Appeals

Clause 5 – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 29th June 1995.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael , Cardiff South and Penarth 5:45 pm, 29th June 1995

I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 4, leave out lines 7 and 8 and insert— '(b) for the appointment by the Lord Chancellor of a legally-qualified chairman of that body.'.

Photo of Mr Michael Morris Mr Michael Morris , Northampton South

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 2, in page 4, line 22, at beginning insert `Subject to the agreement of the Lord Chancellor,'. No. 3, in page 4, line 28, at end insert— '(7A) For the purposes of subsection 3(b) above, a person is legally-qualified if he is a barrister, advocate or solicitor of ten years' standing.'.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael , Cardiff South and Penarth

Amendment Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seek to amend the Bill to ensure that appeals are dealt with properly. There has been considerable concern for a number of years that appeals should be dealt with in a proper and a transparent manner. The key sentence in the Franks report of 1957 states: tribunals should properly be regarded as machinery provided by Parliament for adjudication rather than as part of the machinery of administration". That is a particularly important principle, but it is not observed by the Bill or enshrined in it. We made progress in Committee with regard to adjudicators' responsibilities for giving advice, both as a body and individually on the basis of what occurs in particular appeals, and to perform by looking at the wider context of the operation of the criminal injuries compensation scheme and the ways in which it must operate in order to deliver compensation to victims effectively.

However, a system of transparency has not been established. The quotation from the Franks report makes it absolutely clear that the appeals mechanism should be a proper judicial or semi-judicial approach, rather than being simply another step in the administrative process. If that principle is to be observed, it is important to establish proper machinery for appeals and adjudication, which we believe should appear in the Bill.

Amendment No. 1 states that the appointment of a legally qualified chairman of the body dealing with appeals shall be made by the Lord Chancellor. That is not a new principle and it has been established elsewhere, but it is right to adopt it in this case. The Council on Tribunals commented on the qualifications of tribunal chairmen in its model rules of procedure: The constitution, general structure and composition of tribunals will, as a rule, be a matter for the enabling Act". The council's advice accepts that there are exceptions and sets them out, particularly in relation to the Finance Act. That general principle is right, but is not included in the Bill's phrasing. The council added: The division between what appears in the Act and what should appear in the rules may well be the result of Parliamentary or professional interest in the subject matter or jurisdiction; equally it may be arbitrary. I believe that all hon. Members agree that it should not be arbitrary, but properly considered and decided by the House. The council continues: It is usual where a presidential system is to be established for that to be done in the enabling Act, which will also prescribe the necessary qualifications for the President and his terms and conditions of service". It is difficult to understand why that should not be the case in the Bill. In Committee, the Minister said that there would be simple cases of an abuse of process or undue delay in which there was no merit, which a single adjudicator could examine and dismiss. Even so, in the general run of appeals where there is an issue to be decided, there should be a proper tribunal, properly chaired. Above all, the chairman of the appeals body should be legally qualified in the terms of amendment No. 3, to ensure that the system operates effectively.

The Minister said that in appointing adjudicators, it was the Home Secretary's clear intention to select not just legally qualified individuals but persons experienced in employment, trade union work and medical matters. There should be that spread of experience, but it is important also that the jurisdiction of the Council on Tribunals should apply and that a legally qualified person should chair the appeals body to ensure that proper procedures are observed.

The principle of a legally qualified chairman is enhanced by accepting the normal practice in relation to tribunal chairmen, whereby his removal or that of other individuals should be subject to the Lord Chancellor's agreement. In Committee, the Minister said that he was keen that there should not be the remotest opportunity for interference by the Home Secretary in the body that will deal with criminal injuries compensation when the Bill is enacted and the scheme implemented. He wanted to ensure that there could not be interference by Ministers, using a form of words that—as I said earlier—was ill advised because it could bear other interpretations, such as excluding from the appeals body the jurisdiction of the ombudsman. The Minister at least paid lip service to the principle of non-interference that we seek to enshrine in the Bill.

