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Industrial Injuries and Diseases

Orders of the Day — Social Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 20th May 1986.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett Shadow Minister (Social Security) 5:45 pm, 20th May 1986

I beg to move amendment No. 82, in page 93, leave out lines 20 to 23 and insert— '3.—(1) After subsection (1) of section 57 (disablement benefit) the following subsection shall be inserted—'. The amendment seeks to do what we were unable to do in Committee because of the lateness of the hour at which the Government's proposals on industrial injuries were tabled. It seeks to remove the provision that the cut-off point for entitlement to industrial injury benefit should be at a 14 per cent. degree of disability.

It is a remarkably unfortunate coincidence that, as the Government confirmed in Committee, a cut-off point at that level will mean that about 90 per cent. of people who now gain awards under the industrial injury scheme will no longer receive a reward of any kind. Hon. Members who have experience of working in manufacturing industry or other industries where work may incur the possibility of an accident or hon. Members with constituency experience of the damage that is done to people who spend their working lives in heavy manufacturing or heavy engineeering will be alarmed at these proposals.

6.15 pm

Both in my constituency and outside it I have an extensive acquaintance with people who earn their living in heavy engineering. I cannot recall a single person of my acquaintance who has worked most of his or her life in such an industry and in jobs where there is a risk of physical injury who is not in some way damaged. Some have lost small joints and many suffer from debilitating back injuries which attract less sympathy because they are invisible but which are extremely painful. There are many ways in which people are damaged by such work. Those of us who number such individuals among our friends and acquaintances have seen them dragging themselves about because their bodies have been damaged by heavy work.

When we discussed this matter in Committee the Minister said that there might be a problem of resources. He argued, as the Government have so often argued during the Bill's passage, that they wished to simplify the schemes that are being put forward. It is unfortunate that, whenever the Government propose simplification, it always removes a more beneficial scheme and rarely gives an advantage to others which has been enjoyed only by a few.

My union, the Transport and General Workers Union, has sent me examples of the types of people who will lose out under these proposals unless our amendment is passed. This year a person was awarded £2,700 in compensation for the amputation of his third finger, but under these proposals he would not receive a penny. This year a person who lost his ring finger was awarded more than £1,500, but under the proposals he would not receive a penny. This year a person lost four toes on one foot—a disabling and painful injury—and was awarded £2,075, but under these proposals he would not receive a penny.

Injuries not involving amputation will also be affected. A person who had scaffolding fall on his neck and spinal column and who suffered injuries to his neck, shoulders and back received an award of a 4 per cent. payment for life and more than £1,000. Again, under these proposals he would not receive a penny. A conductress who was thrown against a hand rail when a bus braked sharply and suffered chest and neck injuries—the type of injuries which are likely to lead to increased pain and suffering later in life — received an award of £1,600, but she would not receive a penny under these proposals. A further case, which may appeal particularly to Conservative Members, is of a security express driver who was shot in the leg. He will suffer permanently from the effects of this wound and he received an award of a 7 per cent. payment for life and £1,660. Again, he would not receive a penny under the provisions of the Bill.

In Committee the Minister explained that the total savings expected under the proposals would be between £46 million and £56 million, and that net of any improvements it would be between £40 million and £50 million. This is a particularly unfortunate example of the way in which the Government seek to remove at the stroke of a pen arrangements for which people have contributed, and which have been negotiated, fought for and won with considerable difficulty.

It is not only those with injuries who will lose, but 200 to 300 widows are likely to lose their pension entitlement, and there will be other corresponding losses under the proposals. The Government have made some small amendments in the light of comments made in Committee, but they are insufficient to persuade us that the amendment should not be pressed to a vote. Ninety per cent. who receive benefit under the existing system will lose out under this provision. The Government's proposals are wholly indefensible.

Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash , Stafford

I shall deal with widows and their allowances and payments. The National Associaton of Widows has written to me, and my hon. Friend the Minister was good enough to have a meeting with the director of the association, Mrs. June Hemer, a few weeks ago. My hon. Friend kindly wrote to the association giving some details of individual calculations, with which I shall not weary the House today. In reply, the association has sent me a series of comments on those calculations which show that, for widows without dependent children at various ages of 40, 45, 50 and 60 plus, whereas on the Ministry's calculations there would be certain small effects, on the association's calculations there would appear to be significant losses.

