HC Deb 09 December 1980 vol 995 c779
12. Mr. Newens

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what effects he estimates the measures announced in the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the House on Monday 24 November will have on the level of employment.

Mr. Prior

I cannot give precise estimates as attempts to calculate the employment effects of measures such as these depend on arbitrary assumptions and on the particular economic model used.

Mr. Newens

But is it not a fact that, even taking into account the totally inadequate palliatives, the effects of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's action will be substantially to increase the level of unemployment by reducing public expenditure and by increasing the burdens on industry? Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that even in the South-East and the most prosperous firms the Government's policy is now regarded as an unmitigated disaster?

Mr. Prior

I do not recognise the last part of what the hon. Gentleman has said. I recognise that his question reflects the outdated belief that changes in the Government's expenditure and revenues are reflected automatically in the level of unemployment. Most people now recognise that life is not as simple as that, and I should have thought that it was time the hon. Gentleman did.