If it is ensured that persons appointed by the Home Secretary undertake their duties under the chairmanship of the overall body of a legally qualified individual appointed by the Lord Chancellor, there can be no doubt of the objectivity and transparency of the Bill's arrangements. If the removal of individuals is also subject to the Lord Chancellor's agreement, as with other tribunals, that will provide the public with a measure of comfort and clarity, that the body will not be the creature of the Home Secretary. The amendments will be helpful to the Minister in enshrining the principle that he agreed should be the one governing appeals—objectivity and a lack of interference by Home Office Ministers. In other words, it would be a proper judicial or quasi-judicial body, whose fairness would be transparent, and the independence of the persons who made appeal decisions would be obvious. I hope that the Minister will accept these three minor but important amendments.

Photo of David Maclean David Maclean Minister of State (Home Office)

Clause 5(3)(b) enables the scheme to provide for the Secretary of State to appoint a chairman of the appeals panel from among the adjudicators who make up its membership. Amendment No. 1 would amend that power, so that any such provision of the scheme would require the Lord Chancellor to appoint the chairman. It would also require the chairman to be legally qualified, and amendment No. 3 defines "legally-qualified". Amendment No. 2 would require the Lord Chancellor's agreement before the Secretary of State could remove an adjudicator from office under the powers provided by clause 5(7).

I listened carefully and respectfully, as usual, to the hon. Gentleman's opinions, but the amendments are not appropriate to the purpose of the Bill or the scheme. The most obvious objection is that the Lord Chancellor has no direct interest in the running of the scheme. It therefore makes no sense to involve him in responsibility for appointing the chairman of the appeals panel. The Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Scotland will have overall responsibility for the running of the scheme, and in appointing a chairman of the appeals panel, they will have to consider wider questions about the requirements of the post in the context of the efficient running of the appeals panel and its advice-giving role to the Secretary of State.

For the same reasons, it would not be appropriate to require the Lord Chancellor's agreement to the removal of an adjudicator from office. I have no doubt, however, that we would consult the Lord Chancellor in the unhappy and, I hope, remote event that we had to consider removing a legally qualified adjudicator from office. We would also consult as appropriate on the question of appointing a legally qualified chairman. Although this does not need to be stated in the Bill, of course we would consult the Lord Chancellor as appropriate on appointing a legally qualified chairman. Such matters are part of the Government's normal modus operandi.

As to whether the chairman should be legally qualified, our responsibility is to see that the most suitable person is appointed as chairman. The needs of the scheme and the needs of victims are paramount. As the House knows, we intend to appoint adjudicators from a wide range of backgrounds. It is certainly our firm intention that the first chairman at least should be legally qualified, but it would be wrong to rule out absolutely any possibility that at some future date it might be appropriate to appoint a non-lawyer as chairman. Legal questions frequently arise in the running of the scheme, and if the chairman was not a lawyer but, for example, a doctor, we would expect him to consult the legally qualified adjudicators as necessary. But to insist on a legally qualified chairman is an unnecessary restriction.

I listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman's points, but if we accepted the amendments, they would place an unnecessary restriction on the scheme's operation and the modus operandi for appointing a legally qualified chairman and other adjudicators. I cannot accept the amendments.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael , Cardiff South and Penarth

It is intriguing that something is a clear principle when it is wanted by a Minister, but is said to introduce unnecessary restriction when proposed by anyone else. The Government are always inconsistent in dealing with such matters, as we have seen today. It is sad that relations between the Home Secretary and the Lord Chancellor are so bad that a requirement to ensure transparency and fairness in the appointment and removal of adjudicators is viewed as introducing convoluted and bureaucratic delay. I dare say that matters will improve in the near future.

Amendment negatived.

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Bill be now read the Third time.—[Mr. Howard.]

6 pm

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I beg to move, to leave out from "That" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof: this House declines to give a Third Reading to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Bill because it provides for a tariff of amounts of compensation in respect of criminal injuries without flexibility in special cases, gives extensive powers to the Secretary of State to frame a Scheme for criminal injuries compensation with insufficient parliamentary scrutiny, includes provision for the contracting-out of what should be a public service function, and includes provisions to exonerate the Secretary of State of responsibility for the conduct of the Scheme. The country knows that today the Conservative party is in a deep crisis. The people of Britain have so lost confidence in the governing party that the party has comprehensively lost confidence in itself, as well as in its Cabinet and its leader. At the heart of the crisis of confidence is the issue of trust. The Conservative party made promises during the general election campaign, which it swiftly and cynically broke. It has broken promises on tax—

