Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Matthew Taylor: The hon. Lady will find that that is the present position. The difference is that we are asking people on more than £100,000 to pay more. We believe that at that level people can afford to pay more. If she believes that people can afford to pay more at a lower level than that, she is welcome to argue accordingly.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 625

That is our view, and it was our view at the general election. We believe that very wealthy people can afford to pay substantially more as a contribution towards the NHS. Crucially, that is a better route than that of imposing an increase in tax on employers.

We know that manufacturing industry particularly, and other industries in internationally exposed sectors—farming is another good example—are suffering hugely because of the exchange rate. Industries such as car manufacturing are withdrawing from the United Kingdom: Ford cars are no longer produced in the UK; there has been a major closure of a Vauxhall plant; and BMW is pulling out of Rover, for example. These moves will all be made worse by the Government's decision to choose to increase employers' contributions. That is the tax on jobs, the very tax that the Government argued should be cut on the basis of their pollution taxes. They said, "Let's cut the tax on jobs and tax pollution instead." Now they are to increase the tax on jobs as if the previous arguments never existed. It is the Liberal Democrats who are following through on the argument against the tax on jobs.

Mr. Mark Francois (Rayleigh): The hon. Gentleman mentioned public cynicism. Does he recall the campaigning leaflet—in fact, it was a guide—that the Liberal Democrats produced a few months ago, which was leaked? On these types of issue, it said, "Be shameless. You don't have the responsibility of administration. You do not have to worry about how things actually work. Agitate; cause trouble." Are not the Liberal Democrats' amendments a classic example of a lack of responsibility?

Matthew Taylor: Only the Conservatives have been shameless. They say that they want more money for health services, but they always vote against extra spending. The direct result of the policies that the hon. Gentleman supports would be fewer doctors and nurses treating patients. That would mean ever longer waiting lists under the Tories, and we know why—it is because Conservatives do not believe in the NHS. They want to get rid of it.

No doubt the hon. Gentleman will support amendments introduced by those on the Opposition Front Bench that would subsidise by tax breaks those who take up and can afford private insurance at the expense of investment in the NHS for the great majority.

Mr. Bercow: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Matthew Taylor: I shall be happy to give way to the hon. Gentleman and to debate his point. If the Conservative party is opposed to increases in employers' national insurance but is in favour of extra money for health services, how would it raise the extra money?

Mr. Bercow: I wish that the hon. Gentleman would follow the logic of the argument and—[Interruption.] It is no good Liberal Democrat Members chuntering from a sedentary position, in evident ignorance of the progression of the amendments to which my hon. Friends and I will shortly be speaking. The hon. Gentleman should be aware that the late Harold Macmillan famously and wisely said that the Liberals had some good ideas and some original ideas. He added that unfortunately their good ideas were

10 Jun 2002 : Column 626

not original and their original ideas were not any good. Today, they have produced ideas that are neither good nor original. They really have surpassed themselves.

Matthew Taylor: The difference is that the Conservative Front Bench has no answers at all and no ideas. It was, after all, Harold Macmillan who criticised the Conservative party in the 1980s for selling the family silver, and part of that sale was the rundown of investment in the health service to pay for tax cuts. This debate is, in part, about how we can raise money to rectify a decades-long underinvestment that has left patients suffering, and doctors and nurses struggling to cope in under-equipped and worn-out wards.

The hon. Gentleman must recognise this. It is perfectly legitimate for him to say that he does not want investment in the national health service—that he does not even want the national health service, and would not spend money on it but would cut taxes instead. It is not legitimate for him to argue against a way of funding NHS improvements, while pretending that the Conservatives nevertheless support those improvements. The improvements cannot be made unless the money is found.

The Conservatives' position is wholly illegitimate. They try to pander to those who want tax cuts—and of course we all want tax cuts if we can get them—without admitting that the cuts will be made at the expense of the national health service. That is the effect of the amendments for which the hon. Gentleman will presumably attempt to argue later, although so far he has presented no arguments, just a bit of bile. That is the stock in trade of the Conservative Front Bench at present, because it has no arguments.

I hope that the Committee will divide on the principle, but I think we would best do that by voting on amendment No. 2.

Dr. Evan Harris: I endorse what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor). I said at the outset that we would try to press amendment No. 2 to a Division. I therefore beg to ask leave to withdraw amendment No. 1.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed: No. 2, in clause 1, page 2, line 8, leave out "1 per cent." and insert—

'10 per cent. on earnings over £100,000'.—[Dr. Evan Harris.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The Committee proceeded to a Division.

The Second Deputy Chairman: Will the Serjeant at Arms investigate the delay in the No Lobby?

The Committee having divided: Ayes 43, Noes 384.

Division No. 254
[5.27 pm


Baker, Norman
Barrett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Chidgey, David
Cotter, Brian
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Doughty, Sue
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Hancock, Mike
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David
Holmes, Paul
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Kirkwood, Archy
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Moore, Michael
Oaten, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Stunell, Andrew
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Tyler, Paul
Webb, Steve
Willis, Phil
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:

Tom Brake and
Sir Robert Smith.


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Austin, John
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Barker, Gregory
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Burns, Simon
Cairns, David
Cameron, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chope, Christopher
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Conway, Derek
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Corston, Jean
Cox, Tom
Cran, James
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curry, Rt Hon David
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dismore, Andrew
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Drown, Ms Julia
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ewing, Annabelle
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flight, Howard
Flint, Caroline
Flook, Adrian
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Fox, Dr Liam
Francis, Dr Hywel
Francois, Mark
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
George, Rt Hon Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibb, Nick
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hammond, Philip
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Hayes, John
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hendry, Charles
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hoban, Mark
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hunter, Andrew
Hurst, Alan
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca–Davies, Huw
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Key, Robert
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leigh, Edward
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Loughton, Tim
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luff, Peter
Luke, Iain
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McIsaac, Shona
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
McNamara, Kevin
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Malins, Humfrey
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Maples, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Martlew, Eric
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morris, Rt Hon Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Page, Richard
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Price, Adam
Primarolo, Dawn
Prisk, Mark
Purchase, Ken
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Randall, John
Rapson, Syd
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruddock, Joan
Ruffley, David
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Sayeed, Jonathan
Sedgemore, Brian
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simmonds, Mark
Simon, Siôn
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steen, Anthony
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Tredinnick, David
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tyrie, Andrew
Vaz, Keith
Viggers, Peter
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Watts, David
Weir, Michael
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Wills, Michael
Wilshire, David
Winnick, David
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wishart, Pete
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Yeo, Tim

Tellers for the Noes:

Angela Smith and
Jim Fitzpatrick.

Question accordingly negatived.

10 Jun 2002 : Column 629

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield): On a point of order, Sir Michael. You will be aware that great difficulties were encountered by many hon. Members from both sides of the House in getting into the No Lobby. In fact, many hon. Members who were here in time to vote could not do so because of the numbers voting. Happily, the numbers were great because the Government and Her Majesty's Opposition were voting together, which shows that this House can occasionally work together. This matter should be looked into. The numbers coming in from behind the Speaker's Chair into the Lobby were so great that many Members who would normally have had their names registered as voting will not have

10 Jun 2002 : Column 630

their names registered. Sadly, they were unable to get in to the Division Lobby in time to vote. Would you look into this matter?

Next Section

IndexHome Page