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Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

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I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

I assure my right hon. Friend that when the Prime Minister visits Cromer she will receive a very warm welcome. Her firm policies are very much admired. However, may I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the fact that many people in my constituency, who have to travel long distances to work, find that they are little better off when working than when they are not working? Is he aware that so long as we continue with an unco-ordinated taxation and welfare system, and so long as we have index-linked social security, that situation will continue? Will he urge the Prime Minister to undertake an early inquiry into the matter?

I am aware that in a written reply to my hon. Friend my right hon. Friend made clear her personal interest in these matters. My hon. Friend has campaigned, to my personal knowledge, on this matter for a long time. I believe that he is right to have done so. The vast majority of people in the country and in the House realise that it must be made worth while for people to work. This is what my hon. Friend has campaigned for, and I should have thought that he was gaining many adherents to his cause.