Photo of Mr Michael Morris Mr Michael Morris , Northampton South

Order. The Bill is specific. The debate must be about the Bill and the contents of the Bill.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Indeed, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My remarks are about the Bill and its contents. As I was about to say, the Bill writes into law a broken promise to the victims of violent crime. It was in the 1992 Conservative campaign guide that the Conservatives boasted of the generosity of the then common law scheme. They declared that, when a crime had taken place, the Government would give the utmost priority to supporting the victims. Nothing was said about any intention to cut or replace the scheme.

The manifesto on which the Conservatives fought and won the general election campaign promised that special attention would be paid to the needs of the victims of crime. However, the Bill cuts almost in half the compensation that will be payable, and punishes the victims of violent crime for the Government's failure to control that crime.

There are many major defects in the scheme that is before the House. There is no compensation for loss of earnings before 28 weeks, despite the fact, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) has eloquently testified, that at least 12 million people do not receive statutory sick pay for the preceding 28 weeks. There is no payment for special expenses. Maximum awards will be capped, adversely affecting those with catastrophic injuries.

In some instances the tariff is extremely low, especially for sexual offences. Tariff levels, which are basically the same as those in the discredited 1994 tariff, will not be reviewed until 1999. The tariff provides no flexibility in difficult cases.

Published this morning were the minutes of evidence given to the Select Committee on Home Affairs on 3 May 1995. Senior officials in the Home Office gave evidence about the compensation scheme, among other matters. The permanent secretary, when talking about the old scheme, referred to 33 awards for punctured lung injuries in 1991–92. The awards ranged from £601 to £29,203. The permanent secretary said that he was struck by the "enormous range". So may we all be.

The common law scheme, however, was designed to provide compensation directly related to the individual's circumstances and needs. Under the new scheme, the tariff for a punctured lung will be set at £3,000. Save for the most exceptional cases, no one will receive more than £3,000. Those who might have received £29,203 will receive over £26,000 less than that.

At the heart of the justification for the Bill is the Government's desire to cut costs. They wish to cut the compensation that is available to victims, especially to those of the most serious crime.

The estimates that are used to justify the cuts are scarcely worth the paper on which they are printed. The Conservative campaign guide stated, in an attempt to justify the changes, that costs would rise to £570 million by the year 2000. In the explanatory and financial memorandum, we are told that the costs will rise instead to £460 million.

When I put this point to the Secretary of State on 23 May on Second Reading, the right hon. and learned Gentleman said: The latter is a more up-to-date estimate. The hon. Gentleman may not have noticed that inflation has gone down, which is one of the factors that has been taken into account."—[Official Report, 23 May 1995; Vol. 260, c. 748.] I have examined the estimates of inflation. I made it clear that I was speaking about the 1992 Conservative campaign guide, not the 1994 guide. The 1994 guide used the figure of £570 million. It was published after the November 1993 Budget, including the Red Book.

If we compare the estimates of future inflation in the 1993 Red Book up to 1999 with the latest estimates until that year, we see that there is hardly any difference between them. The 1993 Red Book predicted that inflation would reach 2 per cent. by 1998–99, as does the 1994 Red Book. There is only a marginal difference between them. There is no difference that could conceivably explain why suddenly estimates would be reduced by £110 million or 20 per cent.

In Committee, the Minister of State was repeatedly challenged to explain the estimated fall of £110 million. Where had the estimated £570 million come from? Where had £460 million come from? He failed repeatedly to offer any credible explanation. The estimates on which this discreditable Bill is based are entirely unreliable. It is unfortunate that the Government have offered no serious explanation of the discrepancy and of other changes in costs. That does them no credit.

We know that the Secretary of State has wasted millions of pounds of the public's money by seeking to change the common law system of compensation without any statutory authority and in patent breach of the law of the land, as was found by a Committee of the other place earlier this year.

As a result of impetuous and unlawful acts by the Secretary of State, he set up the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which has now had to be wound up. He first insisted that claims for the preceding year would be judged on the basis of the unlawful tariff scheme. He had to dismantle that scheme, but at the same time has had to ensure that those who would have been awarded more under the old scheme will receive more. Those who would have received less under the common law scheme will, at the same time, keep their higher tariff award.

