Transitional and Other Supplementary Provisions

Clause 2 – in the House of Commons at 10:15 pm on 15th December 1993.

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Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden 10:15 pm, 15th December 1993

I beg to move amendment No. 1, in clause 2, page 1, line 18, leave out ", and such savings,".

The Chairman:

With this, it will be convenient to consider the following amendments: No. 2, in clause 2, page 1, line 20, leave out from "1" to end of line 22.

No. 3, in clause 2, page 1, line 23, leave out subsection (2).

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

This is first amendment of the group of amendments which stands in my name and in the names of my hon. Friends.

I approach this amendment perhaps with a little nervousness. Although it is an interesting technical matter which I wish to discuss and to probe, I am aware that in the rather grand setting of the House of Commons it looks like the work of a barrack-room lawyer.

One of the disadvantages of being on the Floor of the House is that amendments which would generally fit in a Committee upstairs and which would give us a quite interesting few minutes of discussion suddenly seem just a little modest for the space and the stage which they occupy. However, I am not going to be put off. As we are here on the Floor of the House, it is our duty to try to understand what clause 2 is about. I say "try to understand" because it is a technical clause and does not raise the great issues of policy and the great sweeps of principle which clause 1 raises, although there may be the occasional point where they overlap.

The first obvious common ground is that, whatever the clause is about, it relates to regulations which presumably will be made at some future date by the Government and by the present team at the Department of Social Security. The first basic thing to establish is exactly what the regulations are. My hon. Friends, and I suspect a number of Conservative Members, will sympathise with the fact that more and more we are presented with very short Bills. These are effectively one-clause Bills, as we keep being told. However, if one looks closely at the print, one finds that they spawn generation upon generation and tribes and nations of regulations and subsidiary orders. It is extremely difficult for the House to keep track of them. On many occasions, they result in Government by diktat.

I know that some of my colleagues from Northern Ireland have been present during the debate. They have to deal with interminable orders and almost no primary legislation. They must be at a considerable disadvantage in terms of the role of scrutiny which falls to the House.

I make no apologies for saying that, when I read clauses such as clause 2, little alarm bells start ringing, my antennae start bristling and I wonder whether I am being taken for a ride by the Executive and the legislature is being bypassed. [Interruption.] As my hon. Friend the Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson) says so eloquently, "Again."

The first and really important question I want to ask the Minister is whether he will define the regulations and the occasions to which they apply. It is not as simple as it sounds; it never is in this place. I want to get it absolutely clear in my mind.

Can I assume that the regulations to which clause 2 refers are not the offsetting regulations dealing with the reduction in employers' national insurance contributions and which are an important part of the package? That must be so per se, but it is important to lay the ground rules before we get down to the nitty gritty of the argument.

I imagine that the national insurance contribution rule changes will be in another thicket of legislation which, genealogically can be traced back to totally different primary legislation. If we tried to trace all the measures, we would be left with a legislative family tree resembling that of the Hapsburg family, with so many roots and branches that it would be almost impossible to know where one was going.

Having established, with the helpful nod of the Minister who is anxious to make progress, that we are not talking about the offsetting regulations, what regulations are we discussing? We cannot define them by exclusion; we would have to go a long way round the houses to do that. We are looking for a positive definition and explanation from the Minister.

I asked in particular about the words "and such savings". What particular savings are they? To define that, it is important to look at the words "transitional and consequential provision", which are interlinked by a comma of some significance.

The Bill refers to such transitional and consequential provisions, and such savings, as he considers necessary or expedient". I am interested to know what the transitional regulations would be.

When I think of transitional regulations, I think of financial buffers that are built in when a change is so sharp that it is unreasonable to expect people to put up with the costs. I think particularly of finance or the poll tax. I shall not talk about that, but hon. Members may remember that an endless series of transitional arrangements were laid before the House as the Government tried in vain to buy peace on that contentious issue.

Perhaps more relevant to the debate, as they refer to the DSS, are the transitional arrangements for the Child Support Agency which involve a phasing arrangement in the first year. I shall not go into the detail of the financial cut off, but that is an example of transitional or phasing arrangements to protect a small group of people who have been paying money under a court order and facing an increase of more than £20 but less than £60 a week. That is a good example of the transitional arrangements that comes to mind.

Am I far off the beam? Are we talking about that kind of transitional financial buffer? If so, in what circumstances would it apply in the context of the measure that we are invited to enact in clause 1? We want to get at the essence of the word "transitional".

Similar questions arise in respect of consequential provisions. I suppose that they are consequential on the change to clause 1—there cannot be anything else from which the consequence could spring. I invite the Minister to clarify the situation. The word "consequential" has a broad definition. My first thought—the Minister will be able to say whether I am far off the track—was that "consequential" might relate to clause 1 and a continuation of the kind of variation on the rate of rebate that began with the 1992 Act.

The reason for my puzzlement is that there cannot be any further downward consequential movement because the rebate has reached nought per cent. Not even this Government could operate a negative rate of rebate, where the unfortunate employer would have to pay something as a bounty to the Department of Social Security. That would be going too far. I hope that the Minister will rule that out.

Earlier, I quoted the hon. Member for Beverley (Mr. Cran) who said that it was unlikely in his view—and how right he was—that the 80 per cent. rebate would rise rather than fall. It does not seem that the consequential regulations deal with the rate of rebate or its disappearance. It is important that the Minister gives some idea of what is transitional and what is consequential, and what savings are meant by the words "and such savings" in clause 2(1).

I take that matter seriously because I know that the Minister is keen on savings. They are one of the Government's principal obsessions. I note that they are keen on making savings at the expense of others rather than at their own. In any event, I am always suspicious when the words "and such savings" cross my course.

We know that administrative costs fall on industry, and some will still fall on the Department as a result of the system. For example, small business relief will remain, and that will involve paperwork and administration of one sort or another. Will savings be made by cutting that expense by further abolitions, trimmings or restrictions of small business relief—or, worse still, by telling businesses, "We expect you to meet the cost of savings to us"? Is that a possibility under clause 2? I hope that those points are reasonably connected and logical and that the Minister will be able to help.

