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9 pm

There is agreement on all sides that we have a no detriment and a no advantage principle, which was agreed before the Smith proposals were published. They are clearly being adhered to. There is all-party agreement on the devolution of APD. There can be no backsliding. I suspect there will be no votes on this. I look forward to hearing what the Minister says in his summing up.


Mr Kevan Jones: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Crausby.

I do not oppose the devolution of APD to the Scottish Parliament, but as my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley and Broughton (Graham Stringer) said, it will have a dramatic effect on regional airports within the UK. The hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) mentioned the attractions of Edinburgh to north-east businesses that want international flights, but I have to say that they would sooner fly directly from Newcastle. As for the notion that people would fly to Edinburgh and then get on a train to travel south to our region, that would not be an alternative to flying directly to the north-east via Newcastle. Newcastle airport has been a success story for the north-east.

We hear much from this Government about rebalancing the economy. The north-east has taken the brunt when it comes to the loss of public sector jobs and it also has the highest levels of unemployment in the UK. There have also been knock-on effects from the Government’s decisions deliberately to divert funds from poorer regions such as the north-east to the Tory heartlands.

We have heard the Government’s rhetoric about growing the private sector. Newcastle airport has, I think, been a great example. A few years ago, I had the privilege of being a director of the airport, which is a great partnership between the local authorities in the region and the private sector. In 2012, the airport added value of some £640 million to the north-east economy, and under its master plan by 2030 it will generate some £1.3 billion for the north-east economy. It is currently sustaining 7,800 jobs, rising to over 10,000 by 2030.

The team at Newcastle airport now provides direct flights to Dubai and to New York, and those international flights will be put at risk if the Scottish Government go ahead with their plans. I understand that this is a devolved matter, and I understand the reasons why the Scottish Government want to reduce APD. Clearly, as my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley and Broughton said, the tax was brought in for environmental reasons that now make little sense when it comes to growing the country’s economy.

Alex Salmond (Gordon) (SNP): I could be reading the amendment paper wrongly, but am I wrong to interpret the hon. Gentleman’s amendment 36, which has not been called for debate, as designed to delete the clause that would devolve air passenger duty? Several times, the hon. Gentleman said that he was not opposed to the devolution of APD, but I thought his amendment was supposed to delete the provisions that made APD a devolved matter.

Mr Jones: The reason for that is that I was advised to do so to get my probing amendment on the amendment paper. There is no intention to delete the provisions,

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and the amendment has not been selected. I would have thought that the right hon. Gentleman’s experience in the House would make him au fait with the procedures for ensuring that Members can get a subject debated.

The Scottish Government’s proposals on APD do not make economic sense. Reducing and abolishing APD will clearly grow airport traffic into airports in Scotland as well as grow jobs, yet that will be to the detriment of airports such as Newcastle’s.

Peter Grant: If the hon. Gentleman is concerned that further devolution to Scotland might make Scotland too successful, surely the answer is to see further devolution to the regions and great cities of England, not to stop further devolution in its tracks so that everything remains centred in London for ever and a day.

Mr Jones: I do not disagree with the hon. Gentleman’s thrust, but what the Government have proposed for the north-east is not clear: an elected mayor whose area would stretch from Berwick right down to the Tees. That is the only way we will get any sort of devolution to the north-east at all, and there has been no public debate about it.

Clearly, the measures on air passenger duty will grow jobs in Scottish airports. I accept the point made earlier about the more outlying airports. In this country, we seem to have a policy of looking at regional airports as we do the major city airports. However, it is clear that small airports and communities, whether in Scotland or the rest of the UK, need connectivity to the major hubs.

Dr Whitford: Prestwick airport, the oldest passenger airport in Scotland, is in my constituency. We are not even connected to London. There was a time when people could take transatlantic flights from it, but no longer. Rather than thinking that Scotland would steal from the north of England, can the hon. Gentleman not accept that the total number of tourist visitors could grow?

Mr Jones: I agree, but if air passenger duty were zero in Scotland and the same as it is now in Newcastle, Scotland would clearly have an advantage. I do not want to get on to how much Scotland is able to devote to its tourism promotion budget, something that we need more of in the north-east.

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) (Con): The hon. Gentleman seems to be setting out the most attractive form of tax competition. If Scotland gets rid of air passenger duty, there will be real pressure on the Chancellor to abolish it for the rest of the United Kingdom, and the whole economy will grow. It is marvellous to see the whole House moving in such a right-wing direction in its economic debates.

Mr Jones: On this very rare occasion, I agree with the hon. Gentleman. I would abolish APD altogether; it is a tax that, as the Scottish Government have recognised, stifles economic development. A PwC report says that the number of overseas visitors would grow by 7% if we abolished it altogether and that more money would come in from other taxes.

Scotland, for her own, sensible reasons, could halve and then abolish APD, leaving Newcastle at a great disadvantage. That would cost jobs; it has been anticipated

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that up to 1,000 jobs could be lost by 2025 if the situation remained the same, along with £400 million gross value to the economy of the north-east. One of the poorest regions in the UK cannot afford to be at such a disadvantage.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Blackley and Broughton (Graham Stringer) said, there seems to be a bit of confusion over the Government’s approach. He read out the Chancellor’s comment at the Treasury Committee sitting. The Chancellor seemed to be sanguine, giving the impression that if Scotland reduced its APD, airports such as Newcastle could happily soak up a 10% loss in traffic. I am sorry, but I have been a director of the airport and I know the management team well—I know how hard they have to work to attract every single flight and new route to Newcastle. A clear 10% loss would not be acceptable. My hon. Friend mentioned another point. The Chancellor also said that his personal view was that tax competition should be allowable. If that means putting the north-east at a disadvantage, the Government have to address that.

There has been some confusion. During the general election, the Prime Minister was asked by a local newspaper about unfair competition affecting Newcastle airport and—we should not forget the other airport in the north-east —Durham Tees Valley airport. He was questioned about reducing rates of APD for north-east airports to match the reduction in Scotland, as the Labour party in the region had been arguing. He said that that could be a positive suggestion.

What we need now is clear action. We have a new Minister for the northern powerhouse, the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Stockton South (James Wharton). I understand that his constituency includes Durham Tees Valley, so whether he can persuade the Treasury to do something about the effect of the clause on the north-east economy will be an interesting test of his power. We hear a lot about the northern powerhouse. Those of us in the north-east think that it ends in Manchester.

It is important that the effect of the clause is addressed. If it is not, this unfair tax will not only cost jobs in one of the poorest regions of the UK, but stifle one of the few economic drivers in the north-east in Newcastle airport, which can grow not only business, but competition. As I said in an earlier intervention, Newcastle airport is important not only for passengers, but for cargo revenues. It enables companies in the north-east to export around the world. The direct flight to Dubai has meant that a lot of local businesses have been able to export products there directly and to grow.

I am interested to know the Government’s approach to this issue. If the clause is passed, we cannot have a lag that leaves regions such as the north-east being hit by the tax competition which the Chancellor seems to think is acceptable, but which the Prime Minister clearly wants to do something about. The ball is firmly in the Government’s court to ensure that this anomaly is put right.

Alex Salmond: I am grateful to the hon. Members for Blackley and Broughton (Graham Stringer) and for North Durham (Mr Jones) for the way that they have spoken about this issue. I am unconvinced by the argument

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that they had to table an amendment to delete the devolution of air passenger duty in order to make speeches. Speeches could be made on clause stand part. None the less, whatever the flow of logic, I am delighted that they have confirmed that they support the devolution of APD. I will be very supportive, in return, of some of the arguments that they have made.

As I have been through this issue in one guise or another over the past few years, I thought that it might be useful to remind the Committee of a little bit of history. The devolution of APD was proposed by the Calman commission. For Members who were not in the House at that time or who are not fully up on these matters, the Calman commission was the response of the Unionist parties to the SNP’s breakthrough in the 2007 election. We are still debating the devolution of APD because it disappeared from the legislative programme arising from Calman that was enacted in the last Parliament. It was proposed again by the Smith commission, which was the response of the Unionist parties, through the vow, to try to deflect the yes campaign in the final days of last year’s referendum.

Both those events, incidentally, have been overtaken by the fact that 56 Members of Parliament now adorn these Benches for the Scottish National party. No doubt, at some occasion in the not too distant future, we will be back debating the Government’s response to that latest political development. Surely history tells us—the hon. Member for Blackley and Broughton referred to this—that it would have been far better to have been more extensive and generous with devolution in the first place, and that we should not repeat the mistakes that the Government and the Unionist parties made in the past.

I had a meeting with Howard Davies a few years back when he was asked to chair the Airports Commission. I will be generous and say that it was set up to address the under-capacity and congestion at airports in the south-east of England—or perhaps it was to bash Boris’s proposal for an island airport. The point was to reconcile between Heathrow and Gatwick. We can be absolutely certain about two things in respect of the proposals that will come from the Howard Davies commission. First, we can be certain that, whatever the final adjudication, it will be some considerable time before either Heathrow or Gatwick emerges as the winner from the process. Secondly, we can be certain that, whatever emerges from the process, considerable amounts of public money, running into many billions of pounds, will be devoted, by one means or another, to expanding the capacity of those airports, which are severely congested at the moment.

