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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 10th February 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 10th February 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Clearance Procedures

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 3 December 1991, Official Report, column 94, whether those employed in executive agencies are also required to seek clearance before taking up posts with outside organisations and companies; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : Yes, where appropriate.


Iraq (United Nations Inspections)

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister when Her Majesty's Government received the appeal from the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency for supplementary funds to continue the United Nations special commission on inspection in Iraq; and what response was made to the appeal.

The Prime Minister : No appeal has been received.


Nuclear Non-proliferation

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to halt the geographical proliferation of nuclear weapons by nuclear-armed states to their military allies.

The Prime Minister : As a depositary power for the treaty on the non -proliferation of nuclear weapons--NPT--the United Kingdom has consistently worked to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to encourage other states to accede to and abide by the treaty.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the actions taken by Her Majesty's Government to support and strengthen each article, respectively, of the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The Prime Minister : The information is not centrally recorded and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. In our role as a depositary power for the treaty, the United Kingdom has strongly supported the NPT since its inception, and has been consistently active to this end.


South Africa

Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy in regard to South Africa on (a) the need for transitional arrangements for the Government during the negotiating process, (b) the continued detention of political prisoners, (c) the implementation of the national peace accord, (d) the introduction of regulations banning the carrying of weapons at political rallies and (e) the proposal to give the white electorate a veto through a referendum on any agreement reached at the convention for a democratic South Africa.

The Prime Minister : I welcome the negotiations which are taking place within the Convention for a Democratic South Africa-CODESA. I have discussed them with President de Klerk and Mr. Mandela in meetings this month. It is for the South African people to decide on constitutional issues and any transitional arrangements.

We have urged the release of all political prisoners throughout South Africa : more than 1,000 political prisoners were released last year.

I welcomed the national peace accord when it was signed last year. Since then I have urged all parties to work for its implementation. I welcome all measures designed to reduce the risk of violence. The South African Government have proposed a referendum to obtain the views of all South Africans. The procedure for this is a matter for discussion in CODESA.

Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister what consideration he has given to the National party proposals published on 5 September 1991 on constitutional change in South Africa; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I welcome the National party's intention to negotiate a democratic constitution which is non-racial and based on universal suffrage. These issues are being discussed in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa.


President de Klerk

Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his meeting with President de Klerk on 1 February.

The Prime Minister : I met President de Klerk on 2 February. We discussed the constitutional talks in South Africa. The President expressed his determination to see them through to a new constitution. On township violence, President de Klerk said that national peace accord measures were in place and beginning to prove effective. The Goldstone commission was examining allegations against the South African defence force. The President explained the progress made in integration in sport, and said that unification of control of rugby should be concluded by late March. We agreed to keep up our dialogue.


Dietary Supplements

Mr. Fearn : To ask the Prime Minister who will represent Britain at the meeting to be held between the European Commission and the member Community states on a draft Council directive on dietary supplements.

The Prime Minister : The meeting to which the hon. Member refers will be attended by officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Department of Health. I should add that no Council directive on dietary supplements has yet been drafted : the meeting is to examine a Commission discussion paper.


Pay Review Bodies

Sir Anthony Meyer : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the latest reports of the pay review bodies.

The Prime Minister : In 1992 reports of the review bodies on the pay of the doctors and dentists, the professions allied to medicine, nursing staff, midwives and health visitors, the armed forces and school teachers have been published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office. The Government are grateful to the members of the review bodies for the time and care which they have put into the preparation of the reports.

The following table shows the increases recommended by the review bodies for each group, and their cost.

Review body              |Pay bill   |Range of   |Public                 

                         |increase   |increases  |expenditure            

                         |1992-93<1>             |cost                   

                         |per cent.  |per cent.  |£ million              

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

Doctors and dentists                                                     

(DDRB) <2>              |6.0        |5.5-8.5    |<3>314                 

Nurses and allied professions (NAPRB)  <2>        

-nurses and midwives   |5.8        |5.6-6.0    |<3>435                 

-professions allied to medicine (PAMs)        |6.3        |6.2-6.5    |<3>48                  

Armed forces (AFRB)<4>   |5.9        |5.9-7.9    |274                    

Schoolteachers (STRB)<5> |7.8        |7.5        |765                    

<1> Percentages by which the awards would increase the estimated 1992-93 pay bill.

<2> Great Britain. Northern Ireland health service pay normally follows Great Britain but is described separately.

<3> Includes cost of staff in NHS Trusts.                                

<4> United Kingdom.                                                      

<5> England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate pay regimes for school teachers.                                             

The Government accept these recommendations and propose to pay them in full from 1 April 1992. The cost of implementing them will be met from within the public expenditure planning totals published in the autumn statement.

The Government recognise that the cost of the health service awards could not be met in full from present health service provision without adversely affecting services to patients. The Government will therefore provide an extra £149 million from the reserve for next year. The Government also accept that local education authorities would have difficulty in absorbing the full cost of the teachers' pay award, and have therefore decided to finance from the reserve an additional £60 million of grant to local authorities. The cost for the armed forces will be absorbed within the defence budget.