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Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Industry by how much labour productivity would have to be increased in the United Kingdom chemical industry to enable prices to be reduced by 10 per cent.; and what is his estimate of the effect on imports and exports of such a reduction in prices.
Mr. David Mitchell
As labour costs account for only about 13 per cent. of the value of the United Kingdom chemicals industry's total sales, the increase in labour productivity necessary to bring about a 10 per cent. reduction in prices would be so large as to be of no practical significance. Estimates of the likely effect of such a reduction in prices on imports and exports are not available.