HC Deb 19 April 1988 vol 131 cc738-59

'(1) For the purposes of this Part a person shall be treated as undertaking a full-time course of education on a particular day if (and only if) he fulfills such conditions as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) The regulations may include provision that—

  1. (a) as regards any educational establishment of a prescribed description an individual (to be called a certification officer) may be designated by a prescribed person, or otherwise identified, in accordance with prescribed rules,
  2. (b) a certification officer shall at a prescribed time supply to a person who is pursuing or is about to pursue a course at the establishment, and who is of a prescribed description, a certificate in a prescribed form and containing prescribed particulars,
  3. (c) conditions prescribed under subsection (1) above shall include a condition as to the possession of such a certificate, and
  4. (d) failure to supply a certificate to a person in accordance with the regulations is actionable by the person concerned as a breach of statutory duty.'.

Amendment (a) to new clause 13, in line 16, at end insert: '(3) The Regulations shall provide that persons shall be treated as undertaking a full time course of education if they are:

  1. (a) participating in a Manpower Services Scheme.
  2. (b) undergoing an apprenticeship.
  3. (c) undergoing a course of training leading to qualification as a nurse.'.
Government amendments 59, 60, 21, 57 and 58.

No. 254, in page 16, line 34, after 'or, insert 'nursing education or'.

No. 145, in page 16, line 34, after 'education', insert 'or training'.

No. 146, in page 16, line 36, at end insert 'and training shall be taken to include—

  1. (a) participation in a Manpower Services Scheme.

Mr. Taylor

I shall speak to amendment No. 214, tabled in my name and those of my hon. Friends, and also briefly to the other standing in the names of my hon. Friends.

I hope that the amendment, and the series of amendments, appeal to hon. Members across the House. The amendment has been put forward by the Royal College of Nursing. I am proud to represent the college. I know that hon. Members on all sides would like to speak in favour of the amendment.

The reason for that is the impact on student nurses will be severe. Student nurses are in special need of our help, and of our attention. Looking at the impact of the proposed community charge on first-year nursing students, some of its highest levels will affect those studying in London. In inner London the average annual charge will be £577 a year, or more than £11 a week—about 15 per cent. of their income.

In Camden, the charge will rise to as high as £782, or more than £15 a week—about 20 per cent. of a student's income. For those hon. Members who listened yesterday to the Minister extolling the virtues of his system and indeed the special rebates, I must tell them that the only student nurses who will be eligible for any of that help are in Camden. They benefit from the generosity of this Minister by no more than an extra 16p. It is difficult to see how student nurses with this low level of income and support, yet facing a higher charge, will be able to find the money they need. The effect of such a high charge on student nurses is likely to make far worse the difficulty already present in many areas. It will inevitably tend to force student nurses, looking to go into the profession, to work in areas outside London where there are lower levels of community charge. Of course there is a severe shortage of the kind of applicants for student nursing in the London area that we want.

Moreover, there will be differences even within health authorities, let alone between district authorities. Taking an extreme example, a nursing student living in the Camden end of Bloomsbury district health authority will be liable for a community charge of £782, whereas her colleague living in the Westminster end of the same health authority will be liable to pay £398. Students are not always free to choose where they live, nor to move around easily as levels change. At the very least, resentment is bound to be caused among students affected by the different levels.

There is no direct comparison between student nurses and ordinary students who will receive special help. The ordinary student grant is lower than nurses' pay. I make no pretence about that. It is not very much lower, but it is lower. Therefore, there might be an argument that students deserve help while student nurses do not. But there are compelling arguments why student nurses should be treated in essentially the same way.

Although a student nurse receives a higher salary than the student grant, after deductions for tax, national insurance and superannuation they end up little better off in cash terms. In addition, they lose out in a number of other respects when compared with students. They do not enjoy the benefits to which students are entitled, such as free banking services and the long summer vacation. We all know that many students use their summer vacation to make up their incomes in order to support themselves during the term when they are on the lowest level of support. In other words, the student is not expected to survive on the grant; they are expected to make it up. That point has been made by Conservative Members on many occasions. The student nurse is not in a position to do that.

Moreover, if Project 2000 is adopted, as I hope that it will be—the Government are considering that—nursing education will gradually be integrated into our higher and further education system. Student nurses would be paid a bursary. It would be lower than their present salary but still higher than a student grant—to reflect the manpower contribution of student nurses, not as some kind of generous give-away gesture—and they would be treated in many respects like an ordinary student. In passing, I would add that I hope that the Minister will tackle the question of what will happen to student nurses if the proposals under Project 2000 are adopted.

Mr. Butterfill

Does the hon. Gentleman consider that any other person who is studying while he is working, whether for a trade or a profession, as happens in many trades and professions, should also he granted the exemption that he wants, or does he reserve it exclusively for nurses?

Mr. Taylor

There are arguments for including all sorts of people, but special considerations apply to other groups. One is that many people on Manpower Service Commission training courses will be eligible for rebates. Another is that apprentices, for example, may be on higher incomes. Our amendment is directed to those on fixed nationally set incomes, where all are suffering the same kind of problems.

In addition—I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has given me a chance to deal with this—the nursing profession has specific recruitment problems that we must recognise. Between 1984 and 1985 there was a 7 per cent. fall in the number of applications. Last year, the student intake showed a 10.33 per cent. fall. For the first time in their history many nursing schools are experiencing difficulties in filling their intakes. In London, where the poll tax will have the most dramatic impact, there was a 33 per cent. fall in entrants between 1980 and 1986. National statistics show a 25 per cent. fall between 1980 and 1986 and there is a predicted shortfall of 3,000 recruits every year by 1990. Therefore, this legislation will have a major impact on our ability to fill the number of nursing places that Britain so desperately needs to fill, and will need to fill even more in the years to come.

Mr. Leigh

If there is a problem in recruiting nurses in London—as there is—surely that can be better dealt with by differential pay levels in London. Does the hon. Gentleman accept that it is absurd to argue that just because student nurses suffer from the high spending of Camden council, to which he has repeatedly referred, whole swathes of the population of Camden should be exempted from paying towards the cost of Camden services? That is an illogical and absurd argument.

Mr. Taylor

I do not know how many nurses the hon. Gentleman imagines there are in Camden. I rather doubt whether he will find that there are whole swathes of them by any stretch of the imagination. However, there are already differential levels of pay and London weighting for nurses. That clearly is not adequate at present. It makes better sense to treat student nurses in the same way as ordinary students, as I have argued throughout, rather than to throw money at the problem. We are not asking for money but for a recognition of the specific situation in which student nurses find themselves.

