HC Deb 19 May 1986 vol 98 c7
5. Mr. Leadbitter

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what was the cash limit for grants under section 8 of the Railways Act 1974 for the years 1979 to 1986, inclusive; and what was the total sum authorised for section 8 expenditure in those years.

Mr. David Mitchell

The total cash limit for all freight facilities grants in the period 1979–80 to 1985–86 inclusive was £65.5 million. In the same period total expenditure was £43.8 million, which includes £1.4 million for waterway grants. All figures relate to England, Scotland and Wales.

Mr. Leadbitter

Will the Minister give some precise information about this year? It is suggested that the authorisation limits have now been reached and that any further applications under section 8 will not be accepted. Is that the position? Will the Minister clarify what the position is this year so that the industry may know what response to expect from its applications?

Mr. Mitchell

The cash limit for this year is £7.3 million. I shall be surprised if we have claims that equal that amount.

Dr. Marek

Will the Minister categorically state that the applications in the pipeline will be processed and that any new applications that might be forthcoming to his Department in the next three or four weeks will not be held up or grant refused because of a lack of money?

Mr. Mitchell

I have no reason to believe that there will be rationing through lack of money. Throughout the period to which I referred the claims have never equalled the amount of money that has been available. In both the past two years I have approved record numbers of grants.