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Small and Micro-businesses

Volume 564: debated on Thursday 13 June 2013

I announced last week that we will extend the exemption from burdensome new regulation to firms with up to 50 staff, and that will continue after 2014. Our growth accelerator scheme has supported more than 6,000 small businesses with high growth potential. We are encouraging more businesses to exploit export opportunities, and UK Trade & Investment is on track to double the number of SMEs it supports to 50,000 by 2015.

Although I welcome the Government’s initiatives to date, given the importance of small and micro-businesses to the economy will Ministers use their influence to push for further tax incentives to encourage growth and employment? After all, cash flow is king for such businesses and history suggests undeniably that financial payback does not take too long to come around.

As my hon. Friend knows, the Government are making the tax system in the United Kingdom the most competitive in the G20. In 2011, we reduced the small companies rate to 20%. More than 1 million employers will benefit from the new £2,000 employment allowance from next April and nearly 500,000 employers will pay no employer’s national insurance contributions at all from that date.