§ The rate for child benefit prescribed by regulations made under section 3 of the Child Benefit Act 1975 shall not be less in the year 1982–83 than the figure of L6.00, which figure shall up-rated in accordance with the procedure set out in section 125 of the principal Act any by a percentage not lower than that specified in section 125(3)(a)(ii) in 1982 and every succeeding year.—[Mr. Rooker.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. J. W. Rooker (Birmingham, Perry Barr)
I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.
I do not intend to delay the House long. For the first time in eight years I broke a long-standing rule of mine and wrote to 10 Conservative hon. Members telling them that if the new clause was selected I would refer briefly to their views. I have decided, in the interests of progress, not to go through all the worthy statements that they have made, but I shall list who they are. They are child benefit supporters, and that fact needs to be put on the record.
I decided, also contrary to my normal practice, to cut out the politics and stick to the facts of child benefits when dealing with the clause. I think that party politics should be brought to the Dispatch Box. I am often told that we should take politics out of social security. I believe that we should put it in and reinforce it, but I shall stick to the facts, as I want to be brief.
The amendment would increase child benefit to £6 in November, instead of the Government's announced figure of £5.85. Therefore, the clause is extremely modest—much too modest. For child benefit to be restored to the real purchasing power that it had when the present Government came to office it should rise to £6.25 in November. I do not think that there is any argument between the two sides of the House about that figure. Therefore, when the benefit rises to £5.85 it will be 40p a week less than it would have needed to be to maintain its purchasing power.
The Child Poverty Action Group put up a very good case before the Budget, although in its pre-Budget memorandum it kept lowering its target on every page, saying in the end that perhaps as a last-ditch stand it would settle for £5.85—and that is what it got.
There are Conservative Members who have supported child benefit and made great claims for its beneficial effect on the working poor. I think of the hon. Members for Kensington (Sir B. Rhys Williams); Bath (Mr. Patten); Abingdon (Mr. Benyon); Bristol, West (Mr. Waldegrave), now a member of the Government; Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley); Anglesey (Mr. Best); Hornchurch (Mr. Squire); Watford (Mr. Garel-Jones), who recently talked out a Bill to increase the death grant and who has now taken the Prime Minister's shilling and joined the Government—a great supporter of child benefit; Somerset, North (Mr. Dean); and Wallasey (Mrs. 501 Chalker), such a stout defender of child benefit when the Labour Government were in office but someone who has allowed child benefit to lose its real value while she has been a member of the Government. I am not surprised that the hon. Lady took the opportunity to move away from the Department of Health and Social Security, so that she would not be on the Government Front Bench today to reply to this debate.
All those hon. Members supported, in one way or another, an increase in child benefit in real terms, but they have not even managed to ensure that child benefit kept up with inflation since they came to power. Our clause seeks not to restore it to its value when Labour left office but to make a modest extra contribution of 15p a week per child on top of the amount which the Government have decreed mothers shall receive in November.
No one disputes the figures. I do not have the precise cost, but it cannot be more than about £75 million. That is chicken feed in terms of public expenditure and in terms of the tax relief granted under the old child tax allowances to the well-off.
Child benefit is not a big policy matter that the Government are trying to sell to the country. It is the one benefit which can have the greatest impact on getting families out of the poverty trap. It is our aim to get child support to the same level for each child in a family whether the head of the family is in or out of work. We have a long way to go there.
Proposals will be made to bring about that change. All we can do at the moment is to attempt to take a modest step along the road by giving the House the chance to vote for £6 a week instead of the measly sum the Government are offering this November.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett (Stockport, North)
I support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker). I am sure the House does not wish to be detained too long on new clause 3, and will wish to spend more time debating new clauses 4 and 13.
We have to remember why child benefit was introduced. The aim was to treat people who had children, whether or not they paid tax, in exactly the same way, recognising that children place a considerable financial burden on the family. We have already achieved that.
