§ Again considered in Committee.
§ Mr. Foster
The proud boast of the Secretary of State on Second Reading was to protect the living standards of all beneficiaries. How does the Minister of State propose to protect the millions of housing benefit claimants, especially when some of the largest authorities in the land are having difficulty? In an earlier debate today, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West, (Mr. Dean) quoted a letter from a councillor in his area suggesting that a tenant was about to be evicted. As we are talking about protecting the living standards of beneficiaries, I should cite a further example. My right hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walker) received a telephone call today from a Mr. Gardner. The Doncaster authority has about 6,000 cases to administer and my right hon. Friend had the impression that it was having considerable difficulty in implementing the scheme. Mr. Gardner's rent has not been paid by the local authority for three weeks and he is now threatened with eviction. There are similar cases all over the country.
If the Minister is really interested in protecting the living standards of housing benefit claimants whose living standards are currently not at all protected by the Bill he must pay serious attention to that point. Will he even at this late stage accept the amendment or at least promise to bring forward a suitable amendment perhaps in another place?
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
I support the amendment. It is extremely important that the Government make their intentions clear now. Do they intend to wait until the information is available on 17 June, then think about it and decide perhaps to increase housing benefits by the amount required by the retail price index, or do they intend to increase it by a smaller amount?
Complicated problems arise. So far, we have been probing whether the Government can manage to carry out their uprating in the time allowed between the Government's taking the decision sometime soon after 17 June, laying orders before the House and getting the legislation through.
As to the housing benefit scheme, the Government have to do no more than announce the scales, because the local authorities will have to implement them. Has the Minister consulted the local authorities and are they confident that the process can be carried out in the required time? Although local authorities had notice that the new housing benefit scheme was to be fully implemented by the beginning of April, there is considerable evidence to show that many have not done so. It may be that problems have arisen because of the complexities in the transition. Working out those calculations is a considerable work load for the local authorities. I hope that the Minister will inform the Committee how many tenants are involved within those local authorities and how far those local authorities are in difficulties as a result of the complexities of the system, or because they have not had the staff to implement the scheme in the time involved. That is extremely important if any uprating is to take place as a result of the change in the needs allowance. That information should be given to the Committee immediately. A guarantee must be given that there will be 376 no problems in future with the housing benefit scheme. All hon. Members are worried about the problems facing our constituents, but guarantees are sought that, as a result of any uprating, there will be no further problems.
The Government should update the figures for the losers. There has been some difficulty in obtaining a clear statement from the Government as to how many losers there were on 1 April. The Government should be able to give us, not just an estimate, but a statement of how many losers there were.
I accept it may take a little time before those figures come from the local authorities. I trust that the Minister will tell the Committee fairly soon what the figure is, instead of an estimate of the number of people who have lost, and how far that will be continued if the uprating goes through at the level of the retail price index. Furthermore, will the Minister tell the Committee whether the number of losers will remain the same or whether there will be a progressive increase or decrease in that group?
I trust that the Government will state clearly that the uprating will be based on the retail price index and not on another figure that they pluck out of the air, saying that that is the figure they will use.
What evidence have the Government got about the large number of appeals that have been coming forward as a result of the introduction of the new housing benefit scheme? How many local authorities have set up their appeal tribunals? What is the experience there? That information is needed to show whether the local authorities will have difficulty in implementing an uprating. I hope that the Government can answer those questions.
Should the Government be making extra provision as to housing benefit because the major reduction in the retail price index has occurred as a result of mortages? People on many housing benefit schemes—certainly from the rent point of view—have not benefited. They have had the worst problems because council rents have risen in excess of the retail price index. The Government ought to be protecting that group. I trust that the Minister will assure the Committee that if the Government do not accept the amendment today they will implement its spirit in this year's uprating.
§ Mr. Rossi
The comments that have been made fall into two parts. The first part is directly concerned with the amendments, which urge the Government to adopt an inflexible method for uprating the housing benefit needs allowances. The second part involves an understandable inquiry into the scheme, the problems that have been encountered and whether there is provision to help people where, perhaps locally, there have been difficulties. I shall try to deal with the questions in turn.
The hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Foster) will not be surprised to hear that I advise the Committee to resist the amendments. Section 29 of the 1982 Act is the very first statutory provision covering the uprating of the needs allowances. There was no similar provision under the previous rent and rate rebate and allowance schemes. Those have been in operation for many years without any statutory requirement for their uprating. However, upratings have taken place.
We took the opportunity in our new legislation of imposing a positive obligation on the Government, which did not exist before, that they should come to the House of Commons with their proposals. Section 29 requires the Secretary of State to review the needs allowances each 377 year to determine whether they have retained their value in relation to prices and housing costs. If not, the Secretary of State must do one of two things: he must lay the regulations increasing the allowances as appropriate, or, if he decides to increase some or all of the allowances by less than the amount required to restore their value, he must lay a report before Parliament giving his reasons. He must say why he is uprating by a lesser factor, if that is his decision.
