HC Deb 28 March 1990 vol 170 cc587-611

'In section 22 of the 1986 Act (calculation of income-related benefits) after subsection (2) there shall be inserted (2A) In prescribing, for the purposes of income support, amounts under subsection (1) above in respect of accommodation in any area for qualifying persons in cases where prescribed conditions are fulfilled, the Secretary of State shall take into account information provided by local authorities or other prescribed bodies or persons with respect to the amounts which they have agreed to pay for the provision of accommodation in relevant premises in that area.

(2B) In subsection (2A) above— accommodation" includes any board or care; local authority" has the same meaning as it has in Part III of the National Assistance Act 1948; qualifying person" means any person such as is mentioned in subsection (1) of section 26A of that Act (which is inserted by the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 and relates to persons ordinarily resident in residential care or nursing homes immediately before the commencement of that section); relevant premises" has the meaning given by subsection (2) of that section.".'

Brought up, and read the First time.—[Mr. Newton.]

Mr. Newton

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

Mr. Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to consider new clause 14—Persons in residential care and nursing homes— '(1) The Secretary of State shall review the amounts specified in paragraphs 6 and 7 of Part I of Schedule 4 to the Income Support (General) Regulations as soon as practicable, in order to determine whether they are adequate, having regard to the reasonable cost of providing suitable accommodation, board and suitable personal care for the persons concerned, and shall lay before Parliament a report on his conclusions and the evidence on which they are based. (2) If it appears to the Secretary of State that any of those amounts are not adequate, he shall lay before Parliament the draft of an up-rating order substituting such amounts as he considers adequate, which may include different amounts for different areas, and, if the draft order is approved by a resolution of each House, he shall make the order in the form of the draft. (3) The provisions of an order under this section shall come into force on the day on which the order is made. (4) Subject to subsection (5) below, if a claimant to whom regulation 19(1) of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 applies or, on his behalf, the proprietor of the home in which he lives applies to an adjudication officer for a review of the appropriate amount determined in his case for the purposes of paragraph 5 of Part I of Schedule 4 to those regulations on the grounds that that amount is not sufficient to enable him to pay a reasonable charge for suitable accommodation, board and suitable personal care provided in that home, the adjudication officer shall refer the questions whether that amount is sufficient for that purpose and, if not, what higher amount would be sufficient to a social security appeal tribunal for determination. (5) If an adjudication officer to whom an application has been made under subsection (4) above is of the opinion that he can determine the questions mentioned in that subsection by reference to—

  1. (a) a determination made by a tribunal under that subsection in the case of another claimant living in the same home, or
  2. (b) the advice of a local authority with knowledge of the home in question, he may determine those questions instead of referring them to a tribunal.
(6) If a tribunal to which a question has been referred under subsection (4) above determines that the amount determined by the adjudication officer is not sufficient, or an adjudication officer so determines under subsection (5) above, the adjudication officer shall review his determination of the appropriate amount, substituting the higher amount determined by the tribunal or by him.'.

Mr. Newton

During my speech I shall comment on the three strands of the Government's response to some of the concerns expressed during the debate on the National Health Service and Community Care Bill two weeks ago, and also on a particular point made in the report of the Select Committee on Social Services on the need for greater information about the costs and charges of residential care homes.

As the House is aware, under the National Health Service and Community Care Bill, the Government's intention is that, from 1 April 1991, local authorities will negotiate prices with voluntary organisations and home owners before making a contract for places in residential care and nursing homes for new cases arising after that time. Obviously, to make a contract, both parties to the agreement—the local authorities and the voluntary organisations or home owners—will have to be satisfied that the prices are fair.

During an extensive debate on the anxieties about the position that might arise between those whose care would be organised under the new arrangements and those whose support would continue to be made under the preserved income support entitlement under the existing regime, a number of hon. Members—including, not least, my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young)—suggested that those prices resulting from a contractual arrangement should be used by the Department in setting the appropriate income support limits for those with preserved rights to income support.

I shall not attempt to repeat everything that' I said during that debate, other than that I could envisage some difficulties in simply taking any price that any local authority negotiated for any person in any home and making that the automatic setting of the level for income support in that home. I think that I carried many of my hon. Friends with me on that and also in my criticisms of the Opposition's new clause that we were then debating.

As I promised when replying to that debate, since then I have carefully considered the suggestions made. In particular, I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Acton an assurance that if, on examination, it appeared that an amendment to social security law was required to ensure that I could respond properly in taking account of what emerged from local authority negotiations, I would table an amendment to this Bill, as it is the last practicable opportunity to introduce such a power before the community care charges take effect in April 1991. That is why I have tabled the new clause, which ensures that I can act along the lines urged in taking account of what emerges from local authority negotiations with voluntary organisations and home owners in setting the income support rates.

The power that I am taking in the new clause is designed to help me to set up a system of local limits, if need be. In setting such limits, I want to have regard to both the charges being met by local authorities in homes and also, perhaps, the charges being met by other bodies such as the voluntary sector. In fairness to my hon. Friends, whose concern I understand and respect, I am not saying that it would necessarily be possible to make use of those powers at the absolute starting point in April 1991.

It is clear that we shall need to gain experience of what local authorities are negotiating. For a long time, there may be many homes in which local authorities have not negotiated and have not placed people. It would be foolish of me to suggest that we can suddenly produce a wholesale change in the system at the point of changeover. However, once we have adequate information on the scale required, the new clause will give me the power to respond in the way suggested by many of my hon. Friends. We shall be talking to local authority associations, as soon as possible, about how local authorities can help us in that respect.

I will be brief in relation to my next point, because our time for debate is limited and many hon. Members want to speak. I want now to consider a need that goes beyond the need for information about what local authorities actually do. I want to consider the need, which I accept, for more and better information about the true costs of running residential care and nursing homes. In particular, the Select Committee on Social Services has recommended that we should commission an early study into that. As I said in our debate on 13 March, I fully accept the force of that request; I hope to approve the commissioning of the necessary research in the near future, and I will let the Select Committee and the House have further details as soon as I can.

9.45 pm

My comments so far have responded to the overt purpose of the new clause in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill that was debated two weeks ago. I have responded to suggestions made then about the social security regime in the wake of the community care changes being introduced in April 1991 and also to the request made by the Select Committee on Social Services.

One of the striking things about the debate on that new clause two weeks ago was that much of what was said, especially—but not only—by my hon. Friends, was not directed to the overt purpose of that new clause, which was concerned with the post-1991 regime. Comments then reflected a wide measure of concern about the income support limits in the present year, quite apart from what the position might be after April 1991.

As the House knows, the income support limits are due to be increased in virtually all cases by £10 a week in a fortnight's time. For example, that will take the basic residential care home limit to £173 a week in Greater London and £150 a week elsewhere. It will take the basic nursing home limit to £223 in Greater London and £200 a week elsewhere.

