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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Wednesday 4th June 2008

The House met at half-past Eleven o'clock.

PRAYERS.

1    Disqualification of a Member,—The Speaker laid upon the Table a notification, That Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer had this day appointed Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Member for Henley, to be Steward or Bailiff of Her Majesty's Manor of Northstead in the County of York.

2    Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee,—John Cummings reported from the Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee the draft Building Societies Act 1986 (Accounts, Audit and EEA State Amendments) Order 2008.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

3    Bank Holiday (Contribution of Polish Citizens),—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to establish a bank holiday to celebrate the contribution of Polish citizens to Great Britain since 1940—(Daniel Kawczynski);

    And the Motion being opposed, after permitting a short explanatory statement from the Member who made the Motion and from a Member who opposed it, the Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in bills and nomination of select committees at commencement of public business):—It was agreed to.

    Ordered, That Daniel Kawczynski, John Battle, Greg Mulholland, Ann Winterton, David Wright, John Bercow, Mr Denis MacShane, Stephen Pound, Mrs Nadine Dorries and Dr Alan Whitehead do prepare and bring in the Bill.

4    Bank Holiday (Contribution of Polish Citizens) Bill,—Daniel Kawczynski accordingly presented a Bill to establish a bank holiday to celebrate the contribution of Polish citizens to Great Britain since 1940: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 17th October and to be printed [Bill 114].

5    Opposition Day [13th allotted day],—It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.

    Volunteering,—Resolved, That this House welcomes National Volunteering Week and the publication of the report of the Morgan Inquiry; recognises the outstanding contribution made by volunteers to what, sixty years ago, William Beveridge called 'the vigour and abundance of voluntary action...which are the distinguishing marks of a free society'; notes that every week millions of people volunteer their time for others, providing indispensable personal care and attention in all of Britain's communities; emphasises the continuing importance of volunteering even as the voluntary sector expands its paid workforce and takes on the delivery of public services; further notes that some voluntary organisations experience shortages of volunteers in key positions; supports the call of the Commission for the Future of Volunteering for 'volunteering to become part of the DNA of our society'; congratulates employers who encourage and make time available for their employees to volunteer; and urges the Government to address the bureaucratic barriers that lie between volunteers and volunteering.—(Mr Francis Maude.)

    Pensioner Poverty,—A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House deplores the fact that, even on the Government's own figures, there are nearly two million pensioners living in poverty in the UK, that the poorest pensioners are seeing their incomes decline in real terms and that according to EU figures only pensioners in Latvia, Cyprus and Spain are more likely to fall into poverty; is concerned at the damage caused to many pensioners' finances by the alarming rise in food, energy and fuel prices and in council tax; regrets the fact that some 2.25 million older households are suffering from fuel poverty; disagrees with the Government's refusal to state when it intends to restore the link between average earnings and the basic state pension; notes with regret the Government's decision to abandon its target for maximising the take-up of pension credit when some 1.7 million pensioners eligible are not claiming it; further deplores the sharp decline in private pensions savings since 1997; and calls on the Government to finally redeem its pledge, made in 1997, to ensure that 'all pensioners should share fairly in the increasing prosperity of the nation'—(Mr Nigel Waterson);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'welcomes the policies of this Government to tackle pensioner poverty, which have lifted around two million pensioners out of absolute poverty and over one million out of relative poverty, and have led to spending of around £12 billion extra on pensioners compared with 1997; recognises that pension credit allows pensioners to live with dignity and rewards those who have saved for their own retirement; acknowledges the introduction of and increases to the winter fuel payment and further measures to ensure pensioners can keep warm; notes the provision of free off-peak bus travel granting freedom to pensioners and ensuring that they are not isolated in their own community; welcomes the long-term framework for pensions through the Pensions Act 2007, including re-linking the basic state pension to average earnings and ensuring equality for women and carers with men by 2025; and further welcomes the private pension reforms in the Pensions Bill which will enable individuals to take personal responsibility for their own retirement', instead thereof.—(Mr Mike O'Brien.)

    And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    Mr Patrick McLoughlin rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

    And the Question being put, That the Question be now put:—It was agreed to.

