§ 139. Mr. O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many businesses have failed in the Yorkshire region over the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Nicholls
The best available guide to trends in numbers of businesses comes from VAT data. In 1988, the latest year for which figures have been published by this Department, an estimated 10,700 businesses came off the VAT register in the counties of North, South and West434W Yorkshire. Companies may leave the register for a variety of different reasons. In the same period, there were an estimated 13,800 registrations, giving a net increase of 3,100, or 3.3 per cent.