§ Mr. Bellingham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has conducted on the likely impact of rates of corporation tax in countries set to join the EU upon levels of inward investment into the UK. 
§ Ruth Kelly
I have been asked to reply.
Figures from the OECD show that the UK is a relatively lightly taxed economy. Since 1997, the Government have introduced a wide-ranging package of measures to make the UK an attractive place for business to locate and to help small businesses, including cuts in the corporation tax, an R&D tax credit for all companies, and an exemption for gains and losses on most substantial shareholdings. In August 2003, the Government published a consultation document 670W ("Corporation Tax Reform") on proposals for taking forward the Government's commitment to ensuring that the UK has a competitive and fair tax system.