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Public Bodies (Dividend Capital)

Volume 972: debated on Monday 29 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what payments by the National Enterprise Board and the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies he expects to receive in reduction of their respective public dividend capital in (a) the year 1979–80 and (b) the year 1980–81; and if he will make a statement.

There is at present no statutory authority for any reduction in the NEB's public dividend capital, although a limited power is proposed in clause 3(1) of the Industry Bill. When the Bill is enacted the NEB will make payments reducing its public dividend capital consequent upon the share disposals it makes. My right hon. Friend has asked that these should be to the value of £100 million in 1979–80, but he has as yet made no stipulation as to the amount in 1980–81.The affairs of the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales.