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“if we really want to help working families on low and middle incomes, boosting the Work Allowance would be more effective and better value for money than any tax cuts”.

For a lone parent with housing costs, for example, the work allowance is currently set at just over £3,000 per year. After that point benefits start to be withdrawn. For example, those on universal credit lose £65 of benefit for every £100 of post-allowance salary. Of course we need to put in place some sort of tapering system to make work pay, but the complexity of the system allows—indeed, encourages—the Government to focus on simpler measures, even if those simpler measures are far less effective. Take the personal allowance. People begin paying tax at 20% after earning £10,000 a

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year, but we pay less attention to the fact that a sole working parent faces a 65% deduction rate when they earn over £3,000 a year.

For people who receive universal credit and pay income tax, the Chancellor’s £600 a year increase to their personal allowance is welcome. That would boost their income by £42, but the same increase in work allowance would increase their income by £390.

Even the Institute for Fiscal Studies has weighed into this debate, arguing:

“In-work benefits provide a more precise and cost-effective way of supporting low-earning working families than changes to direct taxes.”

The freezing of work allowance is profoundly misguided and effectively cuts the benefits of workers on low incomes. What happened to making work pay? What we need is a work allowance to help to ensure that those in work have a better chance of lifting themselves and their families out of poverty. We need the power in Scotland to change work allowances in Scotland, so that we can help families to help themselves out of poverty as they go out every day to earn a living through increasingly difficult times.

Universal credit does not help some of our poorest households, but much could be done by increasing work allowance and making work pay. This could be one—only one—of the tools that could help to combat the scandal of those in work having to rely on food banks to put food on their tables and feed themselves and their families. Scotland needs powers over the work allowance element of universal credit—no ifs, no buts.

I draw the Committee’s attention to the letter in The Herald today, which has already been mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford). It is a letter from the third sector in Scotland protesting against the socially divisive and damaging impact of the UK Government’s cuts of a further £12 billion in social security spending—cuts which, despite attempts to rewrite history, the Labour party signed up to prior to the general election. [Interruption.] These cuts—[Interruption.] Let me put the cuts in context. In the pre-election debate the hon. Member for Leeds West (Rachel Reeves) said that the Labour party was not the party of people on benefits. I notice that there is no retort to that. These cuts first and foremost—

Kate Green: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Patricia Gibson: No, thank you. [Interruption.] I have already responded informally to the hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray), who is on the Front Bench.

These cuts first and foremost will bear down on the most vulnerable and poorest in society. The whole of the third sector in Scotland supports the devolution of working-age benefits to Scotland because there is a recognition that the Scottish Government can and will do things better. They will set out a welfare system competently and with compassion. Make no mistake. Such devolution of welfare powers—

Sir Edward Leigh: Will the hon. Lady give way?

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Patricia Gibson: I give way to the hon. Gentleman.

Sir Edward Leigh: I am listening with great care to the hon. Lady, as I hope are my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the shadow Secretary of State, because I maintain that she is making the same point that I was making, although from a different direction. If we dribble out powers, the SNP will constantly blame us for everything that goes wrong—“Cuts? They’re responsible for the cuts.” Give them the responsibility and they will have to take responsibility.

Patricia Gibson: We will be proud to take responsibility for investing in the growth of Scotland’s economy, in our infrastructure and in the people of Scotland.

Make no mistake: the devolution of the welfare powers in the Bill is supported by Citizens Advice Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, the Child Poverty Action Group, the Church of Scotland, Oxfam Scotland, the Poverty Alliance, the Scottish Trades Union Congress—I could go on, but I think I have made my point.

We on the SNP Benches are seeking to protect those we represent in Scotland from the worst excesses of this Government. We speak with the clear democratic mandate of the people of Scotland, and behind that we have the increasingly raised voices of Scotland’s third sector and civic society. We must not balance the books on the backs of the poor. It is time that the Government listened to a valued and equal partner in this Union—Scotland—in the spirit of the respect agenda.

For the record, and for the avoidance of any doubt, the SNP set out unequivocally in our manifesto, as part of our welfare priorities, that there should be an immediate scrapping of the bedroom tax and a halt to the roll-out of universal credit and PIP payments. As far as working-age benefits go, the Bill does not meet what was set out in the Smith agreement.

The Secretary of State has argued that there is no effective UK Government veto over the powers in the Bill relating to welfare arrangements, limited as they are, yet there is a clear requirement for the Scottish Government to

“have consulted the Secretary of State about the practicability of implementing the regulations”.

The Secretary of State would then have to give

“his or her agreement as to when any change made by the regulations is to start to have effect, such agreement not to be unreasonably withheld.”

Is it likely that the current Secretary of State and the Scottish people would ever agree on a definition of what is unreasonable? For example, the people of Scotland believe that it is unreasonable that a party that has a far weaker mandate in Scotland than at any time during any of the years when it last led a majority Government now pontificates over what powers Scotland should have while reneging on the all-party agreements arrived at in Smith. The Secretary of State clearly thinks that this situation is entirely reasonable and presides over the Dispatch Box like a colossal Governor-General, with no shame, taking on the elected and legitimate representatives of the huge majority of the Scottish people.

For the sake of social justice in Scotland, for the sake of our most vulnerable, who are being crushed beneath the weight of the illogical and misguided attempts to

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punish those who require assistance from the state, for the sake of what was promised in Smith, for the sake of Scotland’s position as a “valued and equal partner” in this Union, for the sake of the wisdom of Scotland’s civic society, and for the sake of the SNP’s democratic mandate, I urge the Committee to support amendment 118 and new clause 45.


Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East) (SNP): We are considering a lot of amendments, and some of them cover quite technically detailed matters, but I think that the context of the debate is about big ideas; it is about big differences between this side of the House and the Government side of the House. I think that there can be no bigger difference than how we view our society with regard to welfare provision. On the Opposition Benches we see welfare as a means of social insurance whereby we work together to protect each other through periods of illness and disability and in old age, and also to protect people who are casualties of economic circumstances as they move from one period of employment to another. It is something we should provide with kindness and generosity and in the spirit of co-operation. I fear that the attitude of Government Members is founded on prejudice and parsimony. It is about a welfare state that grudgingly gives to people as a means of last resort. It is because of that difference in opinion that this debate matters so much.

4 pm

We want to transfer these powers to the Scottish Government to begin the task of creating a welfare system in Scotland that reflects the priorities and ambition of the people who live in Scotland. I have no difficulty whatever in accepting that we remain part of the United Kingdom and that a minimum standard should apply for universal credit. I must say to the Government that they have not set the minimum standard bar too high, so it will not be too difficult to cross it.

In order to get beyond that, however, we will need to work together, and new clauses 45 and 46 provide a mechanism by which the Scottish and the UK Governments can work together to look at how universal credit can be implemented in Scotland and at how additional measures that the Scottish Government may choose to bring in can be implemented in that context. It offers an opportunity within the United Kingdom—within the settlement agreed in the referendum and post-Smith—for the Governments to work together and do something constructive that will meet the aspirations of the Scottish people.

That is important because we want to move away from what is happening to welfare in this country.

John Redwood: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Tommy Sheppard: I was just going to quote the right hon. Gentleman, but I will take his intervention.

John Redwood: I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman’s description of what we want from our welfare system, but by how much does he want pensions and universal credit to go up to meet his aspirations compared with what is on offer?

Tommy Sheppard: The right hon. Gentleman has on several occasions in this and previous debates talked about cost and about how much will be paid for certain welfare benefits. I have to say to him that he must not

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assume that the cuts his Government are making in the welfare budget are cost free. There will be consequences as a result of what they are doing.

If the Government reduce the amount of money that poor people have and impoverish them even further, there will be consequences for the rest of society. It will increase the burden on our national health service as people become physically and mentally ill. It will drive people to drug dependency and petty crime, and put extra demands on our police service. Most of all, it will cost our economy in the lost opportunity of those wasted lives. Do not think for one minute that there are no consequences to what the Government are doing with the welfare budget.

John Redwood: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Tommy Sheppard: I am anxious not to get into a debate with the right hon. Gentleman, but I will take one more intervention.

John Redwood: This is a debate, and I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman is prepared to get into such a debate. I have no wish to take money away from people who need it; fortunately, we do not have to debate that today. What is the answer: how much more is needed to meet his aspirations for greater generosity than the Government have volunteered?

Tommy Sheppard: I am happy to have a debate; I just do not want to have it with the right hon. Gentleman by himself. It is a matter for assessment: we will have to sit down and work out exactly how much more will be required. The question here is: who should make the assessment—should it be the representatives of the people in the Scottish Government, or should it be someone else?

I want to talk about the bedroom tax, which has been mentioned several times. I will give one example of a human story, rather than the statistics that people have thrown around the Chamber. I have a 62-year-old constituent, who has lived in the area for 30 years in the same two-bedroom house. She has brought up her family, who have now left home. She now suffers from chronic angina and arthritis, and she can barely leave the house, never mind go into employment. She is probably not going to work again. The question is: what type of social protection do we offer someone in that position?

When I came across my constituent last year, she was running up against the spare bedroom subsidy regulations. She was told that she would either lose £14 a week off her benefit, or she would have to move house. Not having £14 to lose, she inquired about where she should move to. The only options given to her were five miles away, in an estate with a number of social problems that hers did not have, with no support from family or friends and no ability to continue the life she had. She was almost terrorised when I came across her: she was at the point of distraction and was making herself ill. I am glad to say that, because of the actions of the Scottish Government, we have now been able to help that woman and others in her situation, but I fear for people throughout the rest of the United Kingdom who are in that terrible situation.

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Another example of parsimony is the sanctions regime, which has been mentioned several times. Let us not kid ourselves that officials in the DWP are using sanctions as a last resort. In many cases, they are being used as a first resort. We all know of cases in which people have been sanctioned for the most petty of breaches.

Stewart McDonald (Glasgow South) (SNP): During the last Parliament and the election campaign, Tory Members chuntered on about the Labour party apparently wishing to weaponise the national health service. From the assessment that my hon. Friend gives, I am sure he agrees that the Tories have weaponised the social security system and are terrorising people across the country with it.

Tommy Sheppard: My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. It is because of the iniquity of the current system, and the prospect that is being held out of worse things to come, that we seek a change. We seek to be able to take control of our welfare system in Scotland and shape it so that it meets the aspirations of the people. The hon. Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen) said earlier that Scotland could perhaps be an example of what might happen in the rest of the United Kingdom, and I very much hope that will be the case.

