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Public Contract Bids: SMEs

Volume 729: debated on Thursday 16 March 2023

15. What steps the Government are taking to support small and medium-sized enterprises bidding for public contracts. (904120)

I am delighted to tell the House that the Government are absolutely committed to supporting SMEs in a variety of ways, from transparently publishing contract pipelines to simplifying bidding processes. The Procurement Bill currently making its way through Parliament will create a simpler and more transparent procurement regime that will open up further business to SMEs.

Analysis by Spend Network found that big corporations were still winning 90% of contracts deemed suitable for smaller businesses. These are worth £30 billion per annum. Will the Minister outline what the Government are doing to ensure that SMEs win procurement contracts that they are suited for?

The hon. Gentleman will be delighted to hear about the Procurement Bill currently making its way through Parliament. It will come to Report stage after the Easter break. It will help SMEs across the country, including in his constituency and mine, because we have worked hand in glove with the Welsh Government to make sure that the new procurement rules are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I am pleased to say that that is possible only because we left the EU.