That requirement was not imposed on any Secretary of State regarding rent and rebate schemes prior to the 1982 Act. When the then clause 29 was tabled in Committee on what became the Social Security and Housing Benefits Act 1982, I acknowledged that the absence of a statutory provision to review the needs allowances was inappropriate to a scheme that affected so many people. However, we could not—and still cannot—accept that the Government should bind themselves indefinitely to an inflexible formula in determining the uprating of such a means-tested benefit. That is the essential difference between this type of benefit and the pensions that we have been discussing. The pensions are not means-tested in the same way as housing benefit. Therefore, they require a different approach.
We believe that section 29 has struck the right balance between the need for a statutory review, accounted for to Parliament, and the need for freedom of decision in the light of all the circumstances of the day. That was all debated on the Floor of the House when we discussed the 1982 Act not so long ago. The purpose of this Bill is simply to change to an historic focus in conducting the review. That is all. That is the only change proposed. Nothing about the change undermines or detracts from the case for maintaining this flexibility of approach in considering proposals for uprating. The existing provision has yet to operate, and I see no reason to change it beyond the provisions of the Bill.
In response to the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett), I should point out that we propose to undertake the first review of the housing benefit needs allowances this June, as he will have seen from the notes on clauses. The main element of the single person's and couple's needs allowance is equal to the corresponding long-term supplementary benefit scale rate. In answer to the hon. Gentleman, its value will be reviewed on the basis of movements in the general level of prices, excluding housing costs.
The hon. Member for Bishop Auckland made the point about flexibility. The supplementary benefit scale rates are not subject to the type of uprating that we have been discussing for pensions. Supplementary benefit uprating is dealt with quite differently. There is not the obligation to lay an order in the way that will now be required for pensions. In so far as the main element of the housing benefit needs allowance is based on the long-term supplementary benefit payment, it would be inappropriate to make one flexible and the other inflexible.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
Will the Minister ensure that local authorities have at least the same amount of time to implement the uprating as his own staff?
§ Mr. Rossi
Yes. Indeed, we shall make an improvement on what has happened in the past. In the past 378 local authorities have not carried out a review of rent and rate rebates until some time in July. We are making an advance on what has been the practice in the past.
The housing element of the needs allowance consists of components relating to rents, rates and water charges. These components will be reviewed on the basis of movement in the value of these items during the period under review.
I hope that the Committee will be satisfied with the Government's approach to uprating housing benefits, which has gone much further than the approaches adopted by any of their predecessors. I hope that the Committee will agree also that a satisfactory case has not yet been made for the proposed amendments to the substance of the provision, which has reached the statute book but has not yet been used.
Hon. Members want to know whether great difficuties have arisen from the main start. There have been some local problems and some individual mistakes that is not surprising when we consider that we are introducing a new scheme involving over 5 million claimants. However, there has been no breakdown. I have received practically no correspondence from hon. Members or from the general public drawing attention to main start problems.
§ Mr. Foster
The Under-Secretary of State is now in his place and he will recall surprising us all by saying that one third of all authorities were not in a position fully to implement the scheme. What is the Minister's definition of a breakdown if one third of all authorities can not fully implement the scheme?
§ Mr. Rossi
I am grateful to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John), because he has made the precise point. The real issue is the number of those who may be disadvantaged. I shall give the Committee those figures.
Progress reports entering the Department's headquarters show that DHSS local offices reassessed nearly 90 per cent. of supplementary benefit claimants in the main start by 18 March, which was their target date. Most of the remaining cases were completed by Easter. On the local authority side, over three quarters of the existing rebate cases were reassessed under the main start. Where cases have not been reassessed on time, this has been due to a variety of factors that have often been local in origin, and in many instances not directly associated with housing benefit.
A good example was the recent industrial action in DHSS offices at Birmingham and Oxford, which had a knock-on effect on housing benefit. The implementation of housing benefit reassessment in local offices and local authorities has generally been completed at least as quickly as the reassessment of cases for rent changes in previous years under the old schemes. As soon as all the final reports have come in from the various local authorities and these have been collated, the results will be submitted to the House of Commons. We shall let the House of Commons know the exact position.
I accept that a number of reassessments have been late but I assure the Committee that we have contingency arrangements in hand to ensure that individuals are protected and do not lose out. In those cases in which the DHSS has not reassessed the existing supplementary benefit claimants on time, the Department will continue 379 to pay the pre-April amount for rent and rates until the cases have been reassessed for housing benefit. The local authority will calculate in due course the housing benefit entitlement from 4 April, offset the DHSS payment and pay any arrears. So those people will be fully protected and we will make sure that they get all that they are entitled to.