Wayne David: I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on the tone of his contribution. It is important that he recognises that the problems that he is lucidly describing apply to many working-class people throughout the United Kingdom, including in my constituency. We hope that the new powers will do something to help people in Scotland, but I ask him to remember that people throughout the United Kingdom are affected.

Tommy Sheppard: I absolutely understand that. If we get a chance in the years ahead, while welfare remains the responsibility of the UK Parliament, to join the Labour party in voting to apply the measures that we will introduce in Scotland to the hon. Gentleman’s constituents, I will be happy to take the opportunity to do so.

I turn to the Secretary of State’s veto, which has been mentioned. I know he will deny that it is a veto, but everyone else who has looked at the provisions thinks it is a veto, including most third sector organisations in Scotland. It will allow the Secretary of State to object to regulations that the Scottish Parliament might introduce to improve the welfare system in Scotland. How can it be right that a power is devolved yet not devolved, and that the Secretary of State will retain authority to govern such decisions? In an earlier stage of the debates on the Bill, one Conservative Member said that we should all trust each other and that life would be an awful lot better. Could the Secretary of State not find it in his heart to trust the Scottish Government to make regulations? After all, there are fairly closely defined parameters for those regulations, so why on earth burden everyone with the requirement that the Scottish Government have to seek the Secretary of State’s consent? It is absolutely ridiculous.

If there is one way in which Secretary of State could indicate that he is listening to Scotland, it is by saying, “Fair enough—if the Scottish Government take a decision, we will let them get on with it, because we have transferred

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authority. We do not have to keep looking over their shoulder and checking their homework.” I hope that he will take that on board.

The crux of the whole argument is political authority. We are now halfway through the fourth day of debates on the Bill, and the Government and the Secretary of State have yet to suggest that they will make any substantive change to it. The Minister for Employment suggested earlier that the clauses we were discussing were in line with the spirit and substance of the Smith agreement, but it is strange that everyone else disagrees, including the Scottish Parliament’s devolution committee, on which the Conservative party is represented. That all-party group said that the clauses as drafted did not represent the spirit or substance of the Smith agreement. Something has got to give, unless we are going to rename the Secretary of State the governor-general and accept that we will not have government with the consent of the people in Scotland. I hope that he will listen to the people and accept some amendments.

When I quizzed the Secretary of State yesterday, he leapt to his feet and said that he was listening, and that he was in fact in conversation with the Scottish Government. He cited conversations with my colleague the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney. That caused John Swinney to write to the Secretary of State to say that he considers that his name had almost been taken in vain. He states:

“you cited our ‘productive discussion’…There will have to be clear movement by the UK Government, otherwise it is becoming harder to justify that description.”

Today the Secretary of State has the opportunity to make some minor concessions to show that he is willing to listen to the people who were elected in Scotland—I am not talking just about the 56 SNP MPs; I think we can safely say that 58 out 59 MPs from Scotland do not want the Secretary of State to have a veto over powers that this Parliament might devolve to the Scottish Government. I hope that he will reflect on that and give some ground in his concluding remarks to show that he is listening.

Ian Murray: I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard), and he was right to point out that we need a welfare system that shows compassion to those who have fallen on hard times, whether through illness, disability, economic circumstances or old age. He told the story of a 62-year-old constituent who was affected by the bedroom tax, and I am sure that all Members can recall similar stories from their surgeries of the most vulnerable being hit the hardest by what is probably the most pernicious tax that any Government have ever bestowed on people. It is right that the Scottish Government have been able to mitigate the bedroom tax in Scotland, and this evening we will vote on new clause 31 that would give the Scottish Parliament the power to consider such matters. The hon. Gentleman is right to have given that description of the social security system. That is the fourth time we have agreed today and I hope we will continue in that spirit.

I will speak to amendments 5, 6, 7 and new clauses 28 and 53 in my name and those of my hon. Friends. Amendments 5, 6 and 7 are different from the SNP’s amendments 118 and 119, but if the SNP presses its amendments to the vote we will support it and withdraw our amendments. Clause 24 gives Scottish Ministers

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regulation-making powers on the housing costs element of universal credit for claimants who rent their homes. The Secretary of State would also retain regulation-making powers, meaning that both the Scottish and UK Governments would have powers in that area and be able to exercise them independently.

Clause 25 gives Scottish Ministers regulation-making powers in Scotland to provide for alternative payment arrangements for universal credit, including

“the person to whom, or the time when, universal credit is to be paid”.

That will allow universal credit payments to be split between household members, and for payments to be made more frequently than under the UK Government’s current monthly plan. Although I am sure that we all welcome the devolution of those powers, that part of the Bill has caused considerable controversy by affording UK Ministers what some have interpreted as a veto over the Scottish Government’s regulation-making powers. That relates to the requirement in clauses 24 and 25 that, before exercising their regulation-making powers, Scottish Ministers consult the Secretary of State on the practicability of implementing proposed changes to universal credit, and obtain his agreement on when those changes are to happen. It is worth examining whether that amounts to an effective veto.

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney—he has just been mentioned by the hon. Member for Edinburgh East—has detected in what he calls those “pretty innocuous requirements” a sinister intent on behalf of the UK Government to exercise “a blocking power” that would act to

“prevent the Scottish Government from doing something”.

What does the UK Government seek to do with these provisions? I do not believe that the current provision is intended as a veto, but it could be more clearly worded to remove any ambiguity.

As I said on Second Reading, the Government have an opportunity to clear up any ambiguity, and if they are intent on saying that there is no effective veto in the Bill, they should remove that ambiguity once and for all. Amendments 5, 6 and 7 seek to allay the concerns of the Deputy First Minister and the charitable organisations that have been mentioned, by clarifying that Scottish Ministers need only “consult” the Secretary of State about the timing and—crucially—the delivery mechanisms of any new regulations.

4.15 pm

I understand and fully appreciate that if a discretionary housing payment is made by the Scottish Government to those liable for the bedroom tax, if I may use that particular example, they have a delivery mechanism. A pot of money can be given to local authorities so that they can distribute that discretionary payment. If there is an addition to universal credit and the Scottish Government have the power to alter universal credit, the implications for the delivery mechanism are crucial, because the Scottish Government may have to use the Department for Work and Pensions or another reserved delivery mechanism that is part of the UK Government. If the veto is a veto in the sense that the Secretary of State needs to approve the delivery mechanism, he must consider redrafting the clauses to make that clear. If a discretionary payment were to be made on a reserved benefit or a top-up benefit that is currently paid through

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the complicated system of the DWP, we would need some discussion of how that would operate. I would appreciate it if the Secretary of State—or the new governor-general of Scotland, as he has been termed this afternoon—responded to those points about the veto.

New clause 28 proposes the full devolution of housing benefit to the Scottish Parliament. This is another new clause, on a serious issue, that has attracted significant support from across the third sector, including from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. There are a number of compelling reasons why we believe housing benefit should be devolved, including the joint report today to the UN by the four UK Children’s Commissioners, which warns that child poverty levels in the UK are unacceptably high and rising—their main concern being the housing element.

Andrew Gwynne: Is not another compelling reason for the effective devolution of housing benefit to the Scottish Parliament that housing policy is already devolved? It would allow the Scottish Government to have a fully integrated housing policy, using those resources much more smartly and, effectively, being able to abolish the bedroom tax.

Ian Murray: I have a touch of déjà vu, as that is twice my hon. Friend has intervened with the next sentence of my speech—[Interruption.] Yes, I should stop sharing it around. He is right, and that is exactly what we said in our submission to the Smith commission. Perhaps he has read it—if he has any trouble sleeping, I highly recommend it to him. We want to increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament in areas that are closely related to devolved services, especially if that allows us to address and eliminate anomalies in the administration and delivery of vital public services. Housing policy is one such anomaly.

Most aspects of housing policy, specifically those relating to social housing, are already devolved to Scotland, including—most recently—discretionary housing payments. Social housing and housing benefit are inextricably linked: it therefore does not make sense for a devolved legislature to have control over one and not the other. That view is shared by the Institute for Public Policy Research. Devolving housing benefit to Scotland would allow for a more holistic approach to housing policy in Scotland, affording the Scottish Parliament and, crucially, local authorities far greater autonomy to tailor delivery to suit local and regional needs and circumstances. It would also transfer to the Scottish Parliament significant new resources with which to deal with the ongoing crisis in social housing.

At present, demand for social housing in Scotland, as across much of the UK, is greatly outstripping supply. Indeed, Scotland is facing its biggest housing crisis since the second world war with nearly 180,000 people in Scotland on social housing waiting lists, including 23,000 in Edinburgh alone. Earlier this year, Audit Scotland estimated that Scotland will need more than 500,000 new homes in the next 25 years. Under this Government, we have the lowest number of houses being built since 1947, and our public housing stock is decreasing drastically. The number of new social homes being built each year is down by more than 20%. generation rent is overlooked by the Government: Those in Scotland’s growing private rented sector face rising

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rents and being forced to move house too often. An individual living in social rented housing has the same address for an average of only 2.6 years, and families make up nearly half the people who are moving around in less than that average.

In the past 10 years, the number of people living in the private rented sector has doubled to 368,000; the number of households in poverty in the private rented sector has also doubled in the past decade, to 120,000. In 2014, almost 1 million households, or 2 million individuals, were living in fuel poverty, an increase of almost 300,000 on the previous year. That all relates to policies and their impact on people living in inadequate private housing. We will continue to fight for a better deal for the private rented sector.

Shelter Scotland, the much-respected charity, identified the negative effect of homelessness and temporary housing on children’s education and health. It researched the impact, particularly on children and on families with children, of living in inadequate housing in the private rented sector, as well as of homelessness, the inability to get into social housing and being stuck in temporary housing for too long. I will pick out just one or two points.

The research states that homeless children are two or three times more likely to be absent from school than other children due to the disruption caused by moving into, and between, temporary accommodation. I see that in my own constituency, where the situation is drastic. My constituency must have one of the most acute social housing shortages in the country. Many families end up either stuck in temporary accommodation or moved around temporary accommodation regularly. Homeless children are three or four times more likely to have mental health problems—a fairly obvious conclusion because of such instability. Some 90% of respondents to a Shelter survey said that their children had suffered from living in temporary accommodation. The longer families live in temporary accommodation, the more likely they are to attribute to it their worsening health.

