HC Deb 28 March 1990 vol 170 cc577-87

`(1) In section 32 of the 1986 Act, after subsection (8D) there shall be inserted— (8E) The Secretary of State may give general directions to social fund officers or groups of social fund officers, or to any class of social fund officers, with respect to the control and management by social fund officers or groups of social fund officers of the amounts allocated to them under subsections (8A) to (8D) above.".

(2) In subsection (10) of that section (power to nominate a social fund officer to issue guidance to other officers in his area on specified matters) for the words "to issue" there shall be substituted the words "who shall issue".

(3) In section 33 of that Act, after subsection (10) (questions to be determined in accordance with general directions) there shall be inserted— (10ZA) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (10) above, the Secretary of State may issue directions under that subsection for the purpose of securing that a social fund officer or group of social fund officers shall not in any specified period make awards of any specified description which in the aggregate exceed the amount, or a specified portion of the amount, allocated to that officer or group of officers under section 32(8A) to (8D) above for payments under awards of that description in that period.

(4) In subsection (10A) of that section (which specifies certain matters with respect to which directions may be given) after paragraph (e) there shall be inserted— (f) that a social fund payment such as is mentioned in section 32(2)(b) above shall only be awarded to a person if either—

  1. (i) he is in receipt of a benefit under the benefit Acts which is specified in the direction and the circumstances are such as are so specified; or
  2. (ii) in a case where the conditions specified in sub-paragraph (i) above are not satisfied, the circumstances are such as are specified in the direction;".

(5) At the end of that section there shall be added— (13) The Secretary of State may by regulations—

  1. (a) make provision with respect to the time at which an application for a social fund payment such as is mentioned in section 32(2)(b) above is to be treated as made;
  2. (b) prescribe conditions that must be satisfied before any determination in connection with such an application may be made or any award of such a payment may be paid;
  3. 578
  4. (c) prescribe circumstances in which such an award becomes extinguished.".'.—[Mr. Scott.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Scott

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

Madam Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient also to discuss New clause 3—Social Fund'In section 33 of the 1986 Act,—

  1. (a) subsection (9)(e) shall cease to have effect;
  2. (b) at the end of subsection (10) there shall be added the words "but shall not refuse by reason of the amount of any allocation made under section 32(8A) above to award a payment which he would otherwise award".'.
Government amendments Nos. 86 and 87.

Mr. Scott

During my statement to the House on 26 March I outlined our response to the judicial review judgments on the social fund. I explained that, although the court found that some of the guidance on budgets was too prescriptive, its judgment explicitly recognised that Parliament clearly intended that the scheme should be subject to strict monetary limits and that the Secretary of State needed to be able to give directions to achieve financial control.

In the light of that, and so that there should be no doubt that it is the Government's intention that the social fund should be operated within a firm budgetary framework, we have introduced this amendment to make explicit the power of my right hon. Friend to give directions relating to the financial control of the fund. The amendment will similarly put beyond doubt my right hon. Friend's power to specify who might be eligible for payments from the fund.

The clause also makes provision for regulations to clarify the date on which an application to the social fund is to be treated as having been made, and operational matters relating to applications and awards.

I will explain in more detail the effect of the amendments that we are making under the clause. The subsection we are inserting after section 32(8) of the Social Security Act will make explicit the power of my right hon. Friend to give directions to social fund officers on control and management of the sums allocated to them for discretionary payments.

The directions made under this power will, we envisage, cover the requirement to plan the expenditure from the local allocation through profiles of anticipated expenditure and recoveries and levels of priorities of needs that can be sustained from the allocation. They will require social fund officers to have regard to such factors in reaching decisions in individual cases.

They will also require the area social fund officer normally the local office manager, as I said on Monday—to keep the profiles and levels of priorities under review and revise them in the light of changing circumstances. The directions will, therefore, clarify and reinforce the present position. That is, they will ensure that social fund officers manage the funds allocated to them responsibly and sensibly.

At present, the area social fund officer—normally the local office manager—is responsible for controlling the local office budget. Under the existing section 32(10), he may issue guidance on matters which the Secretary of State specifies. This includes guidance on the level of priority that may be sustained from the budget. But the area social fund officer is not under a duty to issue such guidance. The amendment we are making to section 32(10) will require the area social fund officer to issue guidance on matters specified by the Secretary of State.

