HC Deb 13 March 1986 vol 93 cc1072-3
10. Mr. Freeman

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the latest figures available for the annual rate of investment under the business expansion Scheme.

Mr. Moore

The figures are £105 million in 1983–84, something in excess of £126 million in 1984–85 and we expect the amount to be higher still in 1985–86.

Mr. Freeman

I congratulate the Government on the success of the business expansion scheme, which shows that the spirit of free enterprise flourishes in the country. Can my hon. Friend tell the House when he expects to publish the Peat, Marwick and Mitchell report?

Mr. Moore

I thank my right hon. Friend for his congratulations. He is correct to say that the scheme has helped hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs. I can confirm that the Peat, Marwick and Mitchell report will be published in full on Budget day.

Mr. Meadowcroft

How far would lower interest rates reduce the demands on the business expansion scheme? Why on earth, for instance, should manufacturers consider manufacture when they can get more money by lending money?

Mr. Moore

The hon. Gentleman completely misunderstands the nature of the business expansion scheme. He misunderstands the nature of the way in which high risk relates to high rewards and the way in which it has inspired a complete change in the entrepreneurial nature of society. I am unhappy that he obviously is not supporting from the Opposition Benches the nature of the business expansion scheme.

Forward to