§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months relative to the previous 12 months; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The Government continue to place a high priority on helping small businesses, through improvements to the business climate, through deregulation and through specific programmes of support and assistance. My Department is responsible for ensuring that the principles of the citizens charter and other public service reform initiatives are implemented. These are designed to improve the standards of service that Government Departments and other public sector organisations provide to their customers, including the owners of small businesses.