The further aim of introducing child benefit was to remove the need to pay child additions on many of the other benefits that were payed—sickness, unemployment and invalidity. It seemed quite clear that if we could remove child additions from those benefits we would simplify the system and the payment of those benefits, and refute the allegation that people were better off on benefit than in work. Child benefit would be paid for those people whether in work or not.
Against that background, we have made very slow progress indeed. During the period of the Labour Government we made small improvements in the real value of child benefits. Since 1979 we have seen the real level of child benefits decline. Therefore, we have not improved the position of those people who are receiving additions for their children when they are on 502 unemployment benefit or sickness benefit. What this Government have done has eroded the value of those additions.
Under the Bill, during the first eight weeks of sickness, child benefit will be abolished altogether. It will not make life easier for people with children. It will not ease the problem of benefits being paid to people who are not working as opposed to people who are working. Therefore, the case for moving child benefit up significantly still stands, and the tragedy of the Budget is that the Government have done nothing to help that situation. We need to get the benefit back to £6.25 merely to restore the losses since 1979, but we have not achieved that.
We are making a modest proposal for the extra 15p which will make life a lot simpler for the post offices and will be a useful addition. It is a change that I believe the House ought to introduce. We can return to the whole issue on amendment No. 10, when I will speak on the disadvantages of this Bill for families with children. I hope that the House will support the new clause.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley (Woolwich, West)
I intend to speak briefly on the level of child benefit. I preface my short remarks with two comments. First, I hope that either the Government or the Opposition will make a day available for a proper discussion of child benefit, I hope in a non-partisan way, so that we who are interested can be brought together for a medium-term plan agreed across the House such as we had some years ago on the second pension scheme. I regard help for those with children as being as important as the help we have managed to arrange over a period for the retired. The care for those who cannot care for themselves is a high duty, and we could discharge it better if we had—
§ Mr. David Ennals (Norwich, North)
I ask the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Peter Bottomley) to elaborate on that. He will agree that there was great advantage in coming to an agreement in the House on a new pensions scheme. It required an initiative to be taken by an energetic Minister. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it also requires an initiative by an energetic Minister such as the Under-Secretary of State to achieve unanimity in the House on child benefit?
§ Mr. Bottomley
I accept on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton) the compliment paid by the right hon. Gentleman. I am sure that the House will wish me to reflect that compliment back to the right hon. Member for the work he did on pensions.
Secondly, I should like to ask what happens on child income support. The introduction of child benefit and the increases that have been made to that benefit over the years mean that families whose income is below the tax threshold are now receiving more help in real terms than they did 27 years ago. I want to put that on record; I expect my hon. Friend will remind me if on other occasions I do not say that.
I am also glad that the Government saw fit to give a higher increase in child benefit over the last two years taken together than have in tax allowances. The hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) is looking slightly surprised. We have had too many years when tax allowances have gone up and child benefit has not.
My concluding remarks are about the level of child benefit. If we are serious about getting benefit to families 503 when they have children, an increase on the married man's tax allowance misses the target. If we allow for extra pay increases for people at work, that misses those who are not at work. Pay increases go indiscriminately to those at higher levels of pay and those without children. Child benefit was brought in for a purpose, and if part of that purpose is to help the battle against inflation, we need to encourage the Government, the TUC and the CBI to set the discussion of the place of child benefit in terms of family income support. It is a myth to expect everyone to be able to support his family on what he brings home, from work. I agree that we should try to lower the burden of taxation, but one of the most effective ways of doing that is to increase child benefit for families with children.
What has become clear during the life of this Government and previous Governments is that child benefit is now a far more popular issue to raise because it is seen effectively as a child tax credit. I know that many of my hon. Friends in Government would be able to make a better speech than I if they were not in Government. If I were ever a member of the Government, I know that I should have to keep silent about my own personal views. I look forward to hearing what my hon. Friend has to say, but I should in all fairness warn him that I intend to vote for the new clause
§ Mr. Frank Field (Birkenhead)
I support my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Bar (Mr. Rooker). He showed how the real value of child benefit has fallen, taking as a starting point the period when this Government assumed office. He said that he did not wish to be partisan in presenting the new clause. Perhaps that is why the argument was not developed further. The Government, in 1979, made record cuts of £4.6 billion in taxation in their first Budget. If families with children had received their fair share of those tax cuts—and they could only receive their fair share of them by increases in child benefits—we should have had an increase in child benefits of £1.83 a week. That is not an unimportant message for the Opposition who are pledged to reverse those 1979 tax cuts.
