§ Mr. Bulmer
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is satisfied with the speed at which clearance applications under the demerger legislation introduced in the Finance Act 1980 are being processed; how many of the applications awaiting clearance on 9 February have now been examined and with what result; and whether he estimates from an examination of the applications which have not been cleared that more business restructuring would be facilitated if the scope of this particular legislation were widened.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
Yes. All clearance applications received to date have been dealt with within the statutory period of 30 days from receiving the application of further information. In many cases, however, further information has had to be requested because the application has not contained all details needed to show that the conditions of relief are satisfied.
All the 24 applications outstanding on 31 January—those referred to in the reply to the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Lang)—[Vol. 998, c. 261–62]—have been dealt with as follows—as at 7 April:
- Cleared 12
- Not cleared 2
- Withdrawn 2
- Outwith Schedule 18 1
- Request made for further information and reply awaited 7
I do not conclude from the few—nine—cases not cleared to date that the legislation should be widened.