HC Deb 16 March 1993 vol 221 cc162-3
14. Mr. Wells

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what measures she is bringing forward to assist the unemployed in east Hertfordshire.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

The new employment and training measures that will begin in April offer the widest range of help to unemployed people that we have ever provided. We expect to offer almost half a million more opportunities in our programmes in 1993–94 than we are providing this year.

Mr. Wellš

I thank my right hon. Friend for that constructive and helpful reply, for which my constituents in Hertfordshire and Stortford will be grateful. Are not the depressing remarks that are constantly made by Labour Members about unemployed people being on the scrapheap entirely refuted by her constructive words?

Mrs. Shephard

My hon. Friend is right to point out the extremely positive work that is done by the Employment Service, which last year placed 1.4 million unemployed people back in work.

Mr. Olner

Does not the Minister realise that not only in east Hertfordshire but all over the country people need proper employment? Is she aware that only last week Rolls-Royce announced further redundancies of very highly skilled personnel? When will the Government recognise that the manufacturing base of this country is disappearing fast under their leadership? When will they go and let people who want to work work properly?

Mrs. Shephard

I have to point out to the hon. Gentleman that, although, of course, I share his concern for anyone who is facing unemployment or redundancy, he and his hon. Friends have absolutely no constructive or uniform views on either the economy or employment. It would be a great help to him and his hon. Friends if the official Opposition spokesman on employment stopped his vendetta against employers, whom he continues to describe as scum, and bankers, whom he now describes as shortsighted, stupid and on the make. That is not a very constructive approach to employment.