HC Deb 30 January 2002 vol 379 cc286-7
Q10. Mr. Brian H. Donohoe (Cunninghame, South)

When he next expects to visit north Ayrshire.

The Prime Minister

I have no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Donohoe

I am extremely sorry to hear that. My right hon. Friend would have been taken to meet some industrialists, especially those in the electronics industry, with which there are genuine problems. Much investment is going to Ireland because of the difference between corporation tax in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, where it is 10 per cent. Although the Chancellor has given start-up much encouragement in this country, corporation tax remains at 30 per cent. for the rest of industry. Will my right hon. Friend do something about that?

The Prime Minister

Again, I am sure that the Chancellor has heard that representation. However, we have made changes in corporation tax since coming to power; we have cut the rate from 33 per cent. to 30 per cent. Although that is high when compared with Ireland, I hope that my hon. Friend realises that there has recently been substantial inward investment in his part of Scotland. We have much more to do to attract more inward investment there, but I hope that he agrees that it is not all doom and gloom. Many good contracts, including a recent contract for £4 million in his constituency, give us hope for the future.

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