§ 16. Mr. Freeman
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received any representations concerning the extension of income tax relief for investment in corporate trades to individuals purchasing shares in a small firm investment company operating with the approval of the Inland Revenue.
§ Mr. Freeman
Is my hon. Friend aware of the strong support on the Government Benches for the great success of the business expansion scheme, compared with the almost total indifference on the Opposition Benches to the level and state of private sector capital investment? Will my hon. Friend assure the House that he will consider the CBI proposals for a sensible extension to and change in the business expansion scheme?
§ Mr. Moore
My hon. Friend is right to remind the House of the success of the business expansion scheme. All hon. Members should welcome the fact that preliminary figures indicate that in 1983–84 approximately £55 million was invested in individual target companies, and approximately 8,000 to 10,000 individual investors were investing in 300 target companies. That shows the success of the scheme already. I shall certainly consider the points made by the CBI in terms of its potential extension.