Manufacturing Output

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 19th June 1996.

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Photo of Mr Philip Oppenheim Mr Philip Oppenheim , Amber Valley 1:45 pm, 19th June 1996

No, I do not agree, not surprisingly. I must point out to the hon. Gentleman that, in the past quarter, manufacturing in Britain rose at a time when it is stagnant or falling in the rest of Europe. I ask him, because I know that he has an expansive mind, to look at the big picture. During the 1980s and 1990s, Britain's manufacturing productivity growth was the fastest of all the major economies in the world. Our manufacturing output has grown faster than that in all the other major European Union countries. I also remind him that, when his party was last in power, our manufacturing productivity growth was bottom of the league of major nations and our manufacturing productivity output actually fell.