The reason I mention this is that when I had my meeting, as First Minister, with Mr Davies—it might be Sir Howard Davies now, for all I know—[Interruption.] I am told that he is soon to be ennobled—other people have more information on these things than I do. Anyway, when I had my meeting with Sir Howard, I said, “Given that, whatever happens, your proposals will take some time to be enacted, would it not be a grand idea for you to propose, in the meantime, measures to relieve some of the congestion in the south of England airports? Perhaps reducing air passenger duty in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England and, pro tem at least, diverting some of the business from those airports would relieve some of the extraordinary pressure on them.”

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9.15 pm

I was very disappointed when, in his interim report, Sir Howard made clear his belief that such a move would constitute a “distortion of competition”. I thought that that was a magnificent argument in its way—magnificent in terms of brass neck. It was clearly not a distortion of competition to propose the expenditure of billions of pounds of public money on investment—financed by all of us—in increasing the capacity of the south of England airports, but it somehow would be a distortion of competition to reduce the taxation and increase the revenues generated by airports in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mr Kevan Jones: Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that Scotland and the north-east, for instance, are losing business not just to London but to parts of mainland Europe? At Schiphol, for instance, air passenger duty has been abolished.

Alex Salmond: I do agree with that, but I also think that we must consider the motivation for the introduction of what appears to be a remarkably foolish tax. Any Chancellor looking at Heathrow, for example, would see a fully congested airport and an air passenger duty with an effective collection rate of 100%, whereas any Chancellor looking at the north of England, Northern Ireland or Scotland would see airports with substantial capacity where a reduction in APD could increase business, and, given increased revenues from VAT and other taxation, would see the magic formula for a Laffer curve emerging. I was going to turn to the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) at that point, but when I mentioned the Laffer curve, he was busy having a conversation, just when he could have reached a peak of excitement.I think that it would be possible to achieve that Laffer curve, reducing the tax and increasing the revenue, and it seems that my view is shared on both sides of the Committee.

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): Does the right hon. Gentleman not recognise that, whether the Davies commission decides on Heathrow or on Gatwick, the vast majority of the investment will come from the private sector? It will not be billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. Does he not also recognise that there has been a campaign in the aviation industry to abolish APD altogether, and that the Treasury is hooked on the tax because it is worth £2.3 billion a year?

Alex Salmond: I agree with the hon. Gentleman’s first point only to the extent that there are people who argue that nuclear power does not require the investment of public money. I think he will find that, as the implementation of these proposals proceeds, substantial amounts of public money will be invested in the infrastructure to make it viable and credible. According to a recent study of transport infrastructure spending per head in various parts of England, the figure for the south-east of England was over £2,000 per head, the figure for the north-east was £26 per head, and the figure for the north-west was £200 per head. I do not have the exact figures, but I think that I have the relative parameters just about right—

Graham Stringer rose—

Alex Salmond: The hon. Gentleman can please inform me otherwise.

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Graham Stringer: The figures that the right hon. Gentleman has given are moving in the right direction, but the distortion is actually even greater. The capital expenditure figure is over 90% in London and the south-east, compared with single-figure percentages in Yorkshire and Humberside and the north-east.

Alex Salmond: I am never knowingly undersold. I accept what the hon. Gentleman has said. I was trying to moderate the figures slightly, in case the Committee found them incredible. However, they do tell us where we should be turning in the context of “distortion of competition”.

I am delighted that Members from the north of England have accepted that this tax should be devolved, and I am delighted that they have accepted the economic argument behind the direction in which the Scottish Government are moving. I think that the tax should be reduced at airports in the north of England as well, because they have substantial capacity that would increase revenue for us all. I am glad that their amendment did not become the basis of this conversation, because if the Scottish Government had opposed the devolution of part of APD to Northern Ireland, no progress would have been made. We are now on the verge of having APD devolved to Scotland, and I say to Members representing north of England constituencies that they should take the attitude that this should be the example for further devolution of a sensible policy which not only benefits one part of the country but looks at the economic opportunities in all parts of the country.

Unfortunately, I arrived for this debate at the end of the VAT fiddle discussion. I hope when the Minister replies on APD that, instead of his wholly disappointing and negative attitude to the embezzlement of VAT from the Scottish police service, he will return to the style of grace and imagination with which he usually so adorns the Dispatch Box, and this time recognise the opportunity for Scotland, and indeed the north of England, of making sure that this disgraceful tax is reduced and economic activity is increased.

Rob Marris (Wolverhampton South West) (Lab): I do not share this cosy consensus. The hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) made it very clear in his usual honourable way—I have sparred with him many times—that if APD is devolved, the Scottish Government, if controlled by the SNP, will cut it markedly and have the goal of abolishing it. He helped the Committee by quoting the Prime Minister to the effect that there would be—these are my words, not the Prime Minister’s—a “beggar my neighbour” attitude downwards on APD. Call me old-fashioned, but I think environmental laws should be state-wide and international, and I consider APD to be an environmental law, which is why I voted for it years ago.

As ever, the SNP has been totally open with the House: it wants to see the number of airline passengers increase throughout the UK. That is an environmental step backwards. Fortunately, we have environmental laws internationally through the EU, for example on waste disposal and air quality, something on which the UK is, to coin a phrase, falling foul at present.

Mr MacNeil: Following the hon. Gentleman’s argument, does he want to increase the rate of APD or is he saying the Tories have got it at just the right rate?

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Rob Marris: Yes, I would increase the rate of APD.

I was a Member of the House when the Climate Change Act 2008 was debated—there are several other such Members present, although we are a minority. There is in that Act a target which I think is UK-wide—I stand to be corrected on that—for an 80% cut in the UK’s CO2 emissions by 2050. I did not vote for that because I thought it was, to coin a phrase, hot air and, sadly, in the years since that Act has been passed, I have been proved right, as we see tonight.

Alex Salmond: The hon. Gentleman is not correct. Climate change legislation is devolved and the Scottish Parliament has its own Act in which the targets are even more ambitious and well on the way to being met.

Rob Marris: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that. Can he inform the Committee how on earth Scotland and the Scotland Parliament are going to meet those figures if they are intent on increasing the number of airline passengers?

Alex Salmond: Because, as one of the hon. Gentleman’s hon. Friends alluded to, one direct flight is better than two indirect flights.

Rob Marris: The right hon. Gentleman will know that the whole history of airline travel hitherto has been that it increases exponentially. It has done so, and if allowed to do so, will continue.

So I do not share this cosy consensus. I am not part of the airline and airport love-ins. As Members will know, airlines and their passengers already get a huge subsidy because of the low price they pay for airline fuel—kerosene. Members ought to bear this in mind when debating APD: no doubt the figures are lower in Scotland, but across the UK in any given year half the population do not fly. I believe that hon. Members have a completely distorted view of this matter. I suspect that I am one of the very few Members of this House who does not fly; I have not flown for years. I suspect that every other Member has a distorted view, based on self-interest. [Interruption.] It is not me who is causing a huge amount of environmental degradation through flying. The greenhouse gases emitted by aeroplanes at high altitude are far more damaging than the same amount of greenhouse gases emitted at sea level. Air travel is the most polluting form of mass travel.

In that context, I regret that the Government are devolving air passenger duty. Yes, I would increase it. The UK Government will live to regret this measure, because we are clearly heading towards the abolition of air passenger duty in Scotland and, eventually, through a process of “beggar my neighbour” downwards, across the rest of the United Kingdom. That will be another nail in the coffin of the doomed and uneconomic HS2 railway line. People will continue to fly south from Scotland and the north of England, and vice versa, rather than using the HS2 line. It is already uneconomic and, with the abolition of air passenger duty, it will become even more so.

Ian Murray: I do not want to detain the Committee for long, but let me just pose a few questions on what has been said about air passenger duty and the aggregates levy. I shall start with air passenger duty. Prior to the

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election, Opposition Members wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking what impact a rate of air passenger duty that was higher in Scotland than in England would have on regional English airports and Scottish airports. Will the Minister tell us what the Government’s movements have been on that impact assessment?

Hon. Members were berating my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton South West (Rob Marris) a moment ago, but he has raised an incredibly important environmental issue. The issue has been raised directly by the Committee on Climate Change, which reported recently that Scotland had missed its climate change target by 4.5%, the third time in a row that it had missed an annual target. The report also asked the Scottish Government to assess the impact of carbon on the economy in relation to the slashing of air passenger duty. I cannot ask the Scottish Government this question directly from the Dispatch Box, but can the Minister tell me whether an environmental assessment has been carried out on the raising or lowering of the duty?

On the aggregates levy, will the Minister tell us what progress has been made on resolving the legal issues relating to state aid and when we can expect the levy to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament?

