§ Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether you can be of assistance. Back-Bench Members certainly appreciate what you have often done during your time in the Chair to defend their rights. I genuinely mean that. At 3.30 pm, a written answer was given on prescription charges.
Since 1979, prescription charges have risen 17 times. There certainly should have been a statement from the Secretary of State for Health on such an important issue which certainly affects our constituents. Why is it that on such a crucial issue as prescription charges rising to £.3.40 per item a written answer is given but no statement? That will undoubtedly penalise people who are ill and who are not exempted. I hope that you, Mr. Speaker, will help us to get a statement from the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman has made his point. It is perfectly in order for a written question on these matters to be tabled—and answered. I understand that it is likely that there will be a debate on the matter anyway in due course.