HC Deb 16 July 1979 vol 970 c998
1. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the value of the grants allocated to Wales from the European regional development fund since 1975.

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Nicholas Edwards)

The sum of £44.8 million.

Mr. Knox

Does my right hon. Friend agree that these grants have brought great benefit to the people of Wales that they might not otherwise have had? Does that not confirm how advantageous membership of the Community is to Wales?

Mr. Edwards

I agree with my hon. Friend, and took the opportunity to say so in the presence of the President of the Commission at a dinner in Cardiff on Thursday night. The total of grants and loans now received in Wales is about £500 million.

Mr. Wigley

Does the Secretary of State not agree that these grants would have been of much greater benefit to Wales if all the money that came from the EEC went to Wales and was not taken up by the Treasury setting off these against existing grants? Does he agree that these grants will be even more important in the future in view of the impending chop of regional development programmes by the Government?

Mr. Edwards

These grants assist in lessening the interest burden of local authorities and contribute to the financial resources available to the Government for regional development policy. However, one must also take account of the need to control public expenditure in this area.

Back to