HC Deb 08 June 1976 vol 912 cc640-1W
Mr. Lee

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total amount of financial assistance provided by Government to the privately-owned aircraft industry in the 20 years from 1956 to date; how much of this assistance took the form of subsidies; what were the figures for subsidy assistance for each year from 1965 onwards to date; and if he will publish a list of the recipient companies.

Mr. Les Huckfield

Full records on a comparable basis are not available, but total assistance to the privately-owned aircraft industry from 1956–57 to 1975–76 inclusive is estimated at about £780 million in gross terms and at historic prices. This total includes launching aid, civil research contracts and the development and production of the Concorde airframe. It excludes support for Short Bros. and Beagle Aircraft Ltd., the purchase of the assets of Rolls-Royce Ltd., and support for aero-engine projects after February 1971. Investment grants and other forms of support not exclusive to the aircraft industry are also excluded. None of the assistance was in the form of subsidies. Full details of the recipient companies are not available, but with minor exceptions all support was given to the British Aircraft Corporation, the Hawker Siddeley Group, Rolls-Royce Ltd., or to one of the companies subsequently incorporated in these groups. Many other companies will, however, have benefited through sub-contracts.

In addition, the aircraft industry is eligible for general schemes of assistance to industry as a whole such as investment grants, regional development grants and other assistance under the Local Employment Acts, the Industry Act 1972 and the regional employment premium. Separate figures in respect of these schemes for the aircraft industry are not available.

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