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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 16th May 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 16th May 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Lichfield

9. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the effects of the Government's policies on the people of Lichfield.

The Prime Minister: Lichfield has benefited fully from the Government's policies to provide the foundation for sustainable economic growth and improving living standards.


Scott Inquiry

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received from Sir Richard Scott, concerning the Government response in the media to the publication of his report into military exports to Iraq.

The Prime Minister: None.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 16 May.

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 16 May.

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.


Committee on Standards in Public Life

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to receive the second report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: The second report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, under the chairmanship of Lord Nolan, is being published today as Command Paper 3270 and copies of the report have been placed in the Vote Office and the Library of the House. I should like to thank Lord Nolan and his colleagues for their continuing commitment and effort in discharging their important remit.

The second report covers further and higher education bodies, grant-maintained schools, training and enterprise councils, local enterprise companies and registered housing associations. I welcome the fact that the committee found these to be

"organisations in which very many voluntary Board members and paid staff work hard, maintain high standards and achieve good results.".

I should like to join Lord Nolan and his colleagues in putting on record the Government's appreciation and admiration of the dedicated unpaid service of so many thousands of volunteers in these local public spending bodies. This inquiry confirms the continuing vitality of voluntary service as one of the great strengths of the British system. This voluntary local commitment, channelled through a clear policy framework set by central Government, provides a successful formula for delivering high-quality service to meet local needs.

Naturally, the committee has identified some areas where it believes that improvements can be made and we shall now give the report the close study it deserves before making a considered response, particularly to those recommendations which are addressed directly on the Government.


Armed Forces (Health Services)

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about the pay of medical and dental officers in the armed forces.

The Prime Minister: The Armed Forces pay review body has made recommendations on the pay of medial and dental officers in the armed forces in a supplementary report being published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House.

The review body recommends that the daily rate of basic pay should be increased by an average of 3.8 per cent. from 1 April. Further it recommends that, along with other military personnel, the x-factor, which compensates for the balance of disadvantage of service life, should be increased by 0.5 per cent. to 12 per cent. The review body has also recommended increases in consultant pay, which are designed to improve retention in this area.

The Government have decided to accept the review body's recommendations but to stage their introduction in the same way as the earlier recommendations of the Armed Forces pay review body, and the recommendations of most of the other review bodies. The full award less 1 per cent. will be back-dated to 1 April, and the remainder will be paid from 1 December.


Official Hospitality

Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Prime Minister how much was spent on official hospitality by his Department and all associated agencies in the financial year 1995-96.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 9 May 1996]: My office spent £60,000 on official hospitality in 1995-96. This reflected twice as many receptions as in the previous year, primarily held to promote issues of importance. The details are set out below.

      Receptions in 1995-96

      Two General Receptions

      South African Sports Initiative

      Lord Lieutenants

      Motability

      Praemium Imperiale

      Chartermark Winners

      National Sports Initiative

      World War Two Commemorations

      Armed Forces

      Eve of Session

      Police

      Education

      London Fashion Week

      UK Science, Engineering and Technology.