their hospitals. Regardless of the merits of the legislation, they now want a decision.

Angela Smith: Given that the hon. Gentleman voted for the Bill on Second Reading and got that wrong, how can we be confident that he has got it right today?

John Pugh: If the hon. Lady checks Hansard , she will find that I did not vote for the Bill on Second Reading––okay?

A third and more consensual reason—I might now withdraw it—is that I can assure the House that, having served on the Bill Committee, it could not find a better or more informed set of individuals who are on the ball. The Opposition drilled down on every clause with laser-like precision. There are some very talented individuals sitting on the Opposition Benches, and there is still that galaxy of informed talent. They might feel, as I do, that it is a little like being sent back to the trenches, but the fact is that if that team cannot win the arguments for either accepting or rejecting these changes in the time allotted, frankly there is no hope for this House. They must approach the matter in the right spirit, although that seems somewhat in doubt. I urge Opposition Members to have confidence in their team, the timetable and the ability of the British public to judge if it all goes horribly wrong, but it will not go horribly wrong simply because of the programme motion.

6.7 pm

Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): The problem with what the Government are presenting this evening is that, having had a pause, they have decided to fast forward without the intervening period. The truth of the matter is that they will not inspire confidence in the running of the NHS by moving at a gallop and they will not improve morale by moving at such speed without proper scrutiny. I must say to Government Members that last night’s business motion, which stated that no amendments could even be moved today, was an absolute disgrace. What are they frightened of?

Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Chris Bryant: In a moment.

Are the Government frightened that some of their Back Benchers might vote for an amendment? I can assure them that there are very few courageous people on their side of the House, but the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone) is one of them.

Mr Bone: I agree with the sentiments that the hon. Gentleman is expressing, but could he explain to me why the official Opposition did not object last night?

Chris Bryant: Because there was no opportunity to have a debate last night. It would have been nice to be able to expose the problems with the way the Government are dealing with the Bill, but unfortunately such an opportunity was unavailable to us. It is a disgrace that there is no opportunity for amendment. It is also a disgrace that the whole Bill is not being recommitted. We have seen none of the amendments. The Government are basically saying, “We’ve decided where we want to

21 Jun 2011 : Column 209

change the Bill, and only those bits shall be available for discussion by the Committee.” That is a completely inappropriate abrogation of the powers of this House to the Crown. The person who should be most disgraced by that is the Deputy Leader of the House, because he has said so many times that he believes in better scrutiny and yet is now abandoning that.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Office of the Leader of the House of Commons (Mr David Heath): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Chris Bryant: I will not give way. If he had allowed more—[ Interruption. ]

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Order. There is very little time as it is, and screaming at each other does not help.

Chris Bryant: If the Deputy Leader of the House had allowed more than an hour for debate today, I would give way to him, but I am not going to give way now. We have already heard from a Minister for 15 minutes.

It is a bizarre selection of clauses that the Committee will be allowed to discuss. For instance, it will not be allowed to discuss clause 239 on NICE’s charter, nor clause 240 on its functions, but it will be allowed to consider clause 242, on the failure of NICE to discharge its functions. There is absolutely no logic to what is being presented to us.

In addition, the programme motion does not allow enough time. The Prime Minister is profoundly confused about all this, because he said many times this morning that 10 days would be allowed. Indeed, he said:

“Ten days… I don’t want to sort of misquote the Monty Python sketch but when we were in opposition we used to dream of tens days to debate a government bill”.

Well, yes, we are dreaming of 10 days now. We would love to have 10 days, but there will not be 10 days; there will be 10 sittings.

Mr Kevan Jones: The Prime Minister is not very good on detail, because the Criminal Justice Bill to which he referred, and whose Committee he sat on, actually had 38 sittings over eight weeks.

Chris Bryant: My hon. Friend is absolutely right, but surely the key point is that we need to do this scrutiny properly. The Government may think that they are doing themselves a favour by trying to get the Bill out of this House by the summer recess, but all it means is that those in another place will have to do a proper job of scrutiny, and I bet that they will not get it out of the second Chamber before next year.

