§ 15. Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has for cutting unemployment in Scotland and Coatbridge and Airdrie, respectively.
§ Mr. Dudley Smith
The hon. Member's constituency together with other parts of Scotland should continue to benefit from the extensive measures we introduced to encourage industrial expansion especially in the development areas.
§ Mr. Dempsey
Is the Minister aware that, in spite of these so-called extensive measures, Scotland has nearly twice and Coatbridge and Airdrie nearly three times the national average of unemployment? Is it not time that this grave situation was acknowledged and the Minister took action to pressurise the spending Ministries to place more orders for firms in this part of the country to provide thousands of immediate jobs and help to alleviate unemployment?
§ Mr. Smith
I know the hon. Gentleman's concern about his district. Unemployment is still too high in Scotland, 1094 but it is encouraging to see that the Scottish seasonally adjusted rate has dropped by 0.8 per cent. since April, and that drop represents 15,200 people. That is is a trend in the right direction and it is being maintained.