Michael Heseltine – 1993 Speech on Manufacturing Industry and Unemployment

The speech made by Michael Heseltine, the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, in the House of Commons on 9 March 1993.

I beg to move, to leave out from ‘House’ to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof: ‘recognises the importance of the manufacturing base to the wealth creation process in this country; congratulates Her Majesty’s Government on setting in place the basic framework for economic recovery—low inflation, low interest rates, good industrial relations and a low tax regime—supported by measures in the Autumn Statement; applauds Her Majesty’s Government on its success in attracting more inward investment than any of the United Kingdom’s Community partners; acknowledges the widely reported signs of recovery in business confidence; recognises the unparalleled opportunities to help individuals to get back to work; and looks forward with confidence to the prospect of a return to sustained growth.’. It is not possible to overstate the trivialisation of the critical issues that the House is debating to which the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) returns time and again. Everybody knows that the trading world—our major customers—has been experiencing a significant and prolonged recession. The political complexion of the Government of our trading partners makes no difference—whether it be America, which has gone through a very difficult period but is now recovering; Germany, which is now heading down; right-wing Governments; or France and Spain, which have considerable economic difficulties. No nation broadly the equivalent of our own has been able to stand apart from that recession process.

As the House knows full well, with a nation such as ours, which has such a high proportion of its gross domestic product exported, it is utterly naive and totally irresponsible to try to give the impression that somehow this country’s economy can stand apart from the impact of that recession across the world.

It is characteristic of the systematic policy of the hon. Member for Livingston of undermining this country that he seeks to parade our problems as uniquely British and uniquely related to the late 1980s. The hon. Gentleman has become one of industry’s greatest salesmen. The problem is that it is the industrial interests of France, Germany, America and Japan that he is selling—and selling at the expense of British industry, British investment, and British jobs.

In the emotional end to his speech, the hon. Gentleman drew our attention to the problems of Leyland DAF. I will apologise to no one for the concern that we share for the problems of Leyland DAF. The hon. Gentleman totally fails to understand that the Dutch and Belgian Governments had to act so quickly because under the rules of receivership in those countries, it is not possible for the receiver to use money that is the product of the business. Instead, the receiver must look for outside funds. In this country, the receiver can use the funds of the business to keep it in existence.

A British bank provided the money that enabled the receiver to continue the activities of those businesses, whereas the hon. Gentleman’s contribution to the position taken by the British banks was to suggest that they had pulled the rug from under Leyland DAF. There he was again, undermining the British banks—just as he undermines British industry.

The most dispiriting aspect of today’s debate is the wording of the Opposition motion. It contains not a word of praise for British companies, and no recognition of a single person out there who is selling, manufacturing, marketing or exporting to help Britain to win. Nothing at all—except the carping, whingeing criticism of the hon. Member for Livingston, whose closest experience of the entrepreneurial society was his role as campaign co-ordinator in 1985, when he tried to sell the Labour party to the British people—and laid the foundations for the second worst defeat in the party’s history. The hon. Gentleman’s capacity to exploit the electorate’s fears in the search of profit for the Labour party is utterly staggering.

There are no credible policies left for the left. I reject absolutely the gross distortion of the 1980s that the Opposition motion parades before the House, because it is not true. It is not true to say that our manufacturing industry is collapsing. Despite the recession, output remains more than one fifth higher than at the bottom of the last recession in 1981. [HON. MEMBERS: “Oh!”] The only fair comparison is to take the bottom of a recession with the bottom of a recession, the top of the peak with the top of the peak.

Investment is more than one third higher, productivity is two thirds higher, and exports are four fifths higher.

Mr. Michael Brown (Brigg and Cleethorpes)

Does my right hon. Friend recall that, in the early 1980s, south Humberside suffered massive structural unemployment from the decline in the fishing and steel industries? Will my right hon. Friend share with the House and with the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) his visit to my constituency just 10 days ago, when he performed the topping-out ceremony for the new Kimberly-Clark factory, which has £12 million of DTI finance, and at which 700 people will be newly employed with effect from next year, rising to 2,500? Is it not the case that unemployment in my constituency has fallen from about 6,000 in 1987 to 4,500 and that it is now below the national average? Is not that an example of the achievements of the regeneration of British industry?

