HL Deb 16 July 1975 vol 362 cc1272-303

3.40 p.m.

Report stage resumed.

Clause 22 [Mobility Allowance]:

Baroness DARCY DE KNAYTH moved Amendment No. 3: Page 14, line 3, at end insert (" being such an appliance as is primarily designed to afford a means of personal and independent locomotion out of doors.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, as subsection (5)(b) of this clause stands at present, this mobility allowance could be reduced or withdrawn for anyone in receipt of any appliance issued by the Department of Health. This effectively covers virtually anyone eligible for the allowance, since he would necessarily have sufficiently severe disability problems to need, for example, calipers, an artificial limb or a wheel chair. Many noble Lords will remember that I moved an Amendment at Committee stage to try to qualify in this Bill the circumstances in which the mobility allowance could be withdrawn or reduced, as I thought that no future Government should be able to enjoy such all-embracing powers to withdraw or reduce the allowance by regulations. Indeed, many noble Lords were of the same opinion and gave me the most forceful and eloquent support.

The noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, offered to meet me and to discuss how we could best resolve the matter, so I withdrew the previous Amendment. The present Amendment is the result of our consultations and seems to me to be a satisfactory solution. Under it, the mobility allowance can be reduced or withdrawn only in respect of a genuine alternative form of outdoor mobility, and the words "personal and independent" ensure that such an appliance will be controlled by the occupant, so that the issue of an attendant-operated powered wheelchair would not provide grounds for the withdrawal of the mobility allowance. I beg to move.


My Lords, I should like to support this Amendment which I think is of great importance and will be of help and encouragement to a great many disabled people. The noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, has been most helpful with regard to this Amendment and I should like to thank him.


My Lords, may I say that the Government are delighted to accept this Amendment.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Lord very much indeed for his reply. By accepting this Amendment he will reassure a great many disabled people and they will have great gratitude, For instance, I know how delighted the Joint Committee on Mobility for the Disabled will be at the welcome result of our friendly discussions. Speaking personally, I should like to thank the noble Lord most warmly for his kind and courteous co-operation.


My Lords from this side of the House I should like to thank the Government for what they have said. It is most encouraging that the mobility allowance has been varied in this way and I think the whole House owes a debt of gratitude to the noble Baroness, Lady Darcy de Knayth, who has persevered with her Amendment and has achieved what at one stage looked very difficult to achieve.

Clause 31 [Contracting-out certificates]:


My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, perhaps I may take Amendment No. 4 briefly. It is a technical Amendment to bring the wording into line with the Employment Protection Bill as it has been amended in another place. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 21, line 35, leave out ("for negotiating purposes") and insert ("to any extent for the purpose of collective bargaining").—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Clause 32 [Contracted-out schemes]:

Lord REIGATE moved Amendment No. 5: Page 23, line 14, leave out ("inexpedient") and insert (" unreasonable")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving this Amendment, I must apologise for the fact that for various reasons I was not able to be in my place to move it at the Committee stage. Also, perhaps I may remind the House that I moved a similar Amendment two years ago, when my noble friend Lord Aberdare was occupying roughly the position as the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, is now occupying. I got a rather dirty answer on that occasion and I am praying that I shall get a nice answer on this occasion.

I have a rooted objection to the word "expedient". It appears, of course, in this clause as "inexpedient" for reasons of drafting. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "expedient" in the following words: useful, politic, as opposed to just or reasonable ".

It does not seem to me that in those circumstances it is the right word to have in legislation, but of course it is an act of policy, and what we are concerned with in this are acts by Government which could be the subject of a law suit. In other words, the word "expedient" or "inexpedient" makes it a non-justiciable matter. I think it is a bad word for that reason.

On the occasion two years ago, my noble friend Lord Aberdare said that the word "inexpedient" was not a very happy one and that he would look at it. Unfortunately, nothing happened. I am ashamed to say that I was not alive enough to raise it on Report stage on that occasion, but I am hoping I will get a more sympathetic reply from the Government at this time. I beg to move.


My Lords, throughout the Committee stage of this Bill the noble Lord was able to defeat me on several occasions by claiming that the words were in the 1973 Act which I had the privilege of moving in this House. I freely acknowledge, as my noble friend has said, that this very Amendment was tabled on that occasion and that I resisted it, but I think your Lordships are always kind to those who acknowledge their faults and I must confess that I made a mistake. I am now absolutely convinced that what my noble friend said is quite right and that the word "inexpedient" is a very poor word to use in this Bill. I hope very much that the noble Lord is not going to behave as I did.


My Lords, I should like to support this Amendment, since I have the same rooted objection as the noble Lord, Lord Reigate, to the use of the word "expedient". It is a word which seems to have crept widely into Government measures, and particularly into local Government measures. If one complains about the way in which anything is done which causes a great deal of inconvenience to the local residents, one is merely told that it is the most expedient method to use. All that really means is that it is the cheapest method and therefore I heartily support this Amendment.


My Lords, I was rather hoping that the noble Lord, Lord Reigate, was not going to be in his seat today either. Since he is, I shall have to deal with it, but I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, on his eleventh hour fifty-ninth minute conversion. I am sure we all like conversions. But, if I may be perfectly serious for a moment, we are against the noble Lord, Lord Reigate, on this matter and it is not because we want to perpetuate something which is to be found in the phraseology of the last Government. I think there has been sufficient evidence before your Lordships' House to assure you that we have been trying to undo a good deal of what has been done in the last three or four years.

We have gone into this matter and I have known the noble Lord, Lord Reigate, for a good many years and there is nothing between us when it comes to phraseology. I think it is terribly important, but the provision is in the Bill as a safety net to ensure that a scheme which, on the face of it, satisfies the contracting-out conditions cannot be used for contracting-out if the Occupational Pensions Board considers it inadvisable. Clearly this is a very wide power indeed, but it is seen as an ultimate sanction which is likely to be used only in a very few cases, if at all. A scheme could satisfy each of the legal requirements for contracting-out and yet not be the kind of scheme which the Government would want to be used for contracting-out. I think it hangs a bit on this. A possible example might be where the benefits in a scheme were of the required standard but the contributions to be paid by earners were disproportionately high. As the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, reminded your Lordships, this word is to be found in the Social Security Act 1973.

