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Business Statistics (Questionnaires)

Volume 86: debated on Monday 11 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will explain (a) why his Department's business statistics office has requested that companies involved in the construction and contracting industry should be required to complete questionnaires relating to his Department's full survey of scientific research and development, (b) publish the cost of carrying out such a survey, and (c) what relevance the information gleaned will have for his Department.

Expenditure on research and development by United Kingdom industry represents its investment in creating and developing new and improved products and processes. This provides an essential basis for future economic growth. Statistics of such expenditure are necessary for informed decisions on policy for research, development, technology and innovation, in my Department and other Government departments.The full survey of scientific research and development is carried out every four years. It includes all industrial enterprises employing 200 or more persons which expect to incur expenditure on scientific research and development within the United Kingdom during 1985. Construction enterprises satisfying such conditions are included. The average costs to the Department over a four year cycle are estimated to be about £50,000 a year.