Mr Gauke: We have had a reasonably lengthy debate in which Members have not, for the most part, tended to differ on the substance of the clause on air passenger duty, although the hon. Member for Wolverhampton South West (Rob Marris) is never afraid of setting out a contrary opinion. In fact, some Opposition Back Benchers argued for the abolition of APD, which would cost about £3.2 billion, while others argued for increasing it. If there is a need for fresh thinking among Labour Members, we are hearing plenty of it this evening, even if there has not been much in the way of coherence.

Graham Stringer: The Minister is right to mention the revenue from air passenger duty, but is he aware that a number of studies—the most significant being the PwC study—suggest that the economic benefit to the country of the abolition of APD would be greater than £3.2 billion?

Mr Gauke: I am aware of those studies. I will not detain the Committee for long on this subject, but we do not agree with the conclusions of the PwC study. We do not believe that the benefits of abolition would be as significant as the study suggests.

The hon. Members for Blackley and Broughton (Graham Stringer) and for North Durham (Mr Jones) talked about the impact on regional airports of the devolution of APD to Scotland. We recognise the potential impacts and the Government are reviewing options for supporting regional airports to deal with the effects of devolution. We will be publishing a discussion paper on this later in the summer and our document will address many of the concerns raised during today’s debate by the hon. Gentleman. I will ensure that it is available to Members of this House.

9.30 pm

Mr MacNeil: Does the Minister see any advantages in other tax revenues from the cutting of APD or does he think the countries that have cut APD have done it as a result of lemming-like behaviour?

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Mr Gauke: There are arguments and different views as to the economic impact of cutting APD. We are legislating to devolve this to Scotland, and I am sure the hon. Gentleman will be supporting this legislation. That move is also part of the Smith commission arrangements. It has potential knock-on effects for regional airports, particularly those close to the Scottish border. As I say, we are reviewing our options there and will report later in the summer.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): One advantage of the reduction in APD that we have been able to achieve in Northern Ireland is on the main flight between Belfast Aldergrove and New York city. That flight is well used, it has made Aldergrove’s position more powerful and it has connected the United States and Northern Ireland—I could say more. That is just an example from Northern Ireland, and the effect of one flight could be replicated across the whole United Kingdom.

Mr Gauke: Again, the hon. Gentleman is making a particular case. There are particular circumstances applying to that flight to the US, especially the competition that existed from the Republic of Ireland, which was why steps were taken on that point. As I say, we will be setting out options—

Mr Kevan Jones: Is the Minister telling the House tonight that the Chancellor has changed his views? When he went before the Treasury Committee last year, he talked about the effects on Newcastle, which he said would be about 10%. He said:

“That was work carried out a couple of years ago, but in Newcastle’s case, its traffic was up 12% last year, so I think these are manageable.”

Is the Minister now giving a commitment that this will be looked at or is the Chancellor sticking to his position that a reduction of 10% would be acceptable and “manageable” for Newcastle?

Mr Gauke: Let me repeat what I said earlier: there are potential impacts of devolution on regional airports, the Government are reviewing options for supporting regional airports in the light of those effects and we will publish a discussion paper later in the summer. I understand that the hon. Gentleman, who has campaigned consistently on this matter, may be a little impatient, but if he will just bear with us for a little longer—

Mr Jones: I understand the constraints and I would not expect the Minister to criticise his boss. He said a discussion paper will be coming out, but what is the timescale going to be? Clearly if the Scottish Government move to reduce APD as quickly as they get the powers, that will have a direct effect on places such as Newcastle. What timescale is he looking at?

Mr Gauke: Again, that will be set out in the discussion paper, and I think the hon. Gentleman would expect me to say nothing else on the point.

Rob Marris: Is it the Government’s view that the existence of APD has had any effect on the number of airline passengers flying to and from the UK, and within the UK, in each year since it came in? Do the

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Government think the existence of that tax has lessened the numbers, had no effect on them or, paradoxically, increased them?

Mr Gauke: It would be fair to say that given our belief that APD raises revenue, there is an adverse effect, in that it reduces the numbers who fly—

Rob Marris: A positive effect then.

Mr Gauke: I should put it as neutrally as I possibly can. We do not believe that the behavioural effects are as great as those set out in the PwC report, which is why we believe APD does raise revenue. There is a consensus—not a universal consensus—that it is right that we move on APD. On the point about regional airports, we will come back to that later in the summer.

May I also pick up the point on the aggregates levy? The hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) asked about the likely progress on legal matters. The European Commission was forced to reconsider its 2002 decision that the exemptions from the levy did not provide state aid following legal action by the British Aggregates Association. It announced its decision in March, finding that the levy as a whole was lawful, as were most of the exemptions. The Government are currently informally consulting trade associations on draft legislation to reinstate those exemptions—for example on slate and clay—found lawful by the Commission in March 2015.

With those points of clarification, I hope that the clauses before us can stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 16 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 17 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule 1 agreed to.

Clause 18 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

New Clause 1

Independent Commission on Full Fiscal Autonomy

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a commission of between four and eleven members to conduct an analysis of the impact of full fiscal autonomy on the Scottish economy, labour market and public finances and to report by 31 March 2016.

(2) No Member of the House of Commons or of the Scottish Parliament may be a member of the commission.

(3) No employee of the Scottish Government or of any government Department or agency anywhere in the United Kingdom may be a member of the commission.

(4) The Secretary of State shall appoint as members of the commission only persons who appear to the Secretary of State to hold a relevant qualification or to have relevant experience.

(5) The Secretary of State shall not appoint as a member of the commission any person who is a member of a political party.

(6) Before appointing any member of the commission, the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) the Chair of any select committee appointed by the House of Commons to consider Scottish affairs, and

(b) the Chair of any select committee appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of Her Majesty’s Treasury and its associated public bodies.

(7) The Secretary of State may by regulations issue the commission with terms of reference and guidelines for the commission’s working methods, including an outline definition of the policy of full fiscal autonomy for the commission to analyse.

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(8) The Secretary of State must lay copies of the report of the commission before both Houses of Parliament, and must transmit a copy of the report of the commission to the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament.

(9) Regulations under this section must be made by statutory instrument, subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.” —(Ian Murray.)

This New Clause requires the Secretary of State for Scotland to establish an independent commission of external experts, appointed in consultation with the Treasury Select Committee and Scottish Affairs Select Committee, to publish a report by 31 March 2016 setting out an analysis of the impact of the policy of Full Fiscal Autonomy on the Scottish economy, labour market and public finances.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Ian Murray: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (Natascha Engel): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 21—The Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility

‘(1) Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 (specific reservations) is amended as follows.

(2) In Section A1 (fiscal, economic and monetary policy)—

(a) For the heading “Exception” substitute “Exceptions”—

(b) After that heading, insert—

“The creation of a body corporate, called The Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility, for the independent scrutiny of Scotland‘s public finances, including all tax and spending in areas for which the Scottish Government has legislative competence.””

This New Clause would provide for the creation of a Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility to exercise fiscal and budgetary oversight over Scottish Government competencies. The Smith Commission recommended that the Scottish Parliament should seek to expand and strengthen the independent scrutiny of Scotland’s public finances in recognition of the additional variability and uncertainty that further tax and spending devolution will introduce into the budgeting process.

New clause 23—Local Discretionary Taxation

Individual local authorities in Scotland shall have the discretion to raise additional income by levying a tax, in addition to Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rates, on either residents, occupiers, property owners or visitors in the local authority or within a discrete area of the local authority.”

The power will enable local authorities to introduce tax(es) without the need to seek approval from Scottish Government, with the rates and reliefs being determined locally and the local authority being both granted powers to ensure that those on which the tax is levied have a legal obligation to pay and the local authority having the discretion to determine how the additional revenue is expended.

New clause 24—Tax and Economy Forum

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a Tax and Economy Forum to conduct an analysis of the impact of the changes in legislative and executive competence resulting from this Act on the economy, labour market and public finances in Scotland and in the other parts of the United Kingdom.

(2) The Tax and Economy Forum may make recommendations for fiscal reforms within Scotland, to be considered by the Secretary of State.”

The new Clause would require the appointment of a Tax and Economy Forum to assess the impacts of fiscal devolution proposed within this Bill on Scotland and on the rest of the United Kingdom.

New clause 25—UK Commission on fiscal powers

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‘(1) Within 6 months of the day on which this Act is passed, the Secretary of State shall appoint a commission to examine the deployment of fiscal powers at local, devolved and United Kingdom levels.

(2) The commission shall comprise between 4 and 6 representatives of any of—

(a) the Scottish Parliament,

(b) the National Assembly for Wales,

(c) the Northern Ireland Assembly,

(d) local government,

(e) the House of Commons, and

(f) the House of Lords.