In all, this year's increases will be the biggest since November 1985, at a cost of £100 million. They take the expected total of income support in such cases in 1990–91 to well over £1,100 million. That is a substantial rise, which will undoubtedly help to ease some of the pressures reflected in our debates. However, I have carefully considered whether there is more that I can appropriately do when, as I said to the House in the earlier debate, the information currently available does not provide a sufficiently secure base for more detailed geographical or local variation or for further fine tuning between different categories of case or home.

It is clear from all the information available, whether anecdotal or from representations that we have received, that the pressure on nursing homes is greater than that on residential care homes. That is understandable, in view of the scale of the increases in nursing pay which have taken place as a result of the Government's actions over the past two years.

Following on from the uprating that is about to take place, I propose to make a further increase in the limits in mid-August—the earliest time consistent with sensible handling of the case load in the Department of Social Security offices. At that time, all residential care home limits will be increased by a further £5 a week, making a total of £15 a week more than at present and taking the figure to £178 a week in Greater London and £155 a week elsewhere.

All nursing home limits, with one exception, will be increased by a further £10 a week, making a total of £20 a week more than at present. That will take the figure to £233 a week in Greater London and £210 a week elsewhere. The one exception is that, for hospices and other cases covered by the limit relating to people who are terminally ill, the increase will be a further £15 a week, making a total of £25 a week more than now. That will take that very important limit to £283 in Greater London and £260 a week elsewhere.

That will mean that the cost of increased limits next year will be £45 million more than the £100 million announced in my October uprating statement, giving a total increase of about £150 million compared with 1989–90. In a full year, the total cost of the impending uprating, the one due in a fortnight's time, together with the further increase that I have announced, will be about £170 million.

Mr. Dave Nellist (Coventry, South-East)

Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Newton

No, not at this stage.

The additions that I have announced can be accommodated in the existing DSS programme of over £50 billion, apart from an addition of just over £20 million from the reserve which my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has agreed for 1990–91. What I have been able to say on this clause properly responds to concerns that have been legitimately and responsibly expressed in the House. I commend the new clause to the House.

Mr. Speaker

Before we continue the debate, I must tell the House that I have selected a manuscript amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher). It has been available for some time, and for the convenience of the House I shall read it out. It is: to leave out "take into account" and insert determine the amounts required to meet the costs of providing such accommodation of a suitable standard by reference to".

Mr. Meacher

This new clause was tabled at the last possible moment, late last night, a full fortnight after the matter was debated in the House. Clearly, there has been agonising over exactly what should go into it. With the exception of the extra money, which is certainly welcome and with which I will deal in more detail later, the new clause takes us very little further than the last time the issue was debated.

What safeguards does the new clause offer? That is the key point. Of course, the Government will consider the information that is provided by local authorities on the charges that they consider acceptable, but they do not need a new clause to do that. The measure does not do anything for those who are facing shortfalls and possible eviction in the immediate future. The Secretary of State, who is always a fair man on such issues, was good enough to make that clear.

The new clause will not come into effect until April 1991 and that will be too late to help people either this April or next April. The question that was asked on Second Reading continues to be relevant and it is about who will meet the shortfall in the meantime. Above all, the new clause does not give any guarantees that it will meet the level of payment agreed between local authorities and homes. It says that the Secretary of State will take the information into account. We certainly wish him to do that, but above all the House wishes him to act on it and there is no specific commitment in the new clause that makes it clear that he will.

For those reasons the new clause does not give security to the 176,000 sick and elderly people who could face eviction because the Secretary of State is not guaranteeing that they will not be evicted. That is the crucial criterion. It was the criterion on Second Reading and it remains the criterion on which each hon. Member should base his judgment. It does nothing to stop homes charging more for residents not covered by agreements with local authorities, which is another point.

As I have said, we welcome the extra money. That is certainly important. The Secretary of State has said that the residential care limits rise by £5 over and above what he stated before and the amount for nursing homes will rise by £10 and for hospices by £15. While that is welcome, he must be aware that the gap that has to be filled is often about £30, £40 or even £60.

What matters is not whether assistance is given to make up the shortfall but whether it is enough to prevent the eviction of the elderly person. Although the money is welcome, I suspect that it will not serve that purpose in many cases.

New clause 14 requires the Secretary of State to review the income support limits for residential and nursing homes and to enable adjudicating officers and appeal tribunals to decide that the limits should be exceeded, when necessary, to meet reasonable charges for suitable accommodation. To some extent, the Government are following our lead, but the crucial difference is that they are holding back from a commitment to solving the problem.

There are two elements in our new clause: first, the Secretary of State's review of the limits could and should be done straight away. Both sides of the House agree that there is no need to wait until 1991. We also believe that the Government have a duty to review the limits, for two reasons. The explosion in the number of people in those homes is the result of Government policy. In the early 1980s the Government did not provide the cash for local authorities that was needed for community care, and they encouraged people to go into private care on the understanding that the costs would be covered by social security. Moreover, since 1985 the income support limits have been uprated by less than is required to cover increasing costs. This April's £10 increase, now raised to £15, is still less than inflation requires.

During the community care debate the Secretary of State said that we need more and better information, and he undertook to present proposals to the Select Committee. We welcome that; it is obviously needed. But we do not believe that the collection of information should be used to stall. There is enough information already to show that some safeguards should be provided. The Government have admitted to the Social Services Select Committee that no fewer than 42 per cent. of people in care and in receipt of income support live in homes that charge more than the income support limits. So tonight we are discussing the fact that two in five of these people face a shortfall. I shall not repeat this at length, because we have already discussed it, but that is not a matter of unreasonable charges. The National Federation of Housing Associations found that most of the homes that it surveyed, which were not profit-making, had shortfalls of £30 or more, and one in five had a shortfall of £60. Those figures should be taken carefully into account alongside those that the Minister gave earlier.

The second part of our new clause ensures that an adjudicating officer or tribunal will have the power to exceed income support limits. The Government say that adjudication officers do not have the capacity to determine reasonable charges, on the ground that when they had that job in 1985 they came up with wildly differing levels in various parts of the country. Surely, however, the answer lies in guidelines and assistance from local authorities. The problem will apply only for this year, because as from April 1991—we are agreed on this—officers and tribunals will have the local authority-agreed charges as a guideline. The Government new clause says that the Secretary of State will take those levels into account, but what is wrong with adjudicating officers and tribunals doing the same?

