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We have a benefits system that is getting worse, not better, getting more complicated, not simpler, and costing more, not less. It has taken the Conservatives to bring the matter to the Floor of the House. It is
7 Jun 2006 : Column 322
interesting that Mr. Speaker decided to throw out the amendments to the motion because they were not worthy. We wanted to discuss issues of overpayment, fraud and incompetence in the administration of the tax system. We wanted the Chancellor to reply, since he created the system in the first place, but he is not here.

In their amendment the Government usually cite a great many statistics. I am glad to hear that some of the £15 billion that is being spent on the tax system is going to some places, but with just under half the people not getting the right amount, there are clearly questions to be answered. They were not answered today. I hope that the shadow Chancellor will have the wisdom to call another debate when the Chancellor can fit it into his diary and be present in the Chamber. However, the Government have been forced in their amendment, which has been thrown out, to acknowledge that there are IT problems and that there have been administration cock-ups, and to acknowledge the need for more changes yet again in a system that the Chancellor created.

We have had enough renaming, rebranding and restructuring. We need a radical overhaul of the tax system, with a programme that simplifies it to its core, that is revenue neutral and that reduces the gap between the cost of paying a tax and the amount of tax collected. Until we go down that road, more and more of the £15 billion that has been spent every year will be wasted.

4.20 pm

Mr. Mark Francois (Rayleigh) (Con): It is a genuine pleasure to sum up the debate today for Her Majesty’s Opposition and to highlight what has become the shambles of the tax credits system as administered by the Government. The system now costs some £16 billion a year, or the equivalent of 5p on the standard rate of income tax. It incorporates some 6 million families, of which some 2 million were overpaid in 2004-05, while at the same time just under 1 million families were underpaid. In other words, nearly half of all the payments in the entire system were incorrect. I therefore welcome the Chief Secretary’s admission that the system has serious problems, and his acceptance this afternoon that there is now “a consensus” that tax credits should be retained. It was important that the Government accepted that there was a consensus to retain them, and we welcome that.

However, the tax credits system, as it is currently configured, is seriously flawed. It is prone to fraud and it is also far too complicated, to the extent that many of the claimants who use it do not fully understand what they are claiming, many of the staff who administer it do not really comprehend it properly, and it is all based around a computer system that itself is highly unreliable, as was brought out clearly in the typically punchy contribution of my hon. Friend the Member for North Thanet (Mr. Gale). That serves only to compound the mistakes in the system itself.

The Government’s defence, as outlined in their hurried written statement that was rushed out on Monday, is essentially that the package of remedial measures announced in the December pre-Budget report will put things right. But six months on, they
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still refuse to tell the House what the package will really cost, and even then, they admit that this will reduce the overpayments by only a third, so well over 1 million families will still be overpaid even when the package is fully up and running. The PBR package does not address the problems at the heart of the current system—namely, its excessive complexity and its dependence on unreliable information technology. [Interruption.] The Chief Secretary has returned just in time for me to welcome his acknowledgement of our consensus. In effect, the PBR package is an attempt to place a sticking plaster over what has become a gaping wound.

Since the new, and supposedly more flexible, system was introduced in 2003, a series of independent reports has subsequently criticised the operation of the Chancellor’s system. In June 2005, after receiving thousands of individual complaints about the new system, the parliamentary ombudsman produced a report that concluded:

In September 2005, the Public Accounts Committee looked at the system and attacked its complexity. It concluded:

We heard that reflected on both sides of the House in our debate this afternoon.

In January 2006, after reviewing the ombudsman’s findings, the Public Administration Committee delivered the following damning verdict on the IT system, which underlines the current tax credits system. It said:

Then, in April 2006, we had a scathing report by the Public Accounts Committee that looked at the fraud and errors in the system, including overpayments that totalled £1.8 billion in 2004-05. It concluded:

Despite that, Ministers at all levels in the Treasury keep trying to insist in the media that the system is working well.

Can the Paymaster General tell us the true extent of the fraud that is now inherent in the tax credits system? We were promised those figures in the spring—let us have them now. Picking up on what my hon. Friend the Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark) cleverly pointed out, we still have not had the cost of the tenfold increase in the disregard, and we are now told that it is not in the public interest to tell us, as elected
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Members of Parliament, what that figure is. Will the Paymaster General tell us why?

