§ Mr. Sheerman
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will provide aid to the United Kingdom textile industry similar to that which other European Economic Community countries are providing.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The United Kingdom textile industry already receives aid, which since May 1979 has amounted to some £71 million under the Industry Act 1972 and short-time working compensation; it also benefits from the protection provided by the multi-fibre arrangement and from tax savings on account of first year 100 per cent. free depreciation and stock relief. I do not believe that additional aid—which could then be matched by other member States—is the right or the only answer to the industry's problems.