HC Deb 17 December 1991 vol 201 c144
Q3. Mr. Ron Brown

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make an official visit to the port of Leith.

The Prime Minister

I am making a series of visits to all parts of the country and very much hope to visit the Edinburgh area again before too long.

Mr. Brown

That is welcome news. Leithers will give the Prime Minister a warm welcome, but they will put him in the hot seat because of mass unemployment, homelessness and general misery, which have been experienced not just in my constituency, but throughout Britain. Nevertheless, being constructive, members of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians have published a report entitled "Kick-start", which makes various proposals on how to get people back to work and revive the economy. Will the Prime Minister read that report and, more importantly, act on it? If not, the lessons are clear—there will not be a kick-start come the next election, but the Tories will be kicked out. That message is clear in my constituency and I am sure that it is clear in others.

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman neglected to mention that during the course of this Parliament, unemployment in his constituency has fallen by 32 per cent. The Scottish Office has taken a number of initiatives on homelessness, as the hon. Gentleman knows. In the four Scottish cities, £3.5 million in extra capital allocations have been made available for homelessness and a further £4 million extra capital for additional homelessness projects was made available last November. From April 1991, deficits on all local authority hostels met by Government subsidies will be worth an extra £1 billion a year. So a great deal has been done by the Scottish Office. In future, the hon. Gentleman should acknowledge the dramatic reduction in unemployment in his constituency during this Parliament.

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