§ Mr. Anthony Grant
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether the powers under which the Export Credits Guarantee Department operates the cost escalation scheme and which are due to expire next March are to be renewed.
§ Mr. Parkinson
I fully recognise the need of industry for the earliest possible information on the Government's intentions with regard to this scheme, especially if negotiations for important overseas projects are not to be frustrated. I am therefore particularly pleased to be able568W to announce that it is our intention to recommend to the House an extension for 12 months, to 26 March 1982, of the powers granted under section 5 of the Export Guarantees and Overseas Investment Act 1978. The necessary draft order will be laid before the House in due course. I hope that the timing of this decision will provide our major exporting companies with the reassurance they need to plan ahead with confidence.
We do not envisage further changes to the scheme at this stage. The House will recall that, as foreshadowed in my statement of 5 March this year, its terms were recently revised to increase premium income. The new rate is being applied in general to business obtained since the end of the last financial year.