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It is impossible for the objective that the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Stewart Hosie) wisely advocated-that there should be a proper report-to be achieved in line with those principles unless, under the code for fiscal stability, there is a definition of net debt. We have been over all that so we do not need to go into it again, but the internal contradictions and the combustible apparatus that the Government have created will blow up in their face. However, we need not go any further down that route for the time being, as there are other matters to be discussed.

Ian Pearson: I do not know whether it was because of something that hon. Friends of the hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire (Mr. Gauke) knew he would say, or whether they were frightened off by something I said in the previous debate, but it will not have escaped the attention of the Committee that there were no Opposition Back-Bench Members supporting the hon. Gentleman during his contribution. I am pleased to welcome back belatedly the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Cash), who has just made a contribution. The regular awkward squad was not present to support him.

This group of amendments and new clauses relate to two things-first, flexibility in fiscal targets, which we discussed to some extent on the previous set of amendments, and secondly, to the reports that the Treasury must produce before parts of the Bill come into force. I shall deal with those topics separately, starting with amendment 4, which is about flexibility. In essence, it would insert get-out provisions in the Bill.

I note the points that the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Browne) made in his speech, but I do not believe that his approach is the right one to take. It would weaken the position. I shall set out some points about flexibility, particularly in respect of future growth prospects. The fall in output following the global financial crisis has been the biggest factor in the increase in the deficit, so the return of strong and sustainable growth will be crucial in cutting the deficit over the medium term and restoring fiscal balance. Our forecast, as hon. Members know, is GDP growth of 1.25 per cent. in 2010, rising to 3.5 per cent. in 2011. As is the usual practice, revised forecasts will be produced at the time of the Budget.

In response to the hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire, let me say that Government forecasting is a complex and detailed process. As far as I am aware, it is a process in which the Prime Minister is not involved in the slightest way. It is a very technical exercise. The UK forecasting expertise that we have in the Treasury stands comparison with independent forecasters.

The hon. Member for Taunton quoted figures relating to our forecasts in spring 2008. I know that he has spotted that things have been going on in the UK economy since spring 2008, and, like every other independent forecast, the Government's forecasts have not proved to be as accurate as we would have wished, but that is because we have had an unprecedented
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financial crisis that has led to the biggest global downturn in the world economy for 60 years. Everybody's forecasts have been out, and there is nothing exceptional about that.

5 pm

Mr. Pelling: I assure the Minister that this will be my only turn during this section of our proceedings. He is right to talk about the international context and the problems that the Government faced, but I was concerned to read in The Irish Times yesterday that the banks that we control through Government investment have given €6 billion of support to their Irish subsidiaries. Surely that should not be the Government's responsibility. In terms of the stresses and strains that are put on our own finances, it will impact on whether this Fiscal Responsibility Bill is required.

Ian Pearson: I must confess that I have not read The Irish Times, but the hon. Gentleman will be aware of the interconnected nature of the banking system in the global economy. We rightly took action to stabilise the banks in the United Kingdom-the Irish Government, as the hon. Gentleman is very well aware, have taken significant action to stabilise their banking system-and, indeed, to cut the deficit in Northern Ireland. The Bill proposes a set of measures that we believe are appropriate to the UK's specific circumstances.

Mr. Cash: Is the Minister able to distinguish between forecasting and soothsaying?

Ian Pearson: I think that it was Francis Bacon who talked about dreams and predictions being subjects only for a chat by the fireside, so I do not want to get into the differences between the two. What I do want to say is that forecasting is not an exact science; it is particularly prone to error when there are major global shocks, as we have seen over the past couple of years, so it is not surprising that the Treasury's forecasts, along with all other forecasts, have not proved accurate.

As the Chancellor said, the Government are cautious but confident about growth, and that assessment of growth has been used when judging the appropriate pace by which to reduce the deficit. We have discussed the appropriate pace before, and the Government want to ensure that the recovery is locked in. I believe that the economy is growing as we speak, but we do not want to jeopardise it. If we take action too early, we could put in danger the recovery that I believe is taking place this year.