When we made tax cuts, although the tax burden had moved against the lower paid and those with children, over the last 20 years they received little of the largesse when the cuts were made. That is my first point.
Secondly, I wish to put on record the reasons why child benefit is such a key benefit and why I hope the whole House will support new clause 3. It is the most effective weapon that we have for combating child poverty and, sadly, under both Labour and Conservative Governments the number of poor children has increased. To push back the tide of poverty we must increase child benefits. Since the abolition of child tax allowances, Governments have no way of maintaining tax equity between those with children and the childless other than by increasing child benefit. In our next debate we shall no doubt mention the problem of work incentives in our society. The most effective way of increasing incentives to work, at least for those with children, is to increase child benefits.
Those are three powerful reasons for supporting new clause 3, but there is another. Child benefit is about increasing freedom. It is about redistributing income from men to women and from adults to children, and it is about trusting mothers to do the right thing. We hear much from both sides of the House about how important freedom is, but one way of increasing the freedom of choice of 504 millions of households would be to make an increase in child benefit one of the first priorities of Government fiscal policy. For that and the other reasons, I hope that the House will support new clause 3.
§ Mr. William Hamilton (Fife, Central)
It is worth recalling what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said on this matter when he introduced the Budget. He said that child benefitis an important souce of income for many—especially the lower paid with large families. From next November it will go up by 60p a week, from £5.25 to £5.85".This is the relevant sentence:It will thus have been increased by 23 per cent. over two years, and so fully protected against inflation."—[Official Report, 9 March 1982; Vol. 19, c. 738–9.]Why not three years? In fact, it has not kept up with inflation, which is the whole point of the new clause. We wish to see that it does at least keep up with inflation, My hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) referred to the first Budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when there were enormous handouts to people earning over £20, 000 a year. The people who have suffered most under the Government are families with children. To be fair, the problem goes further back than the day when the Government took office. During the past 20 years at least, families with children have suffered more than most because of the tax burden.
The Government gave an undertaking in November 1981 to make good the 2 per cent. shortfall in the uprating of social security benefits in November 1982, and the Chancellor said, fairly, that he had fulfilled that undertaking. However, that did not apply to child benefit or to one-parent benefit. Although many benefits were not covered by that pledge on the 2 per cent. shortfall, both the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Social Services stated that the final decision would be taken in the Budget. I have already quoted the relevant part of the Budget Statement.
We have received a document from the Library research department—research note 61 dated February 1982—entitled "The November 1982 Social Security Up-rating: A Pre-Budget View". Table 2 shows, among other things, what the child benefit should be on certain assumptions of varying rates of inflation in the forthcoming year. If we take the November 1981 child benefit of £5.25 and the Treasury's estimate of inflation for the forthcoming year of 10 per cent., on this table the child benefit should rise to £5.75. That is lop mole than the Treasury estimate, which assumes that the Treasury estimate is accurate. I do not know whether it is, but there is no doubt that child benefits, among others, have diminished during the lifetime of this Parliament.
The Government should be generous. Our proposition is not extravagant, and at a time when families with children have suffered more than most the Government should, for a change, not play the part of Scrooge but should give a little extra to those people to show that at least they have a slight trace of humanity in them. We shall accept whatever crumbs they are prepared to give.
I congratulate the Under-Secretary of State on his new position. He has a nice liberal look about him.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Let him make a record for himself by making this tiny concession in his maiden speech.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Tony Newton)
In the circumstances of today's debate, I feel that I have been let off rather more lightly on my maiden appearance at the Dispatch Box than might otherwise have been the case. I shall try to respond in the spirit that has marked the debate.