Finally, the motion states that we have to commit the Bill to the same set of people. Now, some splendid people sat on the Government Benches in that Committee, including the hon. Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Stephen Crabb). He is a splendid Member of Parliament whose integrity I do not want to be questioned, but he will now have to force all the people whom he forced previously to vote for one set of proposals in the Bill to

21 Jun 2011 : Column 210

vote for exactly the opposite. I therefore beg Government Members, if they value the hon. Gentleman’s career, to vote against the motion.

I say that because, theoretically, the Committee Chairman could rule that some amendments cannot be taken or selected because we have already presented them and the same Committee is re-sitting. We will find, however, that many Government Members have to stand on their heads and vote for the exact opposite of what they voted for earlier.

I understand that one of the great passions in life of the hon. Member for Southport (John Pugh), who speaks for the Liberal Democrats, is weight-lifting. Well, he did no heavy lifting of any kind on the previous Committee, and if there are changes to the Bill they are the work of Opposition Members, not the hon. Gentleman. He said that it was a wonderful Committee and could not have been better. Well, why was the hon. Member for Totnes (Dr Wollaston)—somebody who knows about general practice—not put on it? Of course, we know the reason: she did not agree with the Government.

I do not believe that the new Committee should include the same set of people, in particular because the hon. Member for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy), on the final day in Committee, asked the Minister one of his great insightful questions: “What is the point of clause 249?” He is clearly a man of insight. In addition, he later said:

“I am still a member of the Committee, I think.”––[Official Report, Health and Social Care Public Bill Committee, 31 March 2011; c. 1268.]

We should have a new set of Committee members. There is no point in every Member who sat on the previous Committee, including those with direct financial interests in the Bill, being on the Committee in future, so I say, “Vote against this ludicrous, shameful and disgraceful programme motion.”

6.13 pm

Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): It is always a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant). He is a parliamentarian before anything else, and he made some very important points, which we must consider.

The House must make up its mind whether to vote for a programme motion. I start from the position that I should always vote against a programme motion, because they are a Labour party invention and not good for scrutiny, so I gently say to the hon. Gentleman that, when I sat where he now sits, the Government whom he supported railroaded Bills through without proper scrutiny on many occasions. He was personally against that, but it happened, and whole rafts of Bills were not scrutinised.

On procedure, I congratulate the Secretary of State for Health and the whole Government on something that some Opposition Members do not understand but parliamentarians on both sides of the House will. We have a new Parliament and a new way of doing business. The Government no longer make their mind up and railroad through a Bill—[ Interruption. ] Some people laugh and scoff, but they are the people who do not get it. This Parliament is about scrutiny, and it has been proved that this Parliament can do it. People talk about U-turns, but this is not a U-turn; this is parliamentary scrutiny, and it is an amazing improvement on the previous Parliament.

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Kevin Brennan: Does the hon. Gentleman think it right in principle that the Government should be able to choose the parts of the Bill in Committee to which Members from any party, Front Benchers or Back Benchers, might want to introduce amendments?

Mr Bone: The hon. Gentleman makes a really important point, one that I am wrestling with before I decide how to vote. If we had a business of the House committee, that problem would not arise, because the decision would be made in public and not by the Executive, but we are where we are. To the Government’s credit they avoided Standing Orders by allowing us to have a debate—however short—today. Standing Orders called for this motion to be decided forthwith and without a debate, so the Government should get credit for that.

There are a number of issues, but an important one is whether the whole Bill should be recommitted. I can see many arguments for that, but I can see also an alternative view, which says, “You’re going to look in more detail and have more time if you look at provisions that have effectively been changed.”

The Government talk about moving 160 amendments, and the Opposition will move amendments, but I hope that in Committee Back Benchers will do so, too. The problem for the Committee’s Chairmen is that they will have to consider how to deal with those amendments that are approved and consequential to earlier parts of the Bill, but I think that they will do so sensibly.

I have some doubts about the same people being on the Committee. I volunteered to sit on it and wrote to the Chairman of the Committee of Selection. There is an argument for fresh faces on the Committee, but the really important point is how Members on both sides behave in Committee. If they go there to scrutinise the Bill, if they are willing to table sensible amendments and if they vote according to their conscience and not on party lines, we will have real scrutiny.

