Amendment of the Law

Part of Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation – in the House of Commons at 8:08 pm on 10th March 1992.

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Photo of Dr Norman Godman Dr Norman Godman , Greenock and Port Glasgow 8:08 pm, 10th March 1992

I profoundly disagree with what has been said by the hon. Member for Upminster (Sir N. Bonsor), except in one important respect. He mentioned his hon. Friend the Member for Windsor and Maidenhead (Sir A. Glyn). I share his affection and respect for the hon. Gentleman, who, in my experience, has always been a fair-minded adversary of the most courteous kind.

Earlier, the hon. Member for Halesowen and Stourbridge (Sir J. Stokes)—that splendid English patriot—claimed that he was speaking for England, and, more particularly, for his constituency. That claim seems reasonable enough, on the basis of the speeches that the hon. Gentleman has made over the past nine years. I listened closely, as I always do, to his unashamedly patriotic speech. He was followed by my old and hon. Friend the Member for Newport, East (Mr. Hughes), who said that he was speaking for Wales. I should like to speak for the people of Scotland—and, more particularly, for those whom I represent in Greenock and Port Glasgow.

I see that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Social Security is present. I wish to say something about the social fund later, but I should be enormously grateful if —with her characteristic courtesy—she responded promptly to the following question. How much of the increase in the social fund will reach the two local offices in my constituency? As the hon. Lady knows, about a third of the people whom I represent are in receipt, directly or indirectly, of social security incomes. This is not a joke; I am not being facetious, but making an important point. Today's Budget has nothing to offer my constituents. Perhaps, however, the Minister's reply—which, as always, will be expeditious and courteous—will answer my question about the social fund.