§ 4.19 p.m.
§ Mr. Brian O'Malley (Rotherham)
I beg to move Amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 6, leave out paragraph (a).
The Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means
With this we are to take the following Amendments:
No. 4, in page 1, line 21, leave out from beginning to end of line 1 on page 2.
No. 5, in page 2, line 15, at beginning insert 'A war pension or'.
No. 6, in page 2, line 24, at end insert:'(h) injury benefit under section 11 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1965;(i) disablement pension under section 12(5) of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1965, in those cases where the recipient is unemployed'.No. 7, in page 3, line 26, at end add:'(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (I) and (3) above, entitlement to sums payable under this section shall only apply, in the cases in which benefits or pensions arise from unemployment or inability to follow employment, in the case of an employed man or woman, where such benefits or pensions have been in payment for a period not shorter than 168 days'.
§ Mr. O'Malley
This afternoon we are continuing our debate on the Bill and the subject surrounding it against the background of mounting concern at the plight of pensioners at Christmas, 1972. In many ways this is an historic date for us. There is a massive lobby of trade unionists and pensioners from all over the country who are concerned to see decent minimum living standards for pensioners and others on low incomes. The first group of amendments is closely connected with the concern which is being shown by the large lobby which is now taking place outside the Chamber.
1305 The purpose of the amendments is to extend the entitlement of the £10 bonus to widows, the long-term sick and disabled and the unemployed who are dependent either on flat-rate benefits or on supplementary benefit, or both. As the Bill stands, only those over retirement age are eligible. Therefore, many people on State pensions are deprived of the £10 bonus because of the restrictive wording of the Bill.
The fact that large groups of pensioners are excluded from the terms of the Bill reveals, first, that the Bill is no part of a major overall or long-term strategy for pensioners, or a measure to deal with poverty. As I said on Second Reading, the Bill has been introduced as a stop-gap measure at a time of crisis of the Government's own creation. All the evidence points to the fact that were it not for the pressure which was brought to bear by the TUC representatives at the tripartite talks at Downing Street a few weeks ago, we should not now be discussing the Bill.
Secondly, last year the Government took no notice of our demands for a winter bonus. Not only did the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State refuse to consider or debate the subject in late November, 1971, but after the debate they promptly forgot every suggestion which had been made. Almost nothing was done to deal with the problem of inadequate heating for retirement pensioners. There is no sign that the proposal that a winter emergency payment should be made was ever given any consideration by the Department of Health and Social Security until the project was forced upon it at the last moment because of the TUC's intervention at Downing Street.
We understand that the proposals in the Bill are part of crisis measures and not part of a long-term strategy. It is plainly partly for that reason that this hastily put together Bill excludes substantial sections of the pensioner population. It is accepted by all hon. Members that we are in a period of rapid inflation. It is accepted by the Government that there has been need for emergency action to help retirement pensioners. But what the Bill does is intolerable. Are we to accept—I say this particularly to hon. Members opposite—that we can in con- 1306 science leave out people who are receiving the widow's pension, widowed mother's allowance or just supplementary benefit? Are we to say that women who receive a flat-rate benefit no bigger than the benefit received by retirement pensioners should be excluded from the Bill? Do not these widows, and perhaps their children, require help in these desperate times, with prices rising so rapidly?
The long-term trends of poverty in this country indicate that widows, and particularly elderly widows—for this purpose I include widows in their late fifties, who are excluded from the Bill—are amongst the worst-off sections of people in the community. For example, two out of every seven retirement pensioners have to rely on means-tested supplementary benefits. Almost half of elderly widows have to rely on supplementary benefits. Therefore, this section of the community desperately needs help. I hope that the Under-Secretary of State will feel able to include the widows in the provisions for the £10 bonus.
Similarly, can we say that we are prepared to exclude the long-term sick in the community, people not on earnings-related benefits but on the same flat-rate benefit as the retirement pensioners? Can we exclude people who are unemployed for an increasingly much longer time?
The latest average quarterly figures published in the Department of Employment Gazette indicate that 303,292 men and women had been unemployed for over 26 weeks. Nearly 170,000 of them had been unemployed for over 12 months. Therefore, a large section of those 300,000 have completely run out of entitlement to earnings-related benefit of any kind.
Can we leave out, at such a time of inflationary pressure, the war pensioners or the industrially disabled? Can we leave out those who are in receipt of attendance allowance, the most terribly disabled members of the community? Can we leave out those long-term sufferers with no national insurance entitlement who are struggling on supplementary benefit?
One of the amendments has the effect of restricting entitlement to the bonus to the long-term sick and unemployed. We are not proposing that payment should be made to those many people who are still entitled to earnings-related benefit. 1307 We are saying that there are substantial numbers of people who are excluded from the Bill who should be included.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Paul Dean)
Is the hon. Gentleman saying that there is a substantial number of people over pensionable age who are excluded? At one moment I thought that that was what he was saying. If it is, I hope that he will specify who he thinks are excluded, as I think that I shall be able to reassure him in due course that that is not the case.
§ Mr. O'Malley
That is not what I said, and it is not the purpose of the amendments. The first amendment leaves out the condition that the recipients shall be above retirement age—60 for women and 65 for men. Many people under that age in the categories described should be included.
When the Under-Secretary of State was discussing the matter the other night he said:But I ask the House to recognise that this operation is being carried out in record time. It was necessary, if it were to be paid before Christmas, to ask who needed this payment most and what categories could be readily recognised, either by the Post Office or by the Department, so that it could be done on time. This is to some extent, of course, rough and ready. That is the price we have to pay for this prompt response and to get this payment into operation before Christmas."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th November 1972; Vol. 846, c. 1028.]I have two matters to put to the hon. Gentleman. First, when the £10 bonus was conceived and announced, it was said that it could not be paid before Christmas and that it would be paid early in the New Year. It was only at a later date, after the decision had been taken as to who was entitled to this benefit, that it was discovered that it could be paid before Christmas.
Second, as I said the other night, of course we realise the administrative difficulties, just as we recognise and should be grateful for the work which the Post Office is doing in order to make these payments available before Christmas. But if the hon. Gentleman were to come to the House and say, "We cannot make the payments to these other categories before Christmas, but we will get this 1308 second time upon Monday next and to bonus into their hands early in the New Year, when the weather is still cold and many people still need that money badly," we shall be satisfied. It is a matter of major injustice that such categories, among the poorest and most stricken in the community, should be excluded from the provisions of the Bill simply because the Government drafted it in a hurry, without proper consideration.
We hope that, by now, the Government have given proper consideration and that both sides of the House can unite to see that there is provision for the widows, the sick, the disabled and the more unfortunate people who, as the Bill now stands, are excluded, so that they, too, can get this bonus, if not before Christmas, certainly not long after.
§ Mr. Jack Ashley (Stoke-on-Trent, South)
I would make a special plea to the Minister to make this payment to the widows and the disabled. The Bill acknowledges a special case for a certain group of people who require this payment on account of age, but I believe that the widows and the disabled should also be taken into account.
Widows are an unrecognised group requiring special attention, particularly at this time, because no group is less recognised. Although a great deal of lip-service is paid to widows as a group, their problems remain unresolved and unrecognised in public. A special all-party group has just been formed, with the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Montgomery) and myself as the chief officers, and a number of hon. Members from both sides have been addressing meetings of widows. Nothing can be more poignant than meeting these people and seeing their distress because of their widowhood. Nothing can be more moving than to see them with their children at Christmas in the presence of families with fathers; the widows are unable to give their children gifts.