While we welcome the Secretary of State's statement, having reviewed the matter with extreme care, we do not believe that it goes far enough—a view that may be widely shared. For all those reasons we intend to press new clause 14 to a Division when the time comes, because it alone guarantees protection against eviction for 176,000 elderly people in residential and nursing homes. We should prefer to press our manuscript amendment to a Division. I sought to achieve the same purpose by tabling it, because it advances protection for elderly residents in a way that I believe commands majority support in the House. Our preference is to vote on that. If for any reason we cannot do so, we shall press Government new clause 26 to a Division because it does not go far enough. It is far too late to say that the Secretary of State shall take into account relevant information. That ignores the spirit and intention of the Division in the House a fortnight ago. Above all, it does not provide security against eviction, which it is unforgivable for any civilised Government to withhold from frail and needy elderly people.

10 pm

Sir Anthony Grant (Cambridgeshire, South-West)

Two weeks ago, it was with great regret that I found myself in the unusual position of being unable to support the Government. I was deeply distressed that, in my constituency, nursing home proprietors were subsidising unfortunate elderly people. I was even more appalled that, if nothing was done, those old people could be evicted. That was the reason for my speech and vote.

I am delighted that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has come to the House with a solution. We should recognise the struggle that he has had. We all know that, at the end of the day, one must do battle with the Treasury. I give complete credit to my right hon. Friend for responding to the views expressed on both sides, doing battle with the Treasury and winning that battle. For that reason, we should respond appropriately.

Unlike the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher), I am not worried that the Minister shall take into account information provided by local authorities". That is precisely what I wanted him to do in the previous debate. Those words fulfil my wishes. I understand that there is to be a gap until April 1991, but we now know that more money will be available and that it is a sensible amount, so appropriate arrangements can be made. I hope and believe that nursing homes and residential homes in my constituency can tide over the gap if necessary, as 1 hope, with some assistance from the county council. In any event, they can inform the Minister of that.

Costs are high in London, but let us not disregard the fact that in some parts of East Anglia, as my right hon. Friend will know, particularly Cambridgeshire, costs are high and obtaining nursing staff is difficult. Therefore, I ask him to consider the geographical position carefully.

The problem has been going on for some time. I have a file of correspondence going back a long time. It is not a new problem. It is only right that we should recognise the Secretary of State's efforts. This is the House at its best. The will of the House has been expressed, and the Minister has responded to it. In those circumstances, I can best respond by saying that I shall support the Government tonight. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will do likewise.

Mr. John Battle (Leeds, West)

We are interested to know precisely how the Secretary of State reached the present figure, other than by emergency pressure. 1 wish to put to him some details which may seem to be a side issue, but which are crucial for working out the figure.

On 24 January, during a debate on residential homes instigated by the hon. Member for Romsey and Waterside (Mr. Colvin), the Under-Secretary of State for Social Security pointed out: The national limits are not rates, but maximum allowances towards fees. In addition, we provide an allowance for personal expenses or pocket money … I must emphasise that it has never been the policy of this Government—nor could it be the policy of any Government—to undertake to meet all fees charged by homes, however high they may be. We set the limits with due regard not only to the interests of the residents and the homes concerned, but also to the interests of the taxpayer."—[Official Report, 24 January 1990; Vol. 165, c. 1028-9.] I remind the Secretary of State that he may like to have a conversation with the Secretary of State for the Environment. In precisely that context, the housing benefit legislation means that there is no limit on the rents that private landlords can charge people on income support and housing benefit and the amounts that must be repaid to those private landlords.

Mr. Newton

This is about the third time that the lion. Gentleman has made that point. He is wrong. There are powers to restrict the payment of housing benefit where the rent officer judges that it is an excessive rent—I do not wish to be held to the exact words, but no doubt I can get further advice—and they are often used.

Mr. Battle

The Secretary of State identifies the exact problem, because the words are crucial. If he checks the legislation, he will see that the words are not "excessive rents" but "market rents". I accept that this point is somewhat to the side of this debate, but we put this question during the housing debate. The amount depends on what the capital values are, because that may blow the budget of the Department of Social Security sky high. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman accepts that fact.

Mr. Newton

I shall try to avoid intervening again, because I do not wish to interrupt the hon. Gentleman. Frankly, this is a slight side-step to the debate. I am told by that process of curious osmosis by which information reaches Ministers in these circumstances that the words used are rents "which are unreasonably high".

Mr. Battle

We shall watch with interest what happens in the private rented sector and how much housing benefit is paid out by the DSS for rents that are excessive in the terms that the Government have laid out in their legislation to remove controls on rents. Without the controls, obviously the Government are in some difficulty.

I tabled a question to the Secretary of State asking "what regulations govern the administration and use of the pocket money element in the board-and-lodging allowance". The reply stated: Applicable amounts payable for persons in independent residential care and nursing homes are prescribed by Income Support (General) Regulations 1987, as amended. They include an amount in respect of personal expenses which is at present £10.05 each week. The regulations do not prescribe how that allowance is to be used, as this is a matter for the claimant."—{Official Report, 30 January 1990; Vol. 166, c. 123.] The difficulty is that the money never gets to the claimants because the allowance is deducted by the costs of the place at which they reside.

I received a letter from a Leeds constituent, who said that she wanted to write about the case of my Mother-in-law, who will be ninety-seven in May, and is living in a Residential Home in … Leeds. It was the only Home available, at the time she needed to be taken care of, and there are only three ladies residing there as the person in charge cannot accommodate any more, but it is registered. The two other ladies residing there do get a little pocket money, as they share a room, but when Mother went there, there was only a single room, and was more expensive, so therefore she was not entitled to any pocket money. The fee then was £140-00 per week. Last year at the pension rise, we thought she would be entitled to a bit of money then—but no —the fee went up to £150-00—therefore Mother was entitled to no pocket money again. This year I expect will be the same… We have to provide Mother with Pocket Money and clothing, which has to include hairdressing and chiropody.

Page 19 of chapter 14 of "The Government's Expenditure Plans" for the Department of Social Security, under the heading "Proposals for changes to benefits to long-term sick and disabled people", states: the hospital personal expenses allowance for single people receiving income-related benefits will increase from £8.70 to £11.75. This will benefit pensioners and other single people as well as sick and disabled people. Why has the pocket allowance for those in residential homes not been increased? More seriously, what guarantee do we have that the pocket money will not become part of the cost of board and lodging, so that in practice the money is never recieved?

It is for the Secretary of State to say clearly that the money that his Department has earmarked for pocket money will not be absorbed in fees. If that were to happen, it would mask hidden costs. I accept that the Department says in good faith that the money is for the use of clients, to be used as they wish. That is why it should not be salted away to cover the cost of fees. May we have an assurance that the money allocated for personal pocket expenses will be used for that purpose and not for board and lodging costs, thereby appearing to reduce those costs?