May I finish by saying that the Board must be fully empowered to protect the interests of those whom an employer is seeking to contract out. For this reason the Government consider, and we are advised by our legal advisers on this, that the Board should have the ultimate power to withhold a contracting-out certificate where they consider it inexpedient; that is, where it is imprudent, unwise or inadvisable. The noble Lord, Lord Reigate, might not accept that kind of interpretation, but to amend this to "unreasonable" could slightly narrow the scope within which the Occupational Pensions Board could act. This is the opinion we have been given. Therefore, we cannot accept the Amendment. I hope the noble Lord feels that I have been reasonable in my explanation, and that he will not press this.


My Lords, before my noble friend sits down, may I ask him whether he can give us the definition of the word "inexpedient"? Does not this kind of convoluted argument about such a small matter bring both the law and the Government into disrepute?


My Lords, the fact remains that we have in our dictionaries the words "inexpedient" and "unreasonable". Our understanding of the word "inexpedient" is that it can be construed as meaning imprudent, unwise, or what is even more important, inadvisable.


My Lords, I think I can sum up this little debate by saying that Ministers come and Ministers go, but the Department gets its own way in the long run! I was totally unconvinced by the arguments of the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell. They seemed to me even poorer in quality than those deployed by my noble friend two years ago. The noble Lord himself used the word "inadvisable". I would gladly accept it if he would put in the word "inadvisable" rather than "unreasonable", although I do not think there is a great deal of difference. But the word "inexpediency" means useful or politic as opposed to just or reasonable, and do we not want all the acts of the Government to be just or reasonable? However, I do not feel I have the sympathy of the House and, therefore, in the circumstances I must ask leave to withdraw the Amendment, with much regret.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 33 [Requisite benefit for earner]:

3.52 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 6:

Page 24, line 9, leave out subsection (5) and insert— (" (5) Equivalent pension benefits for the purposes of the former legislation are not to be regarded as constituting any part of the earner's guaranteed minimum pension. The benefits referred to in subsection (5) above are any to which the earner may be immediately or prospectively entitled in respect of a period of employment which—

  1. (a) was for him non participating employment under that legislation; and
  2. (b)was not on its termination the subject of any payment in lieu of contributions;
but subsection (5) excludes so much only of those benefits as (and no more than) had to be provided in order that the employment should for that period be treated as non-participating. (7) In this section "the former legislation" means Part III of the National Insurance Act 1965 and the previous corresponding enactments.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I should like to deal with Amendment No. 14 in speaking to this Amendment. These are technical Amendments to make it clear that "equivalent pension benefits", includes only the minimum benefits which had to be provided for contracting out under the National Insurance Act 1965. These Amendments are technical. I beg to move.

Clause 35 [Earner's guaranteed minimum]:

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 7:

Page 27, line 9, at end insert— (" In this subsection "week" means any period of seven consecutive days.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with your Lordships' permission I should like to speak to Amendment No. 35 in moving this Amendment. As your Lordships will see, this Amendment deals with the definition of "a week". There seemed to be some doubt as to whether the previous definition of "a week" was a good one. These Amendments define "week" in Clause 35(6) as any period of seven consecutive days, and make it clear that it is not covered by the definition of "week" in Schedule 20 to the Social Security Act 1975. The latter definition is a period of seven days beginning with midnight between Saturday and Sunday. I think your Lordships will accept that the Amendment I have just moved makes it very much more clear and beneficial to certain beneficiaries.

Clause 36 [Requisite benefit for widow]:

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 8:

Page 27, line 41, leave out from ("scheme") to ("the") in line 5 on page 28 and insert— (" (2) Subject to subsections (4) and (4A) below, the scheme must contain rules whereby the annual rate of the pension will be not less than the requisite minimum under this section, which is 5/8ths per cent. of either—

  1. (a)the earner's average annual salary in the whole period of his service in contracted-out employment by reference to the scheme; or
  2. (b)his final salary (or last salary before death),
multiplied by the number of his years of such service; and section (Earner's salary as factor of widow's pension) below applies as to the relationship which the widow's pension must bear to the earner's salary. (3) To comply with this section".).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with your permission I should like also to speak to Amendments Nos. 9, 10 and 12. I believe these Amendments fully meet a number of points raised by noble Lords on Committee stage. During the proceedings in Committee, I said that the Government were considering representation from some of the pensions interests, and that there were a number of technical problems arising out of the existing provisions of Clause 36. These representations have now been considered, along with points made in Committee by the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare. As a result, the Government have put down the Amendments which are now before your Lordships.

My Lords, in the Bill we linked the widow's pension to the earner's pension on the basis that that was the more effective way of ensuring adequate occupational pensions for widows. On further examination of the position, however, the Government have concluded that this approach would have produced technical difficulties. More important, it would have produced uneven results as between different widows, as we understand the situation. Accordingly, the Government have recast the widow's provision so it stands on its own without reference to the earner's pension. The Amendments provide that, in order to be used for contracting-out, a scheme has to provide a widow's pension based upon the annual accrual rate of not less than five-eighths per cent. of the earner's final salary or average salary revalued. It has been necessary to define "salary" for this purpose, and that is what the new clause after Clause 36 in fact does.

However, in practice the clause does this by repeating many of the provisions in Clause 34, adapting them where necessary to define "salary" in relation to the earner's death. The Government believe that, as amended, this clause provides a more satisfactory and even-handed basis for widows' benefits as a whole, as well as being technically more simple to administer in practice. In particular, this will provide overall a better deal for those widows—forming the majority of widows—whose husbands die after retirement. It may be that in this, we are going further than we were asked to go. I think this is fair comment. I think your Lordships will agree that not only have we done this but we have also taken on board various matters raised quite properly in Committee. I beg to move.


