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Session 2003 - 04
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Summary Agendas and Orders of Business

Order of Business 5 July 2004

Here you can browse the House of Commons Order of Business for 5 July 2004.

* indicates a question for oral answer.
[R] indicates that the Member has declared a relevant interest.
Questions for oral answer not reached receive a written answer.
Supplementary questions will also be asked. Other Ministers may also answer.

+ indicates Government business.
Timings are indicative only.

At 2.30 p.m.      Prayers
Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
*1 Mr Graham Allen (Nottingham North):    If he will make a statement on the consequences for his Department of recent trends in unemployment in Nottingham North.
( 181887 )
*2 Mr Dave Watts (St Helens North):    What recent progress has been made in tackling economic inactivity.
( 181888 )
*3 Mr Peter Luff (Mid Worcestershire):    What his most recent assessment is of the level of benefit fraud.
( 181889 )
*4 Vera Baird (Redcar):    What progress has been made in enabling disabled people to play a full and active role in society.
( 181890 )
*5 Mr Peter Viggers (Gosport):    If he will make a statement on the comparative pension provision for those in the 10 year age bands (a) 30-39, (b) 40-49, (c) 50-59 and (d) 60-69.
( 181891 )
*6 Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West):    If he will make a statement on the steps he is taking to tackle pensioner poverty.
( 181892 )
*7 John Robertson (Glasgow Anniesland):    What plans he has to protect the pension rights of workers transferred from one employer to another.
( 181893 )
*8 Sandra Gidley (Romsey):    If he will make a statement on how the new appraisal scheme is intended to help motivate staff, improve efficiency and improve performance in the Department.
( 181894 )
*9 Mr Harry Barnes (North East Derbyshire):    How many of the families who have qualified for child tax credits have as a consequence been removed from access to the qualifying benefits which would make them eligible for consideration for discretionary grants or loans under the Social Fund.
( 181895 )
*10 Jim Knight (South Dorset):    What progress has been made in tackling economic inactivity in the last six years.
( 181896 )
*11 David Taylor (North West Leicestershire):    How many people were receiving disability living allowance in (a) the East Midlands and (b) England and Wales in (i) 1990, (ii) 1997 and (iii) 2004; and how many of them were registered as unemployed in each year.
( 181897 )
*12 Dr Evan Harris (Oxford West & Abingdon):    What estimate he has made of the cost to public funds of treating same-sex couples in the same way as married couples if they attain civil partnerships for the purposes of (a) benefits, (b) state pensions prospectively from the start of the civil partnership and (c) state pensions on the same basis as married couples where previous pension contributions are counted.
( 181898 )
*13 Mr Win Griffiths (Bridgend):    What percentage of eligible pensioners are claiming pension credit in (a) Bridgend, (b) Wales and (c) the UK.
( 181900 )
*14 Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York):    If he will make a statement on the level of error in Child Support Agency decisions.
( 181901 )
*15 Laura Moffatt (Crawley):    What measures he has taken to eradicate pensioner poverty.
( 181902 )
*16 Dr Vincent Cable (Twickenham):    If he will make a statement on the treatment of student loans by the benefit system.
( 181903 )
*17 Mr Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight):    How many child support cases are calculated according to the (a) new and (b) old formula.
( 181904 )
*18 Mr Jonathan Sayeed (Mid Bedfordshire):    If he will permit unclaimed assets to be used to offer further assistance to those occupational pension scheme members who will not be covered by the Pension Protection Fund.
( 181905 )
*19 Mr David Amess (Southend West):    What assessment he has made of the adequacy of the funding he has committed to provide assistance to occupational pension scheme members who will not be covered by the Pension Protection Fund.
( 181906 )
*20 Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire):    What recent representations he has received from the outdoor activities industry in relation to the proposed Working at Height regulations.
( 181907 )
*21 Mr Huw Edwards (Monmouth):    How many carers in (a) England and (b) Wales are in receipt of carer's allowance.
( 181908 )
*22 Mr Ben Chapman (Wirral South):    If he will make a statement on the roll-out of Jobcentre Plus.
( 181909 )
*23 Mr Mike Hall (Weaver Vale):    How many people he estimates have been helped into work as a result of the New Deal.
( 181910 )
*24 Mr John Denham (Southampton, Itchen):    What action he plans to take to reduce the number of people retiring on to means-tested pensions in future years.
( 181911 )

At 3.30 p.m.Urgent Questions (if any)
Ministerial Statements (if any)

Preliminary Business

Notice of Presentation of Bill



[No debate]

      Mr Frank Field
        Bill to establish the Foundation for Unclaimed Assets and make provision as to its functions.

