§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if the contributions to be made by the EEC to United Kingdom projects in 1980–81 in terms of the rebate agreement negotiated at the summit will cover the entire cost of such projects or if any contribution will be required from public funds in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. David Mitchell:
The regulation under which the payments will be made specifies a maximum rate of Community participation of 70 per cent. The investment schemes in which the Community will participate will be ones included in the most recent public expenditure White Paper—Cmnd. 7841. The Community assistance will reduce the overall cost to the Exchequer of the programmes concerned.
§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement detailing any reduction or abolition in the collection or publication of statistics or reports by his Department since May 1979, indicating if such information is available from any other source: and what financial savings have been made by any such changes.
§ Mr. David Mitchell:
The Departments of Industry and Trade share a common statistical service.
Decisions have been taken to stop or curtail the following statistical inquiries:
Inquiries stopped and No. of forms saved survey 300 a year Annual survey of film distributors 100 a year Monthly manufacturers' stocks Quarterly export prospects survey 7,800 a year
Export prices survey (monthly or quarterly) 5,000 a year Quarterly catering turnover inquiry 5,600 a year Shops inquiry 1981 150,000 in 1981 Reduction in forms sent out (a) from 1980 Annual survey of retailing 5,000 a year Annual survey of other distributive and service trades 11,000 a year Annual census of production 4,600 a year 1979 purchases inquiry by manufacturers 1,200 in 1980 2 instead of 3 surveys a year of investment intentions 2,500 a year (b) from 1981 (in addition to above) Annual census of production 10,000 a year Restructuring of the quarterly manufacturing sales inquiries 28,000 a year Slimming down of the monthly manufacturing sales inquiries 16 to 18,000 a year Restructuring the annual inquires into the distributive and service trades 18 to 19,000 a year
As a result of these changes, less detailed information will be collected and the frequency or reliability of some statistical series will be reduced within limits acceptable to Government users. There will be savings in public expenditure and in the costs of form-filling borne by industrial and commercial firms. It is estimated, for example, that restructuring the quarterly manufacturing sales inquiries will alone save some £500,000 in manpower costs at the Business Statistics Office.
Staff numbers employed on statistical work have already fallen from 1,380 at 1 April 1979 to 1,280 at 1 October, and will fall substantially further as the work in hand is reduced.