HC Deb 09 February 1987 vol 110 cc59-60W
Mr. White

asked the Lord Privy Seal what steps are being taken to purchase a computer to assist with the processing of early-day motions and questions in the Table Office; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Biffen

A user requirement for a system to handle both early day motions and the "ration" of oral parliamentary questions in the Table Office has been drawn up, and investigations as to the most appropriate link to the Library's POLIS (parliamentary on-line

The business improvement services package of schemes, run by the Department of Trade and Industry, aims to help small firms in areas affected by job losses in particular industries—steel, textiles, shipbuilding, deep sea fisheries and tin-mining areas. Grants are available for consultancy advice on marketing, financial management, the application of computers and licensing in of products and processes, as well as for common services for groups of small firms and for investment projects.

Support in particular sectors

The Government sponsor the Co-operative Development Agency. Sponsorship of the CDA was extended in 1981 and 1984. The Co-operative Development Agency and Industrial Development Act 1984 provided additional funding, effectively extending the Agency's mandate for a further six years, and gave it limited additional powers.

The small engineering firms investment scheme operated in two phases to help small engineering firms to invest in certain types of advanced capital equipment. The scheme cost about £130 million.