Where the local authority has not reassessed existing rebate cases on time, it will be able to continue the rebate granted under the old scheme as an interim payment. When it has reassessed the case for housing benefit it will make up the arrears. I do not deny that, because of the difficulties that I have discussed, some claimants will get some of their help late, but the arrangements I have outlined will maintain continuity of payments.
Where we are dealing with council tenants and also with owner-occupiers, where we are concerned in the main with rate rebates, there is no problem, because the matter can be dealt with internally in the local authority bookkeeping arrangements. A concern exists in regard to private tenants, especially those on supplementary benefit. That is why the housing benefit regulations require authorities to make interim payments of rent allowances to private tenants on supplementary benefit 14 days after the receipt of the certificate from the DHSS if they cannot make a full final determination.
The only case in which such an interim award cannot be made is where the tenant has not supplied the necessary information or has not produced the papers. We are trying to deal with that. Where forms have been sent out and have not been returned, a follow-up is being made to try to clear the problem so that people may get the money to which they are entitled.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
If someone has returned the form to the benefit office but it has not sent the certificate through, there can be a delay. Is the Minister certain that certificates have been issued to local authorities for all the people who have returned forms?
§ Mr. Rossi
Obviously I cannot speak for every individual case, and where we are dealing with 5 million claimants in what is essentially a new scheme, there will be difficulties. We are trying to keep the difficulties to a minimum. We have taken what I hope the Committee will accept as reasonable longstop measures to protect everybody we can. Sooner or later all the people will receive the money to which they are entitled. There is no reason why anyone, simply because of the change to housng benefit, should be under threat of eviction.
I have not seen the cases to which the hon. Gentleman has referred. One was mentioned last week, in which apparently a tenant received a threat of eviction within one week of the introduction of the scheme. I venture to suggest that there is probably some background that has not been disclosed, because a threat of eviction is not made so swiftly. There must be a history to that case. I should like to know all the details before I would be prepared to make a judgment on it.
I hope the Committee will accept that we have taken all reasonable precautions. For the reasons I have given regarding the history of section 29, the amendments are inappropriate and I recommend that the Committee reject them.
§ Mr. Foster
The Minister said that we would not be surprised that he could not recommend the acceptance of the amendments. He will not be surprised that we do not find his reply satisfactory. He described the method we are advocating as inflexible. The Secretary of State boasted on Second Reading of accuracy and certainty. We are still entitled to ask what is so different about housing benefit beneficiaries.
§ Mr. Foster
The hon. Gentleman sought to explain it, and we do not accept his explanation—but they cannot have the same certainty and be subject to the same accuracy in their uprating as the other claimants about whom we have been talking.
The Minister described some of the local problems and gave an assurance that he would make a full report to the House. We look forward to that. He could have given more information on the number of tenants involved. He quickly latched on to a comment about the number of tenants, but having whetted our appetite, he failed to satisfy us. We still suspect that many more people are involved in these local difficulties than the Minister led us to believe, because a substantial number of people are affected by this benefit.
My hon. Friend the Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett) covered many of the points. He asked about adequate consultation with local authorities, but we had no comment on that from the Minister. My hon. Friend asked about the work load imposed on local authorities and whether they were now well equipped to deal with it. Again, the Minister did not comment on that. My hon. Friend rightly said that many of the difficulties experienced by local authorities arose very much as a result of the complexity of the scheme.
As to private tenants, the Under-Secretary will recall that in the recent debate we referred to the four-page application form that private tenants were expected to complete. Has the Department yet decided to review that procedure? Many of my hon. Friends, let alone many of the tenants who claim the benefit, would have difficulty completing that form.
What do the Government have against tenants? I know that they would much prefer council house tenants to buy their own properties than to be the beneficiaries of this scheme. That would be fine if such tenants could afford to buy, but the Government have put many thousands of them out of work. Even if they wanted to buy their properties, those people are now unable to.
