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Industrial Competitiveness

Volume 87: debated on Wednesday 27 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what change has taken place in the relative competitiveness of British industry since 1979; and what assessments he makes of the contribution to this of trade union legislation enacted in this period.

Since 1979 productivity in manufacturing industry has increased by 22 per cent. By promoting responsible industrial relations and making trades unions more accountable to their members, the Government's industrial relations legislation has made a positive contribution to this improvement. Relative unit labour costs have, however, increased by 7 per cent. since 1979 indicating a need for continued wage restraint.