§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the achievements of(a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months; if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring; and if he will set out his targets to help small businesses in the next year.
§ The Prime Minister
The Government continue to help small businesses, through improvements to the business climate, through deregulation and, when appropriate, through specific programmes of support and assistance. The recently published White Paper on competitiveness has clear implications for small firms and will encourage the growth of the sector through a series of well targeted initiatives.
Specific measures to assist small firms are the responsibility of my right hon. Friends, the President of the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Wales. For details of specific programmes, I refer my hon. Friend to their replies today.