My Lords, I should like to express gratitude to the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, for these Amendments. As the noble Lord says, they meet points that were worrying us on Committee stage. Although I have not had a great deal of time to study them, I think they go a very long way, if not the whole way, to meet all the points we raised. There is a small, rather technical point in Amendment No. 10 on the new subsection (4A) about which perhaps the noble Lord will allow me to write to him, because we might get further that way than if I tried to explain it to him—even if I understood it. I put down Amendment No. 11 to raise again the matters about which I was worried, but in view of the satisfactory nature of the Amendment of the noble Lord, I shall not be moving Amendment No. 11.


My Lords, I should like to say to the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, how grateful we are for the care he has taken on this matter. I understand the Amendments he has tabled meet fully the representations made by different parts of the industry. We are very grateful to him for what he has managed to do at this late stage of the Bill.


I beg to move Amendment No. 9.

Amendment moved— Page 28, line 14, leave out (" (1)") and insert (" (2)").—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Lord WELLS-PESTELL: I beg to move Amendment No. 10.

Amendment moved—

Page 28, line 16, at end insert— (" 4(A) The widow's pension need not be in accordance with subsection (2) above in case of the earner dying after termination of his service in the relevant employment and either—

  1. (a)his having completed in that employment less than five years' qualifying service for the purposes of Schedule 16 to the Social Security Act 1973 (preservation); or
  2. (b)his being under the age of twenty-six on termination of that employment.").—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Lord WELLS-PESTELL: I beg to move Amendment No. 12.

Amendment moved— After Clause 36, insert the following new clause:

Earner's salary as factor of widow's pension

".—(1) The following additional provisions apply as to a scheme's compliance with section 36 above.

(2) If the scheme provides for the annual rate of the widow's pension to be calculated by reference to the earner's average annual salary—

  1. (a)the method of computing average annual salary must be approved by the Occupational Pensions Board; and
  2. (b)the scheme must provide that earnings for any period falling within any tax year shall, for the purposes of the calculation, be treated as increased by the same percentage as that prescribed for the increase of earnings factors for that year.

(3) In subsection (2)(b) above, "prescribed" means prescribed by any order or orders coming into force under section 21 above before whichever is the earliest of the following events, namely—

  1. (a)termination of the earner's service in the relevant employment;
  2. (b)his attaining the scheme's normal pension age;
  3. (c) his death.

(4) Where the scheme provides for the annual rate of the widow's pension to be calculated by reference to the earner's final salary (or last salary before death)—

  1. (a)the method of ascertaining final or last salary; and
  2. (b)the scheme's provisions for calculating the rate of pension by reference to it,
must be approved by the Board.

(5)In deciding whether or not to give their approval under subsection (4)( b)above the Board shall have regard to any aspects of the scheme which appear to them to be relevant, but in particular—

  1. (a)to the interval (if any) between the end of the period by reference to which final or last salary is to be determined and the scheme's normal pension age or, as the case may be, the date of the earner's death; and
  2. (b)to what provision (if any) is made for revaluing the salary during any such interval.

(6) Subject to the foregoing provisions, the scheme may provide—

  1. (a)for excluding earnings of any kind from the salary by reference to which the annual rate of the widow's pension is to be calculated; and
  2. (b)for excluding any amount of earnings of the kind that arc to constitute that salary except so much (if any) as would, if expressed as a weekly rate, exceed one and a half times the lower earnings limit but would not exceed the upper earnings limit;
and if the salary is to include the amount of earnings up to one and a half times the lower earnings limit the scheme may provide for reducing the rate of pension to what it would have been if that amount had been excluded.

(7) In subsection (6) above references to the lower and upper earnings limits, in relation to any earnings, are references to those limits as in force when the earnings are paid."—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Clause 39 [Financing and assurance benefits]:

Lord BANKS moved Amendment No. 13: Page 31, line 12, leave out subsection (3).

The noble Lord said: We have put down this Amendment, because we are concerned that trustees of occupational pension schemes may not be legally able to amend their schemes in accordance with this subsection in order to contract out. They may have to wind up their scheme and start an entirely new one, which will be a cumbersome process likely to discourage contracting out. I have given the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, a note in advance of what I intend to say to develop that point.

Although the trustees are often directors or employees of the company whose scheme it is, they have a quite independent responsibility as trustees to be fair to all the members whoever they are whether or not those members have continued in service, and whether or not they have commenced to receive a pension. Therefore, if an employer wishes his scheme to be amended, the trustees would normally be under an obligation to be satisfied that the proposed amendment would not unfairly prejudice some members' rights and interests. When a trust fund is wound up the rules usually provide for some liabilities to be accorded priority over other liabilities. Thus, while it is usual for the available funds to be applied first for the benefit of persons already receiving pensions, the next priority classes vary from one scheme to another. To amend the order of priorities has the effect of favouring one class at the expense of another. Clause 39(3) will require the trustees of a scheme to make such a re-arrangement of priorities, if the scheme is to be contracted out.

For some schemes this may not be open to objection but for a large number of cases, by making or allowing such an amendment, trustees would be laying themselves open to successful legal action by members or groups of members. The kind of person who may sue is the wife of a pensioner who does not become entitled to payment of pension until her husband actually dies, or the person who has left the scheme with a preserved pension which does not become payable until he attains normal pension age. These are people who are likely to suffer from any alteration of the priorities.

It might reasonably have been expected that these difficulties could be resolved by means of Section 64 of the 1973 Act, as amended by paragraph 25 of Schedule 4 to this Bill. However, the Occupational Pensions Board are not able to make an order under Section 64 to authorise any amendment of the winding-up rule which affects the existing or prospective entitlements of members in respect of service to date, unless they are satisfied that it is in the interests of the generality of members that the order should be made. It is not at all obvious that the Board would regard contracting out as being in the interests of the generality of members for it merely benefits few, or some, or many of the members actually in service. For some schemes there might actually be more members who had already left the service with preserved benefits than were still in service.

The final decision about whether or not to contract out is the employer's, after the employees and their representatives have been consulted. But although the decision is made to contract out, a significant number of employees might have said that they preferred to be contracted in. Would information of this kind be relevant to the Board when deciding on the relative interests of the generality of members? In any case it seems that the procedure necessary under Section 64 is a ponderous one; necessarily so, because members' rights are being considered, and it is not a suitable process where a large number of schemes require specification.

