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Board And Lodging Regulations

Volume 82: debated on Monday 8 July 1985

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3.38 pm

You and I share a common concern, Mr. Speaker, when Ministers make announcements to the press and not to Members of Parliament. This weekend the Minister for Social Security informed us through The Observer newspaper that Ernst and Whinney is to carry out an inquiry into provisions on residential care in relation to the new board and lodging regulations. I seek your advice on how best to go about getting the Minister into the Chamber to inform Members of Parliament of his intentions so that we can question him. More importantly, as the board and lodging regulations have been proved to be flawed, as shown by the fact that the Government have already had to change them, and as Ernst and Whinney was involved in determining the level of payment to youngsters, would not the Government do better to listen to what the Opposition have to say about the regulations so that we can help to get them correct? I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on how to get the Minister into the Chamber.

It is true that the hon. Gentleman and I share a concern about these matters, but it is not a matter for me whether statements are made outside the House. The hon. Gentleman may have his opportunity during DHSS questions on 16 July.