Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Ms Walley: I shall make a brief speech, as I hope that in his reply the Minister will take on board the many points made by Members on both sides of the House.

I religiously signed the early-day motions because I believed in them and in the original target. We must be careful not to devalue targets by suggesting that a target that cannot be met provides a perverse incentive
 
8 Nov 2004 : Column 625
 
and   undermines the system. Many hon. Members passionately want the original target to be met and to be applied to energy efficiency. My hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes, North-East (Brian White) set out our aims clearly, and I urge the Minister to persuade the Government to address the reports and debate on the issue. If the target cannot be included in the Bill, will he give us an assurance that we can meet what we set out to achieve—the basic floor target of 20 per cent. savings?

Mr. McWalter : I am sure that, like us, the Minister is strongly in favour of abolishing fuel poverty and meeting achievable targets on insulation with a hard-working programme. I do not believe that that is at issue. However, I would like to know why he believes that it is inappropriate and wrong to include the 20 per cent. target in primary legislation. Does he fear, for instance, that the Government could be taken to court gratuitously if the Lords amendment is accepted? Would a lot of legal time be taken up defending slow-burning Government programmes? Why does he agree with everything that has been said in favour of the target, but object to its inclusion in primary legislation?

6.45 pm

Mr. Bill Tynan (Hamilton, South) (Lab): I will not delay the House long, as I merely seek clarification.

It is obviously difficult for the Government to change their mind. Had the Bill received pre-legislative scrutiny, they might have been able to do so. However, once a Government have decided to push through a measure, it is usually impossible for them to change their mind.

I have just one question for the Minister. The Lords amendment says that

Will the Minister clarify the Government's position? Is it that he supports the target but does not want to include it in the Bill? His reply will help hon. Members who signed early-day motion 96 to consider their position before voting against the Government.

Keith Hill: Let me provide immediate assurance to my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton, South (Mr. Tynan) that the Government support the 20 per cent. target and, indeed, as I have argued, we are in the process of meeting it.

I am alarmed by the tone taken by some of my hon. Friends. There is no hidden agenda or conspiracy. May I tell my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Alan Simpson) that the Government have not reneged on their commitments—we are delivering on them, as I have previously said, and as I shall go on to demonstrate. I respect the expertise of my hon. Friend the Member for Milton Keynes, North-East (Brian White), who protested that we have not accepted the terms of the amendment, even though, somehow, we have already agreed to its substance in legislative form. We have not done so, but we are not withdrawing or resiling from our commitments. To be entirely accurate, the figure of 5 million tonnes of carbon savings in the residential sector was never the Government's stated aim, but an initial indication in the energy White Paper
 
8 Nov 2004 : Column 626
 
of what could be achieved. However, our record stands in its own right. The 4.2 million tonnes of carbon savings that have been mentioned in our debate represent a significant increase in activity on current levels, and will require a major increase in delivery by the industry. Our latest calculations indicate that that total corresponds to an increase in efficiency of about 19 per cent. compared with 2000 levels.

Mrs. Anne Campbell (Cambridge) (Lab): Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Keith Hill: No, I am afraid that I do not have time.

We expect a significant increase in overall carbon savings from energy efficiency. The energy efficiency action plan details measures to make estimated carbon savings of 12 million tonnes of carbon—a 20 per cent. increase compared with the rough figures in the energy White Paper, which predicted savings of 10 million tonnes of carbon to 2010. I repeat, therefore, that we are genuinely succeeding in meeting our energy efficiency targets, so the Lords amendment is simply unnecessary. There are no grounds for doubting the Government's commitment and we are getting there by making carbon savings across the board.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. McWalter) raised the relationship between energy efficiency targets and fuel poverty. He will know that that relationship, about which colleagues and I share serious concern, is not unilateral. We will have an opportunity to debate it later this evening, but I remind him that measures in the energy efficiency action plan play an important part in combating fuel poverty. As he and the House will know, there has been a steady reduction in the number of households in fuel poverty, which we can discuss in more detail later. However, I remind the House that the fuel poverty action plan for England, which will be published later this year, will set out how the Government expect to meet the target of eradicating fuel poverty in vulnerable households by 2010. I therefore invite the House to disagree with the Lords amendment.

Question put, That this House disagrees with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 259, Noes 186.

Division No. 311
[6:49 pm


AYES

Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barron, rh Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Casale, Roger
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Corston, Jean
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, rh John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
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)
Hutton, rh John
Illsley, Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCartney, rh Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
MacDougall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Morris, rh Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Purnell, James
Quin, rh Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Rooney, Terry
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Singh, Marsha
Smith, rh Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, rh Chris (Islington S & Finsbury)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Jack
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Watson, Tom
Watts, David
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Alan (Swansea W)
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:

Margaret Moran and
Mr. Nick Ainger


NOES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Amess, David
Ancram, rh Michael
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Barker, Gregory
Barnes, Harry
Baron, John (Billericay)
Bellingham, Henry
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, Sir John
Cameron, David
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clarke, rh Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Collins, Tim
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cran, James (Beverley)
Curry, rh David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Djanogly, Jonathan
Doughty, Sue
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Duncan Smith, rh Iain
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Evans, Nigel
Ewing, Annabelle
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Flook, Adrian
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Garnier, Edward
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Grogan, John
Gummer, rh John
Hammond, Philip
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Holmes, Paul
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Jack, rh Michael
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Keetch, Paul
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Maude, rh Francis
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Hugh (Faversham & M-Kent)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Dame Marion
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Sayeed, Jonathan
Sedgemore, Brian
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns & Kincardine)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Soames, Nicholas
Soley, Clive
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Streeter, Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Syms, Robert
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyrie, Andrew
Wareing, Robert N.
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
White, Brian
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. David Ruffley and
Mr. Crispin Blunt


Question accordingly agreed to.


 
8 Nov 2004 : Column 629
 

Lords amendment disagreed to.
 
8 Nov 2004 : Column 630
 


Next Section IndexHome Page