(3) The bodies mentioned in subsection (2) shall select their representatives in any way they see fit and the chief executive or presiding officer of each of those bodies shall inform the Secretary of State of the names of the representatives of those bodies, which may replace their representatives whenever the body concerned has determined to do so.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), the commission may determine its own quorum and methods of working and must publish a protocol setting out its own terms of reference.

(5) The commission shall keep the operation of fiscal powers under review, making reports and recommendations as it deems appropriate.

The purpose of this New Clause is to ensure that there is proper consultation between the different parts of the United Kingdom to ensure that new Scottish fiscal powers are deployed in a way that does not undermine the cohesion of the UK. The proposed Commission could also make recommendation regarding the future of devolved fiscal powers.

New clause 33—Full fiscal autonomy for Scotland

‘(1) The Scottish Government and the Government of the United Kingdom must enter into an agreement (the “Economic Agreement”)—

(a) setting out a plan for implementation of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, and

(b) establishing a framework within which the two Governments are to coordinate their economic and fiscal policies in the context of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

(2) Full fiscal autonomy for Scotland means that—

(a) the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government have competence for determining revenues raised in or as regards Scotland through taxation and borrowing,

(b) the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government have competence for determining levels of public expenditure in or as regards Scotland,

in accordance with the amendments made by this Act.

(3) The framework mentioned in subsection (1)(b) must in particular include arrangements for—

(a) facilitating fiscal coordination,

(b) overseeing economic cooperation,

(c) joint responsibilities in areas of mutual interest,

(d) safeguarding fiscal sustainability.

(4) In determining the terms of the Economic Agreement the two governments must seek to ensure—

(a) the maintenance of monetary stability throughout the United Kingdom,

(b) the maintenance and promotion of the single markets in the United Kingdom and the European Union,

(c) that they cooperate in the exercise of their respective functions relating to the administration and collection of taxes,

(d) an equitable and transparent approach to consequences, resources and rewards,

(e) that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government retain the benefits of increased tax revenues delivered by successful policies pursued by them,

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1281

(f) that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government have the powers necessary to manage the consequences of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland,

(g) that full fiscal autonomy for Scotland is implemented over a period of time, as the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government acquire capacity to carry out their additional competences.

(5) The Economic Agreement is to be entered into as soon as possible and the two governments must cooperate in good faith with a view to achieving that.

(6) As soon as possible after the Economic Agreement is entered into—

(a) the Scottish Ministers must lay a copy of it before the Scottish Parliament, and

(b) the Secretary of State must lay a copy of it before both Houses of Parliament.

(7) The two governments must from time to time review the Economic Agreement and make such amendments to its terms as they may agree with a view to ensuring that it continues to meet the requirements of this section.

(8) Subsection (6) applies to the Economic Agreement as amended as it applies to the Agreement as entered into.

(9) The Secretary of State may, with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers, by regulations modify this section.

(10) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (9) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”

This new clause would require the Scottish and UK governments to reach agreement on the delivery of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

Amendment 3, in clause 63, page 67, line 30, leave out subsection (3) and insert—

‘(3) Part 2 of the Bill comes into force at the end of 2 months beginning with the publication of the report of the Independent Commission on Full Fiscal Autonomy appointed under section (Independent Commission on Full Fiscal Autonomy).”

This amendment provides that Part 2 (Tax) will not come into force at the end of two months beginning with the day on which the Act is passed, in order to link the commencement of the tax provisions of the Act with the work of the Independent Commission on Full Fiscal Autonomy, appointed under New Clause NC1, which would be required to report by 31 March 2016.

Ian Murray: It is great to see you in the Chair, Ms Engel. Congratulations on your elevation to Deputy Speaker. It appears that in tonight’s debate there is a sense of déjà vu, as we debated full fiscal autonomy a few weeks ago. Given that the Committee stage of this Bill has been dominated by the SNP manifesto commitment to deliver full fiscal autonomy and bringing forward its watered down promise to deliver it this year, it is good that we have the opportunity to try to put it into this Bill. In fact, as we witnessed last week, the SNP’s hand had to be forced by its arch Thatcherite colleagues, when its Members went into the Lobby with the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh). I said at the time that the worst possible scenario for Scotland would be the SNP demanding full fiscal autonomy and its being delivered by a majority Conservative Government. Those words were echoed—

Pete Wishart rose—

Ian Murray: Let me just finish this point. Those words were echoed by Dave Watson, the head of campaigns at Unison Scotland, who said:

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1282

“An incoming Tory government faced with a big number of SNP MPs, saying, ‘OK, if that’s what Scotland voted for, let’s give them Full Fiscal Autonomy.’ The Treasury would be able to dump £7.5bn of the deficit on the Scottish Government and just walk away.”

The fact that the SNP has another fudged amendment this evening shows that it does not believe that full fiscal autonomy would be good for Scotland.

Pete Wishart rose

Ian Murray: Before the hon. Gentleman pops up to say, “Too wee, too stupid and too poor,” as he always does, may I remind the House that that was a phrase coined by the SNP Finance Secretary and no one else? It is worth putting that on the record, given that he always pops up to say that.

Lord Smith of Kelvin said in his report that one of the primary aims of the Smith agreement was to provide the Scottish Parliament with accountability—

Pete Wishart rose

Ian Murray: I said that I would give way, and I will do so when I have made a little progress, given the late hour.

Lord Smith said that the Scottish Parliament was a Parliament that spends resources but does not raise any, so there is no accountability or responsibility. The Scotland Act 2012 resolved that position a little with the devolution of the most immovable taxes and 10p of income tax—

Pete Wishart: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Ian Murray: I will give way to the hon. Gentleman before he bursts a blood vessel.

Pete Wishart: I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. This rewriting of history is great and it is fantastic to find out the position of the Scottish National party, but perhaps he can explain the position of Scottish Labour. He abstained on full fiscal autonomy. Is that because he is uncertain, or is he perhaps now unsure about full fiscal autonomy?

Ian Murray: I am delighted by that intervention. What I did not want to do last week was rain on the parade of the Scottish National party as its Members went through the Lobby with the Thatcherite Conservatives to deliver full fiscal autonomy for Scotland. That is what seems to be wrong. The SNP is in full agreement with the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh) again tonight on the subject of the devolution of the entirety of income tax. Perhaps the party has a right-wing agenda after all.

As we know, the Bill provides full control of nearly 50% of revenues and more than 60% of spending. According to the Library, that will be 65% if the devolution of housing benefit is agreed tomorrow, making it one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world. The OECD ranked the Smith proposals and came to the same conclusion.

With that accountability and responsibility must come transparency and honesty. During the general election campaign, the First Minister and SNP candidates repeatedly said that they would vote for full fiscal autonomy this

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1283

year. That was reaffirmed in the television debates. All the impartial and independent expert analysis of full fiscal autonomy shows clearly that that would devastate Scotland’s financial position. That is the genesis of our new clause 1. If the Scottish Government want to dismiss all the independent experts simply because they do not agree with them, let us set up an independent commission to consider the consequences on Scotland’s finances of full fiscal autonomy.

Martin John Docherty (West Dunbartonshire) (SNP): Subsection (2) states:

“No Member of the House of Commons or of the Scottish Parliament may be a member of the commission.”

Is the hon. Gentleman saying that the Members of the unelected and unaccountable Chamber at the other end of this building could be members, such as the possible future chair, Baroness Goldie of Bishopton?

Ian Murray: The new clause is quite clear. I do not think it would be appropriate for Members of the House of Lords to serve on the commission—[Interruption.] Will SNP Members let me finish the sentence before they start braying from the Back Benches again?

The commission would specifically be designed to have no politicians on it from either Parliament, as well as no employees of the Scottish Government or the UK Government or of any agency related to them. It should be a commission of impartial experts in the field and if the Secretary of State wants to agree to the new clause, I am happy to take on board the suggestion that “no Member of the House of Lords” should appear in it, too.

Alex Salmond: On a point of order, Ms Engel. I am not sure that I heard the hon. Gentleman correctly, but he seems to be redrafting his clause during his speech. Would it be in order for him to redraft his new clause to include the House of Lords during his speech? Can he be that uncertain of his arguments?

The Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (Natascha Engel): The right hon. Gentleman knows that that is a matter of debate, so let us continue with that debate.

Ian Murray: The problem with the right hon. Member for Gordon (Alex Salmond) is that he does not want to debate full fiscal autonomy, as he knows that it is a bad policy. Let me emphasise that if the Secretary of State wants to accept the new clause, I would be more than happy to ensure that Members of the House of Lords were not on the commission. Let us be transparent and accountable in this place, rather than nitpicking about parts of the clause. The SNP do not want the scrutiny and that is the key to this argument.

Let us consider some of that scrutiny. The much-quoted IFS analysed full fiscal autonomy in Scotland and said that it would cost £7.6 billion next year and up to £10 billion by 2020. It has made it clear that that is over and above the deficit of the UK at the moment and the spending profile of the current Conservative Government. Let me emphasise again, as this has been misquoted by

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1284

the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson) on a number of occasions, that that figure is in addition to the current UK deficit.

