§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report on employment and investment.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The Government strongly support the report's conclusions that all industrialised economies need to adapt more rapidly to change than they have done in the past 20 years through increased labour market flexibility and that attempts to slow the pace of change through erecting barriers to trade or regulations to preserve existing patterns of employment will damage prosperity and employment in the long run. That strategy is very much in line with the policies which the Government have been pursuing for the past 15 years and which have brought us a rapid reduction in unemployment, including long-term unemployment.