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National Reform Programme

Volume 685: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

My honourable friend the Financial Secretary (John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Economic reform in Europe is vital to the prospects for growth and jobs in the UK. The challenges of globalisation mean that all EU member states must pursue real structural reforms to create a Europe that becomes more competitive as the route to delivering full employment and opportunity for all, and where flexibility and fairness advance together.

Under the Lisbon strategy for jobs and growth, relaunched in 2005, the Government welcomed the introduction of national reform programmes. In October 2005, the Government published the first UK National Reform Programme (NRP), setting out priorities for national economic reform.

Today the Government published an update on the UK NRP, which reports on their comprehensive programme of long-term reform to deliver strong economic performance and employment growth in the UK, now and in the future. This update demonstrates how Britain is leading economic reform in Europe, showing how an approach based on openness, free trade, competition and investment—in science, technology and skills—represents the right response to the challenges of globalisation.

Copies of the UK National Reform Programme: Update on progress 2006 are available in the Libraries of the House.