I thank my hon. Friend for that encouraging news. Does he agree that, at the same time, manufacturing exports increased by more than two thirds? Is that not a significant springboard for the future for British manufacturing industry?
I am grateful to my hon. Friend. He is right that manufacturing exports have increased by nearly three quarters since 1981. In fact, they have grown faster than in the United States of America, Japan, France and Germany.
If we compare this stage in the economic cycle with the previous stage, we see that output is up a quarter, investment is up a third, productivity is up a half and exports are up three quarters. [Interruption.] Opposition Members may not like it, but we will keep saying it. One thing is absolutely clear: why should manufacturing industry benefit from a quadruple whammy with higher costs, higher prices, higher inflation, a minimum wage and more red tape? That is the question that the Opposition need to answer.