Mr. Speaker, with your permission I propose to make a statement on the subject of capital gains tax immediately after Question Time.
Would the Chancellor like to take this opportunity to apologise to the House for his half-baked, panicked proposals, which were driven by political considerations, as well as for the damage that he has done to small businesses’ planning and confidence, and for the failure properly to consult the business community? Perhaps after that he will say where he will get the money to fund his belated U-turn, which is to be announced later this morning.
I shall come to my proposals fairly shortly. The fact that we have more than 760,000 more small and medium-sized enterprises in the past 10 years is testament to the fact that this country is a good place for small businesses to carry on their operations.