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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 14th February 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 14th February 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Deregulation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his written answer of 6 November, Official Report, column 546, if he will place in the Library copies of the 1,000 regulations identified for repeal; and which of these had been repealed by 1 December 1995.

The Prime Minister: The 1,000 regulations due for repeal or amendment are identified individually by the responsible Departments and no comprehensive central list is held. However, we achieved our target of repealing or amending over 500 regulations by the end of last year. Examples included the simplification of the food temperature control regulations which will save business about £40 million a year with no diminution in food safety; removal of restrictions on Sunday trading and allowing shops to stay open later in the evenings if they so wish; and reform of the Trustee Investments Act 1961 which will result in savings to charities of up to £450 million a year by giving them greater investment flexibility. New measures are under consideration.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. Robin Cook: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions since 1 January 1995 (a) he and (b) officials in the Cabinet Office have had contact with Lord Howe concerning his correspondence with the Scott inquiry.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 12 February 1996]: Lord Howe, like other witnesses to the Scott inquiry, has had contacts with officials in the Cabinet Office from time to time. I have had no such contacts with him.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made for civil servants whose actions are discussed by Lord Justice Scott to receive copies of his report before its official publication on 15 February.

The Prime Minister: Pursuant to my answer of Tuesday 13 February, Official Report, columns 506-7, it has subsequently been agreed with the inquiry that all individuals who, from earlier drafts submitted to them, have reason to believe they may be criticised in the report should have access to those sections of the report relevant to them shortly before publication, but only in controlled circumstances.