I do not have much time because I want to allow other hon. Members to debate this group of amendments. I hope that some Conservative Members will speak because I know that there is support for them on the Conservative Benches. Therefore, I want to deal briefly with two other amendments in the group.

There is a series of Government amendments which are designed to introduce what can only be called student identity cards. The Government have tried to call them certificates, but it is rather like the Government trying to call the poll tax the community charge—it does not really weather. I have no doubt that hon. Members on both sides of the House will find it easier to refer to them as identity cards, which is what they are.

Identity cards give rise to specific worries that all hon. Members should share. The first is that they are clearly an infringement of students' civil liberties, a subject which we debated earlier. However, here we do not have a proposal from the Opposition that the poll tax will lead to identity cards, but a Government amendment introducing identity cards for a specific group. If students are to receive identity cards in this way, that must surely open the door to others receiving them. There is no difference in logic between the need for students to have them and any other group.

I cannot see why it is necessary for students to have identity cards. I can see that the college might have to hand over names and addresses to the local authority if the scheme is to work effectively, but why does that necessitate issuing cards? Presumably colleges already have the names and addresses of all their students in one form or another. Why cannot they hand those over as they are?

Let me finally deal, still more briefly, with the student 20 per cent. contribution. We must hammer out this issue once and for all. The Government have accepted that people on income support should receive an increase in that support to cover the 20 per cent. that they will have to find from the money that is presently available to them. Yet the same situation does not seem to apply to students who have to survive on a grant.

We have in the past tabled amendments to cater for that situation and we have also pursued with the Minister the question whether there will be an increase. If the Minister is prepared to say that there will be, the amendments become much less relevant. In Committee the Minister said that the issue would have to be decided by the Jackson review, and left it at that. There are two essential problems with that. First, students will have to apply for college places not knowing whether they will have to find that 20 per cent. from their grant because they will have to apply for courses while that review is being completed. Therefore, they cannot judge whether they will have to choose their college on the basis of the charge relevant to a particular authority. Should a student decide not to choose London on the grounds that he cannot afford it, or should he assume that the Minister will be generous enough to make up the money?

Secondly, the Minister was perfectly able to say that income support would be uprated. If he could say that, despite the fact that it comes under the Department of Health and Social Security, why is his excuse for not telling us what will happen to students based on the fact that the matter comes under the DHSS? I fail to see the difference between the two.

I hope that the House will support the amendments. In particular, I return to the case of the student nurses. They are a special group and I have explained to the House why they should be treated in the same way as other students. Large numbers of nurses will be looking to the House to show that we value their role.

Mr. Robert Rhodes James (Cambridge)

I am honoured to follow the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor), with whom I very much agree. Let me make an appeal to my hon. and learned Friend the Minister. As he will know, I support the Bill. I courageously supported the Government last night. I also have to declare a former interest in that my eldest daughter was a National Health Service nurse and student nurse.

I am very much aware of the problems that student nurses face and, as a result, I was involved in the establishment of the pay review body. I recognise that the Government accept the particular circumstances and problems of students, and for that I am grateful, but how can my hon. and learned Friend seriously argue that there is a difference between a university student studying whatever subject he or she may be studying and a student nurse? The argument will come that the university student is given a grant that is considerably lower than the salary given to a student nurse. This will ignore the fact that the student nurse is involved in work of great responsibility—my daughter, at the age of 20, was assisting in intensive care cases—and the salary is not very large.

How can my hon. and learned Friend expect me, a supporter of the Bill, to go to my constituents in Cambridge and say that my university students will have the maximum rebate but my student nurses will not? I have to say that I am not going to do it, and I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will respond to my appeal, as a supporter of the Bill and of the principle, and make some concessions on this point. I am sure that when he reflects on the matter he will do so.

7.30 pm
Mr. Jeff Rooker (Birmingham, Perry Barr)

I want to intervene briefly on behalf of the official Opposition in what is by its nature a very short debate, so that I imagine that contributions will be brief.

We shall support amendment No. 214, but I want to draw the attention of the House very briefly to amendment (a) to new clause 13. That encompasses also student nurses, but it goes wider. I know that privately there is a good deal of support for a wider exemption as typified in amendment (a), but publicly, in terms of voting, I understand that there will probably be more people in the Lobby for amendment No. 214 than there would be for amendment (a). Therefore, when the time comes, I shall advise my hon. Friends to support amendment No 214.

Unless one or other of those amendments is accepted. or unless the Government can make a concession, we shall be left with the position, when this legislation reaches the statute book, that the apprentice in the bedsit will pay exactly the same poll tax as the managing director in the penthouse. That will be seen as patently unfair.

A student undertaking a full-time course of education but who may be employed by, say, a Government Department and sponsored on a postgraduate course, on a salary, will get an 80 per cent. discount on the poll tax, but the student nurse will get no rebate whatsoever. Where is the justification? As we said in Committee, not all students are poor, although the vast majority are. They struggle and survive on the grant. But the way the Bill is drafted, a student who follows a full-time course but is sponsored by an industrial company or a Government Department, on a salary, will get an automatic discount of 80 per cent., while student nurses will get not a penny piece of poll tax rebate, except for those few who happen to live in the London borough of Camden. And when the nurses' pay review body reports it may well be that student nurses, even with their responsibilities, will be taken out of that.

The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) is quite right: student nurses are paid a salary, but they are carrying out a responsible job and, with the hours that they do, they are not in quite the same position. But students on a grant, with the supplementary benefit in the long recess and other jobs, can often make the same net income in a year as a student nurse, because she is subject to tax and National Insurance contributions. Therefore, it is grossly unfair that student nurses are not covered.

Apprentices working on schemes ought also to be covered.

We all know the position since the Committee stage. We were not able to discuss the question of students having identity cards, because that was not on offer, but now we see Government amendment No. 59. Whereas the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals has said that it can operate new clause 13, it is wholly opposed to amendment No. 59. I shall quote very briefly from the letter sent to me, and I presume to other hon. Members, by the chairman of the committee, Professor Sir Mark Richmond. He said: Universities do not supply students' names and addresses to third parties without their consent. To do so would be an invasion of students' privacy, and could place some of them, for example, certain groups of overseas students, at personal risk". He goes on to say: We believe that supplying names and addresses would also contravene students' rights under the Data Protection Act since the records are frequently held on computer.

