Taxation Policies

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 14th June 1991.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Gordon McMaster Mr Gordon McMaster , Paisley South 12:39 pm, 14th June 1991

Babcock is actually in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams), but the last time I visited it to talk to the management—it was during the Gulf crisis—I learnt that when the company had to freeze its contracts the Government would not give it a bridging loan. So there is everything to be proud of when productivity is improved but nothing to be proud of if, when it has been improved, the opportunity to expand is not taken up. Babcock is capable of doing many other things and of entering many other markets. It is an excellent company, but when it was in difficulty it did not receive Government support.

Less than half a mile from Babcock used to be a company called Howden's. It was a world leader in renewable energy—a fashionable idea—and at the forefront of environmentally friendly renewable energy products. While still in profit, the company closed down due to a combination of factors, not least among which were high interest rates and the associated economic problems of this country. Rolls-Royce is another example. It has just made redundant 6,000 workers, some of whom worked in the Hillington engine factory. Rolls-Royce announced today that it is to open a factory in Germany. How can it be called economic success when workers are losing their jobs? They are not getting a chance to improve productivity because their jobs are going to other countries. There must be lessons to be learned from that.