Mr. Heseltine

That is what I call speaking for England. [Interruption.] I am certainly not prepared to share my experience of visiting my hon. Friend’s constituency with the hon. Member for Livingston, who would be embarrassed to hear of the success that we saw there.
Much more important, the motion reveals how little the Labour party understands the achievements of the past decade—how little it understands the realities of world competition, or the degree of change that the 1990s will continue to demand. Let us remember—although it is a sickening prospect—the end of the 1970s. Then, this country had a reputation as the sick man of Europe. We had been losing our share of world trade in manufactured goods for 30 years, and probably longer; we were overtaxed, and we were over-nationalised. We had failed to regenerate our small industrial and commercial companies, we had inadequate training, we were under-educating our children and we were gripped in an inflationary spiral.

To make matters worse, we had an appalling industrial relations record. Our managers could not manage: they faced strikes in their own factories, in the factories of their suppliers and in the public services. In the starkest terms, British industry was uncompetitive. That was the inheritance that our party came to deal with in 1979.

Today, all that the hon. Member for Livingston can say, half apologetically, is, “I had my doubts about the record of the last Labour Government.” At least I said what my doubts were when I was on the Back Benches; it took the hon. Gentleman a long time to work out what his were.

Dr. Keith Hampson (Leeds, North-West)

Does my right hon. Friend recall that, at the very end of the 1960s —after a long period of Labour government—Michael Shanks, the guru of the Labour party, published a Penguin book called “The Stagnant Society”? That book bore true testimony to Labour’s period of office.

As my right hon. Friend may have noticed, the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) completely ignored the underlying legacy with which British industry was faced: the appalling reforms forced on our school system during that period of Labour Government and the fact that the proportion of 18-year-olds in higher education had fallen under Labour—the only time since the war when it had done so.

Mr. Heseltine

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point out Labour’s critical failure to improve our education standards.

In 1979, the problems that we faced were deep seated and long term. In large measure, they were a deliberate consequence of the Labour party’s policies. We always made it clear that the Labour party, its policies, its manifestos and its dogma were a disaster; now, even Labour itself has come to recognise that those policies are a disaster. The party leader himself has realised that change must come, simply because his party’s policies have proved to be a disaster. The problem for him is that his party now thinks that he is a disaster as well.

Mr. Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh, Leith)

Will the Secretary of State give way?

Mr. Heseltine

No.

How can the hon. Member for Livingston possibly have the nerve to come to the House and lecture us on industrial policy, when the whole House knows that the closest thing to an industrial policy in the Labour party is an apology for the past and a promise that it will not do the same all over again?

Let me set the 1980s in context. I shall begin wall industrial relations. Labour resisted every step of reform as it fought to preserve the privileges of the trade unions which provided its funds. What is the result? The result is that this country has the best industrial relations for 100 years.

Then there is privatisation. There was never a policy more calculated to destroy the motivation and resilience of an industry than the policy of transferring that industry’s ownership to the state. In state hands, industries are subsidised by taxpayers, suffocated by political and bureaucratic control and denied the chance to compete overseas. Their investment programmes are curtailed to meet the public expenditure constraints of the national Government. That was our inheritance—and the greatest single justification for all the criticisms that we have made over the years is the fact that Labour now has not the nerve to say that it will ever introduce nationalisation again.

So unaware is the hon. Member for Livingston of the damage that nationalisation did to this country that he points to my Department’s budget which has been cut. Why has it been cut? Because the losses of the nationalised industries have been turned into the profits of the privatised industries. What are those industries doing? I will tell the House what they are doing.

Mr. Chisholm

Will the Secretary of State give way?

Mr. Heseltine

In 1979—

Hon. Members

Give way.

Mrs. Alice Mahon (Halifax)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it not customary, and polite, for Ministers to give way to Back Benchers?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It is entirely up to the Member who has the Floor to decide who to give way to.

Mr. Heseltine

I am, as a matter of custom, always polite. I will give way to the hon. Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon).