If the Minister acknowledged and accepted this group and included it in the Bill, he would make a big step forward. I hope he will listen to and accept this plea. This is the first step in a very big campaign which is shortly to be waged, both within and without the House, on behalf of widows.
1309 I make the plea for the disabled to be included because the extra expenses of disablement are enormous. Not only are their earnings generally far lower than those of most people, but many of them are unemployed. The unemployment rate of the disabled is a great national scandal. But, for one reason or another, disability can generally be equated with poverty. That is one of the very few generalisations that one can safely make.
The expenses for these disabled people on low incomes are enormous. They cannot hop on to a bus. They require taxis or someone to push them along, or special transport. Disabled people wear out their clothes much more quickly than other people. Because of their immobility they require special heating. For all these reasons, I hope that the Minister will include the severely disabled in the Bill.
This would be a once-for-all payment. It would not damage the Treasury at all. It would benefit the widow and the disabled, and I hope that the amendments will be accepted.
§ Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)
I endorse what my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) has said. I want to put before the House an illustration of the effect of the Bill as it now stands. I have here a letter sent to me by one of the disabled people to whom my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) has referred. This gentleman lives in Weymouth. In his letter, which he has headed "State pensioners' bounty", he says:I am almost 64 years of age and my wife is over 65 years of age, but we do not qualify for the O.A.P., as it used to be called, but owing to a spinal complaint I am unable to follow any employment, so I qualify for 'Invalidity Benefit'. We do not receive any supplementary benefit.Does the above bounty also go to people in our circumstances? As you of course know and realise, people who receive 'Invalidity Benefit' receive approximately the same remuneration as State Pensioners; their awards are on a par. Have this section of the public in my category and at our age level been overlooked?I felt obliged to write back to this gentleman to say that he had been overlooked by this Bill—no doubt the Minister will confirm that that is a correct interpretation—because he is not over 1310 pensionable age and his wife, who is, is clearly not insured in her own right.
§ Mr. Dean indicated assent.
§ Mrs. Castle
This is surely a dramatic illustration of the falsity of the line that we are drawing. If we are dealing with poverty this winter, families like this should be included. I could not for the life of me give that correspondent any reason why the Bill excluded him and his wife. I hope that our amendments will enable me to tell him that the Government have changed their minds.
§ Mr. Kenneth Marks (Manchester, Gorton)
The Government are paying this £10 because they have now recognised that the pension they brought in in October is already out of date, so they are giving a special payment to men over 65 and women over 60 who are drawing retirement pensions. We welcome that. We appreciate that, because of the need for speed, the £10 will be paid to many people who do not need it, who have substantial pensions and investments. But we accept that to do it quickly we must pay it to them all.
What we are saying is that there are other groups, named in the amendments, who need this money perhaps more than the retirement pensioners. I estimate that for the other people mentioned, including the 120,000 who have been unemployed for over a year, this would cost the Government another £14 million on top of the £81 million they are spending. Even if they cannot do this before Christmas, I urge them to do it as soon as they can in the New Year.
§ Mr. Michael Meacher (Oldham, West)
I also support the amendment to extend this benefit to other obviously deserving groups. It is very difficult to think of any arguments why they should not be included. No one who listened to the groping twistings of the Under-Secretary on Second Reading can have any doubt about that.
The hon. Gentleman mentioned speed, and my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) has demolished that point. Having lost that argument, the Minister turned to another point—his only other one:One could easily get into a position in which one included a person who was sick for 1311 just a short period, say one week."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th November, 1972; Vol. 846, c. 1028.]Of course no one suggested anything as unnecessary and extreme as that. It is perfectly easy to define a group of those who are long-term sick, disabled, unemployed or widowed over a period and receiving those particular benefits.
I would take the argument of my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) a little further. If all these groups were included, on my estimation the total extra cost would be about £20 million or £30 million. Are the Government saying that they cannot afford that sort of sum, that they are prepared to spend £80 million to try to overcome the effects of inflation but not £110 million? In all, justice is there any argument which would give the benefit to those who are over 65 but would exclude those in exactly similar need below that age?
Finally, I want to deal with the Government's main argument, about which we have heard so much in the last two years. The Government's sole claim to equity is that they concentrate resources on those in greatest need. The whole logic of that argument goes in precisely the opposite direction to the Government's case. According to the latest supplementary benefit returns, those in greatest need in our society, excluding the low-wage earners who do not get family income supplement and excluding some old people who do not get supplementary benefit, are as follows—and I give the official figures: 1,900,000 retirement pensioners on supplementary benefit; 457,000 unemployed; 303,000 sick and disabled; and 226,000 women with dependent children, including 65,000 widows. In other words, for every two old people on supplementary benefit there is one person on supplementary benefit who is not over pensionable age. Of those in greatest need in our society, one-third are under 65 and they are expressly excluded for no justifiable reason.
The big increase in poverty under the present Government, an increase of more than a quarter of a million persons since the General Election, is almost wholly in the age group of the under-65s. What this means is that if the Government refuse to accept the amendment, they are 1312 preferring to give these £10 or £20 grants to the 5 million old people who are above the supplementary benefit line rather than to the 1 million persons under 65 who are below the supplementary benefit line.
That is surely a complete distortion of every social argument that the Government have ever advanced. Their motive for doing this is all too transparent. It is not speed; that argument has been demolished. It is not simplicity of identification because, given more time, that could be easily overcome administratively. It is cheap. It is the cheapness of this manoeuvre which will rankle with those who are excluded.
If the Government are not to lose the whole political objective of the Bill, they would do very well to reconsider whether it is not in their interest to accept the amendment.
§ Mr. Brynmor John (Pontypridd)
My right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) cited a case where the lady was over pensionable age but the husband was under. I have received representations on the reverse position, where the husband is over pensionable age but the dependent wife is under that age. Such a couple will get only £10, and not the £20 promised.
Even with so speedy a hand-out as this, we have to avoid being ridiculous in our line drawing. There is no argument, where a wife is dependent upon her husband, for that couple having £10 when the lady is aged 59 years and 11 months and £20 when she is 60 years old and one day. It is absolutely ridiculous and we do no credit to ourselves as a legislature in making it is. The living expenses are comparable. The effect of the rise in the cost of living on that couple is exactly comparable.
The Government are saying that anyone with a dependent wife under 60 shall only have the £10. The Government, and the Secretary of State in particular, have said that this pay-out was an earnest of their good intentions. Unless they make speedy and drastic alterations in line with the amendments, it will be an earnest of their to all too many people.
§ Mr. Leslie Spriggs (St. Helens)
I rise to support the amendment. A very strong plea was made to the Minister on Second Reading to bring in a Government 1313 amendment so that the £10 bonus payment would be made to people such as those referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle). I assure the Minister that there are thousands and thousands of people in this country who are severely disabled. Disability is interrelated with severe poverty in most cases.
On Second Reading I made a special plea for a Government amendment which would cover the long-term unemployed and long-term sick. I understand that if the Government accepted the amendment it would mean that the severely disabled, the unemployed and the long-term sick would be covered for the bonus. Is the Minister prepared to tell the Committee tonight that the Government have not seen fit to spread their form of justice?