Therefore, as chairman of the all-party group on widows, I should be extremely glad if my hon. Friend the Minister would look into the matter and check the figures against those supplied by the association, which has done a marvellous job over many years in fighting for the rights of widows. Would he be good enough to look into the matter and let me have his comments, if he is unable to give me detailed replies now to the calculations that I know that his Department has already received?

Photo of Charles Kennedy Charles Kennedy , Ross and Cromarty and Skye

I support the amendment. I shall be brief in the hope that we shall reach amendment No. 210, on the abolition of reduced rate benefits.

The omens for Government flexibility are not high, judging by yesterday afternoon and evening, despite the high-mindedness displayed by the Secretary of State at the close of play last night, who said that he would look again at one item that concerned many hon. Members on both sides of the House. The Minister, perhaps uncharacteristically, was rather more hard-faced. To be fair to the Minister, he usually is fairly reasonable, but yesterday there was a certain smack of Tebbitry in the way in which he would not countenance the introduction of a special allowance for the severely disabled, who will lose as a result of the Bill, nor look at specific community care additions for them. I hope that a night's sleep has made him feel more reasonable.

We have heard that the savings to be made by this measure are in the region of £40 million to £50 million. Set in the context of the social security budget and of the scale of undertaking that will remain as long as we have any system of social security, and as long as the Government's policies persist, it is not a significant sum of money. However, the Government's arguments will no doubt be similar to those that they made against the case for the severely disabled last night—that even if the sums are not significant, the money goes to significant numbers of people. The categories who will lose as a result of this provision should be exempted, and that should be done by the Government thinking again. I hope that the Minister will show a little more compassion than he was able to show yesterday and will heed the pleas from both sides of the House. I hope that he will say that, even if he will not accept this amendment, he will give an undertaking to redress the injustices that are likely to result.

Photo of Mr Andrew Stewart Mr Andrew Stewart , Sherwood

During my lifetime I have had numerous accidents at work and have the scars to prove it. However, being self-employed, I knew that no disablement benefit was due to me, and that was acceptable. What is not acceptable is the proposal that no benefit should be paid for disablement below 14 per cent., whether temporary or permanent. If it is accepted, many quite serious injuries will go uncompensated. For example, a middle finger is rated at 12 per cent. For those who work in my constituency's largest industry, coal mining, such a loss is commonplace. Many other injuries, involving the eyes, back and knees and resulting in permanent disability, attract assessments of less than 14 per cent. Taking away a benefit that has become part and parcel of the accepted service conditions of coal mining would be highly contentious and unacceptable to my constituents.

I can give my hon. Friend the Minister some information that might induce him to reconsider his decision. At Sherwood's 10 collieries it is normal to have five serious accidents a week per pit, making 50 in all, ranging from 1 per cent. upwards, with 80 per cent. of those accidents under 14 per cent. If my hon. Friend insists on this course of action, those who have suffered such injuries will receive no industrial benefit. I further remind him that, with 25 per cent. of my electorate working in an industry that suffers from a high incidence of industrial injuries, all permanent disabilities resulting from industrial accidents should attract basic disablement benefit. I shall vote accordingly.

Photo of Mr Frank Haynes Mr Frank Haynes , Ashfield

This in one of the wicked moves that the Government have made in the Bill. They are taking benefits away from people who have already paid for such benefits. I am pleased that the hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr Stewart) mentioned the mining industry, although he comes from the farming industry. The accidents that will be affected by this move occur in mining, farming and heavy industries such as engineering, shipbuilding and the like. People will not like this move, and I hope that they wake up to what the Government are doing.

While they work in these industries, people are contributing to the social security fund in the hope that, if something happens to them and they have certain disabilities, they will receive a payment in lieu of the disabilities. That payment for what has happened to them has been made since the welfare state was introduced. It is right and proper for me to point out that this is yet another Government move to do away gradually with the welfare state. This is a shocking state of affairs.

I sat for three months on the Committee considering the Bill, and I know that the issue is broader than just the disablement benefit. The Government are having a go at many things. As my hon. Friends have said in ether debates, money is being taken away from other benefits besides this one. That is why I felt that I had to say something this afternoon. I should have loved to contribute yesterday, but I could not because the guillotine meant that there was a lack of time. It will be on us again at seven o'clock, but I wanted to make my point.

