To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the number of new value added tax registrations in 1987 and the consequences for his policy on small firms.
During 1986, the latest year for which figures are available, the number of businesses registered for VAT in the United Kingdom increased by 29,000. The number of registrations was 193,000 and of deregistrations 164,000. Overall, since 1979 the number of registered businesses has increased on average by 500 a week. This is a remarkable record and a clear demonstration of the resurgence of the small firms sector in the United Kingdom.