What is the cost of the Secretary of State's unlawful behaviour? There should be the fullest investigation of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's profligacy by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee.

Had a local council gone in for unlawful expenditure in the face of explicit legal advice and court judgments, and wasted millions of pounds, the Home Secretary would have been the first to demand that the Audit Commission should investigate, and that the councillors be surcharged.

Throughout the Bill's passage, the Secretary of State has sought to evade responsibility for decisions to slash compensation, for which he is morally and politically responsible, by asking us whether we would restore the scheme in full in the event of a Labour Government. That evasion of responsibility will not wash. Labour would not have tricked the electorate as the Conservatives did at the last election.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth has said, Labour's position is clear. If Ministers do not cut the scheme now, we will not cut it either. If Ministers maintain the public expenditure survey allocation up to the election and beyond, as they have every right and, indeed, duty to do, we shall keep it there. But if funding for the common law scheme is removed, no guarantees can be given by any party which seeks responsibly to govern the country.

On 23 May, the Secretary of State could not even say what would be in the Chancellor's Budget this autumn. He could not say what the availability of funding would be in the Chancellor's Budget. Today, the Home Secretary could not even say who the Chancellor of the Exchequer might be, let alone what might be in the Budget.

If the Chancellor of the Exchequer who presents the autumn Budget is, God forbid, the nominee of the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood), who intends to give away £5 billion in tax cuts and pay for those tax cuts through wholly unidentifiable efficiency savings, the public finances that Labour will inherit when we form a Government will be in an extremely sorry state.

I hope that, when the Secretary of State replies, he has the same full-hearted condemnation for the right hon. Member for Wokingham as the Chancellor of the Exchequer had yesterday, when he accused the former Secretary of State for Wales of plucking figures out of the air"—

Photo of Mr Michael Morris Mr Michael Morris , Northampton South

Order. This is not a general debate on the views of members of the Cabinet on Britain's financial situation. This is a specific debate on the Bill. I urge the hon. Gentleman to get back to it, and the Home Secretary to resist the temptation to make any comment as well.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I was dealing merely with the further uncertainties that now afflict the Government and their public spending plans. But speaking of figures that are plucked out of the air, one might say the same for the figures of £570 million and £460 million which the House has variously been given for the possible cost of keeping the old scheme going right up until the year 2000.

Just three months ago, the Leader of the House warned the Prime Minister that by these cuts in the criminal injuries compensation scheme the Government had placed themselves on the wrong side of an argument about the victims of crime". He was, of course, right.

The Government's shame on the issue has been graphically shown this afternoon. For much of the three hours of debate, not a single Conservative Back Bencher has been present in the Chamber. Still less has one spoken in support of the Bill. I might also add that the Liberal Democrat Benches have been vacant for almost the whole debate. There has been no contribution from any Liberal Democrat during the course of the debate. I am sure that the people of Littleborough and Saddleworth will be interested to know the Liberal Democrats' lack of support for improvements in the criminal injuries compensation scheme and for the Opposition's fight to maintain the old scheme.

It is little wonder that so few Conservative Members have been present and that none has spoken, because the Government's record on crime has been one of the shames of this Administration. Crime has doubled, and the number of victims has doubled, while there has been an absolute reduction in the number of people convicted of or cautioned for crime.

The right hon. Member for Wokingham was right about one thing in the manifesto he issued yesterday. He said: We catch far too few criminals—detection rates have to be raised. The Government have failed the victims of crime. Worse, they are now punishing the victims for that failure. That is why we believe that the Bill should not be given a Third Reading tonight.

Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard The Secretary of State for the Home Department 6:13 pm, 29th June 1995

I invite the House to reject the reasoned amendment which has just been moved by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw), to the detailed terms of which I shall come in a moment. However, I say at this early stage that the use of the word "reasoned" has rarely been less appropriate than in describing the amendment.