The second amendment in the group refers to a longer proposed excision in clause 2(1), to remove the words or the operation of any enactment repealed or amended by that section during any period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in force. I must confess that as I get older I find the words, the wonders, the subtleties and the complexities of the legal draftsmen the harder to follow. I suppose it is because I am more and more of a refugee from the law. It is many years since I opened a law book in anger —or for money, which is perhaps more relevant. I am therefore perhaps struggling somewhere behind the pace when it comes to the textual analysis of those words which I am trying to remove—or which I am suggesting might be removed, because my views on the matter are not yet definite—from that part of the Bill. I very much hope that the Minister will be able to help me. 11.15 pm

The problem is that the regulations coming into force are: the provisions of section 1 or the operation of any enactment repealed or amended by that section"— that is, clause 1 of the Bill— during any period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in force. Quite a substantial point arises, in which I want to engage the Minister. I was going to say that I hope that he will try and follow me. I was not suggesting any fault on his part. It may be simply that my explanation is not as clear as I would want it to be, but I will do my best.

I am sure that the Minister has a copy of the Bill in front of him. Clause 1, which is what we are concerned with, says: the operation of any enactment repealed or amended". That means that we must be referring, by definition, to section 158(1)(a) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

Photo of Mrs Elaine Kellett Mrs Elaine Kellett , Lancaster

The hon. Gentleman said clause 1; he is reading clause 2, I think, if I may say so.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

The hon. Lady may say what she likes, but I am referring to clause 1. I am afraid that she has not followed my argument and it may be my fault. [HON. MEMBERS: "Start again."] No; I am not starting again. This is a point that I am genuinely curious about so let me try and develop it. Clause 2, to which the amendment has been tabled, refers to operation of any enactment repealed or amended by that section"— that is, section 1. Therefore, when we consider what it applies to—the amendments or repeals—we have to go back to section 1 to find the candidates. That is absolutely clear. It is section 1. If the hon. Lady goes back to section 1 she will see that the list of candidates is comparatively short.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

The hon. Gentleman, the name of whose constituency escapes me, makes a fair point.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

I resist the temptation to ask where that is, but there is a danger of becoming frivolous. I want to follow the point through and I am distracting myself.

The hon. Member makes a fair point. I am of course referring to clause 1 in that context, but a minute or two ago I referred to section 1. As this is referred to in the text of the Bill, it is of course section 1, because it is written on the assumption that it will become an Act. Therefore there is a slight confusion because we are discussing this as though in a prism; it is at different levels and it is therefore easy to slip between the levels and, I quite understand, confuse the hon. Gentleman.

The list of candidates for appeal or enactment is, as I said, short. Obviously, the main and most important candidate is section 158(1)(a) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. The bit that I am trying to excise from clause 2 refers to the repeal or amendment of that section during any period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in force. I take it, and I may be wrong, that that cannot apply to section 158(1)(a) of the 1992 Act because clause 1 goes on to say that that section shall cease to have effect. If, once the Bill is enacted, that clause ceases to have effect it clearly cannot be a candidate for something that refers to its appeal or amendment during any period when that appeal or amendment is not wholly in force.

Surely, if something ceases to have effect, to use a shorthand of politics, it dies at a stroke immediately the Act is brought into being. Therefore, it cannot be what is referred to when we are talking about a period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in force. That is an incompatibility. To put it in good lay language, "It doesn't fit."

I am perfectly prepared to listen to what the Minister has to say on the matter and he may be able to persuade me otherwise, but I deduce that section 158(1)(a) of the 1992 Act is not a candidate. It must be taken off the list as it does not meet the test, or fit into the jigsaw of the complex patterns that are wrought by the draftsmen in clause 2 of the Bill.

I want to be fair, however, and there are other—although minor—possibilities. Clause 1(2) refers to section 81(2) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and paragraph 2 of Schedule 11 to the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992". I do not think that it can mean section 81(2) of the 1992 Act because that is very narrow in its terms, if I remember rightly, and is also not likely to meet the requirement that it might be hanging around, not wholly in force, half in and half out, like a ghost in the legislative corridors. Section 81(2) does not fit that bill, as I think that hon. Members in the Committee who remember it will agree.

We may therefore be reduced to paragraph 2 of schedule 11 to the 1992 Act, which refers to circumstances in which entitlement to statutory sick pay does not arise and the switch from "over pensionable age" to "over the age of 65". In a sense, that seems to be the most plausible of the candidates, but it is a very narrow issue, which is peripheral to the main thrust of clause 1.

Although I am always open to guidance, I am in some doubt about whether the words that I have suggested that we should excise in amendment No. 2 should go on the basis that they are not really needed. If I am right in my detective story and paragraph 2 of schedule 11 is the only appeal or amendment to which the clause can refer, perhaps the Minister can tell us in what circumstances that could arise.

It is a simple concept. At some date, entitlement to statutory sick pay, which at the moment is available to women before the age of 60—assuming that they pass all the other tests and criteria such as availability for work and so forth—and for men up to the age of 65, will change. As I understand it, it is not like the phasing in of the arrangements for the retirement age under the state pension scheme. The change will be introduced immédiatement—perhaps I am being unfair to those above in the Press Gallery. It will come into force suddenly; instead of 60 and 65 we will have 65 and that will be the end of the matter.

If I am right, I again do not understand how it meets the test of a period when the repeal or amendment is not wholly in force. I hope that I have not in any way confused the Committee with those few remarks, but those genuinely innocent-looking amendments repay some examination. The more we look at them, the more we come to the conclusion that there are matters at stake which should be clarified before we move on.

Obviously, I shall listen carefully to what the Minister has to say. It may be that I will want to speak again when I have heard his explanation. Some of my hon. Friends may also want to participate in the discussion. [Interruption.] I can assure the Leader of the House—once again I congratulate him on coming back to the Chamber—that I have every intention of properly exhausting this issue. I intend to do my job conscientiously.

