HC Deb 08 July 1997 vol 297 cc811-24 6.15 pm
Mr. Chope

I beg to move amendment No. 3, in page 1, leave out lines 16 to 21.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss amendment No. 4, in page 1, line 21, at end add ', but no period so specified shall exceed seven years, except in respect of old loan charge grants.'.

Mr. Chope

We discussed clause 2 in Committee at considerable length. The Opposition have grave suspicions about the clause. We were worried that it would be used to enable local authorities to capitalise their revenue expenditure, so that they would capitalise the money that they needed to spend this year and impose a burden on future generations through a debt that would be paid over a period of more than seven years.

In Committee, the hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich (Mr. Raynsford), was unable to give a specific example of a local authority that had asked the Government for a special dispensation for a period in excess of seven years. In the light of that, the Committee divided. The hon. Gentleman said that it was reasonable for a period of more than seven years to be allowed for the specific category of old loan charge debts. Accepting that, we have now tabled an amendment that would apply the seven-year rule to all categories of debt other than old loan charge debts.

I hope that the Government will accept the amendment, because it would deal with all the points discussed in Committee. If they cannot accept it, our suspicions will be roused to an ever greater extent than they have been already by the Government's shilly-shallying on this issue. It is a short, simple point. If any more local authorities are pressing to wrap up their revenue expenditure in capital and repay it over a period in excess of seven years, let us hear about them tonight. We should be open about this issue, and if no local authorities are pressing for that, the Government should accept this reasonable amendment.

Mr. Raynsford

As I said to the hon. Gentleman in Committee when we debated this matter, he is making a mountain out of a molehill. This is a relatively minor issue and certainly does not justify his paranoia about widespread financial consequences for local authorities. It is not like that at all.

The two amendments are contradictory: one would leave out the whole of clause 2, and the second would make a specific amendment to the procedure. The hon. Gentleman accepted that there could be an appropriate arrangement for amortisation of old loan charge grants. That makes the point that amendment No. 3 is inappropriate, because it would remove the flexibility to make such arrangements.

We do not believe that there is a case for amendment No. 3 under any circumstances. At present, supplementary credit approvals are issued in respect of capitalisation directions in limited circumstances. The only example of that being done routinely—I stress, routinely—is for the commutation of loan charge grants. That is a small, uncontroversial programme, for which about £4.5 million to £5 million a year is available. All we are seeking is for Ministers to have the discretion to specify an amortisation period appropriate for the particular expenditure and the circumstances of each authority.

Although I gave an example to the hon. Member for Christchurch of the commutation of loan charge grants, that is not the only circumstance in which supplementary credit approval might be given.

Mr. Chope

Can the Minister give some more examples?

Mr. Raynsford

I can. Thurrock—the local authority which most recently made representations to the Department—is seeking assistance with the capitalisation of the cost of local government reorganisation. That is an issue where there might be a case for provision for capitalisation and for repayment over a longer period than seven years. Certainly, Thurrock council told us that the seven-year amortisation period was too short and would represent a significant revenue burden on it.

Mr. Chope

I am grateful for that example, but it raises concerns. Will the Minister agree to place the papers in relation to that application in the Library so that hon. Members can have a look at them? Will he confirm that the application is for a sum of £1 million or less?

Mr. Raynsford

I shall be happy to write to the hon. Gentleman to set out the full details about that case, but I used it for illustration in response to a request for an indication of circumstances other than dealing with old loan charges where the provision might be appropriate.

The commutation of old loan charge grants is a good example of the need for the clause. The previous Administration meant commutation to be neutral for local authorities, but it led to revenue losses through no fault of the authorities. Consequently, authorities are allowed to capitalise their commutation costs and borrow to meet them. It is unreasonable to impose a short amortisation period in these cases.

The clause is relevant to other cases in which revenue expenditure is capitalised. We would allow authorities to borrow for revenue purposes only in the most exceptional circumstances where it would not be reasonable for them to meet the expenditure out of their existing revenue resources. The seven-year rule means that authorities would almost immediately have to start finding large sums to repay the debt which, in some circumstances, would have unacceptable financial consequences for authorities. We are seeking more flexibility to deal with cases on their merits.