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Sir Brandon Rhys Williams (Kensington, South)
I have not consulted my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary before rising to speak, and I do not know what he will be able to say. He must, however, have found this short debate painful and embarrassing, because every hon. Member has a particular group that he would like to help.
All of us are deeply concerned about the conditions of the disabled. We are aware of the problems of widows and one-parent families. We all know of cases of old people living on their own who are distressingly poor. But what this short debate has proved is that our insight into the nature of entitlement is negligible. We have not done our work on what I call the social contract. We do not know what we owe to what groups, or why. We have an ill-defined feeling that we are not doing enough for the poor. That is true. I hope that the Treasury and the representatives of Departments who have heard or will read the debate will feel this keenness on the part of hon. Members on both sides of the Committee that we should do more to relieve distress.
But first, we must clarify our minds about where the money is to come from and to whom we want it to go. It is not enough to have a spasm of emotion about one group or another when it comes to a Christmas bonus. We have to solve the problem once and for all.
§ Mr. O'Malley
The simple answer to the hon. Gentleman's question—which he 1314 has put previously—is that in this context the money is coming from the Treasury, which is being liberal with its hand-outs to the better-off, and it is to go to people who are on national insurance benefits or on supplementary benefit. But the long-term recipients are not covered by the Bill. It is a very simple proposition. I hope that the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends will support us in this matter.
§ Sir B. Rhys Williams
To some extent, the Treasury has been liberal in what it has allowed the Department of Health and Social Security to do in the way of helping handicapped people and people in poverty over the past two years.
The hon. Gentleman's intervention has brought me to my final comment. We simply cannot regard the social services as a bran tub into which everyone can put his hand and pull out something good. We have to understand where the money comes from. It comes from the British public. All of us must work together to solve the problem of where the money is to come from as well as where it is to go to.
§ Mr. Dean
The debate has very understandably drawn attention to some sections of the community who will not benefit from the Bill. The case has been made out that these sections should be included. It is easy for any of us to make out such a case in isolation. I shall put to the Committee some of the reasons for the Bill as it is and some of the problems which would arise were we to try to do as the amendment proposes.
First, this part of the Bill is primarily meant to assist those over pension age who are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits. Broadly speaking, that is the overwhelming majority of those over pension age. At the tripartite talks it was agreed on the part of all three parties that we wished to help the pensioners. There was no argument about that.
The Government said at that time that the pensioners should share in the increased prosperity which would result from the curbing of inflation which we hoped would follow from an agreement at those talks. It is that, rather than pressure from the Trades Union Congress or from any other organisation, which has resulted in the Bill. This is an earnest 1315 of intention on the part of the Government when we entered into that commitment to see that pensioners should share in the improved prosperity which would result directly from the curbing of inflation.
This is against the background of two increases in pensions and in other social security benefits which have taken place in the last 14 months. It is against the background of a firm commitment to an annual review of pensions and of other benefits so that they will be increased before the onset of each winter by at least sufficient to deal with the rise in prices which has taken place over the previous 12 months. If possible, we hope to do better. During the last two years under these upratings it has been possible not only to improve the pension enough to deal with rising prices, but also to give a modest improvement in the real value. The improvement in the real value of the pension increase which came into operation only last month was 3.7 per cent.
§ Mr. Thomas Cox (Wandsworth, Central)
Can we take the hon. Gentleman's pledge that pensioners will share in the country's general prosperity to mean that in the very near future there will be an announcement by the Government that in future State retirement pensions will be tied to the average national weekly wage to ensure that pensioners enjoy increased prosperity; because, without that, they will not?
§ Mr. Dean
The hon. Gentleman knows that the commitment which we have entered into is to ensure that the purchasing power of the pension is at least restored in annual reviews—this is an advance on any previous practice—and that we hope to do better than that. I have explained that there has been a modest improvement in the real value of the pension as a result of the increase which came into operation in October, namely, a real increase of 3.7 per cent.
§ Mr. Cyril Smith (Rochdale)
If the Minister is not prepared to give an assurance that the annual review of pensions will be tied to wage rates, is he prepared to give an assurance, in the light of what he is saying, that they will be tied to the cost of living?
§ Mr. Dean
I have given that firm assurance. The Government are com- 1316 mitted to ensure each year in the annual reviews that the pension is increased by at least enough to compensate for the rise in prices. We hope to do more than that.
Those with the strongest vested interest, in the best sense of that phrase, in the tripartite talks and in the Counter Inflation (Temporary Provisions) Bill are the pensioners, because it is they who can benefit most if we succeed in stabilising prices and stopping the run-away inflation which hits the pensioners first and hardest.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)
We all appreciate that the Government are now to conduct the annual review. Will the Under-Secretary give a definite assurance that the annual review will not be used as a minimum waiting time irrespective? We all know that come next April prices, particularly food prices, will be astronomically high once we are in the Common Market. Old-age pensioners usually spend their money only on food and accommodation, the price of which commodities will rise sky-high. Will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that if next April there is hardship the Government will not say that the pensioners must wait until the annual review in the autumn; because many of us want something done before then?
§ Mr. Dean
As the hon. Gentleman was good enough to say, the annual review, as opposed to a review every two or three years, which was the previous practice, is a major advance. Pensioners now have an assurance, which they have never had before, that they will not have to wait more than 12 months before improvements are brought about. When the next annual review is assessed, any increases which take place in food prices will be taken into account. Equally, the benefits of the Housing Finance Act to those on low incomes—the pensioners—will be another factor which will be operating.
Mr. Robert Boseawen (Wells)
Will my hon. Friend give an undertaking that at next autumn's review this payment of £10 will be discounted?
§ Mr. Dean
I assure my hon. Friend that these elements are disregarded for the purposes of the annual review. What the Government will assess when the 1317 next annual review is made are the factors which are normally taken into account, namely, the increase in the cost of living, the increase in earnings, and other such factors.
Equally, attention will be paid to the success or otherwise of the economic policy on which we are embarked to get greater prosperity and to stabilise the cost of living. The more successful we are in these things the easier it will be to ensure that pensioners get a share of improved prosperity.
The background to this operation is that we are bringing the lump sum in to about 8 million people within a month of the announcement. I do not think that any major exercise of this kind has been done anything like so quickly before. Eight million people will get this benefit. The cost is about £80 million.
If we are to do this successfully in the week of 4th December, as we are determined to do with the great help and co-operation of the Post Office, we must have groups of people who can be readily identified either by the Post Office or by our local offices. Once we depart from the pension age of 65 for men and 60 for women, it is difficult to find defensible stopping points. Operational difficulties come into operation which would easily threaten the fulfilment of the wish of the whole Committee that this lump sum should be paid before Christmas.
Therefore, although I admit freely that age is not a perfect criterion, none the less it is the best and the quickest, and it is the one which most accurately reflects the tripartite talks and the earnest of intention which the Government announced following the tripartite talks.
§ Sir Myer Galpern (Glasgow, Shettleston)
Will pensioners who do not qualify for the pension until, say, the week corn-fencing 11th December be excluded from the £10 grant?
§ Mr. Meacher rose—
§ Mr. Dean
I must ask the Committee to allow me to get on for a little while. I have given way on many occasions. In Committee there is the possibility of further speeches being made. It would 1318 probably be for the convenience of the Committee if I were to continue to answer the questions I have been asked. If at the end of that I have not dealt with the points raised by the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher), I will gladly endeavour to do so.
