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Government Aid

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money has been recovered by her Department from regional aid grants made to industrial projects which have subsequently failed in 'the last five years. [121901]

£26.1 million of regional selective assistance was recovered between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2003. Much of this relates to offers and payments made in earlier years.

Recoveries of grant under the Enterprise Grant scheme (introduced in January 2000) to date total £95,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much regional aid has been given by the UK Government since 1997 in terms of (a) cash grants, (b) tax relief and (c) other subsidies to industries investing in the UK; how many jobs were expected to have been created as a result; how many jobs were delivered; and if she will make a statement on the proportion of aid which has been given to projects that have subsequently failed. [121907]

Since 1997, £119 million of grant offered under the Regional Selective Assistance scheme was accepted by companies in support of projects in England which have now been completed. These projects were expected to create or safeguard 38,997 jobs.The total amount of RSA that was eventually paid was £103 million and 39,841 jobs were created or safeguarded.In addition, £8 million has been paid for projects where there has been some recovery or write-off action. Of this, £1.5 million has been recovered. Many of these projects will have involved some investment and jobs but not on the scale anticipated at the time of offer.Under the Enterprise Grant scheme (introduced in January 2000) £56.4 million was offered to companies by 31 March 2003. £184,000 went to projects where there has been some recovery or write-off action. To date, £95,000 has been recovered. Job creation and safeguarding are not among the national criteria for Enterprise Grants.The Department is not responsible for tax issues nor for subsidies or grants given by other departments.