Amendment No. 4 would restrict the benefits of clause 2 to cases involving old loan charge grants. I agree that more flexible amortisation periods are needed in connection with SCAs relating to the commutation of old loan charge grants, but equal flexibility is needed in connection with other SCAs—in particular, those made possible by clause 1.

Another example for the hon. Member for Christchurch is a case where there might be significant revenue expenditure—for example, on preliminary research or consultation necessary for one or more schemes involving expenditure under the capital receipts initiative. I am not suggesting that that will be the case, but there might be circumstances in which there would be a reasonable case for the revenue costs to be capitalised. In such cases, it would be absurd if there were no flexibility to allow that or an amortisation period appropriate to the circumstances of the authority.

We would need to be sure that the authority could not afford to meet the expenditure from its existing revenue resources. Under the present law, we would tell the authority that it must find at least one seventh of the borrowed sum out of its revenue in the following year, and the same amount in each of the six subsequent years. If the authority could not cope with that revenue commitment, it would be denied this assistance.

I hope that I have made clear to the hon. Member for Christchurch that we are not dealing with a major cause of additional local authority expenditure, but with limited circumstances. We are seeking the appropriate flexibility to cope with those circumstances and to respond to the needs of individual authorities without an unduly rigid framework. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will agree, in the circumstances, to withdraw his amendment.

Mr. Chope

I am grateful to the Minister for his response, although I am disappointed that he did not make such a response in Committee, where he seemed remarkably coy about giving any example other than the generality of loan charge grants. We now have it on record that there is a Labour-controlled local authority that is seeking to capitalise its revenue expenditure and to pay back that capital over a period in excess of seven years. How does that fit with the Chancellor's so-called "golden rule" on public borrowing? It does not fit in with it at all.

We are anxious about the powers that the Government are giving themselves, and we shall seek to monitor vigorously the way in which the Government exercise these powers. But certainly we will not press the amendment to a vote, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Order for Third Reading read.

6.26 pm
Ms Armstrong

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

We have had a relatively short but interesting set of debates leading to Third Reading. The Bill lays the foundation for the Labour Government to deliver on our manifesto pledge to increase the opportunity for housing need to be met through a capital receipts initiative. That is the first vital step towards the Government's objective of ending years of under-investment in housing. The Bill has been well received by local government and the housing world, which has struggled to come through those years of under-investment. Many people have suffered because their house has not been improved; others have not been able to get a house because there is insufficient housing in their area.

The Government are living up to our undertaking in Committee that the Bill's Report stage would be taken after the Budget. One of our debates this afternoon arose out of the Budget and our spending commitments for this year and the next. We are having a comprehensive spending review and examining how housing need can be addressed in the future. The Chancellor announced that significant additional capital resources are being made available to meet pressing housing need across the UK and, as part of the Government's capital receipts initiative, an additional £174 million has been provided in England this year, with a further £610 million available in 1998–99. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) did not get a fuller response. I shall write to him to ensure that he knows the amounts allocated to each of the four nations of the UK.

Mr. Chope

Were the allocations announced through a press notice? In what way where the allocations communicated to those concerned in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England?

Ms Armstrong

I shall write to the hon. Gentleman about this matter. I announced the English figures at a conference last week. I am responsible for those and they were in a subsequent press release. I apologise for the fact that the hon. Member has not seen them, but I think that I referred to them in Committee last week. A Welsh Office press release announced the amounts in Wales on 3 July.

Mr. Bernard Jenkin

That makes it all the more extraordinary that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury was not able to give my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) a proper answer today.

Ms Armstrong

I have dealt with that matter and I have tried to be open and honest with Opposition Members. I have said that I shall write to the hon. Member for Christchurch. The Opposition's behaviour is extraordinary. They too have been in government and I can remember many occasions when they were less than perfect. Obviously they are learning how to be in opposition and it is going to be a long learning curve.

The Government face a legacy of massive under-investment in housing throughout the United Kingdom. The capital receipts initiative should concentrate on England and Wales. When Opposition Members find out the amounts for Northern Ireland and Scotland, they will realise that although the receipts concentrate on England and Wales we know that there is real housing need in Northern Ireland and Scotland and so have extended the initiative to them. We will make announcements about the application of those resources in due course.

