LETTER: Success for British jobs

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The Independent Online
Sir: You have sensationalised a routine exchange of correspondence between me and a government colleague, about the interpretation of statistics, and contrived to invent bad news in our manufacturing sector - an area of outstanding recent success for Britain ("Minister in secret alert on job losses", 23 April).

You ignored the underlying picture in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing growth has been experiencing a temporary slowdown; but both the CBI and the IoD have today reported confidence that output will rise in the months ahead. Since the recovery began, manufacturing output has risen by 8 per cent. Manufacturing employment rose in February and there are more than 50,000 more jobs now than there were at the beginning of 1994. That is the real picture of the state of the manufacturing sector.

Ian Lang, MP

(Galloway and Upper

Nithsdale, Con)

House of Commons

London SW1

The writer is President of the Board of Trade.