§ Mr. Frank Cook (Stockton, North)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 10, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the reinstatement of full supplementary benefit payments and reimbursement for that withheld from miners' families.I consider this matter to be specific in that it relates to moneys withheld by the DHSS from supplementary benefit payments on the rationale that the dispute was official and that, consequently, the National Union of Mineworkers was obliged to pay strike pay. It is specific in that the rationale was grossly inaccurate in the light of the recent court decision to fine Mr. Scargill £1,000 and the NUM £200,000 for contempt of court.
The subject is important because more than £40 million in supplementary benefit payments for food and heating bills is being removed from about 80,000 families during a period of 33 weeks. It is urgent in that I have heard of instances of families, certainly in the north-east and probably throughout the country, having their power and heating disconnected at the time of the year when such services are crucial to the health of young children, the weak and the aged. We suspect that those disconnections are being carried out by unqualified and non-certificated operators, not by direct employees.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,the reinstatement of full supplementary benefit payments and reimbursement for that withheld from miners' families.I listened with care to the hon. Gentleman, but I regret that I do not consider the matter that he has raised to be appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 10, and I cannot, therefore, submit his application to the House.