asked the Secretary of State for Industry what will be the effect on previous estimates of the cost to public funds of Government assistance to industry under the Industry Act of the reduction of the rate of interest relief grant from 16 per cent. to 13½ per cent. and the reduction of rates of interest on Government loans since December 1976.
Expenditure on assistance under Sections 7 and 8 of the Industry Act 1972 depends on the number of successful applications for assistance, the form of assistance, and the terms of assistance offered, including the periods for which concessionary terms are allowed, the ruling rates of interest at the time, and the phasing of payments of assistance. In these circumstances it is not possible to calculate the effect on total estimates of expenditure under these powers of fluctuations in interest rates.