§ 11. Sir A. Meyer
asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many new job opportunities in Flintshire have been notified to him since 1st January 1973.
§ Mr. Peter Thomas
§ Sir A. Meyer
Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that this is but the tip of what looks like a pretty sizeable iceberg? Does not this great expansion in job opportunities in Flintshire correct the false picture which has been put out by an excessively gloomy report on the way from the task force? Is it not a hopeful sign that for the first time for a long time people living in Wales but working in England are now being lured back to work in North Wales?
§ Mr. Thomas
I do not think that the area is in any way served by gloomy prognostications. The figures I have given indicate a start, and I am sure that there is more to come. Quite a bit of activity is taking place which promises added employment. As my hon. Friend will appreciate, the figure of unemployment in Flintshire generally at the moment, 15 despite the higher figure in the Rhyl area, is 3.1 per cent., which is below the Welsh national average.
§ Mr. Barry Jones
How many of these jobs for men are at wage rates comparable with those in the steel industry? Will the Secretary of State accept that the best way to dispel gloom in East Flintshire is to say that the Government will keep the jobs in the steelworks?
§ Mr. Thomas
So far this year approved new building schemes and applications to the Department of Trade and Industry for selective financial assistance will provide 550 jobs, of which about half are for men. In addition, Hawker's expansion at Broughton promises a further 500 jobs, most of which will be for men.