The Government's proposals for England were set out in the consultation paper. The Welsh paper was issued recently and I am pleased that Opposition Members have read it. The initiatives have been warmly welcomed on both sides of the House and, in particular, by local authorities.

The House will be pleased to note that, in Committee, Opposition Members were largely able to endorse and support the broad thrust of the initiative. I think that that has been true of our debates today. There have been some mischievous responses to some of our points, but I feel none the less that there was overall recognition that the level of housing need demands a response. It seems fair to us that some of the money made from the sale of council housing should go back into housing so that we invest in social housing in areas where houses have been sold and so that the nature and condition of the housing enables people to make it into a real home.

Discussions with the Local Government Association will continue so that we can ensure that the initiative continues to benefit from a genuine partnership between central and local government. We look forward to receiving views from the LGA, local authorities and other interested parties when they have had time to read the consultation paper and consider how they would best be able to implement the intent of the Bill in their areas.

The resources that will be released will enable local authorities to work in partnership with all housing providers, tenants, residents and the private sector to begin to tackle that legacy of neglect, decline and decay that is all too often the prospect in too many areas.

We will also encourage authorities to take every opportunity to support projects that complement the Government's wider policy initiatives. We discussed one earlier—the policy to encourage energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. The Government have more than that single objective in relation to this initiative. We want training opportunities to be increased. We are concerned about some of the training offered in the construction industry and the fact that so many young people start construction industry courses but do not finish them. Through this initiative, we want to get more people into training—good training—in the construction industry, so that they end up with a job and so that young people, in particular, can be led into work and financial independence. This initiative is one clear way in which that other overriding strategy of the Government will be met.

Mr. Chope

Can the Minister tell the House how many extra jobs will be created in the construction industry as a result of the £200 million allocation this year in the supplementary credit approvals and the £700 million next year?

Ms Armstrong

That depends on how authorities decide to use the initiative, whether they go into renovation or new build and whether they encourage work with other organisations, such as housing associations, whereby the money will be matched with money from the private sector so that the effect of the initiative will be greater. It is impossible to give a proper estimate of the number of jobs and I do not want to speculate. We know, however, that many more jobs will be created by this initiative than would have been if we had not taken it. This Government will create many more jobs in this area than did the previous Government.

In particular, we will encourage young people to be involved in the initiatives that local government takes through the Bill. Opposition Members were somewhat scathing about the amounts that we intend to release this year. I remind them that we cannot release any money until the Bill is enacted. We want to get the Bill through to release some money to local authorities this year. That is why we are pressing ahead with it.

The Bill will give us, local authorities and others in the housing sector the real opportunity to be imaginative and creative in how the money is used to encourage regeneration and pull in money from elsewhere so that jobs are created for young men and women and the other priorities identified in the consultation document can be put into practice.

The Bill and the resources provided by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer should leave the House in no doubt that the Government are serious about tackling poor housing, poor health, ghetto estates and joblessness. We are not content that we were left a legacy that did not need moving and shifting. If the previous Government were honest, they would be ashamed of that legacy. We are not prepared simply to inherit it. We want to give people opportunity. We are determined that they will be given opportunity. A decent home is always necessary if people are to be able to take advantage of opportunities.

The Bill is one way in which the Government are fulfilling their commitment to the British people to open up opportunities, offer decent housing for everyone and ensure that it is no longer necessary for anyone to sleep in the streets—a shameful episode that we inherited from the previous Government. The Bill is the first this Parliament to have reached Third Reading having been through a normal Committee stage. It is with great pleasure that I commend it to the House.

6.39 pm
Mr. Chope

The Minister noted that this is the first Bill this Parliament to have had a normal Committee stage. It is a commentary on the Government that none of their Back Benchers participated in Committee or on Report; everything has been left to the Front-Bench spokesmen.

The Labour party manifesto included the following commitment: capital receipts from the sale of council houses, received but not spent by local councils, will be re-invested in building new houses and rehabilitating old ones. This will be phased to match the capacity of the building industry and to meet the requirements of prudent economic management. Having discovered from the Budget that there would be some £200 million extra for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland this financial year. I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate of the capacity of the construction industry in 1997–98 and 1998–99 underlay his decision to allocate extra sums under the Government's capital receipts initiative. I was asking him to explain exactly how the phasing would match the capacity of the building industry and meet the requirements of sound economic management. Today, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury replied that he would let me have a reply as soon as possible.