Photo of Mr David Ashby Mr David Ashby , North West Leicestershire

I share the concern expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) and by the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Haynes) about this provision.. In areas such as mine, where there is not only heavy engineering, but the coalfield and other industries, it is a comfort to those who work in these injury-prone industries that there is some fall back.

We have good safety records in our part of the world. and it has won many awards for the prevention of injury. However, with the best will in the world, injuries happen and it is some comfort to the workers to know that they have a contract of insurance so that if they are disabled —for example, if they lose a finger—they will at least get some compensation.

I hope that the Minister persuades the Government to change direction, although I doubt that they will. At least we are trying to persuade them. We shall vote for the amendment, in the hope that we can carry many Conservative Members with us and win the vote to defeat the Government in their wicked move. Suddenly, out of the blue, people's contract, for which they have paid over the years, is ripped up. It is an industrial contract, but they are told that they will receive compensation only if the injury is over 14 per cent. If it is under 14 per cent. they will receive nothing.

I understand the desire to provide help where it is needed and I realise that there will be a higher level of payment for minor injuries. However, I ask my hon. Friend to think again about this. The fact that there will be compensation for these kinds of injuries is a great comfort to these people. Therefore, I have my doubts about this part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Bill Michie Mr Bill Michie , Sheffield, Heeley 6:30 pm, 20th May 1986

I spent the whole of my working life outside Parliament in industry. It is a sad day when this Parliament discusses taking away so many of the advantages that were gained over many years by people who were dedicated to helping those who work in dangerous environments and to getting society in general to recognise that there are dangers. People should be able to take comfort from the knowledge that at least they will be provided with some compensation if they find that they are in difficulties.

Shop stewards spent many years fighting to ensure that proper compensation was provided for those who were injured. This helped not just those who were injured physically or psychologically. It prompted industrialists to create better working conditions that helped to avoid many of the accidents that would otherwise have occurred. It was a two-pronged effort. It provided a stimulus to co-operation between management and work force in order to create an environment that prevents as many accidents as possible. There are bound to be industrial accidents. However small an injury may be, there ought to be compensation for it.

Many of the problems relate not just to physical injury but to the psychological effect of the injury on the injured. The character of the person will determine the amount of psychological damage that is done. We cannot close our eyes to that problem. Members of Parliament cannot say, "Oh, it's only a finger, so it does not matter very much." It matters a great deal to many people. I should not volunteer to have a finger chopped off just to prove the point that it really does not matter. It is important to provide as much protection as possible for those who work in dangerous occupations. We do not want to return to the dark ages when it did not matter whether a worker was injured, or even killed. However, that is the aim of this part of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I understand, as I understood in Committee, the reservations that have been expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House about these proposals. However, the Government gave this matter very careful consideration before deciding to introduce them, and I am unable to accept the amendment. We believe that it is right to seek to concentrate the industrial injuries scheme more closely upon the more severely disabled and to provide compensation for loss of earnings as distinct from the more limited degrees of disablement. They are defined in the Bill as 14 per cent.

Photo of Mr Anthony Favell Mr Anthony Favell , Stockport

In my professional experience as a solicitor I found that the administrative procedure involved in making claims for these smaller, albeit important, accidents was extremely cumbersome. If the amendment is not passed, there will be savings, but will the savings be given to those who are more severely disabled?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

My hon. Friend is right. That is one of the factors that the Government have in mind. Many of the claims that we suggest should no longer be met in the way that they were met in the past cost more to decide than the amount of benefit that is paid. That can best be illustrated by saying that compensation for disablement that is found to be less than 14 per cent., much of which is temporary rather than permanent, is about £400. I accept that that is an average and that, as with all averages, it disguises variations. However, it helps to put the matter in perspective.

It is important that the House should understand that we are trying to ensure that compensation continues to be paid for loss of earnings as distinct from disablement at every level of disablement. I accept that there is a net saving, along the lines mentioned by the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett), but for the severely disabled the proposals contain a significant improvement that can best be illustrated by saying that 3,700 severely disabled people in this scheme will gain up to £25 a week extra, provided that they have lost earnings.

The present rules mean that the severely disabled receive compensation for disability but that they are debarred from receiving compensation for loss of earnings. By making it possible for them to receive compensation for loss of earnings on top of the maximum amount of disablement pension, the most hard hit will receive an extra sum of up to £25 a week.

Another group of people who are more severely disabled than those to whom I have referred will also be assisted to a significant extent. About 3,500 people whose disablement is between 14 and 19 per cent. will have their disablement pensions rounded up to the 20 per cent. rate. They, too, will gain from the proposals. In both cases, they are more significanly disabled than those for whom we propose to cease paying compensation for disablement, but I emphasise that we shall continue to pay compensation for loss of earnings.

Photo of Charles Kennedy Charles Kennedy , Ross and Cromarty and Skye

The Minister for Social Security advances a very clear argument, with which I do not take issue. However, I take issue with the principle that those who hitherto would have received compensation because of industrial injury will not now do so. The Minister is not addressing that argument of principle which is a cause of concern to both sides of the House. How can that be right or just?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I am slightly puzzled by the way in which the hon. Gentleman phrases his intervention. He is attracted to some parts of what I said but not to others. Inescapably, we feel that it is right to look at these proposals as a package, in terms of a balance within the industrial injuries scheme, and to focus more closely on the severely disabled. I made no secret in Committee or in the documents that we have published on the subject that we place this in the context of the help that we are able to give to the sick and disabled as a whole.

I do not want to go too far down the track that the hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye (Mr. Kennedy) opened up for me a few moments ago in relation to community care, but one of the aims of our income support proposals is to provide a significant increase in the amount of support that is given to those who are classified as long term sick and disabled who are currently in receipt of supplementary benefit, and who under our proposals will receive income support. For that substantial group of people, for whom nothing like the industrial injuries scheme exists if they have been injured at home or elsewhere, we are seeking to provide assistance through the income support scheme, amounting to about £50 million.

I do not run away from the fact that we have sought to look at the needs of sick and disabled people as a whole, and to try to strike a balance between different groups of people whose disabilities may have arisen in different ways. Indeed. I see my right hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Mr. Prentice) in the Chamber. In the past, he has had responsibilities like mine, and he will know some of the problems.

Photo of Mr Reginald Prentice Mr Reginald Prentice , Daventry

My hon. Friend has tempted me to intervene. I speak not only as one of his predecessors, but as someone who, for about six years, specialised some time ago as a trade union official in the problem of industrial injuries. Repayment of the debt that society owes, particularly to those who are severely disabled, together with a concentration of help on those people is long overdue. When I was doing my hon. Friend's job, I put out a consultative paper. I am delighted with the provision, as it will help the most severely disabled people in the most practical way.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I did myself and the House a favour by referring to my right hon. Friend. He is right, in that significant aspects of the proposals in the Bill were contained in the White Paper which, if I remember rightly, was published in 1981. I do not recall the exact date, but my right hon. Friend may well have been the Minister responsible. We are seeking to focus help in that way.

Photo of Mr Andrew Stewart Mr Andrew Stewart , Sherwood

Does my hon. Friend recall that that report also said that 10 per cent., and not 14 per cent., would be the starting figure?

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I recognise that the proposals are not exactly the same as those in the White Paper. We have modified them to take account of developments and of other considerations, including the proposals for disabled people in other parts of the Bill.

My hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) also raised a point about multiple accidents. It is a sad fact that many miners suffer several accidents over a period, and they also suffer from chest diseases such as pneumoconiosis. I hope that it is clear to my hon. Friend that we shall add together the effects of all industrial injuries and pay benefit if the total disablement is 14 per cent. or more. There are specific proposals in the Bill for bringing together successive disabling or damaging accidents in the way that I have described.

We have given this issue careful consideration. We recognise the points made, but we have been concerned to look at the needs of the most severely disabled to ensure that the industrial injuries scheme is as effectively focused as possible on that group, and to take a small but useful step towards fairer treatment as between sick and disabled people — whatever the causes of their sickness or disability—and the other proposals in the Bill.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 195, Noes 296.

