HC Deb 23 June 2004 vol 422 cc1392-413

Lords amendment No. 4

Alan Johnson

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

Madam Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take Lords amendment No. 2 and the Government motion to disagree.

Alan Johnson

What the two amendments have in common is that they would have an impact on the funding delivered to higher education. I hardly need to remind the House that providing HE institutions with a sustained income steam to address the funding gap in higher education is one of the principal reasons why we have introduced variable fees with a cap of £3,000 to replace the current system of fixed up-front fees of about £1,000. The Government believe that we should give universities greater freedom and flexibility to charge fees within the prescribed limits. The Lords amendments are an odd combination professing to understand the value of additional fees income to universities on the one hand while taking a substantial chunk of that money away with the other.

Lords amendment No. 2 would not only stop universities charging, higher fees, but abolish all fees after the third year. Not only would it remove the universities' ability o increase fees in the fourth year and beyond but it would take away the fees that they already receive in that period, which raises questions about whether universities would want to continue to run longer courses. They might prefer to close those courses rather than run them without fees. Key courses to be affected include medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, architecture, engineering, modern language courses in which students spend a year abroad, and sandwich courses in which students spend a year working in industry. All those courses are strategically important for the country.

Abolishing fees beyond the third year would be a major disincentive to universities to offer those long courses. The other place hoped that the amendment accepted on Report would protect such courses, but in fact it would jeopardise them. Third Reading was interesting because it demonstrated that their lordships realised what they had done and were concerned about it. A parallel amendment that would have had the same effect in Wales, for instance, was not pressed to a vote, demonstrating the inconsistency of their actions. An amendment seeking to make the Secretary of State pay for the costs was defeated because it was accepted that there is only one pot of money and, come what may, the higher education sector would end up paying for that ill-considered proposal.

As for costs, it is difficult to be precise because fees are variable and we do not know yet what universities will charge, but we estimate that Lords amendment No. 2 would cost universities £130 million to £180 million a year, depending on the level of fees charged and the proportion of students on longer courses. As hon. Members will know, we have asked Sir Alan Langlands to conduct a review, "Gateways into the Professions", which will look at the relevant disciplines. Under the amendment, however, his work would be made much harder, with institutions closing such courses before the review was complete.

Mr. Boswell

Is it not virtually inconceivable that Sir Alan Langlands would propose limiting the time required for students to reach professional standards on such courses to three years? I do no necessarily accept the argument but the logic appears t o be, either do part of the course in three years or do not do it at all.

Alan Johnson

I accept the hon. Gentleman's point, but Sir Alan Langlands is not looking at changing the length of courses. His role is to loot at best practice in both public and private sectors in "Gateways into the Professions" to see what institutions and the Government are doing, and to spread that best practice. The amendment, however, would take £60 million away from universities immediately, so universities that believe there is a funding gap would have that gap extended and their reaction might well be that they could no longer sustain certain courses.

Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)

Some of my old friends and colleagues in the House of Lords have great experience of university matters, including funding. I am therefore surprised by the amendment, which is damaging to university finances, as we heard in evidence from the Higher Education Funding Council in the Education and Skills Committee. The British Medical Association produced some extraordinary figures when we debated the Bill in the House on a previous occasion. Are those figures accurate, and is the medical establishment still making those claims?

3.45 pm
Alan Johnson

I have not heard too much about the matter since that extraordinary figure—I met the British Medical Association to discuss it—of a debt of £64,000. That has never been justified or substantiated. It seems like "think of a number and double it", literally—Barclays was talking about a debt of £32,000 or £33,000. Although medical students will obviously incur a greater cost because of the length of their course, £64,000 was incredible. My hon. Friend makes a valid point. I do not know whether those arguments were used in the debate in the other place, but if they were, it may have been one of the reasons why many noble Lords regretted the decision they had made and sought, unsuccessfully, to rectify it last night.

We should recall, too, that the less money universities have in fee income, the less money they can recycle in the form of bursaries and grants to their students, so the amendment militates against widening participation.

Mr. Allen

That point was made many times in Committee. Youngsters who currently cannot get to university because there is no support for them would get a £3,000 a year grant—that would apply to most families in my constituency. On top of that, if the universities were properly financed, as my right hon. Friend says, they would receive an additional bursary from the university. Will he write to me and other colleagues and list the universities that are offering such a bursary or, if he cannot answer immediately, will he place that information in the Library? We heard eight or nine examples in Committee, and I am sure that as time has gone by, more universities must be offering more bursaries to assist students from non-traditional backgrounds—that rather patronising expression, which to me means working-class kids—get to university? Will my right hon. Friend tell us if there has been progress?

Alan Johnson

I am pretty sure that there have been no more announcements. The university of Surrey was the last one. That is not surprising because the system that many universities have to go through to determine those factors can sometimes be rather time consuming—I will not use the word "tortuous".

Dr. Ian Gibson (Norwich, North) (Lab)


Alan Johnson

There speaks the voice of experience. I would not take the fact that there have been no further announcements as a sign that other universities will not offer the same.

A student studying medicine at Cambridge who comes from the background that my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) mentioned would receive a £7,000 package—£3,000 from the state and £4,000 from the university—for the entire length of the course. Under the amendment, the student would stop building up fees after year three of the course, but would still get the Government support and the bursary support—without the money being switched, incidentally. The likely result is that the university, which has control over the bursaries that it offers, would reduce the bursary.

Chris Grayling

The Minister is speaking about people from non-traditional backgrounds. He will recognise, I am sure, that the son or daughter of a teacher who chooses to do a six-year veterinary course in London will run up £3,000 a year in fees plus another £6,000 or £7,000 a year in living costs. Over six years that comes to £60,000. However, the son or daughter of a dustman who goes on to become a merchant banker will get substantial support from the state. The Minister must therefore understand what a problem his proposal represents for those who are on middle incomes in the south-east.

Alan Johnson

That reminds me of an argument that I heard from a medical student on television addressing the Prime Minister round about last February. I was interested in what medical students—not the Government—said about such arguments in the BMA's magazine, BMA News . The whole page was full of critical letters. In one of them a medical student at St. Andrews university wrote: Medical students are in the fortunate position of being almost guaranteed a large income over their lifetime, paid for by the taxpayer. It is reasonable that we should make a small contribution towards the cost of our own education if we can afford it. Another wrote: Does"— I will not mention the girl's name, but the reference is to the person who made the criticism— not realise that she is about to enter a very privileged profession, enjoying a good income and job security? Maybe her next seminar should be on humility. The argument about dustmen and so on is well dealt with in that exchange.