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman

I thank the Secretary of State for listening to the clearly expressed view of the House two weeks ago. It could not be right to cover the costs of people who will in future enter residential care and nursing homes and not cover the costs of those already in such homes. I am glad that my right hon. Friend recognised the anomaly and corrected it. I agree with what my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire, South-West (Sir A. Grant) said and I say to my right hon. Friend: well done, you fought a good battle and you won.

Mr. Kirkwood

Welcome though the provisions in the new clause are, they do not go far enough, for the reasons that have been stated. The people operating residential homes, certainly in my area, face a difficult problem in trying to bridge the gap between a shortage of funds now and the time when tonight's announcement will bear fruit.

The Secretary of State was candid enough to say that it will take time before the assessments are studied and the results work through to local authorities. In terms of the solution that the right hon. Gentleman has introduced, that is bound to be so, but he should be more forthcoming by saying how long it will take him to act, should he find that the evidence reaching him is not to his liking. Should the evidence show that a need exists, will it take weeks, months or years before he will be able to remedy the situation?

It could be a year or 18 months before the Government get round to taking action. Should that be the case, many residential homes in my area might go out of business. It would not be a question of evicting some elderly residents already in homes. That would be bad enough. Some residential homes are unable to make ends meet now.

I am thinking of homes in my constituency which look after the needs of the demented elderly, a difficult group for whom to care. Some nursing homes do an excellent job in looking after their needs, and considering that they are already finding it difficult to make ends meet, one wonders how long it will take for the extra assistance to work its way through. They already say that it will take time before the community care provisions, through local authorities, come on stream. The help to come from the Government's new proposals, if there is any, may take 18 months or two years to appear, and that gap is worrying nursing homes.

I would be more sanguine about the new clause and the prospects of the help that we are told it will bring if the Secretary of State could be more reassuring in that respect. I accept that it is a move forward. If the new clause is to mean anything, the Government will find themselves being forced to use it heftily if we are to meet the difficulties that are being faced by many residents and home operators.

10.15 pm
Sir David Price (Eastleigh)

I did not speak on the new clause last week, for the very simple reason that the Select Committee on Social Services, of which I am a member, had produced a short report, which I hope assisted the House in coming to the conclusion that it came to. As to the gap between what people receive in income support and the costs that they have to meet, we know that there are quite substantial regional variations. This was identified by the Committee, and in this regard we are completely at one with my right hon. Friend. There can be variations even within a region, depending on whether a home is owned outright or is being paid for through a mortgage.

We welcome my right hon. Friend's response. However as has been said by several hon. Members, there will still be a shortfall. In this regard, I am particularly concerned about nursing homes. As one or two hon. Members have pointed out, nursing home costs have gone up rather more substantially because of the improved pay for nurses. It seems to me that there is a very simple solution. This suggestion was not in the Committee's report— simply offer it personally. Where this difficulty arises, especially in the intervening months—before implementation of my right hon. Friend's proposals—the district health authority should be allowed to top up. Often we are talking about £30 or £40 a week. My understanding is that, under Treasury rules, the district health authority could take over total responsibility and pay the lot, but is not allowed to top up. In the past, I had correspondence with the Department of Health and Social Security about this matter. As the DHSS has now been split into two Departments, what I am suggesting should not give rise to any ill feeling. The difference between the amount of the top-up and what it would cost the district health authority to take a person into a geriatric ward is very substantial indeed. I shall not detain the House by giving figures to demonstrate cost variations, as I can see that my right hon. Friend and my right hon. and learned Friend are both very aware of them.

Mr. Newton

Perhaps I should observe wryly that, whereas two weeks ago, as the Social Security Secretary, I got drawn somewhat unexpectedly into the debate on a health Bill, my hon. Friend is now seeking to draw my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health into a social security Bill. I am happy to leave my right hon. and learned Friend to consider my hon. Friend's proposal.

Sir David Price

My right hon. Friend will know that, whatever happens in Whitehall, health care in the real world is a continuum. I defended the Government's decision to deal with care in the community and the National Health Service in the same Bill. So we are on the same side. Of course, the common enemy is Treasury rules. I refer not to the best use of public resources, but simply to the fact that the Treasury operates on the basis of its own liturgical rules, rather than on the basis of cost-effectiveness. In terms of cost-effectiveness, we could avoid difficulties over individual cases where the district health authority is willing to take up the difference. Under the existing nursing homes legislation, the district health authority is responsible for inspecting homes, so it knows them. Therefore, the fears of some of us about excessive charges and about care being inadequate are dealt with already because homes are registered and inspected by the DHA.

I leave that thought with my right hon. Friend. I am delighted that he accepted the Select Committee's proposal that there should be detailed studies of the variations in costs, with a view to producing a more coherent formula. The Committee identified the problem, and I thank my right hon. Friend for his response. But the problem will not go away; it is with us for keeps. The higher the rate of inflation, the more urgent is the problem. While I am thankful for my right hon. Friend's immediate response, I have to say—though I do not want to sound depressing —that this is not the end of the story.

Ms. Dawn Primarolo (Bristol, South)

I want to ask the Minister two specific questions about the announcement that he made on the new clause. He may remember that I raised with him on Second Reading the plight of war widows in nursing homes and residential homes. Although a constituent of mine had received the extra £40 from the Government, and although a promise had been made in the Chamber that it would be untouched by any decisions about income support, she lost all the £40 increase in her war widows' pension because of the regulations on income support. I am pleased to tell the Minister that the Department agreed to disregard the £40 and to increase her income support to match her nursing home fee. I do not know how that happened, but is it now a general rule? From now on, will the £40 given to war widows be disregarded in calculations for income support?

Mr. Newton

The point is so specific that it is probably sensible for me to respond to it immediately. I am a little puzzled by what the hon. Lady has said. The increase of £40 is not to be paid to pre-1973 war widows until next month. Certainly her constituent could not have it in January. I can assure the hon. Lady that, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence said at the time, and as I have subsequently carried into regulations, the whole of the £40 is to be disregarded for the purposes of all income-related benefits. It will not apply to housing benefit, income support or family credit, although probably that will not apply to war widows.

Ms. Primarolo

I am grateful to the Minister for his intervention. I am sure that he appreciates that many nursing homes notify in advance increases in charges and that the increases normally take effect in April to coincide with increases in benefit. I agree that war widows' pensions should be protected. I want to know how the shortfall in fees will be made up to ensure that the increase in pension will not be incorporated in the fee.

My second point relates to the fact that people are on income support because they have no other income. I see the Minister shaking his head. Income support is paid to top up income to make payments to nursing homes. In many instances the top-up of income support does not equal the cost of the nursing home fees. That point has been made frequently in the House.

Even taking into account the Minister's announcement, in Avon there will still be a shortfall of £15, £20, £25, or £30, depending on the location of the home. Will the Minister explain the position to the House so that we may tell our constituents who still have a shortfall what they should do about it? If the welfare state cannot act as a safety net for the most vulnerable and needy in society, what does it exist for? Perhaps the Minister will tell us how his Department intends the shortfall to be made up in the interim, because many people will still not have enough money to pay their nursing home fees.

