parliamentary pensions

Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 4:04 pm on 25th June 2009.

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

That this House endorses a package of changes to the Parliamentary pension scheme, backdated to 1 April 2009, which is judged by the Government Actuary to make savings equivalent to 2.9 per cent. of payroll, thus capping the Exchequer contribution at 28.7 per cent., consisting of—

(1) an increase in member contribution rates—

(a) from 10 to 11.9 per cent. for a pension building up to an accrual rate of 1/40th of final salary for each year of service,

(b) from 6 to 7.9 per cent. for a pension building up to an accrual rate of 1/50th, and

(c) from 5.5 to 5.9 per cent. for a pension building up to an accrual rate of 1/60th; and

(2) the application of the scheme's maximum pension limit of two-thirds of final salary to all scheme members for future service .—( Barbara Keeley. )

Amendment made: (a) at end add

'and calls on the Leader of the House to bring forward further proposals which will cap the Exchequer contribution for 2009—10 at its 2008—09 level.'— (Steve Webb.)

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Chair, Procedure Committee

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. There is growing anger concerning motion 9, which we will shortly reach, because it seeks to require the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Grand Committee to meet in Barnsley. Many Opposition Members feel that it should meet in Bridlington— [Interruption.] I am supported in that view by my hon. Friends the Members for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr. Goodwill) and for Beverley and Holderness (Mr. Stuart). Will you confirm that under the provision of Standing Order 117A, it is not possible to debate the motion, or the motions that come before it, because of the terms of the Standing Order, even though we have not yet reached the moment of interruption? Because of that, is it not the case that the only way in which my hon. Friends and I can show our displeasure at the motions is by dividing the House?

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

I can confirm what the right hon. Gentleman says. There can be no debate, but when that motion is reached on the Order Paper, he may well divide the House if he wishes.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Will you, from the Chair, advise the House whether this is a good issue to refer to the Procedure Committee? It seems that Back-Bench Members will be totally out of the loop in discussions on the time and place where the Regional Committeeswill meet.

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is in a position to make that referral to the Procedure Committee himself.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I have listened carefully to the concerns expressed by right hon. and hon. Members. Given that we were given no notice of the motions beyond the fact that they would be on the Order Paper today, is there any way for the Chair to consider manuscript amendments, or will we have no debate and no amendments?

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

I regret to inform the hon. Gentleman that it is not possible for that to be done today.

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Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin Shadow Chief Whip (Commons), Opposition Chief Whip (Commons)

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Given that it is only 4.15 pm and the Minister is present, is it not possible for her to explain to us why the meeting of the North West Regional Grand Committee must take place when Parliament has reassembled, but other Regional Grand Committees are to meet when it is in recess? Some Committees are meeting at the same time as both the Liberal Democrat and the Conservative party conferences, yet none are meeting at the same time as the Labour party conference. Can the Minister not stand up and explain those facts to the House?

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Hon. Members:

Answer!

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Photo of Sylvia Heal Sylvia Heal Deputy Speaker

Order. The occupant of the Chair is about to give an answer.

Given the way in which the motions have been tabled, there is no possibility of debate, merely a possibility of votes. I repeat what I have already said: if Members so choose, the House can divide on these issues.

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