Division No. 187][6.42 pm
AYES
Adams, Allen (Paisley N)Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)
Alton, DavidBagier, Gordon A. T.
Anderson, DonaldBanks, Tony (Newham NW)
Archer, Rt Hon PeterBarnett, Guy
Ashley, Rt Hon JackBarron, Kevin
Ashton, JoeBeckett, Mrs Margaret
Beith, A. J.Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Bell, StuartHughes, Roy (Newport East)
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Bermingham, GeraldHume, John
Bidwell, SydneyJanner, Hon Greville
Blair, AnthonyJenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd)
Boothroyd, Miss BettyJohn, Brynmor
Boyes, RolandJohnston, Sir Russell
Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Kennedy, Charles
Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)Kirkwood, Archy
Bruce, MalcolmLambie, David
Caborn, RichardLeadbitter, Ted
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)Leighton, Ronald
Campbell, IanLewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Campbell-Savours, DaleLewis, Terence (Worsley)
Canavan, DennisLitherland, Robert
Cartwright, JohnLloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Clark, Dr David (S Shields)Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Clarke, ThomasMcCartney, Hugh
Clay, RobertMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Clelland, David GordonMcGuire, Michael
Clwyd, Mrs AnnMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S)McKelvey, William
Cohen, HarryMacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Coleman, DonaldMcNamara, Kevin
Conlan, BernardMcTaggart, Robert
Cook, Frank (Stockton North)Madden, Max
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)Mallon, Seamus
Corbett, RobinMarshall, David (Shettleston)
Corbyn, JeremyMartin, Michael
Craigen, J. M.Mason, Rt Hon Roy
Crowther, StanMaxton, John
Cunliffe, LawrenceMeacher, Michael
Cunningham, Dr JohnMeadowcroft, Michael
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)Michie, William
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Deakins, EricMitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Dewar, DonaldMorris, Rt Hon A. (W'snawe)
Dixon, DonaldMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Dobson, FrankNellist, David
Dormand, JackOakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Douglas, DickO'Brien, William
Dubs, AlfredO'Neill, Martin
Duffy, A. E. P.Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.Park, George
Eadie, AlexPatchett, Terry
Eastham, KenPendry, Tom
Edwards, Bob (W'h'mpt'n SE)Pike, Peter
Evans, John (St. Helens N)Powell, Rt Hon J. E.
Fatchett, DerekPowell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)Prescott, John
Fisher, MarkRadice, Giles
Flannery, MartinRandall, Stuart
Foot, Rt Hon MichaelRaynsford, Nick
Foster, DerekRedmond, Martin
Foulkes, GeorgeRichardson, Ms Jo
Fraser, J. (Norwood)Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Freeson, Rt Hon ReginaldRobinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Freud, ClementRogers, Allan
Garrett, W. E.Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
George, BruceRoss, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnSedgemore, Brian
Godman, Dr NormanSheldon, Rt Hon R.
Gould, BryanShields, Mrs Elizabeth
Gourlay, HarryShore, Rt Hon Peter
Hamilton, James (M'well N)Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Hamilton, W. W. (Fife Central)Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Hancock, MichaelSilkin, Rt Hon J.
Hardy, PeterSkinner, Dennis
Harrison, Rt Hon WalterSmith, C.(lsl'ton S & Fbury)
Haynes, FrankSmith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Healey, Rt Hon DenisSmith, Rt Hon J. (M'ds E)
Heffer, Eric S.Smyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Snape, Peter
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)Spearing, Nigel
Home Robertson, JohnSteel, Rt Hon David
Howells, GeraintStewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Hughes, Dr Mark (Durham)Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Stott, RogerWeetch, Ken
Strang, GavinWelsh, Michael
Taylor, Rt Hon John DavidWhite, James
Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)Wigley, Dafydd
Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)Williams, Rt Hon A.
Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)Wilson, Gordon
Thorne, Stan (Preston)Winnick, David
Tinn, JamesWoodall, Alec
Torney, TomYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Wainwright, R.
Walker, Cecil (Belfast N)Tellers for the Ayes:
Wallace, JamesMr. John McWilliam and Mr. Sean Hughes.
Warden, Gareth (Gower)
Wareing, Robert
NOES
Adley, RobertDykes, Hugh
Alexander, RichardEdwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelEggar, Tim
Amess, DavidEmery, Sir Peter
Ashby, DavidEvennett, David
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.Eyre, Sir Reginald
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)Fairbairn, Nicholas
Atkinson, David (B'm'th E)Fallon, Michael
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Farr, Sir John
Baldry, TonyFavell, Anthony
Batiste, SpencerFinsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyFletcher, Alexander
Bendall, VivianFookes, Miss Janet
Bennett, Rt Hon Sir FredericForman, Nigel
Best, KeithForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Bevan, David GilroyForth, Eric
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnFowler, Rt Hon Norman
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnFox, Marcus
Blackburn, JohnFranks, Cecil
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterFraser, Peter (Angus East)
Body, Sir RichardFreeman, Roger
Bonsor, Sir NicholasFry, Peter
Boscawen, Hon RobertGalley, Roy
Bottomley, PeterGardiner, George (Reigate)
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaGardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n)Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Boyson, Dr RhodesGlyn, Dr Alan
Brandon-Bravo, MartinGoodhart, Sir Philip
