Budget Statement and its Implications for Wales

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Mr. Flynn: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Hanson: I do not have time.

The Government are proud of the Budget, which invests in education, health and public services, and shifts the balance to the poorest members of the community with the working families tax credit, the minimum wage and a range of other measures. We must contrast that with the measures proposed by the hon. Members for Ribble Valley and for North Dorset—public spending cuts, lack of interest in services in Wales, and tax cuts that will damage the infrastructure and economy of Wales. To hon. Members from the nationalist party I say that independence would mean further cuts in services in Wales.

I wish you well for the future, Mr. Jones, and commend the Budget statement to the House.

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee has considered the matter of the Budget Statement and its implications for Wales.

Committee rose at Four o'clock.

Questions Not Answered Orally

jf12Foot and Mouth Disease

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of state for Wales what steps he is taking to control the spread of foot and mouth disease and to eradicate it. [152751]

Mr. Paul Murphy: This is a matter for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the National Assembly for Wales, who are working in close co-operation to control this disease and eradicate it.

I maintain close contact with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the First Minister of the National Assembly for Wales on these matters.


Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly concerning employment in Wales. [152760]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I regularly meet the First Secretary and discuss a wide range of issues including employment in Wales. Employment in the UK has risen by over 1 million since the election whereas unemployment has fallen by around 500,000.

The most recent Labour Market Statistics show that the employment level in Wales, as of December 2000, is 1.261 million, some 69.5 per cent. of the working age population. This represents a rise of 17,000 over the year.

Thanks to the success of the Government's New Deal programme, long-term unemployment in Wales now stands at 11,300 and youth unemployment in Wales now stands at 15,900, their lowest figures since 1986.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Jones, Mr. Barry (Chairman)
Ainger, Mr.
Clwyd, Ann
Edwards, Mr.
Evans, Mr.
Flynn, Mr.
Griffiths, Mr. Win
Hanson, Mr.
Jones, Mr. Jon Owen
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Lawrence, Mrs.
Livsey, Mr.
Llwyd, Mr.
Michael, Mr.
Morgan, Ms Julie
Murphy, Mr. Paul
O£pik, Mr.
Rowlands, Mr.
Ruane, Mr.
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Thomas, Mr. Simon
Touhig, Mr.
Walter, Mr.
Wigley, Mr.
Williams, Mr. Alan W.

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Prepared 12 March 2001