HC Deb 30 April 1986 vol 96 c427W
32. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the impact on employment in Scotland of the decline in oil prices, with particular regard to fabrication yards.

Mr. Allan Stewart

Lower oil prices should, on balance, be of benefit to the non oil-related sector of industry in Scotland through lower input costs and associated improvements in competitiveness. If these price levels were to continue, this should provide increased employment security and possibly new jobs.

As far as the oil-related sector is concerned, cutbacks announced by some oil companies, if implemented, could have adverse implications for employment. The impact will vary and is expected to be less significant for sectors associated with production and maintenance. Prospects for the fabrication yards depend not so much on short-term oil prices as on expectations for the 1990s, but clearly employment levels at the yards will be affected if oil prices remain persistently low.