HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc206-7
19. Mr. Alison

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will take steps to encourage investment in non-manufacturing activities in development areas where the proportion of employed persons qualifying for regional employment premium is lower than the national average.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

I would draw the hon. Member's attention to the proposed hotel investment incentives scheme which my right hon. Friend outlined to the House on 20th March and to the proposals for refund of S.E.T. to hotels in certain rural parts of development areas published in the Finance Bill. These measures should encourage investment in non-manufacturing activities.—[Vol. 761, cols. 103–6.]

Mr. Alison

Does the hon. Lady appreciate that, while this is a very small, though rather discriminating, step in the right direction, there is a crying need to diversify employment in many parts of the country into service industries, thereby raising activity rates and increasing the environmental attractiveness of areas to manufacturers?

Mrs. Dunwoody

The important thing surely is to create jobs. The problem is that we do not know how best to assist the intermediate areas and that is why we are waiting upon the Hunt Committee report.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

When does the President of the Board of Trade expect to introduce the legislation to make these grants payable, and when would he expect the first grants to become payable?

Mrs. Dunwoody

There is a Question later on the Order Paper about the hotel incentive scheme.