Mrs. Mahon

I thank the right hon. Gentleman. He will remember Mr. Catton, from Eliot Machine Tools in Halifax, who wrote asking whether he could intervene when Customs and Excise—quite wrongly—fined the firm. It is struggling in the present climate.

That happened just after the right hon. Gentleman made his speech about intervening before breakfast, dinner, tea and so forth. Will he now tell us why he wrote back to Mr. Catton saying that he could not possibly intervene? The company has now had to be taken over.

Mr. Heseltine

As I am sure the hon. Lady knows, if Customs and Excise pursue outstanding bills, that must be a matter for them. It would be utterly wrong for Ministers to interfere with the course of their legal processes. [Interruption.] This is a novel development. The Labour party clearly believes that it is right for Ministers to intervene in the course of justice. That is a chill warning of what we might expect if it ever returned to power.

I was speaking of the transformation of the loss-making nationalised industries. In 1979, those industries cost the Exchequer £3 billion, some 1.5 per cent. of gross domestic product. Last year, the privatised industries paid £2 billion in taxes. That is why my Department’s budget has changed so dramatically.

Moreover, those companies—now in the private sector—are out in the world trading place, winning contracts for Britain. In 1982, the United Kingdom produced 14 million tonnes of crude steel and exported 3 million tonnes of finished steel. Last year, we produced 16 million tonnes of crude steel and exported 8 million tonnes of finished steel. We now have a trade surplus of about 3 million tonnes, compared with a deficit in 1982. Not the least reason for that is the fact that British Steel now produces a tonne of steel in under five man hours, compared with over 13 in 1979.

Many of the privatised industries tell a similar success story. We do not hear about that from Labour.

Mr. Chisholm

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Heseltine

No, I am not going to give way. I am going to tell the House how well the privatised industries are doing. British Gas, in partnership with Agip—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Blyth Valley (Mr. Campbell) must not half get up and shout across the Chamber. [Interruption.] Order. The hon. Gentleman has been in the House a long time.

Mr. Heseltine

That is characteristic of Opposition Members. All that I want to do is to parade before the House the success of British companies. All that the Opposition want to do is to make sure that nobody listens.

Mr. Chisholm

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Heseltine

No, I am not going to give way. I am going to explain to the House the success of British companies. I do not mind how much the Opposition like or dislike it—I am going to do it.

British Gas, in partnership with Agip, is investing over £4 billion in the next 10 years on the exploration and development of a huge new gas field in Kazakhstan. British Telecom is now one of the world’s foremost telecommunication companies. Last year, it won a contract worth £350 million to run a telecoms network for the New South Wales Government.

Mr. Chisholm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have been in the House for about a year, and I seek your guidance. When I was elected to this place I thought that I was coming to a debating Chamber. Can you please tell me how I can turn this House into a debating Chamber? I have never seen anything like this throughout the past year.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The House is in order. We are having a fulsome debate.

Mr. Heseltine

The problem, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is that there have to be two sides to a debate, but the Opposition have no case to make.
Thames Water, as part of a consortium, has won a £448 million Turkish water plant construction contract. Instead of monopolistic Government ownership, in addition to the profits and the contracts, there are now some 9 million individual shareholders—three times the number there were in 1979. The privatisation programme was the second major change that was brought about in the 1980s, to the immense benefit of the national economy.

My responsibilities include one of the last of the nationalised industries. The hon. Member for Livingston referred to the coal review. I have always made it clear to the House that there are no easy solutions to this intractable set of problems.

At the end of January, the Trade and Industry Select Committee produced its report on British energy policy and the market for coal. I pay tribute to the amount of detailed work that the Committee put into its report. The Government will publish their detailed response shortly. [HON. MEMBERS: “When?”] The Select Committee has recognised that the central issue is the market for coal. It makes no sense for British Coal to continue to produce coal that no one wants to buy.

The stark facts are these. Over 30 million tonnes of coal are stocked at the generators. Over 10 million tonnes are stocked at the pithead. There is enough coal for the rest of this year without another tonne being mined. Well over £1 billion of coal is stocked in mountains that get bigger with every shift that is worked.