There is no justification whatsoever for new clause 13. We have to press the Government on this in respect of these students. Does this presage poll tax identity cards for all poll tax payers? Going back to the debate that we have just had, the Government constantly say that there is no threat to civil liberties or to privacy, but at the end of the day there will be over 50 sets of regulations to come before the House after the Bill receives Royal Assent, some of which will give local authority treasurers the power to seek further and other information. The Government will then say that it has nothing to do with them, that the local authorities are to blame.

That is simply not good enough. We need an answer to that tonight. What is going to flow from the requirement, for students to have identity cards?

We naturally expect the Minister to say something about the student grant. We expect him to say, not that it is fobbed off to some other committee, but that the grant will at least take account of the 20 per cent. of the poll tax that students are required to pay.

Sir Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)

I know that no sensible person wants to penalise student nurses as an unexpected by-product of a change in local government finance. As a group, student nurses make a major contribution to society and they are certainly not overpaid. As the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) pointed out, student nurses in London are going to be particularly hard-hit, and I hope that many of them will come and work in the hospitals in my constituency.

I part company with the hon. Member, however, on his amendment relating to student identity cards. I dislike almost all aspects of this Bill and the only thing that encourages me about it is that it is going to make the introduction of identity cards—not just for students but for the whole population—a necessity. I do not see any other way in which this system of local government finance can be operated, and as a long-term supporter of national identity cards I welcome this aspect of it. If it comes first with students, they can realise that it will apply to the rest of the country very soon indeed.

This amendment underlines the enormous problems that arise when we switch the whole basis of local government finance from buildings to people and then try to exempt particular groups. Certainly student nurses ought to be exempted, but why not student policemen—police cadets—and trainee firemen as well? One can think of a vast range of people. Some other students and non-students whose case we cannot possibly discuss in the very limited time available this evening ought to be exempted.

Mr. Leigh

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Sir Philip Goodhart

No, because I said that I would speak for less than five minutes.

If the Bill reaches another place, it will have more than 90 minutes—indeed, nine days—in which to discuss these issues. I am sure that another place, particularly after last night's vote, will have the moral authority and the moral necessity thoroughly to investigate all the exemption issues. I expect that the Government will secure the defeat of this amendment, but I hope that it will be passed by another place and that we shall have a further opportunity to discuss it at length.

Mr. Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne, Central)

Unless important amendments are made to this part of the Bill, there will be a dangerous breakdown of communications between the Government and a particularly important generation. There are over 20,000 students in my city of Newcastle upon Tyne, and 3,500 of them may or may not be covered by student exemptions. We do not yet know the precise definition of a student. The draft Scottish regulations that are to be discussed tomorrow do not fully cover many of the uncertainties about the definition of a student. That will put university, polytechnic and college of further education administrations in great difficulties.

We are also creating very important divisions between one category of young person and another. Student nurses work alongside medical students and postgraduate science students, many of whom earn additional money by demonstrations and part-time lecturing. Student nurses will deeply resent student exemptions, and it will create a further disincentive to their recruitment. It is a mistake to assume that that disincentive will be confined to student nurses in London. The greatest fall in student nurse intake in any area prior to the introduction of this system, which will act as a further disincentive to student nurse recruitment, is to be found in the north. I expect that the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) would agree to extend what he said to student midwives and student health visitors who will encounter exactly the same kind of difficulties.

I hope that the Government will seriously consider the points that have been raised and that they will relieve university and college administrations of having to tread an extremely onerous, difficult and trouble-strewn path by not implementing new clause 13 and by not introducing exemptions for one section of a key age group while forcing other sections of that key age group to depend on a rebate system that already has its curiosities. If we are to believe the letters, leaks or whatever we may call them about the future of the rebate system, there will be even greater curiosities.

Whatever the outcome of the vote, I hope that the Government will further consider these matters: otherwise we shall end up with a deeply divided generation and a crisis of confidence between the Government and the student community. Administration and certification uncertainties will be added to the uncertainties about the future of student grants and loans. Furthermore, the survey that was announced this morning carries an implicit threat to the future integrity of student unions.

Mr. David Wilshire (Spelthorne)

Every time we have a debate of this kind I think to myself, "Here we go again: more exemptions, more requests for rebates." The fact is that 9 million people are already receiving some form of relief. Before we know where we are, 20 million people will be receiving help—precisely the number who are not paying rates now or who are getting help to pay them. I make no apologies for saying that I would prefer there to be no exemptions and no rebates—[interruption.] I thought that would excite Opposition Members. I am not in the least bit anti-nurse, anti-student or anti-anybody else who needs help. It is the method of help that concerns me. I am very much pro-nurse and pro-student. The hearts of those who are trying to do something for them are in the right place but their method is wrong. Nurses are paid; students are given grants; the elderly receive help. That is the way to deal with those who will have difficulties over the community charge. Amendment after amendment advocating exemptions is nonsense.

7.45 pm

I want to deal with what is going wrong as we discuss the amendments. These amendments, and all the amendments that we have discussed so far, also affect the principle and the future of local government. The threatened principle, where there are exemptions and rebates, is the link between services and costs. The Bill sets out to link users and payers—hence the name "community charge". I make no apologies for saying that we should charge for services. The term "community charge" gives the lie to the fact that this is a poll tax, because a poll tax is a charge for voting.

I am well aware of the fact that the notion of charging everybody upsets some hon. Members. I have sat through 147 hours of hon. Members being upset about it. During those 147 hours I heard no hon. Member suggest that nurses should be given free postage stamps, and I have heard no call for cheaper water, electricity or coal for students, yet they are just as essential as dustbins, street lights and fire brigades. All exemptions and rebates cut right across the principle of trying to create a link between services and costs. That link is important, because it puts local government firmly in the real world. That is where the Opposition do not want local government to be. Local government has to face the inescapable, economic fact of life that services cost money. Exemptions disguise that fact. Public services affect the pockets of us all. If we look at the track record of local government, we see that it is usually the poorest who are affected most.

Ms. Marjorie Mowlam (Redcar)

If the hon. Gentleman is against exemptions, could he explain why he is for rate capping? If he is referring to a direct relationship between services and accountability, that clearly works in the other direction.

Mr. Wilshire

That has absolutely nothing to do with it. I was referring to the link between services and costs and to what people contribute. The rate-capping mechanism is concerned with local government misbehaving itself.

Another point that concerns me greatly is that exemptions and rebates will have a detrimental effect on local government. I sat through the whole of yesterday's debate and I have sat through the whole of this one, but I have not yet heard any hon. Member discuss the effect that these amendments will have on local government. The discussion has centred on the effect that they will have on individual people. If, however, there is to be sensible local government, we must consider the effect on both individuals and local government.

