HC Deb 13 February 1986 vol 91 c502W
Mr. Soames

asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement outlining the objectives of Her Majesty's Government for the rest of the current Parliament.

The Prime Minister

The heart of our strategy is the continued reduction in inflation as a basis for sustained economic growth, built on sound financial foundations. Our aim is to hold public expenditure broadly constant in real terms and to reduce Government borrowing and the proportion of national income taken by taxation. We will continue to pursue measures to encourage initiative and enterprise. We shall remove barriers to effective competition and to the better working of markets. We shall seek to improve incentives. We shall continue to encourage the small business sector. We shall continue to pursue further measures of privatisation in order to improve the efficiency of the industries concerned and to encourage wider share ownership. It is only by pursuing these policies that we shall secure the continued substantial growth in new jobs which has occurred since 1983.

We shall continue to uphold the rule of law. We shall pursue our proposals to tighten up the law on public order and to counter the evil traffic in drugs. We shall take all necessary action to deal with fraud. We shall introduce a comprehensive framework for the supervision of the rapidly changing financial sector.

We shall continue to encourage wider home ownership. We shall implement major reforms in the social security system. We shall continue to protect retirement pensions and linked long-term benefits against inflation. We shall also develop our proposals for a radical recasting of the system of local government finance and the eventual abolition of the domestic rate. We shall be publishing a Green Paper on the reform of personal taxation. We shall continue to seek ways of improving the educational system through the extension of parental choice and through the improvement of standards in the system. We shall continue to develop the NHS to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the service to patients. We will continue to improve the efficiency of the public services, taking Government out of those areas which are best left to others. In Northern Ireland, we shall continue to develop and build upon the Anglo-Irish agreement signed in November. We shall remain ready to listen to and consider the views of all constitutional politicians.

We shall continue to play a full and active part in the NATO alliance as the best means of preserving the peace. We shall also play a full part in the further development of the European Community.

We are well on course, but there is much left to do. I am fully confident that we will carry forward our policies to a lasting and successful conclusion.