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Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin 11:30 am, 11th March 2009

What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and the Welsh Assembly Government on schemes to assist businesses in Wales during the economic downturn.

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave Mark Williams.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

I am delighted to have given the Secretary of State more time to think about his answer. He knows that Shimizu, a fine Japanese company, has factories in Welshpool and in Hortonwood in my constituency. The difference is that, on the Welsh side of the border, it receives taxpayer subsidies for wages and training. That is good news; we want people in jobs in Wales, but what about the people of Shropshire and my constituents, who would like a similar subsidy from the regional development agency?

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

As the hon. Gentleman knows, one great benefit of devolution is that we can have several schemes to help businesses in Wales that might not be available in England. However, there are also effective schemes across the border in England, such as Train to Gain, the help that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform gives small and medium-sized enterprises, and the Department for Work and Pensions schemes. There are plenty of schemes—it is important that the hon. Gentleman makes his constituents aware of them.

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