HC Deb 12 March 1980 vol 980 cc587-9W
Mr. Alan Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what proportion of the land surface of each region containing assisted areas currently have assisted area status; how the proportion will change when his July 1979 decisions are implemented; and how the area within each category of assisted area status will change in each region.

Mr. David Mitchell

[pursuant to his reply, 14 February 1980, c. 738]: The percentages in the tables below show the approximate proportion of the land surface within the assisted areas of Great Britain.

the available statistics are sufficient for monitoring the progress of the office machinery industry; what resources his Department devotes to this; how this compares with the previous five years; and what plans he has to improve the quality of the statistics collected.

Mr. David Mitchell

[pursuant to his reply, 5 March 1980, c. 225]: The cost to my Department of providing statistics for the office machinery industry (defined as minimum list heading 338 of the standard industrial classification) is estimated at about £10,000 in the current financial year. This is somewhat higher in real terms than the amount spent on average over the previous 5 years. It excludes the cost of producing Business Monitor PQ 1005, a compendium which provides statistics covering a wider range of office machinery.

I am satisfied that having regard to the need to maintain a firm control on public expenditure and to reduce the burden of form-filling on industry the resources applied to monitoring the progress of this industry are adequate. While the allocation of resources to the collection of industrial statistics generally is being curtailed as part of the plans already announced for reducing the size of the Civil Service, every effort will be made to present a useful picture of the performance of this important and rapidly changing sector of industry.