(Except clauses 1, 4, 8, 189 and 209, schedules 1, 23 and 33 and certain new clauses and new schedules) - Clause 38 - Seed enterprise investment scheme

Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 14th June 2012.

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Question (this day) again proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

I remind the Committee that with this we are discussing the following:

Government amendments 148 to 156.

That schedule 6 be the Sixth schedule to the Bill.

Good afternoon, everyone. It goes without saying that, as a result of the heat, colleagues can remove articles of clothing, within decency.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Chair, Mr Amess. I am sure that it will be an even greater pleasure for all of us to serve under your chairmanship over the next few hours. I was completing my response to our debate on clause 38 and schedule 6. There are just a handful of points still to make. First, the costs relating to the policy are as set out in Budget 2012. We were asked what the approved sectors would be as far as the availability of the seed enterprise investment scheme is concerned. The measure makes the scheme available to most trades, unless they are on a list of excluded areas. Excluded activities include lending and other financial activities, as well as other, mainly asset-backed trades, which are inherently lower-risk trades.

We were asked about the scheme’s impact. I have already touched on the likely regional effect. We think that it will be widespread. However, I can assure the Committee that the Government will collect data on the scheme and publish them, in line with usual practice. The Government have committed to a review of the scheme after four years. That review will include an assessment of the use and impact of the scheme, to allow the Government to assess its effectiveness and value for money. I am a little surprised that the Opposition have not tabled an amendment requesting such a review, but on this occasion I can provide an assurance that we will undertake one.

Let me deal with the point raised by the hon. Member for Leeds West about advertising the scheme and ensuring that there is widespread knowledge of its availability. Officials from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have been out to promote the scheme at a number of events, with business angels and entrepreneur groups, in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There have  been such events across the UK. The Treasury is working to ensure that the scheme will be included in promotions, guidance and events held by the Government on support for small and medium-sized enterprises. The Treasury will also be working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to ensure that the information is disseminated widely. My hon. Friend the Member for Braintree (Mr Newmark) has been taking a very active interest in the scheme and has also been involved in publicising it. However, it is not only the Government who will be involved in that. Angel networks, representative bodies and universities are, and should be, helping to promote the scheme and to bring local investors and entrepreneurs together.

I hope that that further information is helpful to the Committee, and that the clause and schedule can stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 38 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.