§ My third announcement is of particular interest to smaller businesses.
§ At present, all businesses which are incorporated have to have their accounts audited. While it is clearly important that accounts should be reliable and indeed that the Inland Revenue and other users should have the assurance they need that the accounts have been drawn up properly, the current statutory audit requirement imposes a disproportionate cost on many small businesses. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade will therefore shortly be issuing a consultative document setting out options for reducing this burden, at least for the very smallest businesses that are incorporated. This would deliver significant savings and would represent a major step in cutting out red tape and bureaucracy.