Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th May 1987.
In view of the figures, is not this professional optimism from the Secretary of State beginning to sound a little like cant? Is it not shameful that, after eight years of Conservative success, of which we hear so much, there are 363,000 Scots drawing unemployment benefit? According to the Library statisticians and working on a comparable basis, that is about 130 per cent. more than the figure that the Prime Minister inherited in 1979. Does the Secretary of State accept that unemployment must be a key issue in the coming weeks? Whatever the hopes of Scottish Ministers, many people in Scotland cannot forget the scarring misery of the dole queues and, I am afraid, the contribution that has been made to that crisis by the Government's thrawn indifference to what is happening in our communities.