We have brought in a number of incentives to encourage employee share ownership, not least employee ownership trusts, which provide a capital gains tax advantage to those businesses selling shares into the trust and tax advantages to employees alike. We have also brought in enterprise management incentives, company share option plans, the save-as-you earn scheme and the share incentives plan as well.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economies of local communities, but with 60% of small businesses with no succession plan after their founders retire, what are the Government doing to ensure that employee ownership is one of the options going forward to keep businesses going?
I have set out a number of the schemes that the Government are moving forward with, and, of course, that has been with great success. In 2016-17, some 3 million employees entered into SIP share arrangements, 400,000 entered into arrangements under save-as-you earn with an average value of shareholding of some £5,000, and 3,500 employees were offered EMI schemes in that particular year.