A number of hon. Members have asked me about those who are excluded, and the reasons for it, and I will now come to that point. First, with regard to those over pension age, the overwhelming majority of those over pension age—that is, 65 for men and 60 for women—are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits and therefore will get the £10 lump sum. Broadly speaking, the only ones excluded will be pensioners abroad who normally are not in receipt of any increases which take place, and women over 60 who are married to men who have not retired. This is a point which the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) mentioned, but I think he will accept that in the case of women in this category, whose husbands have not retired, the men are employed, in most cases in full-time work, and are therefore in receipt of earnings. I think the hon. Gentleman will accept that these are not amongst the categories to whom one would give the highest priority.
§ Mr. John
That is a fair answer, but it does not meet the point that I made. The point that I was making, which no doubt the hon. Gentleman misunderstood because of my brevity, was the case of the man over 65 and the woman aged 59 who was dependent upon that man's pension. I did not make a point about a man who had not retired.
§ Mr. John
I am sorry to keep badgering the hon. Gentleman, but he has fundamentally misunderstood me. The point is that a retired man over 65 with a dependent wife of 60 gets £20. If a man is over 65 with a dependent wife aged 59 years and 11 months, they get only £10. All I was saying was that an extension of this proposal would be justifiable in such a case.
§ Mr. Dean
I fully understand the hon. Gentleman's point. I merely say that one has to draw a line somewhere, and one of the places where one draws a line is at the point whether people are still earning or whether they are in retirement.
The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) mentioned the case of the widows. Widows, of course, over the age of 60 and in receipt of a qualifying benefit will receive the £10 lump sum. But there are many widows in receipt of a widow's pension and who are earning, and many are comparatively young—both young and earning.
The right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) understandably mentioned the long-term sick, as did the hon. Members for St. Helens (Mr. Spriggs) and for Stoke-on-Trent, South. All of us have sympathy with these groups of people. It is for this very reason that the new invalidity pensions and allowances have been introduced, to try to assist—and, indeed, they have assisted—these groups of people. Equally, for this reason the attendance allowance has been introduced—another new benefit to help these sections of the community. Those over pension age and in receipt of these new benefits will equally be in receipt of the lump sum.
Reference has also been made to those on industrial injury benefit and the longterm disablement benefit. Here again, happily, quite a large proportion of these people are earning in addition to receiving their industrial injury benefit. I think that is a good reason for not putting them in this category. Then there are those under retirement age in receipt of supplementary allowances. It would be a major operation to try to separate them out. Some of them are on this benefit for a very short time—for a week now and again—and to ask the Department to look through something like a million people who arc in receipt of this benefit, to try to separate out, as it were, the sheep from the goats, would be a major operation and would endanger the tight timetable for getting this benefit into operation.
The same goes for those on unemployment benefit or those who have exhausted their right to unemployment benefit. There is no readily identifiable way in which one group could be separated out 1320 from another. We should almost certainly land ourselves in a great many inequities and unfairnesses which I am sure the House would not want to see.
The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) said that he accepted the weight of many of these arguments. He said that he accepted that this could not be done before Christmas but he asked why it should not be done for these groups after Christmas.
§ Mr. Richard Crossman (Coventry, East)
There is one group which the hon. Gentleman has omitted, I am sure by inadvertence. That is the man who has retired and is not earning and whose wife is under 60. The hon. Gentleman has not dealt with this case, which involves an absolutely clear group. It is no good telling me about somebody who is earning. I am concerned with the man who is not earning. Such a man by definition has retired. The only point is that his wife has not reached the age of 60. We cannot see why the need of that group is any less because the wife is a month under 60. Why should they get £10 when the others get £20? The hon. Gentleman has not really answered this case at all.
§ Mr. Dean
I understand the right hon. Gentleman's point. As I say, in these cases one inevitably has to draw a line somewhere. In the case that the right hon. Gentleman has quoted we have followed the logic of the Bill, namely that those over the age of retirement and who are getting qualifying benefit will be in receipt of the £10 lump sum. Those who are not will not. It is as simple as that.
The hon. Member for Rotherham asked "Why not have staggered dates? Why not bring some of these groups in later on if they cannot be brought in before Christmas?" To have a staggered date for payment for other categories, which are acknowledged to be deserving, would introduce inconsistencies complications and inequities. On the one hand, there would be people who were beneficiaries at the qualifying date who had ceased to be so my the date of payment, and, on the other hand, there would be beneficiaries at the time of payment who had not qualified at the relevant time. We wish to avoid discrepancies and anomalies of this kind by making a simple system which will be easily understood 1321 and which will lead in most cases to automatic payment with no need for any claim by the persons concerned.
Although one clearly has sympathy with the groups of people who have been mentioned, I hope the Committee will recognise that this is a major operation which is being introduced in record time. If we are not to undermine the effectiveness of that, and if we are to ensure that these payments are made in the week of 4th December, it is necessary to take readily identifiable groups. I submit that the eight million people over retirement age are the groups most acceptable, and I hope the Committee will feel them appropriate for this Bill.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)
The Under-Secretary expressed sympathy for the groups of people covered by the amendments. We on this side of the Committee want action, not sympathy.
The debate is taking place against a background of mass lobbying of this House. The lobbyists insist that there must be an immediate and substantial increase in the standard of living of retirement pensioners and of others whose incomes derive from social benefits. Many of us have had put to us this afternoon the severe deprivations of long-term sick and disabled people and of widows—not least of young widows—as well as of very large numbers of old-age pensioners.
Both disablement and widowhood, in far to many cases today, are but other words for poverty. It is much to the credit of the Post Office staffs that they are doing so much to facilitate the payment of the bonus to the elderly poor. We are quite certain that similar arrangements could be made to benefit the excluded widows, the long-term sick and the disabled.
The trade union movement as a whole is to be congratulated on its devotion to the cause of the elderly poor. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] There are those who labour under the illusion that there is somehow a conflict between working people and retired working people. Anyone who has listened to the lobbyists today knows that to be a ridiculous illusion.
The poorer one is the more of one's income is spent on food and warmth. 1322 For some of the very poorest people there often has to be a choice between food and warmth. It is a sombre choice for many of the most deprived people in our country to have to make.
As the whole Committee knows, food prices have risen dramatically under the present Government. On 14th November I had a reply from the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which revealed the following figures. In the two years June, 1970, to June, 1972, food prices rose by 27.6 per cent.; in the two years July, 1970, to July, 1972, food prices rose by 27.1 per cent; in the two years August, 1970, to August, 1972, food prices rose by 32.8 per cent.; in the two years September, 1970, to September, 1972—the latest month for which figures are available—the rise was 31.8 per cent. Those are bleak statistics for the disabled poor and for widows of whatever age.
Even if the cost of food and warmth is ignored, the living costs of disabled people are higher than those of other people. This was eloquently explained by my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley). The Government themselves issued a circular to local authorities on 17th August, 1970, asking them to take into account the extra costs which fall upon disabled people. We are now asking the Government to practise their own precepts.
It has often been put to me today by people outside the House that we spend £2,854 million a year now on armaments. In these amendments we are asking for a very small amount in contrast to our expenditure on arms. There would he no objection from the great mass of the people if the Government were now to concede the case we are making. There has been angry debate recently about the Government's freeze. It has been argued to me by widows, by disabled people and by the elderly poor that there is a freeze for them every winter. They ought not to be asked to choose between food and warmth. The Government can do something now, if they will, to relieve acute suffering in our community.
