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I take very seriously the points of the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire and my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Alan Simpson)—who is not present, and must have very good reasons for not being so. They made serious contributions, touching
10 Mar 2009 : Column 214
not only on our response to the current downturn, but on what should follow. Between them, they made some very astute points about matters such as the low-carbon economy, green jobs, and taking some time as we work through the unemployment that is currently with us to lay the groundwork for what the economy will look like afterwards. That is a difficult trick to pull off, but it is one that a Government of any political persuasion should be trying to perform.

I accept the point of my hon. Friend the Member for Halton (Derek Twigg) about the £2 billion, because that is essential to keep Jobcentre Plus going and working effectively. I also take his point—not least because we recently announced the Houghton report—about the role of local government of all political persuasions in working with its local communities to do everything possible for local labour markets.

A point was made about the six-month offer that will come in from April. That will be for everybody at six months, and in this instance it is right and proper to say what we will do in January, to get on then with the design work, and to make sure it is available for people by the end of this month. That is the way it should be.

When the predecessor of the right hon. Member for Maidenhead announced a similar scheme last November, it was utterly for the birds for the following reasons: there was no funding at all; it was as if it had been written on the back of the proverbial envelope, which is the politically correct way of saying the back of a fag packet; and crucially, her colleagues had made utterly wrong assumptions about the cost of people being unemployed for 12 months, forgetting that, even now in the depths of this downturn, Jobcentre Plus does help people back into work—60 per cent. within three months, and 75 per cent. within six months. What the Opposition came up with was not costed; therefore, it was not worth the paper it was written on.

People must be offered substantial help, support and promise, rather than suggestions, all of which are fatuous if there is no money behind them. Because of its deception, that is a cruel way to conduct politics, especially given the serious nature of these issues. [Interruption.] The right hon. Lady chunters away from a sedentary position. She was asked time and again, notwithstanding the fact that she has two shadow Chancellors, to stand up to both of them and agree that the £2 billion can, and should, be spent now as a real help for people throughout Jobcentre Plus. Answer came there none—absolutely none. I still offer her the chance to do that, but she is still not forthcoming.

I do not want to dwell on the past, and I do not think the Secretary of State dwelt on it. This is all about the future, save for one point: we must learn from the past. We have learned from the good and bad elements of all aspects of the new deal over the past 10 years, and those lessons are informing the flexible new deal. We also can, and should, learn from previous recessions, and we will not face the people of this country without learning those lessons and ensuring we do not dump people sideways on to benefits just for the sake of it and leave them alone. We also do not—whoever said it earlier was wrong—cook the books and change the statistics 19 times for our own purpose, as we would far rather work with the numbers as they are. Also, it cannot be in anybody’s interest—I start from the position that every Member of the House agrees with this—that we leave anybody to
10 Mar 2009 : Column 215
one side and do not help them. Therefore, we push on with welfare reform despite the downturn, and we offer everybody as much help as we can.

The one lesson from our recent history, regardless of the party politics involved in previous recessions, is that now, more than ever, we cannot stand idly by while anybody suffers from this recession. All of us must make sure that the UK gets out of this in as strong a position as possible—the country will not forgive this Chamber if that is not what prevails.

Question put (Standing Order No. 31(2)), That the original words stand part of the Question.

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 161, Noes 349.
Division No. 56]
[6.59 pm



AYES


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
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
Brokenshire, James
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Cash, Mr. William
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Dorries, Nadine
Duncan, Alan
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Field, Mr. Mark
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Christopher
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Goodwill, Mr. Robert
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Howell, John
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Letwin, rh Mr. Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Lilley, rh Mr. Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey

Maples, Mr. John
Mates, rh Mr. Michael
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Osborne, Mr. George
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Rosindell, Andrew
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Soames, Mr. Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stuart, Mr. Graham
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Sir Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

Jeremy Wright and
James Duddridge
NOES


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, Danny
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Baker, Norman
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barrett, John
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Benn, rh Hilary
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
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Annette
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Crausby, Mr. David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann

Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Farron, Tim
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
George, Andrew
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gidley, Sandra
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goldsworthy, Julia
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
Harvey, Nick
Havard, Mr. Dai
Heath, Mr. David
Hemming, John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoey, Kate
Holmes, Paul
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horwood, Martin
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunter, Mark
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Knight, rh Jim
Kramer, Susan
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lamb, Norman
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laws, Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Leech, Mr. John
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
Mason, John
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne

McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Meale, Mr. Alan
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Moore, Mr. Michael
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mulholland, Greg
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
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
Price, Adam
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Pugh, Dr. John
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rogerson, Dan
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Rowen, Paul
Roy, Mr. Frank
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob
Russell, Christine
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Simpson, Alan
Singh, Mr. Marsha
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, Sir Robert
Snelgrove, Anne
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Spink, Bob
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Taylor, David
Taylor, Matthew
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Thurso, John
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
Vaz, rh Keith
Walley, Joan
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watts, Mr. Dave
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Wishart, Pete
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Noes:

Steve McCabe and
Claire Ward

Question accordingly negatived.
10 Mar 2009 : Column 216

10 Mar 2009 : Column 217

10 Mar 2009 : Column 218

10 Mar 2009 : Column 219

Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 31(2)), That the proposed words be there added.

Question agreed to.

The Deputy Speaker declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to (Standing Order No. 31(2)).

Resolved,


10 Mar 2009 : Column 220

European Working Time Directive

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

7.15 pm

Mr. Andrew Lansley (South Cambridgeshire) (Con): I beg to move,

We have given up waiting for the Government to allow Parliament to debate the issues that will have most impact on the health service, so I am very glad that my colleagues have once again allowed us to raise an issue that is timely and important as regards the management of the national health service. I hope that we have not gone beyond the point at which the Government can do something to remedy the problems. The timing is important.

Sir Robert Smith (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (LD): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Lansley: I will in a moment; I have not begun yet— [ Interruption. ] Perhaps I will give way to the hon. Gentleman, since he might be eager to go to dinner.

Sir Robert Smith: I am eager to hear the hon. Gentleman’s words, especially as there is considerable concern in the health service about the impact on training and on the development of doctors. The motion should go wider, however. There is great concern in the north-east of Scotland about the future of the retained fire brigade service and the working time directive. I wanted to add that important focus to his introductory remarks.

Mr. Lansley: I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman has neglected to read the motion that I have just moved, which


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