Mr. Willis

I accept the Minister's point, but will he accept that the professions that require more than a three-year degree—in particular, medics, dentists, architects and vets—are currently dominated by the higher socio-economic groups, particularly ones and twos, and by white, middle-class males? What difference will his proposals make to getting people from all backgrounds, irrespective of their race, creed, colour or financial background, into our hospitals, architectural practices and veterinary surgeries? I cannot find a justification or argument for the envisaged debts on five-year courses attracting people from the lowest financial backgrounds.

Alan Johnson

I am being tempted into a Second Reading debate about the whole question, but the hon. Gentleman raises an important point. In the 36 years of free higher education post-Robbins and pre-Blunkett, the social class gap widened rather than narrowed for all courses, including medicine and architecture, so free higher education with maintenance grants did not close the social class gap. The hon. Gentleman argues that the introduction of variable fees, which will be deferred until after graduation and which all students will pay following the change from fee remission to grants, will inhibit the resolution of the social class gap problem on longer courses, but the majority of Labour Members and I take the view that that is not the case.

If some aspects of the package were different, the hon. Gentleman's argument might be correct, but when the bright, working-class kid, about whom we have spoken on many occasions, reaches the qualifying, attainment stage when they are 18 years old, they are as well-equipped as someone from a more middle-class background to realise the benefits from studying medicine, architecture or veterinary surgery—incidentally, veterinary surgery is hugely over-subscribed, and there is no sign that fees will make any difference.

Such young people can make that decision, particularly if they come from the background that my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, North mentioned, which means that they will receive a £3,000 grant and a bursary from the university. For such students, the fee will be deferred and will be repaid on the basis not of what they owe but of what they earn, and the threshold on repayment will be higher. The regulator will ensure that institutions encourage applications, so universities will become more encouraging and welcoming to applicants who think that they will feel like misfits.

We are also providing extra money to expand places and to allow 50 per cent. of 18 to 30-year-olds to have the benefit of a university education rather than 44 per cent. The hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Mr. Willis) speaks with passion and from the same perspective as me and other hon. Members, but we disagree about that issue. I am convinced that the solution does not lie in the amendment. There may be an argument about whether fees are appropriate, but to say that, irrespective of the profession, longer courses should not involve fees after year four is not the solution.

Mr. Sheerman

I do not want to make my right hon. Friend's life difficult, but it is important to clear up some factual points. The hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Mr. Willis) is wrong to describe medicine as a white, middle-class male profession—he is certainly wrong on gender when it comes to current recruitment. How big is the difference between long courses in dentistry and in medicine, where the fifth and sixth years are paid for by the NHS, and veterinary medicine?

Alan Johnson

The student pays. I am pretty sure that we provide no assist in those circumstances.

Mr. Rendel

I declare an interest as someone who is married to a GP. The hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sheerman) is right that many of our medics, especially those who enter medical schools nowadays, are female. Does not that counter the Minister's point that all medics may pay much more in fees but will ultimately earn good salaries? Many will not get good salaries because they will take part-time work, at least while they have families. Their salaries will not necessarily be that good. If they marry people who do not earn much, they may have to get a mortgage to buy a surgery as well as a home. They may be in difficult circumstances.

Alan Johnson

That is a valid criticism of some of the loan repayment schemes but not of the measure. The new system is income-contingent. If, for any reason, salaries drop below £15,000, graduates will pay nothing back. There is no real rate of interest and no money is clocking up. Debt always called in at some stage; under the proposed system, it is never called in. Indeed, after 25 years, it is forgiven. I do not therefore accept the hon. Gentleman's points but the difference of opinion at least reinforced the point of my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Sheerman) that the gender balance is much better in the medical profession, although there are other aspects to consider.

Mr. John Randall (Uxbridge) (Con)

The Minister is presenting some reasonable views. The fact that I can understand them is good if a little worrying. I took a four-year language course, starting a language from scratch. What is the incentive under the new system for someone to study a language at university, which is not one of those taught in school, if the course lasts four years? Are we not in Manger of providing a disincentive to people to learn other languages?

Alan Johnson

No. There are problems with specific modern languages but the Langlands review has been set up to consider such issues, among others.

I do not claim that hon. Members' have not made relevant points about some professions but that the amendment is a blunderbuss that tries to resolve all problems by simply providing for no fees, removing £60 million from the universities immediately and between £130 million and £180 million by 2006. That is not the solution.

We should have a system whereby courses are accessible and attractive, whatever their length. That needs to be achieved by a proper method of targeted recruitment incentives not by a centralised, blanket, inflexible approach such as that in the amendment. We already have a flexible system that allows us to target support at the subjects and student that most need it, without inflicting financial damage on universities.

Significant measures already exist to support students on longer courses. That reflects the importance that the Government attach to such courses and the need to encourage entry into the professions to which they lead. For example, fees are paid for medical students in their fifth and sixth years of study. They also receive means-tested national health service bursaries for those years. We have been over that ground previously in Committee and on Report and I shall not repeat the details of other incentives that we have put in place.

Evidence shows that the incentives work. We have more teachers with qualified teacher status in our schools now than at any time since 1984. Applications to medical schools in the United Kingdom have increased dramatically since 1998, as has t le total number of students who study medical courses. Places on veterinary science courses are heavily over-subscribed.

The amendment would create curious anomalies. I shall give two examples. Students who repeat a year, perhaps because they failed parts of their course, would effectively be excused from paying a fee for the extra year. That would be unfair. Let us consider students on sandwich courses, whereby they spend a year out, often in paid employment in industry. They are charged only a half-rate fee in the year out because they get less from their institution but the amendment would give them a free year as well as the reduced-rate sandwich year.

Mr. Boswell

As time presses, and without prejudice to the general arguments that we had in Committee on policy, but in the real world where the Government can sometimes get their way even if we do not believe that they should, will the Minister at least undertake to consider, in any brokering with another place, a compromise, which would freeze the commitment beyond year three at the existing fee? That would remove the difficulty of the argument that he has deployed but provide at least a limited income to the university without getting people into racking up additional commitments. That is the genuine concern of everyone who supports the amendment.

