Short-termism

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Jimmy Dunnachie Mr Jimmy Dunnachie , Glasgow Pollok 12:00 am, 11th March 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to combat short-termism among investors in British industry.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood , Wokingham

The way to combat short-termism is to have the right policies for the support of industrial investment—policies based on competitiveness, lower taxation, good industrial relations and a belief in quality.

Photo of Mr Jimmy Dunnachie Mr Jimmy Dunnachie , Glasgow Pollok

Does the Minister agree that it is a disgrace, when British industry is striving desperately to find a starting point for recovery, that the Government have not provided tax incentives for investment in industry?

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood , Wokingham

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor put forward a number of measures which give a lot of cash flow help to British business—and none more important than that on the unified business rate, which means £500 million extra for business and relief from any increases in business rates. Under Labour, businesses suffered greatly from the increase in business rates. Labour's plans would make British companies wide open to easy takeovers because they have proposals for company law, to renationalise companies, which would leave many other companies vulnerable.

Photo of Quentin Davies Quentin Davies , Stamford and Spalding

Has my hon. Friend seen the latest survey from the Institute of Purchasing and Supply—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Reading!"] which publishes a regular report based on surveys of purchasing managers throughout British industry, studying their purchasing activities and intentions. That is an important survey—[HON. MEMBERS: "Reading!"] Clearly Opposition Members do not care to brief themselves with such important information—[Interruption.]

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. Let us get to the question. Please hurry up.

Photo of Quentin Davies Quentin Davies , Stamford and Spalding

I am sure that my hon. Friend has seen this survey—[Interruption.] Has he noticed that for the first time, in February, the indices for orders and output show a rise?

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. That was a very long-winded question.

Photo of John Redwood John Redwood , Wokingham

I agree entirely with the bit of the question that I heard. I thought that it was a most helpful question. Its length was entirely related to the fact that it contained good news and, once again, Opposition Members did not want to hear it.