I wish, quite genuinely, to pay tribute—I hope that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is intended—to everyone who has spoken in the debate for the part that they have undoubtedly played for a long time in making it possible for child benefit to be seen as being as important as everyone now accepts. There are differences between us about what level it should be now or at any past or future time, but, compared with only three or four years ago, the extent to which there is cross-party unity in the Chamber about the importance of child benefit and the general aims that we espouse is a tribute to all hon. Members who have taken part. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) did not include me in his list of those who have made nice noises about child benefit in the past. I do not know whether it was some inadequacy in his research or whether the right remarks failed to get reported, but he could readily have made me an eleventh person on the list.
I do not—nor, I would guess, does my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker) or any other of my hon. Friends mentioned—wish to go back on the spirit of what we have said in the past about child benefit. I remain a firm advocate of the change to child benefit. I remain a firm believer in and a firm supporter of retaining it at the highest possible level consistent with the practical realities with which any Government must try to cope. I recognise that as soon as one says "at the highest possible level", one is begging many questions, and that is where the difference between us lies this afternoon. There is no difference as to the importance of the subject and about where we wish to get to, but there is some difference about a practical level at the moment.
I wish to comment briefly on what I regard as the three main aspects of the points that have been made in the past half-hour. First, there is the broad central proposal to raise the amount of child benefit from next November to £6 instead of the Government's proposed £5.85. I am not sure, especially after considering the proceedings in Committee, why the figure of £6 was chosen, except that it is a nice round figure. It is conceivable that it was thought that it might have some attraction to hon. Members other than Opposition Members. For whatever reason it was chosen, it has some advantages in being a round figure, and I understand why the Opposition have chosen it.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have proposed an increase that is already fully in line with the Government's commitments. It matches the estimated 9 per cent. level of inflation between last November and next November and makes up for the 2 per cent. underestimate of inflation last year.
In response to the hon. member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton), the Library brief, in referring to a figure of 10 per cent. was referring to the Treasury's best estimate of inflation at some time before the Budget. That 10 per cent. figure was revised down to 9 per cent. on the basis of the most up-to-date information to form the basis of the 506 Budget calculations. It is important that we should be clear about that. There is no question of trying to fiddle the figures. When considering what has happened, for example, to oil prices over the past few weeks, hon. Gentlemen will understand that inflation has made some things look more encouraging. That is the only reason for the change.
The hon. Member for Perry Barr, other hon. Members, and the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) spoke as if 15p was nothing much to worry about between friends. I can understand how it can be presented in that way. However, in a full year it is about £80 million, and, even in this day and age, that sum cannot be dismissed merely as peanuts.
If it were felt that there was another £80 million to spend for the social security budget, one would have to consider, at the very least, other possible ways of spending it. I shall not attempt to give the House a shopping list, but all hon. Members now in the Chamber—many of whom I know to have taken a long-term interest in social security matters—could readily think of other policies and priorities to which they would also attach importance. The Government must strike a balance between one aim and others.
§ Mr. Newton
I said that we would all have our own shopping lists. I shall not attempt off the cuff, while at the Dispatch Box, in answer to an intervention—I understand the spirit in which the hon. Gentleman made it—to attempt to list the Government's next possible priority on social security.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
Putting the question in a different way and asking it less rhetorically, the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) and I put forward ways of finding the £80 million. It could easily have been found by not putting up the married man's element of tax allowance above the rate of inflation.
§ Mr. Newton
That is simply a different way of putting the same problem that faces the Government. There is a choice between different ways of spending £80 million. Not everybody in the House would immediately accept that a policy that added to the problems of married couples at this time, whether they had children or not, by failing to index their tax allowances, would necessarily be the right thing to do. However, we do not need to spend much time arguing that.
Everyone will agree that we all have a list of things that we would wish to do. I am doing no more than making the point that the Government—facing the problem of distributing limited resources—must choose, on the balance of priorities, on what to spend them.