So far as active members are concerned, the point is taken that to some extent the past and the future merge, so that if the only members are those in active service the attendant problems may not be so intractable. The Minister of State mentioned during the Committee stage in another place that the GMP is part of the accrued benefits of people still at work. By the spreading principle, the GMP can include pension rights which have already been built up in the scheme. But this clearly does not apply to those who have already left service. So far the only exceptions that are to be made in the application of Clause 39(3) are with respect to public service pension schemes and, as the Minister has indicated in another place, to overseas schemes as well. Why do the Government single out overseas schemes when there appear to be large numbers of United Kingdom schemes which are also either impossible or difficult to amend?

The prospect that many employers face who wish to contract out their employees in a proper legal fashion appears to be, as I said earlier, to have to wind up and reconstitute their schemes. In each case, this will be a complicated process, and it seems likely that some members will decide not to transfer to the new scheme. We therefore ask the Minister to confirm, first, that all Clause 39(3)(c) excludes is a widow's pension payable in the future contingency of a pensioner's wife surviving him; secondly, that Clause 39(3) (c) excludes the preserved pension of a member who has left service, but whose pension has not commenced to become payable; thirdly, that a large number of schemes will be able to have their priority provision amended in a straightforward manner, without recourse to Section 64 of the 1973 Act; fourthly, that in almost all the remaining schemes authorisation under Section 64 is likely to be forthcoming.

We ask, too, what kind of evidence the Government would expect the Occupational Pensions Board to require before deciding whether contracting out or contracting in was in the interests of the generality of members. Would the Government undertake that, if there turn out to be legal difficulties with regard to the amendment of the priorities rule for contracting out, they will promptly place before Parliament new regulations which will allow more schemes to be contracted out, notwithstanding the priorities, subject to the appropriate safeguards? This having been said, the preferable course may be to abandon subsection (3) altogether, as this Amendment suggests, and to rely upon the provisions of Clause 32(2)( b), so that the Occupational Pensions Board could decide, in the ways they find best, how to ensure that the maximum possible security can be given to the provision of GMPs through pension scheme trust funds. My Lords, I beg to move.

4.10 p.m.


My Lords, I wish to say at the outset how grateful I am to the noble Lord, Lord Banks, for coming to see me last evening and for giving me a comprehensive account of what he intended to say today and the matters which were then exercising his mind. This is a useful exercise, because it means that one can give matters of this kind the attention they rightly deserve. While I assure the noble Lord that a good deal of study has gone into the matter, I fear that he may not find my reply completely satisfactory, for I must tell him that we cannot accept the Amendment as drafted.

As I understand the situation, the effect of this Amendment would be to remove the requirement on contracted-out schemes to have a priority rule in the event of the scheme's having to wind up. The Government appreciate that schemes will have to modify their rules to comply with the priority rule. For some schemes this will be straightforward and should, we think, present no problems. For other schemes, however, there might not be adequate provision for changing the rules or the procedures for doing so might be unduly complex. In these cases, the scheme can apply to the Occupational Pensions Board for them to exercise their powers under Section 64 of the Social Security Act 1973, to which the noble Lord referred, to modify the scheme to comply with the priority rule in Clause 39(3). The exercise of the modification powers is, of course, a matter for the Occupational Pensions Board and the Government are not therefore in a position to indicate the kind of evidence which the Board would require in deciding whether to exercise their modification powers. But the Government, while seeing the theoretical difficulty to which the noble Lord pointed, are not convinced that the powers will not in practice be adequate.

An important factor to be taken into account is that for this scheme to be contracted-out at all, the Occupational Pensions Board will have to be satisfied that it is solvent—capable, that is, of meeting all its liabilities already accrued as they fall due, and not merely some of them. What I would suggest we should do is to look at this further, in the light of what has been said today, to see whether there are likely in practice to be real difficulties. We feel that this would be a worthwhile exercise. If there are, I am sure that we shall be able to propose a means of overcoming them without the need to have recourse either to regulations giving widespread exemptions from the priority rule or to an abandonment of the priority rule itself.

I should make it plain that the Government consider that it is essential to have a priority rule as a condition for contracting out in order to give the fullest possible protection to the guaranteed minimum pension and equivalent pension benefits which are being provided as alternatives to a part of the State pension. If there were no such rule and a scheme had to wind up, there would be no safeguard for those who had been contracted out. Consequently, they might be worse off than if they had been in the State scheme, or the State scheme might have to step in to protect them, which would place an unfair burden on those fully in the State scheme.

I come to the specific questions asked by the noble Lord, Lord Banks. As noble Lords know, pensions and other benefits … in respect of which entitlement to payment has already arisen was added to the list of priorities in response to representations. I confirm that this item does not include either preserved pensions where the person has not reached pensionable age or widows benefits where the earner has not died or begun to draw his pension. The noble Lord also mentioned overseas schemes. It is intended to exclude overseas schemes from Clause 39(3) because of the difficulties of supervision; similar special provision was made for overseas schemes under the 1973 Act. I hope the noble Lord will find some satisfaction in this reply, bearing in mind the particular matter which we should like to look at again, and when we have done that perhaps we could then communicate with him direct.


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, for the comprehensive nature of his reply and I am glad, too, that the Government recognise something of the nature of the problems that are involved. It seems that they are relying very much on Section 64 of the 1973 Act and are convinced that the Occupational Pensions Board will be able to deal with any problems that arise, although the problem still remains as to how the Board will determine what is in the interests of the generality of members and whether they could regard contracting out—if this was the purpose of making an amendment to the scheme—as being a sufficient reason, satisfactory to the interests of the generality of members. That is still not very clear.

The noble Lord mentioned that the widow's pension payable in the future contingency of a pensioner's wife surviving him and the preserved pension of a member who has left the Services but whose pension has not commenced to become payable, are not covered in Clause 39(3)(c), which means that there would be considerable problems for the trustees in securing consents of the members to any proposals for amendment that they wish to make. Nevertheless, I understood the noble Lord to say that at least in some particulars the Government would look further into the matter. He pointed out some of the difficulties which would arise if this Amendment were passed in its present form, but by having it discussed we have at least drawn attention to the problems to which the noble Lord is to give further thought and in view of that, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

4.17 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 14:

Page 31, leave out lines 17 and 18 and insert— ("(b)any such benefits as are excluded by section 33(5) above from earners' guaranteed minimum pensions.")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I spoke to this Amendment when I was dealing with Amendment No. 6. I will therefore, with permission, move it formally.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 15:

Page 31, line 21, at end insert— (" and (d)state scheme premiums.")