Angela Smith: I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman says, but under the programme motion the Bill has to be completed by 14 July, meaning a maximum of 12 sittings. How can that possibly be adequate time to scrutinise the changes being brought forward?

Mr Bone: The hon. Lady asks another important question on which we as parliamentarians have to decide today. As I have said, I am against programme motions that include end dates; I am against programme motions anyway. We could recommit the Bill without including a timetable on when it must leave Committee, but unfortunately we live in this world and that tactic was invented not by my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Treasury Bench, but by the previous Government—[ Interruption. ] The hon. Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown), the Opposition Whip, who of course did not actually say anything, makes the point that two wrongs do not make a right, and I agree.

I know other Members want to speak, but I wish to return to my previous point. If Committee members, at least those on the Government side, vote according to their conscience and are not whipped, we will have a much better Bill. Of course, that is what the Prime Minister said in his famous speech on 26 May 2009, but I encourage such behaviour, because, if the Government

21 Jun 2011 : Column 212

do not like any amendments that are carried, they can always reverse them when the Bill returns to the House on Report.

Mr Watts: Does the hon. Gentleman really believe that his own Whips are going to stand aside regarding this Bill? Frankly, he is living in a dream world if he thinks they are going to choose people who will not toe the party line and will vote for every amendment that they want.

Mr Bone: If I am put on the Committee, I shall certainly make up my own mind. I know that that concept is foreign to Labour Members, who have always done what they are told and voted how they are told. Conservative Members are different—we vote according to conscience.

Owen Smith (Pontypridd) (Lab): As a member of the Committee, I point out to the hon. Gentleman that throughout all 38 sittings I watched Conservative Members dragooned by the Whips and not once voting according to their conscience, if they have one, but with their Front Benchers.

Mr Bone: I am afraid that I did not serve on the Committee, and my bid to get on it still stands. I hope that this new-found way of doing business will eventually make progress. If this House is ready to take back control of business, that is the way it has to be.

I welcome what the Government have done throughout this whole process, and I welcome today’s debate. I have reservations about the programme motion, and I will make up my mind on how to vote at the end of the debate. When the Bill comes back to the House on Report, I hope that there will be enough time for Members to deal with all the amendments and new clauses, because at the moment only members of the Committee can do so. In general terms, I welcome the new process and congratulate the Secretary of State for Health.

6.21 pm

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): I rise to oppose the programme motion. I remember sitting and listening to some eloquent speeches against programme motions by Conservative Members when we were in government. What we uniquely have tonight, as has been highlighted by my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant), is a double programme motion, because this debate is being limited to one hour, and then we will have a programme motion that rushes the Bill through by 14 July. Another unique aspect is that this is the first time since the coalition Government came into being that a Conservative Member has opened the debate following a major U-turn or embarrassment, when a Liberal Democrat is usually put up as a human shield. On this occasion, the Minister has obviously fallen for the trick.

It is important that this Bill gets proper scrutiny, but that will be difficult. The Minister has already said that the Government are going to table 160 amendments, and that is before any others have been proposed. He said that some would be technical, and I accept that, but we do not know what they will be about or how many there will be.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 213

Helen Jones (Warrington North) (Lab): Does my hon. Friend agree that it is disgraceful that we are not even seeing those amendments until two days before the Bill goes into Committee, giving outside organisations and members of the Committee no time to scrutinise them? Does that not show that the Government are running scared of proper scrutiny?

Mr Jones: My hon. Friend makes a good point. One innovation is the introduction of pre-legislative scrutiny of Bills by a Committee. In 2001, I served on one of the very first such Committees, which considered the Civil Contingencies Bill. That was an extremely good process during which the then Government accepted well over 100 recommendations and amendments. With a timetable of 10 sittings—not 10 days, as the Prime Minister said today—there will be very little time for outside bodies to scrutinise and have professional input into the Government’s amendments.

The hon. Member for Southport (John Pugh), who speaks for the Liberal Democrats, says that we cannot prolong the agony or uncertainty faced by the health service. I remind him that we are in this position because his party is supporting the back-of-a-fag packet proposals dreamed up by the Secretary of State for Health. If he really wants to be able to say that he has made a difference, he should have voted with the Opposition when he had the opportunity. It is interesting that he is again the sole Liberal Democrat on the Government Benches, even though we are being told that it is the Liberal Democrats who have made major changes to the Bill.

