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Health and Social Services

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th March 1988.

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Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire 12:00 am, 24th March 1988

Swallowing my pride is unlikely to make the resources available. I am sure that the hon. Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall), who is speaking from the Opposition Front Bench, realises the problems within the Northern Ireland block and knows that we spend 40 per cent. more through public expenditure per head in Northern Ireland than the rest of the country. A total of 70 per cent. of the gross domestic product of Northern Ireland is in the public sector. We have an unrivalled example of good services in health. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will also accept that the present priority of law and order inevitably means that there are other pressures, so that we are not always able to do everything that we would want.