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My Lords And Members Of The House Of Commons

Volume 31: debated on Wednesday 3 November 1982

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My Government are deeply aware of the anxieties and distress caused by unemployment. Their economic and other policies will be determined by the need to secure a sustainable growth in output, and thus a lasting reduction in the numbers out of work; this will require the achievement of a continuing fall in the rate of inflation.

My Government will maintain the monetary and fiscal policies necessary to achieve these ends, including continued restraint in public spending. They will promote efficiency and good management, especially in their own operations, and will take further steps to encourage initiative and enterprise.

Continued help will be given through special employment measures to those worst affected by unemployment. A new Youth Training Scheme for school leavers will be introduced.

Measures will be brought forward to permit private investment in British Telecommunications, to establish a telecommunications regulatory body and to reform the Telegraph Acts, to encourage private undertakings to generate and supply electricity, and to facilitate the introduction of private capital into British Shipbuilders. Proposals will be prepared for the development and expansion of cable systems.

Legislation will be introduced to encourage improved and better co-ordinated marketing of British food and agricultural produce.

A Bill to protect personal information held on computers will be introduced.

Bills will be introduced to facilitate the international carriage of goods and passengers, and to improve the control of subsidies to public transport in the conurbations. A further Bill will make provision for the construction of a road tunnel across the Conwy Estuary.

A Bill will be introduced to improve the organisation of the water industry in England and Wales.

Legislation will be brought forward to extend the right to buy and to reform the system of building control in England and Wales, and a separate Bill will seek to strengthen the statutory rights of those living in mobile homes.

Legislation will be introduced to enable improvements to be made to the health and social services.

Proposals will be brought forward to amend the law on equal pay in the light of a recent judgment of the European Court.

A Bill will be introduced to establish independent bodies with responsibilities for the management of certain museums and similar institutions, and for functions in relation to ancient monuments and historic buildings.

In Northern Ireland, my Government remain determined to create the conditions for a peaceful and prosperous society. The recently elected Northern Ireland Assembly will give elected representatives the opportunity to scruntinise the day to day workings of Government in the Province and to make recommendations for the resumption of devolved Government.

Measures will be brought forward to reform the Scottish law on mental health to enable divorce actions to be heard in sheriff courts, and to alter the control of legal aid fees in Scotland.

My Government will continue to support the work of the services for the prevention of crime and the maintenance of law and order. Legislation will be brought forward to modernise police powers in England and Wales whilst providing corresponding safeguards for the citizen, to amend the law of criminal evidence, to reform the police complaints procedure, and to introduce new arrangements for consultation between the police and the community.

Other measures will be laid before you.