If the Bill is to get proper scrutiny, if we in this place are to get the respect of electors in thinking that we are doing a proper job of scrutiny and, more importantly, if we are going to get the health service that this country deserves, this is not the way to do it. I predict that we will get to 14 July, when most of the amendments will not have been debated, and once again let the other place dismember the legislation. We can see the job it is doing up there at the moment, and that is because ill-thought-out and ill-prepared Bills are being brought forward by this coalition Government.

6.25 pm

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): I did not intend to speak, but I have been provoked into making a few brief comments. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone), I have concerns about programme motions, despite having been here only a short time. I, too, have never been successfully placed on a Bill Committee, although his failure is perhaps greater than mine as he has been here a bit longer than I have.

Before I was elected to this place, I spent 10 years as a local government councillor in perpetual opposition, being one of only two Conservative councillors on an authority of 60 members. We spent all that time criticising the administration for not listening to us and not giving us the opportunity to scrutinise decisions correctly. Perhaps it is the role of an Opposition to make a great deal of noise about the issue of scrutiny, and I understand that that is partly the approach of Labour Members today.

Since being elected, I have been incredibly frustrated by how little time there is to debate anything. Everything seems to be time-limited, and one sometimes sits for

21 Jun 2011 : Column 214

hours and cannot get called. I hope that if anything comes out of these discussions, this issue will be looked at in future years and we will have a different way of doing things in this place so there is proper debate.

When I talk to members of the public and health professionals, they tell me that they want clarity in knowing where we are heading with the NHS. Having listened to the Secretary of State, I want to know what the provisions will be to prevent cherry-picking.

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) (Lab): Does the hon. Gentleman not understand that recommitting only the parts of the Bill that the Government want to recommit, and not considering the knock-on impact on other parts of it, will create uncertainty about the aspects that are not going to be debated?

Andrew Percy: I take the hon. Gentleman’s point. That has already been discussed. The key thing now is to debate the parts of the Bill that the Government have said they intend to amend, and perhaps that will mean that we can debate them in more depth. I want to know what the provisions are going to be to prevent cherry-picking. The shadow Secretary of State said that this is an attempt by the Government to break up the NHS and bring in market forces. I would not want to be a member of any political party that attempted to do that, so I want to know about the Government amendments.

Kevin Brennan: I respect the hon. Gentleman’s respect for Parliament and therefore put to him what I said earlier: on a point of principle, is it not wrong that the Government should be able to select the parts of the Bill that they want to have scrutinised and not allow Members from all parts of the House an opportunity to do so? Does that not set an extremely dangerous precedent?

Andrew Percy: We have discussed where these procedures come from and who is accountable for them, and that certainly cannot be laid at the door of this Government. Over the past few months, we have heard first that there has been too much delay, and now that there is not enough delay.

As we have heard, professionals in the health service and the public have been saying that they wanted to know where we were heading and that they needed some clarity. The Government wanted that brought to an end, and they have had their listening exercise. On that basis alone, although I do not like the idea of curtailing debate, I hope that we can get on with this so that we all know what the changes are going to be, and that we end up with an NHS that is on a stable footing for the long term and do not have any more reorganisation for a considerable time.

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Grahame Morris with about four seconds.

6.29 pm

Grahame M. Morris (Easington) (Lab): I am very grateful, Mr Deputy Speaker. I call for the motion to be opposed.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 215

6.29 pm

Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab): I just reiterate the point that 1951 is the last time that this exact procedure was used. The Government are setting a dangerous precedent. This is an abuse of parliamentary procedure and it does not enable the House to consider all parts of the Bill. The recommittal of Bills is quite a rare procedure in this House.

6.30 pm

One hour having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on the motion, the Deputy Speaker put the Question (Order, 20 June).

The House divided:

Ayes 297, Noes 224.