    And the Question being accordingly put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Brooks Newmark, Mr Crispin Blunt: 213.

      Tellers for the Noes, Alison Seabeck, Steve McCabe: 284.

    So the Question was negatived.

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

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Steve McCabe, Alison Seabeck: 279.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Crispin Blunt, Mr Brooks Newmark: 209.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House welcomes the policies of this Government to tackle pensioner poverty, which have lifted around two million pensioners out of absolute poverty and over one million out of relative poverty, and have led to spending of around £12 billion extra on pensioners compared with 1997; recognises that pension credit allows pensioners to live with dignity and rewards those who have saved for their own retirement; acknowledges the introduction of and increases to the winter fuel payment and further measures to ensure pensioners can keep warm; notes the provision of free off-peak bus travel granting freedom to pensioners and ensuring that they are not isolated in their own community; welcomes the long-term framework for pensions through the Pensions Act 2007, including re-linking the basic state pension to average earnings and ensuring equality for women and carers with men by 2025; and further welcomes the private pension reforms in the Pensions Bill which will enable individuals to take personal responsibility for their own retirement.

6    Constitutional Law,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Delegated Legislation Committees), That the draft Welsh Ministers (Transfer of Functions) Order 2008, which was laid before this House on 22nd April, be approved—(Mr Dave Watts):—It was agreed to.

7    Adjournment (Summer),—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 25 (Periodic adjournments), That this House, at its rising on Tuesday 22nd July 2008, do adjourn till Monday 6th October 2008—(Mr Dave Watts):—It was agreed to.

8    Notices of Questions etc. during September 2008,—A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 22B (Notices of Questions etc. during September), That the days appointed for the tabling and answering of written questions and for written ministerial statements under Standing Order No. 22B (Notices of questions etc. during September) shall be as follows:

Tabling days

    Wednesday 3rd, Monday 8th and Wednesday 10th September 2008

Answering days

    Wednesday 10th, Monday 15th and Wednesday 17th September 2008—(Mr Dave Watts):—It was agreed to.

9    Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill (Joint Committee),—Resolved, That this House concurs with the Lords Message of 2nd June that, notwithstanding the Resolution of this House of 30th April, it be an instruction to the Joint Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill that it should report on the draft Bill by 22nd July.—(Mr Dave Watts.)

    Message to the Lords to acquaint them therewith.

10    Business of the House,—Ordered, That, at the sitting on Thursday 12th June, notwithstanding Standing Order No. 20 (Time for taking private business), opposed private business set down by the Chairman of Ways and Means may be entered upon at any hour and may be proceeded with, though opposed, for three hours, after which the Speaker shall interrupt the business.—(Mr Dave Watts.)

11    Public Petitions,—Public Petitions from—

    (1) readers of the Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser and others of like disposition relating to window blind safety;

    (2) those concerned about the intersection of the A5/Chequers Hill, Flamstead relating to road safety (A5 Chequers Hill);

    (3) supporters of the 'Keep Mayfield Post Office Open' campaign relating to Post Office closures (Staffordshire);

    (4) supporters of the 'Keep Marchington Post Office Open' campaign relating to Post Office closures (Staffordshire); and

    (5) supporters of the 'Keep Stapenhill Post Office Open' campaign relating to Post Office closures (Staffordshire)

    were presented and read.

12    Adjournment.

    Subject: Regulating internet service providers and internet content (John Robertson).

    Resolved, That this House do now adjourn.—(Mr Dave Watts.)

    And accordingly, the House, having continued to sit till three minutes to Eight o'clock, adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 7.57 p.m.

Michael J. Martin

Speaker


Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Ten o'clock.


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Affirmative Resolution:

1    Consumer Protection,—Draft Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum and Impact Assessment [by Command] [Mr Secretary Hutton].

2    Criminal Law,—(1) Draft Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 (Designation of Participating Countries) (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) Order 2008; and

    (2) draft Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment No. 2) Order 2008

    [by Act], with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [by Command] [Secretary Jacqui Smith].

3    Health Care and Associated Professions,—Draft Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2008 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum and Impact Assessment [by Command] [Secretary Alan Johnson].