Formal first reading: no debate or decision.

Main Business


OPPOSITION DAY [15th allotted day]

[Until 10.00 p.m.]



      Mr Michael Howard
      Mr Oliver Letwin
      Mr Stephen O'Brien
      Mr David Willetts
      Michael Fabricant
      Mr Nigel Waterson
        That this House notes the failure of Royal Mail plc to deliver first and second class mail reliably and on time and regrets the damage this is doing to businesses and private customers alike; notes with particular dismay the threatened closure in Leicester of the Knighton Church Road Post Office, Knighton, and the East Park Road Post Office, Spinney Hills; calls on the Government to end the uncertainty facing the future of rural post offices as a result of the Government's refusal to announce further funding until after 2006; deplores the inadequate consultation procedure of the Urban Reinvention Programme despite the Government's recent announcement to review urgently the arrangements for the consultation currently employed; expresses continued concern about the Government's implementation of the different Direct Payment options which has caused significant problems particularly for elderly and disabled customers in Stechford, Shard End and Hodge Hill in Birmingham; condemns the Government for its failure adequately to promote the take-up of Post Office Card Accounts; and further calls on the Government to provide more details on the implementation of the Exceptions Service.

            As Amendments to Mr Michael Howard's proposed Motion (Postal services):
      Mr Charles Kennedy
      Sir Menzies Campbell
      Malcolm Bruce
      Brian Cotter
      Sir Robert Smith
      Mr Andrew Stunell
        Line      1,      leave out from `House' to end and add `notes the failure of Royal Mail plc to meet any of its annual 15 performance targets and its continued inability to deliver mail reliably and on time, and regrets the damage this is doing to businesses and private customers alike; notes with particular dismay the hugely detrimental impact the Urban Reinvention Programme is having in Leicester, with the closure of nine post offices including the imminent closure of West Knighton Post Office, Boundary Road Post Office and East Park Road Post Office and the threatened closure of South Knighton Post Office in Leicester South, and in Birmingham, where a third of post offices face closure; notes that the Government admitted that the programme was handled insensitively for 16 months but that it has failed to review these closures; deeply regrets the decision of a number of supermarkets to close post offices located in their stores; expresses continued concern about the ability of the most vulnerable people in society, namely older people and the disabled, to access vital benefit and pension payments; and condemns the Government for fatally undermining the viability of the post office network by refusing to announce further funding for the rural network after 2006 and for withdrawing up to 40 per cent. of sub-postmaster income and failing to provide alternative income streams which could secure the future of the urban and rural networks.'.

      The Prime Minister
      Mr Secretary Prescott
      Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer
      Mr Andrew Smith
      Ms Secretary Hewitt
      Mr Stephen Timms
        Line      1, leave out from `House' to end and add `supports the Government's strategy for a viable Post Office network; welcomes the delivery by Royal Mail of 93 per cent. of first class letters the next day in the first half of 2003-04; shares the Government's disappointment over the drop in performance since then, which rightly falls short of customers' expectations; calls on Royal Mail and the unions to work together to improve the quality of service; notes that the closure of any post office is regrettable but supports the Government's view that, without rationalisation, unplanned closures would continue, leaving damaging gaps in the network; supports the Government's commitment to ensure that at least 95 per cent. of the urban population will live within one mile of their nearest post office; supports the Government's commitment to ensure funding of rural post offices until at least 2006; welcomes the changes to the urban reinvention consultation process and the extension of the consultation process from four to six weeks; supports the Government's move to Direct Payment and welcomes the fact that already more than half of customers are getting their benefits, pensions and tax credits paid straight into accounts, of which 3.2 million are Post Office card accounts; notes that the Opposition wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on the Benefit Payment Card scheme; supports the facility for those who cannot be paid through an account, particularly the most vulnerable older people, to receive a cheque payment; and recognises that change was needed and congratulates the Government for its strong, decisive action.'.