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Alan Johnson

I never like to be difficult with the hon. Gentleman, but the answer is no. I see no point in considering that proposal at all, but it was a nice try. Neither do I think, incidentally, that the noble Lords would expect me to consider it, particularly after the debate that they had last night about trying to find the funding for this gap.

I have outlined the key arguments against the amendment, but before I finish, it would be remiss of me not to point out that it is also technically flawed, in that it sets a condition but provides no means of enforcing it. On a more minor note, the term "eligible student" is defined in the student support regulations, not the Bill, so the effect in this context would be ambiguous.

Lords amendment No. 4 would have a significant effect on future decisions about public spending, and should therefore be rejected on the ground of privilege. It would tie the hands of future Governments and prevent them from determining their spending priorities in the light of the circumstances at the time. We are all concerned with the important issue of funding for higher education, but the amendment goes further than ensuring that the new fee income would be additional, and guarantees that public funding for higher education could never decrease, regardless of the needs of other public services.

If we were to accept the amendment, we would be setting a strange and dangerous precedent. We could hardly offer such a guarantee for higher education without recognising the needs of schools, hospitals, and other vital public services. This illustrates the traditional argument against hypothecation; the provision would lead us quickly to a position in which every part of the public sector had its own special case for protection.

Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab)

I agree with the arguments that my right hon. Friend has just articulated, but should not the Government have tabled their own amendments to ensure that higher education spending kept up with other increases in public spending, or with the generality of education spending, to ensure the additionality of the fee income over general Government spending?

Alan Johnson

I do not think that we can do that in legislation. We have given an assurance that we would stand by the sector, and the Chancellor gave that assurance again in his Budget speech in March. It would be dangerous to write such restrictions into the Bill. Incidentally, we are starting a very interesting debate with Universities UK about how better to define the unit of funding to provide greater clarity and a better understanding of how this all works. I do not think that there is a legislative solution here, and it is certainly not the one that my hon. Friend suggests.

Under the terms of the amendment, there would ultimately be no flexibility at all for the Government to determine their spending priorities, and a dangerous precedent would be set. Even if there were major and significant financial pressures on this Government or a future Government, the effect of this amendment would be that higher education would have to be protected above all other priorities. That cannot be right.

Earlier debates in the other place also touched on some of the practical difficulties inherent in the amendment, including potential unintended consequences. For example, the amendment refers to the average funding over the previous three years. That would mean that no sensible Government would ever seek to provide a one-off injection of funding to meet some perceived need, because that would increase the average and could therefore be unsustainable in the future. The result would be that the funding would be kept at the lowest level permissible under the legislation, irrespective of whether additional funding might have been available in any one year. So the amendment would serve only to work against higher education's interests.

To summarise, the first of the amendments should be rejected on the ground that it would deprive universities of funding, and the second should be rejected on the ground of privilege, in that it would tie the hands of any future Government in making decisions on expenditure. I hope, therefore, that the House will join me in rejecting both of the Lords amendments.

Chris Grayling

We have reached two extremely important parts of the debate and I listened carefully to the Minister's comments. First, Lords amendment No. 4 comes down to the question of trust: do we trust the Government when they say that the money raised from fees will go to universities and will not simply be used by the Treasury as a stealth tax? Secondly, Lords amendment No. 2 deals with concerns about the impact of the proposals on key groups of students doing courses longer than the conventional three years.

I shall start with Lords amendment No. 4. We know that in 1998 student fees were introduced, so the Government told us, as a way to get more money into universities, but despite the Minister's claims to the contrary in Committee, the reality is that the Government clawed back all the money raised in fees by cutting the money they spent in real terms on universities. How do we know this for sure? Because it is here in black and white in the Department's own report, which we need to consider.

Fees were introduced late in the 1998–99 financial year. In that financial year, real-terms funding per student was £5,160. The following year—the figure includes the £1,000 of student contributions—it had fallen to £5,110. So it is absolutely clear in black and white that the money was clawed back. Incidentally, the amount that the Government spend per student is still lower in real terms than at that time and has been increased only courtesy of the student contributions. The Government are contributing less per student than when they took office and less than was contributed by the last Conservative Government.

Mrs. Anne Campbell

Can the hon. Gentleman confirm that when the last Conservative Government left office their spending plans for the following two years involved a reduction in that unit cost for university students of 6 per cent. each year? That is what this Government inherited when they took office in 1997. Obviously, they had to put some of that money back, and do so through the introduction of fees.

Chris Grayling

I am mystified by the Government's pride in following Conservative policies for the first two years of their term of office, particularly when the former Conservative Chancellor said that he would not have followed them as rigidly.

Given all that, it is hardly surprising that there is a little scepticism about what the Government plan to do, particularly when the cost of their proposals is so great for the taxpayer. Taking their own figures from the regulatory impact assessment, the amount that they will have to spend each year in the total student support package to introduce the new system is £1.1 billion. The estimated extra revenue to the universities over and above what they get at the moment, again according to the Government's own figures, is £900 million. It would be cheaper to stay where we are and for the Government to write a cheque to the universities.

Why on earth would the Government go through all the political grief of the past few months? Their majority was almost destroyed in the vote on Second Reading, there has been huge unrest, they nearly lost a flagship Bill—which would have entailed a great deal of embarrassment—and lasting damage has been done to their relations with many of their Back Benchers.

Also, huge damage has been done to the Labour party on campuses. I have been around many universities in the last few months. Members should try to find an active Labour party student branch on campus these days. They would find active Conservative branches, and in a few places they would find active Lib Dem branches, but they would never find an active Labour branch. That has dis appeared—it is an extinct species.

Why do all this when it would have been cheaper to write a cheque to the universities? The truth is that many in the university sector believe it to be a precursor to another clawback. That is the only way in which these proposals make economic sense.

Mrs. Campbell

To put the hon. Gentleman right, there is an active branch of Labour students at Cambridge university, the president of which is a young lady called Jane Jacks. I thought he might like to know that.

Chris Grayling

I commend the hon. Lady. It is clear that her stand against the Bill, although perhaps not as complete as that of some of her colleagues, has encouraged those in her own university town to continue to back her. I doubt, however, that they would express support for the Government's policies. I might disappoint her by saying that if she visits many other universities she will find that many of her colleagues are not as fortunate as she.

