§ Mr. Flight
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the total amount of money that was spent on research and development by small and medium-sized companies in(a) 1998–99, (b) 1999–2000, (c) 2000–01 and (d) 2001–02. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from C. Mowl to Mr. Howard Flight, dated 23 January 2003:The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question concerning what estimate has been made of the total amount of money that was spent on research and development by small and medium sized companies in (a) 1998–99, (b) 1999–2000, (c) 2000–01 and (d) 2001–02.1 am replying in his absence. (91020)The answer requires extensive new analysis, using historic information from ONS's interdepartmental business register (IDBR), in order to apply the current definition of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) based on the Commission Recommendation (96/280/EC) of 3 April 1996. This analysis is in hand as a matter of urgency.An answer will be provided shortly.