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Industrial Strategy

Part of Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill [Lords] (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 18th April 2018.

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Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative, Spelthorne 4:40 pm, 18th April 2018

The hon. Gentleman talks about predictions, but let us look at the past. We have cut corporation tax in every single year since 2010 but revenues from that tax have gone up. That shows exactly that the Government’s strategy is right.

Let us consider ideas about investment in our people and their education. When I go around schools in my constituency, I am struck by the fact that everyone is talking about STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and maths. These subjects are being fostered and encouraged by the Government. The message is very much going out, right through the educational establishment and across schools, and it is very encouraging that that is happening. In my constituency, a number of schools are looking in particular to increase STEM participation among female students, which is very exciting. All these things are part of an industrial strategy. All these things will make the country more prosperous and more productive—they will drive future productivity growth. The Government are to be commended for taking an unusually medium to long-term view of the UK economy. Far too often in this House, we sling insults, with lots of abuse and all that, and we are very focused on the short term. It is exciting that in this industrial strategy we can think in terms of the medium and longer term.

On that note, infrastructure spending is very dear to my heart, as the Member for Spelthorne. Heathrow—the “H” word—is something that this Parliament will have to decide on, hopefully in the next few months, but certainly in the next couple of years. I have always been clear about my support for the third runway—or rather, I should say, the expansion of Heathrow. That is vital to drive forward the economy, productivity growth and prosperity, so we will have to tackle that.

On the broad range of infrastructure issues, investment in human capital with regard to STEM subjects, and research and development—