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1997 - PMQT Written Answers 10th February 1997

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 10th February 1997.


PRIME MINISTER:

Equal Opportunities

Mr. Keith Hill: To ask the Prime Minister how many people are employed by his Department to provide advice on the application of equal opportunities, and at what cost, in the last year for which figures are available.

The Prime Minister: For these purposes my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Paymaster General, Office of the Public Service, on 7 February, Official Report, columns 734-35.


Travel Costs

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 5 February, Official Report, column 609, concerning travel costs, for what reasons comparable data for 1983 to 1987 are not available; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: Comparable data for 1983 to 1987 are not available because it is departmental policy, which accords with the guidance in "Government Accounting" and the requirements of the National Audit Office, to destroy financial records after five years.


Ministerial Incomes

Sir Terence Higgins: To ask the Prime Minister how his salary compares in percentage terms, after adjusting for inflation, with that of the Prime Minister of 30 years ago; what is the corresponding figure for Cabinet Ministers; and how much average real incomes for the population as a whole have increased in percentage terms over the same period.

The Prime Minister: The information requested is as follows:

Prime Minister's salary: decrease 48.3 per cent.

Cabinet Minister's salary: decrease 36 per cent.

Average earnings: increase 66.7 per cent.

All percentages are adjusted for inflation and are taken between December 1970--the earliest for which average earnings information is available--and December 1996.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. Robin Cook: To ask the Prime Minister if he will provide a breakdown of the spending by the Cabinet Office on external advice in relation to the Scott inquiry, indicating how much has been spent on legal advice and from whom it was obtained.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 February 1997]: No payments have been made by the Cabinet Office for external advice, including legal advice, in relation to the Scott inquiry.

Mr. Cook: To ask the Prime Minister what was the total cost of salaries since 1992 paid to persons in the Cabinet Office employed on a part-time or full-time basis in any capacity relating to the Scott inquiry.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 February 1997]: The direct salary cost of officials within the Cabinet Office wholly employed on matters relating to the Scott inquiry from December 1992 to September 1996 was approximately £554,500. Since October 1996, no officials within the Cabinet Office have been wholly employed on Scott inquiry-related matters, although some officials have inevitably been involved on an occasional basis as part of their normal duties; the direct salary cost of their involvement is unquantifiable.


Ministerial Visits (Latin America)

Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list by country the ministerial visits made to Latin America by his Government in (a) 1995 and (b) 1996.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 February 1997]: Visits made by Ministers to Latin America were as follows:

Month | Country | Minister

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

1995

January Brazil Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Portillo)

February Brazil Panama Colombia Minister of State Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Davis)

March Uruguay Baroness Trumpington

May Argentina Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Welsh Office (Mr. Richards)

Brazil Mexico Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Hunt)

Peru Colombia Minister of Trade (Mr. Needham)

July Argentina Baroness Trumpington

Peru Minister of Defence (Earl Howe)

September Mexico Minister of State, Department for National Heritage (Lord Inglewood)

Mexico Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Sir Nicholas Bonsor)

Peru Argentina Brazil Chile Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr Gummer)

Venezuela Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser)

Argentina Brazil Minister of State for Education (Lord Henley)

Cuba Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (Mr. Taylor)

November Peru Columbia Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Sir Nicholas Bonsor)

Colombia Minister of Health (Mr. Sackville)

1996

January Argentina Brazil Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Clarke)

Guatemala Lord Chesham

February Brazil Chile Mexico Minister for Trade (Mr. Nelson)

March Colombia Venezuela Minister of Trade at the Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser)

Brazil Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Gummer)

April Mexico Bolivia Brazil Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Rifkind)

May Peru Chile The Lord Chancellor

Mexico Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser)

Venezuela Guatemala Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Sir Nicholas Bonsor)

June Chile Colombia Secretary of State for Education (Mrs. Shephard)

Argentina Brazil Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser)

Belize Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Sir Nicholas Bonsor)

August Ecuador Brazil Uruguay Paraguay Lord President of the Council (Mr. Newton)

September Argentina Brazil Mexico Peru Minister of State for Agriculture (Mr. Baldry)

Colombia Costa Rica Bolivia Peru Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Gummer)

Cuba Minister of State at the Home Office (Mr. Sackville)

Brazil Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Mr. Arbuthnot)

Mexico Minister of State at the Department for Education and Employment (Lord Henley)

October Mexico President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Lang)

November Argentina Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Gummer)

Argentina Brazil Minister for Trade (Mr. Nelson)

Bolivia Peru Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser)

December Chile Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Portillo)

Guatemala Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Sir Nicholas Bonsor)


Chequers

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Prime Minister (1) how many (a) full time, (b) part-time and (c) temporary staff have been employed at Chequers in each of the last five years; if he will list their principal duties; and if he will make a statement;

(2) pursuant to his answer of 4 February, Official Report, column 524, what percentage of the total budget for the running costs of Chequers has been made up by the annual grant from public funds in each of the past five years;

(3) pursuant to his answer of 4 February, Official Report, column 524, if he will list the dates he has been in residence at Chequers for each of the past two years; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what uses Chequers has been put to for the periods when he has not been in residence; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 February 1997]: I have nothing further to add to the replies that I gave to the hon. Member on 4 February, Official Report, column 524.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 4 February, Official Report, column 524, if he will list the independent trustees of Chequers.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 February 1997]: In accordance with the Chequers Estate Act 1958 the trustees are:

The Lord Privy Seal, the right hon. the Lord Cranbourne DL, chairman

Sir Ralph Verney Bt KBE DL JP, the Prime Minister's appointee

The Lord Camoys DL, appointee of the Secretary of State for the Environment

Ms J C Lomas, Public Trustee ex officio

C Nunneley Esq, chairman of the National Trust ex officio.