§ Q10. Sir John Biggs-Davison
asked the Prime Minister, in view of the withdrawal of the trade union representatives from the National Economic Development Council, if she will make a statement on its purpose; what it cost to public funds; and whether Her Majesty's Government will take steps to abolish it.
§ The Prime Minister
The purpose of the NEDC is to identify and promote ways of improving economic and industrial performance. The cost to public funds of the activities of the council, the economic development committees and the office which services them, is expected to be £6,576,000 for 1984–85. The TUC's decision not to attend the council until further notice is regrettable, but I understand that the EDC's are not affected by it. It would not be right to take hasty decisions. But if the absence of the TUC members were to be prolonged, it would inevitably raise questions about the future of NEDC.