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Departmental Aid

Volume 113: debated on Tuesday 31 March 1987

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asked the Paymaster General whether he will estimate the number of projects that will receive aid from his Department in this financial year; and if he will estimate how much additional private investment this aid is likely to generate.

My Department funds a wide variety of schemes and projects to promote employment, enterprise, tourism and training. No overall estimate of the impact of this aid on future private investment is available.

I thank my hon. Friend for his reply, but may I ask him to be more specific about tourism? How effectively is public money used in promoting tourism projects, bearing in mind how important tourism is in the west country?

It is possible to be more specific about tourism because, under section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969, private sector support is approximately eight times the support that we give, which must be one of the highest ratios in the whole of the British economy.