Brinton, TimGoodlad, Alastair
Brooke, Hon PeterGow, Ian
Browne, JohnGower, Sir Raymond
Bruinvels, PeterGrant, Sir Anthony
Bryan, Sir PaulGreenway, Harry
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A.Gregory, Conal
Buck, Sir AntonyGriffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Budgen, NickGrist, Ian
Bulmer, EsmondGround, Patrick
Burt, AlistairHamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Butcher, JohnHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Carlisle, John (Luton N)Hanley, Jeremy
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Hannam, John
Carttiss, MichaelHargreaves, Kenneth
Cash, WilliamHarris, David
Channon, Rt Hon PaulHarvey, Robert
Chapman, SydneyHavers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Chope, ChristopherHawkins, C. (High Peak)
Churchill, W. S.Hawksley, Warren
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Hayes, J.
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)Heathcoat-Amory, David
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Heddle, John
Clegg, Sir WalterHickmet, Richard
Cockeram, EricHicks, Robert
Cope, JohnHiggins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Corrie, JohnHill, James
Couchman, JamesHind, Kenneth
Critchley, JulianHirst, Michael
Crouch, DavidHogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Currie, Mrs EdwinaHolland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Dickens, GeoffreyHolt, Richard
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.Hordern, Sir Peter
Dover, DenHoward, Michael
du Cann, Rt Hon Sir EdwardHowarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Durant, TonyHowell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N)Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Hubbard-Miles, PeterPollock, Alexander
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Porter, Barry
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)Portillo, Michael
Hunter, AndrewPowell, William (Corby)
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasPowley, John
Jessel, TobyPrentice, Rt Hon Reg
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyPrice, Sir David
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Proctor, K. Harvey
Jones, Robert (Herts W)Raffan, Keith
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir KeithRees, Rt Hon Peter (Dover)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs ElaineRhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Kershaw, Sir AnthonyRoberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Key, RobertRobinson, Mark (N'port W)
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Roe, Mrs Marion
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)Rossi, Sir Hugh
Knowles, MichaelRost, Peter
Knox, DavidRowe, Andrew
Lamont, NormanRumbold, Mrs Angela
Lang, IanRyder, Richard
Latham, MichaelSainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lawler, GeoffreySayeed, Jonathan
Lawrence, IvanShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Lawson, Rt Hon NigelShelton, William (Streatham)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkShepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Lester, JimShields, Mrs Elizabeth
Lightbown, DavidSilvester, Fred
Lilley, PeterSims, Roger
Lloyd, Ian (Havant)Skeet, Sir Trevor
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lord, MichaelSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Luce, Rt Hon RichardSoames, Hon Nicholas
McCrindle, RobertSpeed, Keith
McCurley, Mrs AnnaSpeller, Tony
Macfarlane, NeilSpencer, Derek
MacGregor, Rt Hon JohnSpicer, Jim (Dorset W)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Maclean, David JohnSquire, Robin
McLoughlin, PatrickStanbrook, Ivor
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)Steen, Anthony
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)Stern, Michael
McQuarrie, AlbertStevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Major, JohnStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Malins, HumfreyStewart, Ian (Hertf'dshire N)
Marland, PaulStokes, John
Marlow, AntonyStradling Thomas, Sir John
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Sumberg, David
Mates, MichaelTapsell, Sir Peter
Maude, Hon FrancisTaylor, John (Solihull)
Mawhinney, Dr BrianTaylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Maxwell-Hyslop, RobinTebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Mayhew, Sir PatrickTemple-Morris, Peter
Mellor, DavidThomas, Rt Hon Peter
Merchant, PiersThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Mills, lain (Meriden)Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Miscampbell, NormanThornton, Malcolm
Mitchell, David (Hants NW)Thurnham, Peter
Moate, RogerTownend, John (Bridlington)
Monro, Sir HectorTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Montgomery, Sir FergusTracey, Richard
Moore, Rt Hon JohnTrippier, David
Morris, M. (N'hampton S)Trotter, Neville
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)Twinn, Dr Ian
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Moynihan, Hon C.Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Murphy, ChristopherViggers, Peter
Neale, GerrardWaddington, David
Neubert, MichaelWakeham, Rt Hon John
Newton, TonyWaldegrave, Hon William
Nicholls, PatrickWalden, George
Norris, StevenWall, Sir Patrick
Onslow, CranleyWaller, Gary
Oppenheim, PhillipWalters, Dennis
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.Ward, John
Page, Sir John (Harrow W)Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Page, Richard (Herts SW)Warren, Kenneth
Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abgdn)Watson, John
Pattie, GeoffreyWatts, John
Pawsey, JamesWells, Bowen (Hertford)
Peacock, Mrs ElizabethWheeler, John
Whitfield, JohnYeo, Tim
Wiggin, JerryYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Winterton, Mrs Ann
Winterton, NicholasTellers for the Noes:
Wolfson, MarkMr. Carol Mather and Mr. Gerald Malone
Wood, Timothy
Woodcock, Michael

