HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc215-6
38. Mr. Ridley

asked the President of the Board of Trade at what rate investment grants are payable to crane hirers in development areas, and to manufacturers in development areas who purchase cranes, respectively.

Mr. Dell

The present rate of grant payable to a manufacturer who provides a new crane for use for at least three years in a development area is 45 per cent. The same rate is payable to a person who provides a crane for hiring out to a qualifying lessee for use in a development area for a minimum period of three years. Under the special short-term leasing provisions of the Act, the current rate of grant payable to a crane hirer for the construction industry is 25 per cent.

Mr. Ridley

Will the hon. Gentleman assure us that he will make sure that there is no discrimination between people making cranes and people wishing to buy their own cranes? At present, the crane hirers are given far the worst of the bargain, since they get a 25 per cent. investment grant compared with the 40 per cent. grant which the other people get. This is an intolerable piece of demarcation.

Mr. Dell

But this was a special provision of the Act, precisely to help plant hirers. In the normal case, the Act limited investment grant to leasing for periods of three years. Normally, in the case of cranes, the period of leasing is very much less, and this provision was inserted specifically to help these people.