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Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:56 pm on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir Scottish National Party, Angus 7:56 pm, 30th April 2002

No doubt that also applies to Wales. The two Labour Members from Wales may feel free to keep interrupting.

Unincorporated business receives no benefit from the reduction in corporation tax. Most small businesses will pay increased national insurance contributions personally and for their employees but will not receive the benefit of reduced taxation. They are therefore doubly penalised. That is patently unfair. By raising national insurance contributions, the Chancellor is not taxing profit, but increasing the cost to business, which must be met even if there is no profit. It is worth noting that the average self-employed business owner in Scotland makes approximately £14,000 per annum, compared with a UK average of £22,000.

Unincorporated business will not benefit from the change in the research and development grant.