HC Deb 19 January 1993 vol 217 c255
13. Mr. Hain

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees are employed in manufacturing industry; and what the figure was a year ago.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

The number of employees in employment in manufacturing industries in the United Kingdom was 4,485,000 in September 1992 compared to 4,746,000 in September 1991.

Mr. Hain

Is the Minister aware that of the 21 leading industrialised nations, this country is second from bottom in the amount of manufacturing growth since 1979, and that there is a burning anger among local manufacturers and their workers about the fact that this Government are clueless about the need for policies to revive our manufacturing sector.

Mr. Forsyth

Only today the European Community has estimated that Britain is likely to have a higher growth this year than our European partners and the hon. Member's concern about manufacturing unemployment and employment would be more convincing if he and his party did not support all the measures in the social chapter which would reduce our competitiveness and make us less likely to have inward investment which has provided so many jobs in his constituency, in Wales, in Scotland and in other parts of the United Kingdom.