§ 23. Mr. Carrington
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many small businesses have started up in Northern Ireland over the last three years; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Needham
There is no comprehensive system of measuring small business start-ups in Northern Ireland, although there are several useful proxy indicators. One of the most widely used is the number of businesses (of all sizes) registering for VAT, of which there were an estimated 10,000 in three years ending in 1988. The figure for 1989 is not yet available.