Ms. Joyce Quin (Gateshead, East)

I am following the hon. Gentleman's argument with some difficulty. Is he saying that he is against exemptions, but favours the solution of increasing student grants, pensions and so on? The burden of the community charge, which we know will be there, will be compensated for in some other way.

Mr. Wilshire

That is the way I would go. I would not be specific in a debate such as this. What I believe should happen, if we have a community charge which clearly introduces the link between services and cost, is that every local person should hand over money to the local council for services. If they cannot afford to do that, we should explore, as the hon. Lady has just said, ways of helping those who need help in paying the charge, but not in this particular way. All the exemptions and the rebates that we might allow will further confuse the real role of local government. It will confuse the point that local government is, above all else, a provider of local services. The sooner it gets back to such thinking, the sooner it will secure its future. Exemptions and rebates will confuse that role for local government in two particular ways.

If there are exemptions arid rebates such as these, we will first turn a charge on all into a tax on some and introduce the ability to pay and arguments on the redistribution of wealth into the local government arena. Those are tasks for central Government. Secondly, we will involve councillors in social engineering. They will see within their arena the whole question of the redistribution of wealth and feel obliged to find ways of doing the Government's job. It is that social engineering that has brought us to this Bill in the first place. It would be ironic indeed, if we passed amendments which had the effect of the Bill making social engineering by local councillors worse rather than better.

I urge the House to vote against the amendments, as it has voted against all the others so far. I urge the House to go on voting against them time after time when they attempt to make exemptions. I am against all attempts to introduce banded charges, to exempt more people and to improve the rebates. If we do not oppose these amendments, local government will get worse, not better. Local services will suffer, not improve.—[AN HON. MEMBER: "Hang the nurses."] When we come to the debate on capital punishment, my hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack) will get a nasty surprise, because he will probably find me in the other Lobby.

Above all else, if we do not watch our step, if we do not vote against all these amendments, we shall end up where we started—with another Local Government Finance Bill. I am quite convinced that the House does not want that. I am certain that I do not want another 147 hours of nonsense from Opposition Members.

Mr. Wilson

The hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) has demonstrated a notable Tory characteristic which can be summed up in one word—selfishness. I am thinking of his attitude not so much towards the poll tax, but towards his colleagues. What distinguishes the hon. Member for Spelthorne from the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James), who showed rather more circumspection, is that the hon. Member for Spelthorne has a majority of 20,050, whereas the hon. Member for Cambridge has a majority of 5,060. That really is—[HON. MEMBERS: "Do not challenge the hon. Gentleman's integrity."] I cannot challenge what is not there.

Mr. Cormack

The hon. Gentleman does his argument a disservice. I had a majority of 25,000, which does not stop me from opposing this Bill. The hon. Gentleman should watch his words.

Mr. Wilson

I am sorry, but I am not prepared to take that from the hon. Gentleman, because my experience of the poll tax is that many who will be protected from it will find it morally repugnant. I respect those Conservative Members who are prepared to share that opinion. I respect the fact that many of the most articulate and decent opponents of the poll tax on the other side of the House have nothing to fear from it politically. However, I believe that we heard the true doctrine from the hon. Member for Spelthorne—that, if they could get away with it politically, those in favour of the poll tax would not protect the lame, the weak, the mentally handicapped, the elderly and the young unemployed. In respect of all those categories, they would wipe out the nonsense about rebates or anything else.

Mr. Butterfill

The hon. Gentleman will find that Conservative Members and, I am sure, many in the Labour party may regret his aspersion on my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James). I think it will be common ground on both sides of the House that he has never failed to vote according to his conscience on almost every issue, certainly as long as I have known him. Many other hon. Members have known him longer than I have.

Mr. Wilson

We have grown accustomed to the moderate and helpful interventions in Committee of the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Butterfill) which invariably end up with him voting for the most reactionary side of the argument. I advise those hon. Members who voted with the Government last night, whose minds are yet to be concentrated, that this issue will progressively concentrate their minds. The smaller the majority, the sharper the degree of concentration. I do not think there is anything exceptional about that.

Mr. Wilshire

I do not think that I can allow my integrity to be attacked without that point being withdrawn or my being able to put on the record quite clearly that I totally support this legislation, because I believe that it is right. I spelt out in words of one syllable that I care as much as anybody in the House. I am just as determined to find ways of helping people who need help, but I do not believe that this particular Bill is the vehicle for helping people who need it. I resent very much my integrity being attacked.

Mr. Wilson

The hon. Gentleman can resent it until he is an even deeper blue in the face, but what he has just propounded is the abolition of all rebates and all concessions to all categories of society. He wants that on the record; I want that on the record. I do not know what we are disagreeing about.

We know that the wobbly Tory conscience is very cheaply bought. The announcement last Thursday about rebates is exposed for exactly what it is in this debate on student nurses. When we were debating this matter in Committee, it was drawn to the attention of the Government that, according to the pre-Thursday formula—the pre-magnanimity formula—there was not a student nurse in the country who would receive a penny rebate unless he or she lived in the London borough of Camden. There would not, for instance, be a student nurse in the whole of Scotland who would receive a penny rebate, because, in the view of the Government and the architects of this legislation, student nurses are far too well paid to deserve a rebate. The hon. Member for Spelthorne, the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West and the Minister are firmly of the view that every student nurse in the country is far too well paid to require a penny of rebate.

Let us look at the post-Ridley miracle figures on the magnanimity of the new rebate system. Before last Thursday, in an area where the poll tax was £250 a head, which is above the English average, a student nurse would receive no rebate. After Thursday a student nurse will also receive nothing in rebate. In areas such as my own, where the poll tax is £300 a head, before last Thursday a student nurse would receive not a penny in rebate. After last Thursday a student nurse will receive not a penny in rebate. If we go to the highest rated authorities outside London, before last Thursday a student nurse would receive not a penny in rebate. After last Thursday, a student nurse will receive not a penny in rebate. That is what last Thursday is worth to student nurses throughout the country. That would surely have been appreciated by Conservative Members when they heard that announcement. The only concession arises where student nurses are living in a local authority area where the per capita poll tax is £550 per head, which, at present figures, would affect at most two or three of the London boroughs. In those areas, student nurses now begin to qualify for the magnificent sum of 66p per week in rebate, when they are being asked to pay £550 per year in poll tax. They are among the 9 million people whom the newly reformed Conservative Members are now prepared to wear on their chests as symbols of what happened last Thursday. However, nobody can hide behind their conscience as much as behind statistics. The fact is that outside the handful of London boroughs—possibly the one, two or three boroughs where the statistics begin to apply—the relevance of last Thursday is that not one student nurse in the country will receive a penny in poll tax rebate because, in the Government's view, they are far too highly paid to do so.

