HC Deb 29 June 1979 vol 969 cc354-5W
Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his latest estimate of the aggregate cost to public funds of all forms of Exchequer support, whether direct or indirect, for the Harland and Wolff shipyards in the current financial year; and what is the cost per person employed in the yards.

Mr. Giles Shaw

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27 June 1979], gave the following information:

The provision for special assistance to Harland and Wolff in the 1979–80 Northern Ireland Estimates, which it is hoped to make available to the House in early July, is £23.8 million. Aid under standard industrial assistance schemes may amount to a further £2.4 million. Current employment at the shipyard is 7,800; on this basis, full utilisation of these sums would give a cost per employee for the year of approximately £3,359, though the actual figure will depend on a number of factors, including the timing of receipts from shipowners. In addition, those who have placed orders at Harland and Wolff benefit from the standard United Kingdom credit arrangements for shipowners. The Government are currently examining the position of Harland and Wolff in the context of their overall review of the United Kingdom shipbuilding industry.