§ Baroness Seear asked Her Majesty's Government:
§ Whether they will list those measures in their last two Budgets designed to promote investment in small independent businesses; and to indicate, for any convenient period, their estimate of the response to date for private and public sector sources of finance.
§ The Minister of State, Treasury (Lord Cockfield)
Both this year's and last year's Budgets included enterprise packages. These contained a variety of measures designed to improve the fiscal and administrative climate for small businesses. Taken together, all of these will help to encourage the creation, growth, and profitability of small businesses, and so promote investment in them.
This year the Business Start-Up Scheme has been introduced specifically to encourage the provision of equity finance by outsiders for new business start-ups in a wide range of manufacturing service and other industries. Some of the measures, including the Business Start-Up Scheme, have not yet come into force, while others have been in operation only for a short time. While it is too early to evaluate the success of these proposals, the response to the various items has been encouraging, and businesses have already started to take advantage of the opportunities offered.
§ On Question, amendments agreed to.
§ House resumed: Bill reported with the amendments.