HC Deb 03 February 1987 vol 109 cc567-8W
Mr. Hill

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if any form of financial assistance is currently being given to the ports of (a) London or (b) Liverpool.

Mr. Moore

Government grant to the Port of London Authority for the severance of non-registered employees ceased on 31 December 1986. So did grant for the special severance scheme for registered dock workers in the port of London in November and December. The payment of grant for severances in the port of Liverpool (and of grants in respect of any further severances in London) awaits a decision by the European Commission on whether they are compatible with the treaty of Rome provisions on state a ids. The Commission sought a justification for these grants only in late December of last year, although it has been aware of their existence for a number of years. Under the treaty of Rome we are debarred from continuing to make these grants until the Commission has made its decision.

This includes the current severance offer in Liverpool: I understand the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company has today told the unions that the terms of the severance offer stand but its implementation must await the outcome of the Commission's deliberation.