8 pm

That is the reality that Conservative Members, including the hon. Member for Cambridge, will have to take out into the country. I admire the hon. Gentleman for the fact that he has some reservations about doing so. However, I assure him, and every hon. Member who is still prepared to cling to the principle of the poll tax, that just as they will eventually have to take the truth about student nurses out into the country, there are a thousand similar examples of people who will be cruelly penalised under the poll tax, but who do not yet realise it, and every one of those cases will have to be explained to an increasingly sceptical and hostile electorate.

Sir George Young (Ealing, Acton)

I cannot preface my remarks with the protestations of loyalty with which my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) prefaced his remarks. However, I hope that the Government will listen to what we are saying in this debate, which is the seventh of eight in which we are asking the Government to think again on this issue.

I rise in support of amendments Nos. 214 and 238 which seek to extend the protection for students to student nurses. Yesterday we debated the principle of banding, and the Government pointed out what they saw as difficulties, anomalies, and problems about the cross-over points. Today's debate has made it clear that the Government have their own banding proposals. However, unlike yesterday's debate, in which banding was on the basis of income, banding in this debate is according to educational status. If one is talking about tax, it is far more logical to band according to income than to educational status because that leads us into all sorts of difficulties, anomalies and cross-over points which are far more difficult to defend than the anomalies and difficulties that we defended yesterday. A rich undergraduate, for example—and there are some—who is able to supplement his income in the vacations will receive 80 per cent. relief, whereas a poor nursing student who has no such opportunity will not receive comparable relief. That is a difficult point to explain on the doorstep.

Like other hon. Members, I have children at university and know that some of my children's contemporaries are being paid for by the police force or, in some cases, by the armed services. They receive a salary, but, for the purpose of this clause, they will count as students. How does one defend that position when their salary might be higher than that of a student nurse? It is certainly the case that the Government are sponsoring post-graduate students and that those students will be granted exemptions. There is a major inconsistency in the Government's approach towards those undertaking education and training.

I should like to comment briefly on student nurses. Like the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor), I have been in touch with the Royal College of Nursing, which is concerned about this matter. If one considers the future of nursing and nurse training, one can see that student nurses will become more and more like students and slightly less like nurses. Page 6 of the Project 2000 briefing of the Royal College of Nursing, which hon. Members have been sent, states: Project 2000 proposes that 20 per cent. of the students' time over the 3 years would be spent as an employee service contribution, rather than the present 80 per cent. That is a fairly dramatic turnround in the nature of nurse training. Nurses will become far more like students. The briefing then states: Only two countries in the world, the UK and Eire, still have nursing students as employees. In other words, we are going to move more towards the position that is adopted elsewhere and nurses will become more and more like students.

Against that background, and against the problems that we face in London in relation to recruiting nurses, one simply cannot afford to put extra problems in the path of student nurses.

The last sentence of the briefing from the Royal College of Nursing states: Numbers entering nurse training dropped from 33,370 in 1979 to 22,825 in 1987. In view of that, is it really sensible to put an additional burden on the backs of student nurses?

I hope that when the Division comes, my hon. Friends who have hitherto been loyal, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge, will take the view that on this issue an injustice is being done to student nurses. It is an injustice that could be put right quite easily without doing any of the damage that we heard about yesterday, simply by carrying amendment No. 214. If that happened, it would enable those of us who have been campaigning for changes to the Bill to feel that we have at least removed one inequity from the Bill to the benefit of the legislation.

Mr. Dalyell

As is my wont, and because of the guillotine, I should like to ask one question and then make an observation. The question is purely factual. What work has been done in the Department on the likely effect of the poll tax on the recruitment of student nurses, first, in London, and, secondly, in the rest of the country?

My observation is that, like the hon. Member for Beckenham (Sir P. Goodhart), I was here 10 years ago when we had a controversial Bill. We had a Labour Government, and the Bill related to Scotland and Wales. Unfortunately for some people in that Government, they never got a guillotine. Therefore, it was possible for the House of Commons to do its job. I borrow a phrase from Enoch Powell who took part in those debates, in a situation not unlike this. Enoch said that that Bill had a "smell of death" about it. Were the House of Commons, on this occasion, allowed to do its job, that smell of death would emerge, because it is like lifting stones. Again, to borrow from Enoch Powell, it is a question of all sorts of creepy-crawly things creeping out from under the stones. That can only be done on the first, second, third and fourth attempts.

I am not being personally rude to the Minister because that is not my wont. However, there is another comparison. The devolution Bill was handled by what we, in the Opposition, would regard as an exceptionally able Queen's Counsel, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Monklands, East (Mr. Smith). There is one thing about very able QCs—one will not catch them out the first, the second or the third time; one must go on and on. It suited Jim Callaghan that I was allowed, with Enoch Powell and one or two others, 47 days on the Floor of the House—

Mr. Rooker

And with the present Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Dalyell

Certainly. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition was not as good an attender as I was and he did not ask as succinct questions as I did. Nevertheless, he came in and went out again, and did his part—[HON. MEMBERS: "A leadership bid."] I do not know whether this is a leadership bid. It is partly a reminiscence.

I think that more and more this Bill is getting found out. It has geological flaws and part of the symptoms of a geological flaw is this kind of vignette debate.

I do not want to anger my colleagues, but I think that there was a great deal in what the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) said. Once one starts exemptions, one can go on asking for other exemptions. If there should be exemptions for student nurses—as we believe—why not for trainee firemen or trainee a lot of other things? Other groups, some of which are small, will think that they have good cases. The difficulty is that the House of Commons does not have the time or the opportunity to explore those cases. I must behave myself, because I must not go on and on.

Mr. Winnick

I take my hon. Friend's point that the Bill is basically defective and that there are anomalies in having exemptions for student nurses, people over 80, and so on. Does he agree with my earlier comment that if we work on the basis that this is an obnoxious Bill, our job in opposition, bearing in mind the Government's majority, is to do what we can to ensure that there will be protection for those who will be penalised? Although there are all kinds of anomalies in the amendments, if they were carried we would be protecting some people who otherwise would be harshly hit by this Treasury measure.

Mr. Dalyell

I would not agree. It would be an interesting exercise if, by a magic carpet, the Minister could be transported to this side of the red line to put the awkward QC questions to the Government on the other side. I think that the effect would be dramatic—[Interruption.] He would do it just as well. That is the point about clever QCs. I am not insulting his integrity.

Mr. Winnick

They would argue anything for money.

