§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
In 1989 expenditure on regional assistance in England totalled £326.6 million; in 1979 the figure was £297.6 million. Expressed in terms of 1989 prices, the expenditure in 1979 was £594 million.
§ Mr. Hardy
Does the Minister deny that the combined total from regional assistance and regional development grants was £1,130 million in 1979 and £470 million last year? Given the enormous increase in economic and environmental needs, does the Minister realise that that is an example of negligence and irresponsibility?
§ Mr. Hogg
The hon. Gentleman has failed to analyse the component elements of the figures. We have discontinued regional development grant, and quite right too, because it was an automatic grant which took no account of the jobs created, or of need. We are relying on regional selective assistance, which is based on need, jobs created and economic viability. That is the way forward.