The impartial analysis has been dismissed by the Scottish Government, so let us turn to another source of information, Her Majesty’s Treasury, which analysed these figures with results broadly in line with the analysis of the IFS. According to Treasury costings that I obtained through a freedom of information request, full fiscal autonomy would leave Scotland with an additional cash terms deficit of £7.7 billion in 2015-16, rising to £8.4 billion in 2019-20.

9.45 pm

Again, this will no doubt be dismissed, so let us look at the Office for Budget Responsibility oil and gas report published just 10 days ago. It shows that revenue from the North sea is projected to fall from £36.7 billion to just £2 billion in the period 2020-40. [Interruption.] That is dismissed not just by the SNP, but at this moment by the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart), so let us try the Scottish Government’s own annual accounts in the form of the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report published in March this year. The Scottish Government’s annual accounts show an annual deficit over and above the UK deficit of some £4 billion, and projections are due to worsen with the lower oil price.

Mr MacNeil: The hon. Gentleman will be aware that between 2007 and 2009 the UK’s deficit quadrupled. Given the significance that he attaches to deficits and to one year, what significance does he attach to the quadrupling of the debt of a state in a two-year period?

Ian Murray: I am not sure I understand the intervention. We are debating a deficit in Scotland being £7.6 billion over and above any UK deficit, rising to £10 billion by 2020. If we are defending Scottish jobs and livelihoods, that seems not just economically incredible, but economic illiteracy. Hon. Members need not take my word for it. The Scottish Trades Union Congress general secretary, Grahame Smith, commented that the Scottish Government’s own accounts were

“a sobering reminder of some of the risks of full fiscal autonomy”.

That is from the trade unions in Scotland.

The Scottish Government sneaked out their own oil and gas bulletin, their first since May 2014, last week on the last day of the Scottish Parliament. It would be good to look at that alongside the independence White Paper. The bulletin was very much in accord with the Office for Budget Responsibility that was rubbished just a few days before. It showed that North sea oil revenues and projections have fallen drastically in recent times, so let us have a look at those figures. The Scottish Government’s own oil and gas bulletin of June 2015 estimated North sea tax receipts for the period 2016-20 to be £5.8 billion. The same scenario from the same bulletin 13 months earlier estimated the receipts to be well in excess of £26 billion. Even if we compare one year—say, 2016-17—revenues had fallen from a projected £6.9 billion to £1.1 billion, and the lower estimates are as low as £500 million.

These are the Scottish Government’s own figures—all in all, an 85% drop. That tells us two things. First, it blows apart the financial basis for full fiscal autonomy.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1285

Secondly, like my new clauses 1 and 21, it calls for a more robust and impartial analysis of the Scottish economy and public finances. That is why we tabled new clauses 1 and 21. New clause 21, alongside new clause 1, would provide for the creation of a Scottish office for budget responsibility to exercise independent and impartial fiscal and budget oversight over Scottish Government devolved competencies.

The Smith commission recommended that

“the Scottish Parliament should seek to expand and strengthen the independent scrutiny of Scotland’s public finances in recognition of the additional variability and uncertainty that further tax and spending devolution will introduce into the budgeting process.”

The new clauses would do just that and take away the politicisation of one of the fundamental underpinnings of the Scottish economy, the financing of Scottish public services and, crucially, though it tends to be forgotten in this debate, the livelihoods of everyone living and working in Scotland.

I would go further and ensure that the Scottish office for budget responsibility assesses and reports on individual party manifestos, so that the public can be confident that what they are being sold is both credible and desirable. This is about simple transparency and accountability. That transparency and accountability, as I have said, has not been forthcoming on the current manifesto commitment on full fiscal autonomy. If we had had a Scottish office for budget responsibility at the last election, it would have reported that FFA would be hugely disadvantageous to Scotland. It would have backed up the IFS analysis that showed that FFA did not work and that Scotland would need a real-terms growth rate of 4.5% per year at least between 2013-14 and 2019-20. The assistant general secretary of the STUC, Mr Stephen Boyd, commented exactly on this and said:

“The implication across the board is that taxes would be cut. There are a number of examples where the Scottish Government would be trading a real and immediate cut in revenue for benefits that may not be great in the long run.”

That shows that it would not be achievable in the figures from the IFS. The IFS’s conclusion is that FFA would incur deep, deep cuts in spending or huge tax rises.

It is easy to talk about figures, percentages and statistics, but this has to be about the everyday lives of ordinary, hard-working Scottish families. Inflicting a policy on Scotland that would leave a deficit larger than the entire education budget, or more than three quarters the size of the NHS budget, will not assist Scotland. We all reject the Conservative Government’s misguided austerity, which we know is ideologically driven, rather than an attempt to balance the country’s finances, but we must also reject any policy that would inflict harsher and deeper austerity in Scotland. [Interruption.] This is not, as some would claim—they are claiming it as I speak—about being anti-Scottish, anti-aspiration or anti-hope for the ingenuity, passion and entrepreneurial spirit of Scotland; it is a sobering response to a key manifesto commitment from the Scottish National party.

SNP Members dismiss the views of the IFS, the OBR and even their own GERS reports, but even Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, has said on FFA:

“If the SNP plan for full fiscal autonomy were to go ahead, then, as a number of commentators have said, that would lead to very, very severe austerity in Scotland.”

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1286

That is why Labour is against full fiscal autonomy; that is why we believe in the pooling and sharing of resources across the United Kingdom; and that is why the public voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

George Kerevan: Does the hon. Gentleman not see that there is a contradiction in standing up and telling us repeatedly that full fiscal freedom would be bad for Scotland and asking for an independent budget review, which he clearly does not want to take account of? He wants an independent budget office, but he is telling us what it is going to say.

Ian Murray: That is a rather strange intervention. If Members read new clause 1 and new clause 21, they will see very clearly that what we are asking for is an independent commission to analyse the consequences for Scotland of full fiscal autonomy. If the SNP is so confident about its figures, it should back that proposal and then we will have the transparency, impartiality and independence of those policies. If it is so confident that it was not fiddling the figures, it should help us to set up a Scottish office for budget responsibility and let that body analyse its figures. However, it is clear once again that, when we shine the light of scrutiny on SNP policies, its Members want to talk about the process but not look at the impartial and independent evidence before us. If they are so confident, they will back new clause 1 and new clause 21 and bring much needed transparency, credibility and accountability back to the Scottish Parliament’s finances.

Stewart Hosie: We have just listened to one of the worst speeches I have heard in 10 years. The Labour party now has one argument: we have gone from being too small, too poor and too stupid for independence to being too small, too poor and too stupid for any powers at all. The hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) spoke about something that was “credible”. Credible? The Scottish people decided what was credible at the election in May, and they did not say it was his party. He spoke about right-wing, Thatcherite Tories, but it sounds to me like the core vote of the only Labour MP left in Scotland.

New clause 33, which stands in my name and those of my hon. Friends, would require the Scottish and UK Governments to enter into an economic agreement setting out a plan for implementation of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland and establishing a framework within which the two Governments co-ordinate their economic and fiscal policies in the context of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland. The Scottish Parliament and Government would have competence for revenue raised in Scotland through taxation and borrowing and for determining levels of public expenditure in or as regards Scotland.

We see the framework including arrangements for facilitating fiscal co-ordination, overseeing economic co-operation, safeguarding fiscal sustainability, and setting out the joint responsibilities in certain areas. In the agreement, the two Governments must seek to ensure the maintenance of monetary stability throughout the UK and the single market of the UK and the EU. They must also ensure co-operation in the exercise of all the respective functions relating to the administration and collection of taxes and an equitable and transparent approach to the consequences, resources and rewards.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1287

The Scottish Parliament and Government would retain the benefits of increased tax revenues as a result of positive policy impacts and would have the powers they need to manage the consequences of full fiscal autonomy.

I turn briefly to new clauses 1 and 21. New clause 1 would require that a Tory Secretary of State appoint a commission of between four and 11 members, none of whom can be a Member of Parliament, a Member of the Scottish Parliament or an employee thereof. It is backed by Labour and United Kingdom Independence party Members, so we have a Labour amendment backed by UKIP asking a Tory Secretary of State—

Ian Murray rose

Stewart Hosie: No, no, no.

The new clause asks for a Tory Secretary of State to appoint a commission of the great and the good from the House of Lords to determine Scotland’s future. What a lot of absolute rubbish!

Ian Murray: On that point, Madam Deputy Speaker. For the sake of clarity, the Committee will know that the procedure of this House is that any hon. Member can sign any amendment they so wish.

Stewart Hosie: So we have confirmation—Labour and UKIP hand in hand, empowering the Tories to run the rule over Scotland again.

As for new clause 21 on a Scottish OBR, we already have one—it is called the Scottish Fiscal Commission. The consultation on its expanded power closed on Friday. One would have thought that Scotland’s sole Labour MP might actually have known what was going on.

