Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Performance)

Part of Opposition Day — [10th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:47 pm on 2nd February 2011.

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Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Minister of State (Universities and Science) 3:47 pm, 2nd February 2011

I intend, time permitting, to go to Indonesia, where we have some specific trade objectives, and I think the Secretary of State plans to be in Turkey, so we recognise those countries' importance. All of us, working with Lord Green in the other House, have trade promotion at the top of our agenda for this Government.

I have referred to the burden of tax, the burden of regulation, our support for small businesses, infrastructure and trade. There is also the crucial investment in the skills that we need for the future. Again, we inherited a mess from Labour. Many Members on both sides of the House will remember the disappointment when further education colleges, having had their hopes raised that there would be billions of pounds for capital projects, found that the money ran out. Labour's problem with further education was that the money ran out even before the election, so Labour Members were holding the baby. They know the situation they left us.