Question accordingly negatived.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I beg to move amendment No. 207, in page 96, line 3, at end insert— '(11) A person who—

  1. (a) attains pensionable age after this section comes into force; and
  2. (b) has retired from regular employment before that day; and
  3. (c) was entitled to reduce earnings allowance on the day immediately before he retired from regular employment,
shall be treated as entitled as from the day on which he retires from regular employment to reduced earnings allowance at a rate not higher at any time than that at which the allowance was payable to him immediately before he retired from regular employment.'

Photo of Mr Ernest Armstrong Mr Ernest Armstrong , North West Durham

With this it will be convenient to take Government amendment No. 208.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I understand that it is the wish of the Opposition and to their convenience that the amendments be moved formally. I should make it clear that the amendments are of some importance. When we discussed clause 36 and schedule 3 in Committee I said that we would be bringing forward proposals to offset additional earnings-related pension and the invalidity addition against reduced earnings allowance, currently known as special hardship allowance. These amendments are directed to that aim.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 208, in page 96, line 5, at end insert— '(3) A person who—

  1. (a) is over pensionable age on the day on which this paragraph comes into force; and
  2. (b) has retired from regular employment before that day; and
  3. (c) was entitled on the day immediately before that day to an increase under section 60,
shall be treated as entitled as from the day on which this paragraph comes into force to reduced earnings allowance at a rate not higher at any time than that at which the increase was payable to him immediately before that day.(4) Where for any period commencing before 6th April 1987 a person is entitled both to reduced earnings allowance under section 59A and to an additional pension of a long-term benefit or, if the long-term benefit is invalidity pension, to either an invalidity allowance or an additional pension, or both, his reduced earnings allowance shall be reduced in respect of any part of the period falling on or after 6th April 1987 by the amount of any increase in the additional pension or invalidity allowance as the result of an order under section 60 above taking effect on or after that date.(5) Where for any period commencing on or after 6th April 1987 a person is entitled as mentioned in sub-paragraph (4) above, his reduced earnings allowance shall be reduced by the amount of any additional pension or invalidity allowance to which he is entitled.(6) Where a reduction falls to be made under sub-paragraph (4) or (5) above, the person to whom it falls to be made shall be entitled to reduced earnings allowance only if there is a balance after the reduction and, if there is such a balance, of an amount equal to it.(7) Where the weekly rate of a benefit is reduced under section 29 of the Social Security Pensions Act 1975, there shall be subtracted from the amount which would otherwise fall to be deducted under sub-paragraph (4) or (5) above equal to the reduction under that section.(8) In the preceding sub-paragraphs references to an additional pension are references to that pension after any increase under section 9(3) of the Social Security Pension Act 1975 but without any increase under Schedule 1, paragraphs 1 and 2, to that Act.'

No. 164, in page 96, line 34, leave out from 'treated' to end of line 35 and insert 'as satisfying the conditions of entitlement to a widow's allowance specified in subsection (1) of section 24 and her entitlement to the allowance under that section shall, subject to the proviso to subsection (2) of that section, continue for so long as she would have been entitled to a pension under section 67 at the initial rate.'.

No. 165, in page 96, line 41, leave out from 'treated' to end of line 42 and insert 'as satisfying the conditions of entitlement to a widowed mother's allowance under section 25 and her entitlement to the allowance shall, subject to the proviso to subsection (3) of that section, continue for so long as she satisfies either of the conditions specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) of that section.'.

