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24 Nov 2008 : Column 520

Mr. John Baron (Billericay) (Con): The Government have not denied that, after this pre-Budget report, they will have borrowed more than all previous Governments combined. Given that the tax increases that the Chancellor announced today represent only a small fraction of the moneys needed to plug the black hole that he has created, will he at least admit that he may be forced to consider further tax increases, particularly if the recovery takes longer to come through than expected?

Mr. Darling: Today, I set out proposals that involve additional spending now to support the economy, but I also set out proposals—they are laid out in the pre-Budget report papers that were also published today—for how we will get our economy back into current balance so that we can live within our means in the medium term.

Mr. David Anderson (Blaydon) (Lab): It is obvious from the speech by the shadow Chancellor that his attitude is the same as that which his party took when in government in the past, and when millions of people like myself were made redundant. This is not just a discussion about economics; it is about the social fabric of this country. Can I ask the Chancellor to ensure that, whatever he does over the next period, he does not use the terms, “Unemployment is a price worth paying,” or, “If it is not hurting, it is not working”?

Mr. Darling: My hon. Friend makes an extremely powerful point, because many people in this country remember what happened in communities up and down the country in the early 1980s and the early 1990s, when people lost their jobs, went on to unemployment benefit, then on to incapacity benefit and never went back to work again. I know that he represents just such an area, and the indifference and the uncaring attitude struck by the Conservative party has left scars there and in many parts of the country that it has taken years to get over.

I agree with my hon. Friend— [ Interruption. ] And I profoundly disagree with the hon. Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Binley), who shouts from a sedentary position. I cannot believe that the Conservatives want to get themselves into that situation—to ignore the problems faced by many of our citizens, who expect their Government to act for them. I find that very hard to believe.

Mr. Andrew Mackay (Bracknell) (Con): The shadow Chancellor asked three very specific questions. Why did the Chancellor not even attempt to address any of them? Will he put the matter right now by at least answering one? Does he accept that the national debt will now double?

Mr. Darling: I thought that most of what the shadow Chancellor was getting at made it very clear that he had absolutely no plans, no policies and no approach to deal with the problem that we have at the moment. I have set out the country’s position in relation to debt. We did reduce debt over a 10-year period. The debt will rise now, but I believe that that is necessary because we have to ensure that we support the economy and the people who send us here. They expect Governments, and politicians on both sides of the House, to show some concern about the problems that they face. I am prepared to face up to that; I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman is not.

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Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh, North and Leith) (Lab/Co-op): I share my right hon. Friend’s disappointment at the fact that the Scottish Government have not yet approached the Treasury to re-profile their spending in the way that he has suggested; we can only assume that the First Minister has been too busy in Fife in the past few weeks. I invite my right hon. Friend to join me in urging the Scottish Government to make such an approach now. I want to make sure that my constituents, my right hon. Friend’s and those of other MPs in Scotland get the same benefit from an infrastructure boost as will apply to the rest of the country as a result of the measures announced today.

Mr. Darling: Given that the First Minister of Scotland has at his disposal nearly double what our late colleague Donald Dewar had only eight years ago, one would have thought that he could make sure that he, too, was helping the economy in Scotland. I see that the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Stewart Hosie), who speaks for the Scottish National party on these issues, is no longer in his place. Perhaps he has gone to phone the First Minister to find out what he is doing.

Several hon. Members rose

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. We must now proceed to the main business.

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Points of Order

5.26 pm

Mr. David Laws (Yeovil) (LD): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker— [Interruption.]

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): Order. Will Members leaving the Chamber please do so quickly and quietly, so that I can hear the point of order?

Mr. Laws: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will be aware of the confusion, caused by the statement by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in this place last Thursday, about access to the serious case review in the case of Baby P.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order. Has the hon. Gentleman informed the Secretary of State about the comment that he is about to make?

Mr. Laws: I have, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will also be aware that on Friday morning the Information Commissioner released a statement distancing himself from the impression given by the Secretary of State’s statement; the commissioner followed that up with a letter published today in The Times. May I ask you what can be done to encourage the Secretary of State to clarify the confusion and approach the commissioner to establish whether a copy of the serious case review can now be made available to the public—with the relevant personal information removed, if necessary?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Ministerial replies are, of course, the responsibility of the Minister in question, and certainly not of the Chair. What the hon. Gentleman has said is now on the record, and I think that that will lead to the clarification that he seeks.

Mr. Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Chancellor’s statement was widely reported in the media before it was made. Will you advise on whether the statement should have been kept secret and given to Members first?

Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Gentleman has heard Mr. Speaker make comments about such issues in the past. I certainly do not know who was responsible for the leak, but it is clear that Mr. Speaker and the other occupants of the Chair like statements to be made here first.

24 Nov 2008 : Column 523


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 83A(7) (Programme motions),

The House divided: Ayes 279, Noes 228.
Division No. 333]
[5.29 pm


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
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, rh Hilary
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Follett, Barbara

Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
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, rh John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Murphy, rh 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
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad

Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andy
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Smith, John
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stewart, Ian
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, rh Keith
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Ayes:

Ian Lucas and
Mark Tami

Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Alistair
Burt, Lorely
Cameron, rh Mr. David
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Drew, Mr. David
Duddridge, James
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Gale, Mr. Roger
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian

Greening, Justine
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lidington, Mr. David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Short, rh Clare
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Matthew
Teather, Sarah
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger

Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilshire, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. John Baron and
Mr. Philip Dunne
Question accordingly agreed to.
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Orders of the Day

Planning Bill

Lords amendments considered.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal): I must draw the House’s attention to the fact that privilege is involved in Lords amendments Nos. 25, 65, 76, 100, 109 and 117 to 163. If the House agrees to any of these amendments, I shall ensure that the appropriate entry is made in the Journal.

After Clause 194

Lords amendment: No. 115.

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