asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he has estimated the total number of jobs which the introduction of cable television would bring to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
The Government consider that the expansion of cable television will offer significant industrial and employment opportunities, but quantitative estimates of the total number of jobs which this would bring to the United Kingdom have not been made. The number of jobs likely to result from the introduction of cable television will depend on the nature of the service provided, the speed at which an extensive cable system develops, and the success of British equipment producers in both the home and overseas markets. Furthermore, an unknown but probably significant proportion of expenditure on cable television is likely to displace expenditure elsewhere in the economy. To the extent that this is so, some of the jobs created by cable television will be offset by losses elsewhere. In such a rapidly changing and uncertain situation, estimates of the total number of jobs which the introduction of cable television will bring to the United Kingdom cannot be made.