§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider taking steps to grant rate relief to small firms during the first two years of their operations; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Fox
Two provisions in the Local Government, Planning and Land (No. 2) Bill will assist small businesses by making a proportion of domestic rating relief available to a greater range of mixed business and domestic properties and by extending the right to pay rates by instalments to small businesses. The proposals for creating enterprise zones in a number of areas which were announced by my right hon. 687W and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday will also help firms by giving them total exemption from rates in those areas. I am not at present convinced that a further measure of the kind proposed by my hon. Friend would be justified.