Mr. Dalyell

No, I did not say that. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Monklands, East did not do anything like that. Ministers have a job to do and they have a loyalty. As my right hon. and learned Friend had a loyalty to Jim Callaghan, so the Minister has a loyalty to the present Prime Minister. All I am saying is that that does not refute our argument that the whole proposition is flawed fundamentally.

Ms. Mowlam

I am sure that my hon. Friend is aware that at the time of the peasants' revolt in 1381, when Richard II was facing the impact of a poll tax, the crowd shouted, "A plague on all lawyers."

Mr. Dalyell

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Redcar (Ms. Mowlam). I really must sit down.

Mr. Butterfill

The nub of the problem is the difference between full-time students and those who are studying whilst working. It is no doubt true that an increasing number study and train at the same time as they work. That trend is likely to continue. Therefore, we should be debating how we deal with those people and whether we should treat them in the same way as students.

What has been argued from the Opposition Benches is that we should treat a particular group in a special way. That argument cannot hold water because we should not single out one group at the expense of others. There are many other groups which would fall into a similar predicament as that which would be experienced by student nurses. My hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Sir P. Goodhart) outlined a few such cases.

It is significant that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) said that he would have preferred amendment (a) to amendment No. 214. He pointed out that amendment (a) included a large number of additional groups which he thought were equally deserving. I suggest that there are even more groups in comparable positions than are included in amendment (a). The problem is that Opposition Members want to make political capital out of this. That is why they are not pursuing amendment (a) even though they admit that it is a better amendment than amendment No. 214.

The hon. Member for Perry Barr said that amendment (a) was better but that he thought he would get more support for amendment No. 214. Why does he think that he will get more support for amendment No. 214? Because it concerns exclusively nurses. It is well known that there is greater public sympathy for nurses than for other groups who may be equally deserving. Therefore, what we have seen from the Opposition Benches is a study in cynicism. They are treating this as a pure electioneering exercise.

Mr. Rooker

The simple fact is that I added up the numbers who were prepared to vote for a Labour amendment as opposed to a Social Democratic Liberal amendment. There seemed to be more hon. Members willing to vote for amendment No. 214. The procedure under the guillotine, for which the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Butterfill) voted, does not allow the Labour party to vote for amendment (a). It is a simple matter of arithmetic.

8.15 pm
Mr. Butterfill

I accept that it is a procedural point but I am sure that it has suited the arguments of the Opposition, who have concentrated almost exclusively on the predicament of nurses. If that were not so, why did Opposition Members not concentrate on the arguments for other groups in addition to nurses?

The answer to the problem of the nurses is not to give them exemption through the amendment but to deal with them through the independent review body which has been set up to decide what their pay should be. We decided to take nurses' pay out of the political arena. Yet Opposition Members insist on perpetuating it as a political issue. I believe that the public will make their own judgment as to the motives of the Opposition.

Mr. Cormack

I am not making an electioneering speech. I hope that my hon. Friend will acquit me of that.

It is a pity that the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) introduced such a note into his speech. In the Chamber we should always assume the sincerity of our opponents' arguments and go for their judgment and tactics, but we should not descend to the depths which he did in his unfortunate remarks.

We are debating a peculiar anomaly of the Government's own creation. My hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young), who has fought so valiantly on the issue, was right when he said that to treat a rich undergraduate in one way and a student nurse, who may be in straitened circumstances, in another is not only anomalous but thoroughly unjust. I hope that even at this late stage my hon. and learned Friend can do something. No one by any stretch of the imagination could construe this as a wrecking amendment. It would be a small concession. I hope that my hon. and learned Friend can make this small, inexpensive concession for a group of people who probably command more public sympathy than any other group.

At a time when the Government are about to make the right decision, as I believe they are, on nurses' pay, I would regret it if they were to take an intransigent line on the amendment. I urge my hon. and learned Friend to reply in the conciliatory spirit of which I know him to be capable. Able lawyer that he is, I am sure that he is not a man with a heart of flint. Somewhere he has deep feelings in which I would urge him to indulge himself just for a moment.

Mr. Howard

We all enjoyed the remiscences of the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell), but he is wrong when he suggests that as the Bill proceeds through Parliament new weaknesses, as he would have it, are identified and exposed.

We have had an interesting debate on this important question. Despite the fact that the arguments against the Government's position have been enriched by the new, powerful and persuasive advocacy of my hon. Friends the Members for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) and Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack), who unhappily did not join us in Committee, none of the arguments which have been put forward were new. No new points were put forward. We argued the matter through in Committee. Indeed, a member of the Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Butterfill), put his finger with absolute precision on the distinction at the heart of the Government's case: there is a difference between those who are in full-time education and those who are at work and obtaining their education at work.

Mr. Cormack

What is the difference between a young man of 22 with a commission in the Army and a salary at Cambridge or any other university and a student nurse at Addenbrooke's? Why should one be treated so very much more favourably than the other?

Mr. Howard

My hon. Friend is entirely correct in identifying an anomaly. It affects a tiny number of people and in any legislation there are anomalies which one expects. The extent to which an anomaly becomes acceptable or invalidates the principle of the legislation can be decided by the number of people affected by it. That is the answer to my hon. Friend's question.

Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)

The Minister has finally grudgingly admitted that this is an anomaly and he implied that there may be many others. Will he agree with equal honesty that the best way to remove the anomalies is to build into the legislation a clear recognition of the ability to pay?

Mr. Howard

No, I do not agree with either of the hon. Gentleman's points. I did not imply that there were many other anomalies. We shall examine some aspects of his latter point shortly, but I certainly do not agree that his remedy would provide any improvement.

First, I shall deal with the Opposition amendments Nos. 214, 238, 253, 254, 144, 145, 146, 252 and amendment (a) to new clause 13. These are designed to extend the definition of a full-time course of education to include student nurses, apprentices and participants in MSC schemes. We debated similar amendments at length in Committee and I have heard nothing to today to convince me that the Committee was wrong to reject those amendments.

The Committee accepted the Government's case that full-time students are in a unique position, and therefore merit special treatment in the form of a reduced charge: they will pay only one fifth of the personal community charges. Student nurses differ from students in two important respects. First, their financial situation is different. A student nurse's salary, for example, is considerably higher than even the highest student grant. The student grant outside London is less than £2,000 a year, compared with a starting salary of £4,540 for a student nurse. The average earnings of student nurses outside London are between £5,000 and £6,000—two and half to three times the student grant.

I accept the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge that student nurses work extremely hard and carry out onerous responsibilities, so more than justify those salaries. Naturally, we accept and appreciate that, but that is not the point. By virtue of their hard work and the responsibilities that they discharge they receive incomes which are substantially higher than student grants.

