Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 4th November 1992.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 23 October, Official Report, column 389, how many members of the civil service have retired early since the beginning of 1992, on terms comparable to those mentioned in his answer.
The Prime Minister : These terms are payable to civil servants who are retired early by reason of redundancy or in the public interest. The number shown in Civil Service Statistics (1991 edition, table 7) as leaving for these causes in 1990-91 was 1,582. Figures for 1991-92 will be published on 27 November.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Prime Minister what is his response to the petition presented on 23 October to No. 10 Downing Street by the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey on behalf of Liberal Democrats calling for a fully independent review of the coal industry before any pits are closed.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 29 October 1992] : My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has announced a moratorium until early in the new year on the closure of 21 of the pits proposed for closure by British Coal, unless the work force at a pit concerned agrees otherwise, and a full and wide ranging review of the prospects for these pits. The Government will publish a White Paper early in the new year setting out the results of the review in the context of our energy policy. There will be a full debate in the House of Commons.
British Coal is carrying out the statutory consultation process in relation to the other 10 pits before any closure takes place.