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Labour Statistics

Volume 81: debated on Monday 17 June 1985

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10.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the level of unemployment in the county of Gwent at the latest available date; and how this compares with the figure in June 1979.

On 9 May 1985 there were 28,898 unemployed claimants in Gwent. A comparable claimant-based figure for 1979 is not available. The figure for registered unemployed in June 1979 was 14,065.

Do not those figures tell their own story? Have we not recently witnessed the ineptitude of the Secretary of State on LSI Logic, which has ended up in West Germany? We also note that the right hon. Gentleman has accepted a 150 per cent. increase in toll charges on the Severn bridge, together with redundancies at Girlings and Standard Telephones. That has happened following six years of catastrophe. Is it not time for the right hon. Gentleman to pack up?

Since 1983 the number of overseas projects secured by WINvest totals 29, promising more than 2,000 new jobs and also safeguarding more than 2,000. That means that more than one third of the total of overseas projects are going to Wales. They include such firms as the Parrot corporation at Cwmbran, Signalex at Newport, Celatose at Ebbw Vale, Texmo at Newbridge, Control Data at Ebbw Vale and British Alcan at Newport. The truth is that Gwent has especially benefited from a very considerable flood of new investment.