I also asked the Chancellor about the allocation of the £200 million between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Again, I received the answer that he would let me have a reply as soon as possible. Put together, those answers leave one with the feeling that the Government are arrogant beyond belief. They are not even prepared to let an Opposition spokesman speaking in a debate material to the subject of the questions to have information that, we now learn from the Minister, she divulged during a press conference last week. It was divulged in debate today, but the Chief Secretary was not prepared to divulge it to the Opposition Front-Bench spokesman in answer to a priority written question.

We know that the Government want to take debate away from this Chamber and this Parliament. This is another example of the arrogant way in which they are seeking to achieve that objective. I hope that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and Madam Speaker, will intervene to protect the rights of Parliament and of the Opposition to receive timely information.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael J. Martin)

Order. The hon. Gentleman must not draw the Chair into his case.

Mr. Chope

I raised the issue on a point of order earlier. I shall insist that we get assurances from the Government that we will not again be put in a position where information that is clearly available to the Government is withheld from the Opposition.

Ms Armstrong

The hon. Gentleman was given the information.

Mr. Chope

The hon. Lady says that the information was given to me. It was given to the House three or four hours after I had been told that it was not available.

Ms Armstrong

I understand that the hon. Gentleman asked for information from the Chief Secretary for all four nations. The Bill relates to England and Wales. He was given the information on England and Wales. He did not ask for the information that he says he asked for.

Mr. Chope

The hon. Lady is clearly desperate. In this debate, she said that the Barnett formula applies. If it applies to the £200 million, the results of its application could have been announced in a press notice on Budget day in the same way as detail was announced, using that formula, for allocations available under the health service and education initiatives. The Barnett formula was used for both those initiatives and the figures were produced. In respect of the so-called capital receipts initiative, the press notice from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions said that the allocation would be announced shortly, clearly implying that either the Government had not made up their mind or they were not sure whether they would use the Barnett formula. Perhaps we now know that they wanted to keep the information secret and prevent the Opposition knowing about it so that they could divulge it to suit their convenience.

Despite the Budget, at the end of this financial year and the next, local authorities will have more unspent capital receipts from the sale of council houses than at the time of the general election. I cannot believe that many Labour party supporters envisaged that, two years after the election of a Labour Government, the total of unspent receipts would be greater than at the time of the general election, yet that will be the impact of the Chancellor's Budget announcement and of the Bill. It is going to be a grave disappointment to Labour supporters.

We know what the Bill does not do. Contrary to the wishes of the Local Government Association, it does not remove restrictions on the use of new receipts. As recently as 5 June, the LGA said: Restrictions on the use of new receipts should be removed. Nor does the Bill remove restrictions on the use of set-aside receipts; it merely allows them to be taken into account in the granting of credit approvals. The Bill is a charade. It purports to be something other than what it is.

Nor is the Bill's application confined to house receipts and housing authorities, as the Government said all along it would be. The consultation paper, the rhetoric and, indeed, the Labour party manifesto, refer to housing receipts, but under the Bill the Government are taking power to allow non-housing receipts set-aside to be taken into account in the granting of credit approvals. The Bill also allows set-aside receipts to be taken into account for any purpose of credit approval.

I raised this issue in Committee. The Minister replied: We have made it quite clear that the Bill deals specifically with housing receipts. Unfortunately, the text of the Bill does not match her words. She continued: Over many years in opposition … we have been committed to an initiative to deal specifically with the sale of council houses and the proceeds of that sale. We wanted to deal with the problems that local authority areas have experienced as a result with both the state of their existing stock and, in some cases, a simple lack of housing. Our priority is to meet the commitments that we made in our manifesto."—[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 24 June 1997; c. 16.] The hon. Lady has not said during the passage of the Bill why it goes far wider than dealing with housing authorities and the receipts from housing sales.

We can consider the Bill on Third Reading with the benefit of the knowledge that the extra £200 million and £700 million announced in the Budget are a grave disappointment. The Local Government Association estimated that some £5 billion was available. It wanted an extra £500 million this year and a lot more beyond. The Bill has raised expectations that can never be realised. Conservative Members will oppose it.

