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Business Groups

Volume 596: debated on Wednesday 10 June 2015

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and other UK Ministers and officials meet business groups in Scotland regularly. I am pleased to say that one of my first visits in my new role will be to Aberdeen.

The UK Government are committed to reducing the burden of red tape on businesses. The Scottish Government have some powers in this area. Is it not a good idea for them both to work together to reduce the burden of regulation on businesses full stop?

Absolutely. It is imperative that Administrations right across the United Kingdom work together to reduce the burden of red tape and deregulate as much as they can. We achieved £10 billion of benefit to small businesses and other sectors under the previous Government, and our aim is to achieve another £10 billion of savings for the benefit of everybody in the United Kingdom.

Has the Minister met the open-cast coal industry recently, and if so will she urge the Chancellor to introduce a site-specific coal carbon tax exemption in the July Budget? This move would create 1,000 jobs, provide a net income for the Exchequer and restore open-cast sites in east Ayrshire.

That is the set of proposals we are considering. May I make it very clear to the hon. Gentleman that I am more than happy to speak to and meet him? If he would like to contact me after this session, we can arrange such a meeting.