Finance (No. 3) Bill

Part of Industrial Relations (Voting Procedures) – in the House of Commons at 6:04 pm on 26th April 2011.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 6:04 pm, 26th April 2011

I do not accept the hon. Gentleman’s analysis. As he will know, we are currently consulting and engaging with the industry on precisely that question of the trigger price.

I am sure Members in all parts of the House agree that on the road to sustainable growth, access to finance is also a critical issue. For that reason, clause 42 increases the relief available for the enterprise investment scheme to 30%, encouraging further investment in small and growing businesses; clause 9 doubles the lifetime limit on entrepreneurs’ relief from £5 million to £10 million; and clause 43 raises the rate of research and development tax credits for small and medium-sized enterprises to 200%. As we announced in the Budget, from next year it will rise again to 225%, providing real support for small firms investing in research and development.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the driving force behind the recovery. They employ 60% of Britain’s work force, and contribute to about 50% of all output. Their success will help to define the future of our economy. The last Government planned to increase the small profits rate of corporation tax, but we have chosen to do the opposite. Clause 6 will reduce the rate paid by small businesses to just 20%. The Budget also revealed that we would continue to provide business rate relief for small firms for another year, which will support growing businesses up and down the country.