Clause 42 [Premium under section 41: additional provisions]:

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 16: Page 34, line 29, leave out from ("any") to end of line and insert ("service in contracted-out employment which in relation to service in that employment is linked qualifying service").

The noble Lord said: This is a drafting Amendment to make it clear that any linked qualifying services must also be contracting out services.

Clause 43 [Premium on termination of contracted-out scheme]:

4.20 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 17: Page 36, leave out lines 9 and 10 and insert ("whichever of the prescribed actuarial tables (as in force at the time when the scheme ceases to be contracted-out) is applicable in accordance with the regulations prescribing the tables").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, subject to your Lordships' permission, I should like to speak to Amendments Nos. 17, 18 and 19 together. I shall endeavour to deal with them as quickly as I can. Though there is some complexity about them from a technical point of view, I believe your Lordships will realise that there has been a sincere and sustained effort by the Government to embody in these Amendments a number of matters which were raised during the Committee stage. During the proceedings in Committee, my noble friend Lord Melchett indicated that the Government were still considering various points made by the pensions interests about what is referred to as the "open-ended commitment" and that if, as a result of that consideration, the Government came to the view that additional Amendments were necessary, they would be put down. The Amendment to Clause 45 is in fulfilment of that undertaking and the small Amendments to Clause 43(7) and Clause 44(4) are consequential drafting Amendments.

The pensions interests have emphasised their view that the potential liability taken on by the employer who contracts out his pension scheme remains open-ended. They argue that this is because the factors in the actuarial tables which determine the amounts of premium payable could be substantially increased at any time through, for example, an upward revision in the assumptions about the future rate of increase in earnings without any corresponding change in the interest assumption. The pensions interests hold to this view, although they accept that the Amendments made during Committee stage went some way towards allaying these fears. As noble Lords will recall, the Amendments provided that changes to the tables could only be made after approval by both Houses of Parliament and that at least one full tax year would elapse before the changes were brought into force. These changes were in addition to concessions made in another place to limit the open-ended commitment. The pensions interests have suggested various methods of closing what they regard as a continuing open-ended commitment. These have all been carefully examined by the Government. I can assure your Lordships that that is so. We concluded that the Amendments we are now considering provided the best and simplest method of removing the fears of employers about the cost of premiums.

To show the effect of the Amendments, I must explain how the arrangements will work. The cost of buy-back premiums will be determined by actuarial tables. These tables will show the cost for each £100 per annum of guaranteed minimum pension for men and for women at each age. This cost is expressed in actuarial terms. In other words, it is the lump sum which an actuary would calculate as being necessary to be invested to produce the pension when it became due. This calculation would be based on the average person of average longevity and on assumptions as to the future yield on investments and as to future increases in earnings.

What will happen in practice is that a standard actuarial table will be prescribed. This table will embody the best estimate that can be made of the long-term yield on investments over the period covered by the table, which will normally be five years. There will then be alternative tables, derived from the standard table, which will reflect the yield on investments prevailing at a particular time. The effect of the Amendment is to introduce into the preparation of the standard table a limit on the assumption about yield on investment. The limit is that it must not be assumed that the average yield on investment will be less than the average increase in earnings. We are speaking here of the average increase expected over the whole of the period from termination of contracted-out employment to pension age.

What these Amendments will mean is that employers will know the limit of the cost of a premium for each £100 per annum of guaranteed minimum pension. The specimen tables produced by the Government Actuary were based upon a margin of 0.5 per cent. between yield and earnings, so that noble Lords will see that the result of the Amendment is that there is room for only another 0.5 per cent. reduction in this margin. The Government consider that this limitation, taken together with the other Amendments previously made to the Bill, will for all practical purposes close the open-ended commitment. At least, that is our hope. Accordingly, employers will be able to contract out, knowing the limit of their commitment for premiums if they eventually decide to cease contracting out at some future date.

I hope your Lordships will feel that a real attempt has been made to meet the comments and observations made at Committee stage and that, so far as is humanly possible, the situation has been satisfactorily dealt with. I beg to move.


My Lords, these Amendments are indeed the most important we have to consider this afternoon. I should like straight away to acknowledge the genuine and sincere efforts made by the Government to meet the points that were raised at Committee stage, on the telephone and behind closed doors. I thank the noble Lords, Lord Wells-Pestell and Lord Melchett, who dealt with the Bill at Committee stage, for the help they have given. As the noble Lord knows, this open-ended commitment remains as the major worry of employers who may be considering contracting-out and of those who advise them. Therefore, we shall look with very great care at these proposed Amendments. When I took advice on them, I was told that those who know very much more about the matter than I do had not yet fully made up their minds as to what was entailed by the Amendments, nor, in particular, how to interpret Amendment No. 19. However, the noble Lord has made a fairly full statement of what lies behind the Amendment. I should like an opportunity of studying it more closely, and certainly of welcoming it if it goes as far as one would wish towards closing the open-ended commitment, which is the one thing we all have in common as an objective. At this stage, I should like time to think about the Amendments and, if necessary, I shall return to the matter on Third Reading. I should add that I shall not be moving my Amendment No. 20.