Another matter that I should mention, simply for completeness and because it is involved in this group of amendments, is amendment No. 3, which deals with a suggestion that we leave out subsection (2). I suppose it should really be sub-clause (2) in view of the strictures that we heard earlier on this matter.

I do not intend to advance any complex arguments on this matter. I will perhaps do something that is very unfair; I will simply read subsection (2) to the Committee.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

No, just once. I will then invite the Minister to explain the provision to us, because it is a peculiarly obscure offering.

Subsection (2) states: "Section 175(2) to" 175(4)—I am interpolating that to make it clearer— of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (general provisions as to regulations and orders) apply in relation to the power conferred by subsection (1) above as they apply in relation to a power conferred by that Act to make regulations. For the life of me, I am not clear what that means. Of course, that is a fault on my part. If hon. Members are ignorant and recognise that their powers of comprehension are letting them down, the best thing to do on occasions like this is to make a virtue of it.

I suspect—I may be totally wrong—that some hon. Members may be suffering from the same inability and frustrations as me. I know that the Minister, who has been well briefed by his men and women of skill and expertise, will have mastered this before he came into the debate and therefore should be able, without too much trouble, to guide us through the intricacies.

I think I know what section 175 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 is about, although it is very general in its message. But I am not at all clear about subsection (1) above as they apply in relation to a power conferred by that Act to make regulations. I am not sure how it all fits together. Even if I say it quickly, it does not sound any better.

I am asking the Minister to unravel this—I think "unravel" is the right word. Indeed, I am asking him simply to take us gently through the intricacies to make it all clear. If he can do that, he will do a considerable service to the Committee. I am happy to subside to my bench with a receptive mind and try to follow exactly where the Minister will now lead us. Perhaps from that point the discussion can proceed.

Photo of John Home Robertson John Home Robertson , East Lothian

The Committee is greatly indebted to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) for drawing our attention to the curious parts of clause 2. Of course, I have now made the fatal error of reading it. If we cut through the terms of subsection (1) and take out all the qualifications, it could be read as follows: The Secretary of State may by regulation make … such savings, as he considers necessary or expedient for … the operation of any enactment repealed or amended by that section".

Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West

That could mean anything.

Photo of John Home Robertson John Home Robertson , East Lothian

I feel profoundly uncomfortable at the thought of giving the Secretary of State, who is absent from the Chamber now, powers personally to introduce regulations to enable him to make such savings, as he considers necessary or expendient for any purpose whatever.

11.30 pm

In the absence of the Secretary of State, the Minister of State has the opportunity to cut free, and demonstrate that he is the reasonable man we all know he is. My hon. Friend the Member for Garscadden was a little unfair to the Government when he suggested that section 158(1)(a) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and section 81(2) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 would disappear immediately on enactment of the Bill.

My hon. Friend quoted the words shall cease to have effect", and that is what the Bill says, but such things can happen by stages. Perhaps that is why the Government seek the powers under the clause—so as to make it possible to phase in the scheme. The Minister may have some scope for "lifting the burden"—if I may use the Government's terminology—from businesses. Instead of the burden of paying the higher share of statutory sick pay being transferred at a strobe, just like that, to employers, it could be phased in.

No doubt if the Secretary of State were here he would have no truck with that kind of thing. He would want to put the boot in to the employers straight away. But he is not here at this stage of the evening, and the rest of us are all right behind the Minister of State, because we know that he is a reasonable man.

Hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Photo of Mr Derek Enright Mr Derek Enright , Hemsworth

He is our candidate.

Photo of John Home Robertson John Home Robertson , East Lothian

My hon. Friend must control himself.

It might be possible to phase in the burden, and if that is what the provision means, it could be useful.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

Rather than going into the technicalities of the draftsmen's wording of the clause, I shall attempt, as briefly and clearly as I can, to explain the purposes for which the provisions are included in the Bill. As is clear from the Bill, subsection (1) enables the Secretary of State to make such transitional and consequential provision, and such savings, as he considers necessary or expedient for or in connection with the coming into force of the substantive provisions of clause 1.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

No, I should like to get on. If the hon. Gentleman listens and there is time left when I have finished, he can come back and ask me questions.

There has been some misunderstanding about the use of the word "savings". I cannot remember whether it was bells ringing or antennae prickling that the hon. Member for Garscadden described, but as soon as the Opposition see the word "savings" they think that something sinister is going on. However, "savings" in this context have nothing to do with money. The word is a technical term used in legislation; when changes are made and a new scheme or pattern is introduced, anything that one wishes to retain from the previous legislation is called a saving. That is it. There is nothing sinister about it, and it is a sensible provision to include. That is one fox down.

The provisions of subsection (1) are, I am advised, a common feature of social security legislation. The Committee knows that the main thrust of the Bill is to end the right of employers to recover 80 per cent. of the statutory sick pay paid out to their employees from remittances of national insurance contributions. However, we must provide clear guidelines for employers explaining how the change will work in practice on 6 April next year, when the new arrangements come into effect.

It is said that, when Adam and Eve were leaving the garden of Eden in somewhat difficult circumstances, Adam tried to reassure Eve by saying, "We live in an age of transition, my dear." Whether that was any comfort to Eve, I do not know. [Interruption.] This is a state of transition, and few of us like going through stages of transition and change unless they are manifestly beneficial.

We need to be able to tell employers what effect the change will have on the recovery arrangements in respect of those employees who are off work sick and entitled to SSP at about the time of the change. The Government's intention is to enable employers to be able to continue to recover the appropriate amount of SSP paid for days of sickness up to and including 5 April 1994, even if the employer cannot recover that amount until after that date.

Only SSP paid for days of sickness on or after 6 April will be affected by the change in the reimbursement arrangements. That is the sort of provision that industry would expect us to make for the reimbursement arrangements covering the changeover date itself. It follows exactly, and in a similar form of words, the practice adopted in April 1991 when the reimbursement rate was reduced from 100 per cent. to 80 per cent. With the agreement of employers, all SSP due for days immediately before the change was recoverable at 100 per cent. and the reduction to 80 per cent. applied only from 6 April 1991.

