§ Mr. Alan Williams
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the current ceilings within the EEC on proportions of costs of projects which can be met by Government subsidy in each category of assisted area; and how the United Kingdom limits on regional development grants and section 7 assistance compares with the EEC ceilings.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The current ceilings on the total regional aid given to a project are specified in the communication of the Commission on regional aid systems which was published in theOfficial Journal of the European Communities No. C.31/9 dated 3 February 1979. A copy of this is available in the Library of the House.
Regional development grants in Great Britain are currently:
In special development areas22 per cent. on capital expenditure incurred for the provision of new plant and machinery, building and works;
In development areas
- (a) 20 per cent. on capital expenditure incurred for the provision of new plant and machinery, buildings and works, if the expenditure was defrayed before 18 July 1979 and/or assets are provided before 1 August 1980; or
- (b) 15 per cent. on expenditure defrayed on assets provided on or after 1 August 1980;
In intermediate areas
- (a) 20 per cent. on capital expenditure incurred for the provision of new buildings and works, if the expenditure was defrayed before 18 July 1979 and/or assets are provided before 1 August 1980; but
- (b) No grant will be paid on expenditure incurred in providing such a building or works after 31 July 1980.
These rates of regional development grant are themselves below the appropriate Community ceiling.
No limits are set by the Industry Act 1972 on the amount of section 7 assistance that can be given to a project in Great Britain. The assistance given is the minimum necessary to secure the project. The maximum assistance is calculated by reference to the Community ceilings which are not exceeded.
The total regional aid given to a project does not exceed the appropriate Community ceiling.
Regional aids in Northern Ireland are governed by separate legislation and are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.