New clause 33 would have the Scottish and UK Governments enter into an economic agreement that set up a plan for the implementation of full fiscal autonomy and establish a framework within which the two Governments would co-ordinate their economic and fiscal policies in the context of full fiscal autonomy. That would mean the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government having competence for determining revenues raised in Scotland through taxation and borrowing, and for all of the spending, paying compensation to the UK for shared services. This is the right approach to take. I am just disappointed that we did not have proper time to debate it rather than being subject to the nonsensical rant and talking Scotland down by the so-called shadow Secretary of State. By taking responsibility for key areas of Scottish life, we can improve the Scottish Parliament’s ability to deliver real progress for the Scottish people. New clause 33 does that. It rejects the miserablist approach of the Labour party, and I commend it to the Committee.

David Mundell: I do not need a commission to tell me what a disaster full fiscal autonomy would be for Scotland. The hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie) set out the facts, and the facts are clear—a £10 billion black hole for Scottish taxpayers to fill. We do not need a commission to tell us that.

I do not accept the new clause on a Scottish OBR, because one thing that the hon. Gentleman said is correct—it is for the Scottish Government to determine

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1288

for the people of Scotland how they will ensure independent oversight of fiscal policy. The UK Government would like legislation brought forward by the Scottish Government to be consistent with OECD principles for best practice in independent fiscal institutions. We therefore look to have those discussions during the negotiation of the fiscal framework.

I therefore reject the new clauses and propose that we pass the clauses as stated.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 192, Noes 376.

Division No. 26]

[

9.59 pm

AYES

Abrahams, Debbie

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blomfield, Paul

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Butler, Dawn

Byrne, rh Liam

Cadbury, Ruth

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Chapman, Jenny

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Coyle, Neil

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

De Piero, Gloria

Debbonaire, Thangam

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Fletcher, Colleen

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Hillier, Meg

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Mr Kevan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Kendall, Liz

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Caroline

Lynch, Holly

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morris, Grahame M.

Mulholland, Greg

Murray, Ian

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Pugh, John

Qureshi, Yasmin

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Ryan, rh Joan

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sherriff, Paula

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Smyth, Karin

Spellar, rh Mr John

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Tami, Mark

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thornberry, Emily

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

West, Catherine

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Woodcock, John

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Heidi Alexander

and

Susan Elan Jones

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Arkless, Richard

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Bardell, Hannah

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Bob

Blackman, Kirsty

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Boswell, Philip

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brock, Deidre

Brokenshire, rh James

Brown, Alan

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chapman, Douglas

Cherry, Joanna

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cowan, Ronnie

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crawley, Angela

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Day, Martyn

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donaldson, Stuart

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Elliott, Tom

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fellows, Marion

Fernandes, Suella

Ferrier, Margaret

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Gethins, Stephen

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gibson, Patricia

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Grady, Patrick

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grant, Peter

Gray, Mr James

Gray, Neil

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Drew

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Kirby, Simon

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Law, Chris

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

Maynard, Paul

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mullin, Roger

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newlands, Gavin

Newton, Sarah

Nicolson, John

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Hara, Brendan

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Oswald, Kirsten

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Paterson, Steven

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Angus

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Gavin

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Salmond, rh Alex

Sandbach, Antoinette

Saville Roberts, Liz

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Sheppard, Tommy

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thewliss, Alison

Thomas, Derek

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Weir, Mike

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wishart, Pete

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

George Hollingbery

and

Margot James

Question accordingly negatived.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1289

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1290

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1291

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1292

10.13 pm

Proceedings interrupted (Programme Order, 8 June).

The Chair put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83D).

New Clause 21

The Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility

‘(1) Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 (specific reservations) is amended as follows.

(2) In Section A1 (fiscal, economic and monetary policy)—

(a) For the heading “Exception” substitute “Exceptions”—

(b) After that heading, insert—

“The creation of a body corporate, called The Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility, for the independent scrutiny of Scotland‘s public finances, including all tax and spending in areas for which the Scottish Government has legislative competence.””—(Ian Murray.)

This New Clause would provide for the creation of a Scottish Office for Budget Responsibility to exercise fiscal and budgetary oversight over Scottish Government competencies. The Smith Commission recommended that the Scottish Parliament should seek to expand and strengthen the independent scrutiny of Scotland’s public finances in recognition of the additional variability and uncertainty that further tax and spending devolution will introduce into the budgeting process.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 194, Noes 376.

Division No. 27]

[

10.14 pm

AYES

Abrahams, Debbie

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blomfield, Paul

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Butler, Dawn

Byrne, rh Liam

Cadbury, Ruth

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Chapman, Jenny

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Coyle, Neil

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

De Piero, Gloria

Debbonaire, Thangam

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Fletcher, Colleen

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Hillier, Meg

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Mr Kevan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Kendall, Liz

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Caroline

Lynch, Holly

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morris, Grahame M.

Mulholland, Greg

Murray, Ian

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Owen, Albert

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Pugh, John

Qureshi, Yasmin

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Ryan, rh Joan

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sherriff, Paula

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Smyth, Karin

Spellar, rh Mr John

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Tami, Mark

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thornberry, Emily

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

West, Catherine

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Woodcock, John

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Heidi Alexander

and

Susan Elan Jones

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Arkless, Richard

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Bardell, Hannah

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Bob

Blackman, Kirsty

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Boswell, Philip

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brock, Deidre

Brokenshire, rh James

Brown, Alan

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chapman, Douglas

Cherry, Joanna

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cowan, Ronnie

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crawley, Angela

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Day, Martyn

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donaldson, Stuart

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Elliott, Tom

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fellows, Marion

Fernandes, Suella

Ferrier, Margaret

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Gethins, Stephen

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gibson, Patricia

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Grady, Patrick

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grant, Peter

Gray, Mr James

Gray, Neil

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Hendry, Drew

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Kirby, Simon

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Law, Chris

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

Maynard, Paul

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mullin, Roger

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newlands, Gavin

Newton, Sarah

Nicolson, John

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

O'Hara, Brendan

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Oswald, Kirsten

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Paterson, Steven

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Angus

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Gavin

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Salmond, rh Alex

Sandbach, Antoinette

Saville Roberts, Liz

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Sheppard, Tommy

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephens, Chris

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thewliss, Alison

Thomas, Derek

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Weir, Mike

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williams, Hywel

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wishart, Pete

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

George Hollingbery

and

Margot James

Question accordingly negatived.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1293

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1294

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1295

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1296

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1297


New Clause 33

Full fiscal autonomy for Scotland

‘(1) The Scottish Government and the Government of the United Kingdom must enter into an agreement (the “Economic Agreement”)—

(a) setting out a plan for implementation of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, and

(b) establishing a framework within which the two Governments are to coordinate their economic and fiscal policies in the context of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

(2) Full fiscal autonomy for Scotland means that—

(a) the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government have competence for determining revenues raised in or as regards Scotland through taxation and borrowing,

(b) the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government have competence for determining levels of public expenditure in or as regards Scotland,

in accordance with the amendments made by this Act.

(3) The framework mentioned in subsection (1)(b) must in particular include arrangements for—

(a) facilitating fiscal coordination,

(b) overseeing economic cooperation,

(c) joint responsibilities in areas of mutual interest,

(d) safeguarding fiscal sustainability.

(4) In determining the terms of the Economic Agreement the two governments must seek to ensure—

(a) the maintenance of monetary stability throughout the United Kingdom,

(b) the maintenance and promotion of the single markets in the United Kingdom and the European Union,

(c) that they cooperate in the exercise of their respective functions relating to the administration and collection of taxes,

(d) an equitable and transparent approach to consequences, resources and rewards,

(e) that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government retain the benefits of increased tax revenues delivered by successful policies pursued by them,

(f) that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government have the powers necessary to manage the consequences of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland,

(g) that full fiscal autonomy for Scotland is implemented over a period of time, as the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government acquire capacity to carry out their additional competences.

(5) The Economic Agreement is to be entered into as soon as possible and the two governments must cooperate in good faith with a view to achieving that.(6) As soon as possible after the Economic Agreement is entered into—

(a) the Scottish Ministers must lay a copy of it before the Scottish Parliament, and

(b) the Secretary of State must lay a copy of it before both Houses of Parliament.

(7) The two governments must from time to time review the Economic Agreement and make such amendments to its terms as they may agree with a view to ensuring that it continues to meet the requirements of this section.(8) Subsection (6) applies to the Economic Agreement as amended as it applies to the Agreement as entered into.(9) The Secretary of State may, with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers, by regulations modify this section.(10) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (9) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1298

This new clause would require the Scottish and UK governments to reach agreement on the delivery of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The Committee proceeded to a Division.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Natascha Engel): I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

The

Committee

having divided:

Ayes 58, Noes 504.