Mrs. Peacock

I listened carefully to what my right hon. Friend the Minister said. Two weeks ago, like many of my colleagues, I went into the Opposition Lobby on an amendment. I greatly appreciate what my right hon. Friend said. Obviously, he listened carefully to many of his Back-Bench colleagues on that occasion.

I have one or two worries. Some hon. Members may have never seen anyone suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I think that it is the most frightening thing that could happen to an individual. Sufferers need special care and their families cannot cope. It is not a matter of them putting Grannie or Grandpa away. It is impossible to cope with someone in that state. In Yorkshire there are some specialised homes that can care for such people. Nursing homes send people out and say, "We can't cope," and we know that there have been examples of that. The specialised homes are residential care homes, not nursing homes. Because they provide 24-hour specialised care, their costs are high. A young family living in my constituency have such a problem. The husband, who is a bus driver, is working all the hours God sends to raise an extra £35 per week to pay for his mother-in-law, who needs to be cared for, and they have three young children. We spend so much money on benefits that it cannot be right that such a family should be excluded and have to find the amount somehow or another. Will the Minister consider that carefully? I fear that that old lady will end up out on the street when her family cannot provide £35 or that they will have to make their children do without shoes to provide it. Residential care and nursing homes do not incur such huge costs.

There is also a problem when pensioners, who are often in their early 60s, and on their own, have to try to provide for one or two parents who are in their 90s and live in residential care homes. Those pensioners do not have the money to pay. One lady brought her bank statement to me, and she had 22p left in the bank. She needs to find £45 to pay for her father, who is 92.

There must be provision in the system to help such people this week and next week, but we have not found it yet. I appreciate that the increases in August were a tremendous help, and that the rules that come into effect next April will help, but the families that I have described are at their wits' end. That may result in nervous breakdowns caused by worry about their parents.

Given the amount of money that we spend, we should be able to help such people in the interim period. I plead with the Minister to consider specific cases or to give an idea of what hon. Members could do to help those who are waiting to see what he says tonight.

Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North)

I appreciate the announcement tonight, and I think that it is a major step forward. I cannot imagine why Conservative Members, who came into the Opposition Lobby to vote a couple of weeks ago and who find that they have something to be thankful for tonight, do not come into our Lobby more often. It seems to have been a worthwhile exercise.

Like other hon. Members who represent coastal constituencies, I became aware a few years ago of the extraordinary proliferation of nursing homes. Out of curiosity, I tabled a written question 18 months ago asking how levels of income support had increased. As far as I know, that was the first time that it emerged that residential care had become a billion-pound industry—it had gone from £82 million in 1979 to £1 billion 10 years later. That spiral cannot simply go on indefinitely. We must bear in mind that it was public policy to create that new industry—private residential homes—and to concentrate so many resources in that kind of accommodation, and into income support payments for people in them.

The tragedy was that, having created that huge expenditure, the Government took fright. The pace of increase in income support has not been sufficient to keep up with the costs of the homes which were created during the great boom period. The Minister has to live with that reality now, as future Ministers will have to.

The Minister would do well to listen to his hon. Friend the Member for Eastleigh (Sir D. Price), who seemed to speak a lot of sense on the subject. The new clause still has a blanket approach, although it is now within local authority areas. The problem is that we are talking not about problems arising out of what is charged in a town or a district health board area, but about individuals and specific homes. I am sure that Conservative Members will find out as they go along that the wonder of the poll tax is that one discovers that one is not dealing with categories of 1 million people or 100,000 people; every case throws up different circumstances and different individual problems to be dealt with.

10.30 pm

Let me describe the kind of problems that I have come across in my constituency. An elderly person is living quite happily in a home until it is taken over by another company, which decides that it does not want to operate a run-of-the-mill home on basic charges but, rather, an up-market de luxe nursing home. The prices go shooting up. The elderly person, who has previously been able to meet the cost of his care, suddenly finds that there has been a large increase in the amount for which he is being asked. Would the new clause meet that happenstance? The new cost of the home might be out of the normal order of things in that particular area and the general rate that the local authority applied in the area might not cover the case of a person caught by such a change of ownership.

Similarly, as the hon. Member for Batley and Spen (Mrs. Peacock) said, there are exceptional cases in which costs are higher because the level of nursing care is higher. Within one area—whether it is a local authority area or a district health authority area—a great range of circumstances may pertain.

That takes us back to what my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) said. The owners of the homes identify an average shortfall of about £40 per person per week. At the most generous estimate, what the Minister proposes will go perhaps halfway towards meeting that shortfall. But everything is relative. For a poor person—a person who does not have extraneous income—it does not really matter whether the figure is £20 or £40 a week. It is a substantial shortfall, and if the person has no means to fill the gap, the problem remains the same.

I welcome the proposals that the Minister has announced—I am not being churlish about them—but the problem remains that people will set a level of charge and many of the clients will not be able to meet it. On the other hand, a blanket approach does not meet the problem either. It takes us back to the initial dilemma to which I referred—that the global sum just goes on increasing and in some cases all that one is doing is encouraging homes to increase charges, for a quality of service that is not necessarily provided.

Putting those two arguments together, it seems to me that there is a case for the flexibility for which the hon. Member for Eastleigh argued. That may be a big task; such a system may be difficult to administer. But it will mean that there will be an officer in each area looking at specific cases and the genuine human problems and trying to solve them case by case.

I am grateful for the money that has been awarded, which will come as a relief to many people. The new clause is a step in the right direction and a response to what the whole House voted for a fortnight ago. But the Minister will have to go further—and future Ministers will have to go further—to meet the specific cases to which the problem gives rise.

Sir George Young (Ealing, Acton)

I shall be brief, because there are other Conservative Members who deserve to be heard—not least my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe), who spoke with such emotion on the subject only two weeks ago. Like other Conservative Members, two weeks ago I voted against the Government and for the all-party amendment. I did so reluctantly, although I make no apology for it, because unless we used the most powerful means available to Back Benchers—voting—there could be no guarantee that we should get a response.

Having said that, I am delighted that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has listened to the arguments and responded to the debate. In two weeks, which is a very short time scale for Whitehall, he has responded with the new clause before us today. He had to do that against a very difficult economic background. We have had a restrictive Budget, with the downward pressure on expenditure to which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor referred. Against such an economic background, to negotiate this sum of money from the Treasury in such a short time was a genuine achievement, for which my right hon. Friend deserves full credit.

