§ Rev. Ian Paisley
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in view of the effects of Government cut-back in expenditure on the quarry industry in Northern Ireland, which could lead to the lay-off of some of the 1,292 workers, what steps he proposes to take to avert this.
§ Mr. Carter
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 22nd July 1976 that, with effect from 31st March 1977, the mining and quarry industry would cease to he eligible for standard capital grants in Northern Ireland or for regional development grant in the assisted areas in Great Britain. However, there is no evidence that this decision has led to any threat to employment in the Northern Ireland industry. The major Government contribution to the quarry industry is made by the roads service of DOE(NI). The total of roads service expenditure in 1976–77 was £64 million, which is being578W increased to £76 million in the current financial year and will continue at a similar level in 1978–79. Steps to encourage employment in the industry include the aid to the construction industry package, from which £1,970,000 has been allocated for road works in 1978–79 and £535,000 in 1979–80.