The Select Committee’s central conclusion is that it should be possible to find a market for an additional 16 million tonnes of deep-mined coal in each of the next five years. It suggests that the Government should require the generators to contract for an additional 5 million tonnes on top of that.

The Select Committee is right to see the size of the market as the central issue. It estimated total electricity demand in England and Wales over the next five years as equivalent to 586 million tonnes of coal. Caminus, the consultants who advised my Department and whose report I have published, puts the figure at only 565 million tonnes. British Coal puts it lower still—at 563 million tonnes. These differences may seem small, but they remove one quarter of the additional market of 80 million tonnes which the Select Committee believes that it has identified.

No one can predict with accuracy the precise scale of a market five years ahead. The Select Committee’s figures are at the very top of the range. The critical question that we face, therefore, is the extent to which private sector companies will contract for coal. Those companies will form their own judgment about the size of the market.

The fuel mix is equally important. I note that the Select Committee had considered carefully the extent to which the market for coal could be increased by interfering with gas or nuclear. I have noted with interest that the Select Committee has come out against that. This has no doubt been greeted with relief by many hon. Members’ constituents whose jobs would be put at risk. I have said it before and I shall say it again: we cannot interfere to protect jobs in one part of the economy without losing jobs and investment elsewhere.

One of the most attractive of the Select Committee proposals to many hon. Members is to restrict electricity supplied from France via the French interconnector. I have looked into that issue extremely carefully. I myself shared with the Select Committee the concern to examine again the extent to which the scope for additional sales of coal rests upon reducing imports of electricity. I have also taken legal advice on the matter, a summary of which I intend to make public.

The position is clear. As I am sure the right hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benn) will remember, measures to restrict imports of electricity across the interconnector would be contrary to article 30 of the treaty of Rome. It would also put the Government at considerable financial risk in relation to indemnities given at the time of electricity privatisation and reported to the House.

The effect of removing Electricité de France’s non-leviable status, as the Select Committee recommends, would be highly uncertain and may lead to EDF being allowed access to the same premium prices available to Nuclear Electric and financed through the levy. The regional electricity companies would in turn have to be put under an obligation to purchase electricity from EDF. Far from reducing imports from France, this would reinforce their position, and our consumers would end up paying more for their electricity.

I therefore have to tell the House that the proposal by the Select Committee to reduce the amount of electricity coming across the interconnector from the present 6.5 million tonnes of coal equivalent to zero, or anywhere near that, is not an option, but we are still looking at whether anything might be done. To this end, my hon. Friend the Minister for Energy will go to Paris tomorrow to follow up the conversations that we have been conducting with the French Government.

Dr. Michael Clark (Rochford)

Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Heseltine

No, not at the moment.

I now turn to the suggestion that the additional tonnages that the Select Committee believes that it has identified can be purchased through a subsidy at a total cost of £500 million. This is intended to reflect the difference between British and world prices. It is an interesting approach. The Select Committee suggests that this could be achieved at a cost of no more than £5 per tonne, but I regret that I cannot agree with the Select Committee’s assessment of the likely costs. I am continuing to discuss these matters with the generators.

Finally, I turn to the proposal that we should legislate to require the generators to take coal at a price and in a quantity that they would judge to be against their commercial interests. I have to say, at least to my hon. Friends, that this is not an attractive proposition. I have never hidden my regard for the immense amount of work that the Select Committee undertook, but many intractable problems remain to be resolved. The Government have to weigh all the consequences. I expect to set out the Government’s reply to the Select Committee and to publish the White Paper shortly.

Dr. Michael Clark rose—

Mr. Heseltine

I give way to my hon. Friend.

Dr. Michael Clark

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving way. Of course, the detail of the Select Committee report will be debated at another time, but my right hon. Friend referred to the legal position on importing electricity from France—we shall consider that matter later—and I therefore invite him to consider the legal position on our using the French grid system, within the Common Market spirit of good will, to export electricity to Italy and Spain. If that does not happen, the French will have the prerogative to export electricity to us while we are denied the opportunity to export to France and Spain, because the French will wish to keep that market, too.

