HC Deb 26 November 1968 vol 774 c278
11. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the computer for the Inland Revenue to serve the eastern area, including Essex and other neighbouring counties, is being situated in Tyneside and the North-East.

Mr. Harold Lever

The Tyneside area was selected because it was an area which both met the operational requirements of the Inland Revenue and accorded with the Government's regional development policy. The decision was taken after the most careful review of the alternatives both inside and outside the eastern region.

Mr. Ridsdale

As the eastern region is a comparatively low wage area and has some places of unemployment higher than the north-east, would the hon. Gentleman look at this again?

Mr. Lever

I cannot undertake to do that. The decision was taken only after the most exhaustive and lengthy examination.

Mr. Tinn

Is my hon. Friend aware that the decision was welcomed in the North-East, where the male unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent., and that it is hoped that the Government will press ahead even more vigorously with the policy of devolution of Government offices?

Mr. Lever

The Government are doing their best to meet the kind of thing my hon. Friend has in mind. I am grateful for his support.

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