§ Mrs. Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will either release the £6 million presently withheld from opticians' remuneration for 1982 or publish the reasons for withholding this sum.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The sum of £6 million has been withheld from the arrears of fees paid to opticians pending the results of a factual inquiry into the prices paid by opticians for NHS lenses and frames. This withholding has been made because the Department of Health estimates that opticians have in recent years made "unintended" profits from the reimbursement rates received in respect of NHS lenses.