Division No. 301]

[6.30 pm


Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Alexander, rh Danny

Amess, Mr David

Andrew, Stuart

Arbuthnot, rh Mr James

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Norman

Baker, Steve

Baldry, Tony

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barker, Gregory

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Bingham, Andrew

Birtwistle, Gordon

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Mr Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, Tom

Bray, Angie

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Mr Steve

Brokenshire, James

Brooke, Annette

Buckland, Mr Robert

Burley, Mr Aidan

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Mr Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burstow, Paul

Burt, Alistair

Burt, Lorely

Byles, Dan

Cable, rh Vince

Cairns, Alun

Campbell, rh Sir Menzies

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Carmichael, Neil

Carswell, Mr Douglas

Cash, Mr William

Chishti, Rehman

Clark, rh Greg

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Crockart, Mike

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, David T. C.


Davies, Glyn

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

de Bois, Nick

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dorrell, rh Mr Stephen

Dorries, Nadine

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Jonathan

Evennett, Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, Michael

Featherstone, Lynne

Foster, rh Mr Don

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fullbrook, Lorraine

Fuller, Richard

Garnier, Mr Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

George, Andrew

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gilbert, Stephen

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Damian

Greening, Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Halfon, Robert

Hames, Duncan

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, Matthew

Harper, Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Harvey, Nick

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, Mr John

Heath, Mr David

Hemming, John

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Charles

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoban, Mr Mark

Hollingbery, George

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Hopkins, Kris

Horwood, Martin

Howell, John

Hughes, rh Simon

Hunter, Mark

Huppert, Dr Julian

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, Sajid

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kelly, Chris

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Mr Greg

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Laing, Mrs Eleanor

Lamb, Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Lansley, rh Mr Andrew

Laws, rh Mr David

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Jessica

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leech, Mr John

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lloyd, Stephen

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Macleod, Mary

Main, Mrs Anne

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McIntosh, Miss Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Mensch, Mrs Louise

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Patrick

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, Maria

Mills, Nigel

Milton, Anne

Moore, rh Michael

Morgan, Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Mosley, Stephen

Mowat, David

Mulholland, Greg

Mundell, rh David

Munt, Tessa

Murray, Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newmark, Mr Brooks

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Brien, Mr Stephen

Offord, Mr Matthew

Ollerenshaw, Eric

Ottaway, Richard

Paice, rh Mr James

Parish, Neil

Patel, Priti

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pugh, John

Raab, Mr Dominic

Randall, rh Mr John

Reckless, Mark

Redwood, rh Mr John

Rees-Mogg, Jacob

Reevell, Simon

Reid, Mr Alan

Robathan, rh Mr Andrew

Robertson, Hugh

Rogerson, Dan

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, Amber

Ruffley, Mr David

Russell, Bob

Rutley, David

Sanders, Mr Adrian

Sandys, Laura

Scott, Mr Lee

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Shepherd, Mr Richard

Simmonds, Mark

Simpson, Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Miss Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Sir Robert

Soames, Nicholas

Spencer, Mr Mark

Stanley, rh Sir John

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stuart, Mr Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Swales, Ian

Swayne, Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Tapsell, Sir Peter

Teather, Sarah

Thurso, John

Timpson, Mr Edward

Tomlinson, Justin

Tredinnick, David

Truss, Elizabeth

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, Mr Andrew

Uppal, Paul

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Ward, Mr David

Watkinson, Angela

Weatherley, Mike

Webb, Steve

Wharton, James

Wheeler, Heather

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Mr Mark

Williams, Stephen

Williamson, Gavin

Willott, Jenny

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wright, Simon

Yeo, Mr Tim

Young, rh Sir George

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Stephen Crabb and

James Duddridge


Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Alexander, rh Mr Douglas

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Ashworth, Jon

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bain, Mr William

Balls, rh Ed

Barron, rh Mr Kevin

Begg, Dame Anne

Bell, Sir Stuart

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Blackman-Woods, Roberta

Blears, rh Hazel

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Blunkett, rh Mr David

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brennan, Kevin

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Brown, Mr Russell

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burnham, rh Andy

Campbell, Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Caton, Martin

Chapman, Mrs Jenny

Clarke, rh Mr Tom

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Rosie

Corbyn, Jeremy

Crausby, Mr David

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Cunningham, Tony

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

Darling, rh Mr Alistair

David, Mr Wayne

Davidson, Mr Ian

Davies, Geraint

De Piero, Gloria

Denham, rh Mr John

Dobson, rh Frank

Docherty, Thomas

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donohoe, Mr Brian H.

