My right hon. Friend's proposals, aimed at building confidence, helping industry and strengthening the economy, will help to boost employment prospects.
Priority has been given to protecting programmes with significant employment implications. Along with the relaxation of monetary policy measures, that should assist confidence and help to bring about a recovery.
Is the right hon. Lady aware that in my constituency since the autumn statement substantial redundancies have been announced in construction, particularly at Blue Circle Cement? Is she further aware that in my constituency we have had an horrific rise in the number of long-term unemployed, yet the Government seem incapable and unwilling to do anything about it? When will she make sure that the long-term unemployed have some opportunity to make some choice about the future?
The hon. Lady will know that I am always concerned about anybody who is facing unemployment or redundancy. That is why I was pleased to announce a package of 1·5 million employment and training places to help precisely the people about whom she is concerned, with special emphasis on those who are long-term unemployed.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the most immediate and specific job creation measures announced in the autumn statement was the agreement that the Jubilee line should proceed? That will bring enormous numbers of jobs to London and beyond it. Will my right hon. Friend therefore put in a quiet word to her right hon. Friends in the Treasury that such steps are good news for London and that the next step might be the Chelsea-Hackney underground line?
I admire my hon. Friend's ingenuity. He is very capable of putting a quiet word in with the Treasury, but nevertheless the Jubilee line extension is excellent news for employment.
If the Secretary of State is really interested in creating jobs and employment, may I recommend that she looks at the document printed on behalf of the Engineering Employers Federation last week, which talks about a strategy for industry and is extremely scathing about the support that the Government have not given to creating jobs?
I did see the document to which the hon. Gentleman refers. The engineering industry, together with other manufacturing industries, will be delighted at the increase in capital allowances, the help given to exports and the removal of car tax, all of which help industry and were welcomed by it, following my right hon. Friend's autumn statement.