Orders of the Day — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 10th March 1999.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 5:30 pm, 10th March 1999

Once again, it would have been nice had the right hon. Gentleman reflected on the fact that unemployment in his constituency is now down by more than 20 per cent. since the general election. The Budget brings good news for manufacturing. Substantial tax concessions have been introduced, specifically targeted at the manufacturing sector, and manufacturers want economic stability, not a return to the early 1990s and the days of Tory boom and bust. I can remember those days. In north Tyneside, around my constituency, not just tens or hundreds of jobs, but thousands, were lost in basic manufacturing industry because of Tory boom and bust. My constituents do not forget that, and that is why they voted for a Labour candidate.

I am outlining the steps that we are taking to help the manufacturing sector. However, we need to be realistic, and there is no doubt that, as we face a global downturn, some sectors of industry will be affected. To overcome that difficult situation, we need economic stability, and we believe that we have created the framework for that.