HC Deb 26 October 1988 vol 139 cc392-400

Lords amendment: No. 50, in page 40, line 5, after "instrument" insert which, except in the case of the first order to be made, shall be

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendment No. 51.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

When the Bill left this House for another place, clause 66 provided that the orders to specify the functions of rent officers in relation to housing benefit subsidy were to be subject to negative resolution of either House of Parliament. However, the first order, which will set out in detail how rent officers will carry out their new role, seems to us to warrant a debate in this House. Hon. Members clearly have a major interest in the details of the provisions. Therefore, the Government have decided that the first order should be subject to affirmative resolution. Any subsequent order will, however, be subject to negative resolution.

As hon. Members are aware, the new role of the rent officer has been the subject of consideration by working parties comprising Government Departments, local authority associations and rent officers. The working parties have completed their deliberations and the Government are currently examining what they have proposed. The House will have an opportunity to discuss the detail of the new arrangements when we debate the first order within the next few months.

Mr. Home Robertson

I wish that that meant something. Clause 66 is an extremely offensive and alarming provision and we shall be able to say something about the principle behind it when we discuss the next group of amendments.

The Minister has represented as a concession the fact that the first order will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure of the House. That still means that the restrictions will apply to housing benefit whether anyone likes it or not because the affirmative resolution does not provide for proper parliamentary scrutiny. The Minister said that this matter should be debated in the House, but I think that it should be debated in Scotland. I believe that the Scottish people would deliver the same verdict on this provision as they have delivered on the Government repeatedly in the past.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 51 agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 52, in page 40, line 10, at end insert— ( ) At the end of section 21(6) of the Social Security Act 1986 (regulations prescribing maximum family credit and maximum housing benefit) there shall be added the words 'and regulations prescribing the appropriate maximum housing benefit may provide for benefit to be limited by reference to determinations made by rent officers in exercise of functions confermed under section 66 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988'.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 53 and 54.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Lords amendment No. 52 brings the Scottish Bill into line with the English one. This is necessary since the housing benefit system with which the rent officers will become involved through clause 66, covers the whole of Great Britain.

The amendment allows my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security to take into account the determinations made by rent officers under clause 66 if he makes regulations limiting the maximum amount of housing benefit that may be paid in certain circumstances. That is designed to avoid obtaining unnecessarily the same information twice which would be wasteful and lead to inconsistency. If my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State did not have the power to use the information of determinations by rent officers, he would have to obtain the same information from a different source. Lords amendments Nos. 53 and 54 are simply consequential drafting provisions.

Mr. Speaker

I call Lord Home Robertson.

Mr. Home Robertson

Not yet, Mr. Speaker, but hope springs eternal.

The amendments establish a link between clause 66 of this Bill and the Social Security Act 1986 to provide for the limitation of housing benefit paid to claimants living in accommodation which Tory Ministers think is too good for them. We debated this point at length in Committee. As we now know, the carve-up of the housing benefits system in April has led to drastic cuts in support for hundreds of thousands of Scots.

About 650,000 claimants in Scotland are worse off as a result of the changes imposed by the Government in April and that includes about 120,000 claimants whose housing benefit has been stopped altogether. The transitional relief system is, frankly, little better than a fig leaf. Where it has led to any payments, it has not been much help to the claimants.

We all have constituency experience of the hardship caused by the changes. As a direct consequence of the housing benefit changes, we now have unprecedented levels of rent arrears throughout Scotland. I am sure that all of us have come across cases in our constituencies of elderly people who find themselves in debt for the first time in their lives because of the cuts in their housing benefit. Their family benefit can simply no longer cover their obligation to pay rent on time. That is causing terrible distress to many people.

On top of that, clause 66 means that a householder claiming housing benefit who happens to live in an up-market area or in a house deemed to be bigger than is absolutely necessary for the tenant, will have housing benefit entitlement cut. That is a nauseating provision designed to force the poor people of Scotland into ghettos.