Why would the Government do all this? Clearly, there is a real fear in the university sector that it is a precursor to a clawback. Indeed, the Association of University Teachers has rightly pointed out that back in 1998, when fees were introduced, the issue of a clawback was raised. The Lords passed an amendment then that did very much the same as the amendment that we are considering today. Ministers at the time said that it was not needed, and that they would not accept it. What happened? They clawed it back. All that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has done is to guarantee funding until 2007–08, which is well before the full impact of tuition fees is even fed through to the universities. The Minister cannot give a commitment beyond that. He could do if he accepted this amendment, but the reality is that people in the university sector are not confident that the same will not happen again.

Mr. Willis

I am trying to follow the hon. Gentleman's argument. In terms of belief and credibility, throughout Second Reading and in Committee, and throughout Second Reading in the other place, it s Committee stage, Report and Third Reading, the Conservative party never once said how it would fund the proposals to get rid of tuition fees and top-up fees and to sustain the level of spending predicted by this Government. We now hear that the right hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard) will follow Labour's spending plans for the first two years of a Conservative Government, were such a thing to take place. I will support this Lords amendment, but whence would the Conservative party get the resources to meet the pledges that it has made in this House and t.) the student body?

Chris Grayling

The hon. Gentle man is right to be interested, and I am delighted that he is. He will have to wait a little bit longer. We in the Conservative party believe that we should get our policies right and have them stick until the general election, and not have to change them a few months later, is his party did in relation to the £100 reduction in council tax. We will get it right, and we will publish our plan, when we are ready.

The other part of this debate is equally important. The practical consequences for individual students of what the Government are doing will be extremely severe. Those students who do four, five or six-year courses, many of whom enter professions that are not particularly well paid, will see a huge increase in the burden of cost that they will bear as a result of the Government's measures. The Government have totally failed to understand the impact of their proposals on those key professionals, who are the real losers as a result of this change, and the ones who will really feel the extra costs. Those people will be put off pursuing the professions in which this country n eds people.

It is extremely revealing. The Government have admitted this afternoon that this amendment could cost £180 million. We know that the total extra amount that will be raised from top-up fees is £900 million. What the Government are saying is that £1 in every £5–20 per cent. of the extra cost of these measures—is being levied from those who already bear the highest cost from being at university. That is not acceptable.

The Minister made a point about students missing a year. Let me tell him about the student to whom I talked recently who had to give up in the middle of her second year because her father was dying of cancer, and who therefore missed the year. Subsequently, she came back to finish her university course, and was deeply frustrated and bitter that she not only had to pay the fees for the year that she had missed but the fees for the additional year. Does he honestly believe that it is right and proper that someone who must give up their course temporarily in such a situation must pay an extra year's fees in order to complete it? I do not think that that is acceptable.

Mr. Clappison

May I respectfully invite my hon. Friend to examine some of the evidence received by the Constitutional Affairs Committee from the legal profession about what it thinks the impact of tuition fees will be? It relates to the decisions of those who enter the profession as to what branch of the profession they choose and what sort of work that they do. In particular, it relates to the effect on the numbers who come into the profession to undertake legal aid work, which is notoriously poorly paid. The fear is that the able students entering the profession will choose increasingly to do highly paid work in City firms, and big commercial work, as opposed to representing people on lower incomes through legal aid work.

4.15 pm
Chris Grayling

My hon. Friend makes an important and powerful point. It is replicated by another important profession—vets. As the Minister said, vets do not get any support from the Government. The proposals have caused great anxiety in the veterinary profession. He will be aware that the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons expressed great concern about the White Paper. It said that it would deter many young people from applying to study veterinary medicine in the future and deter graduates from entering careers in areas of greatest public interest where salaries are lowest, i.e. in veterinary research, in farm and livestock animal practice, and from rural-based practices in general. The Minister will remember how serious the shortage of public sector vets was during the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and how much more difficult it made the task of combating the disease. How will levying higher fees over six years on young vets attract more people into key public sector roles in the veterinary profession? It is madness.

The British Veterinary Association recently carried out a survey on the costs today of going through a six-year course. The study found that 45 per cent. of current veterinary students would seriously have reconsidered even starting had they known how much debt was involved. The report on the study said: This is very bad news for the profession and should cause great concern to the Government but nobody seems to be paying attention. The Royal Institute of British Architects published figures recently estimating average debts of £57,000 if tuition fees at the Government's planned level are introduced. Top-up fees of £3,000 a year, living costs of £6,000 or £7,000, particularly in London, multiplied over a six-year course, comfortably add up to £50,000 or £60,000. That is a massive increase on the previous estimate by the RIBA 18 months ago and represents a powerful deterrent to those wishing to enter the architecture profession. I encourage the Minister to look at the letter in Building earlier this year from a consultant in Kent, which states: I want to express my outrage at the government's proposal to increase tuition fees to undergraduates. With our industry failing to attract and retain bright young graduates, we will be forced to look abroad to find our future leaders. Consultancies are already faced with a chronic skills shortage and should the government steamroller this proposal through, it will lead to nothing short of an industry meltdown. How will we find the architects that we need in both the public and private sectors if young architects are deterred through the sheer weight of debt?

The Minister mentioned the medical profession. I commend to him the communication that was sent to all of us by the chairman of the British Medical Association's medical students committee. He said not only that he was concerned about the impact of higher debt on doctors but that he believed that the Government's measures would have a significant adverse effect, as has been mentioned, on efforts to bring people from all backgrounds into the medical profession.

I give the Minister further food for thought. I suspect that he has not really thought about this properly. It was articulated well by Lord Campbell-Savours in the other place. Many of those who do the Government's foundation degrees, a two-year course, and follow through into higher education to finish that experience will go beyond the three years. They will be faced with three, four or five years of costs. The Minister says that he is planning to widen participation. Is it really his intention that those people should end up paying fees over a prolonged period? If he does not believe that will happen, he should just talk to the vice-chancellors of some of the universities offering foundation courses. He will be surprised at the fees that they are planning to charge after the autumn of 2006.

