§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his Department's policy on the level of shipbuilding intervention funding during 1995.
§ Mr. Eggar
I have decided that the United Kingdom's maximum level of support for large ships from 1 January 1995 shall continue to be 9 per cent., including shipbuilders' tax relief of 2 per cent. This follows a decision of the European Commission, notified to member states on 27 January 1995.
I have similarly decided that the maximum level of support for small ships from 1 January 1995 shall continue to be 4.5 per cent., including shipbuilders' tax relief at 2 per cent.
Those levels are at the maximum permitted by the EC shipbuilding regime.
This is the last year in which shipbuilding intervention will be available for new contracts. The OECD agreement respecting normal competitive conditions in the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry prohibits direct subsidies from 1 January 1996.