§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the average weekly rate of business start-ups in net terms in 1988.
§ Mr. Major
In 1987, the latest year for which figures have been published by the Department of Employment, the net increase in the number of businesses registered for VAT was 45,000—an average of approaching 900 a week. Indications are that the rate of increase in 1988 is even faster. The number of VAT registrations and de-registrations processed by Customs and Excise during 1988 indicate a net increase of more than 1,200 a week. Department of Employment figures for 1988 will be available in the summer.