As I said, it has always been our intention that the social fund should operate within a firm, financial framework. We do not believe that that is incompatible with the proper exercise of discretion by social fund officers. Consequently, it is essential to the successful operation of the fund that its resources are managed so as not to exceed the amounts allocated for payments. Under the present legislation, it would be possible to issue directions on matters relating to the control of the budget. I have already mentioned the power that we are taking in respect of directions for the management and control of local budgets. The additional power that we are taking under the new clause will reinforce the effect of those directions by giving the Secretary of State explicit power to issue directions requiring social fund officers to keep within their allocations.

Such directions will, therefore, preclude a social fund officer, or a group of social fund officers, from making any award that would result in the sums allocated to that officer or group of officers being exceeded. This must be right if the scheme is to operate within the strict monetary limits, as Parliament originally intended, and as was recognised by the court. We cannot have a situation in which social fund officers may continue to make awards regardless of whether there is money available to fund such awards.

The purpose is to concentrate help where it is most needed. It is important that the Secretary of State is able to specify who will be eligible for help and where the line is to be drawn. The amendment to section 33(10A) is intended to make explicit his power to do so. The provision is in two parts. The first part restricts eligibility to certain payments from the fund—community care grants and budgeting loans—to persons receiving the benefit or benefits specified in directions. Such payments are available only to persons receiving income support and, in the case of community care grants, to people shortly to leave institutional care who are likely to receive income support upon discharge.

The second part of the amendment provides explicit direction-making powers governing eligibility to the fund, whether or not the applicant is receiving a specified benefit. This is intended to cover the position in respect of crisis loans, which are available to anyone, whether or not on benefit, who faces a crisis as the result of a disaster or an emergency. Given the Secretary of State's power to issue directions, it may be considered that an explicit power to issue directions on eligibility is overegging the pudding. However, as with the rest of the clause, we are concerned that the position on the fundamental principles of the scheme, like the budget and eligibility, should be absolutely clear to all concerned. This amendment achieves that. By making explicit the power to issue directions concerning applicants' eligibility for help from the fund, it confirms both the inherent flexibility of the fund and its ability to target help on those who need it.

I turn to the regulation-making powers under the new clause. The principles by which the fund operates are now well known. Although there may be differences between the Government and the Opposition on what those principles are, I think that, in general, they are well understood. However, some matters may be less clear to hon. Members. We believe that it will be helpful to applicants, their advisers and local office staff if these matters are spelt out in regulations in the same way as they are for the procedures concerning applications to the fund and applications for review. In spelling these things out, we are also making the way in which the scheme operates more accountable to Parliament.

The regulations will cover several procedural matters. The first is the date on which an application for help from the fund is to be treated as made. This will clarify that an application is to be treated as having been made on the day of its receipt in the local office. The second procedural matter that the regulations will cover is the conditions that must be satisfied before any application can be satisfied or any award made—for example, where a community care grant has been made in anticipation of the applicant's discharge from residential care, and where the applicant is not actually discharged. The third procedural matter is the point at which an award becomes extinguished. For example, an applicant might die after an award but before payment could be made, or an applicant might fail to cash a giro within 12 months of its issue.

The new clause will come into effect with the granting of Royal Assent. The amendments that are being made here make it abundantly clear that, as I said to the House on Monday, it is the Government's firm intention that the social fund should continue to operate fairly and flexibly against the framework of a budget and eligibility focused on those who are most in need. On that basis, I commend the clause to the House.

Mr. Meacher

We have just listened to a desultory and depressing speech from the Minister which he read solidly, without an ounce of conviction. He continues to mouth words about flexibility and discretion, but everything the Government do and the new clauses that they bring to the House are a standing denial of everything that the Minister has just said.

I admit at the outset that there is one advantage today over the position that existed two days ago when the Minister made a statement on the social fund. We have now got the Government amendment to the Bill in the light of the High Court judgment. However, we might as well not have had it, since it takes us not one iota further forward. It has taken the Minister five weeks to decide that his response to the High Court decision should be to pretend that it never happened. The court's judgment is being treated in the new clause as a minor distraction to which the proper response is to overturn it as soon as possible through more draconian legislation.

