§ 39. Mr. Foster
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the loss of output occasioned by the current level of unemployment.
§ Mr. Brittan
The level of output in the United Kingdom is the result of many factors including external developments in the world economy, our relative competiveness in both domestic and export markets, the472W rate of price and wage inflation and the profitability of United Kingdom industry. The recent rise in unemployment should be seen as a consequence rather than a cause of the fall in output which we have experienced over the past two years. Of course, output will be higher if more productive jobs can be created. However, this depends upon workers accepting realistic pay settlements and industry being able to produce goods and services competitively.