Division No. 28]

[

10.28 pm

AYES

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Arkless, Richard

Bardell, Hannah

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Boswell, Philip

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Chapman, Douglas

Cherry, Joanna

Cowan, Ronnie

Crawley, Angela

Day, Martyn

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, Stuart

Durkan, Mark

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Hendry, Drew

Hosie, Stewart

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Law, Chris

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mullin, Roger

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Salmond, rh Alex

Sheppard, Tommy

Stephens, Chris

Thewliss, Alison

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Weir, Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Wilson, Corri

Wishart, Pete

Tellers for the Ayes:

Hywel Williams

and

Liz Saville Roberts

NOES

Abrahams, Debbie

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allan, Lucy

Allen, Mr Graham

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Ashworth, Jonathan

Atkins, Victoria

Austin, Ian

Bacon, Mr Richard

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barron, rh Kevin

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Beckett, rh Margaret

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benn, rh Hilary

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berger, Luciana

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Betts, Mr Clive

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blackwood, Nicola

Blomfield, Paul

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bruce, Fiona

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Buckland, Robert

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Butler, Dawn

Byrne, rh Liam

Cadbury, Ruth

Cairns, Alun

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chapman, Jenny

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Coyle, Neil

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crouch, Tracey

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Geraint

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

De Piero, Gloria

Debbonaire, Thangam

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Dromey, Jack

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Dugher, Michael

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Elliott, Tom

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Elphicke, Charlie

Esterson, Bill

Eustice, George

Evans, Chris

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Farrelly, Paul

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Frank

Field, rh Mark

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Fletcher, Colleen

Flynn, Paul

Foster, Kevin

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glass, Pat

Glen, John

Glindon, Mary

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Green, Kate

Greening, rh Justine

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffith, Nia

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gwynne, Andrew

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Haigh, Louise

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hamilton, Fabian

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, Helen

Hayes, rh Mr John

Hayman, Sue

Heald, Sir Oliver

Healey, rh John

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hillier, Meg

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, rh Mr George

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hurd, Mr Nick

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Jarvis, Dan

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Diana

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Mr Marcus

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kendall, Liz

Kennedy, Seema

Kinnock, Stephen

Kirby, Simon

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Kyle, Peter

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lancaster, Mark

Lavery, Ian

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leslie, Charlotte

Leslie, Chris

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lucas, Caroline

Lumley, Karen

Lynch, Holly

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malhotra, Seema

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, John

Mann, Scott

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

Mathias, Dr Tania

Maynard, Paul

McCabe, Steve

McCarthy, Kerry

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Mordaunt, Penny

Morden, Jessica

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, Grahame M.

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Ian

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Opperman, Guy

Osamor, Kate

Owen, Albert

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Pearce, Teresa

Penning, rh Mike

Pennycook, Matthew

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perkins, Toby

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Jess

Phillips, Stephen

Phillipson, Bridget

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pound, Stephen

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Qureshi, Yasmin

Raab, Mr Dominic

Rayner, Angela

Redwood, rh John

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Gavin

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Ryan, rh Joan

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shah, Naz

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Shelbrooke, Alec

Sherriff, Paula

Siddiq, Tulip

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Cat

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Julian

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Smith, Royston

Smyth, Karin

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spellar, rh Mr John

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevens, Jo

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Streeting, Wes

Stride, Mel

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Tami, Mark

Thomas, Derek

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thornberry, Emily

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Trickett, Jon

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turley, Anna

Turner, Mr Andrew

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vaz, Valerie

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

West, Catherine

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Phil

Wilson, Mr Rob

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Woodcock, John

Wragg, William

Wright, Mr Iain

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Noes:

George Hollingbery

and

Margot James

Question accordingly negatived.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1299

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1300

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1301

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1302

New Clause 54

Taxes on income

“In Section A1 in Part 2 of Schedule 5 (fiscal, economic and monetary policy) to the 1998 Act, in the Exceptions, after the entry for local taxes insert ‘Taxes on income’.”—(Stewart Hosie.)

This new clause is intended to devolve income tax completely to Scotland

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The Committee divided: Ayes 57, Noes 311.

Division No. 29]

[

10.47 pm

AYES

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Arkless, Richard

Bardell, Hannah

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Boswell, Philip

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Chapman, Douglas

Cherry, Joanna

Cowan, Ronnie

Crawley, Angela

Day, Martyn

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, Stuart

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Hendry, Drew

Hosie, Stewart

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Law, Chris

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Mc Nally, John

McCaig, Callum

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McGarry, Natalie

McLaughlin, Anne

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Mullin, Roger

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Robertson, Angus

Salmond, rh Alex

Sheppard, Tommy

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Stephens, Chris

Thewliss, Alison

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Weir, Mike

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Wilson, Corri

Wishart, Pete

Tellers for the Ayes:

Hywel Williams

and

Liz Saville Roberts

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Campbell, Mr Gregory

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donelan, Michelle

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Elliott, Tom

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kirby, Simon

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Gavin

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shannon, Jim

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

George Hollingbery

and

Margot James

Question accordingly negatived.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1303

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1304

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1305

The occupant of the Chair left the Chair (Programme Order, 8 June).

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again tomorrow.

Petition

Pardon for Dic Penderyn

10.59 pm

Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) (Lab): I wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in the Cynon Valley, my hon. Friends the Members for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Gerald Jones) and for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock), and people from all parts of Wales. On the instruction of Mrs Beryl Astbury and Mrs Pamela Lewis, descendants of Mr Richard Lewis, their solicitor Bernard de Maid has written to the Secretary of State for Justice requesting a pardon for Richard Lewis. I repeat Richard Lewis’s last words before his hanging on 13 August 1831, which reaffirm this miscarriage of justice: “O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd.” In English, this means, “Oh Lord, this is injustice.”

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Wales,

Declares that Richard Lewis (known as Dic Penderyn) was a Welsh labourer and coal miner who lived in Merthyr Tydfil; further that he was involved with the Merthyr Rising of 3 June 1831; further that during the riot, he was arrested and charged with stabbing a soldier, Donald Black, with a bayonet; further that the people of Merthyr Tydfil were convinced of his innocence and signed a petition for his release; further that despite this, he was found guilty and hanged on 13 August; further that in 1874, a man named Ianto Parker confessed on his death bed that he stabbed Donald Black; further that James Abbott, who testified against Richard Lewis at the trial later admitted to lying under oath; further that at Mr Lewis’ trial, the Prosecution suppressed evidence which would have exonerated him; further that the same evidence, which should have led to his pardon in 1831, was also suppressed by the trial Judge and the Home Secretary; further that there is strong feeling in Wales that Richard Lewis was wrongly executed, that his conviction should be overturned and that he should be granted a pardon.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Justice to grant a pardon to Richard Lewis.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P001530]

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1306

Post Office Horizon System

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Kris Hopkins.)

11.2 pm

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): I pay tribute to the work carried out on this issue by James Arbuthnot, the former Member for North East Hampshire, and Mike Wood, the former Member for Batley and Spen, both of whom I worked with for more than two years in a working party in search of a fair settlement on this matter. Unfortunately, throughout the process we all lost faith and trust in the Post Office’s willingness to investigate the issue properly and thoroughly.

To give some background on how the Post Office has let down sub-postmasters and Members of this House throughout this process, let us consider how it has dealt with the matter from the outset. The Horizon accounting system used by sub-postmasters was introduced some 15 years ago. Almost immediately, a spate of discrepancies began to appear as sub-postmasters attempted to balance their accounts at the end of the day. From that time forward, there has been failing after failing on the part of the Post Office.

The Post Office has finally acknowledged that its help system for the Horizon software was completely inadequate, but even with that admission the Post Office continues in its failure to demonstrate any appetite to deal with issues arising from the Horizon system in a fair and transparent way.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP): Is there not something disgraceful in the fact that criminal charges were pressed against these sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses when the fault lay with the Post Office, yet nearly two years after the investigations those charges have not been lifted? The shadow hanging over their heads has not been lifted either. Does the hon. Gentleman not feel that it is time to bring that to an end?

Andrew Bridgen: The hon. Gentleman tells a tale which has been told too long to the working group. We need to bring matters to a head and I hope the debate tonight will give us an opportunity to do so.

The mediation scheme that was set up to handle disputes about the software system has not delivered what Members of this House had understood was agreed at its inception. It was flawed in a number of ways, the most significant being that it excluded those who had pleaded guilty.

Mr Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire) (Con): My constituent, Jo Hamilton, has her case in front of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Does my hon. Friend agree that for those who pleaded guilty, the CCRC should be given powers to obtain all the papers that it needs from private sector organisations and full access to all Post Office files?

Andrew Bridgen: My hon. Friend makes a good point and he is right. Many people pleaded guilty on advice from lawyers or out of fear of losing their liberty in a lengthy and expensive court battle with the Post Office.

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1307

The House should know that the Horizon system has no adequate suspense account function, so it pushes the sub-postmaster who wants to balance his books when the books actually do not balance. This is false accounting and a criminal offence. However, I have seen correspondence that shows that the Post Office has advised sub-postmasters to keep any surplus balances that they discover at the close of business in their safe so that they can put them back when they have a shortage. That is also false accounting and is also a criminal offence.

