HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 cc733-4W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will take steps to prevent car the period 1997 to 2002. Data for 2003 will be available in autumn 2004.

VAT Registrations: 1997–2002
1997 170
1998 180
1999 180
2000 205
2001 205
2002 205
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2002, Small Business Service.

VAT registrations do not capture all start-up activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that de-register will not necessarily have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 3.8 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2002.

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