6.49 pm
Sir Paul Beresford

I support what my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) has said, especially his latter points. There has been much talk on the Government Benches, when Labour Members have been allowed to speak, to the effect that the Bill is related to capital receipts, but it is related to set-aside. At present, councils can take into account the usable capital receipts, which obviously have a link to set-aside, especially if the local authority has debt. I emphasise the point that my hon. Friend makes. Clause 1 is merely flag-waving to a promise that the Labour Government cannot fulfil. They are releasing not capital receipts but capital credit allowances. That is all. Any claim that they are doing anything more than that is fictitious.

My hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch did not touch on clause 2, which I find especially disturbing. To capitalise revenue in specific circumstances is just acceptable in accounting terms. The reorganisation costs of many of the local authorities that wished to be unitary authorities were accepted by the previous Government. I understand why. It was expected that those costs would be paid back within seven years.

Thurrock was mentioned in the debate. Thurrock was enthusiastically in favour of unitary status because it would make the council more efficient, better able to handle its services and able to make considerable savings. Capitalisation over seven years could adequately be met by any competent authority, including Thurrock. As a proportion of its total expenditure, the revenue costs are small.

We are giving an open cheque book to local authorities to allow them to approach the Secretary of State and ask to capitalise revenue on the never-never without reporting to the House. That is a dangerous move and one that the Government will rue. Local authorities and the children of the parents who are paying the bills now will have to bear the costs. This is a case of revenue costs on the never-never and I support my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch in rejecting the Bill.

6.52 pm
Mr. Sanders

This is not a Bill about capital receipts. It is not about allowing local authorities to use their own money. It is about giving them permission to borrow someone else's money. The supplementary credit approvals announced in the Budget are not up to the scale of the task ahead. They are simply straws in the wind.

About 28,000 homes could be built in the next two years if all the money allocated was put into new build—it will not be, but let us assume that it will—yet the Government's own estimates are that we need between 60,000 and 100,000 new affordable rented homes each year. So 28,000 has to be set against 60,000 at the bottom end of the estimate and 100,000 at the top end. The amount of money available this year will provide only 4,000 new builds. We should put that into context.

On 1 April 1996, in the constituency of the hon. Member for North-West Durham (Ms Armstrong), 4,738 people were on the waiting list. Hon. Members should remember that just 4,000 homes are to be built in the whole of the United Kingdom. In the constituency of the hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Raynsford) the waiting list is 6,445.

I have an apology to make to the House for something that I said on Second Reading to the hon. Member for Luton, South (Ms Moran). I said that she might be disappointed to find that the Bill will provide enough money to provide only four new houses in Luton. I was wrong. It is five new houses. That is all that the new money will provide.

We should not get too excited. Labour supporters will be extremely disappointed if they compare new Labour's proposals with those of previous Labour Governments. During the lifetime of this Government, it is likely that between 28,000 and 60,000 new homes will be built in the social sector as a consequence of the supplementary credit approvals. That compares with new build between 1945 and 1951 of 850,000. The Labour Government of 1965 to 1970 built 1,100,000 new homes. The Labour Government of 1974 to 1979 built 850,000. The new Labour Government's proposals are peanuts. The best that one can say is that some extra money is better than no money.

It is with some sadness that we shall support the Government tonight—[Laughter.] it is with some sadness, because there was a possibility of doing a great deal more than has been proposed in the Budget. When one is in a hole, as the Government are over housing, one does not carry on digging. That is the problem. The Bill does not go far enough—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. There must be quiet in the Chamber when an hon. Member is addressing it.

Mr. Sanders

We support the Government with sadness because the Bill does not go far enough. I hope that the thousands of people in each hon. Member's constituency who are on waiting lists will know that their plight is being laughed at.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 350, Noes 138.

