HC Deb 22 May 1979 vol 967 cc867-8
Q1. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for 22 May.

The Prime Minister (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

In addition to my duties in this House I shall be holding meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. This evening I hope to have an Audience of Her Majesty The Queen.

Mr. Davis

That is very interesting. Will the right hon. Lady take the opportunity today, or at least at an early stage, to explain to pensioners why her Government refuse to link the pension with earnings or prices, whichever is the higher? When will she say something about the electricity discount scheme? In replying to all questions will she please not be too strident?

The Prime Minister

As the hon. Gentleman is already aware, we have undertaken to implement the November increases in full. He is already aware that in the previous year his Government had a shortfall on their calculations. That is being made up this November. We announced it and we shall honour it.

Mr. McCrindle

Will my right hon. Friend consider preparing a list of the trade union leaders who, since 3 May, have uttered dire threats of what will happen if the Government dare to carry out the policy endorsed by the electorate on 3 May?

The Prime Minister

The vast majority of trade union members, being believers in democracy, believe that policy is made by a Government and is implemented by the House. The vast majority of them—I hope all of them—will agree to implement that policy. Otherwise it is the end of democracy.

Mr. Charles R. Morris

Will the right hon. Lady take time during a busy day to allay the anxieties of those who question merging responsibility for the disabled with ministerial responsibility for social security? Will she seek to relieve the anxiety of those who believe that that proposition will lead to a reduced provision for the disabled? Finally, will she bear in mind that the nation is perplexed—certainly her Back Benchers are perplexed—that she should appoint a politically disabled Minister to make provision for the physically disabled?

Mrs. Thatcher

The right hon. Gentleman is less than generous in his last strictures. I have appointed a Minister with special responsibility for the disabled in addition to his other responsibilities. I am happy that he will carry that out as well as the right hon. Gentleman's brother did.

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