It is clear that the powers conferred on the Secretary of State to make regulations relate not only to clause 1(1), which abolishes the 80 per cent. reimbursement arrangements, and—the hon. Gentleman was right—the consequential amendments to section 158(1)(a) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 but also to section 81(2) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, which covers recovery from compensation payments, and the other provisions covering the extension of SSP entitlement to working women over the age of 60. They would all be covered in the transitional provisions. They are clear and practical and have been tested and worked well. We should reject the amendments.

The amendment to delete clause 2(2) would undermine the existing primary legislation contained in section 175(2) to (4) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. It deals with the arrangements under which subordinate legislation in the form of regulations, orders or schemes is exercisable by the Secretary of State. The provisions are already enshrined in primary legislation and have therefore been agreed by Parliament.

We all take it absolutely for granted—but it must be spelt out somewhere—that orders and regulations have to be exercised by a statutory instrument, to use a technical phrase. The clause that the Opposition want to omit is not new, and is no more sinister than the word "saving" to which I have already referred. It is a regular feature of social security legislation under Governments of both parties, I understand, and it enables the more mundane and non-controversial detail of legislation to be implemented by way of secondary legislation, or statutory instruments.

The amendments have nothing whatever to do with the merits of the proposed changes. We want to ensure that employers can know well in advance the nature and detail of the changes that they will be asked to administer from next April. The amendments would no nothing to assist them in that aim. Employers need clear and comprehensive instructions. Under the Bill, they will know exactly what they will have to do, and I ask the Committee to reject the amendments.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

May I first thank the Minister for his courtesy. I found what he had to say genuinely interesting. I shall not pursue the amendment to delete clause 2(2). I did not think that it was sinister; I thought it was impenetrable. I failed to understand it, but the Minister has helped me.

I shall resist the temptation to follow up the Adam and Eve joke made by the Minister of State. I shall certainly not repeat the sotto voce comment of my hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram) that involved fig leaves and referred to various parts of the Bill.

I have learnt a little from what the Minister said. I liked his explanation of savings. He was right—I was blinkered and was thinking entirely about finance and cash, as I am sure other hon. Members were. It must be something to do with the Thatcher years— perhaps I have become infected. It never occurred to me that there was a homely dressmaking analogy, and that, after the necessary legislation had been cut out, a few fragments would be left that could be put into the rummage bag to be used on another occasion. I believe that that was how the Minister was describing the process.

The fact that something is a common feature is not necessarily a reason for accepting it. If I was in a perverse mood—which I am not—I would try to look through the text again and square what I found there with the elegant explanation that I have been offered. I do not think that doing so would help the Committee; it might entertain me, but that would be a selfish test to apply. I believe that we should let the matter rest.

It may be that suspicious Conservative Members have assumed that we shall press the group of amendments to a Division, but in view of the explanation that we have heard, I do not think that it would be sensible to do so. I realise that it is not my decision and is a matter for the Committee. I shall go one better than advising my right hon. and hon. Friends about what to do. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

I beg to move amendment No. 4, in page 1, line 29, leave out 'and' and insert 'shall'.

The Chairman:

With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 5, in page 2, line 1, leave out from beginning to 'be' in line 2.

No. 6, page 2, leave out lines 4 and 5.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

I am afraid that the amendment takes us back into familiar territory. There is nothing mysterious about the group of amendments. The subject matter is familiar, because it is often raised when we discuss the passage of Bills through Committee—with good reason. I am delighted that the Under-Secretary of State for Social Security, the hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) has sidled into the central position on the Front Bench to deal with the issue. We definitely need fresh thinking, and I fear that the Minister of State may, over many years, have been conditioned to resisting sensible proposals.

The text of amendment No. 4 does not tell the Committee much, but it is necessary to consider the amendment to get the argument into play. The amendments take a slightly unusual form, but involve the old business of affirmative and negative resolutions. It is clear that the Bill has raised strong feelings and much interest outside the House. The textual arguments on the intentions, nuances and opinions of the various lobbying organisations have made it clear that there is a willingness to express opinions. The issues involved are considerably sensitive.

In those circumstances, it would be sensible if orders—even if about transitional matters, halfway house arrangements and the position that arises when the rule change occurs halfway through a period of an employee's sick leave—should be brought to the notice of the House; we should not wait for an hon. Member to notice them and challenge them.

I immediately concede that I believe that the regulations to which I am attempting to apply the positive and affirmative procedure do not refer to the rebate level—the rebate has gone. That is one effect of the Bill that the simplest of us, even I, have managed to grasp. Nevertheless, the amendments raise important matters, and I hope that the Minister will be prepared to view them sympathetically.

11.45 pm

I realise that there is always a balance to be struck. I am quite keen on balances. I sometimes have difficulty in seeing things in black and white. That is perhaps one of my faults. I accept that the Executive always have arguments for saying that they do not want the system to become gummed up with too many applications of the affirmative resolution procedure. Clearly, if legislation is subject to the affirmative resolution, it must come at least before a Committee, if not to the Floor of the House. If we insisted on that procedure being applied in respect of a wide sweep of legislation, we might make this place even more unworkable than it is at the moment.

I am not suggesting for a moment that there are not arguments counterbalancing what I am saying—points to be put on the other side of the argument—and in the few minutes that we have left before the guillotine descends, hon. Members may want to address that point. My own view, however, is that there is enough real meat in the arguments that we have had over the past few hours and in previous days—and, indeed, over a number of years—to justify the use of the affirmative procedure in respect of regulations that are tied, and trace their ancestry back, to this particular unfortunate Bill. In short order—because I am anxious to hear the Minister—I therefore commend the amendments to the Committee.

Photo of William Hague William Hague Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security)

As the hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) said, we are talking about the old business of the affirmative and negative resolution procedures—in this case in connection with the transitional or consequential provisions. The hon. Gentleman has asked me to give fresh thought to the matter, and I have done so. No doubt the hon. Gentleman will find that I have reached a familiar, though balanced, conclusion.

