HL Deb 05 December 1991 vol 533 cc14-5WA
Lord Northbourne

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they accept the estimates of the Kent Impact Study 1991 Review by Cambridge Economic Consultants that in East Kent (Thanet, Dover and Shepway) there will be job losses of 8,900 (of which as many as 6,000 may be Dover residents) resulting from the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the reduction in customs and clearance facilities required as a result of the single European market.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Reay)

In theKent Impact Study 1991 Review the consultants say that, in the longer term, Kent will benefit overall as a consequence of the Channel Tunnel, its related infrastructure and the favourable location of the county in the context of the single European market. As to the shorter term, any employment forecasts of this kind must be subject to a considerable margin of error. The short term forecasts of the overall employment situation may well have been influenced by the fact that employers' projections were produced during an economic recession.

A great deal is being done to secure the future prospects for employment in East Kent. Her Majesty's Government welcome the creation of the East Kent initiative which is intended to form the new task force, as recommended by the Kent Impact Study 1991 Review, to promote East Kent, stimulate and strengthen economic activity and assist job creation. Government departments look forward to working with the private sector and the local authorities in this initiative.