Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers - Unit Labour Costs.

4.

asked the Taoiseach if he will provide data for unit labour costs in a common currency in the Irish manufacturing industry for 1984 and 1982 and comparable data for other EC countries.

(Dún Laoghaire): I propose to circulate in the Official Report a Statement showing, in so far as it is available, the information requested by the Deputy.

Following is the Statement:

Indices of labour costs per unit of output (common currency) in industry in 1982 and 1983

(Base: 1980 = 100)

Country

Indices

1980

1982

1983

Ireland

100

121

115

Belgium

100

94

95

Denmark

100

110

116

Germany

100

116

120

Greece

110

154

151

France

100

110

115

Italy

100

123

137

Luxembourg

100

113

119

Netherlands

100

111

112

United Kingdom

100

121

119

Indices to base 1980 = 100 were derived from the annual percentage changes in unit labour costs published in national currency terms in "European Economy", No. 19, March 1984, (Commission of the European Communities) and converted to a common currency basis using ECU conversion rates ("Money and Finance", EUROSTAT, 2-1984). The unit labour cost trends shown for Ireland have been updated to take account of the most recent data available.

Without reading out the entire table I should like if the Minister of State will confirm for me——

The Chair is doing his utmost to have a question that has been answered by a tabular statement confined to that.

The question has been accepted by the House and I suggest to the Chair that one supplementary on it might be in order.

One supplementary is as many as would be reasonable.

There has not been any supplementary question so far.

The reply is either in the form of a tabular statement or not.

I am asking the Minister of State to confirm that unit labour costs have improved substantially and if he will agree that that makes a total nonsense of the statement in the national plan which blames loss of employment on unit labour costs.

That does not arise. I am surprised at Deputy Brennan raising that question on a statistical question to the Minister of State responsible for statistics.

Will the Minister confirm my statement?

That does not arise.