– in the House of Commons at 1:56 pm on 14th September 2021.

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(b) Standing Order No. 15(1) (Exempted business) shall apply to the private business so far as necessary for the purpose of securing that the business may be considered for a period of three hours.—(David Rutley.)

Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay 2:05 pm, 14th September 2021

I will keep my comments brief because I know that they are eating into our time. For the same reason, I will not divide the House, but I reiterate the concern many of us have that today, in haste, we are discussing very important legislation that will introduce a massive tax increase—bigger than that of some Budgets—and yet we do not have details of the social care reforms being proposed. That is not the way to go about business in this place.

In my 20 years’ experience in this place, when we have rushed through decisions, as we are doing today—the measure was announced only last week—it has often increased the chance of big mistakes being made. I know that Ministers on the Front Bench are not listening, but I ask them even at this late stage to consider allowing more time to consider this important matter. If we do not know the detail of what is proposed, how in heaven are we to know how much money to raise for it?

Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour, Swansea West

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to speak, he can speak, but this is a debate, not a point of order. Does he wish to speak?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 2:07 pm, 14th September 2021

I support my hon. Friend Mr Baron, although I will not press the matter to a Division either; I understand that the Government have a sense of urgency.

I think we need three debates, not one. First, we need a debate about how an extra £10 billion or £12 billion would make a big difference to waiting lists in the NHS; I would like to know the plan for that. Secondly, we need a debate about how we transition the money from health to social care and about what the social care plan looks like. Thirdly, we need an economic policy debate about whether we actually need to raise £12 billion in tax and, if so, whether this is the right tax to raise it with.

I urge the Government, in their own interest, to unpackage all that, at least in their own remarks, and understand that we need to see the cases for their propositions. If I go to a shop, I do not present it with some money and go away being told that in a month’s time I will get a brochure about what I might have bought; I expect to get the goods. Call me old-fashioned, but I would like to see what the goods will be. Would I like waiting lists down? You bet. Would I like people in my constituency to have access to better public social care? You bet, but I want to know that I will get that, and I want to know why the Government think that they need a tax.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire 2:08 pm, 14th September 2021

It is very clear to most of our constituents that, after 18 months, there will need to be a tax rise to pay for service items that the NHS has not been able to provide because it has been dealing with the pandemic. There is also an expectation that we will improve social care, and most people would say that that comes with a price tag.

It seems to me entirely reasonable for the Government to say that they will publish a White Paper to flesh out the finer detail, after consultation, on matters that my hon. Friend Mr Baron and my right hon. Friend John Redwood have just described. However, I think we have to assume that it will come with a not insignificant price tag. It is therefore perfectly reasonable for the Government to put this Bill before the House in order to anticipate the funds that will be necessary and a prerequisite for the proposals that we imagine will be fleshed out as part of the White Paper. There is some urgency in this.

Question put and agreed to.