I shall not make too much of the new clause. The Opposition obviously intended the increase to £6 to run from next November. I am advised by lawyers in my Department that there is at last a possibility that the effect would be to increase it to £6 from April—next month. Perhaps I should warn my hon. Friends that there is a possibility that they would be voting for something that might turn out not to be as modest as it was presented by the Opposition, but costing perhaps £200 million or £300 million. I do not want to build too much on that, but it ought to be mentioned.
507 I am grateful for the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley) suggesting that some of the things that I said to him in other fora over the past few weeks are beginning to have a little effect. I am grateful to him for recognising that some of the comparisons that can be made with categories of claimants 25 to 27 years ago are a little misleading in that, whatever else may be said, for those below the tax threshold in 1955, with however many children or with only one child, the present child benefit represents a huge increase in the amount of child support paid. In that sense, we have moved a very long way towards what all hon. Members wish to see—an improvement in the position of the less well-off in society. That was part and parcel of the move to child benefit. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for recognising that that is part of what has happened.
The second general aspect raised by the new clause is, of course. statutory indexation—bringing child benefit within the rules applying to a number of other benefits and imposing an uprating each year in line with rises in the retail price index. I doubt whether hon. Gentlemen expected me to go as far as conceding that today. However, I have every intention of resting on what my right hon. Friend the Member for Wansted and Woodford (Mr. Jenkin), the former Secretary of State, said on 28 July 1980. He said:We are committed to the child benefit system, and it is our intention, subject to economic and other circumstances, to uprate child benefit each year to maintain its value."—[Official Report, 28 July 1980; Vol. 989, c. 1063.]That pledge, relating to the child benefit rate to be established in November 1980, was made in the debate on that uprating. It has been firmly and plainly kept in relation to the child benefit rate established at that time.
At the risk of raising the level of aggression a little, I was a bit disturbed that Opposition Members should laugh at my right hon. Friend and myself this afternoon. They should recognise that commitments of this sort must be made with some recognition of economic and other circumstances. I would not be prepared to stand at the Dispatch Box and make promises about what we should do, regardless of the economic circumstances. The right hon. Member for Norwich, North (Mr. Ennals), as Secretary of State for Social Services, must remember some of the difficulties that he experienced when the economy was so difficult. Nothing is more damaging to the economy and, in the end, to the interests of the people we are seeking to serve than to make commitments of this sort without regard to economic reality.
§ Mr. Ennals
The Minister knows perfectly well that, with the current taxation system, he could easily have paid this relatively small sum from the additional benefits accrued by those in the higher earnings brackets. That would have been the way to do it. That is how the Labour Government would have done it. That Government had a higher level, of child benefit by the time they went out of office than this Government have been able to sustain.
§ Mr. Newton
—in pursuing a policy as a whole. The Government's policies towards tax rates generally and the whole mix of benefits and taxation policy over the period, 508 have been influenced—I do not attempt to disguise this—by a recognition that the paramount need is to restore the strength and success of Britain's economy.
What is more, we are beginning to see some signs of success. The reduction in interest rates and some of the other things we have seen recently are considerable tributes to the firmness of purpose shown by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in some of these matters over a long period.
No one can seriously suppose that the problems that underlie the concern that has been expressed in the Chamber today can be solved simply by shuffling about the social security budget or shuffling between the present tax rates and the social security budget. The only way to do enough for child support or the disabled or any of the other groups that we all care about is to generate additional resources in our economy. This is a matter of balance.
The Government have tried to strike a balance between the rates of social security benefit, child benefit and other benefits and the need to ensure that industry and the economy can generate the additional resources. I believe that those policies are beginning to work. It is my certain conviction that only if they work shall we be able to meet the objectives that we all share. I hope that, on those grounds alone, my right hon. and hon. Friends will join me in voting against the new clause.
§ 5 pm
§ Mr. Rooker
The Minister has just made a speech which, in retrospect, I think that he will regret, because it could be held to undermine the whole concept of child benefit. He cannot say, on the one hand, that there is cross-party support for this benefit, for all the reasons that we have heard from hon. Members on both sides, and, on the other hand, talk about the economic circumstances. He cannot attempt to blackmail Conservative Members who might want to vote for the new clause by saying "The lawyers tell us that it might cost a little more than the Opposition said, because it might come into operation in April". If we intended it to apply from April—our intention was that it should apply from November—the Government would have no trouble in tabling an amendment in the other place and carrying it here. hope that any Conservative Members whose resolve was weakened by the Minister's words will bear that in mind.
