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Mr. Robathan: The hon. Gentleman has declared his interest. Will he put out a press release to defend the measure? If so, will he point out that the trade union movement gives the Labour party £6 million a year?

Mr. Tynan: Any press release that I put out expressing my support for the money resolution would be supported by my constituents. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will put out a press release that says something entirely different, but that is his business.

The money being set aside in the motion is important. I do not want to stray out of order, but my hon. Friend the Minister made it clear that the £5 million to £10 million will be used for trade union modernisation. It is not a bung, as has been claimed. To my surprise, the Liberal Democrat spokesman, the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), supported the use of that

26 Feb 2004 : Column 452

word, although in a different context. If the money is used for training union representatives, I hope that Opposition Members will be in favour of those representatives getting the best training possible. In that way, they will understand the problems facing unions trying to support the businesses that are essential to the country's future.

I hope that we can debate the money resolution again, although I know that the Minister may not agree.

Mr. Bellingham: There is no need for the Government to come back to the House to increase the figure, as it is unlimited and has no ceiling. The Government could pay £15 million, £20 million, £30 million, £40 million, £50 million or £60 million a year, if they wanted to.

Mr. Tynan: I am delighted by that interpretation. I hope that the Minister agrees with it, but suspect that he does not.

I remind the House that the Government have given 83,000 loans to small businesses, worth £3 billion. There is also a bad-debt provision worth £116 million over the next 10 years. We should compare that with the £5 million to £10 million that is being proposed today.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman knew that he was trespassing outside the confines of the debate. I have allowed a wide scope for the debate on the money resolution, and I have given the hon. Gentleman fair opportunity to rebut points made by Opposition Members. I hope that he will confine his final remarks to the money resolution itself.

Mr. Tynan: I accept your wise counsel, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I shall engage in further debate on this matter in Standing Committee.

Mr. Paul Tyler (North Cornwall) (LD): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The House will vote on this motion in a few minutes, and I seek guidance from you. It is clear that hon. Members who are sponsored by trade unions could benefit directly if the funds to be voted on this afternoon prevent the need for an increase in trade unions' political or other funds. Would it be proper for those sponsored hon. Members to vote in the forthcoming Division?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: All hon. Members who have declared any personal pecuniary interest in a matter before the House are entitled to vote.

2.48 pm

Mr. Sutcliffe: This has been an interesting debate. I am sorry to say, however, that it has not been a surprise. Parliamentary procedure requires a money resolution if public expenditure is attached to a Bill. It is not unusual for a Bill such as the Employment Relations Bill to change as it proceeds through Standing Committee. It is therefore proper to have a debate on the money resolution, and the details can be reviewed in Standing Committee, on Report and at Third Reading.

I am surprised at the response from Liberal Democrat Members, as the key elements in the Bill are information and consultation. It aims to change the culture of industrial and employment relations in the UK. I

26 Feb 2004 : Column 453

expected some Labour Members to ask why we are calling it a modernisation fund, given that the unions are doing a good job already. However, there has been a complete change since 1997 in the way that unions and employers work with each other. The information and consultation directive—the framework agreement arrived at by the TUC and the Confederation of British Industry—is a perfect example of how we want things to continue in the future. I utterly refute the attack that the fund has anything to do with the funding of the Labour party.

It is interesting that Conservative Members have forgotten the time when the Conservative Government gave £24 million to trade unions for political fund ballots and £28 million to trade unions for education. Conservative Members have lost the foresight that their predecessors had to make sure that trade unions are involved in education. We know that they are not interested in good industrial relations: at the Tory party conference, the director general of the CBI said that the Conservative party could no longer be guaranteed the support of business because it looks backward rather than forward.

People will bid into the fund, and it is difficult to state the exact details until the bids are forthcoming. It may be that match funding will be required in the bidding process, which would mean that unions would have to put in some money as well. The scheme is similar to the partnership fund on which trade unions and employers have come together successfully.

Let me turn to the £5 million to £10 million figure. Unions spend about £800 million each year. Assuming that 5 per cent. of that figure—about £40 million—equates to investments by unions in their futures, the fund could support a 10 per cent. increase in such union expenditure over a two to three-year period, which is how we reached the £5 million to £10 million figure.

I thank Conservative Members for protecting my integrity, although I am sure that Labour Members will call into question my relationship with them. The fund is genuinely about good employment relations and good industrial relations. We understand that the Opposition parties would like to have a kick about with the money resolution. However, the Committee will discuss the matter, there will be another debate on Report, and hon. Members will have an opportunity to examine the details over the summer. [Interruption.] Quieten down. After hon. Members have examined the details, they will support the modernisation fund if they truly want good industrial relations and good employment relations in the UK in the coming years.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 261, Noes 123.

Division No. 60
[2:52 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Begg, Miss Anne
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Boateng, rh Paul
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Cousins, Jim
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drown, Ms Julia
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McNamara, Kevin
MacShane, Denis
McWalter, Tony
Mahmood, Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, rh Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Fraser Kemp and
Paul Clark


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Beith, rh A. J.
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Blunt, Crispin
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm
Burnett, John
Burnside, David
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Cameron, David
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Cotter, Brian
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Evans, Nigel
Flight, Howard
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Gummer, rh John
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heald, Oliver
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Hunter, Andrew
Keetch, Paul
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Andrew
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moss, Malcolm
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Pickles, Eric
Portillo, rh Michael
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Redwood, rh John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Selous, Andrew
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tyrie, Andrew
Walter, Robert
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. David Wilshire and
Mr. Hugo Swire

Question accordingly agreed to.

26 Feb 2004 : Column 456


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