HC Deb 13 May 1982 vol 23 c936
8. Mr. Trippier

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will introduce new financial incentives to banks and building societies to invest in urban renewal.

Mr. Hayhoe

No new financial incentives are planned, but the measures that we have already introduced should make private sector investment in inner cities more attractive.

Mr. Trippier

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. What contributions have enterprise zones made in this area?

Mr. Hayhoe

Enterprise zones are in their early days. The package of incentives that is on offer is achieving the intended results, and the response of the private sector has been encouraging. Many new firms are setting up in the zones, existing firms are expanding, and vacant land is being brought back into sensible use.

Mr. Hardy

Is not the position far more serious and unsatisfactory than the Minister suggests? Is it not clear that the pinnacle of achievement by the Government in urban renewal appears to be the proposed establishment of a glorified garden centre in Merseyside? What about other areas where unemployment is well over 20 per cent. and response to Government policy is grossly inadequate?

Mr. Hayhoe

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has been bringing forward imaginative proposals for the inner cities. If we spend money in reclaiming land there is a multiplier effect, in that £10 million spent from public funds will lead to private sector investment of £70 million to £100 million, which is very useful.