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Business Investment

Volume 708: debated on Tuesday 1 February 2022

The Chancellor has brought forward a number of measures to encourage business investment, and I shall mention just two. Under the super deduction, from April 2021 until the end of March 2023, companies can claim a 130% capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments. That is the biggest two-year business tax cut in modern British history. We have also extended the temporary £1 million annual investment allowance level until the end of March 2023.

That was an interesting answer. There is a business in my constituency, Cytronex, which has developed a green solution to increase cycling rates by converting existing bicycles into e-bikes—I recommend it. Last year, its product won the e-bike of the year award; as a result, international demand has far outstripped its ability to support it. Cytronex is passionate about manufacturing its product in Britain and even assembles its own lithium battery packs in Winchester. What more can we do to help small businesses such as Cytronex make the leap into mass production, and will one of the excellent Treasury Front-Bench team meet us to discuss how we can explore that?

Cytronex sounds like a fantastic company, and it is great to see it in Winchester. It is precisely the type of company that we want to support. As I mentioned, it could benefit from the super deduction that we have brought in. Under the super deduction, for every £1 a company invests, its taxes are cut by up to 25p. That type of investment will help manufacturing and the manufacturing sector.

Jobs and job security clearly depend on economic growth. The International Monetary Fund’s forecast putting the UK at the top of the G7 is an endorsement of this Chancellor’s and this Prime Minister’s approach to economic policy throughout covid. Will the Minister assure me and my Dudley constituents that we will increasingly return to revenue from growth as soon as possible, and continue investing in skills for jobs for the future, building on, for example, the successful delivery of Dudley’s institute of technology?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to focus on skills, and that is exactly what the Chancellor did in the spending review, with an investment, over the Parliament, of £3.8 billion. My hon. Friend mentions the Marches institute of technology, and we are investing in a total of 21 of those innovative institutions across England. Employer-led training is key to growth, and that is why we are quadrupling the scale of skills boot camps in England, including digital skills boot camps, which are available in Dudley and funded by the Government.

Businesses in financial services are more likely to invest here as opposed to European markets if an agreement is reached with the EU on financial services regulation. Last March, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the hon. Member for Salisbury (John Glen), said that he expected such an agreement to be signed expeditiously. It still has not been. When does the Minister think the memorandum of understanding on financial services regulation will finally be signed?

The hon. Member makes an important point. Financial services are very important to the UK. We are ready to make a deal and we look forward to hearing from the EU.

A local businessman in my constituency would love to be able to invest, but he is facing business ruin because he made an order to China for some fireplace tiles worth £15,000 and, because of anti-dumping duty, customs duty and various other taxes, he is going to be charged £43,000 of costs for a £15,000 order. He is a sole business person and he is facing bankruptcy. I have contacted HMRC about this, but I seem to be hitting a dead end, so will the Minister please look into this matter and see if anything can be done to help him?

If the hon. Member wants to give me the details of her constituent’s case, I would be very happy to look into it.