It is important that we should be able to deal with those issues, but there is no doubt that housing benefit and the ability to access housing benefit resources are inextricably linked with building more social homes and with the whole of social housing policy within the Scottish Parliament. Karen Campbell, the director of policy and operations at Homes for Scotland, stated:

“Scotland’s housing crisis affects all tenures, whether for social/private rent or sale. This is having a severe impact on the lives of Scots across the whole country, particularly young people and growing families. No other sector impacts such a wide range of policy issues yet the number of new homes being built has fallen to its lowest level in some 70 years, threatening Scotland’s social and economic well-being.”

From the results of the Shelter survey, we can see that the social wellbeing of many families, and particularly the children in those families, is a real issue.

Devolving housing benefit to Scotland would afford the Scottish Parliament substantial additional funds to address the shortfall. It would unlock up to £1.8 billion of resources, the largest spend on a single benefit in Scotland after the old age state pension. That could, over time, be invested in the provision of new housing stock in Scotland. I appreciate that that cannot happen

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overnight, because there would have to be some mechanism to allow the fund to be accessed—potentially through prudential borrowing, which local authorities could use to reduce housing benefit and build more houses. That would not only serve to alleviate the pressure on social housing, but create jobs and help to depress housing costs across the private rented sector. As the Joseph Rowntree Foundation noted,

“investing in affordable supply will place downward pressure on rents and subsequently reduce the burden of housing costs upon the budgets of low income households living in the private rented sector in Scotland.”

That point is hugely important. The Government have tried to come down incredibly hard on the housing benefit bill, but it has doubled in the past decade or so—they have not been able to deal with the supply and demand issue. The number of my constituents who end up in the much more expensive private rented sector—almost double the rent of social or affordable housing—clearly pushes up the housing benefit bill. Before the Secretary of State, or the governor of Scotland, jumps to his feet and tells us that the housing benefit bill is going up because of worklessness, let me state the reality: nearly 70% of my constituents in receipt of housing benefit are actually in work. This is a huge issue not just in terms of social impact, but in getting the housing benefit bill down. We have to get people into much more affordable housing.

As an added and not insignificant bonus, devolving housing benefit would, as we have discussed, allow the Scottish Parliament to put an end to one of the cruellest and most iniquitous policies of recent years—the bedroom tax. We need to consider double devolution, a point made regularly in these debates, as the Scottish Parliament is very centralist. We need to devolve power down to the communities best able to use them. For example, housing benefit should be administered at the local authority level because each local authority has its own housing needs and demands—for example, in respect of key workers and specific demographics. I hope that these strong arguments will convince the Government and hon. Members to support our new clause 28.

The Bill could also be enhanced on the provision of childcare, which Labour’s new clause 53 would do by devolving the childcare element of universal credit to the Scottish Parliament. The childcare element is closely linked to the provision of employment support programmes, and devolving it would increase the capacity of the Scottish Parliament and local authorities to help parents obtain and remain in employment by assisting them with the rapidly escalating cost of childcare—the cost of childcare in Scotland has risen much higher than in the rest of the UK. It is one of the main obstacles to parents entering and remaining in the labour market. Devolving the childcare element would afford the Scottish Parliament a valuable new mechanism for removing that obstacle and allowing parents to enter the jobs market.

Dr McCormick, the Scotland adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, stated in response to the Smith commission proposals that

“the costs of childcare in Scotland are high by international standards and rise much faster than inflation... Childcare is a clear example where both closer alignment with the Scottish Government’s childcare offer and stronger incentives to invest are

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needed. The Bill should empower the Scottish Government to vary childcare allowances via Universal Credit, on the same basis as housing allowances.”

New clause 53 would provide for the power to be devolved to the Scottish Government so that they can do precisely that, and I hope that the Government and hon. Members across the House see the value of supporting it.

I wish to turn briefly to other amendments, chiefly to new clauses 39, 40, 44 and 46, in the name of the SNP, and to new clause 55, in the name of the SNP’s favourite Conservative, the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh). As I said, there is no fundamental problem with the devolution of the entire social security system—or, indeed, of the entire income tax system or any of these other policies. They do, however, have one thing in common. New clause 55 would end the UK-wide welfare state, and we do not wish to see an end to it—that will not come as a surprise to the House. We completely reject anything that would end the UK-wide welfare state. In the context of keeping the UK-wide welfare state together, it would not be desirable to devolve to the Scottish Parliament powers that the Smith agreement stipulated should remain reserved—for example, around Jobcentre Plus, national insurance contributions and child benefit.

Andrew Gwynne: In the past, my hon. Friend has spoken passionately about the need to pool resources and risks across the whole UK. Does he share my concern that the effective ending of a UK-wide national insurance system would also end the pooling of those risks and responsibilities for a UK-wide welfare state?

Ian Murray: My hon. Friend must have brilliant eyesight. I am not sure whether it is the glasses, whether he is just insightful or whether he can read minds, but, believe it or not, I am about to come to that. Perhaps we are on the same wavelength.

I shall examine some of those issues now. I am a little confused, because I am not sure whether the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford) moved new clauses 39 and 40 on the devolution of national insurance contributions. [Interruption.] She might be moving them later. I know she spoke to them, but I am unaware that she moved them. For the record, we would oppose the devolution of national insurance contributions, for the very reason that my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) has just set out. The pooling of risks and resources is explicit in national insurance contributions. The UK national insurance system is the largest insurance scheme of all and secures benefits to all through the widest possible risk pool.

The SNP’s new clauses seek to devolve national insurance in a manner that betrays a basic lack of understanding about the highly integrated and interlocking nature of the social security system, and they would mean having to deal with a huge array of complex issues. Even if we went beyond the principle of the pooling and sharing of resources, there would have to be a separate Scottish national insurance fund to receive all future national insurance contributions from Scottish taxpayers; all existing contributory benefits accumulated up to the vested date would have to be honoured by the UK national insurance fund; and transfers from the Scottish to the UK national insurance fund would have to follow Scottish taxpayers moving elsewhere in the UK.

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Some issues were mentioned by the hon. Member for Gainsborough in speaking to his new clause 3, which related to the first part of the Bill. In talking about full fiscal autonomy, he mentioned that there would have to be significant redress to the UK national insurance fund. He raised issues about survivors’ benefits and where the people affected were living. As well as the principle of not devolving national insurance, there is also the matter of how to deal with the complex issues that would be raised across the United Kingdom.

4.30 pm

At this point, I would like to look at the supporting evidence and testimony of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, which has been superb in providing briefings on some amendments and commenting on aspects of the Bill. In a briefing, which I am sure Members have read, it made astute observations about why devolving national insurance is fundamentally not the best idea for either the UK or Scotland. It said:

“National insurance is used to calculate entitlements to the second state pension and entitlement to some of the old forms of JSA and ESA that are still reserved through Universal Credit. Indeed, many people will have topped-up their NI contributions in order to secure their pension. SCVO does not support the devolution of pensions, and therefore, due to the potential confusion and unintended consequences that may arise, we also do not support the devolution of National Insurance.”

A plethora of other organisations would warn against the matrix of national insurance being devolved—including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which has been quoted positively on a number of occasions by SNP Members this afternoon only 12 hours or so after they completely trashed the organisation for its analysis of full fiscal autonomy. I am glad that there has been a conversion and they now support the impartial and independent Institute for Fiscal Studies—alternatively, if I may be so bold, it could be that it suits the SNP to quote it on some occasions, but not on others.

I have laid out the Labour party’s position on devolution. We will support the SNP’s amendments 118 and 119 if they wish to press them, and we will withdraw ours as we are not voting on the same principle of removing the vetoes. I hope that the Secretary of State will give us some positive news—that we might not have to vote at all. Would not that be a wonderful thing for this Committee? We could get away early this evening if the Secretary of State came to the Dispatch Box and spent 90 seconds saying, “Everyone is absolutely right, and I am wrong. I am going to accept all these amendments, so Scotland can flourish with the welfare state that it deserves and wants to design.”

I finish where I started—with the Labour party as the guardians of the welfare state across the United Kingdom. There is a significant difference between what we believe and what the SNP believes about breaking up that welfare state. These are broad principles; neither is right or wrong. We believe that there should be pooling and sharing across the UK—a principle that we have shared and that has provided a thread running through all our amendments. What we wish to see is a Bill that responds to the Smith agreement and goes further than it in allowing the Scottish Parliament and, indeed, the Scottish people, to design something in the best interests of a welfare state that fits not just Scotland, but Scotland’s communities.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1409

David Mundell: On this occasion, I am afraid I will disappoint the hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) because I am going to speak for more than 90 seconds. I have enjoyed hearing the full contribution rather than just interventions from the hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford), although the length was probably not that different. The hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Patricia Gibson) gave a spirited contribution, although I did not recognise myself in her description. As for the hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard), we are in agreement on so many things; it is only bits in his contribution that spoil it. I do trust the Scottish Parliament and I want it to make significant decisions on welfare unimpeded by the views of the UK Government. I shall say more about clause 25(3) later, but there is no restriction on the policy decisions of the Scottish Government and Parliament in relation to those provisions. The issue is about timing.

Let me make some wider comments about what was said by the hon. Gentleman. As I have said throughout, I am reflecting on points that have been made during all our discussions. I have given that undertaking not just to Parliament but to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, and, indeed, to the Scottish Government. If Members want selective quotations from Mr Swinney’s letter, I will give them one that I think sums up the situation.

“When we met on 25 June we agreed on a programme of work to be undertaken before Report stage with a view to producing a Bill that reflected the Smith commission, the concerns of stakeholders and the views of the Scottish Parliament.”

That is absolutely my position, and I am committed to working with the Deputy First Minister in that regard.

Tommy Sheppard: Does the Secretary of State not accept that, if we read further in the letter, we find that the Deputy First Minister fears that that process is not going to take place? We, too, are marvelling at the fact that after four days of debate, the Secretary of State still refuses to accept one single line of one single amendment that has been put to him.

David Mundell: I think that the hon. Gentleman has got the order of the statements in the letter wrong. Mr Swinney says that if the process did not take place, the undertaking would obviously not be valid. That is of course correct, but my approach to the Bill is to proceed with it on the basis that it fully reflects the Smith commission proposals, and that it takes account of the issues and concerns that have been raised.