Mr. Heseltine

My hon. Friend is well informed on such matters. I assure him that my hon. Friend the Minister for Energy will discuss that and a range of other matters with the French Government tomorrow. I also reassure the House that there have already been consultations and discussions with the French on that matter.

Mr. Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)

To take up the point of the hon. Member for Rochford (Dr. Clark), does the President of the Board of Trade accept that nobody suggests that we should terminate the interconnector with France or reduce its use—certainly the Select Committee does not suggest that? The suggestion is that it should be operated as was intended in the first place, as a two-way exchange of electricity, which provides us with a market that would substitute up to 6 million tonnes of coal equivalent a year. Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that he is being asked simply to negotiate free and fair trade rather than allowing the French to have it all their own way?

Mr. Heseltine

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will wish to consider the point that he is pursuing in the light of the legal advice about the exact position. The contracts are long standing and subject to the law. The hon. Gentleman will want to consider the matter further.

I will go back to what I was saying, dealing with the record of the 1980s—

Mr. Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Heseltine

Is it about coal?

Mr. Mackinlay

No, it is about the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is going backwards.

Mr. Heseltine

No, I shall not give way. I must make progress.

Mr. Derek Enright (Hemsworth) rose—

Mr. Heseltine I must now make progress.

A critical component of a healthy economy is the vibrancy of the small and medium-sized company. Today at last, Britain is generating small and medium-sized businesses. When the Government were elected in 1979, there were 1.75 million of them; today there are 1 million more, which grew and developed in the 1980s. Even during the recession of 1992 about 400,000 business start-ups took place.

Why did that happen? It happened because we changed the tax regime to enable it to happen. Changes in corporation tax, in inheritance tax and in income tax made it pay to invest, to hold on, to take risks and to start businesses. It left discretionary wealth in the hands of people who were prepared to invest it in the enterprise culture. It is from the small and medium-sized company sector of the economy that jobs come.

The hon. Member for Livingston made a great deal of the issue of unemployment—but let us consider the facts. Let me remind him that, over the last economic cycle, in 1979–90, the work force in employment grew by 1.5 million, twice as fast as in the rest of the EC. Even in recession, employment now is almost 1.5 million higher than it was 10 years ago. We still have a higher proportion of the adult population in work than almost any other European country.

Mr. MacKinlay rose—

Mr. Heseltine

Let me put the heart of the matter to the hon. Member for Livingston. Has he any idea of the dilemma that our companies face? When he visits large companies, does he ever even look to see the changes that are there staring him in the face? He can walk round any company and ask any management; he can talk to the people employed there. There will be only one story, one explanation, one option. Fewer people are employed, in the drive for those companies to survive in an ever more competitive marketplace. Fewer people are employed as investment—the very investment that the hon. Gentleman keeps talking about—replaces people’s jobs.

For example, we are producing 300,000 more vehicles a year than we were 10 years ago—but 100,000 fewer people are employed in the industry producing them.

Mrs. Angela Browning (Tiverton)

Although I have been in the House only for a few months, I worked in business for the previous 18 years, 15 of which—during the 1970s and 1980s—I spent selling the products of British manufacturing industry against the competition. I totally support what my right hon. Friend says about the competitiveness of British manufacturing industry. Is he aware that only last November the shadow Chancellor said in The Guardian that in Labour’s view the public sector would be the engine of growth? How out of date can the Labour party get?

Mr. Heseltine

My hon. Friend makes a telling point. Let me add to it: the other day the shadow Chancellor, looking at the success of the privatised utilities, argued that there should be a windfall tax. The Labour party does not have the money to renationalise businesses, so now it wants to tax them into subjection. It is the old story—when Labour Members see success they want to tax it—before breakfast, before lunch, before tea, and before dinner. Then they get up the next day and start taxing it all over again. That is when Labour Members are really happy, destroying success at every turn, every day, all the time.

It is our duty to tell companies that they have our support in the battle to survive, even if that means telling the people the truth about the nature of change and the process of moving from job to job. Let us be clear—

Mr. Mackinlay

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Heseltine

No, I shall not give way.

