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Scottish Confederation of British Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1980.

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Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway 12:00 am, 7th May 1980

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when next he plans to meet representatives of the Scottish Confederation of British Industry to discuss the progress of the economy.

Photo of Mr Alexander Fletcher Mr Alexander Fletcher , Edinburgh North

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Leek (Mr. Knox).

Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway

When my hon. Friend meets the leaders of the CBI, will he thank them for their steadfast support of the Government's economic policies? In Particular, will he thank them for their support of the Government'? overriding aim of eliminating Socialist inflation? Will he take hope from the headline that appears in today's issue of The Scotsman? It states: Inflation outlook rapidly improving. Raw-material price rises slow ". Will he persevere with that policy?

Photo of Mr Alexander Fletcher Mr Alexander Fletcher , Edinburgh North

The Government are determined to persevere with their economic policies. The CBI has taken a realistic view and I wish that its opposite numbers in the STUC took a similarly realistic view. At the moment, they live in cloud—cuckoo—land, and are urging demonstrations that will take workers away from employment.

Photo of Mr William McKelvey Mr William McKelvey , Kilmarnock

Has the CBI made the Minister aware that a growing number of firms in Scotland—particularly in Ayrshire—are on the short-time working compensation scheme? Does not he accept that, as the Government have reduced that scheme from one year to six months, the latter period is now expired in many cases? Does he not accept that, unless that scheme is extended, there will be a lot of redundancies in many of those firms?

Photo of Mr Alexander Fletcher Mr Alexander Fletcher , Edinburgh North

As the hon. Member says, the scheme is of a temporary nature and seeks to help companies that are trying to overcome a short-term difficulty. We cannot continue to support companies that are no longer viable