I did not list the Minister in my opening statement because he was in the Whips' Office and therefore did not make any speeches since this Government came to power. I quoted from the pre-Budget memorandum of the Child Poverty Action Group, which dealt exclusively with speeches and statements that had been made in this Chamber by Conservative Members since the last election.
The Minister sought to rely on the statements of his right hon. Friend the present Secretary of State for Industry, who was Secretary of State for Social Services at that time. I hope that the same reliance will be placed on the right hon. Member's words in the context of new clause 4 and new clause 13. The Minister cannot have it both ways. Before my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, Central (Mr. Hamilton) spoke, we knew that the Government's harshness would not be mellowed today when we saw the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, the hon. Member for Braintree (Mr. Newton). He has shown that there is steel inside the velvet, and he has made his views abundantly clear, but we knew 509 that there would be no concession, because we did not see the Secretary of State. He would have been here to claim all the credit. So we were under no illusions.
However, we want to put on record that the Government have been mean and harsh over child benefit. They have broken pledges, because the real value has not been maintained by this Government. It is not good enough to say "We made the pledge only in 1980". The Government won the election in May 1979. That is what we shall tie the Government to, and that is what, in the end, the public will tie the Government to.
§ Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 202, Noes 255.512
|[Division 95]||[5.5 pm]|
|Abse, Leo||English, Michael|
|Adams, Allen||Ennals, Rt Hon David|
|Allaun, Frank||Evans, loan (Aberdare)|
|Alton, David||Evans, John (Newton)|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Field, Frank|
|Ashton, Joe||Flannery, Martin|
|Atkinson, N.(H'gey, )||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Bagier, Gordon A.T.||Foot, Rt Hon Michael|
|Barnett, Guy(Greenwich)||Ford, Ben|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd)||Forrester, John|
|Beith, A.J.||Foster, Derek|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Foulkes, George|
|Bennett, Andrew(St'kp'tN)||Fraser, J.(Lamb'th, N'w'd)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Garrett, John (Norwich S)|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||George, Bruce|
|Bottomley, Peter ('W'wich W)||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Bradley, Tom||Ginsburg, David|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Golding, John|
|Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S)||Grant, George(Morpeth)|
|Brown, Ron(E'burgh, Leith)||Grimond, Rt Hon J.|
|Buchan, Norman||Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Midd'tn&P)||Hardy, Peter|
|Campbell, Ian||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter|
|Canavan, Dennis||Haynes, Frank|
|Carmichael, Neil||Healey, Rt Hon Denis|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Cartwright, John||Hogg, N. (EDunb't'nshire)|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Home Robertson, John|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)||Homewood, William|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hooley, Frank|
|Coleman, Donald||Huckfield, Les|
|Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.||Hughes, Mark(Durham)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Cowans, Harry||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Cox.T, (W'dsw'th, Toot'g)||Janner, Hon Greville|
|Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, M'hill)||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Crowther, Stan||John, Brynmor|
|Cryer, Bob||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Johnston, Russell(Inverness)|
|Cunningham, G.(IslingtonS)||Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rh'dda)|
|Cunningham, DrJ.(W'h'n)||Jones, Barry (East Flint)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)||Kerr, Russell|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Kilfedder, James A.|
|Davis, Terry (B 'ham, Stechf'd)||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Deakins, Eric||Lambie, David|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Dixon, Donald||Lamond, James|
|Dobson, Frank||Leighton, Ronald|
|Dormand, Jack||Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW)|
|Douglas, Dick||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Dubs, Alfred||Litherland, Robert|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lofthouse, Geoffrey|
|Dunn, James A.||Lyon, Alexander(York)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)|
|Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n SE)||McCartney, Hugh|
|Ellis, R.(NED'bysh're)||McDonald, Dr Oonagh|
|Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||McKay, Allen (Penistone)|
|McKelvey, William||Sheldon, Rt Hon R.|
|McNamara, Kevin||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|McTaggart, Robert||Short, Mrs Renée|
|McWilliam, John||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Marks, Kenneth||Silverman, Julius|
|Marshall, D(G'gowS'ton)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole, )||Smith, Cyril(Rochdale)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)|
|Mantin, M(G'gowS'burn)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Maynard, Miss Joan||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Meacher, Michael||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Mikardo, Ian||Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)|
|Millan, Rt Hon Bruce||Stott, Roger|
|Mitchell, Austin(Grimsby)||Strang, Gavin|
|Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)||Straw, Jack|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Morton, George||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Moyle, Rt Hon Roland||Thomas, Dr R.(Carmarthen)|
|Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)|
|Newens, Stanley||Tilley, John|
|Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon||Torney, Tom|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Wainwright. E.(Dearne V)|
|Palmer, Arthur||Walker, Rt Hon H.(D'caster)|
|Park, George||Watkins, David|
|Parker, john||Weetch, Ken|
|Parry, Robert||Welsh, Michael|
|Pavitt, Laurie||White, Frank R.|
|Penhaligon, David||White, J. (G'gow Pollok)|
|Powell, Raymond(Ogmore)||Whitlock, William|
|Prescott, John||Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)|
|Price, C. (Lewisham W)||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Race, Reg||Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H(H'ton)|
|Radice, Giles||Wilson, William (C'try SE)|
|Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)||Winnick, David|
|Richardson, Jo||Woodall, Alec|
|Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)||Woolmer, Kenneth|
|Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)||Wright, Sheila|
|Rooker, J. W.||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Rowlands, Ted||Mr. James Hamilton and|
|Ryman, John||Mr. James Tinn.|
|Alexander, Richard||Burden, Sir Frederick|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Butcher, John|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Cadbury, Jocelyn|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Carlisle, John (Luton West)|
|Atkins, Robert(Preston N)||Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)|
|Atkinson, David(B'm'th, E)||Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n)|
|Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone)||Chalker, Mrs. Lynda|
|Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)||Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul|
|Banks, Robert||Chapman, Sydney|
|Bendall, Vivian||Churchill, W.S.|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay)||Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)|
|Benyon, W. (Buckingham)||Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Best, Keith||Clegg, Sir Walter|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Cockeram, Eric|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Colvin, Michael|
|Biggs-Davison Sir John||Cormack, Patrick|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Corrie, John|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Costain, Sir Albert|
|Boyson Dr Rhodes||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Critchley, Julian|
|Bright, Graham||Crouch, David|
|Brinton, Tim||Dean, Paul (North Somerset)|
|Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon||Dickens, Geoffrey|
|Brooke, Hon Peter||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.|
|Brotherton, Michael||Dover, Denshore|
|Brown, Michael(Brigg & Sc'n)||Dunn, Robert (Dartford)|
|Browne, John(Winchester)||Durant, Tony|
|Bruce-Gardyne, John||Dykes, Hugh|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Eden, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon. A.||Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)|
|Buck, Antony||Eggar, Tim|
|Budgen, Nick||Elliott, Sir William|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Eyre, Reginald|
|Faith, Mrs Sheila||Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus|
|Farr, John||Mawby, Ray|
|Fell, Sir Anthony||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey||Mayhew, Patrick|
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||Mellor, David|
|Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles||Miller, Hal(B'grove)|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Mills, lain(Meriden)|
|Forman, Nigel||Mills, Peter (West Devon)|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Norman||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Fox, Marcus||Moate, Roger|
|Fry, Peter||Monro, Sir Hector|
