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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 12th May 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 12th May 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Nuclear Testing

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what response Her Majesty's Government (a) have made to date and (b) intend to make, to the call made by the French President to halt nuclear testing.

The Prime Minister : The Government's policy on nuclear testing remains unchanged. The United Kingdom has a continuing requirement to sustain a minimum programme of nuclear tests to maintain the effectiveness and safety of our nuclear deterrent.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 12 May.

The Prime Minister : This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.


Inner-city Programmes

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Prime Minister which inner-city programmes, currently the responsibility of Departments, other than the Environment Department, will be transferred to the proposed urban regeneration agency.

The Prime Minister : The responsibilities of the urban regeneration agency are being finalised. Its primary function will be to bring about the development of vacant and derelict land in urban areas and its responsibilities will reflect this.


Lockerbie Bombing

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss with the President of the United States the representations made to both of them by the lawyers representing the insurers of Pan American Airways in relation to the Lockerbie bombing; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 11 May 1992] : I have received no such representations.


Mirror Group Pensioners

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Prime Minister what further recent representations he has received about the situation of pensioners of Mirror Group newspapers; what reply he is sending; what action he will be taking; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 11 May 1992] : I have received a number of representations about the pensioners of Mirror Group newspapers and other Maxwell pension funds. Ministers are keeping in close contact with the trustees of the Mirror Group pension schemes and other Maxwell pension funds who are attempting to resolve the ownership of assets and their return to funds. In addition, Ministers have met a number of groups representing the interests of those involved; the most recent meeting being on 6 May. As we stated in our manifesto, we are committed to reviewing the framework of law and regulation within which occupational pension schemes operate. If pension funds are unable to protect pensioners' guaranteed minimum pensions, their state pensions will be increased as if they had never left the state earnings-related pension scheme. We have alerted social security offices to make sure that, if necessary, emergency provisions are put into effect to help anyone who needs support from the benefits system because of uncertainty as to their income.