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8 Dec 2009 : Column 206

Mr. Harper rose-

Jonathan Shaw: I will answer the hon. Gentleman's point, if he will allow me. This is an important issue about the transitional arrangements, which several hon. Members raised. Existing claimants of AA and DLA will continue to have the flexibility to spend the resource as they wish. The other important point is that we are providing flexibility in terms of a number of different budget headings for the same reasons that a number of hon. Members put forward to explain why AA and DLA are a good thing. That is happening. Saying that the provision of those resources is "constrained" and characterising it as such is wrong.

May I also say that one of the-

Mr. Dorrell rose-

Jonathan Shaw: No, I will not give way to the right hon. Gentleman for the moment, because I want to address some important points that were put to me.

Mr. Dorrell rose-

Jonathan Shaw: If he will sit down, I will proceed with my answer. I will come on to deal with other points- [Interruption.] I will give way to the shadow spokesman first and then to the right hon. Member for Charnwood (Mr. Dorrell).

Mr. Harper: I am still not sure that the Minister has answered the question put earlier by my right hon. Friend. He knows that with individual budgets, people cannot spend the money entirely how they want because they have to agree that the spending will meet their care needs. At the moment, DLA and AA can be spent on anything they want, with a completely free choice, so will the Minister confirm that all the money people receive under the new system can be spent exactly how they choose to spend it?

Jonathan Shaw: During the transitional arrangements, people in receipt of AA and DLA will, when it comes from the local authority, have that cash sum as well as their flexibility protected-along the lines that hon. Ladies and Gentlemen are inquiring about. I hope that I have now satisfied them on that point.

Mr. Dorrell: A moment ago, the Minister appeared to argue that a cash-limited local authority social services budget was no more constrained than an entitlement-led White Paper budget. Is that really his position?

Jonathan Shaw: I did not say that at all. I was referring to the flexibility with which people could spend the resources available to them.

Let me respond to some of the points that have been made. The hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb) made a thoughtful speech exposing the cynicism with which the Conservative party has been scaremongering around the country with press releases. He also asked important questions about arrangements for the work force. We shall need to address ourselves to some of those details in the White Paper, especially the relationship between disability living allowance and attendance allowance and other benefits. Other Members also mentioned the work force. We have seen progress since the Care Standards Act 2000. At the time of its introduction, 80 per cent. of the 1 million or so work force had no qualifications. We have increased the number of people with qualifications by 20 per cent.

8 Dec 2009 : Column 207

The hon. Member for Northavon referred to carer's allowance in particular. We have been working with carers as well. Many want to work, but find the benefits system confusing. That is why organisations such as the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Carers UK have welcomed the work of our care partnership managers in Jobcentre Plus. About £20 million has been invested to ensure that they combine all the support mechanisms, ensuring that there is good information for carers so that they can join the labour market.

Mr. Harper: Will the Minister give way on that point?

Jonathan Shaw: I will give way briefly, but that will be it.

Mr. Harper: I am grateful to the Minister. Can he confirm that those whose full social care needs are met by local authorities will also continue to receive their attendance allowance and disability living allowance? Will those allowances be fully protected?

Jonathan Shaw: Yes, they will.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Stirling rightly referred to the scaremongering of Conservative Members. She spoke of the need to secure for a consensus of the kind that we secured for pension reform, and I hope that that happens. We saw the beginnings of it in the debate. The right hon. Member for Charnwood spoke of the need for reform, but did not refer to the need to pay for it.

Along with a number of other Members, I set out the issues relating to a changing demography. We need to find the necessary resources. We have included in the Green Paper options that would provide far more support for care than is provided at present. The current system involves ever more constraint, and if we continue as we are, the constraint and means-testing will continue to increase. Our proposals provide some solutions that can be debated throughout the country.

Opposition Members asked about devolution. Of course it is right for us to have discussions with the Scottish and Welsh Assembly Governments. Any settlement under the new system will have to take account of social care and health, which are devolved matters.

