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Volume 534: debated on Thursday 27 October 2011

The Government are committed to making the United Kingdom the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. Steps being taken include boosting tax relief, getting the banks to increase lending to small firms and scrapping regulations from this Department alone that would have cost small and medium-sized enterprises more than £315 million every year.

I thank the Minister for his answer. It is clear that the Government are taking an active lead on growing and supporting our entrepreneurs. Will he therefore join me in supporting the Federation of Small Businesses in its fantastic real-life entrepreneur campaign, as that support will demonstrate yet again just how committed the coalition Government are to the entrepreneurial spirit in UK plc?

Absolutely. That is an excellent campaign by the FSB, and it shows why we are focused on matters that concern those real-life entrepreneurs: cutting their costs; tackling red tape; and of course improving access to finance. There is a lot more to do, but they know that we are on their side.

Another excellent campaign from the FSB and also the Federation of Master Builders is the “Cut the VAT” campaign, which supports a cut in VAT on home improvements to 5%. Such a move would also be good for entrepreneurs. Will the Minister support that campaign?

We are doing a lot of things to help small businesses. I notice that, although the Labour party is now saying that such things should be done, in 13 years in government it did not do it. Why not?

I congratulate the Minister on all the help he is giving entrepreneurs. Could he find time in his busy schedule to visit the many entrepreneurs in Brighton and Hove?

I will be delighted—my diary secretary may not be—to respond positively to my hon. Friend’s request.