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Industrial Incentives

Volume 827: debated on Monday 29 November 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will ask the Welsh Council to make a further study of the incentives suitable for industrialists to invest in Wales.

I do not consider it necessary to ask for a further study at this stage but I shall certainly keep the possibility in mind.

In view of the failure of the Government's development area policies, could they not at least try to remedy the situation by allowing industrialists to opt between investment grants and tax allowances where they consider that grants are a superior form of investment incentive?

I disagree with the hon. Gentleman that the Government's regional and development policies have been a failure. In fact, they offer considerable inducements. With growth in the economy in Wales, I have no doubt that they will be a great attraction to industry in the region.

In view of the report published during the weekend about the pessimistic future for manufacturing industry generally, whatever support and incentives are offered, would not the right hon. and learned Gentleman accept that it is time for a radical reappraisal of the whole system of incentives and inducements, and also of the kind of industry which we are trying to get into Wales, in view of the fact that no upturn is likely in manufacturing industry in the next two years?

The hon. Gentleman will be aware of the massive reflationary policies announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer which are in great contrast to the deflationary policies pursued by our predecessors. There is no doubt that when the economy of the country improves, as it will, Wales will benefit considerably.