HC Deb 10 May 2004 vol 421 cc85-6W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new businesses have been established in Oldham West and Royton since 1997. [170936]

Nigel Griffiths

Barclays Bank's latest survey of business creation includes non-VAT registered firms and shows that there were 115,000 business start-ups in England and Wales, including 400 in Oldham Local Authority (which contains the constituency of Oldham West and Royton), in the fourth quarter of 2003. The latest yearly figures show 465,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in 2003. This represents a 19 per cent. increase on the year before. There were 1,900 business start-ups in Oldham Local Authority in 2003. Data for Local Authorities are n 3t available for before 2003.

DTI figures based solely on VAT registrations for Oldham Local Authority (which contains the constituency of Oldham West and Royton) are shown in the table for the period 1997 to 2002. Data for 2003 will be available in autumn 2004.

VAT Registrations: 1997–2002
1997 480
1998 470
1999 465
2000 480
2001 440
2002 510
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2002, Small Business Service, available from: www.sbs.gov.uk/statistics/vatstats.php

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.