The Bill paves the way for a new criminal injuries compensation scheme under which compensation will, for the first time, be paid to the blameless victims of crimes of violence on a statutory basis. Unlike the present, non-statutory arrangements, the new scheme will concentrate on a straightforward tariff approach for the majority of victims. But it will also ensure that the needs of those most seriously affected by their injuries are generously met. We believe that that strikes the right balance between the needs of victims and the interests of the taxpayer.

Continuation of the old scheme, based on common law damages, was no longer a viable option. Costs were rising rapidly, and many victims were having to wait a long time for their money, despite the best efforts of my noble Friend Lord Carlisle and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board—efforts for which we remain very grateful. In contrast, the new, enhanced tariff scheme should enable costs to be more readily predicted and controlled, and once the new scheme has settled down and the remaining old scheme cases have been cleared, victims should get their money more quickly and with less fuss.

In devising the new scheme, we have of course listened to the criticisms of the earlier non-statutory tariff scheme which was withdrawn in April following the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords. The new scheme incorporates many of the more helpful suggestions made in both Houses and elsewhere.

All successful claimants will get a tariff award, but, in more serious cases, victims will also receive additional payment for loss of earnings and for special care. In fatal cases, payment will additionally be made for dependency and loss of support.

We are doubling the upper limit for awards payable under the old tariff scheme from £250,000 to £500,000, and we are making provision for recipients of higher-value awards to opt for payment by structured settlements. Those can provide a stream of index-linked, tax-free payments for life, considerably increasing the net value of the award. In addition, the tariff of awards has been improved and refined, to reflect the experiences of operating the non-statutory tariff scheme in 1994–95.

The Bill has already been discussed in detail in Committee. Among other things, it was agreed there that the benefits of structured settlements should be extended to claimants under the old scheme whose claims have still to be settled. We shall seek to give effect to that in another place. We also agreed to an express provision being made on the face of the Bill that the new independent appeals panel should be able to offer advice to the Secretary of State on matters relating to the scheme.

Perhaps I should also remind the House that, contrary to the completely erroneous impression given in the Opposition's so-called reasoned amendment, the Bill provides that the more important features of the new scheme will be subject to parliamentary approval, both before the new scheme starts, and before any changes are made subsequently.

The so-called reasoned amendment also claims that the Bill enables the Secretary of State to evade responsibility for the scheme. That simply beggars belief. The Bill does no such thing, as was explained at length to Opposition Members in Committee. What the Bill does is preserve the present position and make it clear that the Secretary of State is not responsible for the decisions in individual cases taken by claims officers or the scheme manager.

Of course the Secretary of State has responsibility for the scheme and for the rules and procedures under which it operates. The Bill is quite clear on that, and for the Opposition to claim otherwise is characteristically absurd.

Since I am dealing with uninformed comment, I repeat that the new scheme does not cut the amount of money which will be available to compensate victims—far from it. We are simply controlling the unsustainable rate of growth in such expenditure. Ours is by far the most generous compensation scheme in the world, and it will remain so once the changes envisaged in the Bill come into force.

We pay out more compensation than the United States, and more than all the other countries in Europe put together. By the end of the decade, the liability to compensation will be in the order of £250 million a year. That is no mean achievement, and one in which we can all justifiably take pride.

All that the hon. Member for Blackburn can do in the face of that is to nit-pick about some detailed estimates which have had to be revised in the light of more up-to-date information—a process so foreign to the hon. Gentleman that he does not appear to understand even that simple state of affairs.

Let me explain to the hon. Gentleman why the estimates over which he spent such an inordinate amount of time have been changed. The estimates are affected by several different factors. I have to spell them out for hon. Gentleman, although I think that most people will readily understand what they involve. They include the number of cases settled; the success rate; the percentage of claimants receiving an award; inflation; and increases in the average award. Those estimates have to be based on long-term, 10-year trends. Clearly, those change over a period as circumstances change and later data become available.

The figure of £570 million over which the hon. Gentleman spent—indeed, wasted—so much time was derived before the outturn figures for 1993–94 were available. We now have the outturn figures for two subsequent years. Our information is more accurate and up to date. We prefer to make our estimates based on the most accurate and up-to-date information available—a process clearly completely alien to the hon. Gentleman and the Labour party.

