§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list those measures taken by his Department to help small businesses since May 1979.
§ Mr. Newton
My hon. Friend will see, from the reply given to him by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Industry on a similar question, the extent of the measures which the Government have introduced to help small businesses.
Both for 1982–83 and 1983–84, we have sought to give further relief to the self-employed small business man by holding back self-employed national insurance contribution rates below the level derived from the conventional formula. Since 1 July 1982 the European Community's social security regulation has applied to self-employed people and extends to them rights to health care and social security benefits when living, working or staying in other countries of the European Community. This extension of social security cover to the self-employed was the result of a United Kingdom initiative and was agreed by the Council of Ministers in 1980.