The Government strategy is clear.

Mr. Mackinlay

What about the south-east?

Mr. Heseltine

What about a bit of silence, for a minute?

We must set the conditions for growth and pursue competitiveness over the whole range of Government policy. That means low inflation, low interest rates, a competitive pound and support for exports, higher education, research and development and for training.

Now I come to the next great success of the 1980s. The United Kingdom received one third of all inward investment into the EC in 1991. We have 41 per cent. of Japanese inward investment and 36 per cent. of the investment from the United States. It has been estimated that inward investment in 1991–92 created 23,000 jobs and safeguarded 29,000 more. That is success on a massive scale and the Labour party would do well to remember it.

Several Hon. Members rose—

Mr. Heseltine

The hon. Member for Livingston called for an industrial strategy—

Mr. Mackinlay

Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I should be most grateful if the hon. Member for Thurrock (Mr. Mackinlay) would recognise that the Secretary of State is not giving way. [HON. MEMBERS: “He is frit.”] That may be hon. Members’ view, but the Secretary of State is not giving way to the hon. Member for Thurrock.

Mr. Heseltine

The hon. Member for Livingston called for an industrial strategy. What is the cornerstone of that strategy? It is to impose the social chapter of British industry. Spain, under a socialist Government, has 18.3 per cent. unemployment; companies are leaving France to bring jobs here, away from a socialist Government; German industrialists are shifting manufacturing to central Europe; as a result of the Maastricht treaty, Britain has the opportunity to attract inward investment on a growing scale. We now have the chance to restore the manufacturing base that the Labour party did so much to erode over 40 years—and what is Labour’s policy? It is to impose the social chapter.

Jacques Delors says that Britain can be a paradise for Japanese investment. Good. Today, not tomorrow, please. And thank you.

The Labour party says that it has changed; it will never change—because change requires courage, guts and vision. Change requires the will to stand up to vested interests and the Labour party is nothing except the representative of—

Mr. Jimmy Boyce (Rotherham)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I am sorry to stop the President of the Board of Trade in full flow, but there is a point of order.

Mr. Boyce

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Is it for me?

Mr. Boyce

Yes, it is. I wonder whether the President of the Board of Trade could—[Interruption.] Would you be kind enough to ask the President of the Board of Trade to lower his voice a couple of octaves because we can hear his ranting through the microphones on this side of the House at the same time as his ranting from the other side of the House?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Neither the content nor the volume are the responsibility of the Chair.

Mr. George Howarth (Knowsley, North) rose—

Mr. Deputy Speaker Order.

The hon. Member only came into the Chamber a few minutes ago and he has been leaping up and down ever since. He must resume his seat.

Mr. Heseltine

I hope, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that I have not offended you by the scale of my voice. I tend to adjust the volume depending on the penetration of the Opposition that I must make.

I think that the House will wish me to extend a note of sympathy to the hon. Member for Livingston, because the 829disaster scenario to which he clings becomes less credible every day. Survey after survey shows confidence and recovery. The latest surveys by the Confederation of British Industry and the Institute of Directors show that British business knows that the recovery is coming and is under way. The surveys all have the same message—that Britain is moving ahead.

In the three months to January, retail sales were 1.5 per cent. higher than a year earlier. In February, car registrations were 16 per cent. higher than the year earlier. In the fourth quarter of 1992, manufactured exports were at record levels, excluding oil and erratics, and were up 6.5 per cent. on a year earlier, and manufacturing investment was 5.5 per cent. up on the start of the year.

The poor old hon. Member for Livingston is stuck where he was a year ago—he is the only person whose performance has not improved during the past 12 months—when he was talking about health service trusts. The Opposition—led by the hon. Member for Livingston—engaged in a scandalous campaign and exploitation of public concern about the national health service. Yet what has been the Government’s record under their stewardship of the NHS? More than 1 million more patients are being treated.

The hon. Member for Livingston is now in the business of undermining British industry, but let me tell him that British industry is already making a commendable job of undermining him. I hope that the House will finish the job tonight and will support the Government.