Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 26th October 1992.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Prime Minister if he will establish an interdepartmental co-ordinating committee to monitor the environmental impact of EC policies.
The Prime Minister : The Government have already taken steps to ensure that in the United Kingdom the environmental consequences of their policies, wherever they arise, are properly considered through, inter alia, the setting up of a ministerial committee on the environment and the appointment of Ministers with responsibility for green issues in each Department. The United Kingdom also works for the integration of environmental needs into other policies in the EC.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to satisfy himself that the working of the social security system with regard to applications for mobility allowance, attendance allowance and disability living allowance fall within the guidelines laid down by him for his citizen’s charter; and if he will clarify departmental responsibilities on this matter.
The Prime Minister : The chief executive of the Benefits Agency is responsible for the administration of social security benefits and is accountable to the Secretary of State for Social Security for his performance.
The Benefits Agency has taken vigorous action through the summer to accelerate the processing of claims and to reduce significantly the amount of work outstanding in relation to mobility allowance, attendance allowance and disability living allowance. The chief executive wrote to all hon. Members on 6 July and again on 19 October setting out progress.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list, by county, the number of people who have so far telephoned his response number at 10 Downing Street in respect of the proposed pit closures; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : I have received a substantial number of representations on this issue.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Prime Minister if he will put to the Heads of Government a plan for a common coal policy on the lines of the common agricultural policy to be financed out of the United Kingdom’s net contribution to the EC budget.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 23 October 1992] : There is already an agreed Community policy on coal. The United Kingdom looks to the Commission, in its scrutiny of state aids for coal, to see that this policy is followed in all member states.