If growth proves stronger than we are currently forecasting, the priority should be a further reduction in structural borrowing. The Bill allows for that by setting fiscal ceilings, not floors, and it sets targets that the Government judge appropriate, because it is deliberately drafted to allow for overachievement. The ceilings are binding and designed to provide certainty that the Government will deliver their consolidation plans.

It is worth noting that, subject to making progress on reducing borrowing every year, there is flexibility in the profile over which the deficit is halved by 2013-14. As I said earlier, there is the flexibility to accommodate lower growth and the greater impact of the automatic stabilisers as long as progress is made on reducing borrowing. It is important to recognise that.

20 Jan 2010 : Column 371

The issue is not just about economic growth. The hon. Member for Taunton pointed out that significant shocks to the public finances could come from a natural disaster or other actions, and my general point is that, in extremis, the Government would have to come back to Parliament if it were necessary to amend the targets in the Bill. However, the Bill has been designed so that, rightly, the duties in clause 1 can be changed only through new primary legislation. That is a higher hurdle than the procedure in his amendment; and our approach allows for greater parliamentary scrutiny than his amendment, which would make it a lot easier to disapply the duties.

We think it right and proper that new primary legislation should be required in order to divert from the course set out in the Bill. The difficulty and seriousness of doing that should underline the Government's commitment to meeting the Bill's targets. I agree with the hon. Member for Taunton that it is important to consider alternative circumstances and scenarios. However, his amendment would make it too easy to change the targets when it is important that they are seen by everyone to be hard targets that could be changed only by going through the full parliamentary procedures required for new primary legislation.

Amendment 5 is the first of three amendments that would require the Treasury to produce a report before commencing certain parts of the Bill. It seeks to impose on the Treasury a requirement to lay before the House a review of the accuracy of recent forecasts. I understand the comments that have been made by the hon. Member for Taunton-I have referred to some of them-and by the hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire. I accept, of course, that it is important to account for past forecast differences and to explain them in an open and transparent way; that is why, since 2002, the Treasury has published an end-of-year fiscal report. That report is underpinned by the provisions of the code for fiscal stability, which require the Government to provide an indication of past forecast errors for public sector net borrowing. The report provides retrospective reporting and analysis of fiscal issues, and it builds on the information that is already available and published in the Budget and the pre-Budget report. It is a comprehensive analysis of forecast performance, and many fiscal commentators find it a useful source of information. In addition to the regular analysis of changes from forecast to outturn in the end-of-year fiscal report, each Budget and PBR analyses changes from forecast to forecast made at the previous fiscal event and provides a discussion of these developments. A lot of information is available out there on a regular basis. The Treasury reviews the accuracy of its forecasts, in the way that I have outlined, and its forecasts compare well with those of other forecasters such as the OECD, the International Monetary Fund and the European Council. The amendment is therefore unnecessary.

New clause 1 would require the Treasury to carry out consultation on the Bill and to lay before Parliament a summary of the responses. I do not believe that that is necessary. We have already set out and explained our consolidation plans on more than one occasion. At Budget 2009, we clearly set out fiscal plans to secure sound public finances. At that time, the fiscal judgment
20 Jan 2010 : Column 372
was to more than halve borrowing to 5.5 per cent. of GDP in 2013-14. That judgment was confirmed in the PBR forecast, and through powers in the Bill it has been put into legislation. The path for consolidation has remained stable, and it has been public for some time. There has been significant discussion of these plans by financial commentators; and indeed, many discussions have been held in this House. A range of views have already been expressed. We have heard lengthy quotes from the hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire and from a wide range of stakeholders.

There are already mechanisms in place that allow for the policy to be scrutinised. In particular, after each Budget and PBR the Treasury Committee takes evidence, not only from Treasury Ministers and officials but from expert witnesses. The Treasury also receives a large number of representations in advance of each PBR and Budget. Introducing a late-stage consultation process and similar requirements would risk creating unnecessary uncertainty about plans that have already been extensively discussed and are in the public domain.

