Clause 87

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 8th May 1985.

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Photo of Mr Ian Stewart Mr Ian Stewart The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 6:30 pm, 8th May 1985

I shall elaborate on what I have said because I am invited to do so by the hon. Gentleman.

I give one of many examples which have been brought to the attention of Ministers by assiduous Members. For example, a major firm in west London employing hundreds of workers and exporting the vast bulk of its products to overseas markets felt unable to move out of its present outmoded premises and into a larger factory because of the threat of development land tax. It did not have the resources to finance the cost of replacement premises. In another case, an export-oriented firm in the Midlands was faced with a choice of staying put or moving to a better site with a reduced work force because of development land tax liability on the disposal of its existing site. These are the restrictions to expansion and limitations to employment that are being removed by the abolition of development land tax.

Lest Labour Members should repeat their charge that this is merely Conservative rhetoric, I point out that representations along these lines have come——