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Baroness Hollis of Heigham: My Lords, the majority of married women in employment work full time and not part time. The average pay for a married woman in full-time work is £15,000 a year. I am afraid that my noble friend's statistics are not up to date.

Baroness Turner of Camden: My Lords, we could argue about that, but certainly those figures do not tie up with some of the information I have received from a number of lobbying organisations which support what I have been saying. The fact remains that we have

13 Oct 1999 : Column 378

here a situation in which there will be women who would have expected to receive the benefit but will not receive one.

We have been told that there is to be an increase. Of course I welcome the rise from £1,000 to £2,000 at the point of bereavement. That is very welcome. However, I must point out that it is the first increase since the benefit was introduced some 10 or 15 years ago--I cannot remember exactly when. However, as I said in my opening statement, the Government will recover the money to pay for that by not paying widows' benefits beyond six months, or the year that has been suggested today. Further, I believe that the Government have decided that in future the two-year tax concession available for the first two years after the husband has died will not be paid. It seems to me that the Government will recover some of the extra costs involved there. Further, as a result of these proposals in total, the Treasury will gain substantially over and above what would have been the situation had the existing arrangements continued.

For those reasons, I do not accept what my noble friend has said. However, I do not intend to call a vote on the issue today. I shall think about what has been said. As regards the amelioration of one year, I do not think that that is enough. Should the noble Lord, Lord Astor, choose to press his proposition calling for two years, I would vote for two years rather than one year, because two years are rather more generous. However, I still do not think that that is enough.

I should like to think about what has been said today and perhaps return to the whole issue of benefits based upon the contribution record at Third Reading. I regard the matter as very important. I am a supporter of social insurance and not a supporter of an entirely means-tested system which we would otherwise need to have if we do not have a system of social insurance leading to the eventual provision of universal benefits when people become qualified for their entitlement.

As I said, I am not happy about the proposal for one year. It is quite insufficient. I do not agree that you can get over everything in one year. From personal experience, I do not think that that is true at all. Two years is not really sufficient, but I would much prefer that to one year. That will be my position. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Astor of Hever: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 96 formally. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

    Page 56, line 41, leave out (“26 weeks") and insert (“two years")

A noble Lord: Pre-emption.

The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, Amendment No. 95 has been withdrawn and therefore pre-emption does not arise in those circumstances. Only if Amendment No. 95 had been agreed to would that have arisen. At present I am dealing only with Amendment No. 96. That is the amendment which I have called and which I must put to the House.

13 Oct 1999 : Column 379

4.7 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 96) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 193; Not-Contents, 114.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Archer of Weston-Super- Mare, L.
Ashbourne, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bathurst, E.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Bell, L.
Berners, B.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brentford, V.
Bridgeman, V.
Brookeborough, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Buccleuch and Queensberry, D.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Butterworth, L.
Byford, B.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Chadlington, L.
Chesham, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleraine, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranbrook, E.
Cross, V.
Davidson, V.
De L'Isle, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Derwent, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donegall, M.
Downshire, M.
Dunleath, L.
Eccles, V.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Exmouth, V.
Ferrers, E.
Fitt, L.
Fookes, B.
Gage, V.
Gainford, L.
Geddes, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Gisborough, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greenway, L.
Gretton, L.
Haddington, E.
Hanham, B
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Howe, E.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Ironside, L.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kelvedon, L.
Keyes, L.
Kimball, L.
Kintore, E.
Knutsford, V.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Luke, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Macpherson of Drumochter, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Merrivale, L.
Middleton, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monk Bretton, L.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Montrose, D.
Morris, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Moynihan, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier of Magdala, L.
Naseby, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Norrie, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
Nunburnholme, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Onslow of Woking, L.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pender, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Porter of Luddenham, L.
Prentice, L.
Pym, L.
Radnor, E.
Rathcavan, L.
Rawlings, B.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Rowallan, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stallard, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Sudeley, L.
Swansea, L.
Tebbit, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Townshend, M.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Turner of Camden, B.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Warnock, B.
Waterford, M.
Westbury, L.
Wise, L.
Young, B.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Amos, B.
Annan, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brightman, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Desai, L.
Diamond, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glanusk, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hanworth, V.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Montague of Oxford, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Patel, L.
Peston, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rix, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Tenby, V.
Thornton, B.
Varley, L.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

13 Oct 1999 : Column 381

4.18 p.m.

Baroness Crawley moved Amendment No. 96A:

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