§ Mr. Jacques Arnold
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to change prescription charges exemption arrangements.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
None. The existing exemption arrangements for retirement pensioners, which are the most generous in Europe, were challenged in the High Court on 26 April 1994. The court has referred the matter to the European Court of Justice and we must await the conclusion of the judicial process. It remains the policy of this Government not to impose prescription charges on state pensioners.