Civil Aviation Industry

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Mrs Helen Liddell Mrs Helen Liddell Secretary of State, Scottish Office, The Secretary of State for Scotland 2:30 pm, 6th November 2001

On confidence in the airline sector, in September 2001 BAA released figures on airport usage in Scotland. Compared with the previous year, passenger numbers through Edinburgh have risen by 13.4 per cent., through Glasgow by 6.9 per cent., through Aberdeen by 0.5 per cent. and through Prestwick by a massive 37.9 per cent., so there is still confidence in the airline sector.

On confidence in the economy overall, we are now seeing the sense of the measures taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1997 to introduce stability to the economy and move away from the boom and bust of 18 years of Tory rule. It has never been more important for us to have stability in our economy, as a result of which unemployment in Scotland is at its lowest for 40 years and we have historically low interest rates. There are more people in employment than there have been since Mrs. Lait and I were at Strathclyde university.