SNP Members have tabled a number of amendments with which I do not agree, but which I think might be described as Smith-plus. We are listening to the points being made about the amendments, but we are also listening to what everyone is saying about the Bill in its current form and how it reflects Smith. I have appeared before the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, and we have had a lengthy discussion about the clauses that we have debated today. I expect to have further discussions with the Committee, and there will, of course, be further parliamentary debate.

Much of what is being said is predicated on the view that the Scottish Government and the United Kingdom Government are always at odds. That is simply not the case, and it should not be given common currency.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1410

On 90% of issues, the two Governments work together very closely for the benefit of the people of Scotland. They are working together closely on very serious ongoing issues at this moment, and there are absolutely no problems and no need to resort to external review processes. The Smith process established a shared response for welfare, and I think that it shows that we must adopt a new mindset. That, to me, is what the spirit of the Smith commission is about: working together in a shared space. A commitment to doing that is as important as anything in the Bill.

The hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford) is always extremely passionate about these issues. I generally consider her to be a reasonable person until she stands up to speak in the Chamber. The way she has portrayed the relationship between the two Governments is simply not correct. We have established a joint ministerial working group on welfare, and last Thursday I met Alex Neil—no doubt there will be a letter about that meeting—to discuss the transitional arrangements and the next meeting of the joint ministerial group. Our discussions have been very productive and have led to a great deal of good work on the transition of powers and the establishment of processes in Scotland. I see no reason to believe that that cannot continue. That is what people in Scotland want: they want the two Parliaments and Governments to work together. They do not want to see constant bickering and I am making a determined effort to ensure that that does not happen and that we can deliver a process.

I am conscious of, and respect and take into account, the views of charities and voluntary organisations.

Neil Gray (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP): If the Secretary of State is listening to civic Scotland, third sector organisations, the Scottish Government and SNP Members, which of the amendments tabled by us and Labour will he accept?

David Mundell: I will repeat what I said earlier: I have agreed a programme of work to be undertaken before Report, with a view to producing a Bill that reflects the Smith commission, the concerns of stakeholders and the views of the Scottish Parliament. I will reflect on the amendments and the case that has been made for them.

I am listening to what has been said about clause 25(3)(b), which is a sensible consultation requirement about timing, not policy. Good governance in Scotland will require that decisions taken by the Scottish Government about new powers can be implemented in a timeous way. That is what it is about—respect in a shared space and working together on welfare.

Ian Murray: Could the Secretary of State give a practical example of a policy that the Scottish Government may introduce whose delivery mechanism comes through the Department for Work and Pensions, so that we can be clear and trust that what he is saying is correct and that there is no veto?

David Mundell: I do not yet know what proposals the Scottish Government will make. I have made it clear that I would like to know what they will be, because we have heard significant criticisms of UK Government policy. That is, of course, legitimate in this Parliament and, indeed, the Scottish Parliament, but we need to

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1411

know the detail. The joint ministerial group on welfare wants to understand where the Scottish Government want to go with specific programmes, so that we can help and facilitate the transitional arrangements and deliver what they want to do.

I want the Scottish Government to be held to account. I do not want the continuation of the current situation, whereby people stand up in Parliament and make grand statements for which they are not held accountable and without explaining where the money will come from or how the system will work in practice. A lot of us who live in Scotland know that what the Scottish Government say does not always—shock, horror—happen in reality. I want a system for which the Scottish Government will be held accountable and under which they will have welfare powers and will have to set out for the people of Scotland how much their policies will cost and where the money will come from.

I said in a previous debate that my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh) was the 57th SNP Member, and today he has proved that by tabling new clause 55, which is an even stronger proposal than what the SNP says is its policy. It is a fact that no Scottish MP has tabled an amendment to devolve UK pensions, and that speaks volumes. It tells us that even the supporters of independence accept that there are parts of welfare where it makes sense to share resources and risk with the rest of the UK. It is clear that pensions are safer and more affordable if we work with everyone else in the UK and that it would be wrong to devolve UK pensions.

MPs have to respect the referendum result, at which people in Scotland voted to remain part of a United Kingdom and hold on to the benefits of being part of it. Looking after the people of Scotland who are retired, unwell or out of work is now a shared space in which the UK Government and the Scottish Government need to work together. This is about getting the right balance and having the best of both worlds. Sometimes it will be right for people in Cumbernauld to know that they have exactly the same protection and support as people in Cardiff or Carlisle. On other occasions, the Scottish Parliament might want to offer different help for people in Scotland, using the taxes that have been raised in Scotland.

4.45 pm

The hon. Member for Edinburgh South spoke to various amendments. I do not share his views, and I do not believe that he made a case for the proposals on childcare. I shall comment in more detail, however, on what he said about new clause 28, which covers an issue that has been raised before. The Scottish Government already have competence to work with all housing sectors in Scotland to support and encourage new builds. Indeed, they have been very active in heralding their affordable housing supply programme, which ranges across all types of tenure.

The Scottish Government also have the ability to regulate the private rental market, and I believe they have been active in that area. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 included a number of provisions to deal with what might be classed as standards of housing in the private sector, such as powers for local authorities to tackle disrepair in the sector. As regards funding, hon. Members will no doubt realise that housing benefit is paid to claimants for the express purpose of meeting an

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1412

individual’s housing costs when the eligibility rules are met. Because it covers rent at a specific point in time, there would be no margin from which to create a house building investment fund from housing benefit.

However, we have already heard how the powers in the Bill will give Scottish Ministers flexibility over housing costs within universal credit. That flexibility could be used to reduce housing costs for renters, and if Scottish Ministers wished to spend in other areas in order to generate funding, they could do so. There is no need for housing benefit to be devolved to allow for that. Establishing such a fund would also require appropriate powers to be put in place.

It was interesting to hear hon. Members’ assumptions about the amount of money they would have available for investment in housing. The figure of £1.8 billion was mentioned. That equates to the total amount of housing benefit expenditure in Scotland, which appears to suggest that hon. Members are saying that housing benefit should be abolished in Scotland. I am assuming that that is not really their intention, but the amendment could still have serious consequences for Scottish landlords in the social and private sectors. Hon. Members need to think carefully about the implications for the business viability of housing associations and private landlords. Housing benefit is a payment towards the rental liabilities of people on benefits. It is not intended to fund the expansion of housing stock.

Ian Murray: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for that explanation, but the point that he is missing is that there is no incentive for either local government or the Scottish Government to build new affordable homes, because the housing benefit bill comes from a different Government—the UK Government. Devolving responsibility for housing benefit would devolve the responsibility to build more affordable and social homes and the accountability for so doing.

David Mundell: This is a matter for the hon. Gentleman’s and my colleagues to raise in the Scottish Parliament. They need to hold the Scottish Government to account for their housing policies.

The hon. Gentleman’s amendment would also carry a significant cost, and although it appears to be a simple proposition, that is in fact far from being the case. On that basis, I am unable to recommend acceptance of the proposal. As I have said, however, I am reflecting on all the amendments that have been tabled. My intention is to move as quickly as possible to achieve the devolution of these significant welfare powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that we can move on and have a proper, mature debate in Scotland about how the powers should be used and who is going to pay the cost of any additional benefits that might be proposed by a future Scottish Government.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford: We have had an interesting and wide-ranging debate on the amendments this afternoon, perhaps more wide-ranging than I could ever have envisaged. I am not sure how we managed to get sidetracked into Greece so early in the afternoon’s debate, and the comparison between Greece and Scotland did seem rather ill-conceived. It was, of course, refuted ably and comprehensively by the hon. Friend of the right hon. Member for Wokingham (John Redwood), the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh).

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1413

However different Scotland and Greece might be in cultural, economic and climatic terms—

John Redwood rose

Dr Whiteford: I will not give way just at the moment, because I think we have talked quite enough about Greece. I want to make a couple of substantive points about the issues that were raised, however.

Whatever differences Scotland and Greece have, what we have in common, apart from our patron saint, is the fact that people in Scotland will feel great sympathy for their fellow European citizens in Greece and will have a sense of solidarity about the level of deprivation they are having to undergo. My hon. Friend the Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Mr MacNeil), who is not in the Chamber at the moment, made the important point that the real morality tale from the Greek situation that is relevant to our discussions today is that austerity does not work and that we need the power to create alternatives to it.

The other salutary tale we heard this afternoon came from the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan) who, with his usual eloquence, drew on his experiences in Northern Ireland to warn of the difficulties ahead if we fail to legislate clearly. He also warned of the dangers of what has been termed “karaoke legislation” in Northern Ireland, in which people have powers but not the power to enforce those powers.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford) made a powerful speech that highlighted some of the real differences between the challenges we face with welfare and pensions in Scotland and those in other parts of the UK, pointing out the low life expectancy and the poor value that Scottish pensioners get. Indeed, we have some of the lowest pensions in Europe and Scottish pensioners end up about £10,000 each worse off because of our pension arrangements. My hon. Friend the Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Patricia Gibson) drew attention to the issues with the work allowance, which is a really good example of what we might do with these powers to improve the support we give to lower paid workers.

Above all, we need to talk about the veto. My hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh East (Tommy Sheppard), who is quickly becoming one of the stars of this Parliament, set out how new clauses 45 and 46 would enable constructive working between the UK and Scottish Governments. That means not just fine words about constructive working but fine working.

To move on to those who spoke from the Front Benches, I welcome the support from the hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) for our lead amendment and for amendment 119. I listened very carefully to the Secretary of State’s conclusion to the debate. I fully accept that there are constructive relationships through the joint ministerial working group and many other parts of the Scottish and UK Governments, but when there are genuine differences of opinion and of ideological direction as well as different policies and different circumstances, we need the mechanisms and the legislation that enable us to deal with them effectively. That is what we still do not see on the face of the Bill.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1414

The problem is that the Bill, in its current form, does not cut the mustard. The Secretary of State’s position on this could probably be summed up by the old saying, “They’re aw oot o’ step but oor Jock.” There is a consensus in Scotland, among all the other Scottish MPs, among MSPs, including MSPs from the Secretary of State’s own party, and among civil society that the veto needs to be taken out of the Bill. I urge the Secretary of State to listen. Part of the problem in Scotland for too long has been that people have not listened, but the voices of the people of Scotland will not be silenced. If the Secretary of State thinks that these issues will go away, I can tell him that they will not. We have heard salutary lessons about why we need to have the legislation pinned down and secure.

