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The hon. Member for Eastleigh has made it clear in his recent speeches what those other tax cuts would be and where they would occur: 2p off income tax and 2 million low earners out of tax altogether. To give that commitment there has to be an element of certainty. To achieve that certainty the green taxes have to keep rolling into the Exchequer. To keep the revenues rolling in people have to keep doing the polluting activity that generates the tax income. The perverse message put out by the Liberal Democrats is that their policy undermines itself: go green and force taxes up. Green taxes should be used to change public behaviour, not to provide alternative sources of core Government revenue.

It is a fact that climate change is an international problem. It is a fact that 98 per cent. of emissions arise in the international community outside the UK. It seems pretty clear to all but a party of political dinosaurs that if we are to avoid the same fate as the dinosaurs we must focus on solutions that can be agreed by the international community, and not just on action in the domestic policy arena. That is why, alongside the UNFCCC and the Gleneagles dialogue, the Government have concluded in the past year bilateral partnerships with China on clean coal and with Brazil, Mozambique and South Africa on biofuels. We have agreed clean energy investment with India and co-operation with Norway on carbon capture and storage.

Domestic policy initiatives give us the moral basis to provide strong international leadership but they address only a fraction of the 2 per cent. of global emissions produced by the UK. We are the generation of politicians to whom has fallen the greatest political and moral challenge since the abolition of slavery 200 years ago. I welcome that opportunity and acknowledge the deep responsibility it places on us all.

Our responsibility is to work together, setting aside narrow party faction to ensure that the UK realises its domestic targets by 2020 and 2050. More than that, we have a responsibility to engage the world community, to make it seize the problem and to encourage, cajole, caution, facilitate and inspire all the nations that share our true and only home—this planet—to rise to the challenge together.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

8 May 2007 : Column 81

The House proceeded to a Division.

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

The House having divided: Ayes 59, Noes 298.
Division No. 107]
[7.1 pm


Alexander, Danny
Baker, Norman
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brooke, Annette
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Clegg, Mr. Nick
Davey, Mr. Edward
Farron, Tim
Foster, Mr. Don
Goldsworthy, Julia
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Holmes, Paul
Horwood, Martin
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, David
Huhne, Chris
Hunter, Mark
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kramer, Susan
Lamb, Norman
Leech, Mr. John
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Moore, Mr. Michael
Mulholland, Greg
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Pugh, Dr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robertson, Angus
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rowen, Paul
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Spink, Bob
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Taylor, Matthew
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wishart, Pete
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Jeremy Browne and
Mr. Roger Williams

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael

Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crausby, Mr. David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs. Claire
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela
Efford, Clive
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
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
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Mr. Mike
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Whitehead, Dr. Alan

Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, Mr. Michael
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh 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:

Mr. Ian Cawsey and
Mr. Dave Watts
Question accordingly negatived.
8 May 2007 : Column 82

8 May 2007 : Column 83

8 May 2007 : Column 84

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments), and agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.


8 May 2007 : Column 85

Mental Health Services

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Alan Haselhurst): I must inform the House that Mr. Speaker has selected the amendment in the name of the Prime Minister.

7.17 pm

Norman Lamb (North Norfolk) (LD): I beg to move,

Another Opposition day and another debate on health—we have been getting rather used to them in recent months. I was particularly keen to use this opportunity to raise concerns about mental health services. It is something of a paradox that, although mental health problems touch one in three families, mental health still does not get nearly enough attention in this place or in the broader public debate. One in six of us will be diagnosed as having depression or a chronic anxiety disorder at some time in our lives, and yet in many respects mental health remains a Cinderella service. Mental health problems bring misery and deprivation. In many families, someone who suffers from mental health problems can end up being excluded from the job market, meaning that the whole family suffers in poverty, particularly if that person is the breadwinner. I hope that the debate will be constructive and that the Government will respond positively to the concerns that I and no doubt many others will raise. The subject is far too important for cheap political point scoring.

The timing of the debate is interesting. The Mental Health Bill is going through Committee and it is fair to say that there are fundamental disagreements. I do not in any sense seek to undermine the Government’s genuine position on the Bill, but none the less there are genuine disagreements between the Government and both Opposition parties and the Mental Health Alliance—a pretty remarkable alliance, which represents many people who work in the mental health field. I do not want to spend time today talking about the issues that are central to the Mental Health Bill. Suffice it to say that in our view the best approach to safeguarding the interests of people with mental health problems and to protecting the public is to ensure that those who need help can access the services that they need.