The higher education sector does not trust the Government not to claw the money back, and the professions are profoundly anxious about the impact of the Government's proposals on their opportunity to recruit. Both the amendments drive to the heart of those concerns. They deserve the support of the House and it is to the discredit of the Government that they are so determined to stand against them.

Mr. Willis

These are the two key amendments from the other place. They go to the heart of the Bill and the principles behind it. The Liberal Democrats accept that the Minister and Baroness Ashton have approached the whole Bill with much sensitivity and attempted to address all the main issues. I do not believe that they have won the argument on fees, and we will continue to fight that case, including at the next general election, but it is not a case for today.

The other principle relating to the Bill is that now that the votes on fees in this House and another place have been won, we want to guarantee that the money coming from those fees is additional. The whole principle behind Lords amendment No. 4 is to seek to guarantee additionality. There is no doubt that in another place, Lord Phillips of Sudbury and my noble Friend Baroness Sharp, who did tremendous work on our behalf in the House of Lords, supported by Lord Dearing—who is certainly not a lightweight in these matters, having produced the Dearing report back in 1997—Baroness Warwick, the chief executive of Universities UK, Lord Ricks, and Lord Campbell-Savours all supported the simple principle that additionality must be written in as part and parcel of the legislation.

Why did those peers do that? Why did all those people, with their backgrounds and expertise, all—perhaps with the exception of my noble Friend Baroness Sharp—great supporters of the Government in their own ways, say that we had to have that written into the legislation? That is not simply because we do not believe the Government, although the Bill is a betrayal of the 2001 manifesto. There is a belief that the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 was also a betrayal of the statements made by the then Secretary of State for Education and Employment, the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett). He promised at that time that the money from tuition fees would be additional income to our universities. The hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) was absolutely right to say that we have seen not only what is really replacement funding through fees, over the years from 1998 to 2002–03, but a reduction in the percentage of GDP that the state spends on higher education. Had it not been for the introduction of tuition fees in 1998, we would have seen our universities suffer worse cuts than the 6 per cent. cuts that the Conservatives predicted when they left office. Lords amendment No. 4 asks the Government to make it clear that they mean what they say, by being prepared to include that in the Bill.

Why does the Minister persist in the ludicrous argument that he cannot bind a future Government to the spending commitments? This Bill's implications start with a future Government—they are likely to start after the general election in 2005, so these measures will bind a future Government, future generations of students and future universities into those spending commitments.

Alan Howarth

The hon. Gentleman's position is an assault on the authority of this House, and the arguments that his party and the Conservative party have put forward are arguments to undermine the authority of this House on the occasions in the parliamentary calendar when we vote on estimates. We have the Government's word that the funding will be additional. Of course it is up to the House of Commons to monitor that, but we have the opportunity in our conventional procedures, year by year, to vote on estimates and to hold the Government to account in that respect.

Mr. Willis

I thaw: the right hon. Gentleman for his intervention, but it this year's Budget speech, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said: The settlement will maintain the level of real-terms student funding per head, and ensure that universities receive in full the benefit of additional revenue from the Government's higher education reforms."—[Official Report, 17 March 2004; Vol. 419, c. 335.] That is a clear statement by the Chancellor that not only will funding be maintained in real terms but the money that the Bill will bring in will be additional resources. Why cannot the Government translate that into a simple clause in the Bill to guarantee it? That is all we are asking for, and all that the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell, representing the Conservative party, is asking for. That is the principle behind the amendment.

Lords amendment No. 2 deals with the issue of the fourth year. I listened to the debate on Third Reading yesterday in the other place. The Minister is right that the issue of who should pay for the additional resourcing—whether it be £130 million or £180 million—is relevant. I believe that we have the right to know where the resources stipulated in amendments should come from. Clearly, there are two ways of paying: either through the Higher Education Funding Council or by the universities themselves.

Throughout the passage of the Bill, the Government have continually claimed that the introduction of differential or top-up fees will give universities the flexibility to be able to meet their differing circumstances. The Secretary of State, who is now in his place, said when the White Paper v as issued last year, that Departments such as the Home Office, the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills would engage with the Bill to provide the bursaries and support that students studying beyond three years would require. Yet as the Bill has progressed, we have heard absolutely nothing about that. Lords amendment No. 2 is simply an attempt to make the Government put into practice what they promised in the White Paper and during the Bill's passage. In tonight's vote. I hope that both Lords amendments Nos. 2 and 4 will be supported and the Government's opposition to them t ejected.

Alan Johnson

I should like to respond briefly to the main points.

The hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) sometimes damages his own case by the use of hyperbole. There was an argument somewhere, but it was so over-egged that it did not come across. One of the main problems with his position was pointed out in an intervention by the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Mr. Willis). Her Majesty's official Opposition have no solution to the higher education funding problem, whereas the Liberal Democrats at least have a policy—that the funding should be provided by the taxpayer—and have stuck to it.

It seems that the Conservatives are now taking us back to an endowments policy. That should, perhaps, cheer us up. When the right hon. Member for Charnwood (Mr. Dorrell) was the shadow education spokesman, he welcomed Dearing and supported absolutely what he said. We are now introducing Dearing's recommendations. Then the Conservative policy changed to endowments, which the hon. Member for Esher and Walton (Mr. Taylor) described as a "fantasy" rather than a "policy". In the 2001 election, the Conservatives stood on the basis of the endowments policy. Then, however, the position changed and we were told that we needed to cut the number of students attending university. Now that we are going back to endowments, surely the next step ;,should be to go back to supporting Dearing and therefore the principles contained in the Bill. It should be a happy day for us today.

The hon. Member for Epsom anti Ewell also said—we have heard it before—that instead of going through all this process, we might as well hand over the £1 billion to the universities. If we did that, it would mean no abolition of up-front fees, no 25-year cut-off point for repaying loans, no maintenance grant—an expanded maintenance grant is an important part of the debate–no increase to the student loan for living costs and no independent sustainable source of income for universities in the long term. Once again, the total funding would depend on the taxpayer. Dearing's national committee of inquiry, set up by the Conservatives when they were in power, eloquently expressed the reason why higher education had run into the funding gap—because it depended constantly on the taxpayer and there were other priorities.

I turn now to the point raised by the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough. We can argue all we like about 1998, but the truth is that the Conservative Government proposed a funding cut of 6 per cent. Dearing recommended a cut of 1 per cent. We were able to effect a 1 per cent. reduction, but the introduction of fees did not reduce the funding provided by the taxpayer.

