§ Mr. Ashdown
asked the Prime Minister if she will set out systematically the financial aids available from Government to industry, British and foreign; and if she will indicate how Her Majesty's Government intend to exercise their discretionary powers of aid in those areas where these exist.
§ The Prime Minister
The broad programmes of assistance offered by a number of Departments are set out in the annual public expenditure White Papers. Details are contained in the annual Estimates. Assistance is available to industry in the United Kingdom irrespective of the nationality of ownership or of controlling interests. A major criterion for aid will continue to be value for money. My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry announced on 28 November the conclusions of the review on regional policy to increase cost effectiveness. My hon. Friend the Minister for Information Technology announced on 12 November a review of support for innovation to the same end.