HC Deb 16 December 1986 vol 107 c1041
5. Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

asked the Paymaster General what increase in employment he estimates to have followed from the recent reform of wages councils.

Mr. Trippier

Attempts to estimate the employment effects of these particular reforms are not likely to be fruitful. However, the streamlining of the system and the removal of statutory minima which prevent employers offering jobs to young people at realistic rates can only increase employment beyond what it would otherwise have been.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

In view of my hon. Friend's reply, will he calculate the opposite effect on employment of introducing a statutory minimum wage? While he is doing that, can he add to that the effects on employment of shutting down American bases, phasing out nuclear power stations and imposing mandatory sanctions against South Africa? Does he agree that if the Labour party came to office such policies would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs?

Mr. Trippier

My hon. Friend is absolutely correct. Quite apart from the disastrous effects that the Labour party's proposals would have on the levels of unemployment which my hon. Friend has catalogued, the substantial increase in taxation necessary to fund the Labour party's increase of £28 billion of public expenditure would dramatically exacerbate the position that my hon. Friend has described.

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