To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his most up-to-date estimate of the expenditure on regional development grants in Wales in the next financial year, if there were no changes in the regional aid scheme to industry.
[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1988, c. 321–22]: The reply should have been as follows: The 1988 public expenditure White Paper contained planned provision of £63·5 million (net of non-EC receipts) for regional development grants in Wales in 1988–89. Equivalent provision in the 1987 public expenditure White Paper was £26·7 million. The increase in provision results from a combination of several factors, including the need to provide resources for those RDG applicants who meet the deadline of 31 March 1988 and are thus subject to the transitional arrangements provided for the ending of the scheme. I am not able to make any precise estimate of the cost of such transitional arrangements at this stage.