Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the economy, made in Washington on 25th February 1993.
[The Prime Minister was asked about the state of the economy and unemployment]
I think you have to accept the fact that it isn’t just a problem in the United Kingdom. I know that is not any comfort to the people who are unemployed in the United Kingdom but neither is it any help to suggest that it is uniquely a United Kingdom problem.
In Japan, in Germany, in the United States and in all sorts of other countries there have been large job losses in recent months and for the same reason -
What we need to do to get people back into secure employment is to take the decision to get the economic fundamentals right. Some months ago, we had an inflation rate that was much higher -
They are practical measures, sound bite politics criticising the Government may be part of the party political plan but it is practical measures like these that will provide secure jobs for the future and that is what concerns me.
[The Prime Minister was asked whether the Government had made mistakes]
If it satisfies you, no government that has ever been in office has failed to make mistakes. What we are concerned about is getting people back to work. It is the future. We are going to be living in this decade in the most competitive decade that we have ever seen. That means we have to have a competitive economy, it means in terms like inflation we need to be at least as good and hopefully better than our principal opponents.
One of the points I think many people have failed to recognise about the changes in British industry is that we now have the most effective productivity rates anywhere in Europe. That is vitally important because it means we are competitive. Our exports are growing. People often saw years ago us having a declining share of world trade. It is now stabilised and potentially growing for the first time in generations. That is important because of what it means for our prospects in the 1990s. Unless we out-
[The Prime Minister was asked about whether enough was being done about job creation and school rebuilding]
But you overlook what we did in the Autumn Statement. We did create a job-
The point that I am making is a different point, that to believe that you can actually solve the problem with short-
It is a three-