Only one concern guides Government policy on the social fund—how to cut it. Nothing, including the law, will get in the way of that. That is why the social fund has been frozen since its introduction in 1988 and why the supposedly generous increase announced on Monday is actually a further cut in real terms, since the extra £10 million does not even cover inflation.

Today's statement is not only cynical in its attitude to the law but it is dishonest. The Government know that they cannot issue directions to local offices to cash-limit funds until the Bill becomes law without risking legal challenge. So, instead, they issued guidance in such a way as to tell social fund officers with a nod and a wink to hold back the flood until the dam is in place. I have listened and thought carefully about the matter. I am open to challenge if I am wrong, but I believe that the message from the Government today is that it is business as usual but local offices should not shout about it until the Government have squared the courts. Why else does the Minister refuse to agree to contact claimants who have been illegally refused grants? Those people have to find their own way through bureaucracy to make their own claims. That is a wholly improper response by the Government. It is one thing for the Government, having been found to have been acting outside the law, to decide to change the law, but it is another for them to refuse to seek out and compensate those who have been deprived of their rights because current law has not been adhered to by the Government.

The heart of the matter is that the Government still refuse to face up to the fundamental flaw in the social fund—that there is incompatibility in its two aims of flexibility in meeting needs and rigidity in limiting costs. The Minister referred to it again today. He seems to be able to say that black is white and that he is still preserving flexibility and discretion, when patently he is not.

The new clause will go further in the other direction. The Government are still trying to have it both ways; they are softening the guidance to social fund officers and muddling through until the summer while cocking a snook in the meantime at the High Court decision by refusing any active review of past claims, even though many of them have been shown to have been improperly handled. When the Bill becomes law the Government will enforce new rules which will ensure that the budget is always the paramount consideration in assessing new claims. At that point any idea of flexibility or discretion will fly out of the window and the fundamental principle of the welfare state, which has prevailed under all Governments, including Tory Governments, since the war—that there is an ultimate safety net for meeting unconditionally the basic needs of citizens—will he finally eroded. That is the message of the new clause.

Mr. Scott

I am sorry if I interrupt the hon. Gentleman at a comma in the speech that he is clearly reading to the House of Commons. He said that we were cocking a snook at the court but we are not. We accept the judgment of the court about the way that we were administering the intention of Parliament, which found that in one small regard we were at odds with that intention. We have issued guidance to ensure that in the interim period social fund officers interpret the law in the light of the court judgment, but Parliament has the right to change that and to reassert its original intention. That is what we are doing.

9.15 pm
Mr. Meacher

That is exactly the point that I am making. The Government are determined that the paramountcy of the budget will prevail over all other considerations. They are changing the law in that respect, but, in the meantime, with the law as it stands, the Government have not properly handled claims that have been made on the social fund.

If the Government believe in acting in accordance with the law, it is their duty—indeed, it is incumbent upon the Government—to contact past claimants who have been cheated of their rights and to ensure that under the existing law they get those rights until the law is changed.

Mr. Scott

I thought that the hon. Gentleman was making a wider point about cocking a snook at the court, which we clearly are not because we have issued guidance to social fund officers. We are coming down to practicalities—that is far from cocking a snook at the court—and to the best way to ensure that people who may have been turned down in the past can be made aware of their rights. We are doing that by ensuring that our officers, the citizens advice bureaux and other welfare rights organisations are issued with leaflets which will clearly spell out people's right to ask for a review of their case.

Frankly, I suspect that in the vast majority of cases the circumstances in which the original claim was made and rejected will have changed substantially by now and what the hon. Gentleman suggests would be a waste of time and effort. It would also arouse claimants' expectations and they would certainly be disappointed when they finally came to make their claim. That is not a sensible way to proceed.

We have no wish to hide the fact that claimants have a right to come forward and ask for a review. Leaflets have been widely distributed and publicity has been accorded to the subject, not least by debates in the House and the appearances by the hon. Gentleman and myself on radio and television. I hope that anyone who feels that they may have been turned down unfairly will come forward to ask for a review. Reviews will be carried out promptly in the light of the instructions that we have issued and because of Justice Pill's judgment that the state of the budget when the original claim was made and the present state of the budget should be taken into account.

