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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 22nd January 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 22nd January 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Disabled People

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to introduce legislation to outlaw discrimination against disabled people in access to employment, training, education, leisure, transport, public buildings and shops; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : We have no plans to introduce generalised anti- discrimination legislation because we foresee problems in both approach and implementation. However, as I have made clear in the past, we are continuing to work to eliminate unjustified discrimination against people on the ground of their disability. We believe that this is best achieved by education and persuasion backed up by targeted legislation to address specific problems.

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made by Departments in implementing the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986; what plans he has to implement the outstanding sections; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Most of the major provisions of the Act have now been implemented, bringing substantial benefits to disabled people and their carers. The requirements of the non-implemented sections of the Act are now, to a very large extent, reflected in the Department of Health's new and wide-ranging reforms of community care, which demonstrate our commitment to high quality care responsive to the needs and wishes of service users and carers. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health will review the need to implement these sections in the light of several years' experience of the community care arrangements.


Scottish Constitution

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 14 January, Official Report, column 790, if he will list those individuals and organisations that he has consulted when taking stock of the governance of Scotland since April 1992.

The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for East Lothian (Mr. Home Robertson) on 11 January 1993 at column 552.


Iraq

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what discussions Her Majesty's Government held with the Governments of (a) Egypt and (b) Syria on the efficacy of military intervention in Iraq; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Since the invasion of Kuwait we have had frequent discussions with the Egyptians and Syrians on the situation in Iraq. We have discussed the allies' latest military action in Iraq with Egyptian and Syrian officials.


Ministerial Residences

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Prime Minister what was the cost in 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 of each of the official country residences owned by the Government broken down into (a) housekeeping, (b) catering/hospitality, (c) maintenance and (d) other costs; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 20 January 1993] : Chequers, Dorneywood and Chevening are not owned by the Government. Chequers is administered as an independent trust, which receives an annual grant from public funds towards the maintenance of Chequers. In the three years concerned the grant has been :

        |£              

------------------------

1990-91 |238,000

1991-92 |244,000

1992-93 |260,000

The Government also contribute to the costs of household staff at Chequers, but this information is not separately identifiable. The maintenance and staff expenses of Chevening house are met by the Chevening trust. The total cost to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for housekeeping, catering/hospitality and other costs in the three years concerned has been :

        |£          

--------------------

1990-91 |4,374

1991-92 |7,984

1992-93 |9,451

In addition, other Government Departments use Chevening from time to time for meetings or seminars, for which they pay separately. Dorneywood is administered by a trust fund. Its upkeep does not involve any cost to the Treasury.