It has been the normal practice of the Government and of previous Governments to ensure that statutory instruments that give effect to non-controversial provisions consequential on the main changes in legislation should be dealt with under the negative resolution procedure. Parliament has previously decided which statutory instruments it wishes to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure and therefore to closer scrutiny. Those are specifically referred to in section 176 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

For instance, the Government's proposals to change the present small employers' relief provisions, which will he brought before Parliament in due course, are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. But the transitional arrangements, which give effect to non-controversial transitional and consequential provisions, are not unreasonably left to be dealt with under the negative resolution procedure.

Any statutory instruments made under clause 2(3) will, of course, be laid before Parliament, open to the tabling of a prayer and debatable in the House. But I can assure the hon. Member for Garscadden and the Committee that any statutory instruments introduced under the arrangements in the clause will not be controversial—even in his estimation; they will be aimed solely at providing sensible—[Interruption.] It is a shame that the hon. Member for Garscadden is not listening to my explanation, after all the questions that he asked.

Such statutory arrangements will be aimed solely at providing sensible workable arrangements so that employers can continue to recover an appropriate amount of SSP liability for days of sickness up to and including 5 April and for the other objectives listed previously.

Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West

The Minister would assist himself and the Committee if he put away his brief and explained what he is talking about in simple language.

Photo of William Hague William Hague Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security)

To those of us on the Conservative Benches, it was both simple and very clear.

The Opposition's amendment amounts to a delaying tactic, and I suppose that, as such, it has been successful. If we were acting in the balanced way in which Governments and Parliament actually do, the hon. Member for Garscadden would withdraw the amendment.

Photo of Donald Dewar Donald Dewar , Glasgow Garscadden

I do not intend to withdraw the amendment, and I hope that I will have the support of my right hon. and hon. Friends. For a horrible moment, I thought that the Under-Secretary was about to say that he had taken a wise judgment on the matter—a new concept in DSS mythology; at least he avoided that.

The explanation that the hon. Gentleman produced was that Parliament had previously decided which statutory instruments should be subject to which procedure. I do not want to be one of those who talks over-zealously about the sovereignty of Parliament, but the fact that Parliament has previously decided does not stop Parliament deciding something different and, on this occasion, rather more sensible.

I accept—and as a reasonable man I made a nod towards the fact—that these are subsidiary regulations and not central to the thrust of the Bill, but they may be important to individuals. They certainly are important to the future good government of statutory sick pay. As Labour Members have repeatedly made clear, we believe that statutory sick pay has been weakened and that uncertainties have been built in by the misconceived measure that is being put on the statute book.

In those circumstances, it behoves the House to keep a measure of control over what is happening, and the best way to do so is to ensure that regulations laid under section 2, as it will become when the Bill is enacted, are brought to the attention of the House so they can be properly examined and the arguments—

It being six hours after the commencement of proceedings on the Second Reading of the Bill, THE CHAIRMAN proceeded to put the Question already proposed from the Chair, pursuant to the Order.

The Committee divided: Ayes 264, Noes 303.

