§ 60. Mr. Foster
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take further steps to alleviate unemployment in the North-East of England.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
The Government's regional policies have been designed to give maximum assistance to areas such as the North-East which have the greatest problems.
We are also continuing our programme of special employment and training measures which have helped a considerable number of people in the North-East—including many thousands of young people—who might otherwise have been unemployed.
In the longer term, however, the only realistic way to reduce unemployment levels is by controlling inflation and creating the conditions in which firms are encouraged to expand.
What is essential is that both sides of industry and commerce should show restraint in pay negotiations and cooperate in making industry more competitive.