Earlier in the debate, I should also have stated my intention to move new clauses 39 and 40 and I am grateful to the hon. Member for Edinburgh South for flagging up that omission. We will press—

Ian Murray: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Dr Whiteford: I am just summing up. We will press new clause 39 to a vote later, and in the meantime we also want to vote on amendment 118.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The

Committee

divided:

Ayes 261, Noes 313.

Division No. 32]

[

4.54 pm

AYES

Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Arkless, Richard

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bardell, Hannah

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Blomfield, Paul

Boswell, Philip

Brake, rh Tom

Brennan, Kevin

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Byrne, rh Liam

Cadbury, Ruth

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Douglas

Chapman, Jenny

Cherry, Joanna

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, Jeremy

Cowan, Ronnie

Cox, Jo

Coyle, Neil

Crawley, Angela

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

Day, Martyn

De Piero, Gloria

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, Stuart

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Fletcher, Colleen

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Goodman, Helen

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Hendrick, Mr Mark

Hendry, Drew

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hillier, Meg

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Khan, rh Sadiq

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lamb, rh Norman

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Law, Chris

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Ian C.

Lynch, Holly

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

Mc Nally, John

McCabe, Steve

McCaig, Callum

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGarry, Natalie

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

McLaughlin, Anne

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morris, Grahame M.

Mullin, Roger

Murray, Ian

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Powell, Lucy

Pugh, John

Qureshi, Yasmin

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Jamie

Rees, Christina

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rotheram, Steve

Salmond, rh Alex

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheppard, Tommy

Sherriff, Paula

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smyth, Karin

Spellar, rh Mr John

Starmer, Keir

Stephens, Chris

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Tami, Mark

Thewliss, Alison

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

Weir, Mike

West, Catherine

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Woodcock, John

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Liz Saville Roberts

and

Hywel Williams

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donelan, Michelle

Dorries, Nadine

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

Simon Kirby

and

Sarah Newton

Question accordingly negatived.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1415

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1416

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1417

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1418

Clause 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 25 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 26

Employment support

Hannah Bardell (Livingston) (SNP): I beg to move amendment 120, page 27, line 22, leave out from beginning to “for” in line 23 and insert “Arrangements”.

Amendments 120, 121 and 122 make provision for the Scottish Parliament to have power to legislate on arrangements for employment support programmes.

The Temporary Chair (Sir David Amess): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 121, page 27, leave out lines 27 to 29 and insert—

“(b) assisting persons (including persons claiming reserved benefits) who are unemployed or at risk of long-term unemployment to select, obtain and retain employment”.

Amendments 120, 121 and 122 make provision for the Scottish Parliament to have power to legislate on arrangements for employment support programmes.

Amendment 113, page 27, line 29, leave out

“where the assistance is for at least a year”.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1419

This would allow the provision of employment programmes where assistance is for less than a year. The Scottish Government could develop support programmes for those who repeatedly move in and out of short periods of work, or admit people to the Work Programme early.

Amendment 122, page 27, line 34, leave out “another person” and insert

“a person other than the person making the arrangements”.

Amendments 120, 121 and 122 make provision for the Scottish Parliament to have power to legislate on arrangements for employment support programmes.

Amendment 9, page 27, line 36, after “person”, insert

“in conjunction with the local authority”.

Amendment 114, page 27, line 39, at end insert—

“(b) provision of support for disabled persons in the form of non-repayable payments to enable them to access employment, remain in employment, or move into self-employment or start a business.”

This amendment provides for the devolution of the Access-to-work scheme.

Amendment 10, page 27, line 41, at end insert “and

(d) temporary jobs paid at least the national minimum wage providing a route back into further work.”

Clauses 26 to 30 stand part.

New clause 43—Job search and support

In Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, omit Section H3 (job search and support).”

This new clause would devolve employment support programmes to the Scottish Parliament.

Hannah Bardell: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Amess. I am delighted that we have support for the amendments from our friends in the Labour party. As the SNP spokesperson on fair work and employment, I rise to speak up for the many who will look to the Scotland Bill to deliver on Smith and give the Scottish Parliament the tangible new powers so trumpeted by those on the Government Benches.

We on the SNP Benches find the powers on offer today sadly lacking, and I am disappointed to see the lack of willingness to accept any SNP amendments. Smith was clear on the devolution of employment programmes. He said:

“"The Scottish Parliament will have all powers over support for unemployed people through the employment programmes currently contracted by DWP (which are presently delivered mainly, but not exclusively, through the Work Programme and Work Choice) on expiry of the current commercial arrangements. The Scottish Parliament will have the power to decide how it operates these core employment support services. Funding for these services will be transferred from the UK Parliament in line with the principles set out in paragraph 95.”

However, the Scottish Parliament Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, in its interim report on the draft Scotland Bill clauses, considered at paragraph 335 that

“the clauses as currently drafted do not fully implement the Smith Commission recommendations. The Committee considers that the Smith Commission intended that all employment programmes currently contracted by DWP should be devolved. Therefore, the Committee recommends that any future Bill should not place any restriction on the type of person receiving support or in regard to the length of unemployment any person has experienced. The Committee considers that this should include the devolution of the Access to Work Programme.”

At paragraph 337 the Committee recommended that

“the principles which will govern the operation of inter-governmental relations with regard to welfare, including employment support, should be placed in any future Bill devolving power in this area.”

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1420

The Committee expected that that would include the principles by which the Scottish and UK Parliaments could

“maintain scrutiny and oversight of the inter-governmental machinery with regard to welfare and employment support.”

The employment support clause, clause 26, as introduced, does not have any changes from the draft clauses. The UK Government have not, therefore, followed the views of the all-party Scottish Parliament Committee, on which there were Conservative members, and the Bill, as it stands, does not deliver on Smith.

There is no evidence of the respect agenda in the Bill. It is vital that the employment powers give Scotland the power to give Scottish solutions to Scottish challenges. It is not good enough to promise one thing in the Smith commission and then to come to this House with a Bill that does not live up to the promises made. Furthermore, the overwhelming mandate that the Scottish people have given the SNP indicates that they expect this Parliament to deliver beyond Smith. Smith is not the floor or the ceiling of our aspirations for the people of Scotland.

Andrew Gwynne: The hon. Lady makes a compelling case for employment support to be devolved to Scotland, but does she agree that it needs to be devolved still further within Scotland so that local authorities in Scotland can develop work programmes to suit their needs? The needs of Glasgow, for example, are very different from the needs of the highlands.

Hannah Bardell: The hon. Gentleman makes a fair point and I agree with him to some extent. We have had significant success with our Opportunities for All programme. He obviously has some insight into what I was going to say. I will come on to that later in my speech.

The people of Scotland deserve better. We need a streamlined system that looks holistically at how we support people back to work and what kind of employment they are offered, rather than the random approach that seems to take place much of the time at present. We need to look at people’s skill sets and expertise and what potential they have to offer. We hear much talk of aspiration from the Government Benches, yet the stream of people I have had through my door at constituency surgeries in Livingston in the past few weeks, concerned about benefit cuts and sanctions, suggests that the concept of aspiration and opportunity certainly did not make its way into this part of the Bill. If we are truly to give the unemployed opportunities through these programmes, the Scottish Parliament must have the powers it needs at its disposal, to tailor these programmes for those most in need.

As the devolution committee pointed out at paragraph 303, the original Scotland Act 1998 reserved employment policy. That included job search and support, with the exception of careers services and training for employment. Draft clause 22, which became clause 26 in the published Bill, set out further exceptions to the reservation in the 1998 Act: assisting disabled persons to select, obtain and retain employment, and assisting persons claiming reserved benefits who are at risk of long-term unemployment to select, obtain and retain employment, where the assistance is for at least a year.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1421

However, a range of organisations expressed a view on whether the suggested clause delivered on the Smith agreement. At paragraph 306 Inclusion Scotland is quoted as saying in its written evidence:

“The Smith Commission proposes that ‘The Scottish Parliament will have all powers over support for unemployed people through the employment programmes currently contracted by DWP.’ However, both the narrative and draft clauses appear to restrict this power to employment support schemes that last over a year. It is not clear why this restriction has been included and it appears to be a direct contradiction of the Smith Commission proposal.”

Inclusion Scotland argued that

“the most effective employment support schemes are short term schemes designed to identify the barriers preventing someone gaining employment and providing support, training and assistance to overcome these. If a scheme lasts for more than a year without supporting someone into employment, surely it has failed?”

Inclusion Scotland also pointed out that the UK Government also appear to have arbitrarily applied the reference to conditionality and sanctioning for universal credit to devolved employment support schemes, including the use of mandatory placements. It states:

“It is not clear how this is compatible with the Scottish Parliament having all powers over support for unemployed people through the employment programme, for example if the Scottish Parliament determines that participation in such schemes should be voluntary.”

5.15 pm

The Scottish Government’s view, presented to the devolution committee, was that the proposed clause fell short of implementing the Smith commission’s recommendations and that the Scottish Parliament should have all powers over support for unemployed people through the employment programmes currently contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions. In a follow-up letter after giving evidence to the Committee, Deputy First Minister John Swinney stated:

“We strongly agree with the concerns about employment raised in evidence to the Committee. The main effect of Clause 22”—

now clause 26—

“of the draft Scotland Bill suggested by UK Government is that it would devolve Work Programme and Work Choice only. We believe that devolution of employment support on this basis is inconsistent with both the letter and spirit of paragraph 57 of the Smith Commission report”.

The relationship between devolved and reserved powers and the two Governments is particularly important in relation to employment programmes. The importance of devolving those powers was highlighted by Jim McCormick of the Social Security Advisory Committee when he stated in evidence to the devolution committee:

“It strikes me that a revised work programme could help people at risk of long-term unemployment and disabled people into work and could support them in staying in work. Under the proposals, we might end up in a situation in which future public service providers in Scotland—which might be third sector providers—would be accountable to the Scottish Parliament for their financial performance and their programme performance but would still have to apply a conditionality system and a sanctions regime to those programmes.