|Gardiner, George(Reigate)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Gardner, Edward (SFylde)||Moore, John|
|Garel-Jones, Tristan||Morgan, Geraint|
|Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian||Morris, M. (N'hampton S)|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)|
|Good hew, Sir Victor||Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)|
|Gorst, John||Murphy, Christopher|
|Gow, Ian||Myles, David|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow C)||Neale, Gerrard|
|Gray, Hamish||Needham, Richard|
|Griffiths, (Peter Portsm'th N)||Neubert, Michael|
|Grist, Ian||Newton, Tony|
|Gummer, John Selwyn||Normanton, Tom|
|Hamilton, Hon A.||Onslow, Cranley|
|Hamilton, Michael(Salisbury)||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Page, Richard (SWHerts)|
|Hannam, John||Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Parris, Matthew|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Pawsey, James|
|Heddle, John||Percival, Sirlan|
|Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael||Peyton, Rt Hon John|
|Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.||Pink, R.Bonner|
|Hogg, Hon Douglas(Gr'th'm)||Pollock.Alexander|
|Holland, Philip (Carlton)||Porter, Barry|
|Hooson, Tom||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg|
|Hordern, Peter||Price, Sir David(Eastleigh)|
|Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)||Prior, Rt Hon James|
|Hunt, David (Wirral)||Proctor, K. Harvey|
|Hunt, Jonn (Ravensbourne)||Pym, Rt Hon Francis|
|Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas||Raison, Rt Hon Timothy|
|lrving, Charles(Cheltenham)||Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)|
|Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Renton, Tim|
|Jopling Rt Hon Michael||Rhodes James, Robert|
|Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine||Ridsdale, Sir Julian|
|Kershaw, Sir Anthony||Rifkind, Malcolm|
|Kimball, Sir Marcus||Rippon.Rt Hon Geoffrey|
|King, Rt Hon Tom||Roberts, M. (Cardiff NW)|
|Knight, Mrs Jill||Rossi, Hugh|
|Knox, David||Rost, Peter|
|Lang, Ian||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Sainsbury, Hon Timothy|
|Latham, Michael||Scott, Nicholas|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)|
|Lee, John||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark||Shepherd, Colin(Hereford)|
|Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Silvester, Fred|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)||Speed, Keith|
|Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)||Speller, Tony|
|Loveridge, John||Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)|
|Luce, Richard||Spicer, Michael (SWorcs)|
|Mc Crindle, Robert||Squire, Robin|
|Macfarlane, Neil||Stainton, Keith|
|MacGregor, John||Stanbrook, lvor|
|McNair-Wilson, M.(N'bury)||Stanley, John|
|McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)||Steen, Anthony|
|McQuarrie, Albert||Stevens, Martin|
|Major, John||Stewart, A. (ERenfrewshire)|
|Marland, Paul||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Marlow, Antony||Stokes, John|
|Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Stradling Thomas.J.|
|Mates, Michael||Tapsell, Peter|
|Mather, Carol||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Temple-Morris, Peter||Waller, Gary|
|Thomas, Rt Hon Peter||Ward, John|
|Thompson, Donald||Warren, Kenneth|
|Thorne, Neil (llford South)||Watson, John|
|Thornton, Malcolm||Wells, Bowen|
|Townend, John(bridlington)||Wells, John(Maidstone)|
|Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)||Wheeler, John|
|van Straubenzee, Sir W.||Williams, D.(Montgomery)|
|Vaughan Dr Gerard||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Viggers, Peter||Wolfson, Mark|
|Waddington, David||Young, Sir George(acton)|
|Waldegrave, Hon William||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Walker, B. (Perth)||Mr. John Cope and|
|Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.||Mr. Alastair Goodlad.|
|Wall, Sir Patrick|
§ Question accordingly negatived.5.15 pm
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I want to check with you whether the difference between new clauses 4 and 13 is appreciated. The purpose of new clause 4 is to restore the value of short-term benefits to what they would have been if there had not been the 5 per cent. abatement. There is no issue about what the Government said at the time. The distinction between the two new clauses is that new clause 13 would add 5 per cent. to the reduced figure. There is clearly a one in 20 difference between the new clauses. I hope that the Chair will recognise the significance of the difference and allow the House to vote on both clauses.
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)
The hon. Member has raised a matter which has. been given careful consideration. We shall proceed to debate new clause 4 with which it will be convenient to discuss new clause 13, which has not been selected for a Division.