The Opposition want the same certainty for tenants as for all other beneficiaries. The Secretary of State boasts that the Bill will do just that, but patently it will not. We must therefore press the amendment to a Division, and I ask my hon. Friends to join me in supporting it.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 186, Noes 271.383
|Divison No. 125]||[10.28 pm|
|Allaun, Frank||Benn, Rt Hon Tony|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N)|
|Ashley, Rt Hon Jack||Bidwell, Sydney|
|Ashton, Joe||Booth, Rt Hon Albert|
|Bagier, Gordon A.T.||Boothroyd, Miss Betty|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd)||Brown, R. C. (N'castle W)|
|Beith, A. J.||Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S)|
|Brown, Ron (E burgh, Leith)||Lofthouse, Geoffrey|
|Buchan, Norman||Lyon, Alexander (York)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P)||Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)|
|Campbell, Ian||McDonald, Dr Oonagh|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||McElhone, Mrs Helen|
|Canavan, Dennis||McKay, Allen (Penistone)|
|Cant, R. B.||McKelvey, William|
|Carmichael, Neil||MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||McNally, Thomas|
|Clarke,Tbomas(C'b'dge, A'rie)||McTaggart, Robert|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)||McWilliam, John|
|Coleman, Donald||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Cook, Robin F.||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Cowans, Harry||Martin, M(G'gow S'burn)|
|Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, M'hill)||Mason, Rt Hon Roy|
|Cryer, Bob||Meacher, Michael|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Mikardo, Ian|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n)||Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Morton, George|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd)||Moyle, Rt Hon Roland|
|Deakins, Eric||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||O'Brien, Oswald (Darlington)|
|Dewar, Donald||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Dixon, Donald||O'Neill, Martin|
|Dobson, Frank||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Dormand, Jack||Palmer, Arthur|
|Dubs, Alfred||Park, George|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Parker, John|
|Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.||Parry, Robert|
|Eadie, Alex||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Eastham, Ken||Pendry, Tom|
|Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're)||Penhaligon, David|
|Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)|
|English, Michael||Prescott, John|
|Ennals, Rt Hon David||Price, C. (Lewisham W)|
|Evans, loan (Aberdare)||Radice, Giles|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)|
|Field, Frank||Richardson, Jo|
|Flannery, Martin||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Ford, Ben||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)|
|Forrester, John||Robertson, George|
|Foster, Derek||Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)|
|Foulkes, George||Rooker, J. W.|
|Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd)||Roper, John|
|Freud, Clement||Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)|
|Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Sandelson, Neville|
|Golding, John||Sever, John|
|Graham, Ted||Sheldon, Rt Hon R.|
|Grant, John (Islington C)||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)|
|Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife)||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Hardy, Peter||Silverman, Julius|
|Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Skinner, Dennis|
|Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Haynes, Frank||Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Snape, Peter|
|Hogg, N. (E Dunb't'nshire)||Soley, Clive|
|Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Home Robertson, John||Spellar, John Francis (B'ham)|
|Homewood, William||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Hooley, Frank||Stallard, A. W.|
|Hoyle, Douglas||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Stott, Roger|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Strang, Gavin|
|Janner, Hon Greville||Straw, Jack|
|Jay, Rt Hon Douglas||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|John, Brynmor||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|Johnson, James (Hull West)||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Tinn, James|
|Kerr, Russell||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.|
|Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Wainwright, E.(Dearne V)|
|Lambie, David||Watkins, David|
|Lamond, James||Weetch, Ken|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Welsh, Michael|
|Litherland, Robert||White, Frank R.|
|Whitlock, William||Woolmer, Kenneth|
|Wigley, Dafydd||Wright, Sheila|
|Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Wilson, William (C'try SE)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Winnick, David||Mr. Hugh McCartney and|
|Woodall, Alec||Mr. Ron Leighton|
|Adley, Robert||Faith, Mrs Sheila|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Farr, John|
|Alexander, Richard||Fenner, Mrs Peggy|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Finsberg, Geoffrey|
|Arnold, Tom||Fisher, Sir Nigel|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)|
|Atkins, Robert(Preston N)||Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles|
|Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E)||Fookes, Miss Janet|
|Baker, Kenneth(St. M'bone)||Forman, Nigel|
|Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)||Fowler, Rt Hon Norman|
|Bendall, Vivian||Fox, Marcus|
|Benyon, Thomas (A'don)||Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh|
|Benyon, W. (Buckingham)||Fraser, Peter (South Angus)|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Fry, Peter|
|Best, Keith||Gardiner, George (Reigate)|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Gardner, Sir Edward|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Garel-Jones, Tristan|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian|
|Blackburn, John||Glyn, Dr Alan|
|Blaker, Peter||Goodhart, Sir Philip|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Goodhew, Sir Victor|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Goodlad, Alastair|
|Bottomley, Peter (Wwich W)||Gorst, John|
|Bowden, Andrew||Gow, Ian|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes||Gower, Sir Raymond|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Grant, Sir Anthony|
|Bright, Graham||Gray, Rt Hon Hamish|
|Brinton, Tim||Greenway, Harry|
|Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon||Grieve, Percy|
|Brooke, Hon Peter||Griffiths, E.(B'ySt. Edm'ds)|
|Brotherton, Michael||Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)|