As well as creating problems for claimants, that would create strange incentives for providers—it would create incentives for gaming and false reporting. That is a particularly jagged edge, because one thing that we know about the current social security system and the welfare reforms is that a tougher sanctions system has caused a great deal of difficulty for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. That jagged edge around

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1422

conditionality is a particular cause for concern.”—[

Scottish Parliament Official Report

,

Devolution (Further Powers) Committee

, 19 February 2015; c. 15.]

In paragraph 311 of its report the devolution committee explored the interaction between reserved and devolved programmes

“particularly with regard to the DWP conditionality and sanctions regime remaining reserved”.

The report stated that that

“has been of particular concern to some of our witnesses.”

For example, John Dickie told the Committee that

“as far as working-age benefits are concerned, the current reserved conditionality and sanctions regime, which is undermining people’s attempts to move into work and towards the labour market, will still apply. That comes back to Jim McCormick’s point about the jagged edge between what we in Scotland might want to do differently in devolved employment programmes and the requirement for those programmes to work within a reserved benefits regime that too often imposes arbitrary conditions or conditions that are not helpful in supporting people to move into work and which imposes damaging sanctions on them when they fail to meet those conditions.”

That has been discussed widely today. John also stated that he hoped that we could

“reduce the number of inappropriate or arbitrary tasks that people have to undertake to meet the benefit requirements. However, there will be a limit to that, because the benefits regime will be as it is now—unless, of course, we manage to get it changed in the way that we want.”

If the Conservative Government continue to vote as they have done, we will certainly not get what we want and people will continue to be sanctioned in the most iniquitous way. We in the SNP want an end to the punitive and iniquitous benefit sanctions that disproportionately affect women and vulnerable people and often those with mental health problems. In a modern society such as ours, how can we justify, or indeed explain, nearly 150,000 sanctions being applied in Scotland, affecting nearly 85,000 individuals, including nearly 3,000 disabled people, between the end of 2012 and September 2014? If we want to help people to find a job, how is making them hungry and unable to pay bills and increasing their debt supporting them to do that?

Professor David Webster has highlighted that the number of sanctions resulting from the Work programme is, sadly, considerably higher than the number of people obtaining jobs from it. In Scotland, 46,265 sanctions were applied between June 2011 and March 2014 because claimants failed to participate in the Work programme. During the same period, 26,740 job outcomes resulted from the Work programme. That is rather ironic and very sad.

Dame Anne Begg, the former Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, has said:

“Benefit sanctions are controversial because they withhold subsistence-level benefits from people who may have little or no other income. We agree that benefit conditionality is necessary but it is essential that policy is based on clear evidence of what works in terms of encouraging people to take up the support which is available to help them get back into work. The policy must then be applied fairly and proportionately. The system must also be capable of identifying and protecting vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems and learning disabilities.”

Turning to the Access to Work programme and the lack of clarity in this area, John Swinney said:

“In respect of Access to Work, we have asked the UK Government to clarify whether Access to Work will be devolved under clause 22”—

now clause 26—

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1423

“and they have made clear their expectation that as this programme is a JobCentre Plus service to customers and not a contracted employment programme it will remain reserved.”

In response, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions explained that there were two different definitions because

“claimants need different types of support to enter the job market and that, in the early stages, some of this comes from Jobcentre Plus, which remains a reserved issue. In the longer-term, claimants are referred onto Work Programme or Work Choice and the aspects of the provisions to be devolved.”

In their response to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee report, the Scottish Government made their view clear:

“Clause 26 of the Scotland Bill is inconsistent with the letter and spirit of paragraph 57 of the Smith Commission Heads Of Agreement”.

Scottish Ministers think the relevant clause of the Bill “contains limitations” that mean it does not deliver on Smith in full. Those limitations are that support can only be provided to, first, those at risk of long-term unemployment; secondly, those claiming reserved benefits; or, thirdly, for assistance lasting for at least one year.

The key policy point is that the way to tackle long-term unemployment is to intervene early. Indeed, one of our main criticisms of the current Work programme is the time people have to be unemployed before the programme is open to them. We wait until people are long-term unemployed—nine months for those up to 24, and 12 months thereafter—before acting, when we should act to support them into employment before they become long-term unemployed.

Ian Murray: The hon. Lady is making a marvellous speech about the devolution of the Work programme. I had a private Member’s Bill last year to devolve the Work programme not just to the Scottish Parliament but to the local authorities that are delivering many of the programmes. Would she go further and agree with double devolution down to local authorities?

Hannah Bardell: I would certainly be interested in taking a closer look at that and discussing it with my colleagues. I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s intervention.

To deal with youth unemployment, that approach is supported by the EU. We are keen for the powers that we were promised to be delivered to Scotland. Delivery of those powers and agreement on our proposals today would help to create a more joined-up approach to employment service provision for disabled people, as well as for the many others who have been mentioned, and more integrated support for these vulnerable groups.

Although it is demand-led, the current DWP spend on Access to Work in Scotland is disproportionately low. The Scottish Government have previously stated that the programme should be devolved to allow us to promote a more equitable share of spend in Scotland and to get more disabled people into sustained employment.

In summary, it is not just the SNP that sees significant flaws in the Bill. Citizens Advice Scotland notes:

“The Smith Commission Report…provided that the Scottish Parliament should have powers over all employment programmes currently contracted by the DWP. However, Clause 26 of the Bill restricts the powers devolved to employment support programmes that last at least a year. It is unclear why this restriction has been included; the Bill as drafted would appear to only devolve the Work Programme and Work Choice; which is inconsistent with Smith. Clause 26 as currently drafted does not clearly devolve powers over the Access to Work Scheme.”

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1424

Both the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish Association for Mental Health support the amendments, which serve to devolve all employment powers and functions to Scotland covering Access to Work, devolution of services and Jobcentre Plus.

In Scotland, with the limited powers we have, we have proven that we can make a difference to people’s lives. The SNP Scottish Government have done their best to mitigate the damage done by Westminster cuts to date, but time is running out. If we do not gain the powers that were promised, we cannot continue to protect the vulnerable and grow our economy.

We have an excellent track record on apprenticeships and training for young people. In 2007, just 15,000 people started modern apprenticeships. We are now delivering more than 25,000 of them, and we will increase the number to 30,000 by 2020. To reply to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne), the Scottish Government’s Opportunities for All programme has also been a significant success, with more than 90% of young people going on to positive destinations. In my own county of West Lothian, the figure stands at more than 96%. We are glad to announce today that the Scottish Government has got its 250th business, a nursery in West Lothian, to sign up to the living wage.

The opportunity to work is one that the vast majority of people in Scotland seek. The SNP wants dignity in work for all, and I commend our proposals to the Committee.

Kate Green: I will speak particularly to amendments 113, 9, 114 and 10, and much of what I will say will echo what the hon. Member for Livingston (Hannah Bardell) said about the devolution of employment programmes.

It is clear that there are different labour markets not just between England, Scotland and Wales but within those nations. That is why I echo the point that my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) made about the opportunity that our amendments and the SNP amendments offer not just for devolution to Scotland but for double devolution of labour market programmes within Scotland.

Andrew Gwynne: As a Greater Manchester MP like myself, my hon. Friend will know that as part of the cities and devolution package, Greater Manchester will be invited to bid for the next phase of the Work programme. Does that not suggest that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) said,double devolution is needed in Scotland so that communities can develop work programmes that are specific to them rather than centralised in Holyrood?

Kate Green: I agree. The intention stated in the Labour manifesto was to devolve labour market programmes to what we described as a combined authority footprint. That would enable recognition of the fact that local labour markets differ and recognition of the different industrial history and characteristics of people in particular parts of the country. Importantly, it would allow close alignment with the skills and industrial opportunities in particular communities. We want to see that opportunity for the devolution of labour market programmes to a sensible, localised level; I doubt whether it would be the whole of Scotland, because labour markets differ significantly within Scotland. There are considerable differences between the highlands and the central belt conurbations, for example.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1425


Mike Weir (Angus) (SNP): I am listening carefully to what the hon. Lady is saying, but does she not recognise the difficulties for an area such as my own, where unemployment is low but so are wages, and in which there are fairly prosperous parts as well as parts that are not prosperous? It is difficult to say that a local authority area is suitable for devolving responsibility down to.

Kate Green: I readily accept that a local authority area may be too small. What is important is to get the geography right, and the whole of Scotland might not be right. We want the opportunity to explore the right geography for devolution rather than assuming that centralising responsibility in Holyrood will necessarily be the best way of meeting the needs of labour markets across Scotland.

It is also important to recognise that devolving programmes only if they will last longer than a year misses the point for a lot of people who suffer poor employment outcomes. Our amendment 113 specifically addresses that point. Contrary to popular prejudice, it is extremely rare for people never to have worked. People who experience poor labour market outcomes have mostly been in and out of poor-quality, poorly paid work for many decades. That has often been true of many generations of their family. If we devolve the opportunity to develop labour market programmes to the Scottish Parliament at an earlier stage, we can break that cycle not of worklessness but of moving in and out of poor-quality work. Interventions could be developed that would enable people to sustain work and progress in it, which the Work programme has not succeeded in doing.

Neil Gray: Is it not better for people to find the right job for them than to find just any job?

Kate Green: There is certainly good and long-standing evidence, for example from the United States, that if more time is invested in equipping people with the skills and qualifications they need to move into better jobs with better pay, they are more likely to get into sustainable employment that means they will escape poverty. A shocking characteristic of our labour economy is that people often move into work but do not escape poverty, thereby contributing to the very high levels of in-work poverty in this country today.

5.30 pm

We would like earlier intervention and the opportunity to devolve programmes over a shorter period than 12 months. Amendment 10 would offer a replication of the successful future jobs fund that Labour introduced in the wake of the financial crash. The DWP’s own evaluation showed that fund to have been extremely effective, not just in rescuing people at that time of crisis when unemployment rose sharply, but because the long-term employment outcomes of those who went through that programme are significantly better than for those who were not offered that opportunity. The amendment offers the chance for the devolution and development of programmes such as the future jobs fund that the Scottish Parliament may be interested in developing.

I echo the comments of the hon. Member for Livingston (Hannah Bardell) on the Access to Work programme. It is integral to the labour market chances of disabled people that they have the financial support afforded by

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1426

that programme to enable any adjustments that may be necessary to allow them to participate in the workplace. That spans all levels of employment from entry-level to extremely senior jobs, and it is important that the Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to make the most of that fund.

Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West) (SNP): I was a Unison activist and I found that the Access to Work programme not only helps people get into work, but helps existing employees who develop a visual impairment, for example, to continue in employment. It is a device that helps people to stay in work, not just get into work.

Kate Green: The hon. Gentleman is right. The Access to Work programme is a device to help people enter, stay in and progress in work, and it supports very senior people in highly qualified positions. It would be regrettable if changes to the programme were to put that at risk.

There could be real advantage to devolving Access to Work or similar programmes because the decision-making and administration processes might be swifter and more attuned to the needs of the local labour market and workforce with that level of devolution. Given the problems that we know are being experienced with the national programme—which appears quite inflexible in the way it deals with people—perhaps the measure could be devolved as part of this package.

Ian Murray: Perhaps I should sit down and allow my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) to guess what might be in my speech—he could also give us Saturday’s lottery numbers while he is at it.

Andrew Gwynne: I’m not that good.

Ian Murray: He might not be that good. If he had won the lottery he would not be wearing that suit—I can be nasty to my own side, as well as to the SNP.

Clauses 26 to 30 are largely concerned with minor and technical changes to existing legislation. Amendment 113 would allow the provision of employment programmes where assistance is for less than one year. The reasoning behind that does not require much explanation, other than to point out that many people move jobs several times a year, especially in the current highly fluid labour market in which there is a dearth of long-term secure employment. Indeed, the labour market seems short-term and insecure with poorly paid work. Many people in part-time jobs are looking for full-time work, and many people are on zero-hours contracts.

The Smith agreement states that the Scottish Parliament

“will have all powers over support for unemployed people through the employment programmes currently contracted to DWP”.

However, clause 26 currently restricts the powers devolved to employment support programmes that last at least a year. Amendment 113 would remove that restriction to allow the development of programmes to support those who move in and out of work within one year.

Amendment 9 emphasises that employment support programmes in Scotland must be developed in close conjunction with local authorities. That will ensure that service delivery is tailored to the needs and circumstances of local communities and is responsive to the local jobs market. In that regard, we are happy to support

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1427

amendments 120, 121 and 122, which provide for the creation of new employment programmes in Scotland, on the understanding that they are developed and run in close conjunction with local authorities.

Mike Weir: Will the hon. Gentleman expand on the position of local authorities? I made the point to the hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston (Kate Green) about the nature of many local authorities in Scotland, which would make it slightly more difficult to devolve the issue to local authority level than in certain other areas.

Ian Murray: I agree to a certain extent. In the area the hon. Gentleman represents, many of the local authorities are either incredibly small in population terms or incredibly large in geographical terms, and that would have its challenges. But many local authorities work together on many aspects of Scottish local government life. For example, Edinburgh works closely with Midlothian, a local authority that is smaller than my constituency. East Lothian, West Lothian and Fife also tend to work together on many issues. While we would like to see double devolution to local authorities, it does not necessarily mean to one individual authority. Many authorities would probably work together to try to make the best use of work programmes and job opportunities.

Andrew Gwynne: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Ian Murray: I will give way to my hon. Friend, who will probably tell me what I am about to say.

Andrew Gwynne: I can tell him that the bonus ball will be 32.

The issue of local authorities is important. Of course, the Manchester example is not one single local authority: it is a combined authority of 10 metropolitan borough councils. It would also be possible in Scotland and other parts of the UK for local authorities to come together to bid for the work programmes.

Ian Murray: I hope the bonus ball this week is not 32, otherwise we will be in trouble.

My hon. Friend is right: it is about local authorities working together. There is nothing wrong with saying that the Scottish Parliament has been a centralist Government—that is what happened as a result of the policies that were pursued. That is a legitimate choice for a Government to make. All we are suggesting is that perhaps some of the work programmes that would be best delivered by local authorities are sent to them. I know that my own local authority, Edinburgh, runs several highly successful programmes, such as the JET programme for young people and other programmes to get disabled people and others into work, and we should trust them to do that.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the Opportunities for All programme, which was mentioned earlier, is a good example of a policy area in which the Scottish Government are working closely with local authorities to deliver services and opportunities for young people? Similarly, the Scottish welfare fund is another good example of a scheme administered and delivered by local authorities. When the hon. Gentleman

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1428

talks about a centralist Government, he needs to remember that 90% of ring-fenced funding has been devolved to local authorities by the Scottish Government. He might want to take a look at Wales, where the Labour Government seem to want to abolish local authorities all together.

Ian Murray: I did not want to turn this into a political argument: I merely wanted to point out that work programmes are best delivered by local authorities. If the Welsh Government have made the decision that they are best delivered in a different way, it is up to them. The hon. Lady highlights, however, that devolution across the UK provides an array of ways to deliver services, and I hope that the Scottish Government take note of this debate and consider whether we should have double devolution. The principle of subsidiarity across the European Union and the UK, which my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham North (Mr Allen) promoted in his new clause, should sit happily and firmly with the Scottish Government and their relationship with local government.

Local government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have said clearly that local authorities across Scotland feel that they have been strangled, and we need to address that important point.

Mike Weir: I am not trying to be difficult, but it seems to me that the hon. Gentleman’s amendment would provide that the Scottish Parliament “must” devolve the power to local authorities. It would not always be appropriate for a local authority—or even a group of local authorities—to have that power. If he wants to pursue devolution of such powers, more flexibility would be needed, and the amendment is flawed in that regard.

Ian Murray: In all the time I have known him, the hon. Gentleman has never been difficult. We are debating a Bill that we feel does not go far enough in spirit or substance. We want the Scottish Parliament to have more power. The hon. Gentleman, the Scottish National party Chief Whip, wants to hold on to that power with both hands. He does not want to release any of it but wants to keep it in Edinburgh and Holyrood, so he can build an ivory tower for Scotland. He does not want to give it to local authorities.

Mike Weir rose

Ian Murray: I am delighted that I have been able to give the hon. Gentleman a little exercise by making him bounce up and down.

Mike Weir: The hon. Gentleman and I have crossed swords on many Bills. He is misrepresenting what I said—not deliberately, I am sure. As I read it, if the amendment is agreed to, that would mean an obligation to devolve to each individual local authority. That is not what he is saying now about a conglomeration of local authorities. The amendment is flawed; the idea behind it is not so flawed, but the way it is written is.

Ian Murray: We are in trouble: I cannot even persuade the people who agree with the broad principle, and I am trying to persuade the Government to accept the amendment. It may be badly drafted, but the hon. Gentleman knows how this place works. We table our

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1429

amendments in Committee to press the Government to do something about a particular piece of legislation, and the Government ultimately reject them. Of the 87 amendments that I tabled to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, 87 were rejected, although I was delighted that four or five came back as the Government’s own ideas on Report. That is essentially what will happen. The Secretary of State said he would go away and reflect, and I am sure he will do just that—go away and reflect on the amendments he may be able to claim as his own, and those he will ultimately reject on Report.

I have a lot of time for the hon. Member for Angus (Mike Weir). I put on the record that we agreed on most things when we crossed swords in other Committees, particularly with regard to the privatisation of Royal Mail and the Postal Services Bill. We do not always disagree.

The broad principle of double devolution—transferring powers from Holyrood to local communities—is one we should all support to ensure that we have powerhouse local authorities in Scotland and to place power closer to the people we seek to represent. It is a fairly obvious thing to say, but local authorities know their local jobs markets better than anyone else. The landscape of a jobs market in one local authority, or one conglomerate of local authorities, will be very different from others.

We should be looking to tailor employment support programmes not just to individual needs and individual community needs, but to areas where there will be a greater need for a certain skill set than in other areas. For example, my city is at the forefront of financial services and academia. Rural constituencies will be completely different. Local authorities would be able to tailor those programmes. Crucially, something we tend not to talk about in this House is not just transferring power but transferring the resources that go with it. Local authorities in Scotland are being completely starved of the resources they require to do the job we want them to do.

The hon. Member for Livingston (Hannah Bardell) made a great speech. She said many things we would absolutely agree with. One glaring omission, however, was anything on retraining, education, further education and reskilling. Further education is not just the mechanism for young people to go back into education, or to be retrained or reskilled; it is the place where many people get a second chance. They are able to go back to something they perhaps failed at many years ago, or to retrain after having a family. Scotland is suffering from having 144,000 fewer college places than we did in 2007. That is hampering those second chances.

If the devolution of the Work programme does end up at the Scottish Parliament, I hope it ultimately ends up with local authorities.

Mike Weir indicated dissent.

Ian Murray: The hon. Gentleman is shaking his head, so it must be true. We would then be able to resolve the issue of the college places that have been lost.

Amendment 114 would provide for the devolution of the Access to Work scheme to the Scottish Parliament. Access to Work provides practical advice and support

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1430

to disabled people, and their employers, to help them to overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability. It is an incredibly powerful and important programme. A close friend of mine, Mark Cooper, who has cerebral palsy, has been on it for some time. He took a job that covered maternity leave in Glasgow, 45 miles away, and was able to work with the employer and the programme to travel to Glasgow and secure an adapted workplace.

5.45 pm

None the less, Mark drifts in and out of employment because of his disability. The obstacles facing people with disabilities have to be overcome, and the devolution of the programme to local authorities would certainly allow it to be better tailored to local needs. Access to work is closely aligned with employment support, and several charities, including Inclusion Scotland and the Wise Group, are in favour of its devolution to Scotland.

Finally, amendment 10 would allow for the introduction of a jobs guarantee providing a temporary job paying at least the minimum wage to provide a route back into employment for young people or people who have been out of work for more than two years. It is similar to the jobs guarantee in our manifesto at the general election, and would allow us to devolve some of the responsibilities for getting young people back into long-term employment. Again, local authorities would be best placed to deliver that, despite the fact that the hon. Member for Angus thinks it a bad idea.

I hope the Government will reflect on some of these issues, as the Secretary of State said he would do, and, if they disagree to them today, come back on Report not just with the proper devolution of employment, disability and access to work schemes to the Scottish Parliament but with mechanisms to get them out of the hands of Edinburgh and into those of local authorities.

Priti Patel: I begin by commending the contributions not just on this group but throughout the day. It has been said that the Government are not doing what the Smith commission said we should. We are clear that the commission recommended that the UK Government devolve all powers specifically in relation to contracted employment programmes, but the amendments go well beyond that remit and would include the powers to operate support through Jobcentre Plus.