Division No. 46][11.50 pm
Abbott, Ms DianeCanavan, Dennis
Adams, Mrs IreneCann, Jamie
Ainger, NickChisholm, Malcolm
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)Clapham, Michael
Allen, GrahamClark, Dr David (South Shields)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Armstrong, HilaryClelland, David
Ashton, JoeClwyd, Mrs Ann
Austin-Walker, JohnCoffey, Ann
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Cohen, Harry
Barnes, HarryConnarty, Michael
Barron, KevinCook, Frank (Stockton N)
Battle, JohnCook, Robin (Livingston)
Bayley, HughCorbett, Robin
Beckett, Rt Hon MargaretCorbyn, Jeremy
Beggs, RoyCorston, Ms Jean
Beith, Rt Hon A. J.Cousins, Jim
Bell, StuartCox, Tom
Benn, Rt Hon TonyCryer, Bob
Bennett, Andrew F.Cummings, John
Benton, JoeCunliffe, Lawrence
Bermingham, GeraldCunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Berry, Dr. RogerCunningham, Rt Hon Dr John
Betts, CliveDafis, Cynog
Blair, TonyDarling, Alistair
Blunkett, DavidDavidson, Ian
Boateng, PaulDavies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)
Boyes, RolandDavis, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Bradley, KeithDavis, Ron (Caerphilly)
Bray, Dr JeremyDavis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I)
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)Denham, John
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)Dewar, Donald
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Dixon, Don
Burden, RichardDobson, Frank
Byers, StephenDonohoe, Brian H.
Caborn, RichardDowd, Jim
Callaghan, JimDunnachie, Jimmy
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Eagle, Ms Angela
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Eastham, Ken
Enright, DerekMcKelvey, William
Etherington, BillMackinlay, Andrew
Evans, John (St Helens N)McLeish, Henry
Ewing, Mrs MargaretMcMaster, Gordon
Fatchett, DerekMcWilliam, John
Faulds, AndrewMadden, Max
Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Maddock, Mrs Diana
Fisher, MarkMahon, Alice
Flynn, PaulMandelson, Peter
Foster, Rt Hon DerekMarshall, David (Shettleston)
Foulkes, GeorgeMartlew, Eric
Fraser, JohnMaxton, John
Fyfe, MariaMeacher, Michael
Gapes, MikeMeale, Alan
Garrett, JohnMichael, Alun
George, BruceMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Gerrard, NeilMichie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnMilburn, Alan
Godman, Dr Norman A.Miller, Andrew
Godsiff, RogerMoonie, Dr Lewis
Golding, Mrs LlinMorgan, Rhodri
Gould, BryanMorley, Elliot
Graham, ThomasMorris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)Mowlam, Marjorie
Grocott, BruceMudie, George
Gunnell, JohnMullin, Chris
Hain, PeterMurphy, Paul
Hall, MikeOakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Hanson, DavidO'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)
Hardy, PeterO'Hara, Edward
Harman, Ms HarrietOlner, William
Hattersley, Rt Hon RoyO'Neill, Martin
Heppell, JohnOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hill, Keith (Streatham)Paisley, Rev Ian
Hinchliffe, DavidParry, Robert
Hoey, KatePatchett, Terry
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)Pendry, Tom
Home Robertson, JohnPickthall, Colin
Hood, JimmyPike, Peter L.
Hoon, GeoffreyPope, Greg
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
Hoyle, DougPrentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)Prescott, John
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Primarolo, Dawn
Hughes, Roy (Newport E)Purchase, Ken
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Quin, Ms Joyce
Hutton, JohnRadice, Giles
Illsley, EricRandall, Stuart
Ingram, AdamRaynsford, Nick
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)Redmond, Martin
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)Reid, Dr John
Jamieson, DavidRendel, David
Janner, GrevilleRobertson, George (Hamilton)
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)Roche, Mrs. Barbara
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)Rogers, Allan
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)Rooney, Terry
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)Rowlands, Ted
Jowell, TessaRuddock, Joan
Keen, AlanSalmond, Alex
Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Khabra, Piara S.Short, Clare
Kilfoyle, PeterSimpson, Alan
Kirkwood, ArchySkinner, Dennis
Leighton, RonSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Lestor, Joan (Eccles)Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Lewis, TerrySmith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E)
Litherland, RobertSmith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Livingstone, KenSnape, Peter
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Soley, Clive
Llwyd, ElfynSpearing, Nigel
Loyden, EddieSquire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
McAllion, JohnSteinberg, Gerry
McAvoy, ThomasStevenson, George
McCrea, Rev WilliamStott, Roger
Macdonald, CalumStrang, Dr. Gavin
Straw, JackWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Tipping, PaddyWilson, Brian
Turner, DennisWinnick, David
Walker, Rt Hon Sir HaroldWise, Audrey
Wallace, JamesWorthington, Tony
Walley, JoanWray, Jimmy
Wardell, Gareth (Gower)Wright, Dr Tony
Wareing, Robert NYoung, David(Bolton SE)
Watson, Mike
Welsh, AndrewTellers for the Ayes:
Wicks, MalcolmMr. John Spellar and
Wigley, DafyddMr. Jake Thompson.
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Alexander, RichardCurry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)Davis, David (Boothferry)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)Day, Stephen
Amess, DavidDeva, Nirj Joseph
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Devlin, Tim
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)Dickens, Geoffrey
Ashby, DavidDicks, Terry
Aspinwall, JackDorrell, Stephen
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)Dover, Den
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)Duncan, Alan
Baldry, TonyDuncan-Smith, Iain
Banks, Matthew (Southport)Dunn, Bob
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Durant, Sir Anthony
Bates, MichaelDykes, Hugh
Batiste, SpencerEggar, Tim