All we have had from the Under-Secretary of State has been a jumble of statistics, with a brief expression of sympathy. We want action. I hope that there will be hon. Members on both 1323 sides of the Committee ready now to press him to reconsider his reply. We are not here involved in just a verbal exercise; we are deeply serious in our proposition; and, if the Minister is not prepared to reconsider his answer, we
§ shall divide the Committee on these amendments.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 249, Noes 264.1327
|Division No.17.]||AYES||[5.15 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McGuire, Michael|
|Albu, Austen||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mackie, John|
|Allen, Scholefield||Foley, Maurice||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Foot, Michael||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Ashley, Jack||Ford, Ben||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Ashton, Joe||Forrester, John||Marks, Kenneth|
|Atkinson, Norman||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Marquand, David|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Galpern, Sir Myer||Marsden, F.|
|Barnes, Michael||Garrett, W. E.||Marshall, Dr. Edmund|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Gilbert, Dr. John||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Meacher, Michael|
|Baxter, William||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Been, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mendelson, John|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Millan, Bruce|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Milne, Edward|
|Booth, Albert||Hamling, William||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Molloy, William|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Hardy, Peter||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Brown, Robert C. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne,W.)||Harper, Joseph||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Proven)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F' bury )||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Moyle, Roland|
|Buchan, Norman||Hattersley, Roy||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Henley, Rt. Hn. Denis||Murray, Ronald King|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Heffer, Eric S.||Oakes, Gordon|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Horam, John||Ogden, Eric|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Carmichael, Neil||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Huckfield, Leslie||Oram, Bert|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Orbach, Maurice|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Orme, Stanley|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hunter, Adam||Padley, Walter|
|Coleman, Donald||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Concannon, J. D.||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Conlan, Bernard||Janner, Greville||Pardoe, John|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Pendry, Tom|
|Cronin, John||John, Brynmor||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Prescott, John|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Richard, Ivor|
|Davidson, Arthur||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Judd, Frank||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Kelly, Richard||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Brc'n&R'dnor)|
|Deakins, Eric||Kerr, Russell|
|Delargy, Hugh||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Kinnock, Neil||Roper, John|
|Dempsey, James||Lambie, David|
|Doig, Peter||Lamborn, Harry||Rose, Paul B.|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lamond, James||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lawson, George||Rowlands, Ted|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Leonard, Dick||Sandelson, Neville|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lestor, Miss Joan||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Short, Mrs. Renee (W'hampton, N.E.)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lipton, Marcus||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Ellis, Tom||Loughlin, Charles||Silverman, Julius|
|English, Michael||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, Fred||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Small, William|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McBride, Neil||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Fisher, Mrs.Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||McCartney, Hugh||Spearing, Nigel|
|Spriggs, Leslie||Tinn, James||Whitlock, William|
|Stallard, A. W.||Tomney, Frank||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Steel, David||Torney, Tom||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)||Tuck, Raphael||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Stoddart, David (Swindon)||Varley, Eric G.||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Strang, Gavin||Wainwright, Edwin||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Swain, Thomas||Wallace, George||Woof, Robert|
|Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff,W.)||Weitzman, David|
|Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)||Wellbeloved, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)||Mr. Ernest G. Perry and|
|Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy||Whitehead, Phillip||Mr. John Golding.|
|Adley, Robert||Fidler, Michael||Lane, David|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Le Merchant, Spencer|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Fookes, Miss Janet||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'field)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fortescue, Tim||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Foster, Sir John||Longden, Sir Gilbert|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Fowler, Norman||Loveridge, John|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Luce, R. N.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fry, Peter||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Batsford, Brian||Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.||MacArthur, Ian|
|Bell, Ronald||Gardner, Edward||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||McLaren, Martin|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||McMaster, Stanley|
|Benyon, W.||Goodhew, Victor|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Gower, Raymond||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Bitten, John||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gray, Hamish||Madel, David|
|Blaker, Peter||Green, Alan||Maginnis, John E.|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Grieve, Percy||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Body, Richard||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Marten, Neil|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Grylls, Michael||Mather, Carol|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Maude, Angus|
|Bowden, Andrew||Gurden, Harold|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Bray, Ronald||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Mawby, Ray|
|Brewis, John||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Haselhurst, Alan||Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire, W)|
|Buck, Antony||Hastings, Stephen||Moate, Roger|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Havers, Sir Michael||Molyneaux, James|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hawkins, Paul||Money, Ernie|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray & Nairn)||Hayhoe, Barney||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Carlisle, Mark||Monro, Hector|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Heseltine, Michael||Mudd, David|
|Channon, Paul||Higgins, Terence L.||Murton, Oscar|
|Chapman, Sydney||Haley, Joseph||Neave, Airey|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Nicholls, Sir Harmer|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Holland, Philip||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Clegg, Walter||Holt, Miss Mary||Normanton, Tom|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hordern, Peter||Nott, John|
|Cooke, Robert||Hornby, Richard||Onslow, Cranley|
|Coombs, Derek||Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick||Howell, David (Guildford)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Cormack, Patrick||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Costain, A. P.||Hunt, John||Osborn, John|
|Critchley, Julian||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Crouch, David||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||James, David|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen.Jack||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Dean, Paul||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Percival, Ian|
|Deedes, Rt Hn. W. F.||Jessel, Toby||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Dixon, piers||Jopling, Michael||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Pounder, Rafton|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kershaw, Anthony||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kilfedder, James||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Kinsey, J. R.||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Emery, Peter||Kirk, Peter||Raison, Timothy|
|Eyre, Reginald||Kitson, Timothy||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Farr, John||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Redmond, Robert|
|Fell, Anthony||Knox, David||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Lamont, Norman||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Waddington, David|
|Ridsdale, Julian||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.||Welder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Stokes, John||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Walters, Dennis|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Sutcliffe, John||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Tapsell, Peter||Warren, Kenneth|
|Rost, Peter||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Russell, Sir Ronald||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|St. John-Stevas, Norman||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Scott, Nicholas||Temple, John M.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Wilkinson, John|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Simeons, Charles||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Tilney, John||Worsley, Marcus|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Soref, Harold||Trew, Peter||Younger, Hn. George|
|Speed, Keith||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Spence, John||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Sproat, Iain||van Straubenzee, W. R.||Mr. Kenneth Clarke and|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||Mr. Marcus Fox.|
|Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||Vickers, Dame Joan|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Mr. O'Malley
I beg to move Amendment No. 2, in page 1, line 14, leave out 'payment' and insert 'payments'.
§ The Chairman
With this Amendment it will be convenient to discuss Amendments Nos. 3, in page 1, line 15, leave out 'a sum' and insert 'sums', and 8, in page 3, line 26, at end add:'(7) The sums defined above shall be payable at such intervals and under such conditions as are defined by the Secretary of State in regulations'.
§ Mr. O'Malley
The amendment has a simple purpose. The Bill authorises the Secretary of State to make a payment of £10 to retirement pensioners for persons over retirement age and, in addition, a further payment of £10 to the wives of such claimants. The amendments taken together will give the Secretary of State an extended authorisation to make not one but a number of such payments at intervals.
We tabled amendments because we recognised that the principle of the £10 Christmas bonus, although it has arisen as a panic reaction, may do some lasting good. The Government should consider the general principle of bonuses being made at or around Christmas-time or at intervals throughout the year. For that reason the amendments are drafted so as to leave a large degree of discretion to the Secretary of State. I believe that now that the principle of a Christmas bonus for pensioners has been created future Governments might consider it useful and desirable to do the same.