I invite the Minister to take us through the sequence of events which might occur if a family in his home neighbourhood of north Berwick in my constituency was to find itself in this trap. If a tenant living in a nice house in that neighbourhood which happens to have one room more than is strictly speaking necessary for the family's needs were to lose his job, become ill and have to claim housing benefit, will the Minister acknowledge that in due course under this clause the claimant would find his level of benefit would be restricted and that he and his family would in due course be forced out of the home to look for cheaper or smaller accommodation, which is unlikely to be readily available in the same neighbourhood?

That is an appalling scenario, but that is what has been built up by the Government arising from this shameful clause and its connection to the Social Security Act 1986. We are violently opposed to that aspect of the legislation and we intend to vote against Lords amendment No. 52.

Mr. McAllion

Obviously we are dealing with housing benefit here. I do not think that we could be dealing with a more controversial subject now. A tremendous amount of heartache has been caused in Scotland, particularly to people on low incomes, as a result of the changes in housing benefit introduced in April.

I want to refer to two short examples of this hardship, gained from people who came to my surgery and drew my attention to their experience of what happened to them under the Government's transitional protection arrangements. The first example is of a lady who sent her application off in July and was told that if she had not heard within six weeks, she should give the transitional payment unit in Glasgow a phone call. She did that and was told that they were sorry and if she phoned back in two weeks they would let her know then. She called back in two weeks and was told that everything was held up because of the postal strike. She was told to wait until the strike was over and call back then. She called back last week and was told by a very harassed girl in the office that everything was in chaos. She was told, "We cannot find your letter. You need to re-apply because we don't know what has happened to your application and we don't know what you are entitled to." It is time something was done about the way in which the transitional payments unit in Glasgow is operating the housing benefit transitional protection payments. The unit simply is not working. Somebody somewhere in the Government will have to waken up to that reality and start to do something about it.

9.30 pm

In another case a man was told that if he lost in excess of £2.50 a week he would be eligible to apply for transitional protection. He did so, but after five or six months, during which time his applications was lost in the convolutions of the bureaucratic machinery that has been set up, he was sent a notice to say that he had been awarded transitional protection payments of 9p a week and that if he sent a stamped addressed envelope the payment would be sent to him. That is the sort of nonsense that is affecting ordinary people with low incomes, leading them directly into massive debt and leading councils into massive rent arrears. It is time that the Government properly funded the housing benefit system in Scotland.

The Minister mentioned that working parties have been set up with representatives from the Government, local authority associations and rent officers. May we have more information on the kind of recommendations that those working parties are likely to come up with? I want to know exactly how the rent officers will assess whether a rent is unreasonable for the purposes of housing benefit. What criteria will rent officers be expected to use in making such assessments?

For example, we are told that rent officers are supposed to use their professional judgment. However, since they have never before been required to consider this area and have no direct experience of what is required from them, I do not see how they can. Their professional judgment has never before required them to consider the specific problem of whether people should be receiving housing benefit for the particular house in which they happen to live.

We are told that rent officers are to be guided by the need to protect public funds. Are they also to be guided by the principle that the tenant's right to live in peace should be protected, or is that principle to be thrown out of the window for the sake of a miserable saving for the public purse so that the Chancellor can come here and boast about how the public sector borrowing requirement is falling year upon year, when it is doing so upon the back of the misery inflicted upon many poor families in Britain?

The Secretary of State for Scotland will be issuing guidance. As I understand it, one of the first things that the rent officers will be asked to do is to discover the address of a person who applies for housing benefit. Once they have that, they can judge what kind of area that house is in. If it is a good area of a town, they might decide that an unemployed person has no right to be living there and would be far better off in a less desirable area. Is that one of the professional judgments that rent officers will have to make?

What about people who, through no fault of their own, find that they have fallen on bad times? A husband might die or find himself out of work. Could such a family then be judged to be living in the wrong area? Will a wife who is left with the children have to get out of her house and move to a less desirable part of town as a result of clause 66? The Minister will have to answer those questions.

We are also told that the rent officers will have to consider details of the occupants of a property and the number of rooms in each house. Again, we suggest that a judgment will be made on whether a person applying for housing benefit has a right to stay in a house with more than one bedroom if he is the only person living there. Will a widow or widower living in the house that previously housed their family be required to get out if the rent officer decides that housing benefit cannot be paid because he or she is over-accommodated in the house?

