HC Deb 06 November 1995 vol 265 cc592-3
31. Mr. Jacques Arnold

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement about his priorities. [39716]

The Deputy Prime Minister

To promote the competitiveness agenda, the deregulation initiative and the effective administration of the services for which my Department is responsible.

Mr. Arnold

My right hon. Friend will know of the considerable irritation shown by businesses and people about the regulations that pour out in respect of food hygiene and safety. Although the general public support them in principle, the examples in practice cause considerable disquiet. What are the Government doing about it?

The Deputy Prime Minister

My hon. Friend will know that all those regulations are the subject of review, and many have now been announced as repealed or fit for repeal. More than 530 of the recommendations made by Lord Sainsbury's task force have now been accepted. The House will be fully aware of the work that Frances Maude is now doing. He is in charge of the present task force that advises the Government on further progress.

Mr. Derek Foster

Now that senior Tories admit that the Government have been hijacked by the right, is it not clear that, just as many Tory Back Benchers will vote tonight to safeguard their financial interests rather than the interests of Parliament, so the Government have abandoned a national interest to govern in the interests of the Conservative party? Have not the Government only one priority: their survival from day to day?

The Deputy. Prime Minister

Those of us who will support what the right hon. Gentleman refers to as the "Government line" will do so because we believe that it is in the best interests of Parliament that the proposals that we put forward should be accepted. We think that the changes in which some Opposition Members believe might result in long-term, permanent damage to the institution of Parliament.

Forward to