§ 2. Mr. Carmichael
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many public works contracts were started in Scotland in the last convenient 12-month period with the help of the European regional fund; and what percentum of the cost of each scheme this represented.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Alexander Fletcher)
One hundred and twenty-four public works contracts for which grants have been approved from the European regional development fund started in Scotland in the 12 months ending 30 June 1982. In 117 of those the grant is 30 per cent. of project costs; for the six projects in support of the Western Isles integrated development programme the grant is 40 per cent.; for one project the grant is 20 per cent.
§ Mr. Carmichael
Does the fact that those grants are being given affect in any way the priorities given to particular schemes by the hon. Gentleman's Department? If so, does the Minister not think that that is wrong, as the Prime Minister has said, that it is our own money that we are getting back?
§ Mr. Fletcher
The priorities for grants from the EEC are related to the nature of the project. These are all infrastructure projects by local authorities and other public bodies. We are anxious to ensure that Scotland continues to receive a full share of the money coming to the United Kingdom. So far, 25 per cent. of the grants have been related to projects in Scotland.