Orders of the Day — Shipbuilding (Northern Ireland)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:03 am on 26th July 1982.

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Photo of Hon. Adam Butler Hon. Adam Butler , Bosworth 1:03 am, 26th July 1982

There are many people in Northern Ireland who ask, as I asked rhetorically tonight, whether some or all of that £600 million might not have been better spent in supporting other projects or to the taxpayer's benefit.

The Government have provided between £45 million and £50 million in each of the past three financial years. We have been prepared to put money behind the company. It is not reasonable to expect that one should continue putting such sums of money behind a company in perpetuity. It will be at somebody else's expense. That is a realistic approach to the problem, which the hon. Gentleman does not always share.

We are debating only the amendments to the redundancy payment scheme. I feel that the sums of money involved will be necessary, and that in those circumstances it is right to enhance payment to those who lose their jobs at Harland and Wolff. For those reasons, I commend the order to the House.