8 May 2007 : Column 86

It is worth noting that one in three people who are sectioned report that they were previously turned away when they sought help from mental health services. Recently, I heard from an eminent psychiatrist that the people at the extreme end—those who are most likely to demonstrate violence—are those who are not accessing services at all. It is thus important that we use the debate to focus on access to services. I remain disappointed that the Government seem to focus on compulsion when there is a real risk that that approach will divert resources into acute services and away from the services that provide the critical early intervention that can do so much good. That would be damaging for patients and would put the public at greater risk.

Simon Hughes (North Southwark and Bermondsey) (LD): My hon. Friend might be aware that the 24-hour emergency clinic at the Maudsley hospital, which is the main psychiatric hospital in the country, will be closed next week. Since the last general election, no Health Minister has visited the clinic. People have specifically said that there is a risk that that closure will make the difference to them between being in control of their own life and losing their life through taking their own life. Does my hon. Friend agree that people’s access to the services that they need is the practical aspect of today’s debate? While the Government might often say warm words, they do not take the right decisions.

Norman Lamb: I will be saying more about the fact that deficits throughout the country are leading to the loss of key services. Sadly, the example that my hon. Friend cites is one of too many from around the country.

I acknowledge that the Government have invested extra resources in mental health services. Since 1999, investment in specialist mental health services has increased by £1.5 billion.

David Taylor (North-West Leicestershire) (Lab/Co-op): If the hon. Gentleman is acknowledging that there has been a growth in resources, at least until 2006, why does the motion suggest that

in the most recent year? Is that not rather harsh?

Norman Lamb: There is no inconsistency at all. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman agrees that there has been historical underfunding of mental health services over decades. This has been a Cinderella service for a long time. However, I am trying to be open and straightforward by saying that I acknowledge the extra investment that was put in place until deficits and top-slicing in many parts of the health economy caused real problems over the past year or two. There is no inconsistency in my argument.

The Lib Dems supported the extra investment —[ Interruption. ] We voted in favour of the increase and argued the case for it —[ Interruption. ] I am being heckled.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The hon. Gentleman is right that he is being heckled. There is a crossfire of sedentary comments that the debate would do better without.

8 May 2007 : Column 87

Norman Lamb: I am grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for rescuing me from my rather disorderly colleagues.

The Lib Dems argued the case for extra investment. When the Government proposed an increase in national insurance to fund investment in the health service, we supported them. No argument of inconsistency or opportunism can be made against us. We have argued our case consistently.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Ivan Lewis): The motion implies that the Liberal Democrats would make additional resources available for mental health services, rather than support the existing resource base that the Government have created. Where would those resources come from?

Norman Lamb: I am grateful for the Minister’s intervention, but he will get the answer as my speech develops.

Robert Key (Salisbury) (Con): Let me attempt to find some cross-party common ground in this debate, which started promisingly. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that Parliament should be examining carefully the way in which this country treats people with dementia? Alzheimer’s sufferers often find themselves without resources and in acute hospitals in which there are no personnel who are trained to cope with Alzheimer’s patients. We are putting too great a burden on hard-pressed families and not giving patients with dementia the opportunity to live the dignified life that they deserve.

Norman Lamb: I absolutely agree with the hon. Gentleman. Many of my elderly constituents have to look after loved ones suffering from dementia, even though they are often frail. They are often isolated, and we do not have the support infrastructure in place to help them to cope with the real pressures that they face.

There are several reasons why we should not be complacent about the situation. First, while we supported the real-terms increase in investment, the proportion of total NHS spending going to mental health services has decreased at a time when need is clearly increasing. Secondly, despite the extra investment, services throughout the country remain inconsistent and are often inadequate. Thirdly, the deficits of the past two years have had a damaging impact on core mental health services.

Mr. Dan Rogerson (North Cornwall) (LD): My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Reform and change have been planned and put into effect, but the deficits have had a negative impact on the change process. In the hospital in Bodmin, which is in my constituency, in-patient wards were amalgamated on the basis that more support would be available for people in the community. There is now a worry that the change in the financial set-up will mean that the resources in the community will not materialise, so a ward will be lost without the alternative benefit being put in place.

Norman Lamb: My hon. Friend’s concern will be shared by many people throughout the country, especially, I suspect, those in rural areas. We in Norfolk have the same worry.

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