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Economic Assistance (Leicester)

Volume 131: debated on Thursday 14 April 1988

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16.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he proposes to take to assist the local economy in Leicester.

The Government's economic policy is creating the conditions for the economy to flourish in all parts of the country. For example, unemployment in the Leicester, East constituency has fallen by over 20 per cent. in the past year.

Does the Minister agree that one way in which the Government could positively affect the economy in Leicester would be by the Treasury releasing to the Department of the Environment the £30 million that has been stolen from the people of Leicester through cuts in the housing investment programme? Does he not accept that the expenditure of these resources would provide more jobs and more homes for people in Leicester?

I think that the economy of Leicester is doing very well indeed without the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the economy of Leicester is much improved as a result of the Budget? Has he seen the great welcome which has been given by the business men of Leicestershire to the Budget proposals? Is he aware that they say that it will increase the economic growth of the area?

I understand that that excellent newspaper, the Leicester Mercury, started its article on the morrow of the Budget with the words:

"Reaction from Leicestershire's business community suggests that Lawson's tax-slashing Budget could be the key to job-creating growth."
To remain within the rules of order, Mr. Speaker, I should explain that the Lawson referred to is my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.