Clause 44 [Premium where guaranteed minimum pension excluded from full revaluation]:

Lord WELLS-PESTELL: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 18: Page 37, line 4, leave out from ("apply") to ("and") in line 6 and insert ("whichever of the prescribed actuarial tables (as in force at the time when the earner's service in contracted-out employment is terminated) is applicable in accordance with the regulations prescribing the tables").—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Clause 45 [Provisions as to actuarial tables]:

4.30 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 19:

Amendment moved—

Page 37, line 30, leave out subsection (2) and insert— ("(2) The prescribed actuarial tables shall comprise a standard table—

  1. (a)embodying the best practicable estimate of the average cost, expressed in actuarial terms and relative to a given period, of making such provision for pensions as is mentioned in section 43(5)( a)or(b),or section 44(2), as the case may be; but
  2. (b)assuming an average yield on investments which is not less than the average increase in the general level of earnings obtaining in Great Britain,
and also alternative tables to be applied, as directed by the regulations, according to whatever is from time to time the yield on such investments or classes of investments as the Secretary of State thinks fit to prescribe.")—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Clause 52 [Equal access requirements]:

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendments Nos. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26:

Page 43, line 29, leave out from beginning to ("are") in line 36 and insert— ("(1)The provisions of sections 54 to 56 below shall have effect with a view to securing that the rules of ocupational pension schemes conform with the equal access requirements. (2)Subject to subsection (3) below, the equal access requirements, in relation to a scheme "). Page 43, line 41, after ("apply") insert ("whether to an occupational pension scheme, or to terms of employment relating to membership of it, or to both."). Page 44, line 3, leave out ("53") and insert ("54"). Page 44, line 12, leave out ("53")and insert("54"). Page 44, line 16, at end insert— ("(6)Regulations may make provision—

  1. (a)for the Equal Pay Act 1970 to have effect, in relation to terms of employment relating to membership of an occupational pension scheme, with such modifications as may be prescribed;
  2. (b)for imposing requirements on employers as to the payment of contributions and otherwise in case of their failing or having failed to comply with any such terms;
  3. (c)for the consequential modification of a scheme's rules where there has been an alteration under the Equal Pay Act 1970 of any such terms.
(7) A reference in this section to terms of employment includes (where the context permits)—
  1. (a)any collective agreement or pay structure;
  2. (b) a wages regulation order within section 4 of the Equal Pay Act 1970; and
  3. (c)an agricultural wages order within section 5 of that Act.").
Leave out Clause 53.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, subject to your Lordships' permission, I should like, in moving Amendment No. 21, to speak to Amendments Nos. 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26. These six Amendments are technical Amendments required to bring the equal access provisions of the Social Security Pensions Bill into line with the changes to be made in the Equal Pay Act 1970 by the Sex Discrimination Bill. Briefly, the Social Security Pensions Bill, as at present drafted, includes in Clause 53, which relates to the effect of the equal access provisions on terms and conditions of employment, a provision drafted in language which reflects the wording of the Equal Pay Act 1970 as it now stands. The changes in the Equal Pay Act to he brought about by the Sex Discrimination Bill would make this part of the current draft of the Social Security Pensions Bill inapt.

Two steps have been taken to bring the two measures into conformity with the proposed new version of the Equal Pay Act. First, the Government have put down an Amendment to the Sex Discrimination Bill, having the affect of directly modifying the Equal Pay Act 1970, so as to extend its scope to matters relating to the equal access requirements of the Social Security Pensions Bill.

Secondly, the Social Security Pensions Bill is being amended to take account of the relevant changes to be made by the Sex Discrimination Bill in the Equal Pay Act 1970. This is the effect of the Amendments now being moved. None of the Amendments described changes the substance of the equal access provisions currently made in the Social Security Pensions Bill.

As I have said, these are technical Amendments. I wonder whether they could be taken en bloc, as they are consecutive. I beg to move.

Clause 68 [Short title, citation and extent]:

4.33 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendments Nos. 27, 28 and 29:

Page 56, leave out lines 22 and 23 and insert: ("(3) The following provisions of this Act have the same extent as the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971

  1. (a) section 59;
  2. (b) paragraph 18 of Schedule 4;
  3. (c) Schedule 5, so far as it repeals provisions of that Act.")
Page 56, line 30, leave out ("of") and insert ("and section 89(3) (c) and (4) of that Act ") Page 56, line 36, leave out from beginning to ("and") in line 38 and insert: ("(e) repeals paragraphs 47 and (in part) 58 of Schedule 2 to the Social Security (Consequential Provisions) Act 1975; (f)amends or repeals provisions of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970; (g)amends provisions of the Finance Act 1971; (f)repeals provisions of the Public Records Act 1958, the Superannuation Act 1972, the Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 1972, the Pensions (Increase) Act 1974").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 27 I should like to speak to Amendments Nos. 28 and 29. These are technical amendments of the provisions relating to the extent of the Bill, particularly in regard to provision made for the Bill to extend to Northern Ireland. They do no more than that. As they are consecutive Amendments, all dealing with Northern Ireland, I should, with the permission of your Lordships like to move them en bloc. I beg to move.

Schedule 4 [Consequential and other amendments.]

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 30: Page 65, line 24, leave out ("and") and insert ("or")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, with the permission of your Lordships, I should also like to speak to Amendments Nos. 31, 36, 37 and 39. Your Lordships will see by the wording of these Amendments that they are all drafting Amendments. I beg to move.


My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 31 formally.

Amendment moved— Page 67, line 31, at end insert ("which is payable to the wife otherwise than by virtue (wholly or partly) of her own contributions.")—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendments Nos. 32 and 33:

Page 70, line 19, leave out ("In section 13(2) of that Act") and insert— ("In section 13 of that Act— (a) in subsection (2).") Page 70, line 22, at end insert— ("(b)at the beginning of subsection (3) there shall be inserted "Subject to section 3 of the Pensions Act".")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving these Amendments, I should like, with the permission of your Lordships, to speak to Amendment No. 38. These are Government Amendments. The purpose of these Amendments is to clarify the provisions under which earnings factors are derived from Class 1 contributions. The intention is that earnings factors should be derived from Class 1 contributions paid at the reduced rate only if this is provided for in regulations made under Clause 3(4). It is not entirely clear that this is achieved by the repeal at present in Schedule 5 of some of the words in Section 13(3) of the 1975 Act. These Amendments now put the matter beyond doubt. I should like to move Amendments Nos. 32 and 33 together. I beg to move.

Baroness DARCY DE KNAYTH moved Amendment No. 34: Page 71, line 44, leave out paragraph 51.