Doran, Mr Frank

Dowd, Jim

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Edwards, Jonathan

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Engel, Natascha

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Mr Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Flint, rh Caroline

Fovargue, Yvonne

Francis, Dr Hywel

Gapes, Mike

Gilmore, Sheila

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mrs Mary

Goggins, rh Paul

Goodman, Helen

Greatrex, Tom

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Hain, rh Mr Peter

Hamilton, Mr David

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Havard, Mr Dai

Healey, rh John

Hendrick, Mark

Heyes, David

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jackson, Glenda

James, Mrs Siân C.

Jamieson, Cathy

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Jowell, rh Tessa

Joyce, Eric

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Lazarowicz, Mark

Leslie, Chris

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Lloyd, Tony

Love, Mr Andrew

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian

MacShane, rh Mr Denis

Mactaggart, Fiona

Mahmood, Shabana

Mann, John

Marsden, Mr Gordon

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McCrea, Dr William

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGovern, Alison

McKechin, Ann

McKinnell, Catherine

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Mearns, Ian

Michael, rh Alun

Miliband, rh David

Miller, Andrew

Mitchell, Austin

Morden, Jessica

Morrice, Graeme


Morris, Grahame M.


Mudie, Mr George

Munn, Meg

Murphy, rh Mr Jim

Murphy, rh Paul

Nandy, Lisa

Nash, Pamela

O'Donnell, Fiona

Onwurah, Chi

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Perkins, Toby

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Qureshi, Yasmin

Raynsford, rh Mr Nick

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reeves, Rachel

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Riordan, Mrs Linda

Robertson, Angus

Robertson, John

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Ruane, Chris

Ruddock, rh Joan

Seabeck, Alison

Shannon, Jim

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheridan, Jim

Shuker, Gavin

Simpson, David

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Mr Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Spellar, rh Mr John

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Ms Gisela

Sutcliffe, Mr Gerry

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

Walley, Joan

Watson, Mr Tom

Watts, Mr Dave

Weir, Mr Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Wicks, rh Malcolm

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, Chris

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Wood, Mike

Woodcock, John

Woodward, rh Mr Shaun

Wright, David

Wright, Mr Iain

Tellers for the Noes:

Phil Wilson and

Lyn Brown

Question accordingly agreed to.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 216

21 Jun 2011 : Column 217

21 Jun 2011 : Column 218

21 Jun 2011 : Column 219


That the following provisions shall apply to the Health and Social Care Bill for the purpose of supplementing the Order of 31 January 2011 (Health and Social Care Bill (Programme)):


1. The Bill shall be re-committed to the Public Bill Committee to which it previously stood committed in respect of the following Clauses and Schedules—

(a) in Part 1, Clauses 1 to 6, 9 to 11, 19 to 24, 28 and 29 and Schedules 1 to 3;

(b) in Part 3, Clauses 55, 56, 58, 59, 63 to 75, 100, 101, 112 to 117 and 147 and Schedules 8 and 9;

(c) in Part 4, Clauses 149, 156, 165, 166 and 176;

(d) in Part 5, Clauses 178 to 180 and 189 to 193 and Schedule 15;

(e) in Part 8, Clause 242;

(f) in Part 9, Clause 265;

(g) in Part 11, Clauses 285 and 286;

(h) in Part 12, Clauses 295, 297 and 298.

2. Proceedings in the Public Bill Committee on re-committal shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion on Thursday 14 July 2011.

3. The Public Bill Committee shall have leave to sit twice on the first day it meets.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 220

Scotland Bill (Programme) (No. 2)

6.44 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (David Mundell): I beg to move,

That the Order of 27 January 2011 (Scotland Bill (Programme)) be varied as follows:

1. Paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Order shall be omitted.

2. Proceedings on consideration shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on the day on which those proceedings are commenced.

3. Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after the moment of interruption on that day, or one hour after they are commenced, whichever is the earlier.

