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Government Policy

Volume 929: debated on Monday 4 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the progress of the Government's industrial strategy.

The sector working parties are continuing their work on formulating medium-term strategies for their industries, on which reports are to be made to the National Economic Development Council towards the end of the year. Within the last month my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Minister of State have between them attended meetings of all the sector working parties for the five priority sectors in order to define the issues to be tackled in discussions with individual companies.My right hon. Friend's Budget Statement made it clear that his proposals for reducing income tax and for maintaining stability in the system and rates of corporation tax, and his assurances about stock relief and deferred tax liability, were made with the industrial strategy very much in mind. The many sector working parties which called for lower interest rates should be greatly encouraged by the sharp fall in rates brought about in recent months by the Government's policies.