|Brown, Michaei(Brigg & Sc'n)||Grist, Ian|
|Browne, John (Winchester)||Grylls, Michael|
|Bruce-Gardyne, John||Gummer, John Selwyn|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon. A.||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Buck, Antony||Hannam, John|
|Budgen, Nick||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Hastings, Stephen|
|Burden, Sir Frederick||Hawkins, Sir Paul|
|Butcher, John||Hawksley, Warren|
|Carlisle, John (Luton West)||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Heddle, John|
|Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n )||Henderson, Barry|
|Chapman, Sydney||Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hicks, Robert|
|Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||Holland, Philip (Carlton)|
|Clegg, Sir Walter||Hordern, Peter|
|Cockeram, Eric||Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Colvin, Michael||Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)|
|Cope, John||Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)|
|Cormack, Patrick||Hunt, David (Wirral)|
|Corrie, John||Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)|
|Costain, Sir Albert||Irvine, RtHon Bryant Godman|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)|
|Critchley, Julian||Jessel, Toby|
|Crouch, David||Jopling, Rt Hon Michael|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Dover, Denshore||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||Kershaw, Sir Anthony|
|Dunn, Robert (Dartford)||Kimball, Sir Marcus|
|Durant, Tony||Knox, David|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lamont, Norman|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||Lang, Ian|
|Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)||Latham, Michael|
|Eggar, Tim||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Emery, Sir Peter||Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lee, John|
|Fairgrieve, Sir Russell||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Rutland)||Rossi, Hugh|
|Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)||Rost, Peter|
|Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Loveridge, John||Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R.|
|Luce, Richard||Sainsbury, Hon Timothy|
|Lyell, Nicholas||St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.|
|McCrindle, Robert||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Macfarlane, Neil||Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarf)|
|MacGregor, John||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|MacKay, John (Argyll)||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Macmillan, Rt Hon M.||Shepherd, Richard|
|McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)||Shersby, Michael|
|McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)||Silvester, Fred|
|McQuarrie, Albert||Sims, Roger|
|Madel, David||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Major, John||Smith, Sir Dudley|
|Marland, Paul||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Marlow, Antony||Speed, Keith|
|Marten, Rt Hon Neil||Speller, Tony|
|Mather, Carol||Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)|
|Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Mawby, Ray||Sproat, Iain|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Squire, Robin|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Mayhew, Patrick||Stanley, John|
|Mills, Iain (Meriden)||Steen, Anthony|
|Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)||Stevens, Martin|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Stewart, A.(E Renfrewshire)|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Stokes, John|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Tapsell, Peter|
|Morris, M. (N'hampton S)||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)||Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M.|
|Mudd, David||Thomas, Rt Hon Peter|
|Murphy, Christopher||Thompson, Donald|
|Neale, Gerrard||Thorne, Neil (liford South)|
|Needham, Richard||Thornton, Malcolm|
|Nelson, Anthony||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Neubert, Michael||Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)|
|Newton, Tony||Trippier, David|
|Onslow, Cranley||van Straubenzee, Sir W.|
|Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.||Viggers, Peter|
|Osborn, John||Waddington, David|
|Page, Richard (SW Herts)||Wakeham, John|
|Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil||Waldegrave, Hon William|
|Parris, Matthew||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.|
|Patten, John (Oxford)||Waller, Gary|
|Pawsey, James||Walters, Dennis|
|Percival, Sir Ian||Warren, Kenneth|
|Pink, R. Bonner||Watson, John|
|Pollock, Alexander||Wells, Bowen|
|Porter, Barry||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Prentice, Rt Hon Reg||Wheeler, John|
|Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Prior, Rt Hon James||Wickenden, Keith|
|Proctor, K. Harvey||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Pym, Rt Hon Francis||Wilkinson, John|
|Rathbone, Tim||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)||Wolfson, Mark|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Renton, Tim||Younger, Rt Hon George|
|Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Rifkind, Malcolm||Mr. Archie Hamilton and|
|Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey||Mr. Douglas Hogg.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Bill reported, without amendment.
§ Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington)
The Secretary of State should make the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), who is sitting on the Government Front Bench, a junior Minister and chuck him out.
§ Mr. Fowler
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
My hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) is now leaving the Front Bench which, I am sure, is a symbolic act. We are sorry to see him go.
Several themes have run through this debate. They can be summarised shortly.
First, no one has attempted to defend the action of the previous Government's move from the historic to the forecast method of uprating. It is accepted that that action was carried out to save the previous Government £500 million which, in today's terms, is worth £1 billion. It is accepted that that was a shabby manoeuvre by the previous Government which the then Chancellor of the Exchequer did nothing to justify.
Secondly, no one has seriously attempted to dispute the case that the forecast method has not worked out in practice and that, in five out of seven years, the forecast has been wrong. Few hon. Members or people elsewhere have challenged the basic proposition of this Bill, which is that the historic or actual method of uprating is preferable and that it gives a certainty to pensioners and other social security beneficiaries which the forecast method self-evidently has not achieved.