I wish to speak briefly to the programme motion, so as to allow Report to begin. As Members will see, the Government are amending the programme order to allow Report stage to run until 10 pm and Third Reading to conclude one hour after that. Members will be aware that the Health and Social Care Bill was recommitted today, and that one hour was agreed to for that debate. That has resulted in a shift in today’s business. The Government believe that it is important that the Scotland Bill receives an appropriate amount of time for debate on Report, which is why we are allowing for proceedings on Report to continue until 10 pm, and for Third Reading to conclude at 11 pm.

I am aware that the hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) raised concerns in the Chamber yesterday about the amount of time available to debate the remaining stages of the Bill. The programme motion will extend time for debate on the Bill, and I hope that it will allay his concerns. I look forward to consideration of amendments on Report, and to the debate that the Bill will receive on Third Reading.

6.46 pm

Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) (Lab/Co-op): I welcome the opportunity to debate the Scotland Bill yet again. For many of us it has been a long process since the formation of the Calman commission in late 2007, and there has been detailed consideration of a number of the measures in the Bill.

However, as I am sure the Minister would acknowledge, the Government have tabled significant and important new clauses that were not part of the Calman process and were not available to us in Committee. As I recall, they were not ready by the time of our debates in Committee. A number of amendments have also been tabled by the Opposition Front Benchers and by other Members on both sides of the House, including nationalist Members, and we are keen to have them debated this evening.

I understand the Minister’s point about the additional hour that is being provided to compensate for the debate on the recommittal of the Health and Social Care Bill, but there was an hour’s debate on that motion plus the time for the vote. It followed the Government’s customary U-turn statement, which today was on sentencing. I note that that lasted almost exactly 90 minutes, and although I am sure the Justice Secretary enjoyed those 90 minutes of his time, it means that there is less time for us to debate important aspects of this constitutional Bill. The Minister and his colleague the Secretary of

21 Jun 2011 : Column 221

State have made great play of the significance of the Bill, for instance in the fiscal changes that it encompasses, the additional powers that it devolves to the Scottish Parliament and the reassignment of powers at UK level.

I understand, of course, that by speaking to the programme motion I am effectively reducing the time available for debate on the substance of the Bill, but I wish to register the point that we are aware that significant parts of the Bill have yet to be debated in any meaningful way. They include issues that we did not reach in Committee, which are back on the agenda today. As the Minister said, it is important that we have the appropriate amount of time to debate them this evening. Given the time that we have left, I am not sure that will be the case.

I am sure the Minister would like us to deal with the Bill properly, given the amount of further scrutiny that there will be in the Scottish Parliament, and that he wants us to have the appropriate time to debate the issues in question. I am not sure we will have enough time this evening, although we will endeavour to get through as much as possible. It is important that some of the amendments are dealt with in depth and detail, and I am not sure that the motion affords us that opportunity.

6.49 pm

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): I do not know what planet the Minister is living on if he thinks that three hours is enough to discuss the remaining stages of a Bill that he has described as the most significant transfer of powers since the onset of the Scottish Parliament. It is totally unsatisfactory. We have something like 26 amendments and 11 new clauses to discuss, on issues as important as the tax powers of the Scottish Parliament, corporation tax, excise duty, the devolution of legal powers and authorities and the composition of the Scottish Parliament. Each of those deserves a full day’s debate, yet we must try to shoehorn all that into approximately three hours. We have heard a lot about the respect agenda, which is a much abused and misused term, but surely it is the height of disrespect to try to shoehorn all those important matters into such a short time.

If the House does not care about Scotland, it will be no surprise if Scotland does not care about the House. There is a lack of time for debate. I will not divide the House because I want to get on in the time available to try to discuss the important measures. I simply register our deep unhappiness and dissatisfaction about the lack of time that we have been left to debate an important Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 222

Scotland Bill

[Relevant document: The Fourth Report from the Scottish Affairs Committee, The Scotland Bill, HC 775-I.]

Consideration of Bill, as amended in the Committee.

New Clause 5

Definition of Scottish taxpayer for Scottish variable rate

‘(1) In Part 4 of the 1998 Act (power to vary income tax rate), for subsections (1) to (6) of section 75 (Scottish taxpayers) substitute—

“ Sections 80D to 80F (definition of Scottish taxpayer) apply for the purposes of this Part.”