Only yesterday we had, as the right hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire (Mr. McFall) said, a very objective report from the Treasury Committee, which looked in great detail at the administration of the system and concluded:

All these critical reports, in just two years, represent a litany of failure, and it is a failure lodged firmly on the doorstep of No. 11 Downing street.

There is also a growing consensus among the voluntary sector that the current system does not work properly. As we have heard, the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux—citizens advice bureaux now advise tax credit claimants as a major part of their work load—provided a frank commentary on the problems in the system:

Whereas, for those who read The Guardian, the Reverend Paul Nicholas, chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, was quoted in the paper this week as follows:

and in some cases, even dead. He concludes that

Even the Fabian Society has acknowledged that the system is not working. In its report, “Narrowing the Gap”, issued earlier this year, it admitted that the system had faults and that tax credits were associated with “complexity and administrative problems”. Now it has a sleeper within the Treasury arguing that agenda, as the report was launched by none other than the Economic Secretary—and where is he?

It needs to be remembered that this system was established to assist people on low incomes. In many cases, it is doing precisely the opposite. It needs to be reformed in order to continue to provide help to people who need it but without driving them to distraction in the process. As far as the current configuration of tax credits is concerned, the Treasury is shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, with the Economic Secretary particularly desperate to get one before they all disappear.

Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that the architect of this system is the Chancellor himself, who famously said in the mid-1990s that he wanted to abolish means-testing. Yet the current system is the apotheosis of that concept, against which there is now an overwhelming consensus that it needs to be reformed. The Prime Minister referred at Prime Minister’s
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questions earlier this afternoon to: “Working families tax credit, which makes work pay for people.”

Working families tax credit was abolished three years ago. That is the old system. We are debating the new one. The Chancellor has created a system that is so complicated that even the Prime Minister does not understand it, so what hope is there for a single mother, who perhaps has not had a strong financial education, living on a run-down council estate struggling to fill in the forms and deal with the bureaucracy that the Select Committee identified?

The greatest shame is that the system was the Chancellor’s personal creation. It was his pet project above all others. Yet when the day came for him to be held to account, what did the iron Chancellor do? He ran away. Unusually, the Government’s amendment has not been selected, so hon. Members have a clear choice. They can put up with the shambles that is the current system, and go along with the fact that the Chancellor invented it but would not come and defend it, or they can join us in the Lobby and protest against a system that drives ordinary working families to distraction. I hope that they will do the latter.

4.30 pm

The Paymaster General (Dawn Primarolo): We have had another interesting debate on tax credits. As always, the Conservatives miss the point—about tackling child poverty, helping those with volatile incomes and helping people into work.

I welcome the Treasury Committee report and congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dunbartonshire (Mr. McFall), not only on steering through that helpful contribution to the general debate, but on presenting the outstanding issues so comprehensively and in such a considered way today.

The debate divided into two halves. The first dealt with administration and the second considered a flexible system—the tax credit system as it is now—versus a fixed system. I shall revert to those points later.

My right hon. Friend the Member for West Dunbartonshire specifically mentioned the pause or the 30 days and the appeals process. I shall respond to those points shortly. He also made it clear that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs must put the needs of the claimants first. I agree with him and the Committee. He also said that there must be a shift in the fundamental culture of HMRC if tax credits are to be a success. I agree with him about that and so does the Department, as the report acknowledges.

My hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Ms Keeble) congratulated the staff on their commitment and recognition of the challenges and the changes that they needed to make.

The hon. Member for North Thanet (Mr. Gale) made several things absolutely clear but I shall pick on one of them. He said that the system was about people. I could not agree more. He knows that I have made it clear both in private meetings and in exchanges across the Floor that it is crucial to do what needs to be done to take forward a basically sound policy and ensure that its administration is right.

My hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North also highlighted the challenges that remained to
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be met of the changing circumstances that people experience in their lives and the accuracy and swiftness of the Department’s response. She made important points about child care, to which I want to refer.

My hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) echoed the point about the important contribution that tax credits have made in his constituency and in constituencies throughout the country.

Let us be clear: the tax credits deliver three key achievements. They improve incentives to work, they reduce tax on low to middle income families, they help dramatically to reduce child poverty and they have played a major role in helping people into work and to move up the employment ladder, ensuring that work pays over benefits.

