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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 1st April 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 1st April 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Regional Government

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy towards regional government for England.

The Prime Minister : We see no case for setting up regional authorities in England. Our aim is to simplify and streamline local government, not to impose an additional layer of bureaucracy on local taxpayers.


Liverpool

Mr. Parry : To ask the Prime Minister how many times he has visited Liverpool since he became Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister : I have visited the north-west on a number of occasions since becoming Prime Minister.


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 1 April.

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 1 April.

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.


European Court

Dr. Godman : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 17 March, Official Report, column 283, what was the average length of time that elapsed between the European Court of Justice finding that Her Majesty's Government were in breach of its obligations under EC directives and the necessary steps being taken to rectify matters; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 31 March 1993] : Four cases were referred to in my previous reply in which the United Kingdom was held by the European Court of Justice to be in breach of EC directives. Three of these cases required legislative action to give full effect to the judgment of the Court ; this took between six and 14 months to complete. In the fourth case, concerning a breach of directive 80/788--drinking water-- when judgment was delivered on 25 November 1992 the UK had already complied on two of the points on which it was found to be in breach. Action on the remaining two points is in hand.


Prime Minister's Office

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister

(1) if he will give figures for (a) the number of staff and (b) the cost of the Prime Minister's office for each year since 1979;

(2) why the cost and size of the Prime Minister's office are not separately identified in Cm 2218 the "Government's Expenditure Plans, 1993-94 to 1995- 96"; and if he will provide figures for its cost and size.

The Prime Minister : It has not been the general practice to identify the cost of Ministers' offices separately in departmental reports. The cost and size of my office are freely available in the form of parliamentary answers. The information for each year since 1979-80 is as follows :

           |Staff<1>  |Cost<2><3>          

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

1979-80    |68        |1,409               

1980-81    |68        |1,745               

1981-82    |70        |2,415               

1982-83    |64        |2,700               

1983-84    |66        |3,026               

1984-85    |67        |3,787               

1985-86    |66        |4,406               

1986-87    |66        |4,963               

1987-88    |67        |5,418               

1988-89    |67        |6,554               

1989-90    |68        |7,669               

1990-91    |71        |8,226               

1991-92    |73        |8,664               

1992-93    |95        |<4>9,136            

<1> The staffing levels relate to the beginning of each financial year. For the years 1979 to 1989 the figures relate to the number of actual staff employed in No.10. From 1990 onwards the figures are on the basis of staff in post (ie expressed in terms of full time equivalents). It should be noted that the increase in staff numbers from 1 April 1992 is due to the transfer of office service support grades, already working in No. 10, to the No. 10 complement from the Cabinet Office establishment officer's group.                           

<2> The monetary figures represent the cost of 10 Downing Street and Chequers borne on the Votes of the Cabinet Office (OPSS) and its predecessors. Over the period, the following changes have occurred to the basis of the costs:                     

in 1981-82 the Ministry of Defence introduced charges for the use of its aircraft;                                  

in 1983-84 the then Property Services Agency introduced charges for buildings and services;                                  

in 1984-85 charges were introduced for the Government Car Service and the Service Personnel at Chequers; and

in 1986-87 the cost of office services was included for the first time.               

<3> Costs are shown in the year in which the expenditure was made. Because of billing delays this is not always in financial year in which the goods or services were provided.                    

<4> Estimate.