HC Deb 16 March 1993 vol 221 c162
13. Mr. Robert Ainsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of redundancies in the west midlands in the last quarter for which figures are available.

Mr. McLoughlin

The latest available figures from the quarterly labour force survey show that 25,000 people were made redundant in the west midlands in the three months before the survey of the summer of 1992.

Mr. Ainsworth

Does the Minister accept that that is proof that redundancies are continuing at a staggering rate? There are now 7,266 people out of work in my constituency, with 62 people chasing every job vacancy in the west midlands. Do the Government have any responsibility for that?

Mr. McLoughlin

The hon. Gentleman said that unemployment in his constituency is 7,266, but he failed to say that that it is 16 per cent., or 1,406, lower than in 1986. Unemployment in the constituency of Coventry, North-West is 12 per cent. lower and in Coventry, South-East it is 23 per cent. lower. I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman might have welcomed that.

Mr. Fabricant

Has my hon. Friend visited Stuttgart or Munich recently and seen the number of BMWs and Mercedes that are sitting unsold in car parks? Does not he welcome the 350 new jobs that have been created by Lucas, the hundreds of new jobs that will be created by Jaguar and the 3,000 new jobs that will be created by Toyota?

Mr. McLoughlin

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I do not share his travel experience, but I very much welcome the investment that has been made in Britain, which would not have been made if we had followed the policies proposed by the Opposition.

Mr. Grocott

Does the Minister remember the heady days of the 1960s, when he was at school and when engineering companies in the west midlands were thriving, engineering apprentice schools were full to overflowing and there was optimism abroad and plenty of jobs? Is not it crystal clear that the records of the Labour Governments of the 1960s and 1970s on manufacturing industry show that Labour Governments work and Tory Governments do not?

Mr. McLoughlin

That is rather strange coming from the Member who represents Telford, given the amount of inward investment that Telford has been fortunate enough to secure. I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman would welcome that for his constituents.

Back to