I am delighted with new clause 26, because it embraces the principle for which many of us spoke two weeks ago —using local authority contracts as the basis for income support. The new clause gives the Department the power to validate the price negotiated between the local authority and the home as the basis for income support, which is the right long-term solution.

There is no advantage in Opposition new clause 14, which is wholly bureaucratic—involving tribunals and adjudicating officers—by comparison with the Government's solution. My right hon. Friend mentioned the time scale. If a local authority makes good progress this year and negotiates a series of contracts to come into effect in 1991, will my right hon. Friend's Department be able to use those contracts in setting the income support level in that local authority's area—or does he propose waiting until the system is nationally tested before allowing progress at a local level?

In the debate of two weeks ago, it was no part of the proposed new clause to insist on extra help being provided this year. Certainly I did not make that demand in my own speech. I regard as a bonus the additional assistance that my right hon. Friend announced tonight for nursing and residential care homes from August, which will help in cases where the shoe is pinching.

New clause 26 is an honourable response from an honourable man, and I hope that the House will support it.

Mr. Allen McKay (Barnsley, West and Penistone)

I ask the Secretary of State a straight question, and I hope that he will give a straight answer. Who pays? Although we are grateful for the right hon. Gentleman's announcement tonight, it must be seen as an exercise in damage limitation, being the minimum action required to satisfy the Secretary of State's right hon. and hon. Friends.

The problem remains this year, as it will next year, that there is a gap between the amount charged and what can be claimed. Who will pay the difference? In some cases, it will be the relatives of the individual concerned—but often they themselves will be pensioners. Increasing life expectancy means that many residents of nursing and residential homes are aged 85 or 90, and have relatives who are themselves pensioners and unable to meet any additional costs. In other cases, relatives have moved from the area—which may be the reason why an individual was placed in a home in the first place.

In both the Local Government and Housing Bill and the National Health Service and Community Care Bill, responsibility is ultimately placed in the hands of the local authority, which will have to undertake a case study and determine, through the officer concerned, what form of care is to be provided—care in the community or care in the home. So in many cases the local authority will have to pay the difference if the Department refuses to do so. I hope that Conservative Members will think about that when they vote tonight.

There is little use taking a local authority to task or placing limitations on its level of poll tax if at the same time the Government deliberately load it with the responsibility for meeting the gap between charges and the money available from central Government. Will the Secretary of State or the Minister for Social Security undertake to hold consultations with local authorities, and confirm that funding will be available for them to make up any difference?

The Government have brought the problem upon themselves. When they came to power, they decided to encourage private nursing and residential care homes, which was fair enough. But the bill has to be paid, and instead of ducking, weaving, dodging and bobbing we should be honest and above board. Let us ensure that payment stops finally with the Government of the day.

We must care for those who find themselves in homes, so let us eradicate the problems, worries and concerns that face those who are in homes and their relatives. So many families are bending over backwards to try to find the charges. I believe that we can pull together within a proper system. It is right and proper that responsibility should rest with local government, but central Government should ensure that adequate funding is available.

Miss Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone)

The new clause comes as a great reassurance and considerable relief to those who have been campaigning for such a provision for the past year. The question asked by hon. Members on both sides of the House is, "What happens to the existing shortfall?" I was concerned that strong pressure to evict would be the prospect if action were not taken. If those who run the homes had been faced with a long-term problem and had felt that no endeavour was being made to match the level of benefits to the level of reasonable charges, they would have had every incentive to evict quickly. Immediate relief means that they are receiving more money than hitherto, and that should help.

The homes that face the difficult problem of servicing a large capital investment will be assisted if, in addition to the generous interim measures, there is a fall in interest rates. I feel that there is some hope for home owners. I feel also that proprietors will be much less pushed to evict than they would have been if the measures in the new clause had not been brought forward. The shortfall is of less significance than it was. A perpetual bleakness has been removed.

Does the new clause provide a sufficient guarantee? I am reassured, first, because account is taken of both nursing and residential homes. There was much speculation that we would be confronted with action only in the nursing home sector. Secondly, the new clause provides that the Secretary of State shall, not may, take into account reasonable levels of charges. There is now, or will be, a clear obligation on the Secretary of State.

Two questions remain, however, for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. Does he accept that the new clause will be a cause for future action and that it is not merely an adornment of the statute book? Secondly, does he accept that future action must commence as quickly as possible after April 1991 if we are not to find, once more, that there is pressure to evict?

I find new clause 14 unacceptable because it places emphasis on adjudication officers. My right hon. Friend has persuaded me that that is not the right approach. As for the manuscript amendment, of which I have had sound if not sight, it provides the blank cheque that we have tried to aviod. If my right hon. Friend will give the assurance that he regards the new clause as a programme for action and not merely a reassuring sop, I think that we may trust him. I urge my right hon. and hon. Friends to go with him tonight.

10.45 pm
Mr. Merlyn Rees (Morley and Leeds, South)

I welcome what the Government have done. My concern about shortfall and future action was expressed clearly by the hon. Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe).

I do not believe that the new clause is sufficient to deal with the problems that have been brought to my notice. Half the constituency of the hon. Member for Batley and Spen (Mrs. Peacock) was joined with half of my constituency for a long time—Batley and Morley—and, therefore, we share the problems with former mill towns in the west riding. I should like to express the concern of my constituents.

The new clause refers to "prescribed" bodies. I declare an interest because I am on the governing board of a Salvation Army home not far from the House. My mother was there for a long time. She was a war widow and received war widows' pension and attendance allowance but not income support.

Over the years, I have learned about the expertise of the Salvation Army. It does marvellous work for down and outs—it will do such work tonight in London—and it has built homes and altered old buildings. Before being on the governing board, I was not aware of the expertise and professionalism of its staff.

Whatever information the Department of Social Security receives from local authorities, the Salvation Army could provide, within weeks, a detailed report on the problems experienced in its homes. Such a report would cover a good cross-section, because the people in its homes come from a variety of backgrounds.

The letters that I have received and the people who have come to see me cause me to worry that the sums being offered by the Government are not sufficient. I have received letters from people on low incomes whose aged parents are in homes. They are concerned that their parents will be evicted because they cannot afford to make the payments. I want to check in the next few weeks what difference the money the Government have offered will make to them. Will there still be a problem of eviction because my constituents cannot afford to pay?

I have a constituent—a former nurse—who runs an old people's home with her husband. They are devoted to their patients and make only enough money to cover their incomes. I want to check that next year they will not lose money.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Ms. Primarolo) said, we are debating not structures or statistics but the dignity of people living in old people's homes. If in the next few weeks the Minister is told by hon. Members or the Salvation Army that his figures are wrong, will he be able to act on that information in advance of 1991?

I suspect that we are all in for a surprise. Hon. Members will receive letters and their constituents will say to them, "Thank you for what you have done. We are not looking a gift horse in the mouth, but frankly it is not enough."