Division No. 50] [6.56 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Bayley, Hugh
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N) Beard, Nigel
Ainger, Nick Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Ainsworth, Robert (Cav'try NE) Begg, Miss Anne (Aberd'n S)
Allan, Richard (Shef'ld Hallam) Beith, Rt Hon A J
Allen, Graham (Nottingham N) Bell, Martin (Tatton)
Armstrong, Ms Hilary Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Bennett, Andrew F
Ashton, Joe Bermingham, Gerald
Atkins, Charlotte Berry, Roger
Austin, John Best, Harold
Ballard, Mrs Jackie Blackman, Liz
Barnes, Harry Blears, Ms Hazel
Barron, Kevin Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Bradley, Keith (Withington) Edwards, Huw
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin) Efford, Clive
Bradshaw, Ben Ellman, Ms Louise
Brake, Thomas Etherington, Bill
Breed, Colin Fearn, Ronnie
Brinton, Mrs Helen Field, Rt Hon Frank
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E) Flint, Caroline
Brown, Russell (Dumfries) Flynn, Paul
Browne, Desmond (Kilmarnock) Follett, Barbara
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Burden, Richard Foster, Don (Bath)
Burgon, Colin Foster, Michael John (Worcester)
Burstow, Paul Fyfe, Maria
Butler, Christine Galbraith, Sam
Byers, Stephen Galloway, George
Cable, Dr Vincent Gerrard, Neil
Caborn, Richard Gibson, Dr Ian
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Godman, Dr Norman A
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Godsiff, Roger
Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife) Goggins, Paul
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Golding, Mrs Llin
Campbell-Savours, Dale Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Cann, Jamie Gorrie, Donald
Caplin, Ivor Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Casale, Roger Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Caton, Martin Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Cawsey, Ian Grocott, Bruce
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Grogan, John
Chaytor, David Gunnell, John
Chisholm, Malcolm Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Clapham, Michael Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Clark, Dr Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands) Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Harvey, Nick
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S) Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Healey, John
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S) Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Clelland, David Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Coaker, Vernon Hepburn, Stephen
Coffey, Ms Ann Heppell, John
Colman, Tony (Putney) Hesford, Stephen
Connarty, Michael Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Cooper, Yvette Hill, Keith
Corbett, Robin Hodge, Ms Margaret
Corbyn, Jeremy Hoey, Kate
Corston, Ms Jean Home Robertson, John
Cotter, Brian Hood, Jimmy
Cousins, Jim Hoon, Geoffrey
Cranston, Ross Hope, Phil
Crausby, David Hopkins, Kelvin
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley) Howells, Dr Kim
Cryer, John (Hornchurch) Hoyle, Lindsay
Cummings, John Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Cunliffe, Lawrence Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S) Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John (Copeland) Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire Hutton, John
Dalyell, Tam Iddon, Dr Brian
Darvill, Keith Illsley, Eric
Davey, Edward (Kingston) Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W) Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Davidson, Ian Jenkins, Brian (Tamworth)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Dean, Mrs Janet Jones, Ms Fiona (Newark)
Denham, John Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Dewar, Rt Hon Donald Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Dismore, Andrew Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Donohoe, Brian H Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Doran, Frank Jowel, Ms Tessa
Dowd, Jim Keeble, Ms Sally
Drew, David Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Drown, Ms Julia Keen, Mrs Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser Pickthall, Colin
Kennedy, Charles (Ross Skye) Pike, Peter L
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree) Plaskitt, James
Khabra, Piara S Pollard, Kerry
Kidney, David Pond, Chris
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth) Pope, Greg
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green) Pound, Stephen
Kirkwood, Archy Powell, Sir Raymond
Kumar, Dr Ashok Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Lawrence, Ms Jackie Prescott, Rt Hon John
Laxton, Bob Primarolo, Dawn
Lepper, David Prosser, Gwyn
Levitt, Tom Purchase, Ken
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S) Quin, Ms Joyce
Lewis, Terry (Worsley) Rammell, Bill
Linton, Martin Rapson, Syd
Livingstone, Ken Raynsford, Nick
Livsey, Richard Rendel, David
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C) Robinson, Geoffrey (Cov'try NW)
Llwyd, Elfyn Roche, Mrs Barbara
Love, Andrew Rogers, Allan
McAvoy, Thomas Rooker, Jeff
McCabe, Stephen Rooney, Terry
McCafferty, Ms Chris Roy, Frank
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield) Ruane, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain Salter, Martin
Macdonald, Calum Sanders, Adrian
McDonnell, John Savidge, Malcolm
McFall, John Sawford, Phil
McGuire, Mrs Anne Sedgemore, Brian
McIsaac, Shona Sheerman, Barry
McKenna, Ms Rosemary Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Maclennan, Robert Shipley, Ms Debra
McNulty, Tony Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
MacShane, Denis Singh, Marsha
Mactaggart, Fiona Skinner, Dennis
McWalter, Tony Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
