HC Deb 10 February 1966 vol 724 cc605-6
38. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the President of the Board of Trade why the new investment incentives, announced on 17th January, will not apply to buildings or equipment used by hotels either within or outside the new development areas.

Mr. Jay

I would refer the hon. Member to my Answer of 27th January to the hon. Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Miscampbell) and of 31st January to the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Sir J. Eden).

Mr. Campbell

Does the President of the Board of Trade recognise that the initial allowance is no proper substitute either for the old investment allowance or for the new investment grant? Is not this change entirely contrary to the need to encourage the tourist industry, especially in Scotland?

Mr. Jay

Hotels in development areas, which now cover the greater part of Scotland, will get the Board of Trade building grant for the building. They will also get the increased initial allowance, up from 10 to 30 per cent. for plant and equipment. In addition, the Government make a £2 million a year grant to the British Travel Association.

Sir J. Maitland

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that seaside resorts are, almost by definition, because of their seasonal occupation facilities, in a very bad way during the winter? Does he not realise that this will affect the general prosperity of resorts and increase unemployment in areas which really need a great deal of help?

Mr. Jay

Yes, I recognise the special problem of seaside resorts; and I think that the hotel and tourist industries are of great importance. But, for the reasons that I have given, we are already affording them substantial help.

Mr. Barber

On hotel equipment, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether under the new scheme hotels will be better off or worse off than previously?

Mr. Jay

They will get the increased initial allowance, and that will probably, as far as they are concerned, leave them slightly worse off compared with the previous investment allowance.