§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the results of(a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months; and if he will publish the performance indictors by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring. 
§ Mr. Watts
The Government recognise the crucial role played by small firms in the UK economy. The Government continue to help smaller companies by keeping inflation and interest rates low and by reducing legislative and administrative and taxation burdens. They also provide direct assistance where appropriate.
The second competitiveness White Paper announced in May 1995 outlines a programme of measures to assist the growth and competitiveness of the small firms sector.
The Department's aim of a more efficient, safe and environmentally friendly transport system, using the market to offer the widest possible choice of transport users, will assist businesses of all sizes.
My Department is, like others, systematically reviewing the regulations for which it is responsible to ensure that the unnecessary or over-burdensome regulation is cut back. When considering new regulations, we take particular account of the burden and cost those regulations impose on small business. We have recently completed a consultation on proposals to relax the regulation of signing for tourist destinations.