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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 25th October 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 25th October 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Tyler : To ask the Prime Minister who is responsible for deciding the maximum permissible cost of answering a written parliamentary question; if that cost is different for different Departments; and how often that amount is reviewed.

Mr. Newton : I have been asked to reply.

If an answer to any written question is likely to cost more than £450 – the current cost threshold, calculated by the Treasury – the answering Minister will decide whether to refuse to answer on the ground of disproportionate cost, or whether to answer it whole or in part regardless of cost. This threshold, which applies to all Departments, is reviewed annually.


Cabinet Committees

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Prime Minister when he next proposes to issue the list of ministerial committees of the Cabinet.

Mr. Newton : I have been asked to reply.

An updated list of the ministerial committees of the Cabinet, with their terms of reference and membership, will be published shortly.


Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister what meetings the Minister for Social Security and Disabled People has had with the sponsors of the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill and representatives of the all-party disablement group in the House about the Government's response to the Bill and their alternative proposals since the Prime Minister's meeting with the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) and supporters of his Bill on 23 February; what was the date and duration of each meeting; and if he will publish the papers tabled for discussion at the meetings.

Mr. Newton : I have been asked to reply.

There have been two meetings, on 25 March and 17 May, each lasting about an hour. No papers were tabled at either meeting.


Child Migrant Scheme

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Prime Minister if he will consider moving total responsibility for funding the Child Migrant Trust from the Department of Health in such a way as to ensure that the various Departments with present or previous responsibility for the child migrant scheme contribute towards to the cost of the trust's work.

Mr. Newton : I have been asked to reply.

Responsibility for child welfare transferred in 1971 from the Home Office to the Department of Health and the territorial Departments. We can see no advantage in changing the Government's responsibilities for funding this kind of activity in the way suggested.


Official Hospitality

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how much was spent on official hospitality in his Department in the financial year 1992-93.

Mr. Newton [holding answer 20 October 1993] : I have been asked to reply.

The expenditure by the Office of my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on official hospitality in the financial year 1992-93 was £30,023. This is a reduction of £10,953 or 27 per cent. compared with 1991-92.