I therefore ask the House to reject Lords amendment No. 2, and Lords amendment No. 4, which breaches privilege.

It being three hours after the commencement of proceedings, MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to Order [this day].

The House divided: Ayes 291, Noes 194.

Division No. 204] [4:30 pm
Adams, Irene (Paisley N) Coffey, Ms Ann
Ainger, Nick Coleman, lain
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE) Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Allen, Graham Cooper, Yvette
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E) Corston, Jean
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Cranston, Ross
Darwen) Cruddas, Jon
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Atkins, Charlotte Cummings, John
Bailey, Adrian Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Baird, Vera Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Barnes, Harry Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Barron, rh Kevin Darling, rh Alistair
Bayley, Hugh Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Beard, Nigel David, Wayne
Beckett, rh Margaret Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Bell, Sir Stuart Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Bennett, Andrew Dawson, Hilton
Benton, Joe (Bootle) Dean, Mrs Janet
Berry, Roger Dhanda, Parmjit
Betts, Clive Dismore, Andrew
Blears, Ms Hazel Dobson, rh Frank
Blizzard, Bob Donohoe, Brian H.
Boateng, rh Paul Doran, Frank
Borrow, David Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington) Drown, Ms Julia
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin) Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Bradshaw, Ben Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Brennan, Kevin Efford, Clive
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Wallsend) Farrelly, Paul
Browne, Desmond Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Bryant, Chris Fisher, Mark
Buck, Ms Karen Fitzpatrick, Jim
Burden, Richard Flint, Caroline
Burnham, Andy Follett, Barbara
Byers, rh Stephen Foster, rh Derek
Caborn, rh Richard Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Cairns, David Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) & Rye)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Foulkes, rh George
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Francis, Dr. Hywel
Caplin, Ivor Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Casale, Roger Gardiner, Barry
Caton, Martin Gerrard, Neil
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg) Gilroy, Linda
Challen, Colin Goggins, Paul
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Chaytor, David Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough) Hain, rh Peter
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Clarke, rh Charles (Norwich S) Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Chryston) Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S) Hanson, David
Clelland, David Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V) Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Healey, John Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N) Martlew, Eric
Hendrick, Mark Meacher, rh Michael
Hepburn, Stephen Merron, Gillian
Heppell, John Miliband, David
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia Miller, Andrew
Heyes, David Moffatt, Laura
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Mole, Chris
Hodge, Margaret Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Hope, Phil (Corby) Moran, Margaret
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E) Morgan, Julie
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Morley, Elliot
Sefton E) Morris, rh Estelle
Howells, Dr. Kim Mountford, Kali
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Munn, Ms Meg
Humble, Mrs Joan Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Hurst, Alan (Braintree) Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Hutton, rh John Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Iddon, Dr. Brian Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
Irranca-Davies, Huw O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Highgate) O'Neill, Martin
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough) Organ, Diana
Jamieson, David Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Johnson, Alan (Hull W) Owen, Albert
Jones, Helen (Warrington N) Palmer, Dr. Nick
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Perham, Linda
Jones, Kevan (N Durham) Picking, Anne
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S) Pickthall, Colin
Jowell, rh Tessa Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W) Plaskitt, James
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald Pollard. Kerry
Keeble, Ms Sally Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Keen, Alan (Feltham) Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Keen, Ann (Brentford) Pound, Stephen
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W) Prescott, rh John
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree) Primarolo, rh Dawn
Khabra, Piara S. Prosser, Gwyn
Kidney, David Purnell, James
Kilfoyle, Peter Quin, rh Joyce
King, Andy (Rugby) Quinn, Lawrie
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Bow) Raynsford, rh Nick
Knight, Jim (S Dorset) Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N &
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen Bellshill)
Lammy, David Robertson, John (Glasgow
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie Anniesland)
Laxton, Bob (Derby N) Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry
Lazarowicz, Mark NW)
Lepper, David Roche, Mrs Barbara
Leslie, Christopher Rooney, Terry
Levitt, Tom (High Peak) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S) Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen Ruane, Chris
Linton, Martin Ruddock, Joan
Love, Andrew Russell, Ms Christine (City of
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham) Chester)
Luke, lain (Dundee E) Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin) Sarwar, Mohammad
McAvoy, Thomas Savidge, Malcolm
McCabe, Stephen Sawford, Phil
McDonagh, Siobhain Shaw, Jonathan
MacDonald, Calum Sheerman, Barry
McFall, rh John Sheridan, Jim
McGuire, Mrs Anne Shipley, Ms Debra
