HC Deb 30 March 1979 vol 965 cc389-90W
Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he intends to take to mitigate the effect of 14 per cent, minimum lending rate on small businesses and farms; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Concannon

The movements of the minimum lending rate up and down are only one factor in business costs. While no general relief for small businesses in Northern Ireland in respect of one such movement can be contemplated, investment projects may qualify for interest relief grants or loans at concession interest rates under schemes administered by the Department of Commerce.

The cost of credit which the agriculture industry has to pay is one of the factors taken into account each year in the farm price review.