The Minister cannot simply let this slip through as some kind of technical link between the Housing (Scotland) Bill and the Social Security Act 1986. These are serious matters which frighten many people in Scotland. The Minister has a responsibility to come to the Dispatch Box and say how the clause will operate in the kind of cases that I have outlined, and that he too is anxious about the transitional payment unit's failure to operate in Scotland and the Government's bureaucratic incompetence which has led to their failure to assist people who find themselves in serious debt.

Mr. Bill Walker

This amendment deals with the maximum housing benefit that can be provided, and comments have been made about the problems that have arisen resulting from transitional payments. I am sure that all right hon. and hon. Members have had to deal with constituents who have experienced difficulties as a result of the changes that occurred, but it is not all doom and gloom.

I took up a number of cases on behalf of my own constituents. One that particularly springs to mind concerns a man living with his common law wife and seven children who had been receiving more than £70 per week housing benefit. Changes were made and he found himself in some difficulty. The House will be interested to learn that under the transitional arrangements, that figure has now been paid in full—including the arrears that accrued during the weeks when there was some doubt about his payments. The fact is that the regulations that operated during the transitional period worked in my constituency. I say to the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion) that my experience is not the same as his and that the people who merit proper housing benefit are receiving it.

We regularly hear about the failure of the housing coffers to be sustained by the public purse, yet right hon. and hon. Members on the Opposition Benches regularly overlook the massive sums of public money that go into the housing coffers every week directly through housing benefit provisions, including the transitional arrangements operating at the moment. The sum involved runs into many millions of pounds. That has been the most massive increase of all in housing support to those in need.

I am not arguing that those who are in need should not receive housing benefit, because I believe that they should. One of the ways in which the public purse can assist people is by making sure that they may have the funds that allow them to live in proper homes. Housing benefit has worked and it will continue to work under this amendment. Much of the scaremongering we hear from the Opposition Benches is just that—scaremongering.

Dr. Reid

I hope that the Minister will give his attention to some of the very serious comments made from these Benches. He has been amazing in his resilience to the points that have been made; it has been like grappling with a wet Kleenex. I hope that on this occasion he will give specific answers to questions asked of him by my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion).

It is no use the Minister withdrawing into the fantasy world that he created when giving his answers in our debates on the last few amendments—the fantasy world of the benevolent landlord, which, like military intelligence, is a contradiction in terms. One cannot withdraw into a fantasy world if one is living, perhaps with a family, in a council house which is associated with one's past—perhaps with one's deceased spouse, with one's children, and with the good times—and where one's residence there is dependent upon housing benefit.

Enough difficulties have already been caused by existing housing benefit legislation, not only in itself but in respect of rent arrears. I can tell the Minister that in my own area, the arrears for Motherwell district council at the start of the financial year 1987–88 totalled just over £1 million. By July they had risen to £1.8 million. There can be no substantial reason for that increase other than the effect of housing benefit cuts. It represents an increase of more than 80 per cent. in rent arrears—more than £750,000 lost by the council. That is because the number of beneficiaries has been reduced by 3,000. Their benefit has not just been reduced—they have been taken off benefit altogether.

Between April and July 1987, benefit was being paid to the tune of £6,593,000. In the period from April to July 1988, the figure was only £5,441,000, which is a reduction of more than £1,100,000 for that quarter; a yearly equivalent of £4,607,000. That is the loss in benefits to a constituency such as mine, which has among the highest public sector housing populations, if not the highest, in Scotland.

The Minister must answer the questions that have been put to him. I shall not burden him with all the cases that have come to my surgery, because time moves on. I shall give him just one example. It concerns not a young person but an 83-year-old man, who is not able-bodied. He has suffered from pneumoconiosis and he still does. The Minister will be aware that pneumoconiosis is not a medical characteristic of an idle life. It is not a sign of a life spent in a billiard room or in a bar; it is a sign of a life spent in the depths and the darkness of a pit, creating value by extracting coal. He was not someone who, when war came, asked what his country could do for him, or even what he could do for his country—he went out and did it. Now, at the age of 83 and crippled with that disease, his rent is raised from 72p to £27 a fortnight. He is entitled to ask what his country will do for him. He has asked, but he has received no reply. I hope that tonight he will receive a specific and sound reply that will at least give him some hope for the remaining years of his life.

