HC Deb 31 October 1983 vol 47 cc601-2
2. Mr. Ray Powell

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many redundancies have been registered in Wales since 30 July.

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Nicholas Edwards)

The Manpower Services Commission's provisional estimate is that 1,971 notified redundancies occurred in the period August to end-September.

Mr. Powell

Does that total include the figure for October? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that redundancies have escalated in Wales, especially in Ogmore? Is he further aware that in Maesteg unemployment stands at well above 30 per cent.? A factory is closing there and 560 miners are being pushed out of work at the Wyndham-Western colliery—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."] When will the Secretary of State for Wales stop playing pet poodle to the Prime Minister and do something for those out of work in Wales?

Mr. Edwards

I gave the official figures for the period August to end-September. I understand that other redundancies are taking place and that the figures will continue to include new closures. However, during a recent trip to the United States I worked on a major project of significance to the hon. Gentleman's constituency. It involves moving the hitech corridor to Bridgend, and that is the Align-Rite proposal. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will welcome the important announcement by Sony of a further expansion in his constituency.

Mr. Wigley

Will the right hon. Gentleman point out to the state corporations in Wales that when considering redundancies they should take account of the social costs to the Government from having more people out of work, in addition to the pure profit and loss account costs to the industries?

Mr. Edwards

Those industries must also consider the costs that fall on other industries and on taxpayers generally if action is not taken to reduce their deficits. If they continue to make losses they will put other people out of work in other industries. That fact cannot be ignored.

Mr. Barry Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain why the west Wales CBI this weekend denounced Government policy?

Mr. Edwards

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his recent appointment and his success in the shadow Cabinet elections. I have not read the report to which he referred, but I recently had extensive discussions with representatives of the Wales CBI. They welcomed the Government's general approach and confirmed that there had been a significant recovery in the economy