HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 cc9-10
8. Mr. Hanson

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he next plans to review the presentation of Government policy objectives as they relate to his responsibilities. [36753]

Mr. Willetts

We regularly review our presentation of Government policies—the presentation of successes such as rising living standards, higher educational standards and a fall in the crime rate.

Mr. Hanson

When the Minister next takes the opportunity to review the presentation of Government policies, will he rule out their presentation to groups of business men in return for £100,000 donations to the Conservative party?

Mr. Willetts

I would be interested to hear whether the Labour party will rule out giving trade unions a clear say in its policy in return for direct contributions to party funds. Labour is the party that is funded by outside interests.

Mr. Harry Greenway

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the Government's policy will be firmly to oppose the London Underground strike that is causing such misery to my constituents, the rest of the people of London and the economy? Has my hon. Friend noted that the Leader of the Opposition has made a feeble attempt to oppose the strike, and that the deputy Leader is said to have been so annoyed that he had to be scraped off the wall?

Mr. Willetts

My hon. Friend is quite right: we unreservedly condemn both the tube strike and the Post Office mail strike. The Labour party could do with rather better co-ordination on the matter.

Mr. Pike

Do the Minister and the Government continue to review the effect of the abolition of the wages councils, and the increased poverty and low pay that many people in Lancashire have had to suffer as a result of that policy?

Mr. Willetts

I am sure that the abolition of the wages councils is one of the many reasons why this country enjoys a much lower unemployment rate than countries on the Continent. If people are in low-paid jobs, it is much better to help them out with family credit than to introduce a minimum wage and ensure that they have no jobs at all.

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