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Aerospace Industry

Volume 543: debated on Wednesday 25 April 2012

11. What recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues and others on the aerospace industry in Wales. (104194)

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and other organisations on a range of issues, including the aerospace industry in Wales.

Does the Secretary of State agree that, while the UK Government have taken a lead in establishing enterprise zones, the onus is now on the Welsh Government to ensure that their enterprise zone for the aerospace industry in St Athan is a success?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. As far as enterprise zones are concerned, a great deal depends on what the Labour Welsh Government will do, because we have capital allowances for only one enterprise zone, which is already in Deeside. The enterprise zone to which he refers will be crucial to the UK and will secure work on the next generation of aircraft, because some 27,000 large aircraft, worth $3 trillion, will be needed over the next 20 years, around 7,000 new helicopters will be required within the next decade and there is a huge potential future market in unmanned air vehicles, and I want us to benefit from that demand in the aerospace business in Wales.

Is it not the case that the success of the UK aerospace industry is due to government and industry working together—[Interruption]—and that saying that business succeeds because government gets out of the way is arrant nonsense?

Over this noise, Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that government should get out of the way of business. Indeed, that is exactly what this Government are doing, with the red tape challenge, by reducing the bureaucracy that the previous Labour Government imposed on our industries, and by reducing the rate of corporation tax so that our business environment can be one of the most competitive in the G20.