Mr. Meacher

That was a small speech in itself and I shall reply to a number of the points raised in it—[Interruption.] The right hon. Gentleman spoke for several minutes.

The Minister is saying that his reason for not contacting past claimants who have been deprived of their rights is that their circumstances may have changed in the meantime. Yet he is encouraging them to claim. He is sending out leaflets explaining how they can do so. If they had rights at the time that they made the original claim, those should be met now. They should be adhered to, because that is the law.

Merely putting leaflets into citizens advice bureau offices and social security offices means—let us be perfectly straight about this—that the Government are washing their hands of the business. The Minister knows perfectly well that the kind of people who are normally claimants of the social fund are not avid readers of the Government's leaflets. They need to be contacted, if the Government are seriously concerned that they should get their rights.

I believe that the Government are cocking a snook at the High Court judgment. That is exactly what they are doing. All that they have done is to send out guidance to social fund officers. That guidance is less prescriptive than it was before.

The High Court judgment said that consideration of budget was not the only essential factor. There should also be a test of reasonableness and a test of commonsense application in the assessment of those needs. Those were the other two considerations in the High Court judgment and the Government have totally ignored them.

The Government have acted in a high-handed manner over the High Court decision. They take the view that the claims can no longer be afforded and that is fundamental to the whole argument. The Minister looks puzzled, but he constantly talks about the need for strict cash limiting of the budget—presumably because he believes that the open-ended and unconditional meeting of need that has always existed in the past—even under Conservative Governments—can now no longer be afforded. The Government can afford open-ended mortgage interest tax relief, which has increased sevenfold in the past decade, to about £7 billion. They can afford open-ended subsidies to private residential and nursing homes, which have increased hundredfold over the past decade, from about £10 million in the early 1980s to more than £1 billion now. The Government can afford open-ended subsidies for personal pensions, now costing some £2 billion, to bribe people into ideologically approved but highly speculative pension arrangements. The only thing that the Government cannot afford is to provide open-ended support—at a fraction of those other costs—for those at the very bottom of society whose needs are manifest and intractable.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

Do I take it from the hon. Gentleman's remarks that the Labour party is against mortgage interest relief and against giving help with the costs of residential care?

Mr. Meacher

If the hon. Lady cannot follow my line of argument, she will have to listen a great deal more carefully.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman

I have been listening.

Mr. Meacher

If the hon. Lady had been listening, she would have heard me say to the Government that if they can afford £7 billion in mortgage interest tax relief and £1 billion to subsidise residential and private nursing homes, one might have thought that they could afford a little more than £200 milliona penn'orth in terms of the overall social security budget—to meet the needs of people at the very bottom of society. If there is anyone deeply in need in our society it is those whom we are discussing now.

The new clause would intensify the two most odious and objectionable features of the social fund. One is the cash limiting of the relief of poverty—something that even Conservative Governments have never done in the past—so that thousands of destitute families, however searing their need, will be denied help because the money has not been made available. That has never happened before.

The other consideration is the fixing of that budget cap at an aggressively low level, which is only slightly over half of the budget that existed before. That is bound to multiply the numbers who are forced to do without. That is why refusal rates today are soaring at 60 to 70 per cent. Of the other 30 or 40 per cent. who manage to get loans, more than 400,000—nearly 10 per cent. of all claimants—are having to repay social fund loans out of their basic income support, which is meant to provide their basic daily subsistence costs.

Mrs. Elizabeth Peacock (Batley and Spen)

Is not it a matter of public record that the Government are paying out £1 billion a week, which I work out at roughly £145 million per day, on benefits to help the very people to whom the hon. Gentleman referred? We all meet such people in our everyday work; I certainly do in my part of the world. But there is more help than there has ever been, and that is a matter of fact.

Mr. Meacher

The hon. Lady is not quite right. For the reasons that I have given, the £1 billion a week of the social security budget is not being directed at social fund claimants. It is being directed at the increasing number of people who are dependent on social security. Their numbers are growing. There are about 500,000 more pensioners than there were at the start of the decade. That is not the responsibility of the Government; the need has to be met. But the increase has come about not because benefits are more generous or because the Government have focused more closely on the need; it is simply that there are more people in the categories that have a right to those benefits. The number of unemployed is still about 60 to 70 per cent. higher than it was at the start of the decade, and the number on income support has almost doubled since then. Those are the reasons for the high figure—not that assistance is being given to the people who really need it.