The Labour party has no constructive alternative to the scheme which the Government propose in the Bill. There is no clearer evidence of that than the complete about-face demonstrated in its so-called reasoned amendment. On Second Reading, the bon. Gentleman and his right hon. and hon. Friends complained in their amendment about the inadequacy of provision for criminal injuries. When he was challenged to make a clear, specific commitment to increase resources, he refused to do so.

We now have a totally different reasoned amendment. It clearly was not drafted by the hon. Gentleman. It was clearly drafted by someone who understood the impossibility of complaining about inadequate resources while refusing to make a commitment to increasing resources. It was drafted by someone who had some glimmering of understanding that government is about making decisions—often hard decisions.

The gulf between the person who drafted the reasoned amendment and its contents, and the contents of the speech of the hon. Member for Blackburn could not have been wider—it was enormous. Indeed, it rather looked as though the hon. Member for Blackburn had not even taken the trouble to read the so-called reasoned amendment before he got up to make his speech. The Labour party is not prepared to face up to the need to make decisions. Until and unless it is, it should be treated with the derision it deserves.

We have now come up with as good a scheme as it is possible to devise, given the constraints under which any responsible Government must operate. It is a generous, straightforward and transparent scheme, and one that serves the interests of victims and taxpayers alike. The Bill provides the framework of that scheme, and I invite the House to reject the reasoned amendment, endorse the scheme and give the Bill a Third Reading.

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 6:23 pm, 29th June 1995

I explained on Second Reading the view that I and my hon. Friends took of the Bill. My right hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith), who served on the Committee, is not here today because he is on parliamentary duty in the United States. Neither his views nor mine have changed since then.

The Bill amends the present system in ways that the Home Secretary was right to say start from a need to reappraise the ever-escalating cost. I concede that. The most interesting and important question is how much money will be in the kitty. I do not dissent from the view—indeed, it is unarguable—that we have the most generous system in the world. That is clear.

It is also unarguable that the cost has grown over the years, and if the old system remained, it would go on growing. That is why, on Second Reading, I made it clear that I thought that all responsible politicians would be forced to accept a tariff-plus system. There is no other way, unless we accept uncontainable prospective costs.

I made that clear before, and I hold to it. My views have not been altered by the debate in Committee. The questions that arose in Committee and on Report have not gone to the fundamentals of the Bill. Again, the Home Secretary is right to say that they went to the margins of the Bill, but that is because the Bill, in large measure, does not itself address the practicalities.

The practicalities will be how much money is in the kitty; what will be the level of awards; who reviews that and how will it be upgraded; and the scheme under the delegated legislation that the Bill will bring into operation. That is why we have the same simple view that we had at the beginning.

There were certain things wrong in the original tariff that needed to be corrected. We need to make sure that we do not reduce the amount of money and keep it pegged—not so that it escalates out of control, but at least so that it stays in line with inflation, so that people are compensated for the injuries they sustain at a real rather than an ever-reducing cost. The scheme must be flexible, so that it meets the variety of injuries and practical losses that people sustain through disability, on-going costs, loss of earnings and the rest.

This is not a Bill that we would have introduced, or one that needed to be introduced in this way or form. It is important that we continue to put more money and interest into the cause of victims. That is why the Home Secretary and his hon. Friends have not received our support for their proposals, either at earlier stages of the Bill or tonight.

I understand that there will be further challenges in another place. The legal and other interested professions, let alone the victim support groups and victims' representatives, are unhappy at the prospect of reduced funding. That is the greatest fear that people will have as a result of this debate. The scheme may have been the most generous in the world, but people will fear that, in future, it will be both less generous and less flexible, and that is a bad thing.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided:? Ayes 202, Noes 260.