The second reason for the amendments is that the £10 payment is helpful but in 1328 overall terms it is grossly inadequate. I spoke to an old lady only the other day who had already decided how she would spend her £10. She said that she wanted a dress for Christmas, an electric blanket and what was left, if anything is left in these days of Conservative inflation, would go on extra food for Christmas. She illustrates my point. The £10 payment leaves the longer-term needs completely uncovered, particularly as we know that there is still a chronic gap in the social services in the provision of proper heating allowances for retirement pensioners and others.
In addition, an examination of the movement of the food price index and the retail price index during the last 12 months indicates just how much strain pensioners have been undergoing during that period. It is clear that they will be living in conditions in which that strain will be continued as a result of the continuous increases in the cost of food. It was revealed yesterday at Question Time during exchanges between the Minister of Agriculture and my hon. Friends that the freeze does not apply in many areas of foodstuffs. For example, last week the price of beef went up 2p a lb. Therefore, in view of the certainty of continuing rises in food prices—whether for reasons beyond the Government's control or not—the implications of value added tax, of entry into the Common Market and of the de facto devaluation of the £, with its major implications on the cost of imported food, it is clear that £10 will not be enough.
During the Committee consideration of the National Insurance Act last Session the Opposition made proposals, which were 1329 the current proposals of the National Council of Labour, that there should be a pension of £8 a week for a single person and an equivalent pension for a married person. Inflation has moved on rapidly since then, and the amendments were designed to meet the increases which we warned were coming and which are still continuing. The Government are refusing to meet the legitimate claims made through the TUC and in the lobby this afternoon for an immediate increase in pensions to meet the tragic circumstances in which many of our elderly citizens are living, but there is another way in which help can be given. Under the amendments the £10 bonus could be paid at intervals throughout the whole of next year to deal with rising food prices.
§ Mr. J. Selwyn Gummer (Lewisham, West)
The hon. Gentleman mentioned the TUC. Can he tell us of a single occasion when it placed pressure on its members to moderate their wage demands so that money might go to the old-age pensioners?
§ Mr. O'Malley
Why does not the hon. Gentleman perform the simple job of reading the newspapers and seeing, for example, the contribution that Jack Jones has made to the debate within the past two years and what has been said by the TUC and trade unions about being prepared to take their share of the responsibility? How can the hon. Gentleman expect wage-earners, particularly the low-paid, to talk about wage restraint and freezes when they have been inflicted with the Tory Rent Act, and day after day, as a result of deliberate Government policy, prices have been put up? What is surprising is how sensitive Conservative Members are about the fact that their Government have allowed inflation to get completely out of control.
Our amendments offer the Government a get-out. We are giving them the opportunity to make the necessary payments through a bonus throughout the whole of next year. Our proposals are not well thought out, because the system is not well thought out. They are a stop-gap, but it is better that pensioners should receive money in that way than receive nothing, which is apparently the Government's intention.
1330 For those reasons, we hope that a Government whose strategy has fallen apart, who have panicked in recent weeks as a result of the failure of the broad policy proposals that they had when they came into office two years ago, will now go a step further and ensure that the pensioners not only receive a bonus on 4th December but receive further money from the Government in the way proposed, if in no other way, so that they may live and keep their heads above water in the inflationary days which are typical of a Conservative Government.
§ Mr. Selwyn Gummer
I rise only because of the unsatisfactory answer I received to the question I put to the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley).
We are seeing today a lobby of many people who rightly wish to bring to our notice the problems with which they are faced. But many of those who are concerned with that lobby, and who are, I believe, providing the stewards for it, have in their own hands the opportunity and the means to ensure that pensioners have a secure future. I take it that the fact that the Transport and General Workers Union is concerned with the lobby means that it has agreed to a voluntary wages freeze on its own behalf for two years in order that the money involved may go to the old-age pensioners.
§ Mr. Selwyn Gummer
I very much trust that my hon. Friend the Minister will say in reply to the debate that if there were a major demonstration of that kind by the TUC or any major union the Government would respond by making sure that the money went to the old-age pensioners. But, unfortunately, when I asked the hon. Member for Rotherham specifically what single action there had been by the TUC in the past two years to contribute to a bettering of the old-age pensioners' standard of living, I received no answer.
§ Mr. Thomas Cox rose—
§ Mr. Selwyn Gummer
The reason I received no answer from the hon. Member speaking for the Opposition is that there has been no specific action by the TUC to help the old-age pensioners. 1331 There have been many attacks on the Government, but no action at all.
The only way to ensure that the pension is worth more is by moderating prices. I think that both sides of the Committee agree about that. But we cannot moderate prices in an atmosphere in which we increasingly find people prepared to demand that their wage increases shall be put ahead of everyone else's, that there shall be no question of a national arrangement whereby all sections come together to prepare the basis of a sensible future for the country.
I believe very strongly that the Amendment is an attempt to obscure the reason why the old-age pension has been eroded over the past 15 years, which is that sections of the community are happy to tell other people to do something about the matter but are not happy to take the responsibility for themselves.
§ Mr. O'Malley
Will the hon. Gentleman explain to me, bearing in mind increases in meat prices of nearly 50 per cent. in the past few years, wherein lies the trade unions' responsibility on that subject? He says that there is no specific example of trade union action in the past two years to help the old-age pensioners; but the payment of the £10 bonus this Christmas arises from the weight, the muscle and the pressure of the TUC on the Government at Downing Street a few weeks ago.
§ Mr. Selwyn Gummer
The hon. Gentleman's last statement is totally untrue. If the TUC had come to an agreement with the Government and the employers, the old-age pensioners could have looked forward to not only a £10 bonus but a secure future.
§ The Chairman
I have not noticed anything out of order yet. As soon as the hon. Gentleman is out of order, I shall pull him up.
§ Mr. Selwyn Gummer
If the Front Bench leader of the hon. Member for 1332 Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) wishes to ask a question, it seems reasonable to answer it. If the question of the hon. Member for Rotherham is out of order, perhaps he will be brought to order by the Chair. But the question was asked, and I am answering it.
To demand that there should be "payments" is to suggest that for all time there will be a problem over the old-age pensioner's keeping up with the cost of living and receiving his or her share in the nation's increased wealth. If that problem is to go on for all time, I do not want an impermanent solution. I want to consider why the problem has arisen. It need not go on for all time; it could be finished very rapidly by Government action. That means a review of pensions every year, which is not something the hon. Gentleman managed to achieve when in power. Secondly, it could be ended by an increase in pension by an extremely large amount, large compared with what went before. That has been done. Thirdly, if the Transport and General Workers' Union and other unions wish the old-age pensioner to do better in our society, they must be prepared to accept that the extra wealth that they in part create goes to the old-age pensioners.
We know that a trade union has been threatening to take industrial action in the middle of the freeze to support a demand for increased pay, not for increased productivity, not for a new job, but for people who are not going to do a new job and who might be put out of work if the people who are doing the job get an increase in pay. Has that union thought about old-age pensioners who will have to pay increased train fares? Has it thought about the increased food prices which will arise from increased freight prices?