Mclsaac, Shona Simon, Sion (B'ham Erdington)
McKechin, Ann Singh, Marsha
McKenna, Rosemary Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
McNulty, Tony Smith, rh Chris (Islington S &
MacShane, Denis Finsbury)
Mactaggart, Fiona Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
McWalter, Tony Smith, John (Glamorgan)
McWilliam, John Soley, Clive
Mallaber, Judy Southworth, Helen
Mandelson, rh Peter Spellar, rh John
Squire, Rachel Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Stewart, David (Invernes: E & Walley, Ms Joan
Lochaber) Watts, David
Stinchcombe, Paul White, Brian
Stoate, Dr. Howard Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Stringer, Graham Wicks, Malcolm
Stuart, Ms Gisela Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Sutcliffe, Gerry Wills, Michael
Tami, Mark (Alyn) Winnick, David
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S) Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W) C)
Woodward, Shaun
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W) Worthington, Tony
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire) Wright, Anthony D. (Gt
Touhig, Don (IsIwyn) Yarmouth)
Trickett, Jon Wright, David (Telford)
Truswell, Paul Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Wyatt, Derek
Turner, Neil (Wigan) Tellers for the Ayes:
Twigg, Derek (Halton) Ms Bridget Prentice and
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield) Vernon Coaker
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey) Doughty, Sue
Allan, Richard Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Amess, David Duncan Smith, rh lain
Ancram, rh Michael Evans, Nigel
Arbuthnot, rh James Ewing, Annabelle
Bacon, Richard Fabricant, Michael
Baker, Norman Fallon, Michael
Baron, John (Billericay) Field, Mark (Cities of London &
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim) Westminster)
Beith, rh A. J. Flight, Howard
Bellingham, Henry Flook, Adrian
Bercow, John Forth, rh Eric
Beresford, Sir Paul Foster, Don (Bath)
Blunt, Crispin Francois, Mark
Boswell, Tim Gamier, Edward
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Surrey) Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Brady, Graham Gibson, Dr. Ian
Brake, Tom (Carshalton) Gidley, Sandra
Brazier, Julian Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Breed, Colin Goodman, Paul
Brooke, Mrs Annette L. Gray, James (N Wilts)
Browning, Mrs Angela Grayling, Chris
Bruce, Malcolm Green, Damian (Ashford)
Burnett, John Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Burns, Simon Greenway, John
Burnside, David Grieve, Dominic
Burstow, Paul Gummer, rh John
Burt, Alistair Hague, rh William
Butterfill, Sir John Hammond, Philip
Calton, Mrs Patsy Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y) Harvey, Nick
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Heald, Oliver
Fife) Heath, David
Carmichael, Alistair Hendry, Charles
Cash, William Hermon, Lady
Chidgey, David Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Chope, Christopher Holmes, Paul
Clappison, James Hopkins, Kelvin
Collins, Tim Horam, John (Orpington)
Corbyn, Jeremy Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Cormack, Sir Patrick Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Cotter, Brian Jack, rh Michael
Cousins, Jim Jenkin, Bernard
Curry, rh David Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Davey, Edward (Kingston) Keetch, Paul
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Stamford) Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Djanogly, Jonathan Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Donaldson, Jeffrey M. Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Simmonds, Mark
Lamb, Norman Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Laws, David (Yeovil) Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E) Skinner, Dennis
Liddell-Grainger, Ian Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns &
Lidington, David Kincardine)
Loughton, Tim Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs) Soames, Nicholas
McDonnell, John Spelman, Mrs Caroline
McIntosh, Miss Anne Spicer, Sir Michael
Mackay, rh Andrew Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Maclean, rh David Spring, Richard
McLoughlin, Patrick Stanley, rh Sir John
Malins, Humfrey Steen, Anthony
Maples, John Streeter, Gary
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Stunell, Andrew
Atcham) Swayne, Desmond
Marshall-Andrews, Robert Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Maude, rh Francis Syms, Robert
May, Mrs Theresa Tapsell, Sir Peter
Moore, Michael Taylor, John (Solihull)
Moss Malcolm Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Murrison Dr. Andrew Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Teather, Sarah
Norman, Archie Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Oaten Mark (Winchester)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury) Thurso, John
Öpik, Lembit Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Osborne, George (Tatton) Tredinnick, David
Trimble, rh David
Ottaway, Richard Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Paice, James Tyrie, Andrew
Portillo, rh Michael Viggers, Peter
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Walter, Robert
Dinefwr) Wareing Robert N.
Prisk, Mark (Hertford) Watkinson, Angela
Pugh, Dr. John Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Randall, John Weir, Michael
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute) Whittingdale, John
Rendel, David Wiggin, Bill
Robathan, Andrew Willetts, David
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent) Williams Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams Roger (Brecon)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford) Willis, Phil
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E) Wilshire, David
Roe, Dame Marion Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Ruffley, David Wishart, Pete
Russell, Bob (Colchester) Yeo, Tin (S Suffolk)
Salmond, Alex Young, rh Sir George
Sanders, Adrian Younger-Ross, Richard
Sedgemore, Brian
Selous, Andrew Tellers for the Noes:
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian Gregory Barker and
Shepherd, Richard Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords amendment disagreed to.