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this Amendment was not moved at the Committee stage, for which I apologise, because I had to leave before it was reached. The purpose of deleting paragraph 51 of Schedule 4 is to render the mobility allowance subject to annual review. Paragraph 51 at present excludes the mobility allowance from being reviewed annually. Noble Lords will remember that my noble friend Lady Loudoun moved, and subsequently withdrew, an Amendment at Committee stage to enable the mobility allowance to be reviewed annually, to ensure that its value reflected the rising cost of motoring. Noble Lords will also remember the number of noble Lords who supported her.

This Amendment seeks to achieve a review in a manner which I hope may be more acceptable to the Government—no mention of reflecting rising motoring costs; merely that the mobility allowance be reviewed each year. The noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, said in reply to my noble friend Lady Loudoun; I do not think we would be allowed—and I am not sure that we should wish—to allow long periods to pass without any change in the level of allowances if costs of mobility continue to rise steeply."—[Official Report, 7/7/75; col. 656.]

My noble friend and many other noble Lords spoke of the alarming speed at which motoring costs have risen lately, and of how the cost of motoring for disabled passengers and drivers has gone up between 30 and 33 per cent. since the mobility allowance was announced in September. They also spoke of how the mobility allowance will not, in some cases, even cover the tax element in private motoring today. For a change, I wish to give your Lordships a different set of figures. I think that they are particularly pertinent because the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, has stressed more than once that the mobility allowance was not really designed to enable people to buy a car, but to allow people to take taxis, or contribute to the costs of a friend taking them out in his car, et cetera. The very cheapest car-hire firm, which a disabled friend of mine uses, charges 25p a mile, so that £5 buys 20 miles mobility and £3.25 (which is £5 less tax at the standard rate of 35 per cent.) buys 13 miles. But on top of that she has to tip the driver because of her need for help in getting in and out of the car and in loading and unloading her wheelchair. This means, in effect, that she can afford to buy only about 15 miles a week with £5, or only about 11 miles a week with £3.25. I feel it is vital to try to ensure that the mobility which disabled drivers and passengers can purchase today with £5 a week will not be diminished in future years. All I am asking is that the situation be looked at annually. I beg to move.


My Lords, if this Amendment is accepted it will mean that today's disabled people will be assured of enjoying the same mobility in future years. I hope the Government can agree to an annual review of mobility allowances. I am sure that the Government understand the disabled persons' anxiety on this subject, and therefore I should like to support this Amendment.


My Lords, I, too, should like to support my noble friend on this Amendment. I understand that the attendance allowance itself is annually reviewed. That, surely, is a good precedent. I have figures from the AA which point out that the average cost of running a family car rose by £240 in the past year, and by £410 in the past two years. We all know that the cause is the inflationary situation for which I suppose we all ought to take our share of blame, but I do not think that the blame should be passed on to the people in receipt of these mobility allowances.

The Countess of LOUDOUN

My Lords, the mobility allowance is clearly of no value at all if inflation increases and the amount stands still. Despite the assurances given at the Committee stage, there is still a great deal of anxiety over this. For this reason, I should like to support my noble friend's Amendment.

4.42 p.m.


My Lords, this is ground that we have gone over many times. I do not propose to go over it again, not because I do not think it worth while but because I do not think I can add anything useful or say anything that I have not said before. Let me say at the beginning that we are not prepared to accept this Amendment as it is at the moment. We recognise that there is a great deal of merit in what the noble Baroness and her friends have said this afternoon. I want to remind your Lordships that this is an allowance and that allowances, rightly or wrongly, are not being treated at the present moment in precisely the same way as pensions. Pensions are reviewed at regular intervals. An allowance is not in itself a pension; it is not the major income of the person, but is a sort of subsidiary benefit given for a special purpose. Some allowances are as low as £1.50.

I would point out to the noble Baroness that Section 124 of the Social Security Act 1975—and I am sure she is aware of this—already gives the Secretary of State the authority to review benefits and allowances if she so desires. What I want to say at this stage is that I hope the noble Baroness will be prepared to take my word and not press this Amendment. I want to stress, as I did on the last occasion, that we cannot have a perfect system of allowances and benefits in the present state of financial stringency. While those of us with a reasonable income do not find it very easy at times to do what we want to do, we know that people who, by virtue of some misfortune through no fault of their own, are in receipt of pensions and allowances obviously experience a great deal more difficulty. We recognise this, but at the present moment we are faced with a situation where it would be quite wrong for us to say that we could do something about it in the way of uprating this allowance.

I would ask the noble Baroness and her friends to take my word that we are alive to the problem that whatever the allowance is or whatever the benefit is, in these days of inflation it is losing its value—and the noble Countess, Lady Loudoun, referred to this, except that she said it was not worth anything—but it is still worth something. We realise that eventually when circumstances permit all these allowances and benefits will have to be adjusted to measure up to the real need and to do what they were intended to do. We shall not lose sight of this; but it is not one of the things to which we can give top priority. I do not want to repeat myself. The mobility allowance is an entirely new allowance in this country. It is a new concept designed to bring in 100,000 disabled people who had no means of transport and to give them, albeit a small sum, £5 a week. Twenty miles in a taxi is better than no miles at all if you want to visit somebody or to go to the shops.

I realise that the sum is getting less and less, but that does not mean to say that we are unsympathetic to this problem or that we have lost sight of it. It is a new benefit coming in fairly shortly but it must be phased in, because we cannot afford at the present moment to give £260 a year to something like 100,000 people. We must spread it over. I do not want the Government to be put into the situation where they are going to be forced to uprate; for that might mean delaying the benefit for a number of people by making the period of introduction longer and longer. I ask the noble Baroness and her friends to accept my assurance that we shall not forget. She knows as well as anybody in this House that we have a Minister for the Disabled and—believe me, my Lords—he never lets us forget their needs.


My Lords, the noble Lord has reminded the House of the numbers now concerned in the disability allowance which has now reached 150,000, the number of cases concerned in this very important allowance. We supported the Amendment of the noble Countess, Lady Loudoun, at the Committee stage, and we also supported a somewhat similar Amendment in another place. I should like to cast my argument a little wider, because there are three sections here which relate to the uprating of benefits. The noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, referred to Section 124, and he rightly pointed out that the Secretary of State may by order increase any of the sums specified. That is under the section giving power to increase rates of benefit.

