HC Deb 02 March 1972 vol 832 cc739-40
Q5. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister what plans he now has for making regular progress reports on the putting into effect of the policies of his Administration.

Mr. Fell

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. [Interruption.] This is a very short point. Can you tell me why this Question has been passed?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a point of order.

Mr. Hamilton

It is a very good Question.

The Prime Minister

There is a very good answer coming.

Ministers already report regularly to Parliament on the implementation of our various policies. Since taking office, the Government have successfully undertaken the reform of taxation, industrial relations and pensions, set in hand the reform of local government and housing finance, given the economy the largest stimulus ever, reduced the level of taxation, reshaped the pattern of public expenditure in order to give greater help to those in need and successfully negotiated entry into the European Economic Community.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the Prime Minister aware that none of those things has been achieved, that the unemployment figures are the highest since the war and that the cost of living is the highest since the war and has escalated more in the last 20 months? If there is this great catalogue of successes, why did the Prime Minister devote almost the whole of his broadcast on Sunday evening to the question of violence when he and his Government are doing more violence to the 1 million unemployed and the 7 million old-age pensioners than the miners did in five weeks?

The Prime Minister

The old-age pensioners have had the largest increase ever; last Christmas they were getting more in real terms than they had ever had at any previous Christmas; and they are now to have an annual review, which they never had before. The hon. Gentleman ought to try to keep in touch with what is going on.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Is not the real problem facing the Government that, before this Parliament is halfway through, they will have implemented their entire legislative programme?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir; and I shall continue to make helpful progress reports in this sense.