Mr. Peter Griffiths (Portsmouth, North)

I shall be extremely brief.

I welcome new clause 26 and the comments made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, but I suggest that the success of the arrangements between now and April 1991 will depend not only on the generosity of the Department but on the restraint and tolerance of the owners of residential care homes. It would be helpful if my right hon. Friend said that we can look forward to such success.

The advantage of new clause 26 is that after April 1991 it will not leave the cost of residential care open ended. Although two weeks ago and tonight our attention has been directed to residents who depend on income support, those who manage to pay their own fees must meet the increased costs that inevitably follow when income support is raised.

New clause 26 meets the objections that I raised two weeks ago. We should be grateful for the tolerance of home owners who will now have a better opportunity to care for our constituents.

Mr. Newton

I wish to make two crisp points. First, I am grateful to hon. Members for their response to my proposals. Secondly, such is my mellow frame of mind that I shall even co-operate with the Opposition, who wish me to sit down a little early so that they may vote on their amendment rather than on the new clause. I shall respond as best I can to some of the points raised during the debate.

I say to all hon. Members, but especially to the hon. Members for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) and for Bristol, South (Ms. Primarolo), that I do not think that the complexities of the position have been fully recognised in the debate. I want to explain the difficulty that I or any other Minister would face in coming forward with what would be regarded as a complete solution. As I said in our previous debate on this matter, there are two categories of shortfall with these homes. One is involuntary—where people cannot meet the charge being levied. That is the case that concerns my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Miss Widdecombe) and others. The other category—there was a case in my constituency only last week—is where relatives use their freedom to top up what income support will buy because they wish to pay for more than the state can be expected to provide.

Indeed, many of the charitable bodies have said that they do not expect the full difference between income support and their costs to be met. It is important that that is understood. I am not suggesting that they have expressed satisfaction with the present limits, but they do not demand that the full gap should be met because it is specifically part of their policy to provide a standard of amenity and the like higher than they think it reasonable for the state to be expected to pay for. They view that as a legitimate use of their charitable funds.

I make that point only to illustrate the difficulties of pitching the figures at the right level. I am not in any way discounting the anxiety felt about the present level, to which I have sought to respond. Indeed, the increases are substantial. The debate has focused on what I shall do in August, but that should be linked with what I have already done, which will take effect next month—that is, £20 on nursing homes, £15 on residential care homes and, at the extreme,£25 for terminal illness limits.

The right hon. Member for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Rees) mentioned the Salvation Army. I am prepared to take into account evidence from that body or any other reputable source, as I sought to do in making my judgments today. I shall be looking for more and better evidence when I have to make a judgment next October about the uprating from next April.

I can tell my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Acton (Sir G. Young) that, even when not on the scale envisaged by the new clause, when information is available in advance of April 1991, I shall use it in making, my judgments at that time.

The only point that I need to make in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone is that it will be some time—I cannot give an exact time—after April 1991 before we have comprehensive information covering a range of local authorities and a range of homes and circumstances that would make it possible to activate the new clause. I assure her that I tabled it not as a cosmetic adornment, but as a sign of the way in which I hope to move in the future when the information is available to enable me to act in that way.

Mr. Meacher

The Secretary of State says that his new clause is not intended to be cosmetic. What guarantee can he give us that as a result of his new clause there will be no evictions after April 1991? What action does he propose to take to prevent evictions before April 1991? He has not answered either of those questions.

Mr. Newton

The answer was given in the sensible remarks by my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone when she referred to the background to some of the anxieties about the future and about the present limits. As my hon. Friend acknowledged very fairly, on both those fronts my actions respond to the concerns expressed by the hon. Member for Oldham, West.

I owe it to the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle) to respond to his comment about pocket money. I have undertaken to eschew the phrase "pocket money". It is really personal expenses allowance.

The point about pocket money is not widely understood. The Department of Social Security cannot dictate how people use their pocket money. There is no question of the DSS allocating the personal expenses allowance to pay for residential home or nursing home charges. Some home owners set their charges at the expenses level above the income support rate. If I raised the income support rate, some owners—perhaps not many —would raise their charges to the same amount above the new income support rate. If I set it at £200 and the personal expenses element was £10, some owners would set the charge at £210. I cannot prevent that without controlling charges for homes or taking away an individual's right to spend personal expenses money as he or she wishes.

My colleagues who organise the business of the House have told me that, in order to fulfil my undertaking about voting that I gave at the outset of my speech, I should curtail my remarks now. I shall do that after expressing my gratitude for the support that my hon. Friends and some Opposition Members have expressed in a very reasonable and constructive way and for the outcome that we have achieved.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time.

Amendment proposed to the new clause: to leave out "take into account" and insert determine the amounts required to meet the costs of providing such accommodation of a suitable standard by reference to".—[Mr. Meacher.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 221, Noes 326.

