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1995 - PMQT Written Answers 30th March 1995

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 30th March 1995.


PRIME MINISTER:

Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 30 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 the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.


No. 10 Downing Street (Disabled Access)

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will outline the measures taken, facilities offered and adjustments made at No. 10 Downing street to facilitate access for disabled people; what plans he has to improve access, with special reference to the fitting of a permanent ramp for wheelchairs; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: No. 10 Downing street already has a number of facilities for the disabled: portable ramps are available to give access to the house; a passenger lift which can accommodate wheelchairs and gives access to all floors; and a stair climber to enable wheelchairs to be taken up the main stairs. An additional lift to enable disabled people to move more easily to the state rooms and a disabled toilet will be installed shortly.


Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting

Sir Russell Johnston: To ask the Prime Minister which Minister will be representing Her Majesty's Government at the forthcoming meeting of Commonwealth Youth Ministers in Trinidad; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: The United Kingdom delegation to this meeting will be led by the British High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, assisted by a social development adviser from the Overseas Development Agency and the vice-chairman of the British Youth Council.


Bank of England

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what recent assessment he has made of whether confidential matters can safely be discussed between the Chancellor and officials of the Bank of England;

(2) what account he will take in considering candidates for appointment to the deputy governorship of the Bank of England of reports concerning their private lives;

(3) if the usual steps were taken to check Mr. Pennant-Rea's background before he was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

The Prime Minister: I will take all relevant considerations into account in deciding who should be appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. Mr. Pennant-Rea was subject to security vetting before he took up his appointment. I am satisfied that sensitive matters can be discussed in confidence between the Chancellor and bank officials.


Child Care

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Prime Minister what are the child care or nursery facilities within his Department; and what is the breakdown in their use (a) by grade and (b) by gender.

The Prime Minister: For this purpose my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science.


Pay Review Bodies

Mr. Byers: To ask the Prime Minister what were the total costs of operating the pay review bodies for (a) teachers, (b) doctors and dentists, (c) armed forces, (d) nurses and midwives, etc. and (e) senior salaries, including details for each of consultancy costs, members' expenses and site visits in the latest year for which figures are available.

The Prime Minister: The pay review bodies are serviced by the Office of Manpower Economics whose total operating costs, including some functions and activities not related to review bodies, amounted to £1.4 million in 1993 94, the latest period for which information is available. This figure includes staff salaries and costs, office infrastructure and support costs, but excludes rent and rates, members' travel and incidental expenses and consultancy.

Members and chairmen of pay review bodies are unpaid. Consultancy costs for review bodies vary significantly from year to year. Details of consultancy costs and members' incidental expenses are set out in the table.

£ pounds                                                                   

                                        |Members' travel                   

Review body           |Consultancy costs|and expenses                      

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

School Teachers                                                            

Review Body (STRB)  |249,096          |5,693                             

Doctors and Dentists                                                       

Review Body (DDRB)  |164,541          |7,366                             

Nurses and Allied                                                          

Professions Review                                                       

Body (NAPRB)        |-                |5,781                             

Armed Forces Pay                                                           

Review Body (AFPRB) |284,015          |23,774                            

Senior Salaries                                                            

Review Body (SSRB)  |192,992          |4,485


Departmental Report

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what was the cost of producing and circulating the annual report of the Cabinet Office for each of the last 10 years in real terms;  (2) what was the cost of producing and circulating the last annual report of the Cabinet Office; what was the circulation list; how many copies were produced; how many copies were sold; and at what price.

The Prime Minister: For this purpose my office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service and Science on 29 March at column 651.