The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:32 pm on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton 2:32 pm, 24th October 2019

My focus in this speech is SMEs, and I will stick to that, but my hon. Friend raises an interesting point.

If we are to have a fair and level playing field, we must ensure that our investment is spread more fairly across the regions. It is wrong that this country is firing on one cylinder when it could be firing on three or four. This is not about the north-south divide; it is London versus the rest of the country. For every £3 spent per capita in London, only £1 is spent in the regions. We need a fairer deal to help to level up our economy in the UK.

Finally, it is a shame on this country that we do not do more about tax avoidance. New rules are coming in to try to level the playing field, such as the diverted profits tax, but we must do more to ensure that everybody in the business environment pays their fair share of tax. That is how we build a fair and level playing field, encourage more SMEs to start up and scale up, and become a more productive economy. That is how we get a bit less capitalism, but a lot more capitalists.