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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 12th November 1992

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


PRIME MINISTER:

Maastricht Treaty

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister what consideration has been given to publishing an explanatory booklet on Maastricht for general distribution to all United Kingdom households.

The Prime Minister : The Government's pamphlet on the European Community and the Maastricht treaty was published on 10 November. It will not be sent to every household, but copies are being distributed to all right hon. and hon. Members, public libraries and other institutions and are available free on request. Freepost and freephone facilities are being provided.

The freepost address is PO Box 1992, Burgess hill, West Sussex. The freephone number is 0800 778866.


Government Publications

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list for each of the past 20 years the booklets or leaflets published by the Government and distributed free of charge to all households in the United Kingdom giving the publication costs in each case in 1992 prices.

The Prime Minister : This information is not available centrally.


Pay Fixing

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister what statutory bases there are for pay fixing, other than wages councils ; and what plans there are for their abolition in each case.

The Prime Minister : The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) has statutory powers under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948 to set wages for agricultural workers in England and Wales. Separate legislation and boards exist for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Wages orders made by the AWB enable the United Kingdom to fulfil two conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and these cannot legally be reviewed until the second half of next year and 1994. Decisions on the future of agricultural wages legislation will be taken when we are able to review our ILO commitments.


Engagements

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 12 November.

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

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 12 November.

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


Cash Limits

Mr. Wilshire : To ask the Prime Minister what proposals there are to change the 1992-93 cash limit or running costs limit for the Cabinet Office : other services vote.

The Prime Minister : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for the Cabinet Office : other services vote (class XIX vote 2) will be increased by £2,000,000 from £23,647,000 to £25,647,000. This increase reflects take-up under the end year flexibility arrangements for capital expenditure as announced by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 15 July 1992 ( Official Report, columns 698-702). Also, the running costs limit for this vote will be reduced by £120,000 from £20,410,000 to £20,290,000, reflecting the transfer of certain administrative functions following the machinery of Government changes announced after the general election. All the changes are within the forecast outturn for the planning total included in the Chancellor's autumn statement today.


Meetings

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister what advice he gives to Ministers in respect of the time within which a request from an hon. Member for a meeting should be acknowledged and replied to.

The Prime Minister : It is for Ministers in each Department to decide how such requests are handled.


Political Parties (Funding)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to make funding available to political parties for security costs associated with the annual party conferences.

The Prime Minister : Central funding for this purpose has been available to all parties since 1986. The scheme, which was extended this year to include part of the cost of issuing photographic security passes, provides for political parties to be reimbursed for specified security costs, where the chief constable concerned certifies that the expenditure was incurred on security measures which were necessary and in line with the assessed threat.