Lords amendment No. 2.

Motion made and Question put, That this House disagrees with the Lords in the said amendment.— [Derek Twigg.]

The House divided: Ayes 302, Noes 187.

Division No.205] [4:46 pm
Adams, Irne (Paisley N) Bailey,Adrian
Ainger, Nick Baird, Vera
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE) Barnes, Harry
Alexander, Douglas Barron, rh Kevin
Allen, Graham Bayley, Hugh
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E) Beard, Nigel
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen) Beckett rh Margaret
Bell, Sir Stuart
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary Bennet Andrew
Atkins, Charlotte Benton Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger Flint, Caroline
Betts, Clive Follett, Barbara
Blears, Ms Hazel Foster, rh Derek
Blizzard, Bob Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Boateng, rh Paul Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington) Foulkes, rh George
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin) Francis, Dr. Hywel
Bradshaw, Ben Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Brennan, Kevin Gardiner, Barry
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend) Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Browne, Desmond Goggins, Paul
Bryant, Chris Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Buck, Ms Karen Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Burden, Richard Hain, rh Peter
Burnham, Andy Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Byers, rh Stephen Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Caborn, rh Richard Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Cairns, David Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth) Hanson, David
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Caplin, Ivor Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin Healey, John
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg) Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Challen, Colin Hendrick, Mark
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S) Hepburn, Stephen
Chaytor, David Heppell, John
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough) Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Clark, Paul (Gillingham) Heyes, David
Clarke, rh Charles (Norwich S) Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston) Hodge, Margaret
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S) Hope, Phil (Corby)
Clelland, David Hopkins, Kelvin
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V) Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Coffey, Ms Ann Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, lain Howells, Dr. Kim
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston) Humble, Mrs Joan
Cooper, Yvette Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Corston, Jean Hutton, rh John
Cranston, Ross Iddon, Dr. Brian
Cruddas, Jon Irranca-Davies, Huw
Cryer, Ann (Keighley) Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland) Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S) Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington) Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Darling, rh Alistair Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W) Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
David, Wayne Jowell, rh Tessa
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli) Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C) Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Dawson, Hilton Keeble, Ms Sally
Dean, Mrs Janet Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Dhanda, Parmjit Keen, Ann (Brenfford)
Dismore, Andrew Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Dobson, rh Frank Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Donohoe, Brian H. Khabra, Piara S.
Doran, Frank Kidney, David
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W) Kilfoyle, Peter
Drew, David (Stroud) King, Andy (Rugby)
Drown, Ms Julia King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston) Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Efford, Clive Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E) Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead) Lammy, David
Fisher, Mark Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Fitzpatrick, Jim Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher Roche, Mrs Barbara
Levitt, Tom (High Peak) Rooney, Terry
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Linton, Martin Ruane, Chris
Love, Andrew Ruddock, Joan
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham) Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Luke, lain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin) Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
McAvoy, Thomas Sarwar, Mohammad
McCabe, Stephen Savidge, Malcolm
McDonagh, Siobhain Sawford, Phil
MacDonald, Calum Sedgernore, Brian
McFall, rh John Shaw, Jonathan
McGuire, Mrs Anne Sheerman, Barry
Mclsaac, Shona Sheridan, Jim
McKechin, Ann Shipley, Ms Debra
McKenna, Rosemary Short, rh Clare
McNulty, Tony Simon, Sion (B'ham Erdington)
MacShane, Denis Singh, Marsha
Mactaggart, Fiona Skinner, Dennis
McWalter, Tony Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
McWilliam, John Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Mahmood, Khalid
Mallaber, Judy Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Mandelson, rh Peter Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S) Soley, Clive
Martlew, Eric Southvvorth, Helen
Meacher, rh Michael Spellar, rh John
Merron, Gillian Squire, Rachel
Miliband, David Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Miller, Andrew Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris Stinchcombe, Paul
Moonie, Dr. Lewis Stoate, Dr. Howard
Moran, Margaret Stringer, Graham
Morgan, Julie Stuart, Ms Gisela
Morley, Elliot Sutcliffe, Gerry
Morris, rh Estelle Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Mountford, Kali Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Munn, Ms Meg Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck) Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood) Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug Touhig, Don (IsIwyn)
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke) Trickett, Jon
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton) Truswell, Paul
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks) Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr) Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Owen, Albert Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Palmer, Dr. Nick Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Perham, Linda Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Picking, Anne Walley, Ms Joan
Pickthall, Colin Watts, David
Pike, Peter (Burnley) White, Brian
Plaskitt, James Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Pollard, Kerry Wicks, Malcolm
Pond, Chris (Gravesham) Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn) Wills, Michael
Pound, Stephen Winnick, David
Prescott, rh John Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn Woodward, Shaun
Purnell, James Worthington, Tony
Quin, rh Joyce Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N) Wright, David (Telford)
Raynsford, rh Nick Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough) Wyatt, Derek
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Tellers for the Ayes:
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland) Ms Bridget Prentice and
Vernon Coaker
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey ) Gummer, rh John
Allan, Richard Hague, rh William
Amess, David Hammond, Philip
Arbuthnot, rh James Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman Harvey, Nick
Baron, John (Billericay) Hayes, John (S Holland)
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim) Heald, Oliver
Beith, rh A. J. Heath, David
Bellingham, Henry Hendry, Charles
Bercow, John Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Beresford, Sir Paul Holmes, Paul
Blunt Crispin Horam, John (Orpington)
Boswell, Tim Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Bottomley, rh Virginia (SW Surrey) Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jack, rh Michael
Brady, Graham Jenkin, Bernard
Brake, Tom (Carshalton) Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Brazier, Julian Keetch, Paul
Breed, Colin Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Brooke, Mrs Annette L. Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Browning, Mrs Angela Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Bruce, Malcolm Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Burnett, John Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Burns, Simon Lamb, Norman
Burnside, David Laws, David (Yeovil)
Burstow, Paul Letwin, rh Oliver
Burt, Alistair Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Butterfill, Sir John Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Calton, Mrs Patsy Lidington, David
Cameron, David Loughton, Tim
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y) Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife) McIntosh, Miss Anne
Mackay, rh Andrew
Carmichael, Alistair Maclean, rh David
Cash, William McLoughlin, Patrick
Chidgey, David Malins, Humfrey
Chope, Christopher Maples, John
Clappison, James Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Collins, Tim
Cormack, Sir Patrick Maude, rh Francis
Cotter, Brian May, Mrs Theresa
Cousins, Jim Moore, Michael
Curry, rh David Moss, Malcolm
Davey, Edward (Kingston) Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Davies, Quentin (Granthan & Stamford) Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Djanogly, Jonathan O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Donaldson, Jeffrey M. Öpik, Lembit
Doughty, Sue Osborne, George (Tatton)
Duncan, Alan (Rutland) Ottaway, Richard
Duncan Smith, rh lain Paice, James
Evans, Nigel Portillo, rh Michael
Ewing, Annabelle Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Field, Mark (Cities of Lond,n & Westminster) Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, John
Flight, Howard Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Flook, Adrian Rendel, David
Forth, rh Eric Robathan, Andrew
Foster, Don (Bath) Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Francois, Mark
Garnier, Edward Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
George, Andrew (St. Ives) Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis) Roe, Dame Marion
Gidley, Sandra Ruffley, David
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Goodman, Paul Salmond, Alex
Gray, James (N Wilts) Sanders, Adrian
Grayling, Chris Selous, Andrew
Green, Damian (Ashford) Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Green, Matthew (Ludlow) Shepherd, Richard
Greenway, John Simmonds, Mark
Grieve, Dominic Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine) Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S) Viggers, Peter
Soames, Nicholas Walter, Robert
Spelman, Mrs Caroline Watkinson, Angela
Spicer, Sir Michael Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Spink, Bob (Castle Point) Weir, Michael
Spring, Richard Whiningdale, John
Stanley, rh Sir John Wiggin, Bill
Steen, Anthony Willetts, David
Streeter, Gary Williams Hywel (Caernarfon)
Stunell, Andrew Williams Roger (Brecon)
Swayne, Desmond Willis, Phil
Swire, Hugo (E Devon) Wilshire, David
Syms, Robert Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Tapsell, Sir Peter Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macelesfield)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Wishart, Pete
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F) Yeo, Tin (S Suffolk)
Taylor, Sir Teddy Young, rh Sir George
Teather, Sarah Younger-Ross, Richard
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John Tellers for the Noes:
Tonge, Dr. Jenny Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
Tredinnick, David and
Trimble, rh David Gregory Barker

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords amendment disagreed to.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary] n' the disposal of the business to be concluded at that hour .

Lords amendments Nos. 6 to 8, 13. 9 to 12, 14, 1, 21 and 25 to 27 agreed to.

Committee appointed to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to their amendments Nos. 2, 4, 5, 15 to 17 and 19 to the Bill: Chris Grayling, Alan Johnson, Mr. Bob Laxton, Derek Twigg and Mr. Phil Willis to be members of the Committee; Alan Johnson to be the Chairman of the Committee; Three to be the quorum of the Committee.—[Derek Twigg.]

To withdraw immediately .

Reasons for disagreeing to certain Lords amendments reported, and agreed to; to be communicated to the Lords.