Mrs. Fyfe

The electorate of Tayside, North certainly had negative value when they elected their Member of Parliament. It is true that housing benefit involves massive sums, but that is because people are out of work. They would rather be in employment than be unemployed and receiving housing benefit.

For the sake of brevity, I shall cite only one example of the effect of the limit on housing benefit. We have already discussed the problem faced by widows, but there is also the problem faced by women who have been deserted by their husbands. They might be left in houses that the Government consider to be too good or too big, but why should they have to leave them and their neighbourhoods, give up their friends and change their children's schools? They might have made many improvements to their houses, at great cost to themselves. Why should they hand them over with no return just because some Conservative politician thinks that they are too good or too big? The Government have failed to justify this legislation and it will not be welcome in Scotland.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. McAllion) asked about the transitional payments unit and how quickly applications were processed. I understand that the unit has received about 352,000 applications of which 218,000 have been processed, with 116,000 of them being successful. By the end of the week about 108,000 payments will have been made.

The Government have made it clear, at all stages, that housing benefit should be available to qualifying tenants paying rents at the level determined by the markets. Rent officers will have the task of verifying that the rent being paid by a private tenant who claims housing benefit is no higher than the market level. In cases where the rent officer judges the rent to be above the market level, he will assess the reasonable market rent for the property, and housing benefit subsidy will be available up to the level of that assessment. The local authority can pay benefit above that level if it chooses, but it will lose subsidy on the excess.

The housing benefit system is not designed to enable claimants to occupy, at public expense, the sort of accommodation that the vast majority of people could not reasonably expect to afford out of their own resources. That is why we made clear, in setting out our proposals on the housing benefit implications of deregulation, our intention to introduce in due course a limit on housing benefit itself—not just on housing benefit subsidy—in cases where a claimant is occupying accommodation that is at the top end of the market. We also indicated that we should consider further restrictions on benefit should that prove necessary to prevent abuse of the housing benefit system.

Accordingly, the amendments to clause 66 provide an enabling power for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services to make regulations requiring housing benefit to be restricted by reference to rent officers' determinations. As hon. Members know, working parties involving the local authority associations, the Institute of Rent Officers and Government Departments, including the Scottish Office, are currently considering how the system will work. They are paying particular attention to the problem of identifying what houses are over-luxurious, but they have not yet reached a conclusion. When they do, hon. Members will have an opportunity to debate the outcome.

Question put, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 199, Noes 136.