      Mr Michael Howard
      Mr Oliver Letwin
      Mr David Willetts
      Mr Paul Goodman
      Mr Andrew Tyrie
      David Maclean
        That this House notes that household indebtedness has now reached £1 trillion; is concerned that the household savings rate has halved since 1997; and believes that the Government, through the extension of dependency on means-tested benefits in retirement, its attack on the tax advantages of savings vehicles, and its £5 billion a year raid on pension funds, has diminished incentives to save.

            As an Amendment to Mr Michael Howard's proposed Motion (Personal indebtedness and savings):
      The Prime Minister
      Mr Secretary Prescott
      Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer
      Ms Secretary Hewitt
      Mr Paul Boateng
      Ruth Kelly
        Line      1,      leave out from `House' to end and add `believes that a strong and stable economy is the foundation of families' confidence in their own finances; notes that economic stability has delivered low and stable inflation, interest rates have been at their lowest since the 1950s, employment is at a record high and unemployment at its lowest since the 1970s; further notes that as a result households are better able to judge their long-term commitments as macroeconomic stability has reduced the risks to household finances of sudden and sharp rises in interest rates as seen in the past; believes that the Government has tackled the scandals it inherited and created a world leading system of financial regulation allowing people to save with confidence, simplified savings markets allowing people to make informed choices about what and how to save and taken action to tackle financial exclusion; recognises that most household debt remains affordable and that total interest payments are now 7.6 per cent. of disposal income compared with 15 per cent. in 1990; believes the biggest risk to household finances and consumer confidence would be a return to economic instability; and rejects the short-term boom and bust economic policies of the past that saw interest rates hit 15 per cent. and inflation hit 10 per cent. in which circumstances households had to save more to make up for the loss of value of their savings due to inflation and prepare in the event of becoming unemployed.'.

        The selection of the matters to be debated this day has been made by the Leader of the Opposition (Standing Order No. 14(2)).

Debate may continue until 10.00 p.m.

+  3  


[No debate]

      Mr Secretary Prescott
        That the draft Rights of Re-entry and Forfeiture (Prescribed Sum and Period) (England) Regulations 2004, which were laid before this House on 7th June, be approved.

To be decided without debate (Standing Order No. 118(6)).

+  4  


[No debate]

      Mr Secretary Darling
        That the draft Stansted Airport Aircraft Movement Limit (Revocation) Order 2004, which was laid before this House on 8th June, be approved.

To be decided without debate (Standing Order No. 118(6)).

+  5  


[No debate]

      Mr Christopher Leslie
        That the draft Discharge of Fines by Unpaid Work (Prescribed Hourly Sum) Regulations 2004, which were laid before this House on 10th June, be approved.

To be decided without debate (Standing Order No. 118(6)).

+  6  


[No debate]

      Ruth Kelly
        That this House takes note of the unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum from HM Treasury dated 11th May 2004 relating to the Preliminary Draft General Budget of the European Communities for the financial year 2005; and supports the Government's efforts to maintain budget discipline in the Community.

To be decided without debate (Standing Order No. 119(9)).

At the end of the sitting:



        Proposed subject: Case for a development sciences research council (Mr Tony McWalter).

        Debate may continue until 10.30 p.m. or for half an hour, whichever is later (Standing Order No. 9).



1First Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation4.30 p.m.Room 9 (public)
To consider the draft Landfill (Scheme Year and Maximum Landfill Amount) Regulations 2004.
2Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation4.30 p.m.Room 10 (public)
To consider the draft Dangerous Wild Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.


3International Development2.15 p.m.
3.00 p.m.
Room 16 (private)
Subject: DFID's bilateral programme of assistance to India.
Witnesses: Charlotte Seymour-Smith, Aruna Bagchee, and Jeremy Clarke, Department for International Development.
4Science and Technology3.00 p.m.
4.30 p.m.
Room 8 (private)
Subject: Beagle 2.
Witnesses: Professor Colin Pillinger, Planetary & Space Sciences Research Institute, Dr Mike Healy, EADS Astrium, Dr Mark Sims, Space Research Centre, University of Leicester, and Mr Mike Rickett; Professor David Southwood, European Space Agency (at approximately 5.15 p.m.).
5Transport3.00 p.m.Room 15 (private)

[The decision of a Committee to sit in public may be rescinded without notice.]

Written Ministerial Statements to be made today

1    Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:      Publication of Graef Report on BBC Online.
2    Solicitor General:      Iraq: Prosecution of British soldiers.


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Prepared 5 July 2004