The Government's new clause does not even begin to address the ocean of hardship, poverty and debt that is undoubtedly washing over the social fund. I cannot believe that the Minister is unaware of that. The Government's hard line in the new clause, in changing the rules to make budget capping even more pronounced, as a reason for rejecting claims will intensify hardship. We take the opposite view, expressed in new clause 3, that social fund officers should be prevented from refusing payments on the ground that there is not enough money in the local office budget and revert to the system that always operated since 1945. Because we totally repudiate the Government's social fund's strategy, we seek to vote down their new clause.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 288, Noes 197.

Division No. 144] [9.25 pm
Adley, Robert Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes
Aitken, Jonathan Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard
Alexander, Richard Brandon-Bravo, Martin
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Brazier, Julian
Allason, Rupert Bright, Graham
Amess, David Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
Amos, Alan Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Arbuthnot, James Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Burns, Simon
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Burt, Alistair
Ashby, David Butler, Chris
Aspinwall, Jack Butterfill, John
Atkins, Robert Carlisle, John, (Luton N)
Atkinson, David Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Carttiss, Michael
Baldry, Tony Cash, William
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Batiste, Spencer Chapman, Sydney
Bellingham, Henry Chope, Christopher
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)
Bevan, David Gilroy Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Body, Sir Richard Colvin, Michael
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Conway, Derek
Boscawen, Hon Robert Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Boswell, Tim Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bottomley, Peter Cope, Rt Hon John
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Couchman, James
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n) Cran, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Critchley, Julian
Bowis, John Currie, Mrs Edwina
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g) Key, Robert
Davis, David (Boothferry) King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)
Day, Stephen King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)
Devlin, Tim Kirkhope, Timothy
Dorrell, Stephen Knapman, Roger
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Dover, Den Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Dunn, Bob Knowles, Michael
Dykes, Hugh Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Eggar, Tim Latham, Michael
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd) Lawrence, Ivan
Evennett, David Lee, John (Pendle)
Fallon, Michael Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Favell, Tony Lightbown, David
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Fookes, Dame Janet Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Forman, Nigel Lord, Michael
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Forth, Eric Macfarlane, Sir Neil
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Franks, Cecil MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Freeman, Roger Maclean, David
French, Douglas McLoughlin, Patrick
Fry, Peter McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Gale, Roger McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Gardiner, George Madel, David
Garel-Jones, Tristan Major, Rt Hon John
Gill, Christopher Malins, Humfrey
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Mans, Keith
Glyn, Dr Sir Alan Marland, Paul
Goodhart, Sir Philip Marlow, Tony
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Gorst, John Mates, Michael
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Mellor, David
Grist, Ian Meyer, Sir Anthony
Ground, Patrick Miller, Sir Hal
Grylls, Michael Miscampbell, Norman
Hague, William Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Mitchell, Sir David
Hampson, Dr Keith Moate, Roger
Hanley, Jeremy Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hannam, John Moore, Rt Hon John
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Morrison, Sir Charles
Harris, David Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
Haselhurst, Alan Moss, Malcolm
Hawkins, Christopher Moynihan, Hon Colin
Hayes, Jerry Mudd, David
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney Neale, Gerrard
Hayward, Robert Needham, Richard
Heathcoat-Amory, David Nelson, Anthony
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE) Neubert, Michael
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Nicholls, Patrick
Hind, Kenneth Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Norris, Steve
Holt, Richard Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hordern, Sir Peter Page, Richard
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Patnick, Irvine
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Patten, Rt Hon John
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Pawsey, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Porter, David (Waveney)
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Portillo, Michael
Hunter, Andrew Powell, William (Corby)
Irvine, Michael Price, Sir David
Irving, Sir Charles Raffan, Keith
Jack, Michael Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Jackson, Robert Redwood, John
Janman, Tim Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Jessel, Toby Rhodes James, Robert
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Riddick, Graham
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Roe, Mrs Marion
Rossi, Sir Hugh Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Rost, Peter Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Rowe, Andrew Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Ryder, Richard Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Sackville, Hon Tom Thurnham, Peter