Division No. 457] [9.44 pm
Alexander, Richard Cran, James
Allason, Rupert Currie, Mrs Edwina
Amess, David Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Amos, Alan Davis, David (Boothferry)
Arbuthnot, James Day, Stephen
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Dicks, Terry
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Aspinwall, Jack Dover, Den
Atkinson, David Durant, Tony
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Batiste, Spencer Evennett, David
Bendall, Vivian Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Fallon, Michael
Benyon, W. Favell, Tony
Bevan, David Gilroy Fenner, Dame Peggy
Blackburn, Dr John G. Fishburn, John Dudley
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Fookes, Miss Janet
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Forth, Eric
Boswell, Tim Fox, Sir Marcus
Bottomley, Peter Freeman, Roger
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) French, Douglas
Bowis, John Fry, Peter
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Gardiner, George
Brazier, Julian Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bright, Graham Gill, Christopher
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Glyn, Dr Alan
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Budgen, Nicholas Gorst, John
Burt, Alistair Gow, Ian
Butler, Chris Gower, Sir Raymond
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Carrington, Matthew Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Carttiss, Michael Gregory, Conal
Cash, William Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda Grist, Ian
Chapman, Sydney Ground, Patrick
Chope, Christopher Grylls, Michael
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n) Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)
Conway, Derek Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest) Hampson, Dr Keith
Cope, Rt Hon John Hanley, Jeremy
Couchman, James Hannam, John
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Redwood, John
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Rhodes James, Robert
Harris, David Riddick, Graham
Haselhurst, Alan Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Hawkins, Christopher Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hayes, Jerry Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney Roe, Mrs Marion
Hayward, Robert Sackville, Hon Tom
Heathcoat-Amory, David Shaw, David (Dover)
Heddle, John Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hill, James Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Hind, Kenneth Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Shersby, Michael
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Skeet, Sir Trevor
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Soames, Hon Nicholas
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Squire, Robin
Irvine, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Jack, Michael Stern, Michael
Janman, Tim Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Sumberg, David
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Summerson, Hugo
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Key, Robert Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Lang, Ian Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lightbown, David Thurnham, Peter
Lord, Michael Townend, John (Bridlington)
McLoughlin, Patrick Tracey, Richard
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Tredinnick, David
Meyer, Sir Anthony Trippier, David
Mills, Iain Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, David (Hants NW) Twinn, Dr Ian
Moate, Roger Waddington, Rt Hon David
Monro, Sir Hector Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Nelson, Anthony Walden, George
Neubert, Michael Walker, Bill (T'side North)
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Waller, Gary
Nicholls, Patrick Ward, John
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Warren, Kenneth
Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley Watts, John
Oppenheim, Phillip Whitney, Ray
Page, Richard Widdecombe, Ann
Patnick, Irvine Wiggin, Jerry
Patten, John (Oxford W) Wilshire, David
Pawsey, James Winterton, Mrs Ann
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Wood, Timothy
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Yeo, Tim
Porter, David (Waveney) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Portillo, Michael
Powell, William (Corby) Tellers for the Ayes:
Raffan, Keith Mr. David Maclean, and
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Mr. Stephen Dorrrel.
Rathbone, Tim
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Campbell-Savours, D. N.
Anderson, Donald Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Clark, Dr David (S Shields)
Armstrong, Hilary Clay, Bob
Ashton, Joe Clelland, David
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Battle, John Cohen, Harry
Beckett, Margaret Coleman, Donald
Beggs, Roy Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Cousins, Jim
Bermingham, Gerald Cummings, John
Blunkett, David Cunliffe, Lawrence
Boateng, Paul Darling, Alistair
Boyes, Roland Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Bradley, Keith Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Dewar, Donald
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Dixon, Don
Buchan, Norman Dobson, Frank
Buckley, George J. Doran, Frank
Caborn, Richard Douglas, Dick
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Duffy, A. E. P.
Eadie, Alexander McNamara, Kevin
Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E) McWilliam, John
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) Madden, Max
Fearn, Ronald Mahon, Mrs Alice
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Marek, Dr John
Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n) Martlew, Eric
Flannery, Martin Maxton, John
Flynn, Paul Meacher, Michael
Foster, Derek Michael, Alun
Foulkes, George Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Fyfe, Maria Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Galbraith, Sam Moonie, Dr Lewis
Galloway, George Morgan, Rhodri
George, Bruce Morley, Elliott
Godman, Dr Norman A. Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Mullin, Chris
Grocott, Bruce Murphy, Paul
Heffer, Eric S. Nellist, Dave
Hinchliffe, David Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Patchett, Terry
Home Robertson, John Pike, Peter L.
Hood, Jimmy Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Redmond, Martin
Howells, Geraint Reid, Dr John
Hoyle, Doug Robertson, George
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rooker, Jeff
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Salmond, Alex
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Ingram, Adam Short, Clare
John, Brynmor Skinner, Dennis
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Steel, Rt Hon David
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W) Steinberg, Gerry
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Kilfedder, James Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Kirkwood, Archy Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)
Lamond, James Wall, Pat
Lewis, Terry Wallace, James
Litherland, Robert Walley, Joan
Livsey, Richard Wareing, Robert N.
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)
Loyden, Eddie Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
McAllion, John Winnick, David
McAvoy, Thomas Wise, Mrs Audrey
McCartney, Ian Worthington, Tony
Macdonald, Calum A. Wray, Jimmy
McFall, John
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Tellers for the Noes:
McKelvey, William Mrs. Llin Golding and
McLeish, Henry Mr. Frank Haynes.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 53 to 57 agreed to.

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