§ Supply side improvements are seldom the stuff of headlines, but the policies that this Government have pursued have begun to improve the way that markets work. We have transferred to private ownership some two thirds of the state sector we inherited; and our labour market reforms have given back to management the power to manage, so that last year the number of days lost to strikes was the lowest for a century.
§ But we still have a long agenda of unfinished business. In my autumn statement, I set out proposals to increase 173 the role of the private sector in modernising Britain's infrastructure. I also announced additional resources to underpin the education reforms that we have set in train.
§ The wealth of a nation depends largely upon the skills of its people; and nothing could be more important for the long-term performance of the British economy than the steady improvement in education and skills that this Government are determined to bring about.