The hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) raises an important point, of which we are all conscious in the light of our experiences of such large
corporate problems. The massive goodwill write-offs that have followed some major takeovers have generally involved the acquisition of shares in the target company, rather than direct purchase of the assets. For clarification, the new relief would not apply in such cases. We are keen to encourage reinvestment in assets and the relief will be available only for new acquisitions, not for write-downs of assets that companies have previously acquired.