§ Mr. Selwyn Gummer
The hon. Gentleman may say "Stupid", but if he told the militant dockers in Liverpool that old-age pensioners are suffering because of their activities he would do more for the old-age pensioners than he is doing by shouting "stupid" from a seated position.
The suggestion is that we should add "s" to "payment". Would it not be much better to ensure that the old-age 1333 pension is sufficient to meet the needs of the pensioners? We cannot do that merely by providing a bonus every now and then, although in extreme circumstances I believe it to be right to do so. We can help the old-age pensioners only by being honourable and honest, which means getting the people over whom we have influence to understand that if they moderated their wage demands the old-age pensioners could have help not only at Christmas this year but in the years to come.
§ Mr. Heffer
I had no intention of participating in the debate until I heard what the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Selwyn Gummer) had to say. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is not aware that when the ordinary man comes to the end of his working life in industry he does not end up with a fat bank balance. Like my father, he probably ends up with a shilling in the Post Office Savings Bank. Dockers, railwaymen and miners do not earn such enormous wages that they can put away vast sums for their old age. The argument that if the workers forgo their wage increases the amount involved will automatically go to old-age pensioners is utter rubbish. What will happen is that the people who own and control industry will get bigger profits.
If the hon. Gentleman wants to make a contribution to the amendment, he should suggest to his Front Bench that in the next Budget the Government should reverse their policy of giving large amounts of money away to surtax payers, as they did in their last Budget. The amount they gave to the surtax payers would have given old-age pensioners about £3 a week.
The hon. Gentleman should not talk about equal sacrifices. He and his colleagues who represent a particular section of society have made no sacrifice. The only sacrifices that are ever made are made by the people who are represented by the Opposition. The trade unions are deeply concerned about old-age pensioners because they know that when their members retire they will be old-age pensioners living on a pittance, just as their fellow workers who have retired do now.
It is true that the Labour Government should have done more in their period of office. Every year I have pressed both the Labour Government and the 1334 Conservative Government for extra payments to old-age pensioners at Christmas to enable them to meet their heating expenses and so on. I am saying nothing different now from what I have said before. The fact that it can be said that people have skeletons in their cupboards does not help the old-age pensioners.
If the hon. Member for Lewisham, West is serious about helping old-age pensioners, he should support the amendment, which is a perfectly reasonable one, to provide for the kind of bonus that is being paid now to be paid at intervals. The Government have been forced by the TUC into paying the £10. They are making a great song and dance about it only because they want to divert attention from the real need of old-age pensioners, which is for a decent pension much higher than the one they get now.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Anthony Fell (Yarmouth)
The arguments against the amendment seem to me to be the arguments that were used against Amendment No. 1. There are three parties represented in the Committee, two of which are able to speak without looking too much at skeletons in the cupboard. I accept that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) has not too many skeletons in his cupboard. At least, he was sensible enough to say the right things at the right time, so that he has a clean past on this. The Liberal Party can speak with a clean past because it does not have a past. The Labour Party is another matter. The Conservative Party can speak with a clean conscience about looking after the aged and all manner of people in difficult positions. Since the Government have been in power they have done more for these people than did the Labour Government. I have never listened to such rank hypocrisy as I have heard from the hon. Members for Manchester. Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) and Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley).
§ Mr. Dean
The hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. O'Malley) in moving the amendment neglected to mention some of the points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Selwyn Gummer) who reminded the Committee of what has been achieved for 1335 pensioners during the last two-and-a-half years.
I do not say this in any spirit of complacency, but we are entitled to make the sort of comments made by my hon. Friends the Members for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell) and Lewisham, West when we con-skier what has been done during this period. In the first place, there has been the annual review of pensions which I mentioned in the earlier debate, and which is a major advance for pensioners; for the first time ever, the pensioners have an assurance that before the onset of every winter their pension will be looked at and improved at least enough to compensate for the rise in prices, and we hope to do more.
Last year we did more. The real improvement over prices in 1971 was 3 per cent. for the ordinary pensioner and more than 7 per cent. for the pensioner over 80. The real improvement this year, 1972, is 3.7 per cent. In addition new benefits have been introduced for hitherto neglected sections of our community. There have been pensions for the over-80s, the age addition for pensioners over 80, the age-related pensions for widows, the age allowance for war widows between 65 and 70, improved benefits for the chronic sick and disabled, family income supplement, the attendance allowance, and the improvement in the earnings rule for those who go on working after the retirement age.
Substantial tax relief is given to the elderly, with the result that the limit on the age exemption relief, giving those aged 65 and over a higher starting point for tax, has been increased since 1970 from £475 to £634 for a single person and from £740 to £929 for a married couple. This means that an elderly married couple can now have a total income, including pension, of up to £18 a week, and an elderly single person of up to £12 a week, without having to pay any tax at all.
§ Mr. Spriggs
To hear the hon. Gentleman speaking about the Government's policy the Committee might think that the pensioners are living in luxury. If that is his view, can he tell us why we have this mass demonstration today with pensioners from all over the country lobbying Members?
§ Mr. Meacher
Will the Under-Secretary confirm that the total value of all benefits given to pensioners is of the order of £120 million, which is precisely 4 per cent. of all the Government's handouts, a quarter of which have gone to the rich?
§ Mr. Dean
What I will confirm is that those people who form much-neglected sections of the community received no help from the party opposite during the six years that it was in Government.
In addition to the improvements in cash benefits there have been substantial improvements in services. In geriatric hospitals, for example, expenditure on services was £5 million in 1968–9, and is expected to be £18 million in 1972–3. There has also been a record increase in the number of local authority health visitors, home nurses and home helps. I quote these as examples of the progress which has been made and which we are determined will continue.
The hon. Member for Rotherham and a number of his hon. Friends have mentioned the lobby going on outside. They said that the TUC was proposing an immediate increase in the pension to £10 for a single person and £16 for a married couple. What the hon. Member and his hon. Friends did not do was to tell the Committee what the cost would be, who would pay for it, and what the effect would be on the contributions. I will fill that gap.
The cost, over and above the substantial improvement in pensions in October, would be £2,000 million a year, and the effect on contributions would be as follows: for a man earning £48 a week or more the increase in contributions would be £1.35 a week; for a man earning £40 an extra £1 would be required: for a man earning £30, an extra 75p, and for a man earning £20, just under 40p extra, on the assumption that the cost would be borne as it is at present. It is only right, when hon. Gentleman opposite enter into political auctioneering, that 1337 they should go on to say how much each individual worker would have to pay to meet these costs.
My hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West was so right when he said that many sections of our community and above all the trade unions have the opportunity and the means ot help the pensioners by moderating their own claims, thus making a contribution to a more stable cost of living. In the light of the Government's record and their determination to continue to improve the lot of pensioners we are entitled to say that this Amendment is no more than political auctioneering. It is no more than the party opposite, with a comparatively worse record in these matters, saying, "Whatever you do, we will do better." I hope that the Committee will reject it.
§ Mr. Marks
I have addressed seven meetings of pensioners and given them precisely the same figures on contributions as the Under-Secretary has just given. I believe that trade unionists would be glad of a change of priorities so that more could go to pensioners, with higher contributions from the workers and taxpayers. The tax reliefs given by the Government would pay for the entire
§ increase demanded by the trade unions. The figure of £2,000 million given by the hon. Gentleman is not quite right. In answer to a Question on Monday, the Under-Secretary gave me the figure of £1,200 million.
