In Questions to the Leader of the House, Robin Cook, today (Thursday, 18th
April) in the Commons Chamber, Michael Fabricant reminded the House of
Commons of the crisis in the car industry. With both the Ford assembly
plant in Dagenham and Vauxhall Motors in Luton closed, and the damage
already done to West Midlands exporters by the closure of the Channel Tunnel
Rail Link to freight, Michael asked whether the Commons can have an urgent
debate on the new "Tax on Jobs: the one percent rise in employers’ National
Insurance payments". He told Robin Cook that it would have been "more
honest" to have put the 1% on income tax and that "Labour intensive
industries, such as car manufacturing will be hit hard by this additional 1%
on cost on employing staff."
Robin Cook evaded answering the question directly, but said the money was
needed for the NHS.
Michael Fabricant now says: "Having received a non-answer from Robin Cook,
I will be writing to the Speaker to request a full debate to discuss rising
unemployment levels in manufacturing and the likely further rise following
the budget. I will wish to raise the stark problems being faced in the West
Midlands and the increased threat to the automotive industry in particular".