McWilliam, John Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Mahon, Mrs Alice Smith, Miss Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Peter Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Marek, Dr John Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S) Snape, Peter
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury) Soley, Clive
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Southworth, Ms Helen
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Spellar, John
Marshall-Andrews, Robert Squire, Ms Rachel
Martlew, Eric Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Maxton, John Steinberg, Gerry
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael Stevenson, George
Meale, Alan Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley) Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Milburn, Alan Stinchcombe, Paul
Moffatt, Laura Stoate, Dr Howard
Moore, Michael Stott, Roger
Moran, Ms Margaret Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N) Stringer, Graham
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W) Stuart, Ms Gisela (Edgbaston)
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Stunell, Andrew
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon) Sutcliffe, Gerry
Mountford, Kali Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck) Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood) Temple-Morris, Peter
Norris, Dan Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton) Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks) Timms, Stephen
Olner, Bill Tipping, Paddy
O'Neill, Martin Todd, Mark
Öpik, Lembit Touhig, Don
Organ, Mrs Diana Trickett, Jon
Osborne, Mrs Sandra Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Pearson, Ian Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Pendry, Tom Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield) Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Tyler, Paul Wills, Michael
Vaz, Keith Wilson, Brian
Wallace, James Winnick, David
Walley, Ms Joan Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Watts, David Wood, Mike
Webb, Professor Steve Worthington, Tony
White, Brian Wray, James
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)
Whitehead, Dr Alan Wright, Tony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wicks, Malcolm Wyatt, Derek
Wigley, Dafydd
Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W) Tellers for the Ayes:
Mr. Clive Betts and
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen) Mr. David Jamieson.
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Collins, Tim
Amess, David Colvin, Michael
Arbuthnot, James Cormack, Sir Patrick
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E) Curry, Rt Hon David
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Baldry, Tony Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Beresford, Sir Paul Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Blunt, Crispin Duncan, Alan
Body, Sir Richard Duncan Smith, Iain
Boswell, Tim Evans, Nigel
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W) Faber, David
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia Fabricant, Michael
Brady, Graham Fallon, Michael
Brazier, Julian Flight, Howard
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Browning, Mrs Angela Fox, Dr Liam
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Fraser, Christopher
Burns, Simon Gale, Roger
Butterfill, John Garnier, Edward
Cash, William Gibb, Nick
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet) Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Chope, Christopher Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Clappison, James Gray, James
Clark, Rt Hon Alan (Kensington) Green, Damian
Clark, Dr Michael (Rayleigh) Greenway, John
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hague, Rt Hon William
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie Robathan, Andrew
Hammond, Philip Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Hayes, John Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Heald, Oliver Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David Ruffley, David
Horam, John Sayeed, Jonathan
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot) Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Hunter, Andrew Soames, Nicholas
Jack, Rt Hon Michael Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Spring, Richard
Jenkin, Bernard (N Essex) Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Key, Robert Steen, Anthony
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater) Streeter, Gary
Kirkbride, Miss Julie Swayne, Desmond
Laing, Mrs Eleanor Syms, Robert
Lansley, Andrew Tapsell, Sir Peter
Leigh, Edward Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Letwin, Oliver Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E) Taylor, Sir Teddy
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Temple-Morris, Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham) Thompson, William
Loughton, Tim Townend, John
Luff, Peter Tredinnick, David
McIntosh, Miss Anne Tyrie, Andrew
Viggers, Peter
MacKay, Andrew Walter, Robert
Maclean, Rt Hon David Wardle, Charles
McLoughlin, Patrick Waterson, Nigel
Malins, Humfrey Wells, Bowen
Maples, John Whitney, Sir Raymond
Mates, Michael Whittingdale, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Wilkinson, John
May, Mrs Theresa Willetts, David
Merchant, Piers Wilshire, David
Moss, Malcolm Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Ottaway, Richard Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Page, Richard Woodward, Shaun
Paice, James Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric Tellers for the Noes:
Prior, David Sir David Madel and
Redwood, Rt Hon John Mr. James Cran.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

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