HC Deb 19 December 1984 vol 70 c236W
15. Mr. Hayes

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to encourage greater employee participation through the ownership of shares.

Mr. Fletcher

We have just completed the biggest single step so far this century towards wider ownership of shares in British industry. Over 2 million people purchased BT shares, including many first-time investors and 184,000 employees of BT itself. We will continue to encourage wider ownership of shares both by employees and by individual investors.

52. Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards the encouragement of wider share ownership.

Mr. Fletcher

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for High Peak (Mr. Hawkins). The Government have taken a number of steps to encourage wider share ownership through the privatisation programme and through the measures taken by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the tax treatment of share option schemes. We are most encouraged by the response.