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Government Economic and Social Policy

Part of Orders of the Day — Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 9:31 pm on 9th June 1993.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke The Chancellor of the Exchequer 9:31 pm, 9th June 1993

No. I apologise to the hon. Gentleman.

The improvement in our competitiveness is one of the Government's finest achievements during our period of office and it has stopped Britain being the sick man of Europe, as it used to be, into, throughout and out of every parliamentary Session. That is not due only to the depreciation of sterling since September. Even in the recession, we are in a good position compared with many of our competitors, because productivity is increasing, earnings are growing at their lowest rate for 25 years and our costs are falling, whereas costs in our competitor countries—[Interruption.]