A further flaw is the fact that issues of concern to the forensic accountants Second Sight, appointed by the Post Office at the request of the working group to assess independently the mediation cases, have been specifically excluded from mediation—for example, the absence or the ignorance on the part of the sub-postmaster of the contract they were under, and the failure of audits and investigation—despite the agreement of Post Office Ltd with Members of this House that the scheme would cover all these issues. This is resulting in what I believe to be 90% of the cases in dispute being excluded from the mediation scheme. This mediation has proven to be a shadow of what was agreed with Members.

I first became involved in this matter several years ago when my constituent Michael Rudkin brought his case to me. My constituent had 15 years’ experience as a postmaster and served as a senior member of the national executive. Indeed, he was chairman of the negotiating committee, the most senior post within the National Federation of SubPostmasters, responsible for national negotiations with Post Office Ltd and Royal Mail Group. In short, my constituent knew his job and the organisation inside out. He knew the organisation to the extent that on a visit to the Post Office headquarters in Bracknell, he was shown in error a room where operatives had remote access to the Horizon software and it was demonstrated to him how postmasters’ accounts could be altered remotely. The House should know that the Post Office has always maintained that it is not possible to alter accounts in a sub-post office remotely. However, it has recently admitted that this was not the truth.

In a debate in December I went into the details of Mr Rudkin’s case. To summarise, his post office branch had a loss in the accounts in excess of £44,000. He was absolved of any knowledge of this loss by Post Office Ltd but ordered to pay back the money at £1,000 per month from his salary. After he had paid back £13,000, Post Office Ltd started proceedings against Mr Rudkin’s wife for theft and false accounting. It also applied for a confiscation order to be placed on all his property and had his bank accounts frozen using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This all occurred after my constituent had witnessed the operatives in Post Office headquarters demonstrating their remote access to the Horizon system.

My constituent has gone through the mediation scheme and his experience is that the professional advisers, Aver Ltd, Bill Cleghorn and Emma Porter, are very good. Second Sight has been extremely fair, professional and accurate in its analysis of both systemic and thematic issues within Post Office Ltd. However, the same cannot be said of the Post Office itself. I and my constituent have no faith in its ability to resolve the matter. It is said that justice delayed is justice denied, and this matter has

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1308

simply dragged on for too long, with the Post Office seemingly looking for ever more reasons to delay the truth of the matter coming out.

Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon) (Con): In the past five days I have been alerted to a case in my constituency. Very briefly, the sub-postmistress emailed me to say:

“My post office has been audited today and has been closed due to financial discrepancies as a result, I believe, of the inadequacies of the Horizon system.”

That has left the village without a post office service, and obviously it is also putting an intolerable strain on my constituent. I would be grateful if my hon. Friend and the Minister considered the impact that that is having.

Andrew Bridgen: My hon. Friend is quite right. When we hear a Post Office spokesperson stating,

“I am really sorry if people have faced lifestyle problems as a result of their having been working in Post Office branches”,

we have to wonder whether the organisation is even aware of the misery it has caused. The fact that Post Office Ltd believes that honest, decent, hard-working people losing their homes, their businesses, their savings, their reputation and, worst of all, in some cases their liberty can be quantified as a “lifestyle change” only serves to show that the organisation is not fit to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

The Post Office mediation scheme has proven to be a sham, Second Sight has proven to be far too independent for the Post Office to stand, and the disdain that has been shown to Members of this House and to sub-postmasters is a disgrace.

Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness) (Con): Does my hon. Friend agree with my constituents Mr and Mrs Hedges, who are sub-postmasters, that in this case the Post Office has treated not only them but this House with contempt?

Andrew Bridgen: Indeed. When we look at the cross-section of Members who have raised the matter, many of whom have served at the highest levels of Government, and who all believe that their constituents have been wronged, how can the Post Office believe that it can continue to sweep the matter under the carpet?

It is most interesting that after two years in which the Post Office has consistently claimed that its Horizon system software is robust and 100% reliable, I now have in my position an email clearly showing that the Post Office is now urgently seeking a replacement software system from IBM. I am sure that the Minister can draw his own conclusion from the happy coincidence that the investigation is now closed. It appears to me that it is indeed now sunset for the Horizon system.

It is therefore my belief, and the view of many Members across the House, that the matter must now be taken away from the Post Office and a judicial inquiry set up. The Post Office has abused its privileged position and sought to cover up its failings by way of a wholly non-transparent approach to the mediation process.

Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney) (Lab): Concerns about the Horizon system are clearly of long standing. In the few weeks that I have been here I have

29 Jun 2015 : Column 1309

heard from at least three constituents who have long-standing concerns about the Horizon system, and there are huge problems that are historic. I understand from one constituent that an injunction has been taken out against her for the sale of a property—

Madam Deputy Speaker (Natascha Engel): Order. That intervention has been slightly too long.

Andrew Bridgen: I am not surprised to hear that from the hon. Gentleman. The management style of the senior management at the Post Office is Dickensian, and they have an almost feudal relationship with their sub-postmasters. This is now a national scandal. The Post Office has demonstrated that it is incapable of putting its own house in order, so it falls to this House and to this Government to do so for it. I therefore respectfully ask the Minister for a full judicial review into the Post Office Horizon system and the way in which the Post Office contracts with is sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses.

11.14 pm

Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): I congratulate the hon. Member for North West Leicestershire (Andrew Bridgen) on securing this debate.

My constituent Tom Brown, a postmaster for 30 years, had a post office in Newcastle. In 2008, he informed the Post Office that there was a problem with his Horizon system, and it took away one of his base units to change it. He was told by the helpline—a euphemism because it has not been very helpful to many sub-postmistresses and sub-postmasters and has actually got them into more trouble—that the system would rectify itself. It did not. The next audit said that his figures were down by £85,000. He was arrested by Northumbria police, and his car and home were searched. Subsequently, the police dropped all charges as there was no evidence against him. Then, for some unknown reason, the Post Office took out a prosecution against him to take him to court for false accounting. That process took until July 2013, when he finally appeared in court for the third time. No evidence was put forward to the court, and after that the case was dropped.

This man has lost his home, his livelihood and his good reputation. He is one of the individuals who have gone through the mediation system, even though, as the hon. Gentleman outlined, the system is a sham. He was given four different dates that were all delayed. He described this to me as six hours of wasted time. The Post Office employed top lawyers from Newcastle to represent it. It again went through what it said was the evidence, and made no offer at all. The system is a sham. As the hon. Gentleman outlined, it has been a way of delaying decisions on these cases.

Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) (Lab): Does my hon. Friend agree that the Post Office has failed to be transparent about this process? My constituent, Mrs Carter, a sub-postmistress, asked the Post Office to audit her branch to get to the bottom of the problem, but it refused to do so.

Mr Jones: I will go further than that. It has not only not been transparent; it has gone out of its way to delay cases and hide evidence.

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My concern about the work done by Second Sight is that it suggests that if information is returned to the Post Office, evidence will go missing. That is why I totally agree with the hon. Member for North West Leicestershire that there needs to be an independent judicial inquiry into this—as he described it—national scandal. I am pleased that my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr Wright), the new Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, is present for this debate. I urge him and his Committee to look at this as a matter of urgency.

The fundamental point is this: who controls the Post Office? This organisation is out of control. It has led to people’s lives being ruined and, as we have heard, in some cases to people being given prison sentences when clearly they are innocent. It is important that we get to the bottom of this. Without a judicial inquiry, I fear that this national scandal will continue and these people’s reputations will continue to be blackened.

11.17 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (George Freeman): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for North West Leicestershire (Andrew Bridgen) on securing this debate. I commend him and other hon. Members across the House for raising here and elsewhere the concerns of their constituents—sub-postmasters who face problems. I echo the tributes paid to the former Members for North East Hampshire and for Batley and Spen for their work on this issue. They, my hon. Friend and others can take a great deal of credit for raising this issue and encouraging the Post Office to take action to address sub-postmasters’ concerns and to improve business for the thousands of sub-postmasters and staff working in the network today. My hon. Friend kindly informed me before the debate of the points he wanted to raise, and I will try to deal with all his questions, but I want first to set out a little background.

Hon. Members do not need me to wax lyrical about the important role that post offices play in communities in providing access to essential mail, financial and Government services. I am sure that we all agree on and understand that. The Post Office is undergoing a very significant transformation programme to remove central costs, grow new revenue streams and modernise its extensive branch network. Already, more than half of eligible sub-postmasters have benefited from investment in their branches or have signed up to do so. These changes will help the post office network to survive in the digital age. The way we live and communicate is changing, and post offices need to adapt to that. The Government are supporting and investing in the Post Office to ensure that it can become sustainable for the long term and reduce its reliance on taxpayer subsidy. The network is now at its most stable for a generation. Having halted the closure programmes we saw under previous Governments, we are committed to securing the future of 3,000 branches that are the last shop in a local community.