(2) This section ceases to have effect at the end of the last year for which Part 4 has effect (see section 26(2) and (4)).’.— (Mr Gauke.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

6.51 pm

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Mr David Gauke): I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: new clause 8 —Funding formula for Scottish Government (No. 2)—

‘(1) Within six months of the day on which this Act is passed, the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall lay before the House a report on the formula for allocating funds from the Consolidated Fund to the Scottish Government, and on alternative ways of calculating the sums to be paid.

(2) Within six weeks of laying the report referred to in subsection (1) above, the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall lay before the House proposals for a new funding formula which would ensure that the funds allocated to the Scottish Government are no more than 5 per cent. below or above the equivalent figure for each of the other nations of the UK.’.

New clause 9—Tax on profits of companies—

‘In Part 4A of the 1998 Act (as inserted by section 24), after Chapter 4 (inserted by section 30) insert—

Chapter 5

Tax on Profits of Companies

80L Tax on profits of companies

The Secretary of State shall, within one month of the coming into force of section 80B of this Act, lay in accordance with Type A procedure as set out in Schedule 7 to this Act a draft Order in Council which specifies as an additional devolved tax a tax charged on the profits of companies.”’.

New clause 19—Spirits, wine, beer and cider duties—

‘(1) The 1998 Act is amended as follows.

(2) In Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Act, in section A1 (specific reservations: fiscal, economic and monetary policy), after the heading “Exceptions”, insert—

“Spirits duties, wine duties and beer and cider duties”.’.

Amendment 25, in clause 24, page 16, line 35, at end insert—

‘(c) Chapter 5 provides for an Order in Council to specify, as an additional devolved tax, a tax charged on the profits of companies.’.

Amendment 24, in clause 26, page 20, line 24, at end insert—

21 Jun 2011 : Column 223

‘(3) T is deemed to be in Scotland at the end of a day when T commences a journey in Scotland before midnight and arrives at a destination in England after midnight, irrespective of the time at which the border between Scotland and England is crossed.’.

Government amendments 31 and 15.

Amendment 26, in clause 32, page 25, line 10, leave out

‘with the approval of the Treasury, borrow by way of loan’

and insert ‘borrow’.

Amendment 27,  page 25, line 15, at end insert—

‘(1C) In borrowing any sums under subsection (1A), the Scottish Ministers must have regard to any code of practice agreed by them and the Treasury.

(1D) A code of practice agreed under subsection (1C) may include provision as to—

(a) how the Scottish Ministers are to determine and keep under review how much they can afford to borrow,

(b) the terms and conditions on which sums may be borrowed,

(c) limits on the aggregate at any time outstanding in respect of the principal of sums borrowed.’.

Government amendment 32.

Amendment 28,  page 25, line 26, leave out from beginning to end of line 33.

Government amendment 33.

Amendment 29,  page 25, line 43, leave out subsection (10).

Government amendments 34 and 35.

Amendment 23, in clause 39, page 28, line 35, leave out from beginning to end of line 2 on page 29 and insert—

‘(2A) Subject also to the provision made in sections 26(1) to (6), 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 as to how those sections are to have effect, Part 3 shall come into force at the end of the period of two months after the new funding formula referred to in subsection (2) of section [Funding formula for Scottish Government (No. 2)] has been approved by resolution of the House of Commons.’.

Amendment 37,  page 28, line 35, at end insert—

‘(c) section [Spirits, wine and beer and cider duties]’.

Amendment 18,  page 28, line 40, at end insert—

‘(3A) Notwithstanding any provisions in subsection 3(a), (b) or (c), sections 26(1) to (6) and 27, sections 28 and 29, and sections 30 and 31 can not be commenced without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.’.

Amendment 2,  page 29, line 2, at end insert

‘except new subsections (1A) and (1B) of section 66 of the 1998 Act, inserted by section 32(3), and subsections (9) and (10), which shall come into force on 1 April 2012’.

Mr Gauke: It gives me great pleasure to return to the House to discuss the Scotland Bill after the Committee debate in March.

The first group of amendments on today’s selection list is fairly extensive and addresses several different aspects of the Bill’s finance package. I will set out why we have tabled Government amendments and why we will not accept the non-Government amendments.