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I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention.
I was outlining some of the other ways in which Government could help small businesses. We all agree on certain points, and I hope we can agree that the Government should concentrate on keeping regulation to a minimum. They should also concentrate on reducing the gold-plating of European legislation and confining such legislation to acceptable levels. I think we can all agree that they should spend money on education and skills. The more flexible, well trained and mobile the work force are, the more they will be able to thrive and adapt to the changing environment that we will inevitably experience in the future.
Direct spending on business and industry should happen at as local a level as possible. The regions sometimes make natural geographic sense. Sometimes they do not, so I welcome the opportunity to look at local partnerships. Local communities should be encouraged to reap the reward of businesses' expansion as much as possible and be allowed to keep some of the increase in taxation revenues locally. I welcome some of the points that have been made along those lines in respect of the Government's programme.
We have had to learn all over again that Labour Governments run out of money. As we rebuild Britain's industrial and business base, we need to acknowledge the limits of Government support for industry but at the same time focus on unleashing the potential of the private sector to help us to grow our way once again to prosperity.
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