HC Deb 18 June 1969 vol 785 c462
14. Mr. Biffen

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the expected total expenditure on investment grants during the current year; and what plans he has to vary the rates of investment grant.

49. Mr. Ridley

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the estimated cost, in the current year, of investment grants.

Mr. Dell

The estimated cost is £460 million as shown in the Civil Estimates for 1969–70 presented to the House on 19th February, 1969.

The answer to the second part of the question is "None, Sir".

Mr. Biffen

Is it not clear that the International Monetary Fund's indicated policies require the Government to pursue monetary and money supply policies which themselves are having an effect upon manufacturing investment? If, in those circumstances, the Government are not prepared to use the investment grants as a contracyclical device, would it not be better to scrap them altogether?

Mr. Dell

Investment grants give assistance to manufacturing industry in their investment programmes. In 1967 and 1968, we supplemented the standard rate of investment grant by 5 per cent., and, as the hon. Gentleman will no doubt have noticed, this had a beneficial effect on the level of investments in 1968, especially during the last quarter.