Division No. 187][6.27 pm
AYES
Abbott, Ms DianeGraham, Thomas
Adams, Mrs IreneGrant, Bemie (Tottenham)
Ainger, NickGriffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Ainsworth, Robert (CoVtry NE)Grocott, Bruce
Allen, GrahamGunnell, John
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)Hain, Peter
Armstrong, HilaryHarvey, Nick
Ashton, JoeHattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Austin-Walker, JohnHenderson, Doug
Barnes, HarryHendron, Dr Joe
Battle, JohnHeppell, John
Bayley, HughHill, Keith (Streatham)
Bell, StuartHinchliffe, David
Benn, Rt Hon TonyHodge, Margaret
Bennett, Andrew FHoey, Kate
Benton, JoeHogg, Norman (Cumbemauld)
Bermingham, GeraldHome Robertson, John
Berry, RogerHood, Jimmy
Betts, CliveHoon, Geoffrey
Blair, Rt Hon TonyHowarth, George (Knowsley North)
Bray, Dr JeremyHowells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)Hoyle, Doug
Brown, N (N''c'tle upon Tyne E)Hughes, Simon (Southward)
Burden, RichardHutton, John
Byers, StephenIllsley, Eric
Caborn, RichardJackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Callaghan, JimJackson, Helen (Shefld, H)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)Jamieson, David
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Mön)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Campbell-Savours, D NJones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Cam, JamieJones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Cariile, Alexander (Montgomery)Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Church, JudithKeen, Alan
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)Khabra, Piara S
Clelland, DavidKilfoyle, Peter
Clwyd, Mrs AnnKirkwcod, Archy
Coffey, AnnLewis, Terry
Cohen, HarryLiddell, Mrs Helen
Comarty, MichaelLivingstone, Ken
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Cook, Robin (Livingston)Llwyd, Elfyn
Corbett, RobinLoyden, Eddie
Corbyn, JeremyMcAllion, John
Corston, JeanMcAvoy, Thomas
Cousins, JimMcCartney, Robert (North Down)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr JohnMacdonald, Calum
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelll)McFall, John
Dewar, DonaldMcKelvey, William
Dixon, DonMcLeish, Henry
Dobson, FrankMaclennan, Robert
Donohoe, Brian HMcMaster, Gordon
Dowd, JimMcNamara, Kevin
Dunwoody, Mrs GwynethMacShane, Denis
Eagle, Ms AngelaMcWilliam, John
Eastham, KenMahon, Alice
Etherington, BillMarshall, David (Shettleston)
Evans, John (St Helens N)Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Fatchett DerekMeacher, Michael
Faulds, AndrewMeale, Alan
Flynn, PaulMichael, Alun
Foster, Rt Hon DerekMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Foulkes, GeorgeMoonie, Dr Lewis
Fyfe, MariaMorgan, Rhodri
Galloway, GeorgeMoriey, Elliot
Gapes, MikeMorris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Garrett, JohnMorris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
George, BruceMullin, Chris
Gerrard, NeilMurphy, Paul
Godman, Dr Norman AO'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire)
Godsiff, RogerO'Brien, William (Normanton)
Golding, Mrs LlinO'Hara, Edward
Gordon, MildredOlner, Bill
O'Neill, MartinSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Orme, Rt Hon StanleySmith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Pearson, lanSnape, Peter
Pendry, TomSoley, Clive
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)Spearing, Nigel
Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)Spellar, John
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)Stevenson, George
Primarolo, DawnStraw, Jack
Purchase, KenSutcliffe, Gerry
Quin, Ms JoyceTaylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Randall, StuartTimms, Stephen
Raynsford, NickTipping, Paddy
Reid, Dr JohnTouhig, Don
Rendel, DavidTurner, Dennis
Robertson, George (Hamilton)Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)Wallace, James
Roche, Mrs BarbaraWardell, Gareth (Gower)
Rooker, JeffWareing, Robert N
Rooney, TerryWicks, Malcolm
Ross, Emie (Dundee W)Wigley, Dafydd
Rowlands, TedWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Ruddock, JoanWilliams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Salmond, AlexWinnick, David
Sedgemore, BrianWise, Audrey
Sheerman, BarryWright Dr Tony
Sheldon, Rt Hon RobertYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Short, ClareTellers for the Ayes:
Simpson, AlanMr. George Mudie and
Skinner, DennisMr. Eric Clarke.
NOES
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)Coe, Sebastian
Amess, DavidColvin, Michael
Ancram, MichaelCongdon, David
Arbuthnot, JamesConway, Derek
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Ashby, DavidCormack, Sir Patrick
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)Couchman, James
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)Cran, James
Baldry, TonyCurry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Banks, Matthew (Southport)Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Bates, MichaelDavis, David (Boothferry)
Batiste, SpencerDay, Stephen
Bendall, VivianDeva, Nirj Joseph
Beresford, Sir PaulDevlin, Tim
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnDorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Booth, HartleyDover, Den
Boswell, TimDuncan, Alan
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)Duncan-Smith, Iain
