Mr Robin Squire: Will my hon. Friend recognise that many Conservative Members congratulate Sir Derek Rayner on the efforts that he has made and the considerable service that he has contributed to the country? Does he agree that, ultimately, an efficient and effective Civil Service is in the best interests of those working in the Civil Service?
Mr Robin Squire: asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many submissions were received on the Government's Green Paper "Alternatives to Domestic Rates".
Mr Robin Squire: Is my right hon. Friend yet able to indicate whether a large percentage of those submissions requested a continuance or even an enlargement of the percentage of local authority expenditure that would be met by some locally determined revenue? If they did, will my right hon. Friend undertake, at least as far as possible, to make that a main principle of any reform that the Government may undertake?
Mr Robin Squire: Does my right hon. Friend agree that, despite the observations of the hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Leighton), it is much more likely that the housing of the people of that locality is at least as strongly in their minds as the question of their employment and that the LDDC has broken through many years of red tape and inaction through its actions, which have been applauded and...
Mr Robin Squire: Does my right hon. Friend accept that many of us wish to see the most modern methods used in advancing benefits and combating crime? However, at the same time there must be some recognition of our responsibility to those whose lives are affected by computer security. In that respect, the White Paper has been somewhat disappointing in comparison with the Lindop proposals.
Mr Robin Squire: The right hon. Gentleman rightly spoke about employment prospects. Does he agree that, had the original proposals been carried through, as we were promised, they would have had an even worse effect on employment prospects because of the impossible rating charge that many businesses in London would have faced?
Mr Robin Squire: Prior to the intervention of the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours), I was trying to intervene on the specific point that he was making about the weight of correspondence that he has received, and which we have all received. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that so accurate were the GLC advertisements that a high percentage of my constituents—and I suspect those of most other hon....
Mr Robin Squire: asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many small firms he expects to benefit from the small engineering firms investment scheme.
Mr Robin Squire: I congratulate my hon. Friend on his answer and on this latest example of Government assistance to small businesses. Will he undertake to look carefully at giving greater publicity to the scheme, given the time limit, so that other companies that may be eligible do not miss out on the chance of the grant?
Mr Robin Squire: I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide for protection for advance payments. This Bill is primarily but not exclusively concerned with what we term mail order, although in practice it extends to all trading arrangements whereby sums are sent prior to the delivery of goods or services promised. In practice, an increasing number of people in Britain are finding that,...
Mr Robin Squire: asked the Minister for Trade whether he is satisfied with the existing balance of imports and exports with the European Economic Community.
Mr Robin Squire: Will my hon. and learned Friend confirm that in the second part of last year we showed a specific increase in our manufactured exports to the EEC, which I am sure the whole House welcomes, and that to the extent that our manufacturing performance may still be less than we wish it is because of poor productivity in many of our manufacturing areas, which would only worsen our position in the...
Mr Robin Squire: Is my hon. Friend aware how welcome was the announcement yesterday of the £20,000 grant to the Child Poverty Action Group, which, in its assistance to hon. Members on both sides of the House on matters of child benefit and family support, has set a standard that many other voluntary groups would do well to emulate?
Mr Robin Squire: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will bring forward proposals for streamlining the collection of value added tax.
Mr Robin Squire: Will my hon. Friend examine the proposals of my hon. Friend the Member for Surrey, North-West (Mr. Grylls), which suggest that more than 80 per cent. of all VAT is accounted for by a tiny percentage of those registered for VAT? If so, does that not give great scope for saving, both in civil servants and working hours, in many businesses?
Mr Robin Squire: Will my hon. Friend confirm that many Londoners who have applied to purchase housing in the London Dockland Development Corporation area have been turned down because they do not live within the area? Does he agree that that shows that there is a large and untapped demand for housing in London that is not being met by local authorities?
Mr Robin Squire: Wobbly.
Mr Robin Squire: rose—
Mr Robin Squire: Is my right hon. Friend aware that workers carrying out general duties in the Health Service take twice the share of the cake of total expenditure as they do in the United States? Will my right hon. Friend take steps to increase the provision of private facilities to carry out those services, as opposed to the overwhelming percentage now being carried out by the public sector?
Mr Robin Squire: Does my hon. Friend recognise that, despite the welcome given unreservedly by Conservative Members to the Government's announcement of the reduction to 0·15g, any decisions on the complete elimination of lead in petrol must have a long lead-in time and that it is important for the Government to begin taking and pressing for those decisions now if we are to have lead-free petrol within a...