§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what targets her Department has set for creating more enterprise in disadvantaged communities; and what progress has been made towards these targets. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
The target is to narrow the gap between VAT registrations in the 20 per cent. most and 20 per cent. least deprived wards in England by one percentage point per year.
The figures for the last two years for which data are available illustrate that the gap between the two VAT registration rates has narrowed and meets the target, (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: VAT registrations per 10,000 resident adult population, English wards only 20 per cent. most
20 per cent. Least
2000 31 49 2001 30 46
ONS Inter Departmental Business Register (special analysis), the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000, and population estimates from the Office for National Statistics
Between 2000 and 2001, the gap in the rates narrowed by one percentage point and therefore progress is on track.
Further details on this target can be found in the DTI Autumn Performance Report (ref. CM 6067), published on Friday 5 December 2003 and on the DTI website shortly.