Mr John Ovenden: asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the latest figure for unemployment amongst registered disabled workers in the Medway employment area; what percentage of all registered disabled workers in the area this represents; and what are the corresponding figures for general unemployment in the area.
Mr John Ovenden: Does the Minister accept that those figures reveal a disgraceful situation that is common throughout the country and that they reflect the failure of industry to meet quota obligations? Is it not now time to introduce legislation instructing the Employment Services Agency to publish the names of firms which refuse to meet their quota obligations?
Mr John Ovenden: Not much.
Mr John Ovenden: rose—
Mr John Ovenden: Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that to give freedom of choice to the disabled involves a very much larger expenditure than has taken place in the past? Will he say what contribution he made, as Financial Secretary in the last Government, towards increasing the provision for mobility?
Mr John Ovenden: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May I ask you whether this is a debate or a dialogue? May I draw your attention to the fact that this debate will last for only three hours and 12 minutes? The debate has proceeded for two minutes short of one hour and has been monopolised by the two Front Bench spokesmen. Could you use your influence to protect Back Benchers?
Mr John Ovenden: I have sat through many speeches of a churlish nature from the Opposition Front Bench, but today's contribution by the right hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Jenkin) must outrank all others. Members less charitable than myself might suggest that it was hypocritical. Perhaps I am too generous. I content myself by saying that it revealed a total misunderstanding of the situation, and...
Mr John Ovenden: My hon. Friend will recall that during his speech the right hon. Member for Wanstead and Wood ford (Mr. Jenkin) suggested that there was such a degree of disenchantment at the Central Council for the Disabled that its Director had suggested that the Tory Party should go into the Lobby tonight to vote against the Government. I have not received any communication from the Council expressing...
Mr John Ovenden: asked the Attorney-General what was the cost of legal aid in civil cases at 1977 prices over the past five years.
Mr John Ovenden: Will my hon. and learned Friend accept that those figures reflect the failure of the incomes scale to keep pace with inflation, which has resulted in a smaller proportion of the population being eligible for legal aid? Is he satisfied with the situation where the only people who qualify for maximum legal aid are those living on incomes just above supplementary benefit level and that, to...
Mr John Ovenden: asked the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 21st April.
Mr John Ovenden: If my right hon. Friend can find the time today, will he spend some time re-reading the leaflet "Britain's New Deal in Europe", which was circulated by Her Majesty's Government to every family in the United Kingdom? Since that leaflet contains no reference to direct elections and concentrates on stressing the importance of veto powers in protecting Britain's sovereignty inside the EEC, will...
Mr John Ovenden: Does my right hon. Friend recall that when the Labour Government came to office they also had to make available considerable sums for local authorities to buy houses in the private sector that were standing empty because of the collapse of the private market brought on by the policies of the Conservative Party?
Mr John Ovenden: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science which local education authorities have now replied to her request under the Education Act 1976 for comprehensive reorganisation plans and which authorities have not.
Mr John Ovenden: Has my hon. Friend received any approaches from any of the authorities involved about the availability of resources for reorganisation, and is she in a position to give the House an assurance that comprehensive reorganisation will not be further delayed in areas where it has been held back for long enough because of a lack of resources?
Mr John Ovenden: asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current level of unemployment amongst registered disabled workers; and what percentage of such workers this represents.
Mr John Ovenden: Does my right hon. Friend detect an element of hypocrisy in the attitude of the Opposition, since they are continually calling for cuts in subsidies, including rail subsidies, while at the same time weeping crocodile tears over the fate of commuters and continuously trying to make political capital out of their suffering?
Mr John Ovenden: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received concerning the taxation of widows; and what replies he has given.
Mr John Ovenden: Has my right hon. Friend seen Early-Day Motion No. 245, signed by 83 hon. Members from all parts of the House, which demonstrates the concern that is felt about widows' taxation? Will he ask my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, when drawing up the Budget, to bear in mind the deep and justified sense of grievance that national insurance widows feel about the tax burden that they bear compared...
Mr John Ovenden: asked the Prime Minister if he will pay an official visit to Gravesend.