Beyond that, there are key reasons why the amendments do not work. First, there would be no clear demarcation of responsibilities between the Scottish and UK Governments around the provision of employment support. The UK Government would retain the Executive competence under existing legislation and could continue to operate employment programmes and Jobcentre Plus. This would create a confusing, disjointed and misaligned landscape of support that could hinder employment support as much as it helps move people back to work.

Clause 26 manages that risk by creating clear lines of accountability between those claimants for whom Scottish Ministers can create employment programmes and those who will continue to be supported through the Jobcentre Plus structure. In particular, it makes it clear that the Scottish Parliament can only provide employment support for claimants at risk of long-term unemployment where the assistance lasts at least a year and for disabled claimants likely to need greater support. It thereby draws a line between such schemes and the core functions

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1431

of Jobcentre Plus, enabling a smooth delivery of an integrated welfare and benefits system and, importantly, resulting in a better service for claimants.

In the debate around the devolution of contracted employment programmes, there have been extensive discussions through the joint ministerial working group on welfare, which has played a key role in ensuring a seamless transfer of responsibility. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said, these are ongoing discussions, and, importantly, officials are working to set up the right framework and ways of working. On the Work programme, our officials have had many meetings with Scottish Government officials on a range of aspects relating to the delivery of contracted employment support programmes. That engagement is good. It is concerned with how we can work together to develop integrated local support and the issue of Skills Development Scotland in jobcentres, which of course is going strong today.

I would like to touch on some of the other points raised in this debate. The hon. Member for Livingston (Hannah Bardell) spoke about the current system for employment. The Government are delivering on the current system for welfare reform and it is working in Scotland, too, as demonstrated by record levels of men and women in employment. Importantly, they are providing more support for getting lone parents back to work. In Scotland, benefits reform has seen 2 million people back in work and employment continuing to rise. That is to be commended and supported. For our ongoing discussions at official and ministerial level, it is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve.

Amendment 113 applies to the matters that clause 26 will except from reservation for job search and support. Clause 26 delivers on the Smith commission agreement to give the Scottish Parliament the legislative competence to establish employment programmes that support disabled people and that offer long-term support to benefit claimants at the risk of long-term unemployment. I have no doubt that that is welcomed by all hon. Members. The amendments to clause 26 would have changed the scope of the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament to allow for the provision of employment programmes for those at risk of long-term unemployment where assistance, as I have said, has been ongoing for less than one year.

We want to ensure that the employment landscape in Scotland is not confusing when it comes to the support structure in Scotland. Importantly, we want to ensure that Jobcentre Plus continues to deliver effectively for claimants, while also giving employers greater continuity in respect of the overall landscape.

I shall speak now to amendments 9, 10 and 114 collectively and show how clause 26 already covers many of the points raised by them. Amendment 9 is designed to add to the illustrative list of the ways in which the power to make arrangements for employer support might be used. Members will be pleased to hear that the list provided in the clause is purely illustrative and that it would be possible for the Scottish Government to work with local authorities and other partners and stakeholders to design and deliver employment programmes. The same applies to amendment 10, which is designed to add to the illustrative forms of the assistance that Scottish Ministers might provide under clause 26.

On the point about the devolution of the Access to Work programme, which is the subject of amendment 114, we have not sought unreasonably to limit the legislative

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1432

competence of the Scottish Parliament. Non-repayable awards such as those provided through the Access to Work scheme are already covered in clause 26. As such, the Scottish Government can choose to introduce a similar form of support for disabled people additional to that provided by the Access to Work programme, should they wish to do so. Given that Access to Work is an integral element of the support we offer, let me be clear that this Government intend to continue the Access to Work provision in Scotland and will retain the associated funding.

I hope that my response has assured hon. Members that clause 26 fully enables the Scottish Parliament to make the provisions covered in amendments 9, 10 and 114 and has set out a clear rationale as to why the Access to Work programme will remain a reserved programme.

Hannah Bardell: We have had a fascinating debate, and it has been a pleasure to participate in it. It seems to me that there is much agreement across the Benches on this side of the House. The hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston (Kate Green) made some important points about tailoring work programmes in de-industrialised areas, and I certainly agree with much of what she said about West Lothian. Although Livingston is its name, it does not fully take into consideration the many former mining towns in my constituency. I well know the impact of de-industrialisation and the need for tailored work programmes there.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) touched on the future jobs fund, and I would certainly be interested in looking further at how we can work together on that. The hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston highlighted the importance she placed on it, and made it clear that she saw the importance of devolution.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens) spoke about his experience as a Unison representative, the importance of access to work for those with disabilities and how those who were already in work could be helped to find further employment if they developed a disability. My hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford) spoke passionately—as she has throughout the debate—about Opportunities for All. That initiative has been a huge success in Scotland, and it is a very good example of how local authorities can work closely with the Government. I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Angus (Mike Weir) and I are still stuck on the point made by the hon. Member for Edinburgh South about the detail of the devolution of those powers to local authorities, given that, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan, 90% of ring-fencing has been abolished.

The hon. Member for Edinburgh South also referred to college funding. He may have missed my comments about the increase in the number of modern apprenticeships, and the investment that has been made by the SNP Government. We are clearly investing more in colleges than Labour ever did. College resource budgets increased to £526 million in 2015-16, which is well above Labour’s highest level of £510 million in 2006-07, in cash terms. The number of full-time students aged under 25 has increased by more than 15%, and the number of those aged over 25 has also risen.

30 Jun 2015 : Column 1433

The Minister talked a great deal about Access to Work, and why it should not be devolved. She spoke of the success of the current system, and said that it might become disjointed if further powers were devolved. We would argue that there is already a significantly disjointed approach, given the number of problems caused by benefit sanctions. I know that many of our constituents come to our surgeries, and walk through the doors of our constituency offices, with harrowing and desperate stories about sanctions, and citizens advice bureaux have informed us of a number of such cases.

A CAB in the south of Scotland reported that a client had been sanctioned for the second time for failing to log into Universal Jobmatch. The client’s local library had been closed for refurbishment, and there was no other access to public computers in the local area. The sanction was upheld following a mandatory reconsideration request, and the client produced a letter from his doctor stating that his mental health had declined as a direct result. He was also building up council tax debts, and his home telephone had been disconnected.

We must remember that we are not just debating statistics today; we are debating real people’s lives, and real situations. We are talking about people left in desperate circumstances as a result of benefit sanctions. If we do not change the system, people in Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom will continue to suffer.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee divided:

Ayes 260, Noes 316.

Division No. 33]

[

5.58 pm

AYES

Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Anderson, Mr David

Arkless, Richard

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bardell, Hannah

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Black, Ms Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Kirsty

Blomfield, Paul

Boswell, Philip

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brake, rh Tom

Brennan, Kevin

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bryant, Chris

Buck, Ms Karen

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Cadbury, Ruth

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Carmichael, rh Mr Alistair

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Douglas

Chapman, Jenny

Cherry, Joanna

Clwyd, rh Ann

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cowan, Ronnie

Cox, Jo

Coyle, Neil

Crawley, Angela

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Dakin, Nic

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

Day, Martyn

De Piero, Gloria

Docherty, Martin John

Donaldson, Stuart

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Ferrier, Margaret

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Fletcher, Colleen

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gapes, Mike

Gardiner, Barry

Gethins, Stephen

Gibson, Patricia

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Goodman, Helen

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Neil

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Hanson, rh Mr David

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harpham, Harry

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Hendrick, Mr Mark

Hendry, Drew

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hillier, Meg

Hodge, rh Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, rh Mr George

Hunt, Tristram

Huq, Dr Rupa

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jarvis, Dan

Johnson, rh Alan

Johnson, Diana

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Kerevan, George

Kerr, Calum

Khan, rh Sadiq

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lamb, rh Norman

Lavery, Ian

Law, Chris

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Ian C.

Lynch, Holly

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

Mc Nally, John

McCabe, Steve

McCaig, Callum

McCarthy, Kerry

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonald, Stewart

McDonald, Stuart C.

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGarry, Natalie

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

McLaughlin, Anne

Meacher, rh Mr Michael

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morris, Grahame M.

Mullin, Roger

Murray, Ian

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Oswald, Kirsten

Paterson, Steven

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Pugh, John

Qureshi, Yasmin

Rayner, Angela

Rees, Christina

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Rimmer, Marie

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, Angus

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Salmond, rh Alex

Saville Roberts, Liz

Shah, Naz

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheppard, Tommy

Sherriff, Paula

Siddiq, Tulip

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smyth, Karin

Spellar, rh Mr John

Stephens, Chris

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Tami, Mark

Thewliss, Alison

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thomson, Michelle

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, Valerie

Weir, Mike

West, Catherine

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Williams, Hywel

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Phil

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Ms Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Woodcock, John

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Marion Fellows

and

Owen Thompson

NOES

Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Andrew, Stuart

Ansell, Caroline

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Mr Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackman, Bob

Blackwood, Nicola

Blunt, Crispin

Boles, Nick

Bone, Mr Peter

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Bruce, Fiona

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burrowes, Mr David

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Carmichael, Neil

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Caulfield, Maria

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Chope, Mr Christopher

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Cox, Mr Geoffrey

Crabb, rh Stephen

Davies, Byron

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donelan, Michelle

Dorries, Nadine

Double, Steve

Dowden, Oliver

Doyle-Price, Jackie

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Gale, Sir Roger

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Gray, Mr James

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, Chris

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Henderson, Gordon

Herbert, rh Nick

Hermon, Lady

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hollobone, Mr Philip

Holloway, Mr Adam

Hopkins, Kris

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Howell, John

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

Jackson, Mr Stewart

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kawczynski, Daniel

Kennedy, Seema

Kinahan, Danny

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lancaster, Mark

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lilley, rh Mr Peter

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McCartney, Karl

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Menzies, Mark

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Neill, Robert

Nokes, Caroline

Norman, Jesse

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Opperman, Guy

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prentis, Victoria

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rosindell, Andrew

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Streeter, Mr Gary

Stride, Mel

Stuart, Graham

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Thomas, Derek

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Turner, Mr Andrew

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Vickers, Martin

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wollaston, Dr Sarah

Wood, Mike

Wragg, William

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

Sarah Newton

and

Simon Kirby

Question accordingly negatived.