I am not surprised that a party that presided over doubling child poverty when in power attaches so little credit to those achievements. When we seek a consensus in the Chamber—the consensus to which my right hon. Friend the Member for West Dunbartonshire referred—it is to get all Opposition parties to commit themselves to the principle of eradicating child poverty and the practical means of achieving that. Every time the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats were challenged by Labour Members this afternoon, they were unable to say how they would match the huge contribution that tax credits have made to this important debate.

Let us remind ourselves of that contribution. A couple with two children moving into full-time work on the national minimum wage will be £41 a week better off, compared with £34 in 1997. A lone parent—and I can assure hon. Members that they can read and write—with two children moving into full-time work on the national minimum wage will be £76 a week better off, compared with £54 in 1997. A single person without children moving into full-time work on the national minimum wage will be £58 a week better off, compared with £39 a week in 1997.

Tax credits are central to reducing the tax on low and middle-income families, as the recent OECD study shows. The tax paid by a couple with two children earning £21,000 a year has fallen from 17.3 per cent. of gross earnings in 1997 to 9.8 per cent. in 2004. That is the lowest rate in any G7 country. In the UK, a single-earner family with two children can now earn just under two thirds of the average wage before they start to pay any tax. Those are the benefits of tax credits. That is the contribution that is being made by a policy that the Treasury Committee unanimously agreed in principle was the right way to proceed. It has reduced poverty and raised children out of living on absolute low incomes.

Are families responding to this in a positive way? We have only to look at the take-up figures to see the answer. In the first year, 93 per cent. of families on an annual income below £10,000—that is low pay by any definition—claimed their entitlement, compared with 50 per cent. in the early years of family income supplement, and 57 per cent. for family credit.

My right hon. Friend the Member for West Dunbartonshire asked about appeals and about the pause. On the latter point, the Department entirely supports in principle the ombudsman’s
7 Jun 2006 : Column 327
recommendation to give taxpayers notice before commencing recovery—the so-called 30 days—and we are considering how we can integrate such a pause into the information technology system without jeopardising it. On appeals, we are exploring with the adjudicator’s office the feasibility of introducing a fast-track process to provide claimants with the timely, accurate response that my right hon. Friend described. We have done that in close consultation with the ombudsman, who circulated a letter to every Member of this House on 27 March 2006 stating:

Those matters are being taken forward.

The key objective in tackling poverty is to consider how the needs of families—especially low-income families—change, and how we can respond to those changes. We know that their incomes are volatile. More than a quarter of households analysed by Professor John Hills had erratic and high levels of income changes. The statistics for tax credits show that 1 million families saw their income fall between 2003 and 2004, and 700,000 of them would have been worse off under a fixed system. We would have to bear that in mind if we went back to a fixed award system. They would not have received the extra money that tax credits provide for them. We need that flexibility, and of course that means that there sometimes has to be an end of year adjustment. Let us keep this in perspective, however. Fifty-four per cent. of the overpayments are less than £500, and 31 per cent. are less than £200.

In 1997, only 800,000 families received family credit; 6 million now receive tax credits. In 1997, only 50 per cent. take-up was achieved; now take-up is 93 per cent. among the poorest families. Today the income tax liability of 3 million families has been effectively wiped out by tax credits which ensure that they can use their money to spend on their families.

The consensus that we seek today is one that includes the Tories and the Liberal Democrats. We seek a commitment to the eradication of child poverty, a commitment to recognising that people have volatile incomes, and a commitment to willing the means. Today the Conservatives failed in that regard. That is no surprise in the case of a party that presided over child poverty in the 1990s.

Question put,

The House proceeded to a Division.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 218, Noes 287.
Division No. 257]
[4.40 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John

Binley, Mr. Brian
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Donaldson, Mr. Jeffrey M.
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Mr. Alan
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Gale, Mr. Roger
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harvey, Nick
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Herbert, Nick
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Horwood, Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Hughes, Simon
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. David
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lamb, Norman
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, Mr. James
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John

Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Salmond, Mr. Alex
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Michael Fabricant and
Mr. Tobias Ellwood

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim

Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Durkan, Mark
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lepper, David
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGrady, Mr. Eddie
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn

Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Russell, Christine
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Todd, Mr. Mark
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

Tony Cunningham and
Mr. Michael Foster
Question accordingly negatived.
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