HC Deb 13 May 1996 vol 277 c627
11. Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proposals there are to deregulate the small business sector; and if he will make a statement. [27675]

Mr. Willetts

A package of new measures for small business was announced at the "Your Business Matters" conference on 11 March. The measures included a single notification point for tax and national insurance for new businesses and new rights for business in enforcement actions. A further response to the issues raised by small businesses during the conferences will be published in June.

Mr. Llwyd

I thank the Minister for that answer. I am a small business man—I have been in business for some 20 years—and find the notion of depriving thousands of people of the protection afforded by employment tribunals quite abhorrent. Indeed, that feeling has been expressed wherever I have been. Is it not a ridiculous notion? I hope that the Government are not stupid enough to pursue it.

Mr. Willetts

There will be no question of making any such proposals without full consideration and legal advice. Overall, however, the Government are committed to reducing the burdens on business. As the hon. Gentleman is a small business man, I am sure that he will recognise that the fact that 500,000 of the smallest companies no longer have to have their accounts audited is a welcome easing of the burdens that they face.