HC Deb 17 March 1983 vol 39 c348
Q4. Mr. Parry

asked the Prime Minister if she will list her official engagements for Thursday 17 March.

The Prime Minister

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

Mr. Parry

Will the Prime Minister discuss the effect of the Budget upon unemployment with her right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor? As my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy) has said, all our regions are becoming industrial wastelands and deserts—the north-west, the north-east, Scotland and Wales. The Budget does nothing for unemployment. Will the Prime Minister say that she will fight an early general election and also tell the unemployed of Darlington where they will find jobs?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman is aware that the only way to maintain enduring jobs is to produce products that are good value for money, of good design and serviced, if necessary, wherever they may be sold in the world. There is no other recipe. Industry must go that way. The hon. Gentleman is aware that some of our industries are overmanned and that one of our car plants has been on strike and is unlikely to increase its sales. It is handing sales to some of our competitors.

Sir Anthony Kershaw

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the announcement by her right hon. and learned Friend that child benefit is to rise by 11 per cent. in November makes this the highest rate of child benefit ever? Does that not reach a section of the population that needs it?

The Prime Minister

That is correct. The child benefit is now at its highest ever level. Tax thresholds are 5 per cent, higher in real terms than they were in 1978–79.

Mr. Rooker

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for the Prime Minister to come to the Chamber prepared to quote hon. Members in Committee proceedings totally out of context?

Mr. Speaker

I never comment on Ministers' replies.