Sayeed, Jonathan Townend, John (Bridlington)
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas Townsend, Cyril D. B'heath)
Shaw, David (Dover) Tracey, Richard
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Tredinnick, David
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Trotter, Neville
Shelton, Sir William Twinn, Dr Ian
Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Viggers, Peter
Shersby, Michael Waddington, Rt Hon David
Sims, Roger Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Skeet, Sir Trevor Walden, George
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Walker, Bill (T'side North)
Speed, Keith Waller, Gary
Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W) Ward, John
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Squire, Robin Warren, Kenneth
Stanbrook, Ivor Watts, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Wells, Bowen
Stern, Michael Wheeler, Sir John
Stevens, Lewis Widdecombe, Ann
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Wilkinson, John
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Wolfson, Mark
Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N) Wood, Timothy
Stokes, Sir John Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Young, Sir George (Acton)
Sumberg, David
Summerson, Hugo Tellers for the Ayes:
Tapsell, Sir Peter Mr. Alastair Goodlad and
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Mr. Tony Durant.
Abbott, Ms Diane Crowther, Stan
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Cryer, Bob
Allen, Graham Cummings, John
Alton, David Cunliffe, Lawrence
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Cunningham, Dr John
Armstrong, Hilary Dalyell, Tam
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Darling, Alistair
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Ashton, Joe Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'L)
Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich) Dewar, Donald
Barron, Kevin Dixon, Don
Battle, John Dobson, Frank
Beckett, Margaret Doran, Frank
Beggs, Roy Douglas, Dick
Beith, A. J. Duffy, A. E. P.
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Dunnachie, Jimmy
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
Bermingham, Gerald Eadie, Alexander
Blair, Tony Eastham, Ken
Blunkett, David Evans, John (St Helens N)
Boyes, Roland Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)
Bradley, Keith Fatchett, Derek
Bray, Dr Jeremy Faulds, Andrew
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E) Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Fisher, Mark
Buckley, George J. Flannery, Martin
Callaghan, Jim Flynn, Paul
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Foster, Derek
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Fraser, John
Cartwright, John Fyfe, Maria
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Clay, Bob George, Bruce
Clelland, David Godman, Dr Norman A.
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Golding, Mrs Llin
Cohen, Harry Gordon, Mildred
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Corbett, Robin Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Corbyn, Jeremy Grocott, Bruce
Cousins, Jim Harman, Ms Harriet
Haynes, Frank Pendry, Tom
Heal, Mrs Sylvia Pike, Peter L.
Henderson, Doug Prescott, John
Hinchliffe, David Primarolo, Dawn
Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall) Quin, Ms Joyce
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Randall, Stuart
Home Robertson, John Redmond, Martin
Hood, Jimmy Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath) Richardson, Jo
Hughes, John (Coventry NE) Robertson, George
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Rooker, Jeff
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Illsley, Eric Ross, William (Londonderry E)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside) Rowlands, Ted
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Ruddock, Joan
Kilfedder, James Salmond, Alex
Kirkwood, Archy Sedgemore, Brian
Lamond, James Sheerman, Barry
Leighton, Ron Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Litherland, Robert Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Livsey, Richard Short, Clare
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Sillars, Jim
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Skinner, Dennis
Loyden, Eddie Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
McAllion, John Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
McAvoy, Thomas Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
McCartney, Ian Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Macdonald, Calum A. Snape, Peter
McFall, John Soley, Clive
McGrady, Eddie Spearing, Nigel
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West) Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
McKelvey, William Steinberg, Gerry
McNamara, Kevin Stott, Roger
McWilliam, John Straw, Jack
Madden, Max Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Maginnis, Ken Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford)
Mahon, Mrs Alice Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Marek, Dr John Turner, Dennis
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Vaz, Keith
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Wall, Pat
Martlew, Eric Wallace, James
Maxton, John Walley, Joan
Meacher, Michael Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Meale, Alan Wareing, Robert N.
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'L & Bute) Wigley, Dafydd
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Morgan, Rhodri Wilson, Brian
Morley, Elliot Winnick, David
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Mullin, Chris Worthington, Tony
Murphy, Paul Wray, Jimmy
Nellist, Dave Young, David (Bolton SE)
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
O'Brien, William Tellers for the Noes:
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Mr. Martyn Jones and
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Mr. Ray Powell.
Patchett, Terry

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

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