Orders of the Day — National Insurance (Non-Participating Employments)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th November 1960.

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Photo of Flight Lieut Wavell Wakefield Flight Lieut Wavell Wakefield , St Marylebone 12:00 am, 8th November 1960

I have received a letter from the town clerk of St. Marylebone setting out the arguments for reconsideration of these Regulations, which have been so well put from both sides of the House this evening. I do not want to waste the time of the House by going over arguments already made, but what I am deeply concerned about, as must be every other hon. Member who has perhaps received similar information from his local authority, is that it seems to be quite clear that the Regulations as proposed will mean a waste of time and money.

It is the duty of hon. Members, in particular, to criticise the Executive where there is expenditure of money. Form time to time hon. Members write to Government Departments drawing attention, perhaps, to unnecessary expenditure or to what they believe to be a waste of money. The reply always comes back asking for exact and precise details. Precise and definite details have been and are being given tonight, and it seems quite clear that the Government have here made a mistake.

No Government is infallible. This Government and their predecessors over the last ten years have a wonderful record of achievement in many things, but it seems that on this occasion there has been a slip up. I hope that my right hon. Friend will candidly admit this and will come clean. It would be a great thing if the Government could accept, acknowledge and realise that under these proposed Regulations there will be a waste of time and money. That really is inexcusable.

In speeches made up and down the country, members of the Government regret the high rates of taxation, whether local or national. Here we have an example of an unnecessary waste of time and money which can only mean either a raising of rates or of national taxation and not a reduction of them which everybody would like to see take place.

I therefore beg my right hon. Friend to look again at these Regulations to see what can be done in the light of the very great experience of the local authorities which really know how to run this type of business, and, having looked at them again, to see what can be done to avoid the duplication of paper work and a waste of time and money which the country simply cannot afford to have whether in private or national enterprise. I beg to support the Motion.