HC Deb 10 March 1981 vol 1000 c782

These measures to encourage enterprise and risk-taking are essential if we are to replace the jobs that are disappearing elsewhere in the economy. There must be a healthy flow of new enterprises. We must be ready to set aside the resources to encourage them. They are the real future hope for absorbing and redirecting the people and resources at present squeezed out of employment by economic adjustment.

As I have said, this is the second Budget in which I have included measures to help and encourage small businesses. The measures I have just announced, together with those last year, constitute a formidable range of incentives. The tax system is now geared significantly in favour of enterprise, risk-taking and investment.

Much has also been done by this Government to ease the problems of small businesses in other ways—for example, by relaxing employment and planning rules. All this represents a complete change in the climate within which the small business operates. It is vital that these measures be widely known and that people be encouraged to take advantage of them.

The Government recognise the need to give a lead in that. We shall, therefore, be launching a business opportunities programme to publicise the help, advice and incentives available to small business. We shall be improving the advisory service available to small businesses in urban areas in England and to co-ordinate the advisory services provided by the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas and the small firms service of the Department of Industry. The opportunities have been provided by this and earlier legislation and we must now do all that we can to see that they are taken advantage of.

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