Recession in Industry

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 30th January 1991.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry) 3:45 pm, 30th January 1991

I shall tell the right hon. Gentleman the correct figure. Manufacturing output, according to the latest account, is up by only 7 per cent. since 1979. In that time it has risen by 18 per cent. in Germany and by nearly 50 per cent. in Japan. That is the real position—we have had the slowest rise in manufacturing output of almost all our major competitors.

This is not a recession for which world conditions, OPEC, the Gulf crisis or the European Community can be blamed. This recession has been designed, fashioned and made in Downing street. We are not in the sixth month of a Europewide recession. Investment is not falling in the European Community; output has not slumped by £5 billion in six months in any other major European country. No other country in western Europe has experienced the same combination of falling orders, falling employment, falling investment and now falling exports.