Secondly, student nurses are salaried staff whose training is carried out in the context of their full-time employment. Many jobs involve a similar element of on-the-job training. If we gave special treatment to student nurses we could not justify withholding it from a large number of other groups, from police cadets to trainee accountants, or even pupil barristers.

I would not deny that some trainees have low incomes, for example, those participating in YTS and JTS courses. Many of those on YTS will be under 18, and therefore not subject to the personal community charge. Those who are over 18, as well as those on JTS courses, apprentices and other trainees, will be eligible for community charge rebates on the same basis as all other people whose incomes are low. The improved rebate arrangements will bring many more young people, including no doubt many trainees, within eligibility for rebates as well as increasing the rebate entitlement of many others. That answers the question of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) about an apprentice in a bedsit.

Amendment No. 252 is rather different. It would oblige the Government to reimburse full-time students for the 20 per cent. payment they will be required to make towards the community charge. I must urge the House to reject this amendment, not least because it is premature. These matters are being considered by the review which is taking place under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science. The review is considering all aspects of student support arrangements, including the impact of the community charge, and I understand that it is likely to report shortly. Until it does it would be wrong to deal separately with only one aspect of student finances.

I turn now to the first of the Government amendments, No. 21. This is a purely technical amendment to the rights of appeal under clause 22. It deletes subsection (2)(c) of clause 22 which provides a right of appeal if a registration officer does not accept that a person is a full-time student. That right will continue to be available, but it is no longer necessary to provide for it expressly, in the light of another amendment which was agreed in Committee. It relates to entries in the register, which I need not go into in detail now.

The hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor) asked about the effects on our proposals of Project 2000. It is a proposal by the United Kingdom Central Council, which deals with the training of nurses, on possible changes to future training. Following consultation, Ministers in the Department of Health and Social Security will consider what, if any, steps should be taken to implement those recommendations. This Bill is concerned with the present system and at present student nurses are clearly not full-time students in the accepted sense. If Project 2000 is implemented in due course and student nurses are treated as students on bursaries rather than salaries, we shall certainly reconsider their position under the community charge.

The hon. Member for Truro, his party and, indeed, if I understand his position correctly, my hon. Friend the Member for Acton favour a full local income tax. The House should consider the implications for student nurses and newly qualified nurses of the effects of a local income tax. A first-year student nurse in inner London would be likely to pay more in local income tax than in community charge.

Mr. Matthew Taylor

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Howard

I shall sit down shortly in order to give the hon. Gentleman time to speak.

A third-year student in inner London would pay considerably more than under the community charge—as much as £1,000 in Camden and £830 in Lewisham. A newly qualified nurse would be likely to pay more local income tax than community charge in every local authority in England. In Camden her bill could be as high as £1,500, in Manchester £375, and in Durham £300.

In the light of the implications of the local income tax proposals put forward by the hon. Gentleman's party, one should truly assess the strength of the propositions that he has been advancing. For that, if for no other reason, I invite the House to vote against his amendment.

Mr. Matthew Taylor

With the leave of the House, I should like briefly to respond to the debate.

This is a debate not about local income tax but about making the Government's system fairer. I hope that the Minister will accept that, although figures under his proposals for local income tax may or may not be true, under our proposals, which he was given earlier today, he was simply wrong.

The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) spoke from family experience and with typical integrity, such as we expect from him. The hon. Member for Beckenham (Sir P. Goodhart) referred to the Lords. I beg both sides of the House not to leave this to the Lords in the hope that they will make changes. A direction from the House is needed, and the House's position should be made clear.

The speeches by the hon. Members for Staffordshire, South (Mr. Cormack) and for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) were equally generous and showed the integrity of those hon. Members.

The hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) spelt out the true opposition to the amendment. It has nothing to do with local income tax. The hon. Gentleman said that he would prefer a Bill with no exemptions and no rebates. That is the true alternative. I say to hon. Members: for goodness sake recognise the value of student nurses and support them.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 232, Noes 321.

