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Research and Development Tax Credits

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 9 March 2011

3. How many small businesses in Scotland (a) applied for and (b) received research and development tax credits in the latest period for which figures are available? (44077)

In the financial year 2008-09, figures for the United Kingdom show that there were 350 claims for research and development tax credits from small and medium-sized businesses, and that the total amount of relief awarded was £15 million. Figures for Scotland are not currently held centrally.

Well, there we are: once again, a question not answered. The right hon. Gentleman probably does not even know that there is no R and D specialist unit in Scotland to help small businesses get tax credits—but there is one in Wales and six in England. Does he think that that is fair?

What I am aware of is that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs R and D tax and credits unit held a workshop in Glasgow on 9 February, and it was well attended by businesses from the Glasgow area.

Do the Government intend to abolish the intellectual property restrictions on R and D tax credits, which would make it much easier for companies in Scotland in the biotechnology and micro-electronics industries to benefit?

The Government do indeed intend to abolish that restriction, and I believe that it will have the benefits that my hon. Friend outlines.