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Business Costs

Volume 532: debated on Tuesday 6 September 2011

8. What fiscal measures he is taking to reduce the costs of businesses which employ less than 25 staff. (70001)

Small businesses play a vital role in the economy and the Government have taken a number of steps to support them. The Government have provided support for small businesses and employers by reversing the previous Government’s planned £3 billion tax on jobs, reducing corporate taxes and introducing a moratorium on new domestic regulation for micro-businesses.

Does the Minister agree that we should make it as simple as possible to set up small businesses in the UK and get rid of unnecessary regulations and red tape?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We need to reduce the burden of red tape to encourage small businesses to set up and to create more jobs. That is one reason why, for example, we introduced a moratorium exempting micro and start-up businesses from new domestic regulation for three years from 1 April 2011.

A year ago the Chancellor claimed that 400,000 small business start-ups would be assisted by the national insurance holiday in the regions. To date the figure is, I believe, 5,000. Will the Chancellor undertake to bring a report before the House saying how many new jobs have been created by those 5,000 new start-ups and what the cost to the Exchequer has so far been per job?

The hon. Gentleman should be aware that HMRC is writing to all new businesses set up in the last 12 months to ensure that they are aware of the scheme and to encourage them to apply for it. It is important that they do so, but this is just one of a series of measures that we have taken to ensure that more new jobs are created in the private sector. I would have thought that the hon. Gentleman welcomed the fact that over the last year there have been 500,000 net new jobs created in the private sector.