§ Brian Cotter
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many businesses have(a) registered and (b) de-registered for VAT since 1997 in each of the 88 deprived local authorities in England. 
§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 26 February 2004]: The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has defined 88 local authorities in England as being deprived for the purposes of targeting the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund. The number of VAT registrations and de-registrations for each deprived local authority between 1997 and 2002 is available from the Libraries of the House. Data for 2003 will not be available until autumn 2004.