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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 22nd March 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 22nd March 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Objectives

Mr. Forman: To ask the Prime Minister how many of their objectives of April 1992 the Government have now achieved; and how many remain.

The Prime Minister: Since April 1992, the Government's policies have laid the foundations for sustained economic growth. Underlying inflation is down to its lowest for a generation, interest rates are among the lowest in the EC, unemployment is down by over 600,000 since its peak, exports are at record levels, and we are attracting more investment from Japan and America than Germany and France combined.

We have also pressed ahead with our reforms to raise standards in our schools, fight crime, improve the quality of care in the national health service and, with the citizens charter, make the public services more accountable to the taxpayers they serve. Our commitment to continuing improvement in standards in education has been achieved by the national curriculum, extension of objective testing of pupils, inspection of primary as well as secondary schools, continuation of publication of school results, and launch of the Teacher Training Agency. Parental choice has been enhanced by the further expansion of the grant-maintained schools and specialist colleges. The national health service is now treating 1 million more patients a year than since before our reforms began; our determination to ensure it is properly funded is borne out by the fact that, for every £1 spent on the service in 1979, over £5 will be spent in 1995-96. Against the backdrop of the largest fall in recorded crime for 40 years, we have introduced a range of measures designed to tilt the balance back in favour of the victims of crime, and ensure that crime does not pay, but criminals do.

The Government have made significant progress towards achieving a lasting peace in Northern Ireland. The ceasefire has now lasted for almost seven months, giving a new basis on which we can take the peace process forward. There has also been considerable success in winning the argument in Europe--especially in our attempts to make the community more open, outward-looking and decentralised.

The Government's objectives for the future remain as stated in the Gracious Speech on 16 November 1994, Official Report, columns 4-6.


Publications

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what was the total expenditure on (a) all forms of publicity and (b) all publications and pamphlets produced for his Department and for all the agencies and public bodies for which his Department is responsible for each year since 1979, including the budgeted figure for 1995-96, (i) including and (ii) excluding privatisation-related expenditures and expressed in 1994 prices; and if he will supply information for the period from 1 April 1993 to 1 March 1995 showing (1) the nature and (2) the purpose of each publicity campaign and of each publication involving the expenditure of more than £50,000.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 17 March 1995]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science on 21 March.