Mr. Gauke: Has the Treasury received any representations telling it what a good idea the Bill is? In particular, have any financial institutions or credit rating agencies commented favourably upon it?

Ian Pearson: Germany has already introduced similar legislation, and the IMF, in a report that I believe was published in December, stated that legislating on fiscal frameworks can make good sense, so what we are doing is not exceptional. That is the point that irritates me slightly about the Opposition. They pretend that what we are doing is bizarre and unusual and that no sensible Government would do it, but the German Government have already done it and the IMF says it is sensible, so it is nothing other than good practice. It can help to ensure that there is greater market confidence that the Government will carry out credible plans for fiscal consolidation.

That is not to say that there is not more to be done in future. Clearly there is, and we will want to make further announcements in the Budget. We are engaged in a long haul, but it is right that we are clear about the direction of policy and that we set out our policies for the medium to long term. That is exactly what we are doing.

New clause 16 would require the Government to report on the effect of our consolidation plans on economic growth. I wish to make it clear that we assess the impact of our policies on economic growth as a matter of course. That is part and parcel of what we do-it is the day job of the Treasury to consider such matters. The Government have judged that the pace of consolidation required in the Bill is consistent with supporting growth in the early stages of recovery and the need to ensure sound public finances in the medium term. The hon. Member for Dundee, East (Stewart Hosie) and I happen to disagree on the pace of consolidation. He thinks we are going too fast and the official Opposition think we are going too slow. We think that we have got it right.

Ms Katy Clark: Will my hon. Friend give way?

20 Jan 2010 : Column 373

Ian Pearson: I know that some of my colleagues believe we might be going slightly too fast. I am happy to give way, and I hope that I can convince them otherwise.

Ms Katy Clark: I look forward to that debate.

Obviously growth will be the most important thing in the coming period. We need our economy to grow again as fast as possible and in a way that maximises employment opportunities. If it is clear that the cuts in public spending are having an impact on economic growth, will the Treasury reconsider the matter?

Ian Pearson: The Treasury will always be concerned about the impact of public spending on growth. As part of its normal Budget and pre-Budget report process, it will need to examine the economy as a whole and public sector spending plans in order to set out credible and sustainable plans for the future. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point out the sensitivities that exist.

I have to be absolutely blunt-we will have to make some tough choices about public expenditure in future. We have already made some tough decisions, as my hon. Friend and other Members well know. We have taken measures to introduce a fiscal consolidation of already about £57 billion, including measures that will raise tax, such as a 50p tax rate and increased national insurance contributions, and we have made efficiency savings through schemes such as the smarter Government programme and the operational efficiency programme. Those measures will make a significant difference.

My hon. Friend is right to point out the central importance of economic growth. The more we can get growth going in the UK economy again, the better the public finances will be in the longer term. Our forecast for GDP growth was set out in the pre-Budget report and shows growth accelerating to above trend rates in 2011. It takes account of the consolidation plans that we have in place and of previous Budgets and pre-Budget reports, which is why I do not believe a separate report is required.

I think that I have dealt with the amendments. Amendment 4 would make it easier for any Government to get out of their fiscal framework targets, and that is not the right approach to take. Similarly, I think that I have given some good reasons for not accepting the other amendment and new clauses, and shown that the information is already available, so the proposed reports are not needed.

5.15 pm

Mr. Jeremy Browne: When talking about amendment 4, the Economic Secretary recognised that there were circumstances-he cited natural disaster, but the most obvious example is another recession in the next few years-whereby it would be impossible or at least extremely difficult to stay within the Bill's parameters. The Chancellor has acknowledged the same point, but there is no provision, save for getting rid of the Bill, for the necessary procedures to take account of issues of great budgetary consequence, whether natural disaster, another recession, a war and so on.

