Mr Nigel Beard: When the Committee adjourned this morning, Mr. Djanogly had the floor.
Mr Nigel Beard: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the interim conclusion of the Wanless report—that anything other than general taxation is likely to constitute a more expensive way of providing a given level of health care—should eliminate political controversy from this issue? Does it not illustrate the absurdity of statements such as that of the right hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and...
Mr Nigel Beard: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Mr Nigel Beard: I thank the hon. Gentleman. Phrases such as "general regulation" and "red tape" cover a multitude of sins. Which of the items that he has listed would the hon. Gentleman abolish to reduce the so-called burdens that he is illustrating?
Mr Nigel Beard: The hon. Gentleman is giving a chapter of woe in the education service. Would his case not be stronger in some respects if he acknowledged that since the Conservative Government left office in 1997, the number of children achieving the appropriate standard in numeracy has gone up from 50 per cent. to approximately 80 per cent; and likewise, the number of children achieving appropriate...
Mr Nigel Beard: What is the latest assessment of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden?
Mr Nigel Beard: Order. The next debate is on medical liability.
Mr Nigel Beard: rose—
Mr Nigel Beard: Will my right hon. Friend say how far the stability and growth of European economies depend on recovery in the world economy? In particular, what would be the impact if Japan sank into a 1930s-type depression, as foreseen in yesterday's edition of The Guardian? That newspaper ran an article headed "The Crunch: Japan's Credit Rating Could Fall Below Botswana's".
Mr Nigel Beard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fiscal steps he is taking to encourage investment by British business:
Mr Nigel Beard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the tidal surge which hit the Thames Estuary and the North Kent Coast on 29 January, with special reference to the adequacy of the flood defences along the Erith, Crayford and Dartford stretch of the river bank and the risk of the River Thames flooding in this area.
Mr Nigel Beard: How do today's regiments of main battle tanks fit within the strategic concept that requires ease of transport, speed and flexibility?
Mr Nigel Beard: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on introducing the scheme, which will not only bring substantial private investment to modernising a long-neglected public service, but motivate contractors so that they stay on budget and on time. That was shown in the last Parliament when the Treasury Committee examined the history of private finance initiative projects, which are very similar....
Mr Nigel Beard: Order. There are just under 50 minutes left of this debate and four hon. Members wish to speak. If they can keep their remarks within 10 minutes, everyone will have a chance before the Minister replies to the debate.
Mr Nigel Beard: Order. This is becoming a rather long intervention.
Mr Nigel Beard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons hospices for children receive less financial support per patient from Government than hospices for adults; and if he will take steps to bring funding for the two into line.
Mr Nigel Beard: With this, is will be convenient to take new clause 12—Advisory bodies and consultation— ''The Social Security Advisory Committee (constituted under section 9 of the Social Security Act 1980 and Part XIII of the Social Security Administration Act 1992) and its functions shall apply to tax credits and paragraph 28B of Schedule 3 to this Act shall apply to Part XIII of the Social Security...
Mr Nigel Beard: Order. I think that I can help the hon. Gentleman. The clause refers to polygamy, so it would be preferable to stay on that subject.
Mr Nigel Beard: With this we may take new clause 6—Review and alteration of rates of tax credits— 'Section 150 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 shall apply with like effect to tax credits and paragraph 28A of Schedule 3 to this Act shall amend the said section 150 accordingly.'.
Mr Nigel Beard: The general rule is to allow two minutes and we were within that time. Clause 37 ordered to stand part of the Bill.