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Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research he has commissioned into the relationship between taxation and (a) business competitiveness and (b) business productivity; and if he will publish the results. [108460]

The Government is committed to developing the evidence base to help evaluate the effect of measures and inform future policies. Policy advice and development on tax measures are informed by in-house research and analysis, and in some cases, research commissioned externally. In addition to this, international comparisons allow the Government to identify areas where UK businesses lag behind their main competitors. This has prompted the development of targeted policies, often based on economic and statistical analysis of reforms in other countries.The most recent research published is into the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts, which was published on 9 April 2003 on the Inland Revenue website. This research is wide ranging, looking at all aspects of the schemes, including their effects on the productivity and competitiveness of the relevant businesses.