HC Deb 12 November 1968 vol 773 cc89-90W
Mr. Clifford Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the respective expenditure per head of the population on the health and welfare services in England, Scotland, and Wales and Monmouthshire.

Mr. Ennals

The estimated expenditure in 1967–68 was £30 12s. 6d., £34 2s. 6d. and £31 14s. 8d. respectively.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in view of the Government's policy of encouraging participation in government by the people and the various organisations representing their interests, he will give an undertaking that in cases where cuts in the social services are to be made persons and organisations concerned should be invited to make representations before a final decision is made; and whether he will adopt this system in respect of the restriction on free school meals.

Mr. Crossman

On the very rare occasions when social services are cut it is not only the interests of recipients which are involved. The interests of the population as a whole have also to be considered, and for this purpose I think our well-established processes of Parliamentary democracy are the most appropriate. The Ministers concerned are, of course, at all times ready to consider any representations which organisations representing beneficiaries or other particular interests may wish to make.

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