Thirdly, I believe that it has been accepted that it is a desirable aim of policy to reduce the gap between the date when the uprating is announced and the date when benefits are paid. For too long, that has been a complaint of pensioners. The Bill takes a step towards achieving that—and we shall continue to work to reduce that gap further. I emphasis that, unlike what happened in 1976, this Bill ensures that any increase in prices between May and November will automatically be included in the following uprating.
Fourthly, the Bill is being debated against the background of the Government's pensions and social security budgets having increased. Between November 1978 and November 1982, pensions increased by 68.5 per cent. whereas the retail price index rose by 61 per cent. On the basis of the Budget forecast for the five years up to November 1983, pensions have increased by 75 per cent. —whereas the retail price index has increased by 70 per cent. In other words, the Government have redeemed their pledge to keep pensions ahead of prices. Moreover, they have brought inflation down. We should never forget the damage that inflation does to pensioners' savings and to their standard of living. We should never forget that under a Labour Government between 1974 and 1979 inflation increased by 110 per cent. That spells disaster for pensioners and for industry, which creates the wealth for social provision.
The fifth point that has emerged is the gaping discrepancies in the Labour party's plan for pensioners. At the beginning of March the Leader of the Opposition published his 12-point plan for pensioners. At the end of March he published a document called "The New Hope for Britain". The plan contained an emergency programme that an incoming Labour Government would carry out immediately, but the 12-point plan is not mentioned. I have costed those proposals at a minimum of between £13 billion and £15 billion a year, and I have placed those costings in the Library. Opposition Front Bench Members 385 have so far refused to detail the costings of their proposals, or the phasing proposals that they made in a letter to The Times. Without those details, their plans lack credibility.
The Government's case is unanswerable. The Opposition's answer is unintelligible, and I ask the House to support the motion for the Third Reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. John
The Secretary of State has put up a determined smokescreen, in the sense that his logic was foggy and his language even cloudier, because he wishes to disguise from the nation the fact that the Conservative party offers no proposals for pensioners or people in the categories affected by the Bill. They have no new thinking, and on the basis of his speech, very little old thinking, on the subject.
I was heartened by the brave speech of the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton). I was worried when he sat on the Government Front Bench for a long time before we started the Third Reading debate, because I believed that he might have been seduced by the instant image machine of the Tory party from being the licensed rebel to being the accepted junior Minister. I am glad that he has returned to being a licensed rebel, because it is no compliment to be a junior Minister on the Government Front Bench.
However many times the Secretary of State makes a speech, he appears never to understand his brief better at the fourth reading than at the first. He talked about inflation during the Labour Government affecting the standard of living of pensioners. There was a 20 per cent. real increase in pensions by the end of the Labour Government, even allowing for inflation. If he could achieve a tenth, or even a twentieth, of that at the end of his term of office, he would be overjoyed, but we know that he will not. The Secretary of State mentioned—[Interruption.] I hate to intrude in a private debate between a sedentary — indeed, supine — Secretary of State and the unduly chirpy and unusually present hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, East (Mr. Thomas), but I would like the Secretary of State's attention. The Bill will be watched carefully. Millions of people will be watching the Government in November to compare what they have received and what they should have received at November prices.
The Bill shows that the Government have tried to effect by stealth what they do not have the guts to do openly. We do not accept that the Bill is merely a change in the uprating formula. If it were, it could have been debated dispassionately. But it is not just a change in the method. By their refusal to protect those affected by the Bill, the Government have introduced a disguised clawback of the 2 per cent. overshoot that will be taken from the pensioners in November this year.
That means that the Government will save £210 million in this tax year. I hope that they are proud of it. They speak of it as a comparatively small sum, and I can understand that at times Governments want to save such small sums. However, do the Government want to save such sums from this class of beneficiary — retirement pensioners, invalids, the unemployed, the sick, the widowed and the invalid carers, who are the recipients of attendence allowances? They are among the poorest and least fortunate in the land. It is because they have been singled out for this penalty that we cannot stomach the Bill. That is why we shall vote against Third Reading.
§ Mr. Freud
Every Secretary of State for Social Services and all Ministers in that Department try to do the best that they can for their clients and try to be seen to do so. Every Government wish it to be known that they care for pensioners and those who look to them for benefits. By the same token, every Opposition have a duty to make it sound as if they could do better.
I do not oppose for the sake of opposition, but I have listened to the debate with great care. I have intervened seldom, but I should like to put the pensioners' lot into perspective and explain why my right hon. and hon. Friends and I shall vote against the Government, just as we have voted for the amendments. The Government have promised that they would share their prosperity with pensioners. The Prime Minister has said on many occasions, when she has defended the small increase in pensions, that, when the country is better off, the pensioners will benefit.