Division No. 145] [10.57 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Banks, Tony (Newham NW)
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)
Allen, Graham Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)
Alton, David Barron, Kevin
Anderson, Donald Battle, John
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Beckett, Margaret
Armstrong, Hilary Beggs, Roy
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Beith, A. J.
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Bell, Stuart
Ashton, Joe Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Home Robertson, John
Bermingham, Gerald Hood, Jimmy
Blair, Tony Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)
Blunkett, David Hoyle, Doug
Boyes, Roland Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Bradley, Keith Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E) Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Hume, John
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Illsley, Eric
Buckley, George J. Janner, Greville
Caborn, Richard Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Callaghan, Jim Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Kennedy, Charles
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Kilfedder, James
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g) Kirkwood, Archy
Cartwright, John Lamond, James
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Leighton, Ron
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Clay, Bob Lewis, Terry
Clelland, David Litherland, Robert
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Livingstone, Ken
Cohen, Harry Livsey, Richard
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Corbett, Robin Loyden, Eddie
Corbyn, Jeremy McAllion, John
Cousins, Jim McAvoy, Thomas
Crowther, Stan McCartney, Ian
Cryer, Bob Macdonald, Calum A.
Cummings, John Mcfall, John
Cunliffe, Lawrence McGrady, Eddie
Cunningham, Dr John Mckay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Dalyell, Tam McKelvey, William
Darling, Alistair Maclennan, Robert
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) McNamara, Kevin
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Mcwilliam, John
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'I) Madden, Max
Dewar, Donald Mahon, Mrs Alice
Dixon, Don Marek, Dr John
Dobson, Frank Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Doran, Frank Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Duffy, A. E. P. Martlew, Eric
Dunnachie, Jimmy Maxton, John
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth Meacher, Michael
Eadie, Alexander Meale, Alan
Eastham, Ken Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Evans, John (St Helens N) Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'L & Bute)
Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Fatchett, Derek Moonie, Dr Lewis
Faulds, Andrew Morgan, Rhodri
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Morley, Elliot
Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n) Mooris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Fisher, Mark Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Flannery, Martin Mowlam, Marjorie
Flynn, Paul Mullin, Chris
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Murphy, Paul
Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S) Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Foster, Derek O'Brien, William
Fraser, John Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Fyfe, Maria Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Galloway, George Patchett, Terry
Garrett, John (Norwich South) Pendry, Tom
George, Bruce Pike, Peter L.
God man, Dr Norman A. Prescott, John
Gordon, Mildred Primarolo, Dawn
Gould, Bryan Quin, Ms Joyce
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Radice, Giles
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Randall, Stuart
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Redmond, Martin
Grocott, Bruce Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn
Harman, Ms Harriet Richardson, Jo
Haynes, Frank Robertson, George
Heal, Mrs Sylvia Rooker, Jeff
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Henderson, Doug Ross, William (Londonderry E)
Hinchliffe, David Rowlands, Ted
Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall) Ruddock, Joan
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Salmond, Alex
Sedgemore, Brian Turner, Dennis
Sheerman, Barry Vaz, Keith
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Wallace, James
Short, Clare Walley, Joan
Sillars, Jim Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Skinner, Dennis Wareing, Robert N.
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E) Watson, Mike (Glasgow, C)
Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury) Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E) Wigley, Dafydd
Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam) Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S) Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Snape, Peter Wilson, Brian
Soley, Clive Winnick, David
Spearing, Nigel Wise, Mrs Audrey
Steel, Rt Hon Sir David Worthington, Tony
Steinberg, Gerry Wray, Jimmy
Stott, Roger Young, David (Bolton SE)
Straw, Jack
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury) Tellers for the Ayes:
Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford) Mrs. Llin Golding and
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Mr. Ray Powell.
Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Adley, Robert Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Aitken, Jonathan Chapman, Sydney
Alexander, Richard Chope, Christopher
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)
Allason, Rupert Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Amess, David Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Amos, Alan Colvin, Michael
Arbuthnot, James Conway, Derek
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove) Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Ashby, David Cope, Rt Hon John
Aspinwall, Jack Couchman, James
Atkins, Robert Cran, James
Atkinson, David Currie, Mrs Edwina
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Curry, David
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Baldry, Tony Davis, David (Boothferry)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Day, Stephen
Batiste, Spencer Devlin, Tim
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Dorrell, Stephen
Bellingham, Henry Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Bendall, Vivian Dover, Den
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Dunn, Bob
Benyon, W. Dykes, Hugh
Bevan, David Gilroy Eggar, Tim
Biffen, Rt Hon John Emery, Sir Peter
Body, Sir Richard Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Evennett, David
Boscawen, Hon Robert Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Boswell, Tim Fallon, Michael
Bottomley, Peter Favell, Tony
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n) Fishburn, John Dudley
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Fookes, Dame Janet
Bowis, John Forman, Nigel
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Forth, Eric
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Brazier, Julian Fox, Sir Marcus
Bright, Graham Franks, Cecil
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Freeman, Roger
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's) French, Douglas
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South) Fry, Peter
Burns, Simon Gale, Roger
Burt, Alistair Gardiner, George
Butcher, John Garel-Jones, Tristan
Butler, Chris Gill, Christopher
Butterfill, John Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Carlisle, John, (Luton N) Glyn, Dr Sir Alan
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Goodhart, Sir Philip
Carrington, Matthew Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Carttiss, Michael Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Cash, William Gorst, John
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda Gow, Ian
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Major, Rt Hon John
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Malins, Humfrey
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Mans, Keith
Gregory, Conal Maples, John
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Marland, Paul
Grist, Ian Marlow Tony
Ground, Patrick Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Grylls, Michael Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Hague, William Mates, Michael
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom) Maude, Hon Francis
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Hampson, Dr Keith Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Hannam, John Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Mellor, David
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Meyer, Sir Antony
Harris, David Miller, Sir Hal
Haselhurst, Alan Mills, Iain
Hawkins, Christopher Miscampbell, Norman
Hayes, Jerry Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney Mitchell, Sir David
Hayward, Robert Moate, Roger
Heathcoat-Amory, David Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Moore, Rt Hon John
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE) Mooris, M (N'hampton S)
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Morrison, Sir Charles
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
Hind, Kenneth Moss, Malcolm
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Moynihan, Hon Colin
Holt, Richard Mudd, David
Hordern, Sir Peter Neale, Gerrard
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Nelson, Antony
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Neubert, Michael
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Nicholls, Patrick
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Norris, Steve
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hunter, Andrew Oppenheim, Phillip
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Page, Richard
Irvine, Michael Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Irving, Sir Charles Patnick, Irvine
Jack, Michael Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath)
Jackson, Robert Patten, Rt Hon John
Janman, Tim Pawsey, James
Jessel, Toby Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Porter, David (Waveney)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Portillo, Michael
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Powell, William (Corby)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Price, Sir David
Key, Robert Raffan, Keith
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater) Redwood, John
Kirkhope, Timothy Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Knapman, Roger Rhodes James, Robert
Knight, Greg (Derby North) Riddick, Graham
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Knowles, Michael Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Latham, Michael Rossi, Sir Hugh
Lawrence, Ivan Rost, Peter
Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel Rowe, Andrew
Lee, John (Pendle) Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Ryder, Richard
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark Sackville, Hon Tom
Lightbown, David Sayeed, Jonathan
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant) Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Shaw, David (Dover)
Lord, Michael Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Luce, Rt Hon Richard Shaw, Sir Micheal (Scarb')
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Shelton, Sir William
Macfarlane, Sir Neil Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire) Shersby, Michael
Maclean, David Sims, Roger
McLoughlin, Patrick Skeet, Sir Trevor
McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Soames, Hon Nicholas
Madel, David Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Trotter, Neville
Squire, Robin Twinn, Dr Ian
Stanbrook, Ivor Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Viggers, Peter
Steen, Anthony Waddington, Rt Hon David
Stern, Michael Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Stevens, Lewis Walden, George
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Walker, Bill (T'side North)
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Waller, Gary
Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N) Ward, John
Stokes, Sir John Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Warren, Kenneth
Sumberg, David Watts, John
Summerson, Hugo Wells, Bowen
Tapsell, Sir Peter Wheeler, Sir John
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Whitney, Ray
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Widdecombe, Ann
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Wiggin, Jerry
Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman Wilkinson, John
Temple-Morris, Peter Winterton, Mrs Ann
Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret Winterton, Nicholas
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley) Wolfson, Mark
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N) Wood, Timothy
Thorne, Neil Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Thurnham, Peter Yeo, Tim
Townend, John (Bridlington) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Tracey, Richard Tellers for the Noes:
Tredinnick, David Mr. Alastair Goodlad and
Trippier, David Mr. Tony Durant.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause added to the Bill.

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