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Business Expansion Scheme

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list in the Official Report, those companies that raised more than £500,000 under the business expansion scheme during its first year of operation and the amount raised in each case.

In 1983–84, 44 companies raised £500,000 or more under the business expansion scheme and the total amount raised was £51 million. I regret that I am unable to list those companies as details of the use of the scheme by individual companies are obtained by the Inland Revenue on a confidential basis.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the cumulative amount of revenue lost to the Exchequer as a result of tax relief granted under the business expansion scheme to individuals investing in companies involved in (i) farming and (ii) property development, until their eligibility under the scheme was withdrawn by the Finance Acts 1984 and 1985.

The revenue cost of relief for individuals investing under the business expansion scheme in companies involved in (i) farming in 1983–84 was £10 million and in (ii) property development in 1983–84 and 1984–85 was £25 million. Each of these trades became eligible for relief again from 18 March 1986 but information on investments made after this date is not yet available.