4    Prisons,—Draft Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Specified Organisations) Order 2008 [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Mr Secretary Woodward].

5    Tribunals and Inquiries,—(1) Draft Appeals from the Upper Tribunal to the Court of Appeal Order 2008;

    (2) draft First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (Composition of Tribunal) Order 2008; and

    (3) draft Transfer of Tribunal Functions Order 2008

    [by Act], with Explanatory Memoranda thereon [by Command] [Secretary Jack Straw].

Paper subject to Negative Resolution:

6    Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,—Statute made on 24th January 2008, by the Governing Body of Templeton College in the University of Oxford revising the existing Statutes of the College [by Act], with an Explanatory Memorandum [by Command] [Secretary Jack Straw].

Other Papers:

7    Constitution,—Government Response to the Sixth Report from the House of Lords Constitution Committee, Session 2007-08, on European Union (Amendment) Bill and the Treaty of Lisbon: Implications for the UK Constitution [by Command] [Cm. 7417] [Secretary David Miliband].

8    National Heritage,—Statement on the provision of the Government Indemnity Scheme [by Act] [Secretary Andy Burnham].

Papers withdrawn:

9    Prisons,—Draft Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Specified Organisations) Order 2008, with an Explanatory Memorandum [laid 14th May].

APPENDIX II

General Committees

1    Draft Maximum Number of Judges Order 2008:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the First Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mrs Janet Dean Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Tony Baldry, Mr Henry Bellingham, Mr Peter Bone, Mr Geoffrey Cox, Mrs Claire Curtis-Thomas, Mr Doug Henderson, Stephen Hesford, David Howarth, Chris Huhne, Mr Nick Hurd, Mrs Siān C. James, Mr Sadiq Khan, David Lepper, Mr Khalid Mahmood, Margaret Moran and Mr Michael Wills.

2    Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2008 (S.I., 2008, No. 667):

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the Second Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mr David Wilshire Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Tim Boswell, Colin Burgon, Mr Douglas Carswell, Mr Michael Clapham, Mr James Clappison, Mr Jim Cunningham, Mr David Curry, Mr Wayne David, James Duddridge, Paul Flynn, Mr Neil Gerrard, Ms Patricia Hewitt, Mr Peter Kilfoyle, Mr Mike O'Brien, Paul Rowen and Jenny Willott.

3    Draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2008:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Third Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Miss Anne Begg Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Crispin Blunt, David Cairns, Ms Katy Clark, Mr Philip Dunne, Mr David Hamilton, Mr Adam Holloway, Mr Adam Ingram, Mark Lazarowicz, Mr Ian McCartney, Ann McKechin, Mr Michael Moore, Mr Alan Reid, Mr Frank Roy, Mr Lee Scott, Dr Gavin Strang and Mr Ben Wallace.

4    Draft Extradition Act 2003 (Amendment to Designations) Order 2008:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Order to the Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mr Martyn Jones Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Mr Clive Betts, Mr Crispin Blunt, Tom Brake, James Brokenshire, Mr Alan Campbell, Mr David Clelland, Ann Clwyd, Mr Fabian Hamilton, Meg Hillier, Mr Kevan Jones, Mr Greg Knight, Mr Edward Leigh, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Ian Lucas, Mr Mark Oaten and Phil Wilson.

5    Draft Building Societies Act 1986 (Accounts, Audit and EEA State Amendments) Order 2008,—The Committee of Selection has discharged Graham Stringer from the Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee (nominated in respect of the draft Order) and nominated in substitution Mr Anthony Wright.

6    Draft Social Security (Students Responsible for Children or Young Persons) Amendment Regulations 2008:

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the draft Regulations to the Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mr John Bercow Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: Annette Brooke, Mr Ronnie Campbell, Mr Jim Cunningham, Mr Wayne David, James Duddridge, Mr Roger Godsiff, Mr Peter Lilley, Mr Denis MacShane, Anne Main, Dr Doug Naysmith, John Penrose, Mr James Plaskitt, Andrew Selous, Geraldine Smith, Mr John Spellar and Jenny Willott.

