HC Deb 07 July 2004 vol 423 cc829-30
11. Julie Morgan (Cardiff, North) (Lab)

What steps he is taking to help entrepreneurs in Wales. [181923]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Don Touhig)

Besides creating a stable macro-economic environment to enable entrepreneurs to start up and prosper, the Government and the Assembly, working in partnership, have introduced a wide range of measures to support businesses in Wales, from grants to a free business advisory service.

Julie Morgan

Is my hon. Friend aware of the success of V and A Marketing, based in Llandaff North in my constituency, in producing an award-winning line of feeding equipment for children in conjunction with Dr. Miriam Stoppard? Is he aware that that company is likely to double its work force and will he join me in congratulating the managing director, Mr. Vic Davies, on his achievements?

Mr. Touhig

I have been aware of that for the last 10 seconds, but I congratulate the company and wish it well. The entrepreneurship action plan, which is the Assembly's strategy, has contributed to 6,700 business starts in 2003–04, which is an almost 60 per cent. increase over 2001–02. In the 2004 Budget, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced incentives to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises, including improvements to research and development tax credits. All that will benefit entrepreneurs and business in Wales and shows that this Government are on the right track to make Wales into a world-class economy.