HL Deb 11 October 1993 vol 549 cc13-4WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are able to distinguish overseas investment in the United Kingdom on account, on the one hand, of low wages and low social costs in Britain; and on the other of the up-to-date skills of the British workforce; and whether they are able to encourage the latter while discouraging the former, lest Britain should become a universally recognised low-performance economy.

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

Inward investment decisions are a matter for the commercial judgment of the company concerned and are made on the basis of a variety of factors relevant to the individual company. The overall package of low corporation tax, low cost production, established enterprise culture, skilled adaptable workforce and established industrial infrastructure make the UK competitive with any other country in Europe. Latest international comparisons (1989) show UK participation rate of 93 per cent. for 16-year-olds in some form of education and training, among the highest of the OECD countries compared. The UK is the preferred location in Europe for inward investment and this Government aim to ensure we remain so.