§ Excepting unemployment benefits and sticking to pensions, we say that this £10 bonus should not be what the Secretary of State described it as on Monday, namely, a "one-off" payment. Two years ago I would have agreed that an annual review of pensions would largely solve the problem. I tabled amendments to that effect to the two Bills brought forward on this subject. An annual review is no longer good enough. Rather than say that there should be six-monthly reviews we say that the Government should have the opportunity, in this legislation, to make speedy allowances not only to old-age pensioners but to other, easily identifiable groups, at intervals throughout the year. The Under-Secretary would be helping his own case if he supported this amendment.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 250, Noes 264.1341
|Division No. 18.]||AYES||[5.58 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Ford, Ben|
|Albu, Austen||Crawshaw, Richard||Forrester, John|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Cronin, John||Fraser, John (Norwood)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Galpern, Sir Myer|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Garrett, W. E.|
|Ashley, Jack||Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Gilbert, Dr. John|
|Ashton, Joe||Dalyell, Tarn||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Golding, John|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Davidson, Arthur||Grant, George (Morpeth)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Davies G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)|
|Baxter, William||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.|
|Bennett, James(Glasgow,Bridgeton)||Deakins, Erie||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Delargy, Hugh||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Hamling, William|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Dempsey, James||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)|
|Booth, Albert||Doig, Peter||Hardy, Peter|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Dormand, J. D.||Harper, Joseph|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)|
|Brown, Robert C.(N'c'tle-u-Tyne,W.)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield).|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Duffy, A. E. P.||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Eadie, Alex||Hattersley, Roy|
|Buchan, Norman||Edelman, Maurice||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis|
|Buchanan, Richard(G'gow, Sp'burn)||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Horam, John|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Ellis, Tom||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire,W.)||English, Michael||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Evans, Fred||Huckfield, Leslie|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Ewing, Harry||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Faulds, Andrew||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Fisher,Mrs.Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)||Hunter, Adam|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Janner, Greville|
|Concannon, J. D.||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Conlan, Bernard||Foley, Maurice||Jeger, Mrs. Lena|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Foot, Michael||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|John, Brynmor||Millan, Bruce||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Silverman, Julius|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Milne, Edward||Skinner, Dennis|
|Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Small, William|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Molloy, William||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Moyle, Roland||Stallard, A. W.|
|Judd, Frank||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Steel, David|
|Kaufman, Gerald||Murray, Ronald King||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Kelly, Richard||Oakes, Gordon||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Kerr, Russell||O'Halloran, Michael||Strang, Gavin|
|Kinnock, Neil||O'Malley, Brian||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Lambie, David||Oram, Bert||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Lamborn, Harry||Orbach, Maurice||Swain, Thomas|
|Lamond, James||Orme, Stanley||Thomas, Rt.Hn. George (Cardiff,W.)|
|Lawson, George||Oswald, Thomas||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Leonard, Dick||Padley, Walter||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Palmer, Arthur||Tinn, James|
|Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Tomney, Frank|
|Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Pardoe, John||Torney, Tom|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Lipton, Marcus||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Loughlin, Charles||Pendry, Tom||Varley, Eric G.|
|Lyon, Alexander, W. (York)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Prescott, John||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|McBride, Neil||Price, William (Rugby)||Wallace, George|
|McCartney, Hugh||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Weitzman, David|
|McGuire, Michael||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Mackenzie, Gregor||Richard, Ivor||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Mackie, John||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Whitlock, William|
|McNamara, J. Kevin||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Wiley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Brc'n&R'dnor)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Marks, Kenneth||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Marquand, David||Roper, John||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Marsden, F.||Rose, Paul B.||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Wilton, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Rowlands, Ted||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Mayhew, Christopher||Sandelson, Neville||Woof, Robert|
|Meacher, Michael||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mendelson, John||Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Mr. Ernest G. Perry and|
|Mikardo, Ian||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)||Mr. Donald Coleman.|
|Adley, Robert||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cary, Sir Robert||Fookes, Miss Janet|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Channon, Paul||Fortescue, Tim|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Chapman, Sydney||Foster, Sir John|
|Astor, John||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Fowler, Norman|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Churchill, W. S.||Fox, Marcus|
|Awdry, Daniel||Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Clegg, Walter||Fry, Peter|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Cockeram, Eric||Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Cooke, Robert||Gardner, Edward|
|Batsford, Brian||Coombs, Derek||Gibson-Watt, David|
|Bell, Ronald||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Cormack, Patrick||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Costain, A. P.||Goodhew, Victor|
|Benyon, W.||Critchley, Julian||Gower, Raymond|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Crouch, David||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)|
|Biffen, John||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Gray, Hamish|
|Blaker, Peter||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj-Gen. Jack||Green, Alan|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Dean, Paul||Grieve, Percy|
|Body, Richard||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Dixon, Piers||Grylls, Michael|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Gummer, J. Selwyn|
|Bowden, Andrew||Drayson, G. B.||Gurden, Harold|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)|
|Bray, Ronald||Dykes, Hugh||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Brewis, John||Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Hannam, John (Exeter)|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Emery, Peter||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Eyre, Reginald||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Buck, Antony||Farr, John||Hastings, Stephen|
|Bullus, Sir Erie||Fell, Anthony||Havers, Sir Michael|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G (Moray & Nairn)||Fidler, Michael||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Carlisle, Mark||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Heseltine, Michael|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Hiley, Joseph||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Simeons, Charles|
|Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Miscampbell, Norman||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Holland, Philip||Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)||Soref, Harold|
|Holt, Miss Mary||Moate, Roger||Speed, Keith|
|Hordern, Peter||Money, Ernie||Spence, John|
|Hornby, Richard||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Sproat, Iain|
|Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Monro, Hector||Stainton, Keith|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Montgomery, Fergus||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Morrison, Charles||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|Hunt, John||Mudd, David||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Murton, Oscar||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Neave, Airey||Stokes, John|
|James, David||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Normanton, Tom||Sutcliffe, John|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Nott, John||Tapsell, Peter|
|Jessel, Toby||Onslow, Cranley||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Jopling, Michael||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Temple, John M.|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Osborn, John||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Kilfedder, James||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Parkinson, Cecil||Tilney, John|
|King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Percival, Ian||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Kinsey, J. R.||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Trew, Peter|
|Kitson, Timothy||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Pink, R. Bonner||Turton, Rt. Hon. Sir Robin|
|Knox, David||Pounder, Ration||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Lambton, Lord||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Lamont, Norman||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Lane, David||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Waddington, David|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Le Merchant, Spencer||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Lloyd, Rt.Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'field)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Walters, Dennis|
|Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Raison, Timothy||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Longden, Sir Gilbert||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Warren, Kenneth|
|Loveridge, John||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Luce, R. N.||Redmond, Robert||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|MacArthur, Ian||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|McCrindle, R. A.||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Wilkinson, John|
|McLaren, Martin||Ridsdale, Julian||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|McNair-Wilson, Michael||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Madel, David||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Maginnis, John E.||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Rost, Peter||Younger, Hn. George|
|Marten, Nell||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Mather, Carol||St. John-Stevas, Norman||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Maude, Angus||Scott, Nicholas||Mr. Paul Hawkins and|
|Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Scott-Hopkins, James||Mr. Kenneth Clarke.|
|Mawby, Ray||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 2 to 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Bill reported, without amendments.1342
§ Motion made and Question, That the Bill be now read the Third time, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 56 (Third Reading), and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.