The next section which immediately concerns this Amendment is Section 125, in which a duty is imposed on the Secretary of State to increase the rate of certain benefits. As we understand it, the Amendment seeks a review; it does not specifically say that it intends that the review shall be carried out to produce an increase every year. A little further on in this Part of the 1975 Act there is an instruction given to the Secretary of State that if he or she is not able to agree that there should be an uprating, then he should lay his reasons before Parliament. We believe that the review should take place and we believe it should not necessarily be tied specifically either to the cost of living or the cost of motoring, but that the review should be carried out at annual intervals.

The noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, referred to the Minister. We fully acknowledge that he has had a very lively interest in all persons in the disabled category. Nevertheless, Governments change and the incumbents in that Office may vary in their approach to the subject. Possibly mobility will not occupy the same degree of priority which it does at the moment.


My Lords, is the noble Lord saying that if there is a change of Government and the noble Lord's Party come to power, they will then adversely affect the mobility allowance?


My Lords, I am saying nothing of the kind. I am allowing for circumstances to alter in the future. We have no present knowledge of the incumbents in say, 20 or 30 years' time. The present Act may not endure for as long as that period. Nevertheless, in seeking this Amendment, we assume that it will last for a reasonable period. It is therefore almost essential in our view that a review clause should be included, and therefore we seek to support the noble Baroness in her Amendment.


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his reply. I realise that he is not unsympathetic, but I am not totally convinced by his argument. I think the noble Lord, Lord Sandys, underlined my point: I am only asking for an annual review, not necessarily for an uprating to follow. Unless you review the situation, you will not know what needs to be done.

I should like to stress again that I am grateful to the Government for having introduced this allowance, and I applaud the fact that they have for the first time included disabled passengers. I welcome the way in which they have allowed the recipients the freedom to choose the form of outdoor mobility on which they spend it. But in the present economic circumstances, with motoring costs soaring so rapidly, I am convinced that an annual review is essential to try to protect this allowance which can enable passengers and drivers to lead useful and productive lives. In Committee, the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, said to my noble friend Lady Loudoun that this is an allowance which clearly is of no value at all if inflation increases and the amount stands still. My Lords, I do not think it could be put more clearly than that. I

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.

5.3 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 35: Page 73, line 23, at end insert (" and in the second column of that Schedule in the definition of "Week", after "45(3)" there shall be inserted "of this Act and section 35(6) of the Pensions Act".")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 35. I spoke to

shall therefore ask your Lordships for your opinion.

4.53 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 34) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 82; Not-Contents, 44.

Aberdare, L. Glenkinglass, L. Phillips, B.
Abergavenny, M. Goschen, V. Platt, L.
Adeane, L. Gridley, L. Rankeillour, L.
Airedale, L. Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. Reigate, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E. Rochester, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Hanworth, V. Sackville, L.
Amulree, L. Hornsby-Smith, B. St. Aldwyn, E.
Balerno, L. Hylton-Foster, B. St. Davids, V.
Balfour, E. Killearn, L. St. Just, L.
Banks, L. Kilmany, L. Sandys, L.
Barnby, L. Kinloss, Ly. [Teller.] Sempill, Ly.
Belstead, L. Lansdowne, M. Somers, L.
Berkeley, B. Lloyd of Kilgerran, L. Southwell, Bp.
Bradford, E. Long, V. Strathclyde, L.
Brecon, L. Loudoun, C. [Teller.] Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Campbell of Croy, L. Mackie of Benshie, L.
Cathcart, E. Macpherson of Drumochter, L. Teviot, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L. Maelor, L. Thurlow, L.
Cowley, E. Malmesbury, E. Trefgarne, L.
Crathorne, L. Mancroft, L. Tweedsmuir, L.
Crawshaw, L. Margadale, L. Vickers, B.
Cromartie, E. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Vivian, L.
Darcy (de Knayth), B. Meston, L. Wade, L.
Daventry, V. Newall, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
de Clifford, L. Noel-Buxton, L. Ward of North Tyneside, B.
Drumalbyn, L. Northchurch, B. Wigoder, L.
Emmet of Amberley, B. Nugent of Guildford, L. Wolverton, L.
Falkland, V. Onslow, E. Young, B.
Ardwick, L. Fisher of Rednal, B. Peddie, L.
Arwyn, L. Gaitskell, B. Popplewell, L.
Aylestone, L. Gordon-Walker, L. Rusholme, L.
Balogh, L. Greenwood of Rossendale, L. Shepherd, L. (L. Privy Seal.)
Beswick, L. Hall, V. Slater, L.
Birdwood, L. Hamnett, L. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Blyton, L. Henderson, L. Strabolgi, L.
Brockway, L. Houghton of Sowerby, L. Taylor, L.
Burntwood, L. Hoy, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Burton of Coventry, B. Janner, L. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Champion, L. Lee of Newton, L. Wells-Pestell, L.
Delacourt-Smith of Alteryn, B. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. Wilson of Radcliffe, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Lovell-Davis, L. Winterbottom, L. [Teller.]
Elwyn-Jones, L. (L. Chancellor) Melchett, L. [Teller.] Wynne-Jones, L.
Evans of Hungershall, L. Paget of Northampton, L.

this Amendment, as your Lordships may recall, in moving Amendment No. 7. I beg to move.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Schedule 5 [Repeals]:

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 36:

Page 75, line 9, at end insert—

(" 1972 c. 48. The Parliamentary and other Pensions Act 1972. Section 34(2).")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I spoke to Amendments Nos. 36 and 37 when I moved Amendment No. 30. I beg to move.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 37.

Amendment moved— Page 75, line 40, column 3, at end insert ("In section 89, in subsection (3), paragraph (c); and subsection (4).").—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 38: Page 76, leave out lines 34 to 41 in column 3.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 38. I spoke to this Amendment in moving Amendments Nos. 32 and 33. I beg to move.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL moved Amendment No. 39: Page 77, line 13, column 3, after ("57") insert ("58(except so much as substitutes Ministry "for" Minister "in section 89(1) of the 1973 Act),").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 39. I spoke to this in moving Amendment No. 30.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.