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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 10th March 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 10th March 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Public Interest Immunity Certificates

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister if he will bring forward legislation to bring public interest immunity certificates within statute law and parliamentary scrutiny.

The Prime Minister : The Government will consider carefully any comments or recommendations Lord Justice Scott makes on this issue when his report is completed.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 10 March.

Sir Peter Tapsell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 10 March.

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 this House, I shall be having further meetings later today.


Sir Peter Levene

Dame Angela Rumbold : To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made to ensure that there is no conflict of interest between Sir Peter Levene's appointment as chairman of Canary Wharf and his position as the Prime Minister's efficiency adviser.

The Prime Minister : Sir Peter Levene will take no part in Government consideration of any issue which could involve a conflict of interest for him. There will be a review every six months of any prospective issues which could raise such a conflict so that appropriate arrangements can be made.


Official Gifts

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 22 February, Official Report, column 162 , what happens to moneys raised from the sale of official gifts received by recent Prime Ministers.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 9 March 1994] : Gifts of small value are the property of the Prime Minister; the use of the proceeds from the sale of any such items is therefore a matter for the Prime Minister of the day to determine. Both my predecessor and I have made it our practice to donate all proceeds to charity. If any gifts from the official inventory were sold, the proceeds would accrue to official funds.


Office Costs

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister what was the annual total cost of the Prime Minister's office in each year (a) between 1974 and 1979 and (b) since 1990.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 11 January 1994] : Figures on a consistent basis are not available.

Information on the total costs of the Prime Minister's office is not available before 1979-80. Spending in 1979-80 is recorded as £1.409 million, but that did not include charges for : the use of MOD aircraft; the use of buildings and for services supplied by the Property Services Agency and its successors; the use of the Government car service; the service personnel at Chequers; or for office services supplied by the Cabinet Office.

The present No. 10 budget now includes charges for all these services. On that basis, the total annual cost for the completed financial years since 1990 has been as follows :

Year        |£ thousands           

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

1990-91     |8,226                 

1991-92     |8,664                 

1992-93     |9,866                 

These figures show payments made in the years in question. In some cases, this may relate to expenditure incurred in the previous financial year.

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Prime Minister when the hon. Member for Walsall, North will receive a reply to his question of 11 January, relating to expenditure of his Office.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 8 March 1994] : I have done so.