§ Mr. Ancram
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in the light of the recommendations contained in the report on services for the elderly in Scotland, " Changing Patterns of Care ", which was published on 30 April, he will make a statement about his strategy in relation to the increasing number of elderly people in Scotland.
§ Mr. Younger
I recognise the need for further improvement in services for the elderly in Scotland. Health boards and local authorities have been notified of the publication of the report so that they may take account of its recommendations when considering the future planning of relevant services. The Government's strategy in relation to elderly people will require to have due regard to the changes in economic circumstances since the report was prepared, and to the plans for public expenditure set out in the Government's White Papers on that subject. The Government have made it clear that their overriding priority must be economic growth and that only when this is achieved will the general prosperity of the country improve and the wealth needed to improve public services become available. As I have already indicated, I am not committed to accepting the report's recommendations.