That rigidity is a failing of the Bill. I can understand the Economic Secretary's point that too much flexibility means that the Bill loses worth. In my view, it has little worth anyway. However, if targets are to be set, even
20 Jan 2010 : Column 374
though they are based on forecasts that get harder to project with any accuracy as we go into the future, such an approach must make some provision-as the Chancellor and the Economic Secretary acknowledged-for events overtaking the predictions. That is why amendment 4 tries to include some flexibility that would not mean ripping up the Bill.

The amendment would provide for a suspension for one year, which would take effect when the Bill came into force. The Conservative spokesman was anxious about that, but the provision must take effect from day one. The amendment would provide for suspending the Bill for a year if the situation were sufficiently grave. Of course, it could be suspended for a second or subsequent years, but that could be done only by an order laid before Parliament-it could not therefore be done by Executive fiat-and a positive resolution of the House. We would have to make a conscious decision if the Chancellor came to the House and said that he or she was unable to continue following the timetable in the Bill because of factors so grave that it would not be in our national interest to abide by it.

Mr. Cash: So tear it up.

Mr. Browne: The amendment would allow the Bill's suspension for a year. I am all in favour of not having the Bill-I voted against it on Second Reading and intend to vote against it on Third Reading. However, if we are to have it-Labour Members are in the majority and show no inclination to vote it down-we, as a responsible Opposition party, will try to make it as workable as possible.

It is perverse to have no provision between now and 2016 for exceptional events when, two years ago, the Government were unable to predict the current exceptional budget deficit. For that reason, I will press the amendment to a Division.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided: Ayes 203, Noes 276.
Division No. 50]
[5.19 pm


Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Amess, Mr. David
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Bacon, Mr. Richard
Baldry, Tony
Baron, Mr. John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Beresford, Sir Paul
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Bruce, rh Malcolm
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cox, Mr. Geoffrey
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, David T.C. (Monmouth)
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan

Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, rh Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mr. Mark
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
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heath, Mr. David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh Mr. David
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hogg, rh Mr. Douglas
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holmes, Paul
Hosie, Stewart
Howarth, David
Howell, John
Hughes, Simon
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kennedy, rh Mr. Charles
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Mr. Greg
Kramer, Susan
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lamb, Norman
Leech, Mr. John
Leigh, Mr. Edward
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Lidington, Mr. David
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
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
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Neill, Robert
Newmark, Mr. Brooks
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pritchard, Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Redwood, rh Mr. John
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Angus
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Rogerson, Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Chloe
Smith, Sir Robert
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
Thurso, John
Timpson, Mr. Edward
Tredinnick, David
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann

Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Willott, Jenny
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Jeremy
Yeo, Mr. Tim
Young, rh Sir George
Tellers for the Ayes:

John Hemming and
Mr. Alan Reid

Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Anderson, Janet
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Bain, Mr. William
Baird, Vera
Balls, rh Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
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
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Campbell, Mr. Ronnie
Caton, Mr. Martin
Challen, Colin
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
Cook, Frank
Cooper, rh Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crausby, Mr. David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
David, Mr. Wayne
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Dai
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
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
Field, rh Mr. Frank
Fisher, Mark
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, rh Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Godsiff, Mr. Roger
Goggins, rh Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Patrick
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Healey, rh John
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon

Hoey, Kate
Hood, Mr. Jim
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Howells, rh Dr. Kim
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Khan, rh Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCafferty, Chris
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McGuire, rh Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Meacher, rh Mr. Michael
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, rh Edward
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Morden, Jessica
Morgan, Julie
Morley, rh Mr. Elliot
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Denis
Murphy, rh Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Owen, Albert
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Robinson, Mr. Geoffrey
Rooney, Mr. Terry
Roy, Mr. Frank
Roy, Lindsay
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, rh Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
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, 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
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Ms Dari
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thornberry, Emily
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
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 Noes:

Mr. John Heppell and
Mary Creagh
Question accordingly negatived.
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