Division No. 264] [8.30 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Evans, John (St Helens N)
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)
Allen, Graham Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)
Alton, David Fatchett, Derek
Anderson, Donald Faulds, Andrew
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Fearn, Ronald
Armstrong, Hilary Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)
Ashton, Joe Flannery, Martin
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Flynn, Paul
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Foster, Derek
Barron, Kevin Foulkes, George
Battle, John Fraser, John
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Fyfe, Maria
Beckett, Margaret Galbraith, Sam
Beggs, Roy Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Beith, A. J. Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)
Bell, Stuart George, Bruce
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Godman, Dr Norman A.
Bermingham, Gerald Golding, Mrs Llin
Blair, Tony Goodhart, Sir Philip
Blunkett, David Gordon, Mildred
Boateng, Paul Gould, Bryan
Boyes, Roland Graham, Thomas
Bradley, Keith Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E) Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Grocott, Bruce
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)
Caborn, Richard Harman, Ms Harriet
Callaghan, Jim Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Haynes, Frank
Canavan, Dennis Heffer, Eric S.
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Henderson, Doug
Cartwright, John Hinchliffe, David
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Holland, Stuart
Clay, Bob Home Robertson, John
Clelland, David Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Howells, Geraint
Cohen, Harry Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Corbett, Robin Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Corbyn, Jeremy Illsley, Eric
Cormack, Patrick Janner, Greville
Cousins, Jim John, Brynmor
Crowther, Stan Johnston, Sir Russell
Cryer, Bob Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Cummings, John Jones, leuan (Ynys MÔn)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Cunningham, Dr John Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Dalyetl, Tarn Kirkwood, Archy
Darling, Alistair Lambie, David
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Leighton, Ron
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l) Lewis, Terry
Dixon, Don Litherland, Robert
Dobson, Frank Livingstone, Ken
Douglas, Dick Livsey, Richard
Duffy, A. E. P. Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Dunnachie, Jimmy Loyden, Eddie
Eadie, Alexander McAllion, John
Eastham, Ken McAvoy, Thomas
McCartney, Ian Rogers, Allan
Macdonald, Calum A. Rooker, Jeff
McFall, John Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Ross, William (Londonderry E)
McKelvey, William Rowlands, Ted
McLeish, Henry Ruddock. Joan
McNamara, Kevin Salmond, Alex
McTaggart, Bob Sedgemore, Brian
McWilliam, John Sheerman, Barry
Madden, Max Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Mahon, Mrs Alice Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Marek, Dr John Short, Clare
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Skinner, Dennis
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Martlew, Eric Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
Maxton, John Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Michael, Aluri Snape, Peter
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Soley, Clive
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce Spearing, Nigel
Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby) Squire, Robin
Moonie, Dr Lewis Steinberg, Gerry
Morgan, Rhodri Stott, Roger
Morley, Elliott Strang, Gavin
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Straw, Jack
Mowlam, Marjorie Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Mullin, Chris Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford)
Murphy, Paul Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Temple-Morris, Peter
O'Brien, William Thomas, Dr Dafydd Elis
O'Neill, Martin Turner, Dennis
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Vaz, Keith
Parry, Robert Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)
Patchett, Terry Wall, Pat
Pendry, Tom Walley, Joan
Pike, Peter L. Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Wareing, Robert N.
Prescott. John Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Primarolo, Dawn Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Quin, Ms Joyce Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Radice, Giles Wilson, Brian
Randall, Stuart Winnick, David
Redmond, Martin Wise, Mrs Audrey
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn Worthington, Tony
Reid, Dr John Young, David (Bolton SE)
Rhodes James, Robert Young, Sir George (Acton)
Richardson, Jo
Roberts, Allan (Bootle) Tellers for the Ayes:
Robertson, George Mr. James Wallace and
Robinson, Geoffrey Mrs. Ray Michie.
Aitken, Jonathan Bottomley, Mrs Virginia
Alexander, Richard Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)
Allason, Rupert Bowis, John
Amess, David Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes
Amos, Alan Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard
Arbuthnot, James Brandon-Bravo, Martin
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Brazier, Julian
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Bright, Graham
Ashby, David Brittan, Rt Hon Leon
Aspinwall, Jack Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Atkins, Robert Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
Atkinson, David Browne, John (Winchester)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Baldry, Tony Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Buck, Sir Antony
Batiste, Spencer Budgen, Nicholas
Bellingham, Henry Burns, Simon
Bendall, Vivian Burt, Alistair
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Butcher, John
Bevan, David Gilroy Butler, Chris
Biffen, Rt Hon John Butterfill, John
Blackburn, Dr John G. Carlisle, John, (Luton N)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Body, Sir Richard Carrington, Matthew
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Carttiss, Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Boswell, Tim Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Chapman, Sydney Hordern, Sir Peter
Chope, Christopher Howard, Michael
Churchill, Mr Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)
Colvin, Michael Hunt, David (Wirral W)
Conway, Derek Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Hunter, Andrew
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Cope, John Irving, Charles
Couchman, James Jack, Michael
Cran, James Jackson, Robert
Currie, Mrs Edwina Janman, Tim
Curry, David Jessel, Toby
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Day, Stephen Jones, Robert B (Herts W)
Devlin, Tim Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Dickens, Geoffrey Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Dicks, Terry Key, Robert
Dorrell, Stephen Kilfedder, James
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Dover, Den Kirkhope, Timothy
Dunn, Bob Knapman, Roger
Durant, Tony Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Eggar, Tim Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Emery, Sir Peter Knowles, Michael
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd) Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Evennett, David Lang, Ian
Fallon, Michael Latham, Michael
Farr, Sir John Lawrence, Ivan
Favell, Tony Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lee, John (Pendle)
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Fookes, Miss Janet Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Forman, Nigel Lilley, Peter
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Forth, Eric Lord, Michael
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Fox, Sir Marcus Lyell, Sir Nicholas
Franks, Cecil McCrindle, Robert
Freeman, Roger Macfarlane, Sir Neil
French, Douglas MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Fry, Peter Maclean, David
Gale, Roger McLoughlin, Patrick
Garel-Jones, Tristan McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)
Goodlad, Alastair McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Major, Rt Hon John
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Mans, Keith
Gorst, John Maples, John
Gower, Sir Raymond Marland, Paul
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Marlow, Tony
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Gregory, Conal Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Griffiths, Sir Eldon (Bury St E') Mates, Michael
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Maude, Hon Francis
Grist, Ian Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Ground, Patrick Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Grylls, Michael Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Mellor, David
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Miller, Hal
Hampson, Dr Keith Mills, lain
Hanley, Jeremy Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hannam, John Moate, Roger
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Monro, Sir Hector
Harris, David Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hawkins, Christopher Moore, Rt Hon John
Hayes, Jerry Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Hayward, Robert Morrison, Hon P (Chester)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Moss, Malcolm
Heddle, John Moynihan, Hon Colin
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE) Neale, Gerrard
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Needham, Richard
Hill, James Nelson, Anthony
Hind, Kenneth Neubert, Michael
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Holt, Richard Nicholls, Patrick
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N)
Oppenheim, Phillip Stokes, John
Page, Richard Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Paice, James Sumberg, David
Patnick, Irvine Summerson, Hugo
Patten, Chris (Bath) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Patten, John (Oxford W) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Pawsey, James Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Porter, David (Waveney) Thorne, Neil
Portillo, Michael Thornton, Malcolm
Powell, William (Corby) Thurnham, Peter
Price, Sir David Townend, John (Bridlington)
Raffan, Keith Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Tracey, Richard
Rathbone, Tim Tredinnick, David
Redwood, John Trippier, David
Renton, Tim Trotter, Neville
Riddick, Graham Twinn, Dr Ian
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Viggers, Peter
Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm Waddington, Rt Hon David
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy) Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Roe, Mrs Marion Waldegrave, Hon William
Rossi, Sir Hugh Walden, George
Rost, Peter Walker, Bill (T'side North)
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)
Ryder, Richard Waller, Gary
Sackville, Hon Tom Walters, Dennis
Sayeed, Jonathan Ward, John
Scott, Nicholas Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Shaw, David (Dover) Warren, Kenneth
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Watts, John
Shelton, William (Streatham) Wells, Bowen
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW) Wheeler, John
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Whitney, Ray
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Widdecombe, Ann
Shersby, Michael Wiggin, Jerry
Sims, Roger Wilkinson, John
Skeet, Sir Trevor Wilshire, David
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Winterton, Mrs Ann
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Winterton, Nicholas
Soames, Hon Nicholas Wolfson, Mark
Speed, Keith Wood, Timothy
Speller, Tony Woodcock, Mike
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W) Yeo, Tim
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Younger, Rt Hon George
Stanbrook, Ivor
Stanley, Rt Hon John Tellers for the Noes:
Steen, Anthony Mr. Peter Lloyd and
Stern, Michael Mr. David Lightbown.
Stevens, Lewis

Question accordingly negatived.

It is being after half-past Eight o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders [22 February and 13 April] and the Resolution yesterday, to put forthwith the Question on amendments moved by a member of the Government up to the end of clause 15 and new clause 13.

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