7    Farriers' Qualifications (European Recognition) Regulations 2008 (S.I., 2008, No. 646):

    (1) The Speaker has allocated the Regulations to the Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee and has appointed Mr Eric Illsley Chairman; and

    (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee: John Austin, Mr Richard Benyon, Harry Cohen, Frank Dobson, Jim Dowd, Mr James Gray, Nia Griffith, Martin Linton, Siobhain McDonagh, Andrew Mackinlay, Mr James Paice, Mr John Redwood, Jonathan Shaw, Mr Richard Shepherd, Steve Webb and Mr Roger Williams.

    European Committees

8    The Speaker has appointed Mr Peter Atkinson Chairman of European Committee B, in respect of European Union Document No. 8403/08 and Addenda 1 to 5, relating to EU—a Global Partner for Development—Speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

9    Unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum, dated 2nd June 2007, submitted by HM Treasury, relating to the Preliminary Draft Budget of the European Communities 2009, has been referred to European Committee B.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

1    Children, Schools and Families,—National Curriculum: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Children, Schools and Families Committee; to be printed [No. 651-i] [Mr Barry Sheerman].

2    Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill,—(1) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Joint Committee on the Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill; to be printed [No. 551-vi]; and

    (2) Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be published

    [Michael Jabez Foster].

3    Environmental Audit,—Carbon Capture and Storage and Kingsworth power station: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environmental Audit Committee; to be printed [No. 654-i] [Mr Tim Yeo].

4    Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,—Draft Marine Bill—Coastal Access Provisions: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee; to be printed [No. 656-i] [Mr Michael Jack].

5    European Scrutiny,—(1) The Conclusions of the European Council and Council of Ministers: Follow-up Report: Twenty-fifth Report from the European Scrutiny Committee, with Memoranda; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 606];

    (2) Twenty-sixth Report from the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 16-xxiii];

    (3) BERR's Scrutiny Performance: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee; to be printed [No. 657];

    (4) Minutes of the Public Deliberations of the Committee; to be printed [No. 361-xii]; and

    (5) Ministerial Correspondence: Memoranda laid before the Committee; to be published

    [Michael Connarty].

6    Foreign Affairs,—Overseas Territories: Memoranda laid before the Foreign Affairs Committee; to be published [Mike Gapes].

7    Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills,—After Leitch: Implementing Skills And Training Policies: Minutes of Evidence taken before the After Leitch: Implementing Skills And Training Policies Sub-Committee of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee; to be printed [No. 505-ii] [Mr Phil Willis].

8    Modernisation of the House of Commons,—Scrutiny of the Draft Legislative Programme: Government Response to the Committee's First Report: First Special Report from the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons; to be printed [No. 597] [Ms Harriet Harman].

9    Public Accounts,—Reducing passenger rail delays by better management of incidents: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee of Public Accounts; to be printed [No. 655-i] [Mr Edward Leigh].

10    Standards and Privileges,—Conduct of Sir Robert Smith: Eleventh Report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges, with an Appendix; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 646] [Sir George Young].

11    Transport,—(1) The Blue Badge (Disabled Parking) Reform Strategy: Sixth Report from the Transport Committee, with Memoranda; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 475]; and

    (2) Department for Transport Annual Report 2007: Seventh Report from the Committee, with Memoranda; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 313]

    [Mrs Louise Ellman].

12    Treasury,—Budget Measures and Low-Income Households: Minutes of Evidence taken before the Treasury Committee; to be printed [No. 326-ii] [John McFall].

[W.H., No. 67]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

The sitting began at half-past Nine o'clock.

Adjournment.

    Subjects:

      Effect of the House of Lords ruling on pleural plaques (Mr Michael Clapham).

      Supermarkets and local communities (Mr Barry Sheerman).

      Post Office closures in Mid Wales (Mr Roger Williams).

      Wiltshire Police helicopter (Robert Key).

      Future of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College (Daniel Kawczynski).

    A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That the sitting be now adjourned—(Mr Dave Watts);

    And the sitting having continued for two and a half hours after half-past Two o'clock, it was adjourned without Question put, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 5 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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