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Industry (Government Support)

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 16th June 2010.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Labour, Leeds West 5:45 pm, 16th June 2010

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am sorry for my enthusiasm.

I welcome the clarification from the hon. Member for West Suffolk that regions will be able to make their own decisions, but that was not my understanding of what the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said earlier. [I nterruption.] If he did say that, I think that everyone on the Opposition Benches would welcome that. If our regions will be able to make the decisions about our regional development agencies and their future, I welcome that. I am grateful for that clarification, but that was not my understanding of what the Business Secretary said in his statement.

I know that Conservative Members will disagree with this, but I am sorry to say that we do not hear enough from them about growth. They cite the G20 advice about reducing deficits while consistently forgetting about or ignoring the advice in the G20 communiqué for

"credible, growth-friendly measures, to deliver fiscal sustainability".

That omission on growth is worrying from the perspective of industry and jobs-the subject of today's debate-because the greatest risk we face is that of a double-dip recession, with the job losses, business failures and higher budget deficits that that would bring.

On Monday, the Chancellor dismissed the possibility of a second recession, but businesses in my constituency are less certain that we are out of the woods. Key to the recovery and to bringing down the budget deficit-we hear a lot about that from Conservative Members-are growth and having a regionally strong and diverse economy. That will not happen by chance; it depends on a strategic Government policy supporting industry in all our regions.

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