§ Q118. Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on progress of the Government's privatisation programme.
§ The Prime Minister
Since 1979 privatisation has freed 12 major companies and a number of other enterprises from state control. Over 400,000 employees have been transferred to the private sector. On average around 80 per cent. of eligible employees have taken up shares and now own a stake in the business in which they work. Our measures to encourage the small investor to buy shares have probably doubled the number of shareholders in the United Kingdom. The common pattern for privatised companies has been improved turnover and higher profits, enabling them to increase investment and create more jobs. We shall continue to sustain the momentum of the privatisation programme and spread its many benefits as widely as possible.