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Defence Industry

Volume 520: debated on Monday 13 December 2010

22. What recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of the defence industry on the effects of the reductions in expenditure proposed in the strategic defence and security review. (29899)

Ministers and officials have had many discussions with industry representatives both during and since the outcome of the strategic defence and security review was announced in October, including a full meeting of the National Defence Industries Council, which I chaired last month.

In October 1,000 people were put out of work by BAE Systems in Lancashire, and last week a further 1,300 job losses were announced, owing to SDSR cuts. Does the Minister think that these job losses are a price worth paying, and does he agree that they will have an adverse impact on the economy of east Lancashire?

I emphatically do not think that is a price worth paying, but sadly it is a price that we have to pay, thanks to the economic incompetence of the previous Government.