Bottomley, Rt Hon VirginiaDunn, Bob
Bowis, JohnDykes, Hugh
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir RhodesEggar, Rt Hon Tim
Brandreth, GylesElletson, Harold
Brazier, JulianEvans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Bright, Sir GrahamEvans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterEvans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Browning, Mrs AngelaEvennett, David
Bruce, Ian (Dorset)Faber, David
Burns, SimonFabricant, Michael
Burt, AlistairField,, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Butler, PeterFishburn, Dudley
Butterfill, JohnForman, Nigel
Carlisle, John (Luton North)Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling)
Carrington, MatthewForth, Eric
Carttiss, MichaelFowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Cash, WilliamFox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Chapman, SydneyFreeman, Rt Hon Roger
Churchill, MrFrench, Douglas
Clappison, JamesGale, Roger
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)Gallie, Phil
Gardiner, Sir GeorgeLidington, David
Garnier, EdwardLightbown, David
Gill, ChristopherLilley, Rt Hon Peter
Gillan, CherylLloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairLord, Michael
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesLuff, Peter
Gorst, Sir JohnLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs)MacKay, Andrew
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Maclean, Rt Hon David
Greenway, John (Ryedale)McLoughlin, Patrick
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Hague, WilliamMadel, Sir David
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir ArchibaldMaitland, Lady Olga
Hampson, Dr KeithMajor, Rt Hon John
Hanley, Rt Hon JeremyMalone, Gerald
Hannam, Sir JohnMans, Keith
Hargreaves, AndrewMarshall, John (Hendon S)
Harris, DavidMarshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Haselhurst, Sir AlanMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Hawkins, NickMawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Hawksley, WarrenMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Hayes, JerryMerchant, Piers
Heald, OliverMills, Iain
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hendry, CharlesMitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir TerenceMoate, Sir Roger
Hill, James (Southampton Test)Monro, Sir Hector
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Horam, JohnNelson, Anthony
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir PeterNeubert, Sir Michael
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelNewton, Rt Hon Tony
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Winal W)Norris, Steve
Hunter, AndrewOnslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasOppenheim, Phillip
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)Ottaway, Richard
Jenkin, BernardPage, Richard
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyPaice, James
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Patnick, Sir Irvine
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)Patten, Rt Hon John
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElainePawsey, James
Kirkhope, TimothyPeacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Knapman, RogerPickles, Eric
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)Porter, Barry (Winal S)
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)Powell, William (Corby)
Lait, Mrs JacquiRedwood, Rt Hon John
Lamont, Rt Hon NormanRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Lang, Rt Hon IanRichards, Rod
Legg, BarryRiddick, Graham
Leigh, EdwardRobathan, Andrew
Lennox-Boyd, Sir MarkRobertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame AngelaThompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Sackville, TomThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir TimothyThornton, Sir Malcolm
Shaw, David (Dover)Thurnham, Peter
Shephard, Rt Hon GillianTownsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Tracey, Richard
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)Tredinnick, David
Shersby, Sir MichaelTrend, Michael
Sims, RogerTwinn, Dr Ian
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Soames, NicholasViggers, Peter
Spencer, Sir DerekWaldegrave, Rt Hon William
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)Walden, George
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Spink, Dr RobertWaller, Gary
Spring, RichardWard, John
Sproat, IainWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)Watts, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWells, Bowen
Steen, AnthonyWheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Stephen, MichaelWhitney, Ray
Stern, MichaelWhittingdale, John
Stewart, AllanWiggin, Sir Jerry
Streeter, GaryWilletts, David
Surnberg, DavidWilshire, David
Sweeney, WalterWinterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Sykes, JohnWolfson, Mark
Tapsell, Sir PeterYeo, Tim
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)Tellers for the Noes:
Temple-Morris, PeterMr. Timothy Wood and
Thomason, RoyDr. Liam Fox.

Question accordingly negatived.
Main Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 60 (Amendment on Second or Third Reading), and agreed to.
Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.