No. 166, in page 97, line 4, leave out from 'treated' to end of line 5 and insert 'as satisfying the conditions of entitlements to a widow's pension under section 26 and the pension shall be payable for any period during which she satisfies the provisions of subsection (3) of that section.'.

No. 167, in page 97, line 7, leave out from 'shall' to end of line 10 and insert 'be—

  1. (a) in the case of a widow who was entitled to an allowance under section 70 after her husband died, but has ceased to be so entitled, the rate for a widow of the age she was when she so ceased;
  2. (b) in the case of a widow who was so entitled, the rate for a widow of the age she was when her late husband died,
and for the purposes of this subsection a woman who was under the age of 40 at the relevant time shall be treated as having been of the age of 40 at that time.'.

No. 168, in page 97, line 14, at end insert 'and shall be that rate notwithstanding anything in subsection (3) of that section.'.

No. 169, in page 97, line 15, leave out sub-paragraph (7).

No. 170, in page 97, line 25, leave out 'but does not fall within any of sub-paragraphs (2) to (7) above'.

No. 171, in page 97, line 28, leave out 'the deceased was at his death entitled to child benefit'and insert'the widow is entitled to child benefit if one of the conditions specified in section 43(1) of this Act is for the time being satisfied with respect to the child and the child is either—

  1. (a) a son or daughter of the widow and her late husband; or
  2. (b) a child in respect of whom her late husband was immediately before his death entitled to child benefit; or
  3. (c) if the widow and her late husband were residing together immediately before his death, a child in respect of whom she was then entitled tc child benefit.'.

No. 172, in page 97, line 35, after 'not', insert 'wholly'.

No. 173, in page 97, line 42, leave out 'A retirement pension' and insert 'B retirement pension at the same weekly rate as her widow's pension.'.

No. 174, in page 98, line 28, after '1948', insert 'and in respect of which a disablement gratuity was not paid to him under this Act after a final assessment of his disablement'.

No. 175, in page 98, line 36, at end insert 'and in respect of which a disablement gratuity was not paid to him under this Act after a final assessment of his disablement.'.

No. 176, in page 98, leave out lines 43 and 44 and insert— '14. In section 108 (disablement questions)—(a) in subsection (1) the following words shall be added at the end, but not as part of paragraph (b)but questions relating to the aggregation of percentages of disablement resulting from different accidents are not disablement questions."; and(b) the following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (4)—'.

No. 177, in page 99, line 2, at end insert— ' 14A. In Schedule 8 (assessment of extent of disablement)—(a) paragraph 4 shall be renumbered as sub-paragraph (1) of that paragraph; and(b) the following sub-paragraph shall be inserted after that sub-paragraph—(2) where—(a) the assessed extent of a claimant's disablement amounts to 13 per cent. or less;(b) it seems likely that the assessed extent of a claimant's disablement will be aggregated with the assessed extent of any present disablement of his and the likely aggregate amounts to 13 per cent. or less,the period to be taken into account by the assessment of the disablement shall not end earlier than any date by which it seems likely that the extent of the disablement or the aggregate will be at least 1 per cent.".'.

No. 83, in page 99, line 5, at end insert— 'Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979 (c. 41)16.—(1) Section 2 of the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979 (conditions of entitlement to lump sum payments) shall be amended as follows.(2) At the end of subsection (1)(a) there shall be added the words "or, subject to subsection (3A) below, would be payable to him in respect of it but for his disablement amounting to less than the appropriate percentage".(3) At the end of subsection (2)(b) there shall be added the words "or, subject to subsection (3A) below, would have been so payable to him—

  1. (i) but for his disablement amounting to less than the appropriate percentage; or
  2. (ii) but for his not having claimed the benefit: or
  3. (iii) but for his having died before he had suffered from the disease for the appropriate period".
(4) In subsection (3) the following definitions shall be inserted before the definition of "death benefit"—'the appropriate percentage' means, in the case of any disease, the percentage specified in subsection (1) of section 57 of the Social Security Act 1975 or, if regulations have been made under section 77 of that Act specifying a different percentage in relation to that disease, the percentage specified in the regulations;'the appropriate period' means, in the case of any disease, the period specified in subsection (4) of the said section 57 or, if regulations have been made under the said section 77 specifying a different period in relation to that disease, the period specified in the regulations;".(5) The following subsection shall be inserted after that subsection—(3A) No amount is payable under this Act in respect of disablement amounting to less than 1 per cent.".'.—[Mr. Newton.]