The Prime Minister, perhaps because there is an election in the offing, perhaps because it is true, has told us that the recession is now over and that things are better. Let us just look to see how pensioners benefit. We started on a base rate of 100 in the retail price index. By common consent it is admitted that pensioners do worse than the retail price index because for them, without mortgages, having to buy food in small units and having to heat rooms that contain only one person, the per capita cost is greater.
The pensions have risen from a base of 100 to 175. That is not a 5 per cent. increase over the 170 per cent. increase in the RPI; it is five points out of the 175, which is under 3 per cent. Of that, the Government inherited the promise of a 1.8 per cent. increase, which means that, in what the Government call "real terms", the pensioners are now approximately 1 per cent. better off than they were.
Quite simply, that is why, despite the promises of the Government, we shall oppose the Bill.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:
§ The House divided: Ayes 271, Noes 186.389
|Division No. 126]||[10.54 pm|
|Adley, Robert||Brotherton, Michael|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Brown, Michael(Brigg & Sc'n)|
|Alexander, Richard||Browne, John (Winchester)|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Bruce-Gardyne, John|
|Arnold, Tom||Bryan, Sir Paul|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Buck, Antony|
|Atkins, Robert(Preston N)||Budgen, Nick|
|Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E)||Bulmer, Esmond|
|Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone)||Burden, Sir Frederick|
|Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)||Butcher, John|
|Bendall, Vivian||Carlisle, John (Luton West)|
|Benyon, Thomas (A'don)||Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)|
|Benyon, W. (Buckingham)||Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n )|
|Berry, Hon Anthony||Chapman, Sydney|
|Best, Keith||Churchill, W. S.|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Clegg, Sir Walter|
|Blackburn, John||Cockeram, Eric|
|Blaker, Peter||Colvin, Michael|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Cope, John|
|Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W)||Cormack, Patrick|
|Bowden, Andrew||Corrie, John|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes||Costain, Sir Albert|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Bright, Graham||Critchley, Julian|
|Brinton, Tim||Crouch, David|
|Brittan, Rt. Hon, Leon||Dorrell, Stephen|
|Brooke, Hon Peter||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.|
|Dover, Denshore||Lawrence, Ivan|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel|
|Dunn, Robert (Dartford)||Lee, John|
|Durant, Tony||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lester, Jim (Beeston)|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)||Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)|
|Eggar, Tim||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Emery, Sir Peter||Loveridge, John|
|Eyre, Reginald||Luce, Richard|
|Fairgrieve, Sir Russell||Lyell, Nicholas|
|Faith, Mrs Sheila||McCrindle, Robert|
|Farr, John||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Fenner, Mrs Peggy||MacGregor, John|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey||MacKay, John (Argyll)|
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||Macmillan, Rt Hon M.|
|Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)||McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles||McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||McQuarrie, Albert|
|Forman, Nigel||Madel, David|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Norman||Major, John|
|Fox, Marcus||Marland, Paul|
|Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh||Marlow, Antony|
|Fraser, Peter (South Angus)||Marten, Rt Hon Neil|
|Fry, Peter||Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus|
|Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Mawby, Ray|
|Gardner, Sir Edward||Mawhinney, Dr Brian|
|Garel-Jones, Tristan||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian||Mayhew, Patrick|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Mills, Iain (Meriden)|
|Goodhart, Sir Philip||Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)|
|Goodhew, Sir Victor||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Goodlad, Alastair||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Gorst, John||Moate, Roger|
|Gow, Ian||Monro, Sir Hector|
|Gower, Sir Raymond||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Grant, Sir Anthony||Morris, M. (N'hampton S)|
|Gray, Rt Hon Hamish||Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)|
|Greenway, Harry||Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)|
|Grieve, Percy||Mudd, David|
|Griffiths, E.(B'y St. Edm'ds)||Murphy, Christopher|
|Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)||Neale, Gerrard|
|Grist, Ian||Needham, Richard|
|Grylls, Michael||Nelson, Anthony|
|Gummer, John Selwyn||Neubert, Michael|
|Hamilton, Hon A.||Newton, Tony|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.|
|Hannam, John||Osborn, John|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Page, Richard (SW Herts)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil|
|Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael||Parris, Matthew|
|Hawkins, Sir Paul||Patten, John (Oxford)|
|Hawksley, Warren||Pawsey, James|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Percival, Sir Ian|
|Heddle, John||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Henderson, Barry||Porter, Barry|
|Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg|
|Hicks, Robert||Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)|
|Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.||Prior, Rt Hon James|
|Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)||Proctor, K. Harvey|
|Holland, Philip (Carlton)||Pym, Rt Hon Francis|
|Hordern, Peter||Rathbone, Tim|
|Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)|
|Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)||Renton, Tim|
|Hunt, David (Wirral)||Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)||Ridsdale, Sir Julian|
|Irvine, RtHon Bryant Godman||Rifkind, Malcolm|
|Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)||Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey|
|Jessel, Toby||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Jopling, Rt Hon Michael||Rossi, Hugh|
|Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Rost, Peter|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Kimball, Sir Marcus||Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R.|
|Knight, Mrs Jill||Sainsbury, Hon Timothy|
|Knox, David||St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.|
|Lamont, Norman||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Lang, Ian||Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')|
|Latham, Michael||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Shepherd, Richard||Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)|
|Shersby, Michael||Trippier, David|
|Silvester, Fred||van Straubenzee, Sir W.|
|Sims, Roger||Viggers, Peter|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Waddington, David|
|Smith, Sir Dudley||Wakeham,John|
|Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)||Waldegrave, Hon William|
|Speed, Keith||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.|
|Speller, Tony||Waller, Gary|
|Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)||Walters, Dennis|
|Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Sproat, Iain||Watson, John|
|Squire, Robin||Wells, Bowen|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Stanley, John||Wheeler, John|
|Steen, Anthony||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Stevens, Martin||Wickenden, Keith|
|Stewart, b.(E Renfrewshire)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)||Wilkinson, John|
|Stokes, John||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Stradling Thomas, J.||Wolfson, Mark|
|Tapsell, Peter||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)||Younger, Rt Hon George|
|Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Thomas, Rt Hon Peter||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Thompson, Donald||Mr. Carol Mather and|
|Thorne, Neil (liford South)||Mr. Robert Boscawen.|
|Allaun, Frank||Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're)|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||English, Michael|
|Ashley, Rt Hon Jack||Ennals, Rt Hon David|
|Ashton, Joe||Evans, loan (Aberdare)|
|Bagier, Gordon A.T.||Evans, John (Newton)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Field, Frank|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd)||Flannery, Martin|
|Beith, A. J.||Ford, Ben|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Forrester, John|
|Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N)||Foster, Derek|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Foulkes, George|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd)|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Freud, Clement|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Garrett, John (Norwich S)|
|Brown, R. C. (N'castle W)||Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)|
|Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'y S)||Golding, John|
|Buchan, Norman||Graham, Ted|
|Callaghan, Jim (Midd'fn & P)||Grant, John (Islington C)|
|Campbell, Ian||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)|
|Campbell-Savours, Dale||Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Hardy, Peter|
|Cant, R. B.||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Haynes, Frank|
|Clarke.Thomas(C'b'dge, A'rie)||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)||Holland, S. (L'fth, Vauxh'll)|
|Coleman, Donald||Home Robertson, John|
|Cook, Robin F.||Homewood, William|
|Cowans, Harry||Hooley, Frank|
|Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, M'hill)||Hoyle, Douglas|
|Cryer, Bob||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n)||Janner, Hon Greville|
|Davidson, Arthur||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)||John, Brynmor|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd)||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Deakins, Eric||Kerr, Russell|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Dewar, Donald||Lambie, David|
|Dixon, Donald||Lamond, James|
|Dobson, Frank||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Dormand, Jack||Leighton, Ronald|
|Dubs, Alfred||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Litherland, Robert|
|Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.||Lofthouse, Geoffrey|
|Eadie, Alex||Lyon, Alexander (York)|
|Eastham, Ken||Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)|
|McCartney, Hugh||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|McDonald, Dr Oonagh||Sandelson, Neville|
|McElhone, Mrs Helen||Sever, John|
|McKay, Allen (Penistone)||Sheldon, Rt Hon R.|
|McKelvey, William||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor||Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)|
|McNally, Thomas||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|McTaggart, Robert||Silverman, Julius|
|McWilliam, John||Skinner, Dennis|
|Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Snape, Peter|
|Martin, M(G'gow S'bum)||Soley, Clive|
|Mason, Rt Hon Roy||Spearing, Nigel|
|Meacher, Michael||Spellar, John Francis (B'ham)|
|Mikardo, Ian||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)||Stallard, A. W.|
|Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen)||Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)|
|Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)||Stott, Roger|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Strang, Gavin|
|Moyle, Rt Hon Roland||Straw, Jack|
|Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|O'Brien, Oswald (Darlington)||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Thorne, Stan (Preston South)|
|O'Neill, Martin||Tinn, James|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.|
|Palmer, Arthur||Wainwright, E.(Dearne V)|
|Park, George||Watkins, David|
|Parker, John||Weetch, Ken|
|Parry, Robert||Welsh, Michael|
|Pavitt, Laurie||White, Frank R.|
|Pendry, Tom||Whitlock, William|
|Penhaligon, David||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)||Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)|
|Prescott, John||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Price, C. (Lewisham W)||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, Albert (Normanton)||Woolmer, Kenneth|
|Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)||Wright, Sheila|
|Robertson, George||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)|
|Rooker, J. W.||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Roper, John||Mr. George Morton and|
|Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)||Mr. Norman Hogg.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Bill read the Third time and passed.