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Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps have been taken by his Department, and when, to reduce the number of unemployed in the London borough of Newham; and what success has been achieved with these endeavours.

Unemployment will come down only when British industry becomes more competitive and world trading conditions improve. It is profitable firms which create jobs: therefore, the more goods and services our firms can sell at home and abroad, the more new jobs we shall see in the London borough of Newham and throughout the country.The Government's task is to create the right environment in which firms can prosper. We have already made a good deal of progress on this front—inflation and interest rates, for instance, have been considerably reduced. But industry has to play its part, too, by continuing to increase productivity and improve the quality and design of its goods. Meanwhile we are helping those groups worst affected by the high levels of unemployment through the considerable range of special employment measures.