Bellingham, HenryElletson, Harold
Bendall, VivianEmery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Beresford, Sir PaulEvans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnEvans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Blackburn, Dr John G.Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Bonsor, Sir NicholasEvans, Roger (Monmouth)
Booth, HartleyEvennett, David
Boswell, TimFaber, David
Bottomnley, Peter (Eltham)Fabricant, Michael
Bottomley, Rt Hon VirginiaFairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Bowden, AndrewFenner, Dame Peggy
Bowis, JohnFishburn, Dudley
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir RhodesForman, Nigel
Brandreth, GylesForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Brazier, JulianFowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Bright, GrahamFox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterFox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Browning, Mrs. AngelaFrench, Douglas
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)Fry, Peter
Budgen, NicholasGale, Roger
Burns, SimonGallie, Phil
Burt, AlistairGardiner, Sir George
Butcher, JohnGarnier, Edward
Butler, PeterGill, Christopher
Butterfill, JohnGillan, Cheryl
Carlisle, John (Luton North)Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Gorst, John
Carrington, MatthewGrant, Sir A. (Cambs SW)
Carttiss, MichaelGreenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Cash, WilliamGreenway, John (Ryedale)
Channon, Rt Hon PaulGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Chapman, SydneyGrylls, Sir Michael
Churchill, MrGummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Clappison, JamesHague, William
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)Hampson, Dr Keith
Clifton-Brown, GeoffreyHannam, Sir John
Coe, SebastianHargreaves, Andrew
Colvin, MichaelHarris, David
Congdon, DavidHaselhurst, Alan
Conway, DerekHawkins, Nick
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)Hawksley, Warren
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)Heald, Oliver
Cope, Rt Hon Sir JohnHeathcoat-Amory, David
Cormack, PatrickHendry, Charles
Couchman, JamesHicks, Robert
Cran, JamesHiggins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Hill, James (Southampton Test)Page, Richard
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)Paice, James
Horam, JohnPatten, Rt Hon John
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir PeterPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)Pawsey, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)Pickles, Eric
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)Porter, David (Waveney)
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Hunter, AndrewPowell, William (Corby)
Jack, MichaelRathbone, Tim
Jenkin, BernardRedwood, Rt Hon John
Jessel, TobyRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRichards, Rod
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Riddick, Graham
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelRobathan, Andrew
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Key, RobertRobertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Kilfedder, Sir JamesRobinson, Mark (Somerton)
King, Rt Hon TomRoe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Kirkhope, TimothyRowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Knapman, RogerRumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Sackville, Tom
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Knox, Sir DavidScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kynoch, George (Kincardine)Shaw, David (Dover)
Lait, Mrs JacquiShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lang, Rt Hon IanShersby, Michael
Lawrence, Sir IvanSims, Roger
Legg, BarrySkeet, Sir Trevor
Leigh, EdwardSmith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lennox-Boyd, MarkSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Soames, Nicholas
Lidington, DavidSpeed, Sir Keith
Lightbown, DavidSpencer, Sir Derek
Lilley, Rt Hon PeterSpicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Lord, MichaelSpink, Dr Robert
Luff, PeterSpring, Richard
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir NicholasSproat, Iain
MacGregor, Rt Hon JohnSquire, Robin (Hornchurch)
MacKay, AndrewStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Maclean, DavidSteen, Anthony
McLoughlin, PatrickStephen, Michael
McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickStern, Michael
Madel, DavidStewart, Allan
Maitland, Lady OlgaStreeter, Gary
Malone, GeraldSumberg, David
Mans, KeithSweeney, Walter
Marland, PaulSykes, John
Marlow, TonyTapsell, Sir Peter
Marshall, John (Hendon S)Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Temple-Morris, Peter
Mates, MichaelThomason, Roy
Mawhinney, Dr BrianThompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Mellor, Rt Hon DavidThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Merchant, PiersThornton, Sir Malcolm
Milligan, StephenThurnham, Peter
Mills, IainTownend, John (Bridlington)
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)Townsend Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)Tracey, Richard
Moate, Sir RogerTredinnick, David
Monro, Sir HectorTrend, Michael
Moss, MalcolmTrotter, Neville
Needham, RichardTwinn, Dr Ian
Nelson, AnthonyVaughan, Sir Gerard
Neubert, Sir MichaelViggers, Peter
Newton, Rt Hon TonyWaldegrave, Rt Hon William
Nicholls, PatrickWalden, George
Nicholson, David (Taunton)Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)Waller, Gary
Norris, SteveWard, John
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir CranleyWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Oppenheim, PhillipWaterson, Nigel
Ottaway, RichardWatts, John
Wells, BowenWinterton, Nicholas (Macc'fld>
Whitney, RayWolfson, Mark
Whittingdale, JohnWood, Timothy
Widdecombe, AnnYoung, Rt Hon Sir George
Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Wilkinson, JohnTellers for the Noes:
Willetts, DavidMr. Irvine Patnick and
Wilshire, DavidMr. James Arbuthnot.
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)

Question accordingly negatived.

THE CHAIRMAN then put forthwith the other Questions necessary for the disposal of business to be concluded at that hour.

Motion made, and Question put, That the clause stand Part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 306,Noes 232.

Division No. 47][12.03am
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)Coe, Sebastian
Alexander, RichardColvin, Michael
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)Congdon, David
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)Conway, Derek
Amess, DavidCoombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Arbuthnot, JamesCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)Cormack, Patrick
Ashby, DavidCouchman, James
Aspinwall, JackCran, James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)Davis, David (Boothferry)
Baldry, TonyDay, Stephen
Banks, Matthew (Southport)Deva, Nirj Joseph
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)Devlin, Tim
Bates, MichaelDickens, Geoffrey
Batiste, SpencerDicks, Terry
Bellingham, HenryDorrell, Stephen
Bendall, VivianDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Beresford, Sir PaulDover, Den
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDuncan, Alan
Blackburn, Dr John G.Duncan-Smith, Iain
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDunn, Bob
Booth, HartleyDurant, Sir Anthony
Boswell, TimDykes, Hugh
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)Eggar, Tim
Bottomley, Rt Hon VirginiaElletson, Harold
Bowden, AndrewEmery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Bowis, JohnEvans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir RhodesEvans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Brandreth, GylesEvans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Brazier, JulianEvans, Roger (Monmouth)
Bright, GrahamEvennett, David
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterFaber, David
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)Fabricant, Michael
Browning, Mrs. AngelaFairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)Fenner, Dame Peggy
Budgen, NicholasField, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Burns, SimonFishburn, Dudley
Burt, AlistairForman, Nigel
Butcher, JohnForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Butler, PeterFowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Butterfill, JohnFox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Carlisle, John (Luton North)Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Carrington, MatthewFrench, Douglas
Carttiss, MichaelFry, Peter
Cash, WilliamGale, Roger
Channon, Rt Hon PaulGallie, Phil
Churchill, MrGardiner, Sir George
Clappison, JamesGarnier, Edward
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Gill, Christopher
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)Gillan, Cheryl
Clifton-Brown, GeoffreyGoodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Gorst, JohnMates, Michael
Grant, Sir A. (Cambs SW)Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Mellor, Rt Hon David
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Merchant, Piers
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)Milligan, Stephen
Grylls, Sir MichaelMills, Iain
Gummer, Rt Hon John SelwynMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hague, WilliamMitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)
Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)Moate, Sir Roger
Hampson, Dr KeithMonro, Sir Hector
Hannam, Sir JohnMoss, Malcolm
Hargreaves, AndrewNeedham, Richard
Harris, DavidNelson, Anthony
Haselhurst, AlanNeubert, Sir Michael
Hawkins, NickNewton, Rt Hon Tony
Hawksley, WarrenNicholls, Patrick
Hayes, JerryNicholson, David (Taunton)
Heald, OliverNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidNorris, Steve
Hendry, CharlesOnslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hicks, RobertOppenheim, Phillip
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.Ottaway, Richard
Hill, James (Southampton Test)Page, Richard
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)Paice, James
Horam, JohnPatnick, Irvine
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir PeterPatten, Rt Hon John
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)Pawsey, James
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk)Pickles, Eric
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)Porter, David (Waveney)
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Hunter, AndrewPowell, William (Corby)
Jack, MichaelRathbone, Tim
Jenkin, BernardRedwood, Rt Hon John
Jessel, TobyRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyRichards, Rod
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Riddick, Graham
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelRobathan, Andrew
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Key, RobertRobertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Kilfedder, Sir JamesRobinson, Mark (Somerton)
King, Rt Hon TomRoe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Kirkhope, TimothyRowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Knapman, RogerRumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Sackville, Tom
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Knox, Sir DavidScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kynoch, George (Kincardine)Shaw, David (Dover)
Lait, Mrs JacquiShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lang, Rt Hon IanShersby, Michael
Lawrence, Sir IvanSims, Roger
Legg, BarrySkeet, Sir Trevor
Leigh, EdwardSmith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lennox-Boyd, MarkSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Soames, Nicholas
Lidington, DavidSpeed, Sir Keith
Lightbown, DavidSpencer, Sir Derek
Lilley, Rt Hon PeterSpicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Lord, MichaelSpink, Dr Robert
Luff, PeterSpring, Richard
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir NicholasSproat, Iain
MacGregor, Rt Hon JohnSquire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Maclean, DavidStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
McLoughlin, PatrickSteen, Anthony
McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickStephen, Michael
Madel, DavidStern, Michael
Maitland, Lady OlgaStewart, Allan
Malone, GeraldStreeter, Gary
Mans, KeithSumberg, David
Marland, PaulSweeney, Walter
Marlow, TonySykes, John
Marshall, John (Hendon S)Tapsell, Sir Peter
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Temple-Morris, PeterWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Thomason, Roywaterson, Nigel
Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)Watts, John
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Wells, Bowen
Thornton, Sir MalcolmWhitney, Ray
Thurnham, PeterWhittingdale, John
Townend, John (Bridlington)Widdecombe, Ann
Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Tracey, RichardWilkinson, John
Tredinnick, DavidWilletts, David
Trend, MichaelWilshire, David
Trotter, NevilleWinterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Twinn, Dr IanWinterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Vaughan, Sir GerardWolfson, Mark
Viggers, PeterWood, Timothy
Waldegrave, Rt Hon WilliamYoung, Rt Hon Sir George
Walden, George
Walker, Bill (N Tayside)Tellers for the Ayes:
Waller, GaryMr. Sydney Chapman and
Ward, JohnMr. Andrew MacKay.
Abbott, Ms DianeDarling, Alistair
Adams, Mrs IreneDavidson, Ian
Ainger, NickDavies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Allen, GrahamDavis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)Denham, John
Armstrong, HilaryDewar, Donald
Austin-Walker, JohnDixon, Don
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Dobson, Frank
Barnes, HarryDonohoe, Brian H.
Barron, KevinDowd, Jim
Battle, JohnDunnachie, Jimmy
Bayley, HughEagle, Ms Angela
Beckett, Rt Hon MargaretEastham, Ken
Beggs, RoyEnright, Derek
Beith, Rt Hon A. J.Etherington, Bill
Bennett, Andrew F.Evans, John (St Helens N)
Benton, JoeEwing, Mrs Margaret
Bermingham, GeraldFatchett, Derek
Betts, CliveFaulds, Andrew
Blair, TonyFisher, Mark
Blunkett, DavidFlynn, Paul
Boateng, PaulFoster, Rt Hon Derek
Boyes, RolandFoulkes, George
Bradley, KeithFraser, John
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)Fyfe, Maria
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)Gapes, Mike
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Garrett, John
Burden, RichardGeorge, Bruce
Byers, StephenGerrard, Neil
Caborn, RichardGilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Callaghan, JimGodman, Dr Norman A.
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Golding, Mrs Llin
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Graham, Thomas
Canavan, DennisGrant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Cann, JamieGriffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Chisholm, MalcolmGrocott, Bruce
Clapham, MichaelGunnell, John
Clark, Dr David (South Shields)Hall, Mike
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)Hanson, David
Clelland, DavidHardy, Peter
Clwyd, Mrs AnnHarman, Ms Harriet
Coffey, AnnHeppell, John
Cohen, HarryHill, Keith (Streatham)
Connarty, MichaelHinchliffe, David
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)Hoey, Kate
Cook, Robin (Livingston)Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Corbett, RobinHome Robertson, John
Corbyn, JeremyHood, Jimmy
Corston, Ms JeanHoon, Geoffrey
Cousins, JimHowarth, George (Knowsley N)
Cox, TomHowells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Cryer, BobHoyle, Doug
Cummings, JohnHughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Cunliffe, LawrenceHughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr JohnHughes, Simon (Southwark)
Dafis, CynogHutton, John
Ingram, AdamPickthall, Colin
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)Pike, Peter L.
Janner, GrevillePope, Greg
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)Prescott, John
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)Primarolo, Dawn
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)Quin, Ms Joyce
Jowell, TessaRadice, Giles
Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)Randall, Stuart
Khabra, Piara S.Raynsford, Nick
Kilfoyle, PeterReid, Dr John
Kirkwood, ArchyRendel, David
Leighton, RonRobertson, George (Hamilton)
Lewis, TerryRobinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Livingstone, KenRoche, Mrs. Barbara
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Rogers, Allan
Llwyd, ElfynRooney, Terry
Loyden, EddieRoss, William (E Londonderry)
McAllion, JohnRowlands, Ted
McAvoy, ThomasRuddock, Joan
McCrea, Rev WilliamSalmond, Alex
Macdonald, CalumSheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Mackinlay, AndrewShort, Clare
McLeish, HenrySimpson, Alan
McMaster, GordonSkinner, Dennis
McWilliam, JohnSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Madden, MaxSmith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Maddock, Mrs DianaSmith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E)
Mahon, AliceSmith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Mandelson, PeterSnape, Peter
Marshall, David (Shettleston)Spearing, Nigel
Martlew, EricSpellar, John
Maxton, JohnSquire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
Meacher, MichaelSteinberg, Gerry
Meale, AlanStevenson, George
Michael, AlunStott, Roger
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)Strang, Dr. Gavin
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)Straw, Jack
Milburn, AlanTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Miller, AndrewTipping, Paddy
Moonie, Dr LewisWallace, James
Morgan, RhodriWalley, Joan
Morley, ElliotWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)Wareing, Robert N
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)Watson, Mike
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)Welsh, Andrew
Mowlam, MarjorieWigley, Dafydd
Mudie, GeorgeWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Mullin, ChrisWilliams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Murphy, PaulWilson, Brian
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)Wise, Audrey
O'Hara, EdwardWorthington, Tony
Olner, WilliamWray, Jimmy
O'Neill, MartinWright, Dr Tony
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Paisley, Rev IanTellers for the Noes:
Parry, RobertMr. Jack Thompson and
Patchett, TerryMr. Eric Illsley.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.