HC Deb 18 December 1984 vol 70 c153
14. Mr. Phillip Oppenheim

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs are estimated to be created for each entrant to the enterprise allowance scheme.

Mr. Alan Clark

In addition to the 60,000 people directly assisted by the enterprise allowance scheme to set up their own businesses, we estimate that about 25,000 additional jobs have been created by those businesses so far.

Mr. Oppenheim

Does my hon. Friend agree that, despite the many Labour detractors, this scheme has been highly successful and has greatly benefited many of my constituents and created jobs in my constituency? Is it not an extremely economical way to create jobs, unlike many of the hare-brained schemes proposed by the Labour party?

Mr. Clark

My hon. Friend is entirely right, although I do not think, to do them justice, that Labour Members criticised the scheme, which is welcomed by the House as extremely effective. Its most obvious merit is that it survives after the grant has ceased and generates additional jobs on top of jobs for those who apply successfully.

Mr. Dobson

Why do Ministers take the view that for the rich it is an incentive to get more money while for the people working in wages councils industries it will be an incentive for them to get less?

Mr. Clark

I do not wish to prevent the hon. Member from offering philosophical reflections, but the enterprise allowance is only £40 a week.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

Will my hon. Friend confirm publicly what the Minister of State told me in a letter today namely that those who are not in receipt of unemployment benefit or supplementary benefit, but who are in receipt of a war disability pension, will now qualify for enterprise allowance?

Mr. Clark

I would not choose this occasion to disagree with my hon. Friend the Minister of State.