I perceived a lack of support for local authorities. I think that they do a very good job, but it was only my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood who talked of the good work that they do. We often characterise all local authorities by highlighting poor performance. That is why we need a national care service. Disabled people's organisations that support such a service speak of the difference in service from one town to another. They have drawn attention to the need for portability, which does not currently exist, and the struggle that they have to undertake to obtain services. They do not want to have to jump through such hoops again. Our proposals give them the opportunity that they want.

The hon. Member for North-East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), a former Minister for disabled people, mentioned Nick Scott. I have heard kind words said about Nick Scott during my travels around the country. The hon. Gentleman will know, however, that next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the Chronically Sick and Disabled
8 Dec 2009 : Column 208
Persons Act 1970-the first legislation introduced to provide rights and services for disabled people not just in this country but anywhere in the world-and that that is thanks to the first Minister for disabled people, Lord Morris.

The hon. Gentleman was right to observe that as time has gone on, we have given people more choice and control so that they can be the architects of the support that they receive. Adult social care is an important component of people's independence, which is why we need it to be more available rather than perpetuating the present constraint.

My hon. Friend the Member for Crawley (Laura Moffatt), who brought her professional knowledge to the debate, had held consultations in her constituency. As I have found in my travels around the country, it is interesting to sit down and engage in a calm and clear debate, helping people to understand the demographic issues that the country faces and the need to find solutions.

The hon. Member for Norwich, North (Chloe Smith) made a measured contribution to the debate. She talked of the need for flexibility, and I agreed with what she said. She talked of meeting someone in her constituency who was blind. She will know that the Government have accepted an amendment from my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, North-West (John Robertson) which will increase disability living allowance for totally blind people from 2011.

The hon. Member for Glasgow, East (John Mason) said that he did not trust the Tories. In 1979, the Tories made no reference to the fact that they would cut pensions when they got into power. I think that buyers will need to be extremely wary. We have heard very little from those on the Tory Front Bench, or indeed from the Tories in general, about what they expect from a future social care system. We have heard nothing about domiciliary care. We have heard some half-baked ideas about residential care, which fell apart from one day to the next and did not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. The hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) smiles, but I think that even he acknowledges that.

What did the Tories give pensioners? They gave them 18 months in which to wait for an operation, whereas our party gave them a maximum of 18 weeks. They produced pensioner poverty, whereas our party produced pension credit. We provided bus passes, but all that we have seen from the Tory party is cynicism and scaremongering. They have focused-as they prefer to-on the 3,000 richest estates for which they want to provide tax cuts. I urge my right hon. and hon. Friends to vote for the amendment.

Mr. Andrew Robathan (Blaby) (Con) claimed to move the c losure (Standing Order No. 36).

Question put forthwith, That the Question be now put.

Question agreed to.

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

The House proceeded to a Division.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Michael Lord): I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the No Lobby.

8 Dec 2009 : Column 209

The House having divided: Ayes 233, Noes 297.
Division No. 15]
[6.59 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. 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
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carswell, Mr. Douglas
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Mr. Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
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
George, Andrew
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
Hancock, Mr. Mike
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
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Horam, Mr. John
Horwood, Martin
Hosie, Stewart
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
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
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
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
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian

Lidington, Mr. David
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Maclean, rh David
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
Maples, Mr. John
Mason, John
Maude, rh Mr. Francis
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, Mr. George
Ottaway, Richard
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rennie, Willie
Rifkind, rh Sir Malcolm
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Chloe
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob
Spring, Mr. Richard
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, David
Taylor, Mr. Ian
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Thurso, John
Timpson, Mr. Edward
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
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard
Tellers for the Ayes:

James Duddridge and
Jeremy Wright

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, Mr. Ian
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Bain, Mr. William
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Blunkett, rh Mr. David
Borrow, Mr. David S.
Bradshaw, rh Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas

Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, rh Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Chaytor, Mr. David
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, rh Caroline
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
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, rh Paul
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
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
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, rh 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
Lucas, Ian
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid

Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
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
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morden, Jessica
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pope, Mr. Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prescott, rh Mr. John
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Christine
Salter, Martin
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, rh Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
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
Thornberry, Emily
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Watson, Mr. Tom
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, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek
Tellers for the Noes:

David Wright and
Mr. Dave Watts
Question accordingly negatived.
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