Citizens Charter (White Paper)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 25th November 1992.

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Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner , Bolsover 3:30 pm, 25th November 1992

Is the Minister aware that, on page 25 of the citizens charter, we are told that, when telephoning the Employment Service, the average time taken to answer the phone is half a minute and that, if it takes longer, than that we can complain? Yesterday, while I was dealing with a constituent's case, it took a. quarter of an hour for the Department of Social Security office, just down the road, to answer my phone call. The reason is that the number of staff has been cut and that there are so many people with complaints against the DSS and the Employment Service. Nearly 4 million people are out of work. That is why they cannot answer the phone.

